Saturday, July 05, 2014
Why Joan Rivers FLOTUS Comment Was Racistly Insulting
Joan Rivers'' transmisogynist comment aimed at First Lady Michelle Obama Wednesday pissed me the hell off on a lot of levels. Here's why it wasn't humorous nor complimentary
There has been a determined effort by the conservafool slime machine and conspiracy conservawackos to plant this meme in the media that the 5'11" FLOTUS is a transwoman. While we in Black trans world would be proud to embrace her as one of our sisters if she was, there is overwhelming evidence she showed up on this planet on January 17, 1964 in Chicago in a cis female body, has given birth to two beautiful daughters, and has spent the last 50 years of her life in that gender role.
It's infuriating because this First Lady, even before her husband was elected to the Oval Office, has been subjected to unprecedented levels of disrespect up to and being compared to a simian, un-American, 'racist' , 'Stokely Carmichael in a dress', called ugly and having 'that's a man' shade thrown at her by comedian Jay Mohr in 2009.
And yes, Rivers made a borderline racist 'Blackie O' comment in 2011, so this isn't the first time she's thrown shade at the First Lady. Now she's weaponized 'transgender' and aimed it at the First Lady as an insult.
Another element of why I'm not happy about the comment is that it plays into the racist four century old pattern of whiteness and white supremacy pushing the unwoman meme that demonizes the femininity of Black women.
If you have a group of women that you put on a societal pedestal as the paragons of beauty, fertility and the femininity gold standard that all women should aspire to, then it stands to reason that you would set up a group of women as the ones to not emulate.
Unfortunately Black women are the ones who have been saddled with that problematic situation for the last 400 years due to the toxic legacy of the Atlantic Slave Trade. With Michelle Obama being the defacto public face of Black womanhood as the president's wife, her femininity has been under severe assault.
It also fit into an ongoing pattern of throwing transphobic shade at any Black woman you dislike whether that woman is Fantasia, Serena Williams, Brittney Griner or the FLOTUS. Any woman who doesn't fit the critic's narrow designation of what a woman is get saddled with transmisogynistic insults or 'that's a man' shade to police her gender presentation.
The fact the comment came out of a white woman's mouth, and one of Jewish heritage who have struggled at times through their own tortured history with being demonized, also heightened the insensitivity and offense level of Rivers' transmisogynistic comment when seen through the eyes of Black women.
It's also telling to note that Michelle Obama's documented 50 years of life on this space rock, delivering and raising two Black female children of her own and being the First Lady of the United States still didn't shield her from being attacked by the Black Unwoman Meme and having her femininity denigrated.
And finally, when you look at it from my vantage point as a Black transwoman, I'm pissed off by the comment because it fauxgressively implied to the world by cattily weaponizing transgender as a insult you hurled at the First Lady, that being a transwoman is something to be ashamed of, or makes you less than you as a elderly white woman with multiple surgical enhancements.
Let me emphatically state it is not insult to be called or something to be ashamed of to be a trans woman. Neither is it shameful to be a Black woman no matter how hard whiteness and white supremacy tries to sell those woof tickets to us.
The only person that has anything to be ashamed of is Joan Rivers for parting her collagen enhanced lips to say something that jacked up in the first place.