Just last week the trailer for ZoolanderÂ 2, the sequel to the wildly successful Ben Stiller comedy hit the Internet, so of course somebody somewhere is offended by it and now there’s a fucking petition to boycott it. Never mind the fact that it’s impossible for anyone to have seen the film, anger-addicts are already 100% sure of the content, and 150% proud to be pooping their diapers over it.
In the trailer, Benedict Cumberbatch plays a cartoonishly androgynous model named “All” who is asked whether or not he or she is a male or female model. While normally functioning adults will chuckle at this and wait to see the movie to decide whether or not the content is actually offensive (what’s that called again? Oh yeah: BEING OPEN-MINDED), a person named Sarah Rose has chosen instead to close her mind and flick the “I’m offended, and that grants me special rights” switch (you know, like a shitty baby).
Granted, at a time where trans-people are starting to be entered into the global conversation, and the desire to value their experience is rightfully at an all-time high, it is important that we refrain from regarding trans-people as anything but that: people. Yet, petitions like the one Ms. Rose has put together seem to do the opposite. To Rose, trans individuals are a novelty, and should be regarded separately from the rest of us who, if you’ve seen the original Zoolander, are lampooned just the same. Even taken in context of the trailer, the joke seems to be at the expense of the narcissism of the fashion industry and not at transgenderism as a whole.Â Sure, I’m open to the idea that Cumberbatch’s character could very well be – ugh – problematic, but I’ll wait to see it in context. Until then, I’ll continue to regard all of our trans brothers and sisters as equals, and not as fragile victims who aren’t part of the wonderful tapestry of life, a tapestry in which silly movies can be enjoyed by everyone who is still capable of enjoying things.
If you are one of the unlucky few who was born with baby-ears and are thusly offended by something of which you can’t possibly have enough information to make a reasoned judgment, that’s fine. That’s on you. But if you try to ruin it for the rest of us, you’re being a jerkface.