People Are Actually Producing These Transgender Awareness Videos
Several videos have popped up around online over the past several months in some sort of attempt to raise awareness about transgender people, and how the rest of society should accept and how to react to them. These videos highlight some of the more interesting people, assuming they identify as people, as well as ridiculing and scolding anyone who doesn’t react the “right” way to them, which consists largely of berating F***ING WHITE MALES.
Let’s take this first video, courtesy of Refinery29 on Facebook. Our hero, a person named Alok, guides us through a video titled “What it really means to be non-binary — and how gender got divided in the first place.” Alok identifies non-binary, which means he doesn’t identify as a man or a woman. The actor onlookers use strawman arguments, playing the parts of people who don’t accept Alok. “What is that? That’s a gender non-conforming person who’s making me uncomfortable because of my own insecurities” says one of them, while apparently watching Alok fly through the clouds like Superman, er, Superperson. “That’s ok. Let’s call it names so we feel better about our own repressed desires!” says the other onlooker.
They go on to talk about dichotomies, and say “Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there were white cis dudes messing up again! LOL!” while giving a brief story about Rene Descartes. The video goes with a smattering of word soup, chock full of feel-good phrases.
What it really means to be non-binary — and how gender got divided in the first place. #GenderNation
Posted by Refinery29 on Tuesday, November 14, 2017
In another video, we see a scene play out in a high school hallway, where Student A is talking about bringing her/their friend “Allie” to Student B’s party. Student B goes on to refer to “Allie” as a “she”, which is apparently offensive, because “Allie uses ‘they’ pronouns”. Enter the gender-unclear narrator, who takes on the role of a crossing guard, football referee, demon, and some sort of Sherlock Holmes type character. “They” proceed to lecture us on how to use the proper pronouns, as the interactions between Student A and Student B play out in different scenarios.
The video, titled “They Go By Them” was produced by a group called Send The Right Message.
A YouTuber by the name of The Open Debate provides commentary of exactly what you’re thinking while watching this video.
In yet another video, posted by a YouTube channel called Cut, the producers ask trans, non binary, and other gender non conforming people what comes to mind when the word “pronoun” is mentioned.
According to a Mashable article that features this video, we’re not supposed to use the term “self identifying” anymore or ask someone what their “preferred pronouns” are:
Pronouns are a big deal — and rightfully so. They’re the definitive way we acknowledge and respect a person’s gender in everyday conversation.
We all know using pronouns that honor a trans person’s gender is top priority to be a good ally. But often when talking about why correct usage is important, we use the phrase “preferred pronoun” to describe a person’s terms.
Using “preferred” to qualify someone’s pronouns suggests that terms they are claiming don’t really belong to them — they are just preferred over their “true” pronouns. In reality, a transman using “he” as a pronoun doesn’t just prefer that word over “she” — that is the only pronoun that is acceptable to use in reference to him.
The fix: Instead of asking someone’s preferred pronouns, ask, “What pronouns do you use?” It’s a small yet substantial difference.
Qualifying gender with the term “self-identified” may inadvertently suggest that a trans person’s identity isn’t actually valid. While Stryker says using the phrase “self-identified trans man” is perfectly fine when it’s necessary to indicate someone is out proudly as transgender, using it to qualify their gender (e.g., “self-identified man”) is a problem.
“It’s not OK to say ‘a self-identified man’ for a trans man because that would imply they were only a man to themselves, not others,” she says.
To put it another way, it would seem silly to call a non-trans man a “self-identified man,” since no qualifier is needed. Trans people deserve the same consideration of having their gender respected.
The fix: Just drop the “self-identified” bit.
And, finally, back to Refinery29, who provides us with this video explaining how genitals do not equal gender. And if you don’t guess everyone’s gender correctly, then the poofy haired person from the high school hallway video will be by to lecture you.
These are just a few of the trans privilege videos that have been hitting net-waves recently. People are actually spending the time, money, and resources to produce these. Meanwhile, starving children in other countries don’t have time to fret over what gender they might be. People in war torn countries are more concerned with basic survival than wondering what bathroom they’re supposed to use, or complaining that the right bathroom isn’t available.