Discussing Important Issues on Social Media
We're playing SILENCE OF THE LAMBS for Valentine's Day. The Facebook Event page got hit with a lot of controversy surrounding the transmysogyny that some believe are inherent in the Buffalo Bill character.
Here's one small attempt to explain the programming, and the desire to have more of this discussion face-to-face rather than through Facebook posts.
"Goodness, this thread has really blown up. I see some great and thoughtful comments here from all sides of this issue, and I think that's fantastic. It is only through dialog that we can really learn about each others' experience of life. Some of the comments here have certainly helped me think harder about my own feelings and actions.
But I must also say that I find it deeply troubling that there are some hostile and dismissive comments here, too, on both sides of the issue.
I apologize for any dismissive tone on my part--in re-reading my comment, and seeing how some reacted to it, I can now see it in that light. I was explaining my general view on films which have offensive issues (and there are a great many), but this discussion deserves a more complete and specific response.
A word about choosing this film; a few months ago I realized that this Valentine's day was going to be the 25th anniversary of the release of TSOTL. That triggered two immediate thoughts, "how weird is it that it had a Valentine's release" and "wow, yet another reminder that am I getting old!". I haven't seen it in more than a decade, and my decidedly cis-gender memory recalled only the feminist impact of the Clarice character back in 1991, and, of course, the career-defining portrayal of Hannibal Lector by the great Anthony Hopkins. Honestly, it never once crossed my mind that there even was a transwoman character - I only registered 'serial killer'.
At CST, our mission has been to be a safe and welcome neighborhood space that celebrates human diversity. I have especially tried to be a friend and supporter of the LGBTQIA community, and I truly hurt when I fail to do so because of any myopia due to my own cis-gender experience. I walk through this world a 62-year old white woman, and while I have experienced some hardships and prejudice because of my gender, I know that I still have privilege, and I can't imagine what it feels like to walk through this world as a black person, or a transwoman, or a Muslim, or any one of the many ways we easily classify someone as less because they are "other."
I think that social media, while necessary for the promotion of my business, is not the best place to have any serious discussion of important issues. Tone is impossible to read in a short comment form, and people often fail to treat each other with basic consideration and respect, which is much easier to do when looking at a screen than when talking face-to-face.
Now that I see this film with a new perspective, at both screenings, I will certainly say something in my introduction of the film, but I'd also like to consider a future event where we can further examine some of these issues. If anyone here would like to participate in such an event, please contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. And I always welcome anyone to come down and talk with me in person, where we can have a full exchange of ideas.
Peace and love to you all, and please be nice to one another.