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Why it is so hard to trust cis people

Yesterday an artist, well known for her feminist cartoons, posted a love cartoon to a certain fictional series written by the worlds most famous bigot. Many were unhappy.

She attempted to get ahead of the response in her post and, in the process, showed us why so many marginalized communities distrust white cis women generally. Especially ones that proclaim themselves to be allies.

So, first of all, she framed it with the usual (paraphrase), "I know she's really bad and trans people are important, but..." and when you frame anything like that and follow it with "but" then you should already know that you're not off to a good start. I have yet to see an argument that starts that way that doesn't turn into a rationalization for whatever minimizing of harm that person wants to do in order to maintain their comfort with their position. Which is what she proceeded to do.

That led to her explaining that she listened to the podcast by the daughter of the ever-wonderful "God Hates Fags" preacher who interviewed said bigot of an author. Oh yes, the very podcast designed to frame her as the poor victim of misunderstanding and "cancel culture" and frame trans people as the evil power that is doing that to her. So, this artist then let us know that she supports trans people, but feels better about this author's hateful position. Yay.

Eventually, she took down the post, but there's a couple of follow on considerations here, sadly.

First, she took it down and then posted a "I'm being picked on, so I took it down. I will keep my love of this franchise a secret going forward." This is classic white feminist defensiveness and guilt farming. I will admit that I didn't see her DMs, and those can be nasty, but the comments on the post were not. I will also say that it would be wonderful if liking the works of that hateful woman did become a badge of shame to hide, but that seems unlikely. Nevertheless, there are moments to introspect on the some of the messages and the disappointment that came through and she didn't do that.

Now, before you wonder if everyone was being too harsh, it is worth knowing that she posted the same cartoon, last year, on November 20th. That date has meaning: it's the Trans Day of Remembrance, the day we mourn those we have lost to anti-trans hate and violence. The comment section on that post is loaded with transphobes ridiculing trans people and engaging in hate and misgendering. Which means, nearly a year later, posting that image with that history behind it was a deliberate act knowing how it would be received. I want to give the benefit of the doubt for the first, but I cannot for the second. Especially as that post remains up.

So, once again, we are reminded that we need to be wary of cis voices. Especially those of white cis women. That makes me truly sad.

P.S. I am not naming her. I'm sure some can figure it out, but I'm sharing my frustration and disappointment and not trying to pile on. Not that I get enough traffic for that anyways, but you know what I mean.


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