Thursday, October 25, 2007

waiting for my Colbert bump...

So sometimes when I'm on Wikipedia, I search using my own name to see if anyone is referencing anything I've written. For the longest time, the only result was on the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival page where my essay Bending Over Backwards: an Introduction to the Issue of Trans Woman-Inclusion is cited. But today, a second result came up: the Colbert Report page. After searching through it (it's a *humongous* webpage) I found myself mentioned under Criticisms of the show:

Transphobia

Jokes targeting transgender people, particularly transwomen, are a recurrent theme in Colbert’s repertoire. Examples of this include warnings about gender-variant pandas,[59] suggesting that a woman guest was a “she-male,”[60] and a reference to “trannies” as “dangerous characters” from whom soldiers need to be protected.[61]

Despite the obviously satirical nature of the show, members of the trans community have spoken out about these and other perceived negative impacts of Colbert’s show;[62]there has been no response from Colbert himself. The transphobic jokes often rely on the myth of the deceptive transwoman who lures heterosexual men into danger. Author Julia Serano has described how many in the media use this image as a plot twist, and how this portrayal affects transwomen’s lives.[63]

btw, that reference is to the web version of my essay Skirt Chasers: Why The Media Depicts the Trans Revolution in Lipstick and Heels.

I'm glad people are talking about this, because I'm sick of screaming at the TV screen every time he evokes trannies. It's particularly frustrating because I otherwise love his show...

One final question: does one get a Colbert bump for being mentioned on his Wikipedia site?

-j.

2 comments:

grvsmth said...

So you don't know about Wigfield, where Colbert portrays a stripper named Raven?

I'd imagine that in real life Colbert is pretty open-minded, and that he'd be willing to do something that more explicitly lampoons anti-trans prejudices if asked nicely.

Karen said...

He's generally well educated and intelligent; one wonders (I wonder) if this, too, is a skewer of relentless trans-fear in the media. (Have you ever seen Tucker Carlson talk about it? (MEN IN SKIRTS!!! MEN IN SKIRTS!!!1!) -- One thinks he's actually going to have an aneurysm).

I haven't seen the bits themselves; if you say they're un-ironic, I believe you. Just hoping they're not, I suppose.