and it’s kind of upsetting.
You do know not to take anything said on those shows seriously right?
Because it’s satirical and sarcastic and the offensive things said are said to address the ridiculousness of the hatred towards certain groups?
Yes, I understand that Colbert and Stewart are satirical comedians who use sarcasm on the regular.
The way their satire generally works is that they speak in the voice of someone they disagree with in order to illustrate the absurdity of their target’s views. Colbert does it all the time, and Stewart does it only occasionally, but they function in basically the same way. That isn’t how these jokes are working.
The problem is that in almost all of the instances of transphobia cited on that tumblr, the joke isn’t on bigots, it’s on trans* people.
When Colbert said on Nov 17, 2008, “Nation, President Elect Obama is meeting every day with his transition team, or in beltway lingo, ‘trannies’”, he is most certainly not making fun at people who use the word ‘trannies’. He is simply using the word ‘trannies’ to get a cheap laugh. The joke works by the unexpected replacement of ‘transition’ with ‘trannies’, and so operates in two ways: firstly, by the very unexpectedness of that replacement; secondly, by the association of ‘trannies’ (that is to say, trans women) with an implied otherness and inherent absurdity.
When Colbert said on June 27, 2007, “Now, I already [have] an advance copy of the Deathly Hallows, and spoiler alert: Hermione’s a dude”, he isn’t making fun of people who would laugh at someone unexpectedly being transgender, he is making people laugh by suggesting that someone is unexpectedly transgender. The joke operates via shock (oh my god, is she really a he?) and delegitmitizing trans* identities (suggesting that someone who clearly identifies and presents as female could ever ‘really’ actually be a he).
When Colbert said on April 26, 2007, “Billy is a dude! A turtle tranny! You can tell by the size of the flippers. And the adam’s apple. Trust me, I’ve been burned too many times”, he isn’t making fun of people who would associate sleeping with a trans* women with being tricked or trapped, he is associating sleeping with a trans* women with being tricked or trapped, because, by the presented logic, one would ever only sleep with a trans* women because they were tricked or trapped.
Despite the fact that these three examples are from Colbert and within a fairly narrow chronological spread, they are representative of both Stewart and Colbert across well over a decade. If anyone would like, I’d be happy to discuss examples of Jon Stewart being transmisogynistic in 2012 and 1999.
I simply cannot understand how one could view these jokes as send-ups of those who would laugh at them, when those who would laugh at them are, in fact, the target audience of the shows.
This isn’t like Colbert making fun of poor people (like a Republican would, and thus making fun of Republicans), or Stewart speaking in the persona of Glenn Beck (and thus making fun of Glenn Beck, all while reciting imagined Beckisms).
They are not deconstructing transmisogyny; they are disseminating it. They are not disemboweling cissexism; they are embodying it.