Alex Blaze

Emasculation consternation

Filed By Alex Blaze | July 14, 2008 12:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Media, The Movement, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: Barack Obama, cut off penis, Fox News, George Carlin, Jesse Jackson

I'm loathe to have this non-issue spread out into two posts, but I was surprised when i saw this video at how stupid some people in the media can be. They need to grow the fuck up.

Are we not allowed to say "nuts" on TV anymore? I don't remember that one being on George Carlin's list of seven words.

But the immediate substitute for "cut off his nuts off" is "emasculate him." It's also interesting that the one anchor said "cut off his manhood," even though it's my understanding that manhood generally refers to the penis, not the testicles. But pish-posh.

Either way, the insult was directly related to making Obama not-a-man. It's also using a procedure that many transwomen voluntarily undergo as an insult. It's the transphobic version of "You're a fag" or "That's so gay," taking away a man's masculinity to portray him as less than human.

Not that it's any real surprise. We live in a culture that associates sodomy with death because it, apparently, permanently emasculates a man, and a society that thinks that a woman is less than a full human being.

The line between voluntarily and violently participating in what others interpret as emasculating is blurred for those who are are insecure in their masculinity or are made nervous by the ideas of others "losing" their masculinity (if it can happen to them, what about me?). Since the act of describing or naming either is violent to an audience who's insecure in its masculinity, we can't really say that there's much of a difference for them along the lines of consent.

All that is to say that Jesse Jackson's comment betrays a deeper transphobia and possibly misogyny or homophobia. I know, what a shock.

That and people in the media can say "nuts." What if the next E. coli outbreak is among almonds and pistachios?


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Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | July 14, 2008 1:37 PM

Omg, that is just too funny!!!

We'll invade a sovereign nation, bomb it back to the stone-agethen occupy it, in the process brutally murdering hundreds of thousands of men, women and children, but god forbid we utter the words, "balls," on national television.

This country is truly--yes!--nuts.

That's exactly what I'm thinking, Brynn.

I loved that video. Jerame and I were sitting around the other day laughing at the young black CNN anchor (I always forget his name, the nelly little thing) as he stumbled about trying to find a way to say "nuts" without actually saying it. The kid normally looks about as bright as a pack of burnt out lightbulbs, but that was an especially "shining" moment for him.

So if you don't have testicles to begin with, does that mean that you're not a man?

Brynn, thank you!

Notably similar is that the King James Version of the Bible refers to a man's testicles as his "stones" (Leviticus 21:20 is one such example). Specifically, in the Old Testament men who had their testicles crushed in accidents (or had been deliberately castrated) could not enter into certain areas of the Jewish worship tabernacles along with the other Jewish men. I don't know what the original Hebrew expression was; but in 17th Century Britain, those male suspended orbs we call "nuts" they would call "stones", and in both cases it is the common street slang of the times.

George Carlin used to say, "On TV, you can prick your finger, but you better not finger your prick." Similarly, the FCC will tolerate it if you eat your bag of nuts, but you better not lick your boyfriend's nuts; and if you're petting your pussy, it better be the family feline, not your female pubic area.

As I've said so many times before, context is everything.

Wait... is this transphobia or cissexism? (or both?)

Alex,
I think a lot of the media's reluctance to use the 'nuts' comment is because the conservative controlled FCC jacked up the fines to $250,000 in the wake of the so-called 'wardrobe malfunction' conservacontrovery.

The are afriad that they will inadvertantly cost their network a huge fine if they utter a comment the conservative controlled FCC deems 'profane', but will let Faux News and right wing radio hosts get away with bloddy murder.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | July 15, 2008 4:55 AM

Between finding out from Bil that Richard Quest has returned to the air, and this, I think it is time to take a walk and air my...legs.

Misogyny, pure and simple. A fight between alpha males, and the old alpha wants to eliminate the young alpha.