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Lindsay Ellis' transphobic jokes

Biggersmaller

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,922
Minneapolis
Intent vs impact.

We all need to be aware of this.
When speaking, intent is paramount. Otherwise, we will be living in a permanent state of litigation in our every day lives.

Frankly, I don’t like attempts to chip away at our culture’s very important tool of assessing intent. It’s necessary in determining one’s character after they make a hurtful statement and also in applying common sense.

All indications point to Ellis being a liberal woman who has a long record of respectfully exploring queer/racial/gender perspectives in mass media, but because of a nebulous vaguely prescribed “impact” of these jokes - intent be damned?

Sorry, but no.
 

Kyuuji

Member
Nov 8, 2017
8,010
Cis person tells non-binary community that they're never satisfied and undeserving of apology.
Cis person then tells a transphobic joke verbatim in format to one transphobes frequently throw at trans people.

Trans person A: "That's shit, could she kindly fuck off with that?"
Trans person B: "Oh dear, I wish she wouldn't. It's really not good or appreciated."

Both of these responses are fine, but so many cis people feel justified in determining that only one is 'acceptable'. Distorting the first into being outrage, hysterics or judging someone into oblivion is just appealing to an extreme. It's erasing any nuance in favour of mixing up casual forum posts with widespread harrassment campaigns. Painting it as extreme or emotional so that people themselves can contort insulting and dismissing a thread of trans people into some valiant act.

You have people running in to shout down, insult and dismiss trans people while deluding themselves into thinking they're doing something to stop the actual stem of abuse and harrassment. It's cowardly and only serves to orchestrate the thing they claim to hate. Stoking an imaginary war that isn't there, conjuring sentiment that doesn't exist and shouting at everyone because of it.

If you're concerned about harrassment and vile acts against internet personalities then jog on to Twitter and actually reply to the people throwing abuse at them. Don't just call a handful of frustrated forum posts 'abuse', 'judging someone into oblivion', 'cancel culture' or whatever puerile thing comes next and take the moral victory as if you did anything other then shout at a minority within a forum thread for posting mildly raw feelings.
 
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astro

Member
Oct 25, 2017
20,597
I don’t thinks so. When speaking, intent is paramount. Otherwise, we will be living in a permanent state of litigation in our every day lives.

Frankly, I don’t like attempts to chip away at our culture’s very important tool of assessing intent. It’s necessary in determining one’s character after they make a hurtful statement and also in applying common sense.

All indications point to Ellis being a liberal woman who has a long record of respectfully exploring queer/racial/gender perspectives in mass media, but because of a nebulous vaguely prescribed “impact” of these jokes - intent be damned?

Sorry, but no.
It can't be argued against honestly.

Her joke has a negative weight to itt hat cannot be denied.

She is not perfect just because she has done good.

Her intent matters, of course she is not as bad as the bigots who parrot this joke everywhere, but denying her joke had negative impact is frankly absurd.

This doesn't mean we should flay her in obscene purity testing, but it does mean we should rightly criticize.
 

Kyuuji

Member
Nov 8, 2017
8,010
have any of you, like, actually asked her, directly, to apologize
Have you asked her whether she's considered apologising?

Considering she just got done saying a portion of the trans community aren't worth apologising to I'm not going to wait up for it. I just don't think cis people should be out there making transphobic jokes when they won't feel the consequences of them misfiring, and they certainly shouldn't be trying to police what's an allowed amount of frustation before the trans people affected are dismissed, mocked or insulted.

At this point Lindsey is getting more flak over this that Gervais ever did.
Oh well. Fuck Ricky Gervais?
Not sure how many posts we need for the ratio to be seen as acceptable.
 

NoName999

Member
Oct 29, 2017
4,005
So someone said that trans people were being hysterical on this issue.

And I have to say, even if that was true (which it's not).... so?

You mean to tell me they don't deserve to yell, scream, and rage at a world that actively makes their lives miserable?

So anyone can fuck off with this mindset that people should behave like emotionless robots.
 

Oreiller

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,039
I'm not surprised to see people bend over backwards to defend her but it's still disappointing to see.
 

Xaszatm

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,625
So someone said that trans people were being hysterical on this issue.

And I have to say, even if that was true (which it's not).... so?

You mean to tell me they don't deserve to yell, scream, and rage at a world that actively makes their lives miserable?

So anyone can fuck off with this mindset that people should behave like emotionless robots.
BEEP BOOOP Empathy For Trans Folks Request received

Processing...

Empathy Request rejected. Continuing to run casual transphobia disguised as cancel culture outraged program. BEEP BOOP

/s

But no you're right. Trans folk absolutely have a right to be in "hysterics" if they were doing so in this thread instead of having the patience of a saint.
 

Tfritz

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,793
Have you asked her whether she's considered apologising?
no but i'm also not someone who's made like twenty posts in this thread about how important this issue is to them

i dunno, threads like these, where someone who was ostensibly considered an ally says some bullshit, rarely feature any kind of call to action, and so we end up with threads that are like half "look at this horseshit they said" vent threads and half "why haven't they met my unvoiced expectations and done the thing i want them to do"

which, i mean, live your truth or whatever
 
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May 21, 2019
354
I'm really dissapointed in both Ellis and Ricky and after reading the responses here yesterday I chose not to reply. Just like let trans people (like me ) say what she said was wrong and calling out Ricky was the correct response. Being hypocritical even by mistake can have conciquences I just hope she apologizes and I want people to realize that comedians in general need to fucking stop using minority's as jokes. If you are a minority and making a joke at your own expense then sure why not but punching down people is never the correct way to do comedy it's just cheap shock value.
 

Sunster

The Fallen
Oct 5, 2018
3,276
i'm not saying there isn't a reason to address it, i'm simply wondering is there any visible demand for her to do so beyond deleting her tweet. i can't find any.

i don't consider ellis to be some kind of saint who will volunteer an apology that might harm her if she can just ignore the whole thing.
I'm willing to bet enough has been said about it to reach her physical ears in real life.
 

Kyuuji

Member
Nov 8, 2017
8,010
no but i'm also not someone who's made like twenty posts in this thread about how important this issue is to them
Just someone content with poking from the periphery.

I already gave you my thoughts..

Considering she just got done saying a portion of the trans community aren't worth apologising to I'm not going to wait up for it. I just don't think cis people should be out there making transphobic jokes when they won't feel the consequences of them misfiring, and they certainly shouldn't be trying to police what's an allowed amount of frustation before the trans people affected are dismissed, mocked or insulted.

Why are you choosing to snidely prod at the community as to why they're not running after her for an apology, instead of going to the person that put out a transphobic joke and asking why she hasn't offered one?
 

SoZetaSlow

Member
Sep 20, 2019
388
I see people shitting Ricky Gervais constantly on Twitter and the only UK people I follow are in music. The man has gotta be one of the most hated presences on the Internet.
Yeah Ricky is definitely getting flak right about now, which is well deserved, especially considering he doubled down on his transphobia and basically "You're one of the good ones"'d Blaire Fucking White
 

Ketkat

Banned
Oct 25, 2017
4,172
no but i'm also not someone who's made like twenty posts in this thread about how important this issue is to them

i dunno, threads like these, where someone who was ostensibly considered an ally says some bullshit, rarely feature any kind of call to action, and so we end up with threads that are like half "look at this horseshit they said" vent threads and half "why haven't they met my unvoiced expectations and done the thing i want them to do"

which, i mean, live your truth or whatever
The issue with this perspective is that it kind of ignores the fact that we just can't win. If we criticize people on a forum completely separate from the person we're both told that we're trying to cancel one of the good allies we have while at the same time being told that we're not actually going to change anything. Beyond that, when people reached out to Contrapoints on Twitter and asked her to apologize or explain why she featured Buck Angel or why she did this or that towards trans and nonbinary people, we're accused of being a part of Gamergate 2.0.

What exactly do you want us to do in situations where people insult us?
 

koolaroo

Member
Dec 27, 2017
63
I’m a lot more worried about thing like not being misgendered at work to care about what apparently transphobic joke some trans ally made. Like she very clearly had no transphobic intention and the joke was pretty much “the right can’t meme”. I’m a bit more concerned that I live in a country where bigots can frequently be elected than I am concerned about someone who in comparison to the general population is a far leftist makeing a joke that references a transphobic joke.
 

Ketkat

Banned
Oct 25, 2017
4,172
I’m a lot more worried about thing like not being misgendered at work to care about what apparently transphobic joke some trans ally made. Like she very clearly had no transphobic intention and the joke was pretty much “the right can’t meme”. I’m a bit more concerned that I live in a country where bigots can frequently be elected than I am concerned about someone who in comparison to the general population is a far leftist makeing a joke that references a transphobic joke.
It doesn't have to be a one or the other situation though. I can still push back against the myriad forms of discrimination that we face while at the same time pointing out how jokes like this can help normalize this idea that our identities are ridiculous to people and directly lead to that misgendering that we face. We have direct experience with this happening to us when people compare us towards identifying as a helicopter, a dolphin, another race, or something bizarre like a galaxy.

Someone being on the left and generally being helpful does not somehow exempt them from making mistakes or saying transphobic things that can cause harm.
 

koolaroo

Member
Dec 27, 2017
63
It doesn't have to be a one or the other situation though. I can still push back against the myriad forms of discrimination that we face while at the same time pointing out how jokes like this can help normalize this idea that our identities are ridiculous to people and directly lead to that misgendering that we face. We have direct experience with this happening to us when people compare us towards identifying as a helicopter, a dolphin, another race, or something bizarre like a galaxy.

Someone being on the left and generally being helpful does not somehow exempt them from making mistakes or saying transphobic things that can cause harm.
I don’t really agree at all though. Someone referenceing a joke isn’t going to lead to more transphobia. The type of people who follow Ellis are the type of people who already support trans people and would understand that the joke isn’t some attack on trans people.
Also sure it doesn’t have to be a one or the other situation I’m more saying there are thousands of other issues in the world we could be focusing on instead of something that won’t matter in a week.
 

FeistyBoots

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,154
Southern California
I'm not trying to defend or justify it. Just explain it.

You have a bunch of people coming in here that are fans of Lindsay Ellis, probably straight people. They come in, they're confused, they don't understand. These are people, however, who want to be on your side. They are fans of Lindsay Ellis already right? So like I agree they're over-reacting, but this is confusing. And no one has broken it down. So if you want to understand you have to come in like this and ask a ton of questions.

Like I'm just trying to understand. And I appreciate folks making that effort for me and others.
No one has broken it down?

I mean, if you ignore everyone who has in fact broken it down, especially us trans folx, I guess you could say that.
 

Ketkat

Banned
Oct 25, 2017
4,172
I don’t really agree at all though. Someone referenceing a joke isn’t going to lead to more transphobia. The type of people who follow Ellis are the type of people who already support trans people and would understand that the joke isn’t some attack on trans people.
Also sure it doesn’t have to be a one or the other situation I’m more saying there are thousands of other issues in the world we could be focusing on instead of something that won’t matter in a week.
You are essentially saying that it has to be one or the other, and that effort spent on this issue is wasted that could go towards these other issues that you put more weight on. You're also assuming a lot about the type of people who read that kind of tweet, and the level of signal boosting that a joke like that can receive. Despite people wanting to hold Contrapoints up as an icon against transmedicalism and for NB people, there are people who watch her videos who are truscum, people who watch her videos who are incels, and people who are on the right who watch them.

The people who watch these videos are not always people on the left, and they aren't people who fully understand the context of these jokes and the impact that they can have. These are people who might have heard attack helicopter jokes in their circle, see someone on the left using one just like it, and never question that something like that could be wrong. There are a TON of issues with someone on the left, especially someone cis, using this kind of joke in this manner as it not only fails to actually mock Ricky Gervais in any way but just perpetuates the transphobic jokes that people use against us on a regular basis.

You're partially right that in a week's time no one will likely be talking about Lindsay Ellis in particular when it comes to this joke, but the concept behind the joke and the way that people mock our identities will still be an issue then and it will be for some time. I don't see these conversations as unproductive or meaningless as the larger context is that these jokes are unacceptable for someone cis to be using while potentially opening some people's eyes to what these jokes are really saying. By pushing back against the idea that our identities are jokes that can be compared to inanimate objects, it will reduce misgendering over time as they have one less barrier to accepting us as valid. I know that she was trying to use this joke ironically, but it didn't work in the way that she intended and I've seen quite a few trans people speak up about how it makes them uncomfortable even in this context.
 

FeistyBoots

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,154
Southern California
As a cis guy trying to be an ally, I really appreciate the trans voices in this thread. It's rare that someone drops a really offensive faux pas that causes me to think "there but for the grace of Glob go I", but I could absolutely see myself trying to satirize terrible phobe humour as a way to attack a phobe comic the way Ellis did, not thinking for a second that it might cause pain to people.

I feel like Ellis is stuck between a rock and a hard place right now. If she apologises, she acknowledges the fact that a joke she can't imagine coming off as transphobic clearly does to some people, and the Gervaises of the world get to mock her for failing to successfully mock them. If she doesn't, she risks looking like she doesn't care. Given the context (she was trying to attack a gleefully transphobic comedian), I think her desire is to let people judge her based on the joke rather than on an apology; and therefore continue to present a united progressive front to people like Gervais.
So, her desire not to be mocked is more important to her than owning up to using a transphobic joke that harmed trans folx?

If that were the case, that's not really being progressive. It's being shitty to trans people out of fear of being laughed at.
 

Bossking

Member
Nov 20, 2017
463
Deleting 1 of 2 tweets built around the same joke doesn't really amount to much. Her "How dare you assume Ricky Gervais" is still online.
Since my post in the last page got overlooked, I'll repost it here.

Actually looking at the tweet she's responding to, I think we're misreading the context.



I think the context of her tweet is more "How dare you assume Ricky Gervais namesearches himself", but just stops at Ricky Gervais since the joke is that he clearly is namesearching himself and the tweet is meant to catch him doing that. I don't think this is in relation to the "I identify as Ricky Gervais tweet" and doesn't even really fit the format of the typical shitty "how dare you assume my pronouns" non-jokes.
 

ScribbleD

Banned
Oct 28, 2017
990
Since my post in the last page got overlooked, I'll repost it here.

That's the joke she's making. You don't need to jump through hoops trying to figure out what the joke is supposed to be. It's that. Same as how "I identify as ricky gervais" is just the "I identify as an attack helicopter" bit.
 

FeistyBoots

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,154
Southern California
I don’t really agree at all though. Someone referenceing a joke isn’t going to lead to more transphobia. The type of people who follow Ellis are the type of people who already support trans people and would understand that the joke isn’t some attack on trans people.
Also sure it doesn’t have to be a one or the other situation I’m more saying there are thousands of other issues in the world we could be focusing on instead of something that won’t matter in a week.
Fine, you disagree.

You're wrong, because repeating that style of joke will cause some people to use it and thus increase the prevalence of that kind of joke (the premise of which is that trans identities are as made-up and ridiculous as identifying as something impossible to be as a human).

But hey, at least you got to flex on trans folx and join the chorus of telling us we're wrong about issues we understand far better than cis people ever will, so... congrats I guess?
 

BADMAN

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
1,689
Yeah that joke is shitty and she deserves the criticism. I just hope that people don’t take the criticism too far and turn to straight up harassment.
 

Bossking

Member
Nov 20, 2017
463

That's the joke she's making. You don't need to jump through hoops trying to figure out what the joke is supposed to be. It's that. Same as how "I identify as ricky gervais" is just the "I identify as an attack helicopter" bit.
I'm more than aware of the joke. I'm saying that the claim she's making that joke doesn't fit the context. It's a bigger jump to assume she's making a joke about assuming pronouns than it is to assume she's making a joke about assuming Gervais namesearches himself, since that is directly what she's responding to. In her first tweet I screencapped, she's not even doing the bit about identifying as Ricky and directly refers to him. Why assume she's making an unrelated joke about her pronouns?
 

hjort

Member
Nov 9, 2017
1,685
Not sure if this has been posted here, but this Thought Slime video from september might be fitting in this particular discussion, at least in part.
 

Kyuuji

Member
Nov 8, 2017
8,010
I’m more saying there are thousands of other issues in the world we could be focusing on instead of something that won’t matter in a week.
Says the person focusing on people discussing something in a thread in a manner they happen to dislike, instead of posting about those issues elsewhere.
 

Beefy

Community Resettler
Member
Oct 25, 2017
14,995
Worse than all this is Gervais signal boosting a self hating trans YouTube person. Man kept saying she was doing good work
 

shuno

Banned
Oct 28, 2017
441
Trash tuber makes trash jokes. News at 11. But more baffling: After name searching herself on Twitter for reactions she had the glorious idea to delete the problematic tweet. After she calls Gervais out for deleting one of his tweets. Wow.
 

bad kitty

Member
Sep 7, 2018
310
Babylon
Fine, you disagree.

You're wrong, because repeating that style of joke will cause some people to use it and thus increase the prevalence of that kind of joke (the premise of which is that trans identities are as made-up and ridiculous as identifying as something impossible to be as a human).

But hey, at least you got to flex on trans folx and join the chorus of telling us we're wrong about issues we understand far better than cis people ever will, so... congrats I guess?
I disagree as well and I'm trans so back off with that attitute of speaking for us all. Everyone speaks their mind, nobody is talking in the name of the whole community here.
 

Nappuccino

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
5,009
I'm more than aware of the joke. I'm saying that the claim she's making that joke doesn't fit the context. It's a bigger jump to assume she's making a joke about assuming pronouns than it is to assume she's making a joke about assuming Gervais namesearches himself, since that is directly what she's responding to. In her first tweet I screencapped, she's not even doing the bit about identifying as Ricky and directly refers to him. Why assume she's making an unrelated joke about her pronouns?
Because what she said doesn't make sense outside of that transphobic joke context. Like, no one says "Did you assume [person]" and that is enough to finish the thought. She's already using a transphobic "joke" to "critique" Gervais, this is just a continuation of that.
 

FeistyBoots

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,154
Southern California
I disagree as well and I'm trans so back off with that attitute of speaking for us all. Everyone speaks their mind, nobody is talking in the name of the whole community here.
Fine, you disagree. I stand by what I said. I never claimed to speak for all trans folx; I stated that trans people are once again being told we're wrong. That you aren't one of those being told this doesn't mean it's not happening to the others I see in this thread, including myself.
 
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anariel

Member
Oct 27, 2017
138
Sure would be nice to go one page without somebody effectively coming in and telling trans people to shut up and deal with it. There is absolutely a reason to be upset about this, and her deleting the tweet and hoping people will just forget about it with no actual acknowledgement about the issue does not help.
 

Kyuuji

Member
Nov 8, 2017
8,010
I disagree as well and I'm trans so back off with that attitute of speaking for us all. Everyone speaks their mind, nobody is talking in the name of the whole community here.
What is it you disagree with though, from what's actually been said?

As Ketkat said earlier you haven't articulated that. You just mentioned people overreacting and you not thinking she was a transphobe. Then you kept trying to conflate calling the joke transphobic and her a transphobe, before saying this and bouncing:
The jokes on their own are transphobic, yes. I've been very clear about that the whole thread
You know, there's this saying about the one who can't see the forest from the trees..

I'm out.
 

Bossking

Member
Nov 20, 2017
463
Because what she said doesn't make sense outside of that transphobic joke context. Like, no one says "Did you assume [person]" and that is enough to finish the thought. She's already using a transphobic "joke" to "critique" Gervais, this is just a continuation of that.
It literally doesn't make sense outside of the namesearching reference. Because again, that's what she's directly responding to.

Lindsay: No, we don't need to, because he would never namesearch himself. He has too much money.
Tait: Of course! How silly I am to assume otherwise!
Lindsay: How dare you assume Ricky Gervais [namesearches himself].
The joke is of course he namesearches himself, the post is bait, and the post stops immediately after his name because the job is now done.

How would you apply the pronouns joke to this conversation?

Lindsay: No, we don't need to, because he would never namesearch himself. He has too much money.
Tait: Of course! How silly I am to assume otherwise!
Lindsay: How dare you assume Ricky Gervais['s pronouns]
Like, the only pronoun to come up in the tweet she's responding to is "I". And if she's still "identifying" as Ricky in this joke, how? It makes even less sense as a response. The context you're fitting around this tweet makes no sense.
 

Kyuuji

Member
Nov 8, 2017
8,010
It literally doesn't make sense outside of the namesearching reference. Because again, that's what she's directly responding to.



The joke is of course he namesearches himself, the post is bait, and the post stops immediately after his name because the job is now done.

How would you apply the pronouns joke to this conversation?



Like, the only pronoun to come up in the tweet she's responding to is "I". And if she's still "identifying" as Ricky in this joke, how? It makes even less sense as a response. The context you're fitting around this tweet makes no sense.
 

BlackGoku03

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,046
no but i'm also not someone who's made like twenty posts in this thread about how important this issue is to them

i dunno, threads like these, where someone who was ostensibly considered an ally says some bullshit, rarely feature any kind of call to action, and so we end up with threads that are like half "look at this horseshit they said" vent threads and half "why haven't they met my unvoiced expectations and done the thing i want them to do"

which, i mean, live your truth or whatever
If they wanna vent, let them vent.
 

bad kitty

Member
Sep 7, 2018
310
Babylon
Fine, you disagree. I stand by what I said. I never claimed to speak for all trans folx; I stated that trans people are once again being told we're wrong. That you aren't one of those being told this doesn't mean it's not happening to the others I see in this thread, including myself.
This is a forum yes, people express their view and opinion, give their take on whatever, including this. You wanna make it restrictive and only trans people comment on this issue because we know better and cis people will never understand? Okay. In that case I still believe it is being blown out of proportion, that context and intent are very much important in this particular case and some are very keen on tearing her to shreds no matter how this would be handled.

And what exactly do you mean we're told we're wrong? By whom? Am I excluded for being told "we're wrong"? How come? I'm not following very well

What is it you disagree with though, from what's actually been said?
You can read it above if it's still not clear.