I get it and I don’t get it…. mocking earnestness and mocking people are not the same thing


“How many genders are there?” Mr. Witt asked before turning and staring deadpan at the camera. Some people laughed and walked away. Most, knowing the camera was rolling, engaged.“As many as you want?” a recent Ph.D. student responded, a little confused to be confronted with this question.

So I really wonder what his reaction would be if you replied to Will Witt:

“Well, here in the U.S. most people take on one of two gender identities, but as you surely know there are small minorities that share gender identities that have historically been subject to violence, and have been marginalized and discriminated against. It is a blessing that our society is increasingly open rather than intolerant regarding these gender identities. Also, I am sure Will you know that many other societies around the world also have minority gendered subgroups that sometimes are quite different from ours. Will, you may also know that what you probably proudly label “the western tradition” is filled with prominent people who were uncomfortable with extreme binary gender representations and were comfortable with fluidity. Lastly, Will, as you know, for almost 150 years one of the mainstream gender identities of the U.S. was deemed, by members of the other gender identity, as being unworthy of the basic right that was supposedly one of the founding principles of the country, the right to vote. So when you ask your question, Will, maybe you should seek some truth, rather than a mocking laugh?”

About mkevane

Economist at Santa Clara University and Director of Friends of African Village Libraries.
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