I kind of hesitate to tread into this, but I thought about it and realized that I needed to explain it in more detail. When reading this thread, something occurred to me that I posted in a different forum (since this is jumping to more than one blog):
I don't disagree that the comment... is nasty and inappropriate. Comments about Ann Coulter attempting to paint her as transsexual don't help anything and are actually more demeaning towards transsexuals than they are towards Coulter.
I do, however, disagree with using it to attack the content of his post and with charging after him repeatedly in thread after thread over this, especially with no context for anyone-- it doesn't change Skeeter's mind because he's dug in so hard that he won't listen to you and it doesn't change anyone else's mind because they don't get what the issue is without some education.
So instead of digging in and raising the heat on this, I'm going to just try to explain it and hope it sinks in a little bit among people who still don't get it.
When I was in college, I worked with a guy who tried to justify his use of the word "nigger" to refer to the lazy and shifty blacks, not the upstanding and hard working ones. This, of course, is nonsense and nothing he said would justify it, but I still had to work with him and he eventually figured out that it was easier to stop using the term than to get crap from me every time he used it.
But there was a disconnect-- he honestly believed that he had no prejudice against blacks because he thought the term didn't apply to all blacks, and he also would use the term "white niggers" when referring to shifty and lazy white people, so it was all fine as far as he was concerned.
I was young, and I didn't know how to convey the issue with it in a way that worked, and honestly, he wasn't very bright. There was no moving him on this, and eventually I gave up. It was a Summer job, and we got along well enough when we avoided the subject, despite my discomfort.
I wish I could have found a way to talk to him about this that actually changed something. What I couldn't do then, I'm going to try to do today about transsexualism and jokes about transsexualism.
I'll start with a joke that I heard from time to time after 9/11, which basically boiled down to "we should capture Bin Laden, force him to have a sex change, and deposit him in Afghanistan to let the Taliban deal with him." Because, ha, ha, the Taliban hates women, so wouldn't it be funny for Bin Laden to have to deal with that.
Except that that joke has a serious medical procedure which is absolutely crucial to the lives of some people as its focal point. Transsexuals are often demonized, diminished, made fun of, mocked and attacked, even when seeking medical care:
"I pointed out that my ID says female," Vaught said. "There were two ladies there, and one of them snickered a little bit and covered her mouth. The other got a very annoyed look on her face."
When she went to the exam room, she was met with stares and insults and was referred to as a "he-she," an "it," and a "transvestite."
Vaught said she was kept waiting for two hours without any treatment before a doctor saw her and said she couldn’t treat her because of her transgender condition.
Mind you, this was when she went into the ER because she was coughing up blood.
This is not uncommon. Sometimes it's subtle, and sometimes it's overt, but it's there.
I get that people think that calling Ann Coulter "Mann Coulter" or some other such thing is funny because oh, ha ha, right wingers hate queer people, so it would be really funny, hahaha, if a right wing darling like that were really a guy, hahahahaha.
I'm not trying to be a killjoy about this, but I want to make it as clear as I can: when someone being transsexual is the essence of your joke? You're no longer just attacking Ann Coulter. You're attacking transsexuals. You may not mean to be doing it. You may not intend to do it. You may have no issue whatsoever with those of us who are transsexual, but you still have managed to say and do something that's demeaning to them and makes them feel like they're not full people in your eyes.
We use words like "bitch" to demean women, to equate them with domestic animals whose primary purpose is for breeding. We use terms like "coon" to demean blacks and equate them with ferral creatures that raid and steal in the night.
Like I said, it's easy to get why people think it's funny to attack Ann Coulter in such a fashion, but what you're doing to transsexuals when you do this (and I'm sure in most cases it's unintentional), you don't attack her, because she's never going to read it. You attack those of us who are transsexual, those of who love someone who is transsexual, or just those enough to be friends with someone who's anatomy does not fully match their psyche.
And I'm asking people who read this to just, before you make that sort of joke, before you think it's really funny to say something mean about someone you dislike, to think about the collateral damage that comes from that.