posted by May 24 at 13:18 PMon
Catherine Crouch, a lesbian filmmaker, wrote and directed a short science fiction movie about a woman who falls asleep in San Francisco in the 1970s—a city teeming with butch dykes and swishy boys—and wakes up in a “brave new world” where people can choose their gender but must conform to rigid codes of gender-appropriate conduct, i.e. the men are manly men and the women are womanly women. No effeminate boys, no masculine girls.
On her website the filmmaker was honest about what inspired her to make this film…
Things are getting very strange for women these days. More and more often we see young heterosexual women carving their bodies into porno Barbie dolls and lesbian women altering themselves into transmen. Our distorted cultural norms are making women feel compelled to use medical advances to change themselves, instead of working to change the world.
I’ve heard lots of lesbians express similar concerns—particularly lesbians that are attracted to butch dykes, an increasingly endangered species, but not to transmen. Some lesbians are concerned and anxious about how many of their fellow lesbians are getting their tits cut off, taking hormones, and transitioning. Says Crouch in the Bay Area Reporter…
My anxiety is about the amount of women I see transitioning into men and how fast it seems to be happening. I wonder about this sudden escalation. They are women, or they were women, and now they are not. They seem like me, so I am not understanding what is the difference between them and me.
Hm. This anxiety—which is not Crouch’s alone—seems like that a subject worth exploring, perhaps in film, through allegory, with humor.
Crouch’s short film—The Gendorcator—was accepted into Frameline, SF’s gay and and lesbian film festival, and was scheduled to be shown—and then Crouch and Frameline were accused of transphobia. An online petition was launched and a whopping 130 people signed. Today Frameline bowed to this ridiculously weak community outrage and yanked The Gendorcator from its schedule. Cowards.
Censorship is wrong when they do it to us, when we attempt to do it to them, and when we do it to ourselves.
And censorship always and everywhere backfires. I hadn’t heard of this film until it got yanked from Frameline’s schedule—hell, it’s the first gay short film I’ve heard about in ages. Now I’d like to see it. Here’s hoping Seattle’s Three Dollar Bill Cinema has the guts and good sense to screen it.