The content of the video is less of a problem for me than the meaning David and others ascribe to it. The idea of “drag Batman” is kinda neat, it’s a powerful image. The accompanying essay that’s like “Transgender People Exist I Will Now Be Their Ambassador Because It’s Not Like Any of Them Exist in Punk and Can Speak for Themselves,” is kinda not so neat.
And like, if your punk music video is doing critical cultural work, it doesn’t need a blowhard 750-word essay follow up. Also like, if you’re going to go ahead and write that essay in a thinly veiled attempt to pre-empt critique, maybe write it like the people you’re making Art about are actually going to read it.
I’m just not interested in someone else’s musings on my subjectivity?
Especially when that person and his body can exist and function in ways that mine never will be able to. Seriously dude, I’m the last person to argue that transgender people are the only ones with complicated genders, but the image of a cisgender man “binding” with an ace bandage made me feel physically ill.
It seems like Not Making Actual Trans People Feel Dysphoric and Alienated is way less the priority of this Combination VideoBell/EssayHut than Educating Cis People (won’t somebody please think of the cis people!) and then getting cool points aka social capital aka record sales aka tail in exchange.
Gender signifiers in themselves are not something that can be “appropriated.” They are literally a costume. I’m not mad David wore lipstick or a binder. But the identities and experiences that accompany living with “aberrant” gender embodiments is a whole other thing, and like, you can’t just temporarily adopt a different presentation (that I’m assuming was not seen by his job or family) and honestly think you get what this life is about.
If David wanted to do this video “in a way that was serious and informed by perspectives outside of [his] own,” maybe he could have brought the gaze up from his navel and into a conversation with some trans people. Speaking of, is anyone in the video not cis?
I’m just not interested in someone else’s musings on my subjectivity.
Mike Funk is the only philosopher I care about.
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