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Episode 40 — CA: Slave Ship

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Andrew Ti and guests Sean O’Connor & Noah Garfinkel have each watched Cloud Atlas twice and need to talk about it. They discuss the slave ship segment, Noah’s grandparents, and Doona Bae in white face. Call us at 323-389 RACE on a regular week to ask us if something is racist.

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Hey guys, interesting discussion today. I've been enjoying this week's Cloud Atlas episodes, and look forward to the rest. However I just wanted to put something out there in regards to Lana Wachowski's transgender status.

 

Using the phrase "got a sex change" to mean "came out as tansgendered" is essentially the trans* equivelent to calling a black person "colored"; it's very outdated and offensive to many trans* individuals. "Sex change" implies that a trans* individual's gender identity needs to be authenticated by means of surgery, when in reality, many trans* individuals choose to never get surgery. The term also implies that gender is entirely biological, and needs to be "changed" to affirm a trans* person's gender. Some trans* people get surgery, while others do not, but an individual who gets surgery isn't legitimized more than someone who hasn't. In fact, Lana Wachowski has always been a woman, even when she was still presenting as a man.

 

It's also considered pretty offensive to even ask a trans* person if they've had SRS (sexual reassignment surgery), as it's a very personal decision, and comes of as a judgement on their gender identity.

 

I don't mean to harp on you personally, Noah (I think it was Noah speaking?). It's obvious that you weren't trying to be offesnive. But this is a podcast dealing with issues of social justice, so I wanted to mention it.

 

ETA: Here's a glossary of terms relating to being trans* if anyone is curious.

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It was kind of weird how Andrew semi-corrected himself and said something like "slave ship - well, ship with slaves", but then they still repeatedly said "slave ship" and called the episode that. Other than the stowaway, I'm not even sure that there actually were any slaves on the ship.

 

Doona Bae's white character in this segment was the worst (not necessarily the most offensive) race-shifted character in the movie, mostly due to the weird make-up job, but also due to her inability to speak without a fairly heavy accent.

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Hey guys, interesting discussion today. I've been enjoying this week's Cloud Atlas episodes, and look forward to the rest. However I just wanted to put something out there in regards to Lana Wachowski's transgender status.

 

Using the phrase "got a sex change" to mean "came out as tansgendered" is essentially the trans* equivelent to calling a black person "colored"; it's very outdated and offensive to many trans* individuals. "Sex change" implies that a trans* individual's gender identity needs to be authenticated by means of surgery, when in reality, many trans* individuals choose to never get surgery. The term also implies that gender is entirely biological, and needs to be "changed" to affirm a trans* person's gender. Some trans* people get surgery, while others do not, but an individual who gets surgery isn't legitimized more than someone who hasn't. In fact, Lana Wachowski has always been a woman, even when she was still presenting as a man.

 

It's also considered pretty offensive to even ask a trans* person if they've had SRS (sexual reassignment surgery), as it's a very personal decision, and comes of as a judgement on their gender identity.

 

I don't mean to harp on you personally, Noah (I think it was Noah speaking?). It's obvious that you weren't trying to be offesnive. But this is a podcast dealing with issues of social justice, so I wanted to mention it.

 

ETA: Here's a glossary of terms relating to being trans* if anyone is curious.

 

 

Can everyone please stop using black people as their defacto example of culturally insensitive words because black people still get called colored, negro, nigger, coon, and anything else racist white people happen to come up with. In these very forums, there are members who regard V-Nasty's use of the n-word as unproblematic and that there is no need for any further discussion. So, taking the analogy a little bit further, I'll give you the advice that white folks have given black people when issues like this come up:

 

"Stop being so sensitive."

 

"It's just a phrase"

 

"Maybe YOU'RE the one with the gender issues"

 

And my personal favorite...

 

"It's 2012! We're past all of that now! It's a post-gender world!"

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