In the past year or two, society has seen a big shift in how trans people, and trans women specifically, are portrayed in the media. Where it was once mildly permissible to have cis actors tell trans stories because, at least we were getting something, now a cis actor playing a trans character is becoming more and more controversial. Because no matter how dedicated the portrayal is, how sincere the actor is in wanting to “get it right”, how genuinely the creators want to help the transgender community, or how much it moves their primarily cis audience, they will always get something wrong, and often they’ll get a lot of things wrong. It’s almost a running gag in the trans community at this point. I’ve had many a “trashy trans movie night” where we get together to watch Transamerica or Boys Don’t Cry and tear it to shreds over popcorn and alcohol. Where we were once happy with whatever table scraps we could get, over the last decade we’ve been creatingourownart that accurately depicts our lives. We now have a slew of well known, outspoken trans activists and artists like Janet Mock, Fallon Fox, Laura Jane Grace, Carmen Carrera, Lana Wachowski, Jenna Talackova, Candis Cayne, and (my personal hero) Laverne Cox.
Which means we are no longer satisfied letting cis people tell our stories for us.
Can we all just stop acting like trigger warnings are outrageously complicated?
I keep seeing scare-tactic articles from mainstream and feminist blogs trying to have a Very Serious Discussion about whether trigger warnings are warranted or have “gone too far”. And you know what? I’m not even going to dignify this “debate” by pointing out why trigger warnings are a reasonable accommodation for people who have survived traumatic events. There are already plenty of articles about that.
Instead, I want to talk about how trigger warnings have already existed long before the terminology, they just went unnoticed by people who didn’t need them.
In honor of Mother’s Day, I want to talk about how awesome my mom is. No, seriously, my mom is one of the coolest people I’ve ever had in my life and I’m lucky enough to have known her for 28 years (if we’re counting gestation). Of course she’s not perfect and, like all of us, she has her flaws. But she’s a huge part of what makes me the hardworking feminist you’ve (hopefully) grown to love, so it’s only fair to give her credit where it’s due. So to prove to you Shethinkers that my mom is the bomb, I thought I would share some of the things she’s taught me. Because everyone deserves someone as cool as my mama!
If you’re like me, you’re probably just the slightest bit upset over the recent shenanigans going on in this country. Between racism being a valid defense, The Patriarchy reigning supreme over women’s bodies, and the typical non-necessarily-related-to-oppression-but-not-unrelated-either stress that we experience everyday, you might be ready to snap. Well, I understand how you feel, but just to keep us all in freedom fighting shape, I thought I’d share some ways to relieve some of the tension you might be feeling. After all, the feminist who takes care of herself (or himself) lives to fight bullshit another day.
It’s easy (and popular) to claim the media has no effect on who we are. To claim we’re sophisticated enough to rise above influence and separate the truth from the hype. But the truth is, whether we’re born trans or cis; gay, straight or bi; the world has a lot to say about gender and most of those messages either start with or are reflected by the media.
Before we’re even born, our parents-to-be are asked, “Is it a boy or a girl?”