South Park Takes on Identity

any thoughts on the recent south park episode about lorde and gender identity?

I actually haven’t seen any South Park recently so I’m not able to give a really comprehensive review on the episode. I did briefly read some other bloggers/writers talking about the episode and I’ve heard that was, generally, well received.

I read the wikipedia plot summary of the episode and from that I just have a few thoughts.

1. The whole concept of children talking about and exploring gender is interesting and I think super useful. Obviously the kids in South Park aren’t normal  or real kids but they do bring up the question as to when kids start exploring gender. The answer is really early.

2. I’d like to see how often sexuality and gender were discussed in this episode. For example, if someone is MtF is it presumed that they will be a “lesbian” based on this change? How is the gender binary tackled? How is ‘cis’ tackled?

3. That last question is sort of confronted in the title of the episode and the whole ‘cissy’ thing I think. It’s my assumption that they were making fun of the whole situation and making fun of gender issues being a big deal (to other people.)

4. Many will argue that this show tried, and succeeded. Others will argue that simply trying isn’t enough, and that to talk about trans* issues you need to do better. You need to do more. Given the context of South Park I generally fall into the “I’m glad they’re talking about it” category.

5. I think theres a lot of fear for things we don’t understand. While this platform for presentation might not be the most comprehensive performance of what being trans* is, I think it approaches an audience who might not ever hear anything about gender issues. I think that point is super important. It may not have been a super progressive way to get the word out, but it may have acted as a starting point for some people.

Did anyone see this episode? Could you give me your thoughts on it? Do you think South Park does good when it confronts issues of gender or sexuality? Does it add to the mainstream narrative of what is normal or does it skew ideas that should be presented in different or more progressive ways? And, of course, if you could expand on anything critical from the episode given that I haven’t seen it, I’d love to hear more thoughts.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. B says:

    The South Park episode is I believe 20 something minutes long. I super suggest you watch & then post opinion cuz I first thought of you when I saw it


    1. ST says:

      I’ll check to see if its airing on TV anytime soon! Maybe I can find it online. Thanks for thinking of me!


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