In a recent interview with journalist P.E. Moskowitz for Curbed, Prostitute Laundry author Charlotte Shane described Twitter as a social media platform that was seemingly designed to make you outraged. Why? Because outrage fuels posts. “[The post that will make you upset] was put on our feeds for a reason,” she told Moskowitz. “What Twitter wants is for all of us to be looking at a tweet that makes us so mad that we’re going to spend all day tweeting about it. That’s the dream scenario for the company.”
I thought about what Shane said when I spotted a tweet from actress Amber Tamblyn on Thursday afternoon, one that was already generating plenty of outrage on my timeline. It was a promotional post for her new FX on Hulu project, Y: The Last Man, which our sister site Gizmodo tells me is a show adapted from a DC Comics series about a post-apocalyptic world in which (almost) everyone with a Y chromosome gets killed off in some mysterious cataclysmic event.
Tamblyn describes the show as being set in “a world without cisgender men,” but that seems to be directly contradicted by the new trailer that dropped today, which shows a lone cis man surviving said cataclysm. Unless he’s not cis? I mean, one of the other characters in the trailer does describe this lone cis guy survivor as “reproductively interesting,” which would be kind of a fucked up way to refer to someone who’s trans or intersex but I guess no more fucked up than calling your show “The Last Man” when we already know there’s also going to be a trans man on it played by Shameless’ Elliot Fletcher. So, is Fletcher’s character not a man, too? Shouldn’t it be Y: The Last Men? And if Fletcher’s character isn’t a man, does that mean that all the trans women who presumably died in the gender apocalypse on account of their inconvenient Y chromosomes were? Speaking of which, I—
Oh, god. I’m getting outraged aren’t I. I’m T-minus 17 seconds from a sentence that begins with “As a trans women...” I can feel it.
In the interest of not getting outraged (we love growth!!!!), I think I’m just going to cut myself off right now and think about what Shane told Moskowitz, about how I don’t have to get mad online just because Big Online wants me to. (You know, like how the owners of this website would probably love it if this blog post ends up generating outrage clicks despite my explicitly stated intent to write against outrage, since that would give them a bunch of impressive new metrics to use when trying to sell ad space.) Besides, we already know that there was at least one trans woman writer working on Y: The Last Man (io9 founder and author Charlie Jane Anders), so perhaps this two-minute sneak peek doesn’t give us the full view of how the series addresses trans people? Or maybe it does. Either way, I finished the blog post. Watch the trailer below!