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Rewatching OITNB and the TIM storyline is ridiculous. Lots to say about this and I didn't find any discussion of this on ovarit so thought I'd start one.

I just saw the episode where Sophia the TIM is attacked and beaten up "mercilessly" by 3 female inmates. Anytime Sophia is involved in violence, it's acted and filmed in a ridiculous way to minimize the very real difference of strength and physical harm this male is capable of compared to the women. Like when he pushed Gloria and he obviously used a fraction of his real strength.

It's just such an insult to women locked up with men IRL to depict a TIM the victim of female violence on this show. I swear Sophia's "attack" is treated as worse than rapes by guards of the female inmates.

Not to mention the rapey shit he "teaches" his son, the way he expects his wife to adapt to his demands, and the fact that he's an expert on """being a woman""" -- hard sarcasm here -- in running a beauty salon and schooling all the real women on how to look good. We're told that the dude didn't know anything about performing femininity and looking 'elegant', what, two years ago? But he's now an expert and has to teach all the women in prison. He even teaches the "ignorant women" about their own female anatomy. Of course there is zero discussion of how ridiculous this all is to be found on the internet.

Rewatching OITNB and the TIM storyline is ridiculous. Lots to say about this and I didn't find any discussion of this on ovarit so thought I'd start one. I just saw the episode where Sophia the TIM is attacked and beaten up "mercilessly" by 3 female inmates. Anytime Sophia is involved in violence, it's acted and filmed in a ridiculous way to minimize the very real difference of strength and physical harm this male is capable of compared to the women. Like when he pushed Gloria and he obviously used a fraction of his real strength. It's just such an insult to women locked up with men IRL to depict a TIM the victim of female violence on this show. I swear Sophia's "attack" is treated as worse than rapes by guards of the female inmates. Not to mention the rapey shit he "teaches" his son, the way he expects his wife to adapt to his demands, and the fact that he's an expert on """being a woman""" -- hard sarcasm here -- in running a beauty salon and schooling all the real women on how to look good. We're told that the dude didn't know anything about performing femininity and looking 'elegant', what, two years ago? But he's now an expert and has to teach all the women in prison. He even teaches the "ignorant women" about their own female anatomy. Of course there is zero discussion of how ridiculous this all is to be found on the internet.

66 comments

[–] PaulaAlquist 110 points Edited

That character is pure AGP fantasy made into flesh: accepted as a woman by institutions and other women, in all intimate spaces. Had a scene where he mansplains female anatomy to 'ignorant females', and talks about how he 'designed his own'. An early push of the Trans propaganda.

I do love that when denied hormones, he asks for the (post-menopausal) HRT from the incarcerated nun, who says "hell no!", and gives him yams/sweet potatoes, which have some hormone like properties.

Laverne Cox is a terrible, wooden actor and horrible person.

An early push of the Trans propaganda.>

100%.

And in season 3 when he's not accepted by "the transphobic bitches," a million articles appear online about how this is a depiction of real tragedy faced by TIMs. Boo hoo. And yes, that dude is a terrible actor and a defender of a real-life rapist.

He also came close to ruining A Promising Young Woman, but I liked that movie so much I could somewhat overlook his infuriating presence.

He ruins every movie he is in. It's so distracting and annoying.

Ugh him in Promising Young Woman… almost every trans actor I see in TV and movies gets these super awkward overly sexual lines for literally no reason and it’s so true to real life.

And this guy. He was good in Pose, where he played a man posing as a woman and we all knew it (although I stopped watching after season 1), but ruined Maya Rudolph's new show for me: https://www.thezoereport.com/culture/michaela-jae-rodriguez-loot-pose

Terrible actor cast solely because he's "trans".

I was so fucking angry that a movie about how society brutalizes women had a TIM in it.

I loved the movie (although wow, painful to watch) but that bit pissed me off. I didn't look into it, but you might know (or another Ovarite) - is Emerald Fennell a full on TRA, or did she just think it was "kind" to cast Cox? Also, I didn't think he was cast to play a TIM but in fact a woman, but I wasn't primarily focused on that aspect of it, so would be interested to hear how other people read it. If Cox was indeed cast as a man-playacting-a-woman it bugs me less.

[–] VestalVirgin 11 points Edited

It's so hard to tell what they are cast as, isn't it?

I recently saw a movie where a TIM was played by a (possibly gay?) man (whose male name was used in the wiki article on the film, so I guess he's not a TIM), and he came across as ... gay man. It might have been a straight actor just deciding that a man who thinks he is a woman would act like a gay man, but in any case, it took me half of the movie to realize that he was meant to be trans. (I was only really sure when another man appeared and one woman - who for added irony was best buddies with the TIM - loudly accused the second guy of being a patriarchal invader of a women's space. And then kissed the TIM, despite having been implied to be a lesbian by her previous pursuit of a woman, but okay, she might have been intended to come across as bi ... grasping at straws here.)

The problem with movies is that they're a visual medium. If you put a man there, people will see a man. If you put a woman there, people will see a woman. And if you put a man playacting a woman ... then people will see that.

Shakespeare knew that, in order for this sort of thing to work, people have to loudly declare what the audience is intended to see - when it is night on stage, which in his time you couldn't imitate in an open air theatre, people carry torches and talk about how dark it is.

Movies with TIMs and TIFs would have to do the same. (Though a TIM declaring how much of a womanly woman he is would really only emphasize his AGP maleness, lol ... for Shakespeare's men playacting as women, it was enough because there weren't any TIMs back then, but nowadays ... I am not sure it can be made unambigious at all, lol)

He played a real woman in that Netflix mini-series about Anna Delvey (the fake heiress). It’s so clear that that’s a dude. I would have been pissed if a man played me in a movie for being tall (which I’m not but you get the picture).

I thought it was a transwoman. Didn't like his part. but I was like yeah TIMS are into that.

There was no mention of the character being "trans" in the show, so I think it was supposed to be an actual woman.

Yep and he totally used that nun, kissing up to her when he wanted something. And she got sent to SHU (by punching and racially insulting Gloria) for him? Just to check up on poor Sophia. Yeah right. That's what we are supposed to believe is fair? Sickening.

Absolutely propaganda and during my handmaiden days I bought it hook line and sinker.

Apparently there WAS a TIM in prison with the author of the book, but he was just kind of off and worked in the kitchen and the women avoided him, end of story. So of course they bent over backwards trying to make a sympathetic TIM character and then try to martyr him to all those mean, bigoted characters...and yet he still comes across as a selfish shitbag, just a smarmy selfish shitbag.

Meanwhile they did the real woman "Pennsatucky" was based on dirty and made her just a massive, cartoonishly stupid stereotype of a "redneck," with a backstory of apparently using abortions as birth control until she got mad at an abortion provider and blew her away (when the real woman was just a woman with a drug addiction who was devastated after losing custody of her child). Just naked contempt on display from the creators of the show for that whole class of people.

Yes!!! Pennsatucky was absolutely done dirty and I've always thought so. I could go on a full rant about the treatment of her character. Even when I saw it 10 years ago I was disgusted by them playing an upbeat Mountain Dew song immediately after her rape by the guard. Way to make light of women's sexual assualt, OITNB. But she's just "white trash" and so doesn't matter. Somehow a TIM being misgendered is way worse. Despicable.

Wtf. I'm southern with a bulk of my family having Appalachian heritage and I've never watched this show but every time I hear some total bullshit like this is going on my blood boils. Liberals love to act like women deserve to be oppressed if they come from a perceived conservative area. Mask off moment

There's a town in WV that's been used as an industrial dumping ground for a long time, carcinogens everywhere. Almost everyone living there for any length of time gets cancer. School full of children with cancer. News article covering it (that left the comments open, mind), comments section was full of the 'tolerant, compassionate' progressives jeering and celebrating, saying they all deserved it for being in a red state and presumably conservative. Towards dying children.

Yes white southerners are either rich descendants of plantation owners or illiterate hillbillies according to the stereotypes. We're all racist and dumb, too.

F*** both those stereotypes.

They made her a strawman, not a character, in a show that was supposed to be showing a lot of women society writes off in vignettes from their perspectives. Maybe because having compassion for the real woman behind her would make a lot of more well-off liberal leaning people slightly uncomfortable for the contempt so many feel towards her automatically.

YH I remember watching that scene where he mansplains vaginas to women like a guru, it was a really weird scene to even put in.

Pre-peak WTF moment for me. Really gross scene.

Same I was like 15 or 16 when I watched that so trans ideaology hadn’t become huge yet and I remember side eyeing that scene 😒 like cmon when have TIMs had any insight to vaginas other than a hole to be fucked ?

[–] sarstan 11 points Edited

Yeah. They call it a vagina but it is just a hole for the sole purpose of another man putting his penis in it, and we know men will stick their dick in anything. No wonder 95% of men keep their dick- they are straight men.

Never watched it, but Laverne Cocks is fucking enormous, and they pretended he was vulnerable to women? Fucking ridiculous.

I know someone who worked in men's prisons with TIM inmates and they said the TIMs who had been in women's prisons had asked for transfer as they found life in men's prison much cushier.

I don't rule out that jail women could gang up on and otherwise hurt TIMs. They're criminals after all. And I imagine a lot more passive stuff - putting something in their food, things like that. And all the high school mean girl tricks as well.

Everything about that character is idiotic, especially since Laverne is only capable of playing himself -- a flamboyant drag queen. Sophia should have been HSTS with a background as a beautician or hair stylist. Having him be a macho AGP was an obvious retcon to explain why he had a wife and son, and, presumably, having a gay man immediately transition to "woman" after pretending to be straight would hint a little too much at the internalized homophobia involved.

I haven't watched OITNB in years, but since peaking I have theorized that Sophia's character was a way to get the masses to accept TIMs in female prisons. It's a wildly popular show, Sophia is framed as very endearing and likable, and I remember him talking about how much he needs his estrogen in prison (which elicits sympathy from the audience). Laverne has been hugely celebrated, which I participated in before peaking. Fast forward to the present day and we are being called crazy for fighting against males in female prisons. Maybe this is tinfoil-hat territory but I believe that the powers behind OITNB knew what they were doing.

I find it funny that you say Sophia is framed as likeable. I think they tried to do that but it just didn't work for me. I didn't pay any attention to trans issues yet when i was watching this show and still found Sophia insufferable and misogynistic from the get go 😬 but thats just me

Same. I watched it way before I peaked and still thought he was annoying and probably one of the most unsympathetic characters on the show. Funny that he's probably supposed to come across as very likable, I guess that's as likable as these people get lol

[–] vulvapeople 11 points Edited

He also had one of the least sympathetic reasons for being there. The actual women either got caught up in something stupid (often because of a man) or committed crimes due to some combination of poverty, drug addiction, or mental illness. Sophia was just a middle class professional who didn't want to pay for his luxury lifestyle.

The scene that first showed how he was stealing to fund his transition and luxuries was also unintentionally hilarious since he was wearing a dress suitable for a nightclub when out shopping with his son.

Not tinfoil hat to me. All popular media is basically societal programming.

Some of the things the characters say would never fly now. Like the butch lesbian calls him the TIM "slur" -- not sure if Ovarit is ok with that word since R/GC wasn't. They'd never put that in a show now except for as an example of hate speech.

They had to ease the public into these ideas.

Mechanics must be having a field day anymore... that word is also shorthand for "transmission."

This is not tinfoil at all. The media has been sneaking in these and other messages slowly. If you watched Euphoria it pretends like this trans dude with an actual penis is really this feminine girl who doesn't have any mental issues whatsoever. Also how normal it is that as a teen he already has a boob job but sometimes binds and it's all no big deal.

The media we watch normalizes a lot of things.

Yes

And I always thought ’predictive programing’ was a myth.

Law and Order: SVU did the same thing, depicting a TiM being beaten and raped when put into a male prison.

I had to stop watching at that scene where he says to his son that he wishes he lived in a world where he was sexually harrassed as a woman. Truly despicable, but I guess they couldn't expect him to act too different.

So, I never watched the show, but I did check the book it's based on out of the library to read it. Guess what. You hardly see anything about the one TIM at all.

I would say I can't believe a TV showmaker took this story of a woman's experience in prison and made it into a TIM-validation vehicle... but I can totally believe it.

Uggggghhhh this fucking guy.

I swear that there is a huge segment of the population that is basically compassionate, basically sensible, basically progressive, who just don’t interact with the alphabet people very much. This segment watched OITNB and gooily imprinted on the most complex and sympathetic portrayal of a transwoman that they, personally, had ever seen.

To this day, many of these same people believe the following about transwomen: they are God’s lost lambs, His gentle mistakes, His soulful wise angels who bravely face the very worst our world has to offer, before all too often departing it tragically and too soon.

They cherry-picked with this portrayal, all the most appealing and sympathetic possible parts of AGP and HSTS and mushed all of it together into a contradictory being who doesn’t actually exist. They made it sound like he actually would die without his hormones; they made sure that his incarceration was for the oh-so-womanly crime of trying to buy the love of a transphobic family member with financial fraud. He was a straight dude but hated his penis, and talked, acted, and dressed hair like a familiar gay man stereotype. He is physically and emotionally downtrodden and victimized by others, and unfairly persecuted in SHU. It’s surprising they didn’t just hoist him up on a cross and pierce his side with a spear; they probably exercised restraint only because Christ is just too male of an allegory.

I've watched farther into the show and you are so right. They really treated this guy like a martyr. And you're are spot on about making him into a familiar gay stereotype even though he's a straight male. Perfect comment.

Thank you, friend. I hope you found enough other elements of OITNB to enjoy in spite of the propaganda!

He even teaches the "ignorant women" about their own female anatomy.

I thought about this scene as soon as I read your title. If I remember correctly, in this episode none of the silly cis girlies knew that they had a separate hole for urine than their vaginal canal. They needed a man to teach them.

I swear it’s an AGP fantasy, they’re all chomping at the bit for access to teenage girls to talk to them about sex and their body. Scottish period officer anyone?

They set us up. I fell for it and did not question his presence in the prison. And of course they made him the hairdresser.

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