And gets shut down beautifully by Laverne Cox and Carmen Carrera.
You would think that a veteran interviewer would know better and who knows maybe her producer gave her questions to ask. But then again she has been around for a long time and I would be surprised if she doesn’t have some veto on what she asks. So I guess we are just going to have to go with she has a load of cis het white privilege and doesn’t realise she is being crap. Bet she does now.
Categories: arts & entertainment, gender & feminism, media
Katie Couric’s schtick strikes me pretty much as “ask what I think Middle America wants to know” and sadly she probably read Middle America (and Middle UK, Aus, Canada, NZ etc) pretty right on this one – from everything I read genital status still seems to be one of the questions transfolk are repeatedly confronted by. It says a lot about our deep attachment as a society to essentialist notions of gender, and how far there is yet to go on dismantling the rigid binary norms.
I admit I haven’t read a lot of gender theory, so I’m probably rehashing what someone else has said. But it seems to me, our culture is obsessed with genital status, so much so that the real thing has to be hidden away, too powerful to be witnessed directly under normal circumstances. However, one is expected to signal one’s genital status via clothing, hair style, body language and mannerisms, the whole gender schtick.
I think most people absorb all those rules so implicitly that they haven’t really thought about the fact that the signalling system is rather arbitrary and can be bypassed or undermined. I don’t think many think about the idea that gender identity might not be all about genital status for everyone. Genital surgery is just icing on the cognitive dissonance cake.
(as someone with some genetics background, I think the way people use XX and XY as synonyms for woman and man just confirms the genitalia obsession theory. Because when you question them a bit, they usually have only the haziest understanding of what XX and XY mean, what other possibilities there are, how few people honestly know their chromosomal status, and so forth; and they’re usually back to something about genitalia very quickly when I’m around 😉
I wonder if Laverne Cox having a twin brother makes her more employable as an actress portraying trans* characters, since her brother is available to portray pre-transition stage.