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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

question of the day: Is there anything wrong with Chaz Bono appearing on ‘Dancing With the Stars’?

Chaz Bono on Dancing With the Stars

Chaz Bono used to be Chastity Bono, and that’s just plain bad enough in the minds of some. But now, the he-who-used-to-be-a-she is flaunting it — flaunting it, I tell you — by daring to appear on the upcoming season of Dancing with the Stars on ABC in the U.S. He will be the show’s first transgendered contestant.

This, of course, infuriates some.

Dr. Keith Ablow, a member of “the Fox News Medical A-Team” and apparently the worst psychiatrist ever, is “advis[ing] parents to not allow their children to watch the episodes in which Chaz appears”:

Here’s why: Many of the children who might be watching will be establishing a sense of self which includes, of course, a sexual/gender identity. Some will be girls becoming comfortable with dramatic changes in their bodies. Some will be boys coming to terms with integrating the dawn of manhood with exquisite feelings of vulnerability. Young viewers will include tomboyish girls and sensitive, less stereotypically “masculine” boys. They will also include children who have sustained the losses of loved ones and are wrestling with depression, perhaps wondering who they are absent their deceased mothers or fathers.

The last thing vulnerable children and adolescents need, as they wrestle with the normal process of establishing their identities, is to watch a captive crowd in a studio audience applaud on cue for someone whose search for an identity culminated with the removal of her breasts, the injection of steroids and, perhaps one day soon, the fashioning of a make-shift phallus to replace her vagina.

He’s right! I know that if someone had told me, as a tomboyish little girl and now a tomboyish adult, that all my problems would have been solved if only I had an improvised penis surgically attached to my body, I would have run right out and taken care of that immediately. Never mind that I had no doubt that I was a girl, or that I liked boys. Bring on the makeshift phallus!

Is there anything celebs won’t try to sell us? Ablow:

Chaz Bono should not be applauded for asserting she is a man (and goes about trying to look like one) any more than a woman who believes she will be happier without arms, has them removed and then continues to assert that she was right all along—her self-concept was that of a double amputee. Now, all is well.

Chaz Bono should not be applauded any more than someone who, tragically, believes that his species, rather than gender, is what is amiss and asks a plastic surgeon to build him a tail of flesh harvested from his abdomen. If only a plastic surgeon would acquiesce, all would be well.

My God. Next thing you know, it’ll be dogs and cats living together! Mass hysteria!

OneMillionMoms.com — “A Project of the American Family Association” — asserts that:

‘Dancing with the Stars’ has Spun Out of Control!

Some families have already decided against watching Dancing with the Stars because of the skimpy costumes and provocative dance routines, but now they have gone too far! This year, not only are they casting Carson Kressley from Carson-Nation, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, and How to Look Good Naked, but also transgender Chaz Bono- child to Sonny and Cher- from the documentary Becoming Chaz will be appearing in the show. Both are LGBT rights advocates and promote this destructive lifestyle. DWTS is helping them create visibility for the LGBT community.

This is completely unacceptable and Christians should not watch the show, no excuses! Kressley will be paired up with a female dancer, and since Chasity, transformed to Chaz after her sex change in 2009, will also be paired with a female dancer.

To push the envelope even further for a program that could be a family show but is obviously not, Kressley is also author of the children’s book You’re Different and That’s Super, a children’s book promoting the homosexual lifestyle to children.

These people keep using that word family. I don’t think it means what they think it means. Even an ostensibly “objective” journalistic article for AFP, written by Robert MacPherson, makes of point of noting that ABC is “part of the family-oriented Disney media empire,” as if to suggest, perhaps, that the existence of transgended people is somehow contrary to “family values.” But transgendered people are part of families, too, of course.

Still, it’s tough not to see Bono’s appearance on the show as a stunt (not that that is anything new to DWTS). Bono “adviser” Howard Bragman said something really important:

Watching Chaz Bono dance is not going to make your kid transgender. But what it can do is possibly save your kid’s life because young transgender kids, kids with gender identity issues, have a huge suicide rate and if they see one positive influence, one positive role model, this can save lives and that’s why Chaz is here.

Which is all good and true. But Bragman said it on Good Morning America. Which is, of course, an ABC show. It all suddenly seems less like positive activism and more like ratings building in a corporate-synergy sort of way. DWTS makes a controversial casting choice, which then necessitates ongoing discussion of the controversy. Ratings win all around!

Or am I being too cynical?

Is there anything wrong with Chaz Bono appearing on Dancing With the Stars? I mean, apart from the general idiocy of has-beens, never-weres, and Z-list celebs hoofing it on a bread-and-circuses variety show?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)



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