Saturday, April 16, 2011

Drop It Like It's Hot

Good morning everyone, thanks for another great week of conversation.  Once again, I wanted to remind everyone that we cannot always agree, and that the point of what goes on here is to be exposed to new ideas from perspectives we may not be familiar with.  It can sometimes be contentious but if we just bury these issues and pretend that they don't exist nothing will ever change.

I wanted to remind everyone that I am still looking for a Latina contributor.  There are issues that are very specific to the Latino community and I as a Canadian Black woman, am hardly fluent.  In an effort to make this blog as intersectional as possible it is my hope that someone will read this and take on this role.  If you are interested in joining the team, please send in two examples of your work and a short note about why social justice is important to you.  This is a non paid position but you must be prepared to blog either weekly or bi-weekly.  Preference will be given to those who are able to do a weekly commitment.  Please send your info to womanistmusings (at) gmail(dot) com.  As always those who are interested in submitting a guest post may use that address as well.  Please include a link back to your blog, an image that identifies you and a small three line bio.

Below you will find a list of posts that I found interesting this week.  Please show these bloggers some love and check them out.  Remember, when you are done, don't forget to drop it like it's hot, and leave your link behind in the comment section.
Succubi and the Attraction of Pokemon and Opposite Sex People
Straight Women and the One-Way Cunnilingus 
The Grio's Commentary Misses The Mark
Bad Credit: How Payday Lenders Evade Regulation
I do not write this blog for white people
The Unbearable Whiteness of Being, Part II: Notes on Guinevere
No Secret Millionaire Is Coming For You
"African Fabrics" The History of Dutch Wax Prints
"Women and Minorities Encouraged to Apply"
Show Us Your Genitals! and Other Gender Weirdness 
The Green Book, A blueprint for a real democracy
Sexism and Saturday Night Live
Clearing Up Some Misconceptions On Tribal Hunting and Fishing Rights

Friday, April 15, 2011

It's Friday and The Question Is.........

THAT is the question... mark!photo © 2008 Torley | more info (via: Wylio)

This morning on The View (yes I know I need to stop watching that show) K.D Lang performed a song off of her new CD.  Despite her support of PeTA, this is one woman that I cannot quit.  I love her voice to the point that it will bring tears to my eyes.  It is just so pure and beautiful.  So, today's question is, what song, singer, or band touches you on an emotional level and why?

Sage is not just for turkey

Dan Waters is a snarky 22 year old queer biracial wonderment who is part White, Portuguese, and Native American (Wampanoag-Kiowa). He currently lives in Massachusetts, and plans to become a Lawyer. That is, if he can survive Algonquin language classes and polyamorous dating right now! He also identifies as Two Spirit, and prefers male pronouns, but cherishes his female body that he was given graciously by the Creator. He blogs at Identity Exposure.
 
Firstly I’d like to apologize for the title of this piece, Renee pitched it to me and it stuck. I really love it, but please feel free to use seasonings for your turkey. Secondly, I am a bit drunk so any typos, I sincerely apologize. Try to not let them deter you from my gospel. Also, I already know that some White people will start complaining “why do you keep blaming us, wah wah, fee fees” throughout the piece, but I haven’t met any Black or Latino people trying to lead a fucking rain dance ever. Just sayin’. I will also be talking about a lot of “woo-woo” (as Sparky would say), and I am not saying all Indians believe this, but most traditional or trying to go back to traditions people do. I am also not picking on Wiccans and pagans because they are “bad”, but because they do a lot of appropriation themselves.

I didn’t answer this on Renee’s Friday question, but I absolutely love paranormal shows. Ghost Hunters, Ghost Adventures (though that Zack dude is such a tool, am I right?), and Paranormal State just to name a few. However, there is a common theme amongst them…inevitably, if the space needs to be cleared of spirits, they will whip out the white sage bundle.

Writing Over Bodies

Jaded16 is a Radical Feminist from India. She writes a humour blog ‘Oi With The Poodles Already’, attempting to make her world a little woman-friendly using healthy doses of irony and sarcasm to de-condition the Indian masses. It is at times like these when she loses all her sense of humour and starts looking for a rock big enough to live under.  

My book obsession is quite well known, in most circles I move and am allowed in; there is a long-standing joke that I don’t need food but just a fresh page to live. So when my student asked me rhetorically whether I ‘ever tire of theory’, he was rather surprised to know I did — can’t entirely blame him for holding this view, after all I did spend the last seven months talking solely in theories and of texts — in fact, I agree with Spivak¹ when she accuses prose of ‘cheating’. We are taught theory in a manner that we will be able to ‘frame our realities intelligibly’ – pretty problematic on its own already — but when it comes to translating words to practice, somewhere we break and falter. I teach English to children of lower caste and socio-economic backgrounds — technically speaking — this is the space I should be unleashing my postcolonialism in, making sure the harmful ideas that say, “Only a person speaking Good English will ever get a job anywhere”, but I can’t. The truth is, they do need a functional level of English to be employed anywhere  and if I start saying, “Forget the Empire’s tongue! Let’s subvert it and smash the system”, I will confuse them and even humiliate them — for subversion happens once you’ve mastered the tongue — and as first-generation learners of English, learning this tongue is hard enough as it is. On most days, the best I can do is not scold them — as the institution ‘requires’ me to — and not shame them when they code switch² to their native tongues.

What can white women do?

Daisy is a hippie grandma, feminist, vegetarian and lifelong activist, living in South Carolina.  She blogs at Daisy's Dead Air

Years ago, I was being followed by some guy.  On a public street.  I was in my 20s, looking good.  And he kept whistling and trying to get my attention from about a half-block behind, "Hey!  Hey!"  and I didn't turn around, because he was *so* pushy and I was getting scared.  He was getting faster and was obviously quite determined.

Came to the red light,  Oh no, I thought,  he will catch up to me, waiting for the light to change.

"Hey!" he was yelling, "Hey! You gonna talk to me!?"

And a hippie appeared, looking predictably clueless and stoned.  When the guy following me yelled "Hey!" again and I pointedly ignored him again, the hippie walked behind me and inserted himself between the guy and me,  "You lost, man?  What?"  and gave me the necessary few seconds I needed to scurry across the street and down the block.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Should First Nations People Vote?

Dan Waters is a snarky 22 year old queer biracial wonderment who is part White, Portuguese, and Native American (Wampanoag-Kiowa). He currently lives in Massachusetts, and plans to become a Lawyer. That is, if he can survive Algonquin language classes and polyamorous dating right now! He also identifies as Two Spirit, and prefers male pronouns, but cherishes his female body that he was given graciously by the Creator. He blogs at Identity Exposure.

So, I have been seeing the Tweet-o-sphere a blowing up on all ends about Canada’s election. Some of it is about not voting at all, others are pro-vote, and most recently, I came across this: Yvon Levesque is being called a racist for saying that NDP Candidate Romeo Saganash’s Cree ancestry is a liability.

The liability, being, voters won’t vote for him because he’s Cree. Let me say it again: Levesque didn’t tell people to NOT vote for Saganash, just that, voters are racist.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I asked around and Levesque is a conservative and probably a racist as well. But this statement? Doesn’t make him a racist. It shows that he knows what voters want: a white guy. This isn’t exactly enough to make me say “That’s racist”. In fact, the NDP’s reaction statement seemed more color-blind-racist, because it basically denied the fact that most of Canada is in fact racist, or that it could be possible that there is discrimination from voters on the basis of race.

Chris Rock: "White People Have Gotten Less Crazy"


Gloria Steinem: Bad Quotes and An Accurate History

Gloria Steinemphoto © 2008 Mindy Kittay | more info (via: Wylio)

The following quote has been heating up tumbler recently.

“A woman reading Playboy feels a little like a Jew reading a Nazi manual."

I wondered where this quote came from, and after a short google search, I discovered that it appeared in Time Magazine, on Monday March 20,1972

There can be no doubt that this was a horrific statement to make, and as analogies go, I fail to see how one could get much lower.  What I find interesting, is that the quote is 39 years old and yet, there is a very active conversation occurring about this. If we are all honest, we know that despite their fight for women's rights (actually read: White, cisgender, straight, able bodied, middle class rights), second wave feminism was full of problems.  Even though many feminists today acknowledge this to be a fact, some are quite dedicated to these women and see them as heroes. As these second wave feminists pass on, they have been deified: for example, Mary Daly and most recently Geraldine Ferraro.

Shakespeare wrote: "I come to Rome to bury Cesar. The good that men do lives after them, while the evil is oft interred with their bones, so let it be with Cesar".

This very same sentiment could be used to describe the attitude towards the passing of White feminists sheroes who were a part of the second wave. It is only those who were erased, attacked, oppressed and marginalized that cannot forget what these women represented, and while it may be comforting for some to wrap themselves up in female solidarity, to do so is to purposefully harm millions of women.  Are the rights of a small segment of women really worth all of this pain?

HIV/AIDS: Homophobia and Disableism

The following image apparently came from the Daily Sunday Star .  Apparently there is more to rags than trying to discern whom celebrities are sleeping with and which one needs rehab.


I don't know about you, but I am really sick of the suggestion that gay people are walking diseases.   Recently, when make up artist Dariel Pulliam died, Sandra Rose wrote "wrap it up," suggesting that the man had died of AIDS, even though she didn't know the cause of death.  When it was later revealed that he had died of a staph infection, she didn't feel the need to apologize.

As part of the cycle of life, people are born and die everyday and yet AIDS is constantly deemed the cause of death of gay men.  This is not 1980's, and HIV/AIDS is not a gay disease.  This suggestion, is just another way of stigmatizing and oppressing the LGBT community and it needs to stop. It's not funny and it's not cute; it's homophobic as all hell.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Bi-deology Project

The Bi-deology project is about straight women dating bisexual men.  I am going to present this to you without comment because I would like to hear your thoughts.

“The Bi-deology Project” is a compelling, exquisite documentary series that explores the experiences of self-identified straight women who have dated men who also engage in gay sex and dating. As the “heterosexual” relationship is assumed to involve two strictly heterosexual individuals, what becomes the expectation of partners who are attracted to both sexes? With the overly sensationalized media focus on the “down low” bisexual man and the assumed negative relationships involving heterosexual women and men who engage in bisexual activity, the cast of “The Bi-deology Project” will discuss the uniqueness of these mixed orientation relationships, both positive and negative, and what heterosexual women can learn from men who don’t have an exclusive straight sexual identity. 



What does being “American” mean?

I am a 36 year old disabled woman who has been variously labeled "fat", "crazy", and "a hippie weirdo." I now try to embrace labels that others use in an attempt to "shame" me into being someone more "acceptable". I am passionate about issues of race/racism, criminal (in)justice, fat acceptance, and mental health advocacy. I blog at My Name Is JuJuBe and I am on the team at The Intersection of Madness and Reality
 
 
                                                           "I’m proud to be an American,

                                                            where at least I know I’m free.

                                                            And I wont forget the men who died,

                                                            who gave that right to me"

I HATE those lyrics. I am proud to be Un-American. To me, being American is accepting the status quo. It means supporting a system of white supremacy. It means denying the contributions of millions of non white people. It means denying rights to people based on sexuality or gender. It means looking with pride on a flag that stands for oppression. It means doing nothing to affect change.

Yes, I live in America. But I have not "swallowed the Koolaid" when it comes to the greatness of this country. I do not believe we are the most important country on earth. I do not believe that in the history of the world, only the contributions of white men count. I do not believe that people in the US hold the higher ground when it comes to morality, civil rights, foreign policy, education, health and welfare. Until being American means more than being a foreign policy bully, means more than accepting a "might is right" attitude, and means more than honoring only the ruling class, I will be happy to be called "Un-American"

Being "Un-American" is nothing new to me. People believe that if you do not wholeheartedly support American imperialism all over the world you are "un-patriotic" or "un-American" They think that if you are realistic about the fact that this country was BUILT on oppression, and still THRIVES on racism and ethnocentrism that you are a traitor. If recognizing the acts of horror this country perpetrates on the rest of the world is "Un-American", I will be that.

Last Word On White Female Whining

photo © 2007 L. Whittaker | more info (via: Wylio)


This is going to be a three part post to finally put to bed White women's issues for awhile.  I simply cannot stand it when I have to spend time on nonsense ish like this, when there are so many issues that need attention. 

Let's start with the issue that had everyone talking - the suggestion that White woman's privilege exists.  Yes, people are still arguing against it.   
What I am arguing is that white women are in no way privileged because of their female-ness; they are privileged as females, as in each of their aspects and identities, because of white privilege. This is female white privilege, not “white female privilege.”  This whole debate could mostly be an issue of semantics (“white female privilege” and “female white privilege”, both meaning what I described in the first sentence of this paragraph); it certainly seemed that way sometimes in the comment sections of both Racialicious and Feministe.
(snip)

Calling benevolent sexism a privilege because it’s better than malevolent sexism (especially as it intersects with race) doesn’t make any sense within this logic. It’s also unnecessary: we can acknowledge this relative advantage and make the point that white women are placed above women of color in our social hierarchy without elevating this kind of positive discrimination to the level of privilege. Otherwise, we’re validating a belief that harms women of color as well and, possibly, every oppressed group. Doesn’t benevolent sexism being a privilege mean *all* forms of positive discrimination are privileges, at least in some contexts? There’s no reason why it wouldn’t. Then we’re left with the same sentiments we’re trying to fight, sentiments that echo every kind of ‘-ism’ and ‘-phobia’. As I pointed out in a few of my comments, “[If Plaid is right, then] black men being treated as hyper-sexual ‘mandingos’? Actually a small privilege when compared to desexualized Asian men. Disabled people being patronized by having the abled help them when they don’t ask for it? Bad, unless we’re comparing it to the way that the disabled homeless are entirely ignored.” On top of Plaid’s point being illogical within our philosophy and echoing the views we oppose, it also pushes us dangerously close to Oppression Olympics, as illustrated with the black/ Asian example.  All of these things weaken the social justice movement, and it’s for this reason that I really, really oppose the argument for white female privilege. (source)
So White woman's privilege is oppression Olympics and it is semantics to order the term this way.   The wording of this phrase only matters to White women because they have a history of failing to take ownership of their privilege, and it benefits them to be seen as being outside of the forces of oppression.  Let's be clear, sexism is really an evil force, but it functions differently according to race.  The same factors that inhibit White women from being seen as the equal of White men, actually inhibit WOC from being seen as HUMAN.  See the difference there?  1) Human. 2) second to White men. (Please read the following in a whiny tone) But what about oppression Olympics?  How can this not be seen as divisive?  I would love to be able to sing kumbaya, as I roast marshmallows in front of a campfire, but the fact remains, not all women are constructed the same - divisions already exist. I wish that White women would catch on to the fact that the whole "this is divisive meme" that they like to toss out whenever WOC talk about racism only serves to prove our point. 

Leaders Debate



Like many Cannucks, I watched the leaders debate.  What I saw was Harper advocating privatization of health care (cause that worked so great for the U.S) Jets we cannot afford, prisons (again, ask the U.S about it's prison population) and tax cuts for the rich (Reagan would be proud - trickle down economics everyone). I also don't understand how anyone could ignore the fact that he referred to the debate as "bickering".  This is how a democracy works; we are all free to disagree.  I think that it tells us a lot about Harper's vision of a Canadian government looks like. 

I went into the debate knowing that I already disagreed with some of Ignatieff's policies, and I have to say he is looking even more unappealing now.  First being a bully and pointing out that the NDP has always been the opposition party didn't sit well with me.  To me, the fact that they have always been the opposition is a selling point.  Let's be clear, Ottawa has been fucked for a long time.   I am further not in the least bit amused that he only mentioned violence against women in terms of gun control.  Really?  I suppose patriarchy has nothing to do with the sexism and violence that women face then?  Also, nation building is not what I want my money spent on, and it is not disrespecting the troops to say so. Three more years is far too long of an engagement.  I will however give him points, for making it clear that the crime rate is down and that Harper traffics in the politics of fear.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What Are You Reading?

Reading Harry Potterphoto © 2006 giulia sala | more info (via: Wylio)

We have not had one of these threads in awhile.  Right now I currently reading Anya Bast for a project that I am working on, and let me tell you that I am suffering.  I know that having as many examples of books in the genre is an absolute necessity and so this suffering had better pay off. The following is a small excerpt:
He stayed that way, barely touching her.  Their gazes locked, held.  The hear of his body bled through the fabric of his clothing and into her skin.  His eyes seemed to hold pure heat, everything he wanted to do lay there immersed in a barely banked fire.  Something in the depths of her chest squeezed a bit.  Emotion rose - hers or his, she wasn't quite certain.  All of a sudden they were one being.  Claire wasn't sure where she stopped and he began.

It was intense and her body responded in kind.  Her sex quickened, remembering what it was like to be aroused.  She moved on the bed a little, wanting him to touch her.
It reads like urban fantasy porn, with plot just peeking out from time to time to see what's going on. I am not invested in these books and I can barely remember the names of the characters.  I thankfully only have one more book in the series to read and then I can try to scour my mind of anything related to Anya Bast. 

At any rate I need a reminder of what a good book is because I have been forced to read so much crap recently.  So tell me what is currently on your e-reader or bookshelf that is keeping you up at night to finish.

The Unbearable Whiteness of Being, Part II: Notes on Guinevere

I'm a 23 year old Sinhalese woman in Minnesota by way of Dubai by way of Sri Lanka. I am a Womanist, and part of my womanism is figuring out how to be in solidarity with my transnational sisters worldwide. I'm a daughter, a sister, a partner and a writer. I'm a brown girl who knows Shakespeare by heart and devours anything Toni Morrison. I believe in radical, revolutionary living and loving.  I blog at Irresistible Revolution.

On my last Unbearable Whiteness post, a commenter directed me to the BBC show 'Merlin', wherein a woman of colour plays Guinevere. Intrigued, I immediately proceeded to cue it on Netflix, and two months later I'm now a devoted fan.

While the show still invites scrutiny for its constructions of power, patriarchy and sexuality, I want to focus on the politics and implications of Guinevere's casting. Angel Coulby, a biracial, Black actress, plays humble and beautiful maidservant Gwen, destined to be Queen of Camelot.

The casting directors, who sought an actress that could evince the regality of a future queen while still a handmaiden, described Coulby as possessing the innate grace, shyness and nobility they were looking for, and the fact they weren't convinced of Guinevere's "inherent whiteness", as one fan blogger put it, is pretty damn remarkable to me. Just a heads up white folks: if you wanna push colourblindness, this is the kind of colourblindness you need to advocate, where POC are as unlimited by their race as white folks.

Of course, not everyone is pleased that the beautiful Coulby is filling the shoes of Guinevere. This blogger, in fact, has major issues with the casting and claims a supposed trend of non-Europeans being cast in "massively European roles". Excuse me if I'm bothered by the smell of BULLSHIT. "The Last Airbender" anyone? "Hunger Games"? "A Mighty Heart"? "Cleopatra"?
But of course, the moment POC start being allowed even a smidgen of the access and visibility that whiteness has monopolized for centuries, the shit starts flipping.

Should Anyone Celerbate the 150 Year Anniversary of the Civil War?

Riverbend - Civil War Reenactmentphoto © 2006 Alvin Trusty | more info (via: Wylio)

One hundred and fifty years ago today, the civil war began.  I am sure civil war re-enacters took the day off to celebrate.  There is much romanticism of this time, and this ignores what a horrific period in history this was for POC.  What exactly was wonderful about slavery and the destruction of aboriginal cultures? Why the need for White people to constantly re-live these years?  Oh, I have heard the supposed excuses of wanting to celebrate culture, but when your culture is comprised of brutality, rape, numerous acts of violence, and the enslavement and animalization of people of colour, you would think that this would be something to be ashamed of, not celebrate.

I have heard this war referred to as the war of northern aggression.  There are even those who seek to deny that it was about slavery and still use the triggering term states rights.  Uh huh, anything but admitting the horror that it actually was.  A celebration of this time is nothing but an attempt to glorify Whiteness, and not a supposed love of military history and southern society as is oft claimed.  I further believe that it is important to point out that though northern states were not slave holding states, they were not exactly some sort of anti-racist utopia either.  Less oppression does not suddenly equal good.

Do you have to be a certain percentage of the population before injustices against you matter?

This is a guest post from Sparky, of Spark in Darkness.  Many of you are  familiar with him from Livejournal, as well as from his insightful and often hilarious commentary here. Each Tuesday, Womanist Musings will be featuring a post from Sparky.

It seems like the US is going through the same kafuffle that happened in the UK not too long ago, debating exactly how many GBLT people there actually are in the world along with recriminations, debates and lots of "there's hardly any of you!" protests.

As I said, the UK had the same debate not long ago and my eyes are still sore from the friction burns from all the rolling back then.

There are many things we can talk about when it comes to such surveys. We can point out how their methodology fails (the UK version so undercounted us that every GBLT person in the country would have had to have 3 active gaydar profiles each just to account for the number of profiles on that popular gay dating site)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Black In Latin America

 The "Black in Latin America" Series on PBS

The series will air over four weeks on Tuesdays, April 19 and 26 and May 3 and 10, 2011, at 8 p.m. (ET) on PBS stations. Check your local listings for time and channel. Here are PBS's descriptions of the series.

Episode 1: Haiti & the Dominican Republic: An Island Divided

In Haiti, The Root Editor-in-Chief Henry Louis Gates Jr. tells the story of the birth of the first-ever black republic, and finds out how the slaves' hard-fought liberation over Napoleon Bonaparte's French Empire became a double-edged sword. In the Dominican Republic, Gates explores how race has been socially constructed in a society whose people reflect centuries of intermarriage, and how the country's troubled history with Haiti informs notions about racial classification.

Episode 2: Cuba: The Next Revolution

In Cuba, Gates finds out how the culture, religion, politics and music of this island are inextricably linked to the huge amount of slave labor imported to produce its enormously profitable 19th-century sugar industry, and how race and racism have fared since Fidel Castro's communist revolution in 1959.

Episode 3: Brazil: A Racial Paradise?   

In Brazil, Gates delves behind the facade of Carnival to discover how this "rainbow nation" is waking up to its legacy as the world's largest slave economy.

Episode 4: Mexico & Peru: The Black Grandma in the Closet  

In Mexico and Peru, Gates explores the almost unknown history of the significant numbers of black people -- the two countries together received far more slaves than did the United States -- brought to these countries as early as the 16th and 17th centuries, and the worlds of culture that their descendants have created in Vera Cruz on the Gulf of Mexico, the Costa Chica region on the Pacific, and in and around Lima, Peru.

If that synopsis does not encourage you to watch this series, here is a link to a brief segments that will.


This Week's Top Troll


We have not done one of these for quite some time.  The spam section of the blog is getting full and so I thought it would be great to once again everyone a sneak peek at some of the hate speech that passes for a comment.  As usual you will find that some of these can be quite triggering because they are racist/sexist/disableist/homophobic/transphobic, so please think carefully before reading.  When you are done, please share which comment you chose as the absolute worst and why.

What is the future of social justice blogging?

Paul Ranson Blogging,  Dressed as a Prophet, after Paul Sérusierphoto © 2010 Mike Licht | more info (via: Wylio)


I was reading the Bilerico the other day, when I came across a post he wrote talking about the difficulties of blogging.  It is called The End of the LGBT Blogosphere As We Know It?  Since then, I have gone back to read it several times, because it bothered me so much. 
When I give speeches about blogging, I always use this line: "Blogging is an ego sport. If you didn't think the world needed to hear what you have to say, you wouldn't be publishing your thoughts online for all to see."

It's obviously not about the pay. 99.99% of all bloggers make a little extra cash from ad revenue, but not enough to keep the lights on. Unless you start to get quite a bit of traffic, ad sales aren't going to pay your bills; you do it for the love of it. Most of us work other jobs too. 

(snip)


Pam Spaulding of the award winning Pam's House Blend recently told her readers that she was considering folding up shop too. The constant demands on her time leaves her no room to manage her illness, her home life, and her finances.

No matter how many awards you win, it doesn't put cash in your pocket. Since we're not independently wealthy, you gotta pay the rent. The only independent bloggers making a living off of their blogs that I can think of are Andy Towle and John Aravosis. 

Bilerico has been nominated for a ton of awards and Pam's House Blend has too. While they help to increase the status of a site, they don't translate into a mortgage payment. Sure, they help give a blogger some validation and they can help to give a bump to the site's credibility which can lead to higher ad prices, but in the end a trophy sits on your shelf while the money continues to flow out of your pocket.
In our situation, most of the advertisers who place ads on gay blogs consider us a "political blog" and skip us. Political advertisers, however, think of us as a "gay blog," so they skip us too. Most of our advertisers end up either DVDs, books, or Gay Inc groups. Look at that blog ads section to the right. Nothing.

‘TRANSform Me’: My Own TV-Show Dilemma

Matt Kailey is a transman living in Denver, Colorado, and an author, public speaker, and trainer on transgender issues. He blogs at Tranifesto. In his ideal world, no one would be equal to anyone else – everyone would just be equal.

I love to respond to Renee’s Friday question with a post, so this is my answer to her question “What show are you watching that you simply have to say fuck it I like it?” 

My “fuck it, I like it” show was “TRANSform Me,” VH1’s 2010 show in which three trans women arrived at the home of an “unsuspecting” female subject who had applied to receive a head-to-toe makeover. The surprise was, of course, that the makeover artists were all trans, and part of the delight of the show (at least for non-trans viewers) was in seeing the reaction of the makeover subjects to the fact that their experts were trans women. 

The show had plenty of reasons to cause offense – the “inside joke” that trans women were the makeover artists; the fact that the three trans women in question (real-life makeover experts and media darlings Laverne Cox, Nina Poon, and Jamie Clayton) were always dressed in skin-tight, low-cut outfits with high heels and plenty of makeup; and the idea that women needed a “beauty makeover” in the first place.