The Onion’s Legal Loophole


Conservatives Warn Quick Sex Change Only Barrier Between Gays, Marriage

I can’t decide what I think of this. What do you all think? It’s *nearly* funny, but not quite, & I can’t figure out if that’s because there’s something mean coming across.

Helen Boyd

is the author of My Husband Betty and She's Not the Man I Married.

11 Comments

  1. Ah, got the comments to work if I uses IE. Excuse earlier facebook message, must be a firefox problem.

    I’ve been finding that I find the Onion a lot less funny than I used to, even just a few months back. More stories that are so close to the edge of tasteless that I am just not amused. And it’s not just trans or LGBT stuff — they have a story today “New BabySafe Ball Makes Shaking Your Infant Guilt and Injury Free”. I just don’t find them as funny as I used to, and I don’t think I’ve gotten that much older and crankier in just a few months. I wonder if their writing staff changed….

  2. Oh gee, I thought it was really funny. I see what you mean about something mean in there, but it just makes the Republican guy look mean, which is fine with me. Thanks for posting it. kiss, kiss

  3. A lot of my liberalish non-trans friends seem to think it was hilarious, but I didn’t quite get it, either.

    I don’t think of it as mean, exactly – but I don’t think the creators realize that, in most states, real transsexuals’ marriages really are in a frighteningly insecure legal status at best, where you never know when some judge will decide you never were married after all.

  4. I think for those on the frontiers of trans marriages (formerly hetero marriages where one partner has transitioned, or trans persons who have legally married post transition) it’s scary in a sort of “they might be on to us” kind of way. And even though it’s surely no loophole for gay / lesbian couples seeking marriage, it does sneak a certain queerness into the most conservative states’ married populations.

    I have to say that the “tattoo” made me laugh just because it was kind of goofy – I was prepared to be horribly offended by the nazi resonances.

    But overall, it was unsettling – because I *can* envision certain state’s where post-transition gender recognition might be withheld, withdrawn, or become less easily grant, under the auspices of defending marriage.

  5. “Check under the gown”? I thought it was funny, and it seems clear to me that the target isn’t trans people, it’s the people who get upset about other people’s personal lives. It’s taking their position to the extreme to show how absurd it is.

    But I can understand how others might not see it that way.

    I wonder if the people who did it had read JFB’s op-ed about marriage in the NYTimes.

  6. Satire isn’t pretty, but someone’s got to do it. Actually, I find most of what The Onion does to be in the same vein as Jonathan Swift, who did not aim to please but simply aimed. By the end of the piece, the “congressman” was a brutish paranoiac and the anchorwoman a vapid automaton. I feel that those who would attack me have been attacked, that their ignorance and bigotry has been skewered. On the other hand, I don’t feel all that complacent. Nobody is without absurdity, and I’m as good a candidate to be satirized as anybody.

    Having looked back at Jude’s comment, I have to say that the tattoo is not really that far from a yellow Star of David or a Pink Triangle.

    I think the piece is funny but bitterly so, like “A Modest Proposal.”

  7. I’ll be the stick-in-the-mud and say that the Onion video trivializes gender change and the motivations behind it. The writers of this so-called “humor” are pitching their whimsy toward the fratboy culture which is also typified by sites like 4chan and FARK. Nothing to see here, please move on.

    BTW, the link posted here doesn’t work for Firefox users even with an updated Flash player — however the link on the Onion site works just fine (unfortunately).

  8. I think it’s too far from any actual mark to be satire. I call it sketch comedy. I don’t find it offensive. I just didn’t laugh. It has flashes of cleverness, but it’s not very clever overall.

  9. Not that I’m defending the Onion but I think this is an example of Poe’s law at work, basically that any satire of conservatism/fundamentalism is often indistinguishable from the real thing.
    It may not be funny, but the Onion is going after the conservatives in this piece. That’s kind of the thing with their satire. Sometimes it’s really funny, and sometimes it falls flat. Because of Poe’s law, I think this one gets a nice big FAIL.

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