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[–]hazy 22 points23 points ago

sorry, this has been archived and can no longer be voted on

I feel like the idea that the character could be nonbinary or a man who wants to dress femininely or so on doesn't really change the issue, both because those are all groups of people who in one way or another do not experience cisgender privilege 100% of the time if ever, and because what the vast majority of people who see this video are going to see is a trans woman, regardless of authorial intent.

In the absence of concrete information regarding Andrew Garfield's gender identity, I think it's okay to assume he's probably portraying a struggle he has no experience of. It's at least more okay than never calling people out on things like this because we don't know for sure whether they're cisgender or not. Of course we don't know the gender identity of people who are never asked to clarify it.

At the very least, Andrew Garfield has cis passing privilege while the role he's playing does not. And while I'm well aware that passing as cis isn't always a privilege for trans people, especially if they pass as their assigned gender rather than what they identify as, I think cis passing is still really important to think about when considering media representation. Creative works don't stop developing when they leave the hands of their authors, they're further shaped by the ways consumers and critics interpret them.

And I want to make it clear that when I say people will watch this music video and see a trans woman, I'm not just talking about transphobic straight white dudes (And, by the way, I really don't care to speculate on whether the combined might of powerful allies Arcade Fire and Andrew Garfield can get through to them. Nothing gets through to them. They're white dudes, and thus perennially ignorant.), I'm talking about groups like GLAAD who are treated as authorities on trans people, even if they absolutely have no right to be.

Ultimately, what we have here is a bunch of people who are or are perceived to be cisgender (mostly men) profiting on a fantasy they dreamed up about someone who is or is perceived to be a trans woman, in a culture where trans women are ever-increasingly commodified. There are no circumstances under which I can be okay with that. Representation without our visible involvement and significant creative control is no representation at all. This video needs a trans director, or a trans songwriter, or at the very least a trans actor. I'm aware that Our Lady J consulted on it, but that doesn't really count for anything more than "my transgender friend said it was okay".

The title of this song is We Exist. If that's the message they want to promote, why don't I see any of us?

[–]FWM 6 points7 points ago

sorry, this has been archived and can no longer be voted on

good points. thanks.

[–]powerful_allie 6 points7 points ago

sorry, this has been archived and can no longer be voted on

The title of this song is We Exist. If that's the message they want to promote, why don't I see any of us?

I love this line so much.