Friday, August 19, 2016

Recommended Reading

I'm too busy today to write my own thing on the Trump statues, but I will say this:

Yes, I laughed when I first read about it, while simultaneously feeling that the small penis aspect of it was harmful in a number of ways. I know, we feminist and social justice activists ruin all the fun. But I can't stand behind actions that harm people to attack one person, even if it might somehow reduce Trump's chances of becoming president.

But I did laugh, and I don't blame anyone else for laughing, too. I only expect that you reflect on the implications of the statue thing after you laugh at it.

Those Trump Statues Aren’t Funny, And They Sure Aren’t Progressive

The joke itself is bad. It relies on body-­shaming, fatphobia, toxic masculinity, and transphobia to take jabs at Trump. The “joke” behind the statues is two­fold: 
One is that it makes fun of Trump’s body, and likely his weight. He is depicted completely naked, rolls and all, and his skin is intentionally blemished. Beyond clearly relying on beauty standards most progressives would normally reject, it seems pretty fatphobic. Even if the artist didn’t intend it that way, it has certainly made space for fat ­shaming. 
The second part of the joke is about Trump’s dick, or rather, his “manhood.” The title itself is an attempt to emasculate Trump in the same way that his shrunken penis is intended to. The implication is that people with a small penis, or lacking testicles, are not real men and are therefore worthy of scorn. Not only does this joke rely on the tired assumption that a big dick makes one “a real man,” but it’s also transphobic. Not all men have large penises; not all men have penises at all. By undermining Trump’s manhood solely on the basis of the appearance of his genitals, it perpetuates the belief that gender is reducible to genitalia and that anyone lacking the “proper genitals” by cis-­binary standards deserves mocking.

I highly recommend reading the entire article, especially if you didn't initially identify the issues with the statue prank. Try not to sink into privilege guilt resentment shit.

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