Hi gay people.
Not all gay people. Some gay people. I'm not going to name names; you know who you are.
It's the "Mann Coulter" thing. Sometimes it's spelled with one "n," as in "Man Coulter." I don't know the standard orthography is for this insult, and I don't really care. Cut it out.
Let's start with the most frivolous: it's not at all funny. It's been done to death. And it doesn't make much sense as a joke either... what's the issue if she did live as a man at some point? If it's true, then she'd be a transwoman, and we don't insult transwomen as a class, remember? If it's not, then you're stupid. And either way, there's nothing really funny about it.
It's an amorphous, joke-like entity that often comes with many of the most fashionable joke accouterments, but it falls far short of actually being funny. There's nothing unexpected about putting a woman down by calling her a man or masculine, and there's nothing absurd in the idea of someone having lived as another sex at some point in her past.
It's an on-face humor fail. Come up with something new, please.
Second, is it really an insult to be in the same crowd with Kate Bornstein, Calpernia Addams, Lynn Conway, Georgina Beyer, and Dana Baitz, or any other trans woman? They sound like great company to me (well, except for Ann Coulter herself).
I think that, for an insult to be worth making, it actually has to be insulting. This one isn't. Maybe there are other aspects of Ann Coulter that are worth making fun of, such as her dishonesty, her authoritarian streak, her ethical hypocrisy, how she thinks more footnotes make her look s-m-r-t, and her fleeting connection to reality. Those are all great areas to start looking for insult material.
But it's about so much more than that. What if you're one of those particular gays who likes to make jokes about people that are neither insulting nor funny, just, because, you know, you're cute? Well, then remember that insults based on identity, like racist and sexist jokes, don't just have one target. They target the entire group that's being used in the insult, sometimes far more than the person who's the brunt of the joke.
For example (a particularly apropos one), remember how Ann Coulter called John Edwards a faggot two years ago at that one conservative conference, and everyone there laughed and applauded? You remember how mad some people got? Were you one of those people? Well, calling Ann Coulter "Mann Coulter" or implying that she's a transwoman, as an insult, is the same thing.
You know how we don't like people saying that something or someone is "gay" when they really mean "bad"? This is kinda the same thing too.
Some of you might think that "That's so gay" isn't that big a deal, and that's your right. But, remember, you don't have a right to decide what's not a big deal when it comes to insults for other classes of people. It might not be that important to you, using transsexuality as an insult, but it's not up to you to decide that.
You might think it's unfair that I address this letter to you, gays. There are plenty of straight people, many, many, many more, who are making the same insult. Don't worry, I'll get to them in due time. But, you know, when they say it, it's just not as disappointing as when you say it. I feel like we should know better when it comes to this sort of thing. I know that for the most part we don't, but don't you just feel like we should, what with folks like Silvia Rivera fighting for our rights from the beginning of the movement? Does anyone else get that feeling, considering how many gender insults have been lobbed our way?
It's a fun time to beat up on Ann Coulter. She has a new book out, and the mainstream media has decided that it can finally disagree with the horrible things she constantly says. Suddenly, after years of her being invited everywhere and throwing around words like "faggot" or "towel-head" and then being still treated like a respectable part of the national discourse, they're on the attack. The facts that much of conservatism is on its way out and that the much maligned (often by the MSM) liberals just won an election and now have substantially more power to determine media access to the government, I'm sure, have nothing to do with that.
But let's stay civil. There's no reason we can't have fun, joyous, and humorous discussions of Ann Coulter's "ideas" without devolving into transphobia.