17 September 2008

Sarah Palin - Tranny?

I love politics enough such that I have majored in it. But I hadn't planned on blogging about Sarah Palin because so many other people are doing it so well with opinions that match mine. However, recently a column used transphobia to attack her. I just couldn't ignore that without calling it out.

Michael Seltzman wrote at the Huffington Post a column titled "Sarah Palin Naked" which starts off just as sexist and misogynistic as it sounds. In talking about wanting to have sex with Sarah Palin, because obviously that's an appropriate thing for political discourse, he offers the following:

My wife is cool with this if I promise to "first wipe off Palin's tranny makeup." I married well.


Haha. I'm laughing so hard. A real comedian there, his wife. Transphobia is so funny. Especially when it's also expressing lookism at the same time. Because I find it hard to believe that she's complimenting Palin on her gender presentation. Instead, it's fairly clear she expressing the stereotypical view that transwomen use makeup poorly. She's calling into question Palin's womanhood.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I despise the word "tranny". It has the same history as the despicable "shemale", coming to us from the porn industry to describe a fetishistic type of porn with transwomen. Just google "tranny" and you'll find that most results, other than sites of transfolk trying to reclaim the word, point to porn images of transwomen. When not using it for porn, straight cispeople use it in the same way they use "man in a dress", to discredit people. Not that I'm happy when queer cispeople use it either, but they generally don't seem to intend insult.

So, while I'm no fan of Sarah Palin, and certainly fear what would happen if she became Vice-President, I do have to protest the use of transphobia to assault her. Want to attack her? There are plenty of ways to legitimately do so, calling her out on her political policies and actions. But, knock off the transphobia and sexism. I don't want to have to defend people I don't like.

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