Monday, May 10, 2010

So Not Funny, Family Guy!

I never watch Family Guy, because I think it's stupid and unfunny. When I found out that Quagmire's dad was going to come out as transgender, I figured I'd boycott the episode. But I decided that I'd rather watch it and become offended. As a cis woman who will never have to endure the harassment, assault, murder, and everything in between that trans women suffer every day, it was the least I could do.

So after a handful of gay jokes, Quagmire's dad comes out as "a woman trapped in a man's body" and decides to have a sex change operation. When Quagmire goes to Peter and Lois for comfort, they can't seem to tell the difference between sexual orientation and gender identity. After some banter, Lois concludes that they should all agree that Quagmire's dad is "odd." While at the hospital with Quagmire, Peter calls Quagmire's dad "it" and a "he/she." After Quagmire's dad, now Ida, reveals the results of the operation, Peter gives her the thumbs-up. Trans women don't need cis men's approval to make sure that they're sufficiently womanly, even in a cartoon. Later, Ida is invited to dinner at the Griffin's where transmisogynist jokes and comments are hurled both at Ida and daughter Meg. After the dinner, Ida and Quagmire get into an argument, so Ida goes to a bar for some drinks. She meets the Griffins' dog, Brian, and they end up having sex. You know, because trans women are into beastiality. Brian tells the Griffins that he's met a wonderful woman, and everyone thinks it's hilarious when they find out Brian's love interest is Ida. Stewie is the last person Brian tells about his wonderful new lady friend, and Stewie tells Brian about Quagmire's dad. They have a good laugh about it, calling her an "it" several times, questioning the validity of trans women's relationships, and defining her private parts as "a train wreck." When Brian finds out that he had sex with Ida, Quagmire's father, he vomits for like 30 seconds.

This list of transmisogynist "jokes" is by no means exhaustive. That was just from memory. There were probably a lot more hateful jokes in there. But don't take my word for it! Watch the whole episode!

Pretty much every transmisogyinst stereotype was incorporated in this episode. Except for Ida becoming a prostitute. How did Seth MacFarlane miss that one? Now, many people will tell me, "It's Family Guy! What do you expect?" "They offend everyone eventually!" "It's called being edgy! Get a sense of humor!" If Family Guy was that edgy, they would have made a pro-trans episode. Hell, they didn't even use the words "trans," "transgender," or "trans woman" in the entire episode. Instead, they rolled out all the anti-trans woman stereotypes and put them in one episode. These jokes are offensive and contribute to the death of trans women. When someone calls a trans woman a "he/she" or an "it" or question the legitimacy of her body parts and romantic relationships, they are dehumanizing trans women, and that is tantamount to advocating for their demise.

Yeah, so not funny, Family Guy.

1 comment:

BenYitzhak said...

Thanks for the write-up. One of my friends posted that he was done with Family Guy and linked this video, but I really didn't want to watch it to find out why.