Hopita (hopita) wrote,

And Now For Something That Pisses Me Off.

Last night I happened to catch a bit of ABC's Nightline. This is not a show I usually watch, but they were doing a story about a top women's fashion model who was actually a teenage boy, and this concept intrigued me. The story: http://abcnews.go.com/Business/genderless-worlds-popular-male-model-walks-runways-heels/story?id=14522370

The interviewer -- Juju Chang -- is straight out of the 1980s with her preconceptions about gender and sexuality. When she finally sits down with model Andrej Pejic, the entire interview can be summed up in one phrase: "Pick one." Were you a boy or a girl? I was a child. Well, pick one. Do you see yourself as a man or a woman? I see myself. Nope, you have to pick one. Are you attracted to men or women? I haven't decided. I'm sorry, you're going to have to pick one.

To Pejic's credit s/he doesn't allow the interviewer to force hir into a corner. When asked "Do you think of yourself more as a man or as a woman?" Pejic responds "I like to keep my options open," and Chang looks like she's about to lose her mind. "What does that MEAN?!?!" she wails. It means you don't get to define someone else's gender, for starters.

Chang looks REALLY frustrated with Pejic's response to the question of sexual orientation. Chang asks "Are you gonna marry a man or a woman?" and when Pejic responds "I hadn't planned that," Chang flips out. "Most of us have a general idea (ha ha ha)!" Key word there is "most," Ms. Chang. For starters, you're asking a teenager to state unequivocally what their lifetime sexual orientation will be. I can't tell you how many folks I knew with one orientation at age 19 who have a completely different orientation at age 40. And second, ever hear of bisexuality? Because I assure you, it exists.

The part that's missing from ABC's website: On TV, the story ended with the newscaster saying that Australia (where Pejic is a citizen) has recently added "Indeterminate" to the list of gender options available for their Passports. Now, I don't love the term "Indeterminate," but I do love the fact that Australia has added a third option. Hey Juju Chang: If Australia can figure out that there may be more than two possibilities, why can't you?

x-posted to feminist_rage
Tags: gender, homophobia, links, tv, wtf

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