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18 January 2014 @ 06:16 pm
Privacy violation for fun and profit  
Asshole who thinks he's Gay Talese (or some other New Journalist from 50 years ago) ruins a transwoman's life for a piece of creative nonfiction. Maria Dahvana Headley gives him what for.
Sherwood Smithsartorias on January 19th, 2014 12:04 am (UTC)
Thank you for that link.
browngirl on January 19th, 2014 01:30 am (UTC)
That was fascinating and infuriating.

It reminded me of the case of Andrew Blake, a con man who keeps trying to use fandom to con people out of money and gain their devotion. He happens to be transgender, so many people misgender him when discussing him, viewing his being transgender as possibly just another lie and/or not caring that their doing so says to other transgender people "my acceptance of your gender identity is contingent on my opinion of you in general; I reserve the right to disbelieve and misgender you as punishment if I feel you've misbehaved" (to paraphrase what I've seen more than one transgender fan say about why misgendering Mr. Blake hurts them). More generally, it seems an example of how people will use someone's identity, and the associated stereotypes, as a tool to punish them for misdeeds. (I've been thinking of writing an essay about that. Maybe I'll mention this if/when I do.)

Various comments to Ms. Headley's post raise the question of whether Dr V's new putter was real or a con, but regardless, her being transgender was not some example of mendacity to cite as evidence of her being a liar, but part of her identity that had no bearing on the issue and should have been left alone.
don_fitch on January 19th, 2014 01:59 am (UTC)
Much better left alone, yes.

If I were a journalist, I might "out", say, a politician who voted or campaigned against LGBT equal rights, but otherwise... no. And in this cited case the subject's gender status was immaterial, so I hold the journalist morally guilty of materially contributing to the death of an innocent human being.
Kate: strjuliansinger on January 19th, 2014 05:09 am (UTC)
When I first read the Grantland article, I was stuck in the con-artist aspect of it (the actual con artist aspects) and basically swallowed that it was a worthwhile story to pursue. And, because I can/have the privilege, I missed the misgendering 'til the second time I read it. Which troubles, me, now.

I think it's entirely possible the actual con-artist parts of this, about how she got the putter to people's attentions, might have been a good article. Might.

In case people didn't read the link at the bottom, an article in which a writer reflects on an interviewee's suicide. Also, Shakesville on the Grantland article.
Katejuliansinger on January 20th, 2014 10:34 pm (UTC)
FYI: Grantland's response to the criticism of the story. http://grantland.com/features/the-dr-v-story-a-letter-from-the-editor/

Also, Christina Kahrl, with a different take. http://grantland.com/features/what-grantland-got-wrong/

Edited at 2014-01-20 10:45 pm (UTC)