Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Fletch Libra "Transgender" Blow Up

Another storm has erupted (so soon in the New Year?) over a Libra ad for a women's hygiene product (see ad above). The Herald has a story on it, and it's being called 'Transphobic' by some (yes, another made up word), who claim that it is discriminatory to transgender 'women', because if they don't have a period then they can't really be women. The Hand Mirror has gotten into the fray and said that Libra doesn't get it, and that the ad is offensive to cis-women (read 'normal women') and transgenders, both.

I posted a response on their blog, but it got removed for "transphobic" reasons, so, I'm posting it again below.


I don't mean to offend the transgender community either, but dressing up as a woman does not make you female. A huge part of what it means to be female is the ability to bear and nurture offspring. That is one of the things that make male and female different and which is reflected in the anatomy of the female, and yes, having a period is a sign or symptom of same. It's part of the identity of being female.

It doesn't make women better or worse than men, but they are different: men cannot bear children, and having surgery to change your 'parts' will not give you a womb or ovaries. Perhaps one of the reasons that the ad caused offence is that it pokes fun at the differences that are real, and perhaps it's something that the transgendered feel touchy about - the fact they they can never identify fully as being female, nor experience being female past the surface veneer of the look and body parts. You can remove a cold water faucet and replace it with one that says 'Hot', but behind the wall the plumbing is the same and you'll still only get cold water when you turn on the tap.

6 comment(s):

ZenTiger said...

I don't see your comment as transphobic. Is that how they really classified it or did they use another reason?

I.M Fletcher said...

Well, there was a comment before mine that got removed with a following comment by one of the moderators stating -

Moderation note: have removed a comment for blatant transphobia. Future comments along those lines will fare the same.

Then I posted my comment, and it got deleted and the same mod posted -

Okay, because people don't seem to get it: arguing that trans women are not really women is not acceptable (nor is questioning the identity of cis women who do not menstruate and/or use tampons for whatever reason). Preceding comments with "I don't mean to be offensive but" or similar does not change that. Thanks

ZenTiger said...

Thought so. To label something like this as "Transphobia" is ridiculous, but it is important to experience outrage by turning a comment into something more than it is.

I was heartened to hear that a transsexual had rung into the radio to say they were not offended with this advertisement. I guess they could see the funny side.

I.M Fletcher said...

I saw today in the paper version of the Herald that Libra have pulled the ad now.

ZenTiger said...

And the Drag Queen featured in the advert says that those people complaining have Dragophobia.

It seems like he should be able to dress in drag and not be stereotyped as a transsexual.

I wonder what the Hand Mirror will make of this?

James said...

The mad bats at the Hand Mirror are even nuttier than you guys tend to be....

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