SF Weekly dumps on transgender people, all of Tenderloin

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Oh hey, isn't it funny to watch (possibly) transgender people get punched in the face and repost a video of it that calls them "trannies" insultingly, without comment? What a barrel of laughs to compare transgender people to "pickpocketing assholes and crooks who know a crime of opportunity better than they know anything else." Well hey, to SF Weekly online news director Erin Sherbert, it's "Just another day in the Tenderloin!"

In a post today on the Weekly's Snitch blog entitled "Crazy Tenderloin Fight Proves That Tenderloin Is Still Just the Tenderloin," Sherbert, who's actually called attention to inequality in the past, gives into her unfunny sterotyping and sensationalistic link-baiting impulses and posts a YouTube video recorded a week ago that shows three people fighting in the Tenderloin -- two of them possibly transgender (Sherbert offers no evidence of this) -- and many horrifying punches to the face. Just so we can LOL with privilege! Here's the full text of her post.  

Transgender fist-fights, pickpocketing assholes, and crooks who know a crime of opportunity better than they know anything else. That's just another day in the Tenderloin.

For those of you blind optimists out there who were trying hard, really hard, to believe the Tenderloin is on the up-and-up, SF Citizen is here to knock some sense in you via YouTube. The hyperlocal blog posted this recent not-so-eye-opening video, titled "When Trannys Attack! Tenderloin Craziness."

I can't even touch the ignorance of any of the above, so I'm just gonna adjust my wig and leave it all there on the dirt floor like the mess it is. I will point out, however, that this comes at a particularly tone-deaf time, when local trans leaders are launching an historic campaign for medical equality and benefits rights. I will also point out that the SF Weekly, in the past, has maintained a pretty impressive record of covering transgender issues -- and isn't really that hard up for web hits, either. I've contacted Sherbert for comment and will update when I hear from her.

UPDATE: I reached out to Erin again, asking her if she was planning to comment. Her response: "no"

Comments

Competing and evolving bodies of theory are anything but settled on this, preferred nomenclature is in flux and as noted are different for each community.

Focusing on the bad intent from the speaker or writer rather than the diction that might not match anyone's desired term seems to be the most effective approach.

Otherwise, we fall into the pit of "gotcha" politics which has not been a good way of building support for progressive and emancipatory causes.

In two years time, the previous post will have been outdated with new thinking. Folks not in the thick of the debates cannot be expected to keep abreast of this rapidly developing theory, and their ignorance of that is not necessarily hateful.

Posted by marcos on Feb. 15, 2013 @ 9:37 am

It's really simple. It's a lesson you learn in grade school. Don't say things that hurt people. If someone from a group from which you do not belong (transgender, queer, black, asian american, whatever) says a word is hurtful or damaging or conjures up an intense history of trauma and systemic oppression, is it really that hard to not use that word?

I don't buy that "being PC is hard" and "you're all so sensitive" bullshit. That reeks of someone speaking from an oblivious place of privilege. You know what's hard? Experiencing micro-aggressions and immediate and/or gradual systemic trauma on a weekly, daily basis. It's not actually that hard to be a respectful, thoughtful person and accept feedback and modify your behavior so as not to hurt people and bring up painful legacies.

And I suspect many people on this chain crying about "PC being too hard" are white, class-privileged, heterosexual men. If having to take a word out of your vocabulary is the most you're ever impacted by racism, misogyny, queer/transphobia, then I do not feel bad for you at all and if you can't hold that sort of complexity, maybe you should stay in your isolated, boring, heteronormative, class-privileged white communities in the Marina or the FiDi or wherever you go out.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 20, 2013 @ 10:27 am

things about rich people, big business and republicans?

I won't hold my breath. "Political correctness" was always an ugly, self-serving term, which is generally held to apply to everyone except oneself.

And it has encourage people to be over-sentitive. Until TRannyShack changes it's name, I'm going with "tranny" for anyone who has some ambigutity about their gender.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 20, 2013 @ 10:56 am

Fighting hatred with prejudice?

"And I suspect many people on this chain crying about "PC being too hard" are white, class-privileged, heterosexual men. If having to take a word out of your vocabulary is the most you're ever impacted by racism, misogyny, queer/transphobia, then I do not feel bad for you at all and if you can't hold that sort of complexity, maybe you should stay in your isolated, boring, heteronormative, class-privileged white communities in the Marina or the FiDi or wherever you go out."

Posted by marcos on Feb. 20, 2013 @ 12:14 pm

to lecture others on "privilege".

By your own admission, you would not live east of 82nd in Portland where, as you well know, there are people who you are prejudiced against.

Posted by Guest on Feb. 20, 2013 @ 12:37 pm

I'm not sure where the fixation on privilege came from. Most women, people of color and queers from across the spectrum who I've known do not wallow in their feelings of inferiority. The left victim ideology is only present in perhaps 20% of "the left," which makes its adherents Fringie McFringersons to the general public.

Occupy SF and Occupy Oakland confirmed this. Most women, queers and people of color functioned just fine in mixed groups. But there were a few who just had to spend their times going on about their oppression, about everyone else's privilege and such, nevermind that we were there to address Wall Street and the warmongers.

Because nobody has ever faced down adversity before, nobody has ever sought professional help for their difficulties in adjusting to life. Of course, everyone is entitled to conduct their therapy in public, consigning other people they do not know as group therapy members and bringing activism to a screeching halt in order to meet their healing needs.

People were able to get out of bed and stand up for themselves under much more difficult circumstances than today--Compton's and Stonewall--without falling to pieces in the corner and demanding immediate consideration.

Welcome to life in the Big City.

Posted by marcos on Feb. 20, 2013 @ 12:46 pm

Ms. Sherbet is not the online director for the SF Weekly - she was recently appointed to run the online publication of the Weekly, The Examiner, and yes the Bay Guardian.

If you can't even get the facts right about your new corporate owner/publishers, seriously, STFU.

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