Re: How is THG queerphobic?
I recently got this ask and decided it would be a good opportunity to address this publicly.
If any LGBTQ folks want to discuss this, feel free.
Actually my statement was inaccurate. It’s more that Suzanne Collins (and the movies even more so because of the added visuals) perpetuates ideas that are based on and support transphobia and queerphobia.
lesbiangoggles (I know I still need to get back to you) recently put it something like this: “In our society differences in sexes are enhanced for greater effect.”
That means that one good way to identify oppressive structures is to look at how they treat the concept of gender. In the White heteropatriarchy we live in, and which THG is supposed to be based on, the gender divide is upheld and emphasized. The people reinforcing and actively maintaining oppression in the law, the government, the media, are heterosexist, misogynistic, cissexist—regardless of what angle you look from.
In THG Suzanne Collins chose to not address that. Actually, she chose to make the oppressor gender blind. The people in the Capitol celebrate flamboyance and extravagance; they wear colorful dresses regardless of gender. Surgical enhancements are equally done to male and female citizens, as there is no difference in beauty standards between the genders.
The people in the districts, however, are described as very much gender conforming. Women wear dresses, men wear pants, women do medical stuff and herbs and emotions, men work in the mines. Katniss’s inability to be friends with other women mostly stems from the fact that She’s Not Like Other Girls (TM).
Oh, no! The poor NORMAL people!
Of course real LGBTQ people do not exist at all in the books.
The result is that what trans* people and everybody in the LGBTQ spectrum who doesn’t fit heteronormative gender standards fight for in real life right now (free expression of gender, free choice of gender, even sugery to remove, add, or alter gender specific features) is turned into a horrid dystopian vision.
I assume that it was unintentional. I assume that some of SC’s original vision was subjected to drastic changes due to a heteronormative industry that would never support a dystopian book series with a female protagonist unless the menz are oppressed, too.
But seeing how much emphasis Suzanne Collins puts on gender equality in terms of oppression
(Coin and Snow are practically equal; men and women suffer the exact same kind oppression; male and female victors are sold to male and female citizens of the Capitol—actually, we mostly get to know about Finnick, because male prostitution is obviously a real issue right now, shush evil feminists; it was definitely important to SC to make oppression look genderless)
I really have to wonder about the lack of insight she has into what oppression actually looks like—what it looks like right now in real life.
Unfortunately that’s where metaphors in science fiction always fail—it’s where heterosexual White feminists always fail:
Suzanne Collins took struggles that are too familar to LGBTQ people and PoC and somehow tried to find a way to make them applicable to “everybody”.
The result is a transphobic, queerphobic, misogynistic, racist farce.