Continuing on from this thread…
Last week, I watched an episode of How I Met Your Mother, a PG rated show, because hey, I was bored and I enjoy a rubbish sitcom. And then there was a moment of pure, groundbreaking edgy hilarity. Marshall’s car is “part tranny, it goes back and forth.” Hur hur.
And then I watch Ugly Betty, and the hilarity continues. (about the trans character) “Like taking candy from a tranny.” Hur hur.
And then I see an ad for Dirty, Sexy Money and a character snaps something about a “tranny hooker.” Hur hur.
Then, I turn to the newspaper to read a music review. Kitty Empire in the Guardian, reviewing a concert featuring the Cure says “Robert Smith, by contrast, still slaps on the slap like a tranny gone feral.” Cos trans women are so rubbish with make-up. Hur hur.
See, the word “tranny” gets used with alarming regularity in the media, and I’m not sure it actually registers that it is a slur. It’s always so jolly, like it’s a whimsical, fun term that cis people can throw around with abandon. Always with the implication that trans people are laughably pathetic. Because my identity, our history, of itself is a joke.
What is missing is that in my personal experience as a trans woman, “tranny” is a form of hate speech. The last person who called me it literally spat on me. It’s frequently paired with “faggot”–yet no-one sprays that word liberally around the media. When someone spits a word at you, the implication is clear– you’re disgusting, barely even human. And that disgust is worked out violently against the bodies of trans people.
So why is it not that bad, why is this word qualifies as appropriate for use on tv sitcoms and apparently “liberal” newspapers (not that the continued presence of Julie Bindel on that paper helps much)? I mean, is it all this massive power we have in society? The general societal reverence and esteem trans people get? Now there’s a joke. If it’s not appropriate to use other hateful words, why does “tranny” get a pass?
Oh I forgot. I mean, we’re all post PC here, no-one gets really offended just because they’re constantly insulted, having their identity positioned between hilarious and disgusting? Hur hur.