Pop Style Opinionfest: Empty Gestures and Performative Allyship

Posted on June 12, 2020


Ooooh, girl! From Gone With the Wind suddenly becoming controversial again to Nancy Pelosi in a kente stole to a whole bunch of white celebrities almost literally clutching their pearls over racism as they apologize to their phones, a whole bunch of folks and institutions are responding to the current moment in some truly odd or questionable ways.




Aaron Paul, what the fuck.

Anyway, we’re not here solely to rag on people for trying to respond to the moment and failing. And we’re not here to hold ourselves up as the utterly correct, perfectly woke experts on the matter. This stuff is hard to figure out and hard to work through, not least because it’s a moment that’s forcing white Americans to confront themselves and their complacency. We’re not here to yell at anyone for trying, but that doesn’t mean performative allyship should go by unchallenged – especially if the results appear shallow or self-centered (see above).

But Andre Leon Talley? He’s here for yelling. At Anna Wintour. More on that.




Then it’s a quick run-through of eight decades of cultural history as we run down all the ways in which Gone With the Wind is a problem and whether or not HBO’s response to this moment made any sense.

Then, leaping off the topic of celebrity allyship to its TOTAL OPPOSITE, we had a few things to say about J.K. Rowling’s big explosion of TERFy ugliness this week, including our reaction to being in the crosshairs of a bunch of TERFs on social media and how amazingly disingenuous their arguments were. Plus, an admission that we had to work our way toward our current understanding of trans lives and anti-trans issues, just to put it out there that this is a process and we are by no means flawless on any of it.


Whew! And somehow, we managed to keep things kind of light! Don’t ask us how, but we promise it’s not an hour of us yelling at people for wrongthink.

Thank you once again for your support, darlings!



[Still: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer via Tom and Lorenzo – Video Credit: Oscars via YouTube.com]

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