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Casting a woman as a transwoman

(207 Posts)
Hazchem Fri 06-Jun-14 10:33:15

So there is a show about to air on the Australian ABC about Carlotta who is an incredibly well known and important entertainer in Australia. She Les Girls, was the first transexual in an Australian soap opera. An icon, someone whose very being has made changes to the Australian cultural landscape. She was original born male and very early on had surgery

So the person they have picked to play her is a ciswomen. Surely there was a trans actor who could have taken the role. My feeling is that a women has been cast because she can be sexy in the Les Girls numbers without making people feel uncomfortable about seeing her as sexy.

Am I over thinking this? Is it gender equality to have a ciswomen plan a transwomen?

Hazchem Tue 10-Jun-14 08:40:34

Calmet Reading the article was hugely reveling to me. As I was reading it I was like oh my god that is exactly what I have been doing. Expecting nurturing support rather then challenging support. Lots of people have put lots of time into this thread and this very supportive.
One of the points the author was making is that students expect feminist teachers to mark less harshly then men. I know I have been guilty of that thought too without having thought about it in that way.

The article is "Feminist Teaching/Teaching "Feminism" by Ellen C Carillo I don't know if it's freely available as it's behind my uni's paywall thing.

Super Is there really a feminist porn award? Although ten years ago I probably would have thought that was great step forward. I like the if it doesn't hold deeply held assumptions it isn't likely feminism. It's a great marker I think.

Yeah I'd have been the same 10 years ago. ::shudder:: (some sense here from Julia Long) I don't know if you've seen this talk by Gail Dines but it seems relevant (is long but you can watch in sections).

I can only find the beginning of Ellen Carillo's article here -

My friend who's a feminist and a lecturer finds she has the men in her class being quite aggressive to her when she speaks about women's oppression. If she's talking about gender roles that impact negatively on men, it's fine.
It kind-of reminds me of the way that if I challenge a racist comment in a group, I'm likely to be ignored or listened to and responded to positively. Whereas if a friend who's Black challenges a similar comment or the same comment she's aggressively questioned/vocally dismissed/patronised and straw man arguments are constructed to effectively gaslight her.
Like if you're speaking out about your own oppression you're going to be given a hard time from those who benefit, whereas if you're 'studying' an oppression you don't experience, it's either seen as irrelevant or very objective and interesting.

almondcakes Tue 10-Jun-14 12:04:44

Hazchem, I think that how feminists should discuss something is worthy of a whole thread in itself (although generally those threads get derailed really quickly).

I also spent some time (yesterday) reflecting on the way I talked to you on this thread, and wondering if I could have responded in a less confrontational way.

I don't think it is about going for the jugular. I think it is about presenting a point of view clearly to respond to why you disagree with someone or extend on their point if you agree in part. After our posts while you were pondering if you should accept people going for the jugular, I was pondering if I should be aiming for this, from trade union activist Ellie Mae O’Hagan:

'I will continue to voice disagreements with other feminists, but I will do so in a spirit of solidarity and respect, which recognises that ultimately our aims are shared.

I will not be rude. I will not be condescending. I will not turn debates into a kind of theatre by ensuring they are as public as possible.

I will be civil. I will be kind. I will approach debates remembering that all feminists want independence and equality, even if we disagree on how to get there. I will recognise that I don’t have all the answers myself.'

And I think that is important. Neither of us have all the answers, and we both want equality for women and recognise oppression. It is that we have, at that moment in time, different perspectives on the nature, scope and causes of that oppression and how to gain equality. It isn't that you are right or wrong about privilege or oppression or trans women; it is that we disagree. And I'm pointing out why I disagree and asking you questions about what you mean because it helps me work out and develop what I think and helps me understand what you think. There are feminists who agree on your perspective on privilege, but I want to understand why and how you and they think that and how it actually helps understand the world.

And I am not criticising you as a person or considering you sexist or oppressive; it is just a disagreement over ideas.

And I'm sorry if I was too harsh in my replies, and part of that is because I'm not sure how to be like Ellie Mae O'Hagan, and part of it is because I was typing in the street on my phone, so did a 1,2,3,4, of my points rather than having a more conversational way of responding.

calmet Tue 10-Jun-14 12:23:51

As feminists, there are a wide range of views on this board. I put forward my own view on different topics, and read others. But taking a nurturing approach suggests teaching, and I don't as feminists think we should be teachers.

Being a teacher suggests that as individuals we are totally right and have the answers, and we simply have to teach someone else what they should think.

Instead I think women here can make up their own minds about issues. So my aim is purely to put forward my viewpoint, which is different from mainstream liberal feminism. If someone wants me to explain my views in more detail, i will. If they totally disagree and think something different, then fine.

But that does also mean challenging. so if someone waxes on about how feminist they think the feminist porn awards are, I will say quite clearly why I think those awards have nothing to do with feminism at all.

Hazchem Tue 10-Jun-14 23:05:28

Almondcakes A discussion on how Feminists discuss stuff would be really interesting.
I interpret the Go for the jugular as be spirited and heated in debate rather then killing someone.
Ellie Mae O’Hagan sounds like an amazing person! There is grace, strength and intelligence in her words. I thought your reply were harsh but actually they weren't. You were not personal, you didn't question me "person" but rather my thoughts and ideas.

Calmet Have you managed to read the article I was referring too? "Being a teacher suggests that as individuals we are totally right and have the answers, and we simply have to teach someone else what they should think." Pretty much sums up what the authors was saying students expect and are then confronted by when they have someone who teaches using feminist methods.

There have been a couple of thread on this board of late that have really gone to the center of who I am. This one, which started out in my head as pretty light and off the cuff discussion, has become one of them.

Hazchem Fri 13-Jun-14 07:07:09

Just in case I haven't driven you to distraction already!

I've found a term and wondered if it would be more appropriate.
The term is de-privleges. It is used in paper about distance students and how there use of the term distance means students are not the norm of being on campus.

Would that be a better way to the sort of thing I was trying, and failing to get across. So rather then women being privileged trans women become deprivleged because they are not the norm?

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