The other day, Hiroku Yamamura posted a news article about the limited edition box art for the Playstation Vita version of Street Fighter X Tekken, which features all the female characters of the game. Within the article, she implied that since one of the characters is transsexual, she doesn't belong on the all-female artwork.
Ever since I read Jim Sterling's article about cross-dressing, I figured that all the Destructoid staff must be transgender-friendly, which is why this article disappointmented me. To be fair though, it was naive of me to assume that all of the staff was transgender-friendly, especially since transsexualism and cross-dressing are two very different things.
As you would expect from a readership that is half transphobic, most of the comments belonged to a heated debate concerning Yamamura's remark. My first comment in the thread was this:
"These threads are always kind of odd. You've got the people calling out the journalist on the bigoted comment, the people trying to defend the bigoted comment, and than the people pointing out how silly it is for this debate to be happening on a video-game blog."
As much of a trans advocate as I am, I don't often get involved with these arguments when they take place on a video-game or anime blog, among other hobby blogs. I didn't necessarily agree with the third group of commenters that I pointed out, but I've always felt reluctant to join in on these conversations, unsure if hobby blogs are really the best place to be arguing about politics, civil rights, and conflicting philosophies.
But this time it was different. It was from reading this particular debate that brought me to a realization. I noticed that most of the people complaining about how "silly" it is for this debate to be taking place on a video-game blog, were also the same people accusing the offended party members of being too sensitive, and most of the people accusing others of being too sensitive were also the same people failing to see the problem with Yamamura's remark!
It seems whenever someone calls out a journalist for being cissexist on a video-game blog, they get accused of being "too sensitive," as if itís not a big enough issue to make a fuss about. Which just goes to show how these people really donít know anything about transgender issues.
If you happen to be one of these people who think weíre overreacting, just go to any respectable website or blog dedicated to transgender rights and youíll see that transgender people have a lot of problems to deal with, both legally and socially. Do some actual research on transgender issues before exclaiming that someone is being ďtoo sensitive,Ē when they call out a journalist for making such an insulting implication that trans women arenít really women.
The fact of the matter is: any kind of sexism is bad--whether it be cissexism, heterosexism, or just plain sexism--and people should be called out on it regardless of where they said it. Any excuse for why an ignorant comment shouldn't be called out on is defending the ignorance within the comment, even with an excuse like "a video game blog is no place for this discussion!"
And to be clear, Iím not trying to attack Yamamura, or call her a bad person. What was said only shows that sheís ignorant of transgender issues, which you canít really blame her for seeing how prevalent cissexism is. Itís the comments defending her statement that I have a serious problem with.