Thursday, April 22, 2010
"An Image I'd Rather Forget"- Ashley Love's Critique & Synopsis of TOTWK
Note: If you'd like to read my more detailed/longer synopsis of the film, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
The film “Ticked Off Tra**ies With Knives” spreads a fear, misogyny and hate stemmed ideology. I have seen the film and it’s very upsetting that people unfamiliar with transsexual and transgender women will walk away from the film with a stigmatizing perception of trans women. This film is dangerous propaganda, whether intentional or not. TOTWK leaves the viewer with the false impression that transsexual and transgender women are unauthentic in their gender identity and really “gay men in drag.” The film portrays all trans women as hypersexualized, jokes, murderous and/or unstable. This is not only inaccurate, it's offensive and incites further misunderstanding and violence.
- Use of the dehumanizing pejorative and anti-trans slur “tra**ie” in the title.
- Insensitively mentioning real trans victim’s of hate crimes names in the trailer (A reedited trailer removes the victim’s names).
- Exploiting, devaluing and making light of the crisis of violence against trans women.
- Director Israel Luna’s misrepresentation that the film’s about “transgender women”, but often insinuates that the characters are not women- but rather men drag performers, “caricatures” & “impersonators.”
While we have great respect and admiration for some of the actors in the film, we have great concerns with the director misrepresenting oppressed minorities for entertainment, and with Tribeca’s irresponsible decision to showcase this film. In GLAAD’s analysis of the film, they say, “Because of its positioning as a transgender film, viewers unfamiliar with the lives of transgender women will likely leave this film with the impression that transgender women are ridiculous caricatures of ’real women.’ It demeans actual transgender women who struggle for acceptance and respect in their day-to-day lives and to be valued for their contributions to our society.”
And that last sentence pretty much sums up the message of the film.