Or to put it a different way, what if Annie were a tranny?
My friend Hawke, aka HappyDyke, offers up the following crunchy granola for thought at her blog apropos the whole tired “Mann Coulter” thing:
I’m sick of hearing Ann referred to as a man. As far as I know, she has never come out as a transsexual. And even if she has, so what? Why is this treated as something so salacious by a community that considers itself as progressive? Of all the things to take Coulter to task over, why is this what people choose most often?
Oh sure, its so easy with an adam’s apple that makes my son’s look like a raisin. And her freakishly large hands also make one wonder. But TRANSSEXUALISM IS NOT A BIG DEAL. And the way it is being used when referring to this scumbucket is the same as her use of the word faggot when referring to Edwards. It is insulting to real transsexuals. I mean really, would you want her as a part of YOUR community if she didn’t say she belonged? I thought not.
Hawke’s blog software seems to be eating my comments, or at least hindering my efforts to correct them, so here’s my humble two cents (+GST, this being Canada and all) on the terrible temptation to make a man of Ann.
I have to admit it IS ungodly fun to masculinize the Coultergeist. Not only because of her weird, elongated turkey neck and her freakishly proportioned hands (both of which can be just as readily explained by emaciation as by gender ambiguity, IMO–hence another of her nasty nicknames, Ann Orexia.) And not only because she apparently forgot to fill in the gender box on her voter registration form. There’s another impulse behind it–childish and doubtless unprogressive because of how far below the belt it hits, but here goes:
If Ann really were a man, or a transsexual, what would that make those who lionize her?
Think about it. It’s not exactly a deep dark secret that wingnuts don’t see transfolk as real men or women. No matter how many years of treatment and agony the trannies go through to realign their outward gender with that of their inner selves, a typical wingnut will automatically identify them as being simply queer individuals of the sex they were born. A trans-woman, in other words, is a queer man to them–a faggot.
So, by wingnut standards, if Ann Coulter were revealed as a transsexual, this means that Ann is a man. (Note that I said by wingnut standards–if you’re at all progressive, you accept a trans-woman as a WOMAN, period. Yes, even Ann Coulter, gaggingly repulsive bag-o-skank though she is.)
And if Ann is a man, then what does that make her, not to mention all the men who lust over her and guffaw over her homo-baiting pronouncements as if they were nuggets of wit–by the wingnuts’ own lights?
Yup, you guessed it.
Now, bearing that in mind, let’s set things in context.
It’s been all over the Internets for the past couple of days how the right likes to hit the left below the belt when it comes to gender. (See Digby and Glenn Greenwald for the most thoughtful dissections of that infuriating, sexist tendency.) In the wingnuts’ twisted universe, progressive women are all shaggy-legged, titless lesbians; progressive men are all mincy, poofy fags. Our messages don’t matter, because on every level, we are inferior, subhuman beings. At least, so the Ann Coulters of the world are signalling when they sling the slurs around. Heaven forfend that anyone liberal, progressive or (gasp) socialist should be acknowledged as a normal human being, living a normal life, earning a normal living, loving a normal partner. We’re all demons, bums and scum, don’tcha know? We’re all faggots or dykes, and if you take us seriously or make common cause with us, you deserve to get AIDS and die.
Gaydom is the wingnuts’ last acceptable bastion of prejudice, and they’re clinging to it for dear life. It’s what they’re left reaching for when they have no way of refuting us; smearing and name-calling is so much easier. But they’re running rather low on socially acceptable smears. They can’t say nigger because it would show them up as racist and they’re tripping all over themselves to whitewash that (oops!), but hey–the queers are still fair game, so let’s all pile on!
Which is why even the most queer-friendly progressives rejoice, not so silently, when the right-hand door of the closet suddenly busts wide open. It’s not the queerness that’s a sin with us; it’s the hypocrisy, the denial, the bashing, the baiting. A person who used to get away with all that, suddenly can’t anymore, because they are what they sneer at. The pious preacher of “family values” turns out to be a meth-using frequenter of gay prostitutes; the oh-so-macho right-wing “journalist” is exposed as actually being a gay prostitute; et cetera. Rightards are forced to backpedal away at high speed whenever another closet case gets outed, or risk being lumped in with them by other rightards. It’s hilarious to watch them tripping over themselves and each other to deny that they’re really gay, or homophobic, when anyone with an eye can see that they are.
That is why a mean, sneaky little part of me secretly wishes that Ann were a man. It would be a terrible insult to the transfolk, no doubt about it; she would make the worst imaginable spokesmodel, especially given the slyly bashing nature of her “picks” for the Oscars (Felicity Huffman in particular). But if it deprives the wingnuts of their last bastion, the ignominy of it all might ultimately yield some good.
Or, at the very least, a good belly laugh at the expense of yet another discredited wingnut and all her camp followers.