Yesterday, I had quite a day on Facebook! I always do, actually, much to the detriment of my sanity. You see, I tend to be the brunt of a lot of strange micro-aggression on a daily basis which until recently, I hadn’t realized was quite so affecting. I, of course, am 100% to blame though right? I put myself out there after all, I open my mouth and say audacious remarks such as “women and men deserve equal rights” or, “poo poo pants”. But yesterday was my breaking point of sorts. Because I’m a lady with opinions about the world above that of “OMG, totally excited for Courtney’s bridal shower tomorrow!!”, I often arouse a lot of discussion. I’m not trying to be a victim here, to wail and whine about my plight online. I just find it quite taxing that even when I present a non-political joke, the comments I receive on a post are often jabbing in nature. But Katrin you’re a comedian, stop being so sensitive!!! Frequently they are sexually charged and/or subtle character attacks, BUT AS A JOKE OF COURSE LOL, KATRIN I MEAN IT AS A JOKE HAHA CAUSE YOU’RE A FEMINIST LOL. Even if I make a well-constructed joke that has literally nothing to do with politics in any way I still receive weird shit. I guess because of who is saying it. That is life, I suppose, and we don’t really detach comments from the person and from their style or the way they present themselves. (Remember the vitriol when everyone found out that the creator of the “I Fucking Love Science” FB page was a woman?) I am also not the old world version of a woman. I am part of the new world order, where women dare to say things, often provocative and nuanced things which still yank at the tethers to the old boy’s club. This being said, I feel privileged to be seen as well-versed on gender and other issues that face our country. I’m not an authority by any stretch, but I am honored to be considered a voice for the disenfranchised simply for being vocal and caring and wanting to maybe help? It is my Facebook page after all and I can actually say whatever the fuck I want to say as can all of us.
In a way we are similar. We both have strong opinions, and sometimes there is backlash. But I’m not trying to defend my ego. I’m trying to shed it and to give voice to issues that are not talked about openly enough, part of the reason why discrimination-based hatred is soprevalent to begin with. I do it with humor a lot of the time because that way it’s palatable for all including myself. My view in life could be summed up in: this world stinks maybe we can all make it stink less?
I understand that your style is to be purposefully shocking and inflammatory, a little bit bad boy, a little bit fuck you, and that it’s been this way for a long time. Dear comedian, I’m not asking you to change that. It’s part of your oeuvre, part of your “brand”. Yesterday I was thrust into one of your threads by another comedian who I’ve worked with in the past. I specifically do not subscribe to your page, because the threads really bum me out. Every time I read them and then the subsequent comments, I spiral into a very sad place, all the while aware that these commentators are only part of some lurid 7th grade boy recess gathering in which women are to be mocked, men are to be only straight and macho, and combativeness is the only way to deliver an idea. During the whole rape joke era in our community, I am often surprised that I made it through without flinging my phone into the Hudson or moving to the forest away from the internet. For this, I must appear quite weak. And perhaps, according to the way you have formed ideas of about the world, I am.
The man who decided to add me to this discussion was innocently offering me up as a possible debater regarding the issues of the transgender community. I have voiced support of transgender folks in the past and perhaps he thought I would be a good person to go against you in your latest crusade. (Which I’m having a hard time understanding anyway because it seems as though you are having an issue with being able to view pre-op trans women as women. I don’t know how it affects you so deeply but I guess you are frightened it will take away your manhood? I really don’t know). I told you I didn’t want go into it AT THE MOMENT because of my job, and to this, you provoked me, inferring that I was “too scared”, “didn’t have time, did I?”, and that “I sure had plenty of time to be on Facebook!!” Well actually, I was blue named (tagged) onto this thread without my choice so I when I went to see what was happening, I decided to let you know I wasn’t able to do so at the time which was the truth; that I would be happy to discuss this at a later date. An hour later, after witnessing much vitriol from others towards trans people on your thread, you messaged me about doing your podcast to debate the issue. Shortly afterwards, I deactivated my Facebook account for this reason and also for many other reasons. But this situation was the veritable straw that broke my fragile back. I couldn’t believe I was an unwilling participant in a thread of someone I’ve never met. I don’t know if I feel “honored” to have been asked, and though I thank you, I do not regret my decision.
I will not do your podcast in part because I am too fragile being newly sober. I cannot be around toxicity, not just alcohol, but the toxic disease of hatred and ego. I don’t mind controversy, but I have to protect myself right now. I am not doing too well with my comedy career, and I’m trying to keep my tiring day job as a mediocre admin, so I can pay rent and keep myself healthy. I am trying to learn how to be happy and I don’t think doing your podcast will contribute to that goal.
I will not do your podcast because I am pretty sure I know how it will go. I do not believe you wish to discuss these issues with healthy intellectual discourse. I believe I will be the punching bag you will use to further your agenda of control and defiance against movements of acceptance, peace and respect toward others. I like to be on that “side” which until I got older, realized wasn’t “cool”. Somehow it’s always cooler to treat differences like shit, even as adults. LOL. I sometimes watch Fox News when they have a token liberal on the show. It’s like watching a lamb in the middle of a coliseum filled with lions. No matter how smart and intelligent this lamb (ok person, metaphor is done) may be, you use bait and switch tactics, personal attacks, and manipulation of words in order to keep them down. There is no consideration for the other side, the only interest is to pummel. I deserve better. I would prefer to be on a boring news show where we wear ugly suits and have bad hair, but truly care about the art of debate where we are cautious of the other, where we fight ideas ethically and intellectually. I don’t need to contribute to a slug-fest of male ego. I can watch boxing to get that.
I will not do your podcast because I don’t even know if I’m the best person to debate transgender politics. I find it cowardly that you couldn’t have a pre-op transgender woman or man on your show who would be able to tell you about his or her experiences and answer your questions about pre-op transgender people. I’m not sure why you wanted to have a straight born woman instead.
I wish you all the happiness, health, and good fortune in the world because I don’t wish ill will on anyone. I hope you find someone great for your podcast. I will remain here, away from Facebook, reading some books maybe, and trying to do ok at my day job.