At last night’s concert at the Hollywood Bowl, Kristin Chenoweth chose a random audience member to join her on stage for a performance of “For Good” from Wicked.
The audience member (also, a voice teacher) Sarah Horn, explains:
Toward the end of the second half of the performance, Kristin wanders on to the pasarel. She held a mic up to a lady in front of me and asked if she knew the song “For Good.” Nope. I took the chance, as I was directly behind Kristin, to stand up and wave and say, “I know the song!”
This is not like me - to jump up and wave my arms like a crazy person and raise my voice at a celebrity. As soon as she turned to look at me, I say right back down… and calmly said, “Hiiiii.” …
After this, she moved down the line and asked a guy if he knew the song and bantered with him for a few seconds. Afterwards, she said something about going back to pick me because I was a girl. Then, she invited me up on stage.
I sat there for a moment, stunned. Then the backup singer motioned for me to get up. I shot up out of my chair as my heart leaped up past my throat and started beating in my ears. I don’t really remember what happened between the box and when I first set foot onstage except that there was now a microphone in my hand.
Kristin had no idea what was to come. And that’s pretty much where the video picks up.
MY COLD HEARTT HAS MELTED IM A CRYING
I have something in my eye.
Goddamn, this song. Gets me every time.
"he deserves the presumption of innocence"
fuck that. this is not court, social opprobrium is not equivalent to the armed might of the state.
the only way to ensure every person accused of sexual violence is presumed to be innocent in every circumstance is to assume that every victim is always lying.
presuming the accused to be innocent is setting the standard for prosecution in criminal courts. the people deciding the case must begin by assuming the accused is innocent.
ONLY THE PEOPLE DECIDING THE OUTCOME OF THE CRIMINAL CASE MUST PRESUME THE ACCUSED IS INNOCENT BEFORE TRIAL BEGINS.
no one else.
we cannot apply the rules of criminal courts to every human interaction. they are designed to have artificially high standards because the state has an enormous amount of power over nearly everyone.
a victim of sexual violence does not have that kind of power over their assailant. victims of sexual violence only very rarely can invoke the armed might of the state on their behalf and risk further violence and humiliation if they do.
to move towards any kind of justice we — those of us who are not involved in criminal proceedings — must presume an assault has taken place and the victim can reliably identify their assailant.
otherwise we maintain the status quo where perpetrators of sexual violence can act in the near certainty they will never be even mildly inconvenienced for their sins.
I don’t think the presumption of innocence make sense in a case of sexual assault or abuse? The nature of sexual assault is that it’s (1) usually committed by someone the victim knows (and knows well), so the identity of the perpetrator isn’t usually something the victim would be confused about, and (2) usually committed in private, or away from the attention of people who would stop it and hold the perpetrator to account, so the victim’s account is essential to both establishing that a crime was committed at all, and to identifying the perpetrator. In other criminal acts, it can be difficult to establish that an accused person is guilty of the crime in question. In a sexual assault, because of the circumstances, there’s no question that the crime happened, and a presumption of innocence only serves to invalidate the victim’s experiences.
Thanks! First of all, please don't feel offended because apparently someone was offended by what I told them about this subject and I don't want to... So, for you, is it transmisogynistic to be only sexually attracted to women with vaginas? I'm not saying I'm not physically attracted to women with penis though because I am. Is it transmisogynistic not to like penis, whether a male or female?
well, i get this question a lot. i’m not offended because you did ask if i wanted to respond - i appreciate that.
so yes. if you are only attracted to women with vaginas i think the nature of your desire, and the social conditioning that goes into forming that desire, is transmisogynistic. when people talk about going on a date with a cis woman, its considered rude and shallow to judge her entirely based on her pussy, but this is the normal way to talk about trans women. desire is shaped by our culture, and our culture is heteropatriarchy.
now, your friend who doesn’t like women with penises. i don’t think he should date trans women, or like, try to date trans women. that would be awful for everyone. but i do think its important to acknowledge that in our culture we are raised to devalue trans women. it would be wrong to pretend that ‘its just what i like’ and it has nothing to do with the constant social conditioning to find trans women disgusting.
Also worth noting that many, many trans women absorb those messages and take them to heart, and spend a lot of time struggling with this deep-set notion that we’re disgusting just for existing. It takes a lot of love and examination to clear that social BS out, even in the first-person. So while it’s not excusable that people are “not attracted” to women with penises, it’s understandable how this attitude tends to be the default starting position. The patriarchy is very good at what it does.
This connects to that really fucked up phenomenon where people will try to avoid taking direct ownership of their feelings, including biases and prejudices, because they want to avoid feeling pressure or obligation to change those attitudes or confront the underlying issues that obviously make them uncomfortable.
Admitting that, for example, they associate penises very strongly with maleness and heteronormative masculinity and that this keeps them from seeing a trans woman as female — or at least her genitals as female — would seem to put one at risk of being labeled a bigot, and this is why we so often see a defensive, hostile reaction where people claim they’re being “forced” to like trans women or to like penises.
It’s a symptom of a failure to recognize transmisogyny as the default in our culture rather than the exception, just like white people don’t tend to get that racism and white supremacy are a default in our culture. So just like many white people will say that they “just don’t find black people attractive” without owning the role that systemic racism played in shaping those attitudes, people tend not to recognize the role that similar forces play in shaping their attitudes towards gender, bodies, sexuality, and so forth.
The “I don’t want to be forced to date people I’m not attracted to” response is a result of a misunderstanding of the situation. No one is asking anyone to ADD feelings or attractions that aren’t naturally there, but rather to DEPROGRAM the problematic shit that has been absorbed.
Deep down, people recognize this shit which is why they avoid dealing with it so desperately. Trans women have such little power and influence that really the only consequence you’ll face for excluding us is going to be some posts on the internet and your own conscience. Why own up to your own transmisogyny when everyone wants to help you ignore it just like they do?
And then there’s always the “same-SEX attraction” bullshit to fall back on, trying to dismiss gender as irrelevant and redefine orientation solely in terms of physical sex, and that only in genital terms where, for example, your vagina is only attracted to other vaginas and that’s why a cis woman is attractive but an otherwise identical woman with a penis would not be, despite the fact that she only becomes unattractive AFTER you find out she has a cock, and a trans man is attractive when an otherwise identical cis man wouldn’t be, even when genitals are the only significant difference.
The catch, of course, is that virtually no cis people actually think that would be the only difference. The trans woman would OBVIOUSLY be less attractive because, you know, she’s “less of a woman”, but they don’t want to say that or add in the assumptions about appearance or how she thinks or feels or her relationship to her body. Similarly, they don’t want to address why a vagina magically cancels out all the things that would normally be unattractive about a cis man, or how this inherently implies that they view trans men as partially female or at least less male and that you’re basically treating his maleness as window-dressing over a less-threatening, not-capable-of-misogyny-because-shared-girlhood, “female-bodied man” or similarly transmisogynist bullshit.
Considering the role hormones play in human sexual differentiation, using biology as the primary justification for genital essentialist patterns of attraction doesn’t actually make very much sense. It would make far, far more sense to look at sex hormones themselves, particularly considering that, unlike genitals, we can actually perceive them in others even when fully clothed, and they have a tremendous effect on not just the appearance of bodies but also smell, taste, and so forth.
This rant brought to you by my frustration with transmisogyny and my complete lack of sobriety this morning. I know you don’t care, and I don’t care that you don’t care. I just wrote this to vent some of the frustration so as to not reach critical mass and crack the planet in two with my bitter trans dyke rage.
i agree with everything you say here. although transmisogyny is like, a systemic social problem, that doesn’t let individual cis people off the hook. their desire is still shaped by transmisogyny, they harbor transmisogynist beliefs and belief structures, and i am probably going to be more wary and distrustful of them.
I followed the link to "Sex positivity is rape culture in disguise" with a general attitude of !!!, because. And then I read it, and sat back and thought, and reread it, and became aware of just how much I need to learn, and how grateful that I am that I read that article and began learning. So, thank you for posting it, very much. -- a slightly better educated anon
Ok, glad you found it piqued your interest and caused you to rethink your assumptions.Thanks for letting me know.
You bought the same exact outfit? So does this mean we can finally give away that ratty coat?
Please. And risk it be worn ironically by purveyors of artisanal marmalade who discovered it at the local thrift shop? I thank you, no.
Daily reminder that if you don’t do/ haven’t done sex work, you don’t belong in any sort of conversation about what sex workers need
- go away
- you don’t know shit
- if you don’t know anything about astrophysics, you wouldn’t barge into a lecture on astrophysics with your bullshit opinions about how astrophysicists have low self esteem/ poor morals.
refusing to call a trans person who has done bad things by their correct pronouns is enforcing the idea that trans people have to be worthy enough to gain even that basic fucking level of respect, whereas no matter what a cis person does no one would ever think of misgendering them for it
If someone on the internet making fun of straight/cis people and it is making you angry…here is what you do:
Log off the website.
Turn off the computer.
Go outside and look around you.
It’s a world that caters to you in every way. In advertisements, turns of phrases, songs, movies, laws, and politics.
A society where you are not shamed, beaten, forced from your family and killed for what you are.
Where you have rights others don’t have.
Then take a deep breath, think a moment, and realize:
Is what was said that hurt your feelings really worth your anger?
Paraphrased, via dredreidel