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Lindsay Ellis' transphobic jokes

umop 3pisdn

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,117
I mean, what you posted, what she said is exactly the truth. This thread is proof that we're a community jumping to apply the worst possible interpretation. The Contrapoints thread had several people calling her trash, claiming that either they were personally done with her or that her career should be done, claiming that she was revealing the "real" her. As far as anyone has shown, this is literally one mistake she's made, and it amounts to a lame, distasteful attempt at ironic humor directed at a transphobe by mocking their shtick. I'm not saying that no one can be offended by this joke or express disappointment, but a thread like this isn't just designed for some people to express disappointment. It's an invitation to share in that disappointment, to have it compound, to dogpile over any perceived grievance. People can joke "oh yeah, we're TOTALLY cancelling her, WINK" but I mean, if that's not the end result here, why not express that disappointment directly to her on twitter (which enough did to warrant the deletion of the original joke), rather than paint Lindsay Ellis with the harshest brush in a thread disingenuously titled "Lindsay Ellis' transphobic jokes"?
Honestly, I'm thankful for these threads because my first naive take was fucking dumb and this forced me to confront that. I thought the 'I identify as a comedian" comment was at least funnier (and my naive assumption was that it was thereby more appropriate) until I realized it's wrong on exactly the same basis as the basis by which Lindsay is being criticized. The only reason she's being criticized in this way is she's a somewhat pubic figure taken to reflect vaguely liberal and/or leftist attitudes and we generally expect these people to be more accountable or virtuous. And this doesn't erase her virtue it just presents her with a situation where the appropriate thing to do is acknowledge some degree of responsibility. Ignorance can be partly exculpatory but it cannot do all of the work.
 

aspaceseaman

Member
Nov 1, 2017
198
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.
 

Madison

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
6,341
Lima, Peru
I really struggle to see why being upset means that "Lindsay is cancelled". Those people need to have more nuance.

Let us criticize her, im sure she can take it
 

A.By

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,007
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.
But explanations abound. And like I said, you say you're not justifying, but I literally don't know what posts you're talking about that these people are seeing that are influencing them to overreact. The more logical explanation is that people are really oversensitive to any criticism of people whom they enjoy, and THAT is the actual toxic element, not so-called cancel culture.
 

Platy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
14,986
Brazil
She fucked up, but I don't think her intentions were anything but to piss Gervais and I can't be too mad with people wanting to piss gervais
 

Icemonk191

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,407
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.
People have explained it to you constantly, you just don't want to listen.
 

SoZetaSlow

Member
Sep 20, 2019
393
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.
people have explained it plenty, multiple people have came into the thread, asked for clarification, received it and promptly left.
 

sangreal

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,426
The joke perpetuates the idea that self-ID is worthy of mockery, and Ellis perpetuated that joke. That's the point. The joke doesn't actually contribute anything else. It doesn't work as a mockery of Gervais because all she's doing is restating the joke template without modification or commentary.
It wasn't without commentary. The commentary came before the "joke"
 

aspaceseaman

Member
Nov 1, 2017
198
Whoa ok folks seriously not attacking you here. I am not saying that you're not explaining it well enough.

I explicitly say that I appreciate the clear effort of folks in this thread.
 

aspaceseaman

Member
Nov 1, 2017
198
Whoa ok folks seriously not attacking you here. I am not saying that you're not explaining it well enough.

I explicitly say that I appreciate the clear effort of folks in this thread.

People have explained it to you constantly, you just don't want to listen.
What are you talking about? I'm not arguing with you or anyone. I would kindly ask you to reread what I've written. I'm not interested in dismissing a harmful joke or justifying it. I'm interested in hearing people talk about it, so I'm asking questions. And the way things are presented is not clear. It requires someone to step in this thread and make themselves personally available. They have to ask questions and talk in order to get it. That's all I'm saying.

people have explained it plenty, multiple people have came into the thread, asked for clarification, received it and promptly left.
Isn't that good?
 

A.By

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,007
Whoa ok folks seriously not attacking you here. I am not saying that you're not explaining it well enough.

I explicitly say that I appreciate the clear effort of folks in this thread.


What are you talking about? I'm not arguing with you or anyone. I would kindly ask you to reread what I've written. I'm not interested in dismissing a harmful joke or justifying it. I'm interested in hearing people talk about it, so I'm asking questions. And the way things are presented is not clear. It requires someone to step in this thread and make themselves personally available. They have to ask questions and talk in order to get it. That's all I'm saying.


Isn't that good?
Here's my takeaway. You suggested that people were responding to statements like "Ellis is transphobic" or "LeftTube is being ruined" with their overreactions, but that would imply they read the thread - and if they did, they should have caught the clarifying posts.
 

aspaceseaman

Member
Nov 1, 2017
198
Yes, I read your comment as saying that this hadn't happened, if that wasn't your intent then my bad
My intent was to say that ya'll are responding to people well, and that I greatly appreciate it.

Here's my takeaway. You suggested that people were responding to statements like "Ellis is transphobic" or "LeftTube is being ruined" with their overreactions, but that would imply they read the thread - and if they did, they should have caught the clarifying posts.
I don't think that the thread collects information well like that. All you get is a bunch of responses, sometimes aggressive responses. You can't just read through the whole thing and make sense of it, and I think that's why cis-folks and allies are over-reacting. Do I think they should? No. Do I think you're doing anything wrong? No. Was simply trying to suggest that it's not super easy to wrap your mind around a discussion like this.
 

muteKi

Member
Oct 22, 2018
10,434
a sunken pirate ship
But seeing it doesn't mean the world is becoming more transphobic and I think that's the bit tripping me and a lot of other posters up.
I wouldn't say that the world is becoming more transphobic -- that's a hell of a bar to clear* -- but one thing that I think is true is that since hating gay people became socially unacceptable (after marriage legalization in the US) the sort of people who make their careers off feeding people who are existentially aggrieved shifted their target from gay people to transgender people instead. I don't know that I would say the level of hate has changed, but it is significantly more likely to be verbalized.

This is the culture in which Ellis is opening her mouth and replicating transphobic attacks practically verbatim.

* The backlash does manifest itself in interesting ways. "Gender reveal parties" are a pretty recent invention, and naturally rest on what for most trans people are outmoded and, frankly, harmful notions of gender. Then those notions get expressed in ways that perpetuate toxic culture directly as well -- it's not enough to have, say, a gender reveal cake or a gender reveal balloon drop. Nope, daddy's involved here and it's an insult to his masculinity to do anything but gender reveal lethal explosions.
 

SoZetaSlow

Member
Sep 20, 2019
393
* The backlash does manifest itself in interesting ways. "Gender reveal parties" are a pretty recent invention, and naturally rest on what for most trans people are outmoded and, frankly, harmful notions of gender. Then those notions get expressed in ways that perpetuate toxic culture directly as well -- it's not enough to have, say, a gender reveal cake or a gender reveal balloon drop. Nope, daddy's involved here and it's an insult to his masculinity to do anything but gender reveal lethal explosions.
I remember reading an article from the woman who first started the gender reveal party trend and she was fucking terrified with how its developed and escalated so much from her simple colored cake.
 

A.By

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,007
My intent was to say that ya'll are responding to people well, and that I greatly appreciate it.



I don't think that the thread collects information well like that. All you get is a bunch of responses, sometimes aggressive responses. You can't just read through the whole thing and make sense of it, and I think that's why cis-folks and allies are over-reacting. Do I think they should? No. Do I think you're doing anything wrong? No. Was simply trying to suggest that it's not super easy to wrap your mind around a discussion like this.
But what posts were they even responding to that caused them that reaction? I read through the first page and found almost nothing that was less innocuous than "jesus that's a bad look Lindsay," so either these people just kept seeing the same post over and over or they're just being dismissive of trans people's concerns.
 

Syril

Member
Oct 26, 2017
4,685
* The backlash does manifest itself in interesting ways. "Gender reveal parties" are a pretty recent invention, and naturally rest on what for most trans people are outmoded and, frankly, harmful notions of gender. Then those notions get expressed in ways that perpetuate toxic culture directly as well -- it's not enough to have, say, a gender reveal cake or a gender reveal balloon drop. Nope, daddy's involved here and it's an insult to his masculinity to do anything but gender reveal lethal explosions
Didn't one of these start an actual wildfire?
 

muteKi

Member
Oct 22, 2018
10,434
a sunken pirate ship
I remember reading an article from the woman who first started the gender reveal party trend and she was fucking terrified with how its developed and escalated so much from her simple colored cake.
Yeah it's also interesting that her own child was comfortable enough to be, IIRC, out as nonbinary. (And of course you never see, say, purple smoke out of these explosives...)

Didn't one of these start an actual wildfire?
By a border patrol agent, some of the coppiest of all cops and you know what they say about all cops
 

SoZetaSlow

Member
Sep 20, 2019
393
Yeah it's also interesting that her own child was comfortable enough to be, IIRC, out as nonbinary. (And of course you never see, say, purple smoke out of these explosives...)
Yeah I know, the article was honestly really interesting, seeing her not only show how the trend has gotten severely out of hand in terms of just how far people go but she was also willing to reflect on her own gender reveal now that she has a child who is NB, who she is willing to let lecture her on social issues and actually takes seriously despite her age was pretty refreshing
 

aspaceseaman

Member
Nov 1, 2017
198
But what posts were they even responding to that caused them that reaction? I read through the first page and found almost nothing that was less innocuous than "jesus that's a bad look Lindsay," so either these people just kept seeing the same post over and over or they're just being dismissive of trans people's concerns.
Sorry let me clarify. I don't mean that folks walked in, saw some bad takes here, and then went off based on that.

Instead I think they saw bad takes elsewhere (mainly twitter), and this thread doesn't explain the emotions flying very well. Search tweets mentioning her to get some fun stuff https://twitter.com/search?l=&q=to:theLindsayEllis&src=typd

So they expected "cancelling", looked at twitter and saw some nasty stuff (imo), and then commented here. Again, not justifying. Just trying to understand because I think there's value in that. Clearly this thread hasn't been fun for ya'll, and I don't think anyone truly wants that.
 

A.By

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,007
Sorry let me clarify. I don't mean that folks walked in, saw some bad takes here, and then went off based on that.

Instead I think they saw bad takes elsewhere (mainly twitter), and this thread doesn't explain the emotions flying very well. Search tweets mentioning her to get some fun stuff https://twitter.com/search?l=&q=to:theLindsayEllis&src=typd

So they expected "cancelling", looked at twitter and saw some nasty stuff (imo), and then commented here. Again, not justifying. Just trying to understand because I think there's value in that. Clearly this thread hasn't been fun for ya'll, and I don't think anyone truly wants that.
I skimmed that, and all I found are irrelevant things, people being pretty civil in criticizing her, and my tweet
 

Ouroboros

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,808
Oh man for a second I thought this was the girl who critiques Disney and Michael bay films. Phew! She’s safe. P
 

CharGP02A

Member
Nov 23, 2017
1,320
Lindsay's clap backs originally were awesome but now she had to go and do this. Disappointed but not surprised. Hopefully she can learn and then continue to go dunk on him properly.
 
OP
OP
Messofanego

Messofanego

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,526
UK
You're kidding right? I didn't bring that up until I read that from you and the other poster. What arguments are you expecting, I don't understand? You're trying to muddy the waters and I'm calling you out, that bashing her for this particular thing is kinda undeserved. Why? because it's clear as day what the intent was with that dumb tweet and you're trying to make it into what it isn't and I don't like this kind of thing. Of course it's a transphobic joke, nobody denies this. But...forest from the trees. Intent and context are important here, don't you agree?
Transphobes ain't criticising Lindsay Ellis' jokes, it's mostly trans people responding so the intent and context don't really change the reach of the joke being misguided. There are some who are even contesting they are not transphobic jokes or being disingenuous by making critics out to be cancelling her and that we think she's now a bad person or is wholly transphobic. She's not on the level of a TERF.
 

NoName999

Member
Oct 29, 2017
4,012
Not really, no. How many of those that tried to do better have earned the acceptance? I saw someone on ERA just last week blast James Gunn for those shitty old tweets he said for years ago.
I saw someone on ERA
Wow, one fucking person on an internet forum didn't forgive him. Guess that means trying to do better is pointless then.

Fuck outta here
 

aspaceseaman

Member
Nov 1, 2017
198
I skimmed that, and all I found are irrelevant things, people being pretty civil in criticizing her, and my tweet
I'm seeing a few folks posting things like "Oh you're transphobic now" "Oh I guess you're alt-right too" "You gonna start posting vids like these: (and a bunch of screenshots of alt-right shit)"

I haven't wanted to be specific cause I don't want to put some random queer person (who's probably just upset about a shitty joke) on blast. I'm not gonna start screenshotting people just to prove myself right.
 

ry-dog

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,029
She's very, very clearly making fun of Ricky's transphobia. They're bad jokes, because they don't make sense, but there's no malice.
There doesn't seem much to discuss. What Contra said was bad and shouldn't be compared to this situation
 
Trust me, the most effective comedy first and foremost makes you laugh
For a fraction of the audience, while potentially hurting others

You have to think, who is the audience, who is the subject of the joke, and was it really worth it

She's very, very clearly making fun of Ricky's transphobia. They're bad jokes, because they don't make sense, but there's no malice.
There doesn't seem much to discuss. What Contra said was bad and shouldn't be compared to this situation
There no malice, but it's still an oversight, honestly, she could have just said she fucked up and apologized early on, but here we are now
 
Oct 26, 2017
8,316
Lindsay Ellis is my favorite video essayist right now. Her content is just about always fantastic and insightful, and I'm always eager for her next piece.

And what she said was shitty and transphobic. And I hope she apologizes. I don't understand why fans are going to such lengths to defend her. She's an adult. Let her speak for herself, explain why she did a shitty thing, and apologize for it. And if she doesn't, I don't need to watch more of her content.
 

ZeroX

Member
Oct 25, 2017
10,873
Speed Force
Trust you or George Carlin?
Again, he’s saying that comedy shouldn’t pick on underdogs, he isn’t saying that the art of comedy is entirely to defend them.

saying that comedy is about jokes should be the most obviously factual thing ever. It’s not the same as saying that it’s cool to attack people or whatever you’re trying to infer