So, some likely lad has tried selling a Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner costume for Halloween. A fair enough essay onto the seas of capitalism you might think. Except that is to miss the po faced smugs at the likes of Stonewall. Sure, they’ve that equal free market right to complain about anything they want – the interesting bit being how may of the rest of us agree with them. Expecting anyone very much to be worried about this mock taking is to grievously misunderstand we British. To be a tad vernacular, we take the piss out of everything. To do so isn’t a sign of hate nor is it necessarily a form of laughing at. Much of it is better seen as a celebration of the absurdities of life:
The costume, which is promoted with the caption “Show your love for Caitlyn Jenner with this awesome adult costume” have sparked a backlash amongst transgender advocates, including national charity Stonewall, who called for it to be removed from Amazon.
A spokesman said: “‘This is a reminder of how much is left to do to combat the abuse trans people face every day.
“This costume reduces a marginalised group to the butt of a joke. It should be taken off the shelves.”
This is to misunderstand that basic concept of freedom. We each get to do as we wish. That does mean that we can mock, even shout at, anyone wearing such a costume if that’s what we wish to do. Call them out as being insensitive, oppressive even. But that’s as far as we do get to go – we don’t get to ban that commerce in what we find objectionable. On the entirely reasonable basis that if we allow every prodnose in the society to do that then there’s nothing left that anyone can do for there’s someone, somewhere, who will object to absolutely everything. Thus the only viable society is one which allows everything short of actual violence and incitement to it.
A rep for Costume Agent, which originally created and distributed the controversial Caitlyn costume, tells TMZ they’re not yanking it from their own site, and certainly not discontinuing it … backlash be damned.
We’re told the ‘stume is one of their best sellers — it’s the #6 overall bestseller. Although they have received multiple threats over it this past week, they’re standing by their product. The rep says, “It’s a costume. It’s funny.”
“This is a reminder of how much is left to do to combat the abuse trans people face every day,” a spokesman for LGBT charity Stonewall said.
“We have become accustomed to insensitive mockery, but had hoped that cisgender people had become tired of such stunts and realized that it is not funny.
“No-one chooses to be trans. I am disappointed that anyone would want to sell this, and hope that no-one will want to buy it,” she added.
To be disappointed, to hope, is fine, dandy, and the way that society does and should work. We all get to express our preferences but no one gets to impose them. That includes upon people trying to make a quick quid by pandering to mockery.
But to think that this is hate, or even ill tempered mockery, is to misunderstand we British. As above, we take the piss out of absolutely everything. Jokes abound about the Queen let alone queens and even among anti-Monarchists there’s a general agreement that Brenda is well liked, admired. Perhaps this isn’t the way that other places, other peoples, work, but it is the way that we do. If we’re not poking fun then we don’t like you. It is the very becoming of a shared joke that is that symbol of acceptance. To miss that is to misunderstand us.
To be the butt of the joke isn’t fun at all, to be part of the joke is to have become part of us.