Monday, June 20, 2011

Anti-Trans Intersex PSA Teaches That Words Can Hurt



Transcript Below

White Male: It is not acceptable to call me a tranny or a she. 
White Woman: And it is not acceptable to call me a he/she, a it or a shemale
Black Woman: It is not acceptable to call me a transvestite or a man in a dress
Intersex Person: It is not acceptable to call me a hermaphrodite or a freak.
Together they say: These words are no different than any other minority slur. Don't use derogatory words and remember words can hurt.

I thought that this was a good PSA, and unlike many others it didn't feel the need to lean on other oppressions to point out that bigoted language can hurt. I know that when a minority declares a word a slur, they should not have to explain why these words are hurtful, but I think that when it comes to the general public, a little explanation goes a long way.  I recently had the occasion to call a woman a disablist, and I could see from the look on her face that she had no idea what I was saying.  It seems to me that the public would gain a lot from hearing words like cissexist.  Not only do we need to know that the language itself is wrong, but giving it a label helps to further entrench the idea that this is indeed a valid oppression.  The public needs to know that there is actual language to describe their behaviour because language is how we understand our world, and communicate ideas to each other.  I think that as maginalized people we need to actively ensure that such words become a regular part of daily interactions.

What are your thoughts on the PSA, and the absence of the word cissexism from it?

H/T Monica of TransGriot