The Aesthetic | ContraPoints


[static] [Voiceover] In color theory, the selection
of colors used in a design is called a color scheme. Analogous color schemes use the main color
plus one or more adjacent colors, while complementary schemes use any two colors directly opposite
on the color wheel. Hi girls! I’m Tracy Mounts, guest host of ContraPoints,
the Internet show where we talk about sadness, fascism, sexual deviation, cults. This week we’ll be talking about [tongue
pop] colors. [bell sweep] Colors, what the fuck are they? In one beaker I have white, in the other brown. Pour them together and, well, I don’t know
what the kids are calling it. It’s delicious! Now to according to some so-called experts
color is really different wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation. But what about the shadow illusion? Same wavelengths, different colors. Some people say I’m a man dressed as a lady,
but I’m actually a lady who used to be a man, dressed as a man dressed as a lady. Explain that Professor Butler. Illusions! What matters more, the way things are or the
way things look? Let’s watch an instructional video to learn
more. [static] [ominous electronic music] Hi, I’m Jackie Jackson, host of the Freedom
Report um… it’s too early for this. Today my guests are um… *sigh* Well who are you people? I’m Dr. Abigail Cockbane, associate professor
of women’s studies and author of many, many books, most recently my doctoral thesis, Sacred
Passage: The Divine Feminine in Flux and Flow. Oooooooh yes. And uh, well you look familiar, who are you? [hiss] Okay. Well. Today my guests will be debating the topic
ummm… Well here’s a good one: should it be illegal
to use the wrong pronouns for a transgender? What do you think Annabel? Well Jackie, liberation from the oppressive
institution of gender begins with freedom of speech. For instance this cat person over here is
clearly a biological male in some sort of costume wig. Now I of course support his right to dress
however he wishes, but the fact remains that pronouns refer, as they always have referred,
to chromosomal sex. But perhaps you disagree, sir. That’s a human rights violation! I’ll smash your fucking face! [hiss] And here we have a clear illustration of the
way that transgender ideology is merely a smokescreen for male violence against women,
and mind you this is being taught in our schools, it’s being forced on our children, it’s
become mandatory in every workplace… Jackie: Security, have this cat removed. Tabby: [continued hissing] Abigail: dissenters are being silenced, and
something must be done about the encroaching trans agenda, taking away women’s rights,
invading women’s spaces, depriving us of what feminism has worked so hard— [static] I love a kitty queen, but Abigail clocks a
cat. Gender’s just like color. Some people see yellow, some people see blue. It’s all a matter of opinion. Or is it? It’s not. Let’s hear the real tea. [static] [ominous electronic music] Tabby. Sweetie, baby, princess. I feel ridiculous in this dress. Yeah well you look ridiculous, because you
wouldn’t take the goddamn cat ears off. I think I’m gonna take the dress off. Well don’t do that. I’m trying to help you out girl. If you don’t want to get misgendered it
helps to fem it up a little. I’m gonna take it off. Well don’t leave… You can change in front of me, I’m not a
prude. Tabby: I’m gonna go behind the curtain. Justine: [whines] I like looking at naked
people. Why do you always hit on me, I thought you
were into men. Well I swing both ways. I like boy dick and girl dick. That’s not how that works. I hate that. The heart wants what it wants. Why did you invite me over here anyway? I saw what happened to you on the Freedom
Report and girl. Girrrrl. You cannot be a trans woman on TV threatening
people with a bat. You think it’s morally wrong to stand up
to your oppressors? Pff. No. “Morally wrong”—what does that even
mean? It was much worse than morally wrong. It was aesthetically wrong. It was unfeminine. This is all you ever say to me. “It’s bad optics, it’s bad aesthetics.” Well does reality matter at all to you? Because the reality is I am a woman, and maybe
a bunch of ignorant people don’t think I look like one, but the way things look isn’t
all that matters. Tabby, this is politics. Have you ever had a conversation with the
average voter? Reality plays no role in politics. Politics is aesthetics. “Politics is aesthetics”? That’s literally what fascism is. Have you even read Benjamin? Ugh. “Fascism is the introduction of aesthetics
into political life.” The military parades, the pageantry. And “Communism responds by politicizing
art.” This is what I can’t stand about communists,
you want to turn art into propaganda. Well art is already ideology. Ugh. Look, instead of ruining art why don’t we
just fight the pageantry of fascism with pageantry of our own. And you know who’s gonna make that happen? Who? Well funded trans women. My Patreon’s in the description. Ew. Stop that. What? I’m just trying to monetize a connected
engagement community by strategically leveraging my content creator promotional media brand
analytics. Is that so wrong? You’re so bougie. I’m not the one quoting German philosophers
from memory. Revolutionary philosophers. Whatever you need to tell yourself. Look the point I’m trying to make is that the
world we live in is not a philosophical world. Think about Instagram. It’s all about transforming your life into
an enviable spectacle. If you cry yourself to sleep every night who
cares. No one sees that, they only see the show you’re
putting on. Okay but life is not a show. Mmm—politics is a show. Look around you Tabby, try to understand what’s
happening to the world. The president of the United States is a reality
TV star. The 21st century is an aesthetic century. In history there are ages of reason and there
are ages of spectacle, and it’s important to know which you’re in. Our America, our Internet is not ancient Athens. It’s Rome. And your problem is you think you’re in
the forum when you’re really in the circus. I thought you were just criticizing me for
being violent, now you’re against reason too? I’m not against reason. Reason is a very powerful aesthetic—if you’re
a man. And what if you’re a woman? Oh don’t be a woman. That’s not a good idea. [Sip] Ow. Do you remember that YouTube debate between
Blaire White and that YouTuber with the pink wig, what was her name? I don’t know, she was relevant back in 2017. Anyway this was before she transitioned and
in that debate Blaire looked like she had two X chromosomes and the other one looked
like this awkward dude in an anime wig not looking at the camera. I vaguely remember. I think I wrote an angry blog post about it. The pink wig lost that debate so bad. It was embarrassing to watch. Not really. I mean she was right, and her arguments were
better. [cackle] Tabby. Sweetie honey angel darling princess baby. Arguments don’t matter. How pretty you are matters. Is this really where you’re going with this? Tabby, if you want to be a public figure,
sooner or later you’re gonna need to take the trans girl blackpill. Oh boy. If you’re a trans woman in the public eye,
what matters is one thing and one thing only. And it’s always been the thing that matters. What? The realness. Verisimilitude. You have to look like a fucking woman. There it is. There it is is right. We don’t say it in public, but we all know
it, and we all feel it. What does it even mean to look like a woman? Oh don’t give me that PC bullshit, I’m
trying to have a real conversation here. We all know what it means. I don’t know what it means. Women have a lot of different looks. There are bald women, bearded women, muscular
women, wide-shouldered women— And what is society’s opinion about those
bald, bearded, wide-shouldered women? Is this just about you making me wear the
dress again? The dress is the last of my concerns. I mean where do I even start with this? You’re wearing combat boots. You cannot be wearing combat boots. Why not? A lot of cis women wear them. Cis women? Well they’re hopeless aren’t they. Fully clockable. So you want me to look like a woman without
imitating cis women. Yes. Do not under any circumstances imitate cis
women. They have no idea what they’re doing. Well where does your idea of womanhood even
come from then? Das Ewig-Weibliche. The archetype of the eternal feminine. And where does that come from? Poets… teenage gay boys on Instagram. The only people with any coherent vision of
contemporary womanhood. That’s insanity. Is it? Tabby look at my face. Look at this highlight. [ding!] Does that look like the product of insanity
to you? I mean yeah, kind of. Who puts on that much make up to drink tea
at home? Good banter, well done. But trans women have to overdo it. You need to be so good at makeup that every
cis woman you know comes to you for advice. You need to toss your hair and cross your
legs. You need to smile, even at people who hate
you. Eliminate every aggressive impulse. You must be a blossom floating along the surface
of a stream. Your hands are not tools, they are ornaments
on the ends of your arms. So you literally are what TERFs think trans
women are. Literally a man’s idea of a woman. Well men have the power, men make the rules,
and it’s ultimately men who are the judges of womanhood. So you can’t really blame me for having to deal
with that situation. I can blame you for dealing with it by demanding
we all conform to a bunch of ridiculous stereotypes. Not stereotypes. Performances. You like philosophy so much, haven’t you
read Judith Butler? Gender is performance. We’re all born naked and the rest is literally
drag. Womanhood is not what you are, it’s what
you do. And trans women have to be virtuosas of womaning. So according to you there’s no difference
between a trans woman and a drag queen? No, you’re misinterpreting what I’m saying. I don’t mean performance in the sense of
pretending to be something you’re not. I mean performance in the sense of everything
you do, the way you style yourself, your posture, the way you speak. An authentic performance is just a habitual
performance, and nothing more than that. So trans women just starting their transition
are pretending to be women? I mean, isn’t that kind of what it felt
like? You transition the same way get anywhere in
life: you fake it till you make it. So according to you a trans woman is just
a full-time drag queen. That’s what any woman is. What about gender non-conforming cis women. They’re not “doing womanhood” in that
way. Well, yeah, that’s why those women are marginalized. They’re going off the grid of what society
recognizes as womanhood. And you don’t want to end up like that do
you? And hold on. Are you saying if a cis man dresses like a
woman, talks like a woman, takes female hormones, is gendered female by other people, and spends
his whole life pretending to be a trans woman, then he’s literally just as much a woman
as we are? Yep. That’s absurd. But it’s absurd because the example is absurd. No cis man would do that. It’s like asking is a straight man gay if
he only sleeps with men. Like yeah, pretty much. See this is philosophy at its worst, pointless
speculative fiction. And it’s a distraction from what we’re
really talking about, which is you getting rid of those combat boots. I thought we were talking about philosophy. No. We’re talking about shoes. Why do I always have to justify what I wear
to you? You’re apparently fine wearing designer
dresses around your communist friends. The left will abide a regal queer. Look your performance theory doesn’t explain
why trans people exist in the first place. If gender is just a bunch of learned behaviors,
then why did we reject our male upbringings and decide to live as women? What matters is that we identify as women. We can express that identity in different
ways, but it’s the identity, not the performance, that makes us women. But you can’t be a woman without performing
womanhood. Without action, and without social recognition,
the identity is meaningless. If womanhood is nothing to you but a private
daydream then you may as well do what those assholes say and identify as a helicopter. Because unless you’re living womanhood,
the identity is literally that meaningless. That’s very unfair to pre-transition trans
people. Well this isn’t a Tumblr cuddle party girl,
I’m trying to talk about what’s really true. I didn’t say it was insensitive, I said
it was unfair. Identifying as a woman before you transition
is a psychological reality that implies a potential to live your inner truth. No one has ever sincerely identified as a
helicopter, it’s just a troll example. True. But even if they were sincere there would
be no reality to it because helicopter is not an actual social role. Whereas you can become a teacher, a doctor,
or a woman. But you have to work to get there, and ultimately
society has to let you. What do you mean? I can identify as doctor and go around handing
out diagnoses, but if no one recognizes me as a doctor then I’m not really practicing
medicine, am I? But that analogy means that our womanhood
can be revoked at any moment, all it takes is being misgendered. It’s scary but isn’t that the situation
we’re in? Why did you get so angry when that TERF called
you “sir”? Isn’t it because in that situation she robbed
you of your womanhood? That’s ridiculous. I am a woman. That’s my reality. It doesn’t depend on other people’s opinions. I know you’re a woman. I’m just saying in that one moment, you
effectively had your gender canceled. Another way of looking at it is gender is
aesthetic, not rational. Either you’re perceived as a woman, or you
aren’t. There’s no reasoning your way into it. Oh don’t worry about that. I don’t argue I’m a woman. I smash. I know you do. And it’s a bad look. Is this about the shoes again? Yep. Here, put these on. Absolutely not, I’m not wearing those. Yes you are bitch. No. If you put them on I’ll um… scratch you
behind the ears later. Okay fine. Now walk. [sigh] [house music] [distressed hissing and meowing, house music
continues] That was the worst thing I’ve ever seen. Well you’re the one who made me do it! Look. Don’t stomp around like that. Keep your shoulders back and steady. All the movement comes from your hips. And you wanna put the weight on the balls
of your feet. Here I’ll show you. [house music] Your turn. Do it right. [sigh] The category is… catgirls. [House music] Yes bitch. That was flawless, it was iconic. I’m living for this. I’m loving this for you. You’re doing so good for yourself. I’m never doing that again. Ugh! Why not? Because it’s not who I am. All your advice is just trying to turn me
into you. Well that’s not what aesthetics is. Aesthetics is the expression of an inner truth. And I’ll only ever be a second-rate Justine,
but I can be a first-rate Tabby. Well kids this week we learned a valuable
lesson about the importance of being yourself— Shut up. Look, I know I’m not cool okay. I know I’m not pretty. And I know you think you’re too good for
me because you mostly pass. And I know you and your friends laugh at me
behind my back. People stare at me because I’m a transgender
furry and that’s weird. But I’m a fucking queer icon because I’m
not like you, because I’m not like anyone but myself, and because I’m willing to stand
up to the people who oppress us, and I’m willing to stand up for the girls with beard
shadow and deep voices, the girls even other trans women make fun of, and when in the history
of the world has anyone but me ever stood up for them? That’s why everyone knows who Tabby is. When was the last time anyone talked about
Justine? Wow Tabby. I didn’t know you had that in you. But so what? So male-to-anime Twitter stans you, big deal. You’re mad, aren’t you? I’ll get over it in a few weeks. Look, you’re right. You have to be yourself. Trying to be someone else is always a bad
look. So I guess if combat boots are your aesthetic
then wear them well and make it work. But sometimes being yourself is not enough. Sometimes you have to become yourself. And for you I think that means that the smashing
has got to stop. I mean with the Nazis it’s one thing but
you cannot be menacing radical feminists with a bat. I wouldn’t have to smash if literally anyone
else were willing to stick up for us. Your delicate notion of femininity is a product
of the privilege you share with a lot of thin white cis feminists. Wow it must be so hard for you out on the
streets as a fat woman of color. Shut up. I’m just saying, don’t claim a struggle
that isn’t yours girl. You could have what I have, you just have
to work for it instead of playing this part of the tragic victim. You were raised a white boy. You got to go to college and learn all that
philosophy. And yeah it’s hard being a trans woman of
any background but you still stand on a lot of privilege. I look at all the photos of trans women who
are murdered in this country, and they don’t look like you or me. Why don’t you use your privilege and use
your education to actually do some good in the world instead of this elective revolutionary
LARPing. You make me seem like the self-indulgent one. I’m sorry I’m not hardworking enough to
go to brunch dates and cocktail parties with transphobes. I’ve seen minds change and hearts soften
before my eyes. You don’t win friends and allies with a
bat. They’re just using you. Well who do you think benefits, and who do
you think is hurt when you go out into the world and represent trans women as masculine
and violent? Who do you think benefits when they trot you
out to be feminine and meek and acquiescent? I guess we can’t win can we. Wanna just chill out and watch YouTube videos? Yeah okay. “Forget about the disrespect. Facts don’t care about your feelings.” “It turns out that every chromosome, every
cell in Caitlyn Jenner’s body is male with the exception of some of his sperm cells.” “You don’t know what you’re talking
about, you’re not educated on genetics.” “Would you like to discuss the genetics? What are your genetics sir?” “You cut that out now or you’ll go home
in an ambulance.” “Now that seems mildly inappropriate for
a political discussion.” “You cut that out now or you’ll go home
in an ambulance.” “So I look at that and I feel like on my
end it’s like I’m always, I feel like I’m always damage-controlling for the trans community
which is so frustrating.” [chuckles] “You’ll go home in an ambulance” “Damage controlling” [chuckles] “You’ll go home in an ambulance” “Damage controlling” [chuckles] [looped phrases continue] Shapiro: “It’s imperative that we actually
use terms that refer to something. If you want to talk about gender as distinct
from sex, and then talk about you’re a very feminine biological man and you’ve had the
surgeries to prove it, then I think that we can talk about what is the appropriate pronoun
to use. My problem is the—“ [static] Tabby I don’t want to fight with you. We’re surviving in this shit world together
and you’ll always be my sister. Well I’m glad. I love you. What? [Static] Love. I was in love once. I was in a smoky roadhouse outside Cincinnati
bent over a pool table. The year was 1985. And to this day when the perfume of cheap
whiskey hits my nostrils at just the right moment, I can almost feel the beer-stained
billiard cloth against my cheek. Uhn! Let’s watch it all on VHS cassette to learn
more. [static] [Electronic music] [drone]

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