Saturday, April 3, 2010

Not just a coincidence

It's funny how two seemingly unrelated combined ingredients can affect the taste, for better or worse, of a particular recipe, even when by themselves they wouldn't have the same effect. In skimming the previous two posts I've written here I was struck by a remarkable relationship between the two. I thought I'd put that relationship in a clearer light.

I'm talking about Dale O'Leary's characterization of trans people of being susceptible to narcissistic rage, defined as the,

…need for revenge, for righting a wrong, for undoing a hurt by whatever means, and deeply anchored, unrelenting compulsion in the pursuit of all these aims… There is utter disregard for reasonable limitations and a boundless wish to redress an injury and to obtain revenge… The fanaticism of the need for revenge and the unending compulsion of having to square the account after an offense…The narcissistically injured… cannot rest until he has blotted out [the] … offender who dared to oppose him, to disagree with him.
Now this, a synopsis of the Ticked Off Tr***ys With Knives movie, from the IMDb site"

A group of tr***ies are violently bashed and left for dead. The surviving ladies regain consciousness, confidence, and courage ready to seek out revenge on the ones who attacked them.

Kinda interesting juxtaposition there, innit? It seems to me that these two very different occurrences have tapped into the same kind of fear and loathing that is part of the social fabric regarding trans people today, the idea that trans people are vengeful, mentally unstable and dangerous. It can be validly argued then, that the title of the film and its synopsis, which are the only parts of the film that the majority of Americans will ever see, play into the same fear and loathing that is used by those who defend oppression and harm against gender variant people as a political tool. When you consider the fear mongering in screeds like Dale O'Leary's or this one from the Traditional Values Coalition:

President Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats are quietly rushing through legislation (H.R. 3017 & S. 1584) that would actually bring cross-dressing teachers into your child’s classroom. Under the so-called, Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), your children will be trapped in classes taught by drag queens and transgender activists. Students will be indoctrinated that “alternative lifestyles” are no different than traditional lifestyles. Young children will be forced to learn about bizarre sexual fetishes – and you will have no say in the matter.

Along with the age old "male predators in bathrooms" lie,

By the stroke of a very powerful pen, County Executive Leggett has broken the biological barriers that separate male and female facilities. No longer will women and girls be able to feel completely safe in the most private and personal bathroom and locker facilities of schools, public pools, malls, stores, health clubs, restaurants and other such public places throughout the county. County Executive Ike Leggett signed Bill 23-07, the outrageous legislation that may result in forcing even religious schools to hire transgender teachers; and then also allow cross-dressing but biological males in your daughter’s school locker room.

It seems plain that Israel Luna's film is related in a very disturbing way.

Aside from the pejorative in the title, and the egregious use of murdered trans people as a marketing tool, this movie's tapping into the fearful ignorance of our culture when it regards trans people is what bothers me most.
Israel Luna is using the same kind of hateful stereotypes that are used to deny trans people their civil rights and thereby promulgate those stereotypes' supposed validity. Then he and many of his defenders add insult to injury by accusing those who oppose his miserable trash as being "angry" and "unreasonable."

I think Israel Luna's film is wrong and hurtful on a lot more levels than just it's marketing. I think its very premise is based in transphobia and misogyny. Our community is right in protesting this travesty.


  1. D'Oh!

    I had a brain cramp and attributed the film to Michael instead of Israel Luna. My apologies in case a Michael Luna saw that. It's fixed now.


  2. Your comparisons are spot on. They really highlight what many of us have been saying about how this movie feeds into pervasive negative stereotypes.