FOF #1981 – War of the Words

May 6, 2014 · 116923 views
Parker Marie Molloy really got people talking about how we use our slang words. Photo: Fausto Fernós.

Parker Marie Molloy really got people talking about how we use our slang words. Photo: Fausto Fernós.

One of the hot topics we’ve been covering is the controversy over RuPaul’s Drag Race use of the word tranny and she-male.

What were they thinking? Logo & Drag Race apologized and removed the challenge from the episode.

What were they thinking? Logo & Drag Race apologized and removed the challenge from the episode.

Some say the words are hurtful and don’t belong on a reality TV show. Others are calling it a free speech issue, and are telling those who have a problem with it to lighten up.

Most famously musician Calpernia Addams said she doesn’t like the word she-male but she doesn’t want to start policing art.

Drag Race contestant Joslyn Fox said it’s hypocritical of gays to tell trans people what they can or can’t do.

And then there’s BenDeLaCreme, who says hurtful words don’t belong in a drag queens vocabulary and will spoil all the fun:

Today we’re joined by Parke Marie Molloy, one blogger who’s led the charge against using these words and says we can’t move forward towards equality if we don’t address this issue. Parker writes for the Advocate as their trans issues correspondent.

Listen as Parker Marie talks takes us to task for some of the things we’ve said on this show and Parker receives a special phone call from Alaska Thunderfuck who made the controversial video where he had RuPaul shoot a transgender blogger dead with a blow dryer.

What will Alaska and Parker say to each other? Listen to the show and find out. Photo: Austin Young.

What will Alaska and Parker say to each other? Listen to the show and find out. Photo: Austin Young.


    Comments

  1. lol wow, you guys actually got this awful person to come on your show? I’m afraid I’ll have to pass on this one, sorry guys, I’d much rather listen to a 2-hour long special podcast with oh, Shirley Phelps or one of your other past guests who got some hate for coming on the how rather than anything this blogger has to say, which is nothing but negativity. As I said, nothing good can come from social-justice bloggers, they are negative, miserable fucks, and trying to get them to change their viewpoint about something is next to impossible, they are the worst.

    unless you guys were able to get on some common ground with this person, but I’m not gonna listen to find out, it be a waste of my time quite honestly, but hey, I think it’s good to have all sides of this “nontroversy” say their piece.

    but after this, can you guys call t quits? really, I think you guys are starting to blow this controversy into something bigger than it really isn’t, Marc has said “can we move on now” from this issue, and yes, I agree, I think this podcast should move on from this issue, but herrrrrre you guys are, bringing it up again and again. it’s getting pretty tiring

    • Marc Felion says:

      You have it all wrong Alex. Give it a listen.

      • sorry Marc, but when I listen to a podcast, I do so to get a positive experience from it, I don’t think that would be the case with this show. I said I would pass on listening to a podcast if you guys brought on a social justice blogger on the show with Madison, so that’s exactly what I am going to do.

        I just can’t shut up about my distaste for social justice bloggers though, that’s why I’ve commented here without listening to the show, and I probably should shut up, I think I’ve made it clear by now how much I detest them, I’m not really benefiting from anything by complaining about how awful social justice bloggers are, SORRY, BUT MY FEELINGS TOWARDS THEM ARE QUITE STRONG, even though I gain nothing by hating them, it’s exhausting, enough is enough.

        I’ll shut up now. no more. You won’t hear anyyyything more from me in the comments about them in future shows. This is the last time.

      • ohnahboboo says:

        This little bitch straight up tweeted “I fucking hate RuPaul. Like… there really are very few people I truly hate. He is one of them.” and is now trying to pass it off as a reasonable thing to do. No sir.

  2. Parker Marie Molloy says:

    Calls me an “awful person,” a “negative, miserable fuck,” and “the worst.” If that’s your idea of positivity, I’ll pass.

    Anyway, I had an absolutely lovely time on the show.

    • sorry sweetie, but social justice bloggers such as your fine self are only going to bring the lgbtq community further down, you, along with all the other social justice bloggers on other social media sites like tumblr and the rest, I’m fucking sick of all this in-fighting within the community, and it’s all thanks to folks like you.

      I’M OVER IT. DONE.

      • Michael D. says:

        @XcheckengirlX are you even a fan of the show? How old are you? I don’t want to jump to conclusions, but You, hunty, are part of the problem.

        Parker, like many other writers, is doing her JOB by questioning the actions of LoGO’s only successful show that has an audience that might not have known that “shemale” and “tranny” are not acceptable terms to use in public forum.

        I am not a fan of Parker and I only know her from FOF talking about her. After listening to the show I am interested in reading her articles and I would reccommend you do to. You do know how to read right?

        #listenup #actup #youmightwanttotakeapilltowakeupandseethatit’snotafightbutaconversationandit’snotholdinganyonebackbuthelpingusmoveforwardkthanks

      • Bryce says:

        And this is why the LGBT community has made slow progress. Being hateful and condescending to someone because you don’t agree with them is frankly juvenile. Calling her hunty because you didn’t like her earlier comments isn’t doing anything to progress this issue. Especially since hunty is a portmanteau for cunt and honey. You are essentially calling her a ‘cunt’ which is arguably more offensive than tranny or nigger or fagoot or any other slur. At the end of the day we can all agree to disagree. I do encourage xChickengirlx to listen to the podcast just so she can have an opinion that is founded on something she heard v. what she thinks she will hear.

      • tragic_pizza says:

        xChickengirlx, I am glad you’re done. You don’t know Parker at all, and I would rather not deal with ignorant people.

      • Michael D. says:

        Bryce, XchickengirlsX wouldn’t listen to the show yet decides to comment on it. Her rant is ridiculous.

        As far as my use of the word “hunty”; it is completely appropriate for this forum. Hunty is a word that was carefully formulated and tested on animals before being brought in to the loquacious inner-circles of our drag high-priestesses. I own a the “Hunty” tee-shirt and wear it to the gym, to family gatherings, and sometimes to bed. Unlike the other words you mentioned, hunty was never muttered before a hate crime (although some would agree that Alaska’s wig is a hate crime). That being said, Hunty is condescending and my intentions were clear. Good job.

      • I know Chicken Girl (we met several times at listener meet ups in Texas) and now I know Parker Marie as well.

        I can tell you both of these lovely gals would be BFF if they could just meet face to face. They are both people with a lot of passion and hearts filled with love.

        Maybe it’s just too easy to be insensitive online and hurtful to others.

        I see this as a sign that we’re moving forward as a community. A heated conversation is a sign that people care, that people are thinking. This is growing pains and it’s a sign of progress.

  3. ajnorris99 says:

    Listened although my exhaustion with political correctness is at an all time high. Sometimes a joke is just a joke. Also once the trans community wants to address and school the gay community as though we aren’t in a fight together, then I’m happy to refer to us as the L and G community

    • Michael D. says:

      As Ben de La Creme mentioned in her interview, it’s not about being PC, it IS about being conscious of the language we use and how NOT to be a total douchberger. Trans folk like Parker are reminding us that language has serious effects. I am sure there are trans folk that don’t mind being called tranny, but the connotation of the word is informal and unacceptable to use in public forum.

  4. Jane says:

    Owning your mistakes and apologising for them is a very tough thing to do, and even more rarely done with the tangible sincerity and emotion that Alaska displayed in this episode. Props to her for responding and engaging with Parker Marie, can’t have been easy.

    • Michael D. says:

      Yea, shout out to Fausto for bringing her on after he put Parker on blast. Also props to Parker for doing her research on previous shows and writing quotes–She’s an expert guest and I like that :)

    • Yeah I really didn’t know if Alaska was going to cry or have such an emotional apology. I knew he felt bad about making the video, but I didn’t expect both of them to get along. I was fearing the worst and it turned out for the best!

      I love Parker and totally look forward to having her on again, and talking about OTHER THINGS! She’s a very prolific writer and a brilliant mind, so there’s a lot more water in the well.

  5. Bryce says:

    I am going to start this by declaring my love for both Fausto and Marc. With that said, I want to say that this interview was very dick in the soup. Fausto really reminded me of Andy Cohen from Bravo hosting a Real Housewives reunion. This interview left me feeling very indifferent. I especially did not like the way Alaska apologized. I felt her apology was very genuine and heartfelt but the circumstance under which her apology came was very much akin to how your mother would drag you by the hand to the next door neighbor and make you apologize for hitting their kid.

    I’m beyond frustrated being apart of two of the most dysfunctional communities in America: the black community and the lgbt community. They are perhaps the most self-loathing communities. We will NEVER succeed because we are to busy quibbling over bullshit. How dare I have the audacity to tell a person or a group that they can’t use a word. Call me a faggot. Call me a nigger. That is your right and your prerogative. As a free citizen I do not have the right to bully you or intimidate you into not using the word.

    Sounds to me that the trans community, like the gay and black community, needs to get on one accord before they start policing others. I’m so sick of this debate. I think the interview with Madison did more for this topic than this person did.

    Fausto I am curious about your stance on this issue. You seem to be very on the fence about it. I get a better picture with marc. Love you both! Look forward to the next podcast.

  6. Michael D. says:

    Thank you for bringing Parker on!!!!

    The lesson learned from this whole “SheeMail” experience is that everyone should be subject to criticism and performers/bloggers everywhere should be conscious of the “material” they are putting out in the world and how it affects consumers of that material.

    I think it was a great show and I think fans of the show appreciate you guys for giving Parker opportunity to talk about her point of view on the matter. I also like Alaskas response and apology–I found that she was being genuine and I have MORE respect for her decision to take the video down and look forward to other material she puts out there.

    As for your new tee-shirts, I am tempted to buy them bc I love and support you, but IDK they are not my favorite. But I will want to take you guys out to dinner if you have time when I am in Chicago.

    XOX Mikey

  7. Bryce says:

    Awhile ago, there was a FOF episode called Backtivism (I think that’s what it was called) and it was about this very thing. My generation is so passionate but we lack the follow-thru. No one burns bras or protests or pickets anymore like they did in the 60s/70s. We all sit in the comfort of our homes and work spaces and spout our truths thru a computer or iPad. Not to be a killjoy, but I honestly don’t think we’ll reach a consensus on this issue. Hell, we’re still arguing over the use of the N-word. The most we can do is just respect each other no matter what side of the issue you fall on.

  8. Josh says:

    I really, really enjoyed the interview with Parker Molloy. It was heartening to hear such an open, frank, productive, and respectful dialogue on the issue. Great job, hunties!

  9. Josh says:

    I really, really enjoyed the interview with Parker Molloy. It was heartening to hear such an open, frank, productive, and respectful dialogue. Great job, hunties!

  10. I love you guys too! I was very touched and proud of Parker and Alaska talking. I’m always interested in giving people who are vilified a chance to redeem themselves and show their humanity. This is a proud moment in the history of our show. Hearing all the mostly positive feedback about it shows us we’re on the right track. Hopefully that will interest people in becoming Plus+ subscribers!

    Here’s what I got about the whole thing so far:

    This debate on the surface looks like a battle over who can and can’t use slang or slur words. It’s not really about that, but as Parker pointed out, it’s about a person having the ability to choose what words they are called.

    Sometimes we dont realize that calling someone something they dont want to be called is insulting. It’s one thing for me to choose these words for myself, and a whole ‘nother thing to decide what other people get called. That’s why we say someone is Cherokee, or Native American instead of Indians.

    But there is a lot more at play here. We’ve really had a shortage of visible trans thought leaders in culture and politics. These fierce folks are making themselves known, and it’s causing quite a commotion. This heated debate is a good thing, it’s a healthy sign. It means we’re moving forward.

    As a edgy drag queen and as an artist I know the stinging feeling when someone says your work is insulting. Sometimes it’s a great opportunity to grow as a person, but other times it’s someone unloading their baggage on you.

    As a person who has creatively occupied both male and female spaces in my life, I can totally entertain two seemingly opposing ideas at the same time. It is possible to be respectful of others and still be a fierce, outrageous drag queen.

    It’s funny how we zero in on negative comments about our work when there are so many people who love and support us. Like the one trans person on a blog who said we’re systematically transphobic, despite being one of the few media channels that devotes so much time to talking to trans people face to face.

    We’ve interviewed hundreds of trans artists and activists over the past 10 years of the show. We’re celebrating our 2000th podcast episode next month! I love how talking about trans issues illuminates our struggle to be who we want to be. “I just gotta be me” Is something we all can relate to. On top of that, lot of my favorite artists are transgender*– Calpernia Addams, Kate Bornstein, Justin Bond and Holly Woodlawn. I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing them several times on the show.

    Language is organic, and nobody really gets to control it. But when we start seeing words that represent a cavalier attitude about others, it is constructive to raise a red flag.

    Nobody really wants to police language here. Maybe there was too much focus on the use of She-Male or Tranny, but the real fight was over the clocking challenge. Even several drag queens on the show raised doubts during the taping of it, but the producers forged on ahead.

    RuPaul is a complicated person, and like everyone, not without flaws. A big reason why trans people are voicing their concerns is because they DO like RuPaul and Drag Race and want to see it become a better show.

    Some of those jokes are TIREDDDDD and need to sashay away. Even Michelle Visage agrees with me on that. I trust that the next season is going to be much different because of this debate. Which means the show will be BETTER!

    In private conversation with other people use any words you like, but be prepared to have someone say “wait a minute, hold on” when you say something that’s dumb or offensive. I say stupid things all the time doesn’t mean I don’t learn from my mistakes and grow.

    Parker Marie knows I didn’t care much for her when I found about the situation initially, but she’s really impressed me and won me over as a friend. It’s a big reason why I asked her on the show, because I wanted to show to others that her perspective has merit.

    Plus her publication, The Advocate blogged about the show. I love her! I love it when guests are proud of their appearance on the podcast and want to tell the world about it.

    http://www.advocate.com/politics/transgender/2014/05/06/alaska-thunderfuck-apologizes-controversial-video

  11. Juantana says:

    I really enjoyed hearing what she had to say and I didn’t think she was negative in the least. For folks that are complaining about the guys having her on, I would suggest you give it a listen before you condemn them just for interviewing her. The exchange between her and Alaska was really sweet, and it felt like the beginnings of the conversation everyone is agreeing we should be having as a community. As gays and lesbians get more and more rights, the trans folks are naturally the next minority group that we need to be working on equality for.

  12. Artemisia says:

    Hey Fausto and Marc I really wanted to say thank you for having Parker on your show. Hugz!

    I found shes more my kind of trans. When I first heard about her I thought she was just making complaint where it didn’t need to be. However I she had good points.
    Actually everyone has there own points even Ru Paul…

    Calphernia has valid points that some young trans will brake their riot gurl out sometimes with out consideration for the other persons point and where they are coming from. Calphernia has had a pretty crazy past and as a trans person she has earned her say.

    However Parker is right as well that Calphernia is no expert in the lives of all trans. For many trans who already have an established life, being trans can be smooth sailing after a point, and once you get their you can get to where people can call you anything they want and it doesn’t bother you. Then however for younger trans, trans can be the thing holding you back from many jobs and health care because often the bigots and moralist are in charge. It’s hard to fight the power when you are on the street and getting hormones on the black market. I think many gays who have problems with trans would have sympathy for this being that is was not so far ago when you could be arrested and or fired for being gay. This would make anyone mad as hell so I see Parker causing an uproar no different that gay protest in the streets. The point is the same just the battle field is now on line and words are the artillery.

    TS Madison who is about the most abrasive trans gurl I had heard, whom I know her and I would probably argue over gender identities is as well right that the haters do not care what they call us. The things I could agree with her is that life is hard and you have to have a thick skin to deal with an oppressive wold. Sometimes you have to find a way to deal with it, or work with it. I my self have a sense of humor to deal with things even when they bother me.

    Ru Paul is also now wrong however. He grew up in a time where the “SM” word was not a bad word nor did it have anything to do with trans people. The word was placed on trans people by non trans who considered us the same as drag with drag culture, and some of us do start in drag. At the same time this same time some people out there still thing the “N” word is an OK word to you, and as well African Americas did not chose this word to identify with, and at the same time it has had several different meanings BUT you don’t hear it being said on TV with out someone making apologizing.
    Fausto I will agree, Tranny is a cute word. I don’t find it so bad my self but because other trans do not like it I have stopped using it just the same as I have stopped using the phrase “thats gay” as well as telling other people to stop using it because some gays do not like this saying. I’ve changed it to “thats Takei” from a statement George Takei once said about using his name instead and by the way sometimes Ill even identify my self a hot tranny mess LOL.

    Any how THANK YOU for bringing all the different points of view on your show. It would be nice if we could hear a bit more from Ru Paul on this.

    PS Parker your face looks beautiful hun, PPS thank you as well Alaska for apologizing.

    TTYL Guys Tootles ‘ )

    • I discovered that if you just search for a word on Twitter you can see how it’s being used. To empower or hurt someone? That pretty much settles the argument pretty quickly.

      But I think RuPaul is trying to come from a place of love, and is doing the best he can. I wish he would speak with people like Parker and bring forward some common ground and healing.

    • TL,DR: (Too long didn’t read)
      Don’t call other people what they don’t want to be called. Alaska apologizes to Parker. Language is organic and can’t be controlled by anyone, but we can certainly raise our concerns when people use words in hurtful ways.

  13. Mischa Selamat says:

    Thanks Hazri Haili for sharing this podcast. Great show. Glad I listened to it :)

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