Author Topic: Rifftrax - please stop with the transgender "jokes"  (Read 12041 times)

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Offline Artie

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Rifftrax - please stop with the transgender "jokes"
« on: May 28, 2012, 12:10:55 PM »
I'd like to share something a close friend of my posted today

I think all the transphobia in movie riffing (perpetuated by the biggest commercial vendor) is killing my love of the entire genre.
I used to look forward to new riffs every week, now I'm starting to dread them. I keep a running stopwatch and wait for disappointment.
In MST3k, transphobia was few and far between. The biggest riff vendor today? Every one.

This was one of your biggest fans since the MST3K days through recently.

She's had enough, and so have I.  I'm tired of seeing my friends feel like they are under constant attack from a product and people they used to love dearly.  I want to believe you guys don't mean anything bad by it, that you're just trying to have fun.  But understand those "jokes" have hurt people dear to me and made it hard to enjoy a product I once bought with enthusiasm.

So please, stop with transgender "jokes"  I'm asking as a long time fan and supporter of Rifftrax.   
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Danecho1967

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Re: Rifftrax - please stop with the transgender "jokes"
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2012, 12:46:47 PM »
It seems to me that the guys are pretty "equal opportunity" about making jokes about people or groups of people.  Also, they never come across and malicious or hateful when they do.

Occasionally, a joke might hit close to home, and gives us an opportunity to either laugh at ourselves (a dying art) or get offended and belligerent.

In the two hours or so of a typical riff, there are probably dozens of jokes about other people or groups that your friend is not offended by, but that one joke that hits "close to home" (to use the phrase again) is the one the ruins the experience?  Perhaps your friend needs to consider his or her thin skin when choosing to indulge in a form of comedy that is based on making jokes often at others' expense.


Offline Artie

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Re: Rifftrax - please stop with the transgender "jokes"
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2012, 02:54:10 PM »
It seems to me that the guys are pretty "equal opportunity" about making jokes about people or groups of people.  Also, they never come across and malicious or hateful when they do.

Occasionally, a joke might hit close to home, and gives us an opportunity to either laugh at ourselves (a dying art) or get offended and belligerent.

In the two hours or so of a typical riff, there are probably dozens of jokes about other people or groups that your friend is not offended by, but that one joke that hits "close to home" (to use the phrase again) is the one the ruins the experience?  Perhaps your friend needs to consider his or her thin skin when choosing to indulge in a form of comedy that is based on making jokes often at others' expense.

Ah yes, the "thicker skin" argument.  Complete BS.  My friends who are trans already have thicker skins then anyone I know.  They have to in order to survive in a world where they have to deal with the threat of verbal abuse, physical assault, or murder at any time just for trying to be themselves.

They just want to watch what is supposed to be family entertainment (Rifftrax words, not mine) without hearing "jokes" that reinforce negative attitudes towards them.   

And in case anyone was wondering why I am posting about this and not my friends, it is because they are afraid of reprisal and threats from the people here just for speaking up. 
« Last Edit: May 28, 2012, 02:59:39 PM by Artie »
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Danecho1967

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Re: Rifftrax - please stop with the transgender "jokes"
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2012, 03:24:44 PM »
Well, the guys had made jokes that rubbed me wrong (I refuse to use the words "offended me" because it seems like everyone's offended by someone or something these days) and I've never said they should change their humor to suit me.  Just saying.


Offline Artie

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Re: Rifftrax - please stop with the transgender "jokes"
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2012, 03:55:51 PM »
Well, the guys had made jokes that rubbed me wrong (I refuse to use the words "offended me" because it seems like everyone's offended by someone or something these days) and I've never said they should change their humor to suit me.  Just saying.

I'm not asking them to change their style of humor, just not make a certain type of joke. 
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Offline alexonfyre

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Re: Rifftrax - please stop with the transgender "jokes"
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2012, 08:34:03 PM »
It seems to me that the guys are pretty "equal opportunity" about making jokes about people or groups of people.  Also, they never come across and malicious or hateful when they do.

Occasionally, a joke might hit close to home, and gives us an opportunity to either laugh at ourselves (a dying art) or get offended and belligerent.

In the two hours or so of a typical riff, there are probably dozens of jokes about other people or groups that your friend is not offended by, but that one joke that hits "close to home" (to use the phrase again) is the one the ruins the experience?  Perhaps your friend needs to consider his or her thin skin when choosing to indulge in a form of comedy that is based on making jokes often at others' expense.

Ah yes, the "thicker skin" argument.  Complete BS.  My friends who are trans already have thicker skins then anyone I know.  They have to in order to survive in a world where they have to deal with the threat of verbal abuse, physical assault, or murder at any time just for trying to be themselves.

They just want to watch what is supposed to be family entertainment (Rifftrax words, not mine) without hearing "jokes" that reinforce negative attitudes towards them.   

And in case anyone was wondering why I am posting about this and not my friends, it is because they are afraid of reprisal and threats from the people here just for speaking up. 

There is a contradiction between having very thick skin and being afraid to post for fear of reprisal. As a white anglo-saxon male in the US, I can't say I know how it feels to be oppressed or ostracized by anything more than a high school class, but living in the South I observe and interact with it daily. I have had friends and relatives in that position, and it is an issue that I care a lot about. I know that almost all members of persecuted groups are personally effected by jokes and attacks on them, but there is a definite difference in degree. Many people, myself included, have very strong self-esteem issues, and anything that pokes at one's insecurities can be hurtful, but sometimes those same people can develop a victim complex, as though they are ALWAYS under attack, even when the source (and they will even admit this) is clearly lacking malice. It comes from the natural human tendency to judge ourselves based on what society and particularly those voices we respect and enjoy (i.e. Mike, Kevin and Bill) have to say about us. Of course, negative comments with the intent of being negative are offensive, and shouldn't be tolerated against non-negative personalities and traits (like being transgendered or transsexual.) However jokes are a different animal. A joke can be a sign of acceptance and respect, sometimes even a lampoon of those people who hold those negative views sincerely. When a person is unable to separate this type of reference from a truly negative one it points to a strong self-validation issue. I have watched most rifftrax that have been released, and as an unbiased 3rd party, I have never heard the guys riff maliciously on any group of people.
I think that your intent here is noble and worth consideration, particularly so that Riffers are conscious of their jokes and who they may effect, but I also think that your efforts should be helping your friends deal with their internal demons. I have known many people who would be categorized as "easily offended" or "victims" and by and large they usually grow out of it (even at older ages.) Some don't, usually because their families refuse to support them, and without strong support at home they fail to find it anywhere and become of the opinion that all people should "treat them equally" by treating them differently, by giving them special treatment or exemption. The fact that your friends have someone like you to defend them is excellent for all of them. Ideally they would be treated the same as any other group in all aspects. The problem is that the groups that treat them unfairly tarnish their appreciation of those that treat them the same as any other person. I personally believe that instead of asking to be treated differently, you and your friends should start looking closely at how the world treats them and attack the areas that are truly unfair, like employment and service.  Also it is important to look inward and become totally comfortable with yourself, and that will help them know the difference.

TL;DR I am not saying that your friends should "get over it" or "just deal with it," just that they should focus their energies on fighting real injustices, and not just perceived ones.


Offline TheUnabeefer

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Re: Rifftrax - please stop with the transgender "jokes"
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2012, 08:43:47 PM »
I have to side for a moment to say that that may be the most well-written post I have ever read on this here lil forum. Kudos.
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Offline Alexandar

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Re: Rifftrax - please stop with the transgender "jokes"
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2012, 03:34:27 AM »
I was minding my own business, looking for Netflix sync info, and then I noticed this; I registered just because this kind of thing drives me nuts.

I don't think "having thick skin" means what he thinks it means:

Ah yes, the "thicker skin" argument.  Complete BS.  My friends who are trans already have thicker skins then anyone I know.  They have to in order to survive in a world where they have to deal with the threat of verbal abuse, physical assault, or murder at any time just for trying to be themselves.

alexonfyre already nailed it in a post far more eloquent than anything I could ever write, but I have to insert this comment as well:

"Having thick skin," means you choose to not be offended. Remember that being offended is a choice

Serious question: Have the furries similarly requested the gang censor their humor? This is not a joke: I want to know what other groups were so easily offended in the past (and if they got their way).


Offline Smith Dr John Smith

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Re: Rifftrax - please stop with the transgender "jokes"
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2012, 05:11:12 AM »
If we can't make jokes about someone who pays someone to chop up his penis so he can pretend to be a woman,I don't know what we can make jokes about these days.
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Offline goflyblind

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Re: Rifftrax - please stop with the transgender "jokes"
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2012, 05:40:11 AM »
sit this one out, doc.
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Offline Smith Dr John Smith

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Re: Rifftrax - please stop with the transgender "jokes"
« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2012, 06:05:23 AM »
Hey when things go completely insane you can either laugh or cry,I choose to laugh.
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Offline ScottotD

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Re: Rifftrax - please stop with the transgender "jokes"
« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2012, 06:29:23 AM »
The dreary and repetitive reaction to any male who's not obviously straight is one of the many, many cheap go-to jokes that have turned me from someone who buys every riff to almost exclusively buying iRiffs (until the recent VOD streak that, to me feels like it's re-started Rifftrax creativity) besides the insecure teen nature of the 'jokes' themselves it almost feels like there's a deeper spite against trans or gay people behind it.
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Offline mrbasehart

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Re: Rifftrax - please stop with the transgender "jokes"
« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2012, 08:17:30 AM »
In Bill's "ask me anything" thread on Reddit, he did say something about not being keen on doing jokes that made fun of people's appearances anymore.  I was never really comfortable with those kinds of jokes, even in the MST3k days but I haven't really seen it in a Riff of late.


MontyServo

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Re: Rifftrax - please stop with the transgender "jokes"
« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2012, 09:00:35 AM »
sit this one out, doc.

Yeah Doc, you really need to pick your spots better.  This isn't the thread for joking around. And your posts are verging on trolling this thread.  You might consider removing them before the mods see them.


Offline TheUnabeefer

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Re: Rifftrax - please stop with the transgender "jokes"
« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2012, 09:55:07 AM »
In Bill's "ask me anything" thread on Reddit, he did say something about not being keen on doing jokes that made fun of people's appearances anymore.  I was never really comfortable with those kinds of jokes, even in the MST3k days but I haven't really seen it in a Riff of late.

That's good to hear really... While I tend to not even notice so many trans jokes (because it's honestly not a subject I find touchy or even really pay any mind to) I still cringed a little when they mocked the mom on Birdemic for being fat. I just felt bad for the poor lady... Although Kiera Knightly had it coming with her bust-size. (Even though I do have a fondness for small breasts!)

Personally, I'd just rather their jokes not dwell too much on a person's looks all too much, unless the actor is well-known for a certain feature, such as seals or Willem DaFoe!!  Then, it's more "common knowledge" than just picking on some poor low-budget actor who has the misfortune of looking rather odd or mannish or fat... although I still hypocritically accept the "stick with hair" jokes with open arms for skinny people.

In most every instance, there really have been better things they could have joked about at the time... and in a more intelligent / less juvenile way.  Keep the jr. high jokes to farts and poop.
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