The Danish Girl - Transgender Issues in the 1920s

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The Danish Girl - Transgender Issues in the 1920s

The Danish Girl is your standard British period piece, but about a transgendered individual living in the 1920s. That should change things up enough to make it interesting...

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Typical, they make a movie that's about a trans woman and get a cis man to play the role. Heaven for bid they at least get a cis woman to play the role, to make it somewhat more authentic, or you know actually get a trans woman to play the role. It's roles like these that are made for trans folk, yet not only do trans folk never get seriously considered for these roles... They insist on putting cis men in the roles of trans women and cis women in the roles of trans women. Some times it feels like they intentionally do this bad casting to give trans folk a bad image...

Just depressing, especially considering the movie isn't particularly good and over fictionalized.

KyuubiNoKitsune-Hime:
Typical, they make a movie that's about a trans woman and get a cis man to play the role. Heaven for bid they at least get a cis woman to play the role, to make it somewhat more authentic, or you know actually get a trans woman to play the role. It's roles like these that are made for trans folk, yet not only do trans folk never get seriously considered for these roles... They insist on putting cis men in the roles of trans women and cis women in the roles of trans women. Some times it feels like they intentionally do this bad casting to give trans folk a bad image...

Just depressing, especially considering the movie isn't particularly good and over fictionalized.

I agree with you in the broad sense, but I think it is a bit more understable in this case, as the movie shows an individual going through transition, starting out with them slowly getting into cross-dressing and realizing they are trans.

BreakfastMan:
I agree with you in the broad sense, but I think it is a bit more understable in this case, as the movie shows an individual going through transition, starting out with them slowly getting into cross-dressing and realizing they are trans.

And they couldn't have gotten a woman to do that? If you have an actor playing a woman you could have an actress playing a man. Hell, that was actually the original plan for this film. Nicole Kidman was originally cast for this film but sometime between Jared Leto winning an Oscar for portraying a drag queen and getting a ton of publicity for that they decided to drop having a woman play the role and went with a man. Its not like there's a lack of women, cis or trans, available to play the role. The change they made is inherently disrespectful - its like if a white guy won an Oscar for a blackface performance and then a new film for Frederick Douglass switched from Morgan Freeman to Jack Nicholson. "Trans face" as its called is garbage. Nobody casts a man to play a woman except either for comedy movies where the gag is "hahaha, its a really just a man in a dress doing these things" or when its transgender people being portrayed. Its a flagrant double-standard. Lili Elbe in particular is considered a pioneer of trans rights and having a man play her is akin to that previous Frederick Douglass casting happen. Regardless of intention or how kindly they intend to treat the subject matter (and Eddie Redmayne is doing a million times better than Jared Leto, so some props to him) there is an inherent disrespect in the casting decision. At least with The Danish Girl the casting was callous indifference - most of the time its malicious. Malicious casting of a man to play a trans woman or a woman to play a trans man is like casting a chimpanzee to play a black person. It says "go fuck yourself, this is what we think you really are".

MarsAtlas:

BreakfastMan:
I agree with you in the broad sense, but I think it is a bit more understable in this case, as the movie shows an individual going through transition, starting out with them slowly getting into cross-dressing and realizing they are trans.

And they couldn't have gotten a woman to do that? If you have an actor playing a woman you could have an actress playing a man. Hell, that was actually the original plan for this film. Nicole Kidman was originally cast for this film but sometime between Jared Leto winning an Oscar for portraying a drag queen and getting a ton of publicity for that they decided to drop having a woman play the role and went with a man. Its not like there's a lack of women, cis or trans, available to play the role. The change they made is inherently disrespectful - its like if a white guy won an Oscar for a blackface performance and then a new film for Frederick Douglass switched from Morgan Freeman to Jack Nicholson. "Trans face" as its called is garbage. Nobody casts a man to play a woman except either for comedy movies where the gag is "hahaha, its a really just a man in a dress doing these things" or when its transgender people being portrayed. Its a flagrant double-standard. Lili Elbe in particular is considered a pioneer of trans rights and having a man play her is akin to that previous Frederick Douglass casting happen. Regardless of intention or how kindly they intend to treat the subject matter (and Eddie Redmayne is doing a million times better than Jared Leto, so some props to him) there is an inherent disrespect in the casting decision. At least with The Danish Girl the casting was callous indifference - most of the time its malicious. Malicious casting of a man to play a trans woman or a woman to play a trans man is like casting a chimpanzee to play a black person. It says "go fuck yourself, this is what we think you really are".

Hmm, I think I see what you are saying. I guess I just never thought about it in that way.

BreakfastMan:

MarsAtlas:

BreakfastMan:
I agree with you in the broad sense, but I think it is a bit more understable in this case, as the movie shows an individual going through transition, starting out with them slowly getting into cross-dressing and realizing they are trans.

And they couldn't have gotten a woman to do that? If you have an actor playing a woman you could have an actress playing a man. Hell, that was actually the original plan for this film. Nicole Kidman was originally cast for this film but sometime between Jared Leto winning an Oscar for portraying a drag queen and getting a ton of publicity for that they decided to drop having a woman play the role and went with a man. Its not like there's a lack of women, cis or trans, available to play the role. The change they made is inherently disrespectful - its like if a white guy won an Oscar for a blackface performance and then a new film for Frederick Douglass switched from Morgan Freeman to Jack Nicholson. "Trans face" as its called is garbage. Nobody casts a man to play a woman except either for comedy movies where the gag is "hahaha, its a really just a man in a dress doing these things" or when its transgender people being portrayed. Its a flagrant double-standard. Lili Elbe in particular is considered a pioneer of trans rights and having a man play her is akin to that previous Frederick Douglass casting happen. Regardless of intention or how kindly they intend to treat the subject matter (and Eddie Redmayne is doing a million times better than Jared Leto, so some props to him) there is an inherent disrespect in the casting decision. At least with The Danish Girl the casting was callous indifference - most of the time its malicious. Malicious casting of a man to play a trans woman or a woman to play a trans man is like casting a chimpanzee to play a black person. It says "go fuck yourself, this is what we think you really are".

Hmm, I think I see what you are saying. I guess I just never thought about it in that way.

MarsAtlas put it really well in this case. Most cis folk don't think about it, how absolutely insulting and back handed it is to cast a cis man in the role of a trans woman, or to cast a cis woman in the role of a trans man. It is usually a calculated slight towards our gender identities, to do casting that way. Unlike cis folk, us trans folk often don't have the luxury in overlooking this sort of thing. Especially important because if we champion this sort of portrayal, it'll get used against us as in attempts to deny us rights and violate us further in the legal system...

Still that's not what really concerns me. In this case these roles get given away to up coming actors(usually, because they portray trans women) and actresses(for the rare portrayals of trans men), usually as a blatant attempt to bait for an Oscar. Rather than these roles being given to the trans folk who are struggling to get even stage roles, who generally find them selves in a lot less desirable sectors of the industry... If they're "lucky" enough to be trans women that is, as in that part of film and photography there isn't a market for trans men really.

But I digress, it's just another disappointment in trans portrayals, at least it's not a blatant insult like we usually get.

This is going to be a serious talking matter within this thread. Let's not make this heated, shall we?

BreakfastMan:

I agree with you in the broad sense, but I think it is a bit more understable in this case, as the movie shows an individual going through transition, starting out with them slowly getting into cross-dressing and realizing they are trans.

Sweet. So get a transwoman, who might have some real experience with that (transition, not necessarily "crossdressing"), and maybe it'd add something to the role.

Well this is a drama waiting to happen. I'm sure the internet will blaze with the usual talking-past-eachother and probably a lot worse. I'm not even going to bother with this one, all it'll accomplish is people being pissed with me.

Basically, I can't stand Eddie Redmayne, all he seems to do is talk in a hushed voice and make exaggerated and overly dramatic facial expressions.

Smilomaniac:
Well this is a drama waiting to happen. I'm sure the internet will blaze with the usual talking-past-eachother and probably a lot worse. I'm not even going to bother with this one, all it'll accomplish is people being pissed with me.

Basically, I can't stand Eddie Redmayne, all he seems to do is talk in a hushed voice and make exaggerated and overly dramatic facial expressions.

Yeahhhh I'm not, either. Maybe he'll do better in Fantastic Beasts?

Spider RedNight:

Smilomaniac:
Well this is a drama waiting to happen. I'm sure the internet will blaze with the usual talking-past-eachother and probably a lot worse. I'm not even going to bother with this one, all it'll accomplish is people being pissed with me.

Basically, I can't stand Eddie Redmayne, all he seems to do is talk in a hushed voice and make exaggerated and overly dramatic facial expressions.

Yeahhhh I'm not, either. Maybe he'll do better in Fantastic Beasts?

Well shit, this is the first time I've been excited and dissapointed at the same time. I've never heard of the book, I'll have to read it - Thanks!

Smilomaniac:

Spider RedNight:

Smilomaniac:
Well this is a drama waiting to happen. I'm sure the internet will blaze with the usual talking-past-eachother and probably a lot worse. I'm not even going to bother with this one, all it'll accomplish is people being pissed with me.

Basically, I can't stand Eddie Redmayne, all he seems to do is talk in a hushed voice and make exaggerated and overly dramatic facial expressions.

Yeahhhh I'm not, either. Maybe he'll do better in Fantastic Beasts?

Well shit, this is the first time I've been excited and dissapointed at the same time. I've never heard of the book, I'll have to read it - Thanks!

I place more faith in the book and J.K. Rowling being good than my disdain for Eddie Redmayne so I'm thinking it'll break even and end up being good xD

In any case, no problem! I personally love that book

Smilomaniac:
Well this is a drama waiting to happen. I'm sure the internet will blaze with the usual talking-past-eachother and probably a lot worse. I'm not even going to bother with this one, all it'll accomplish is people being pissed with me.

Basically, I can't stand Eddie Redmayne, all he seems to do is talk in a hushed voice and make exaggerated and overly dramatic facial expressions.

I don't know, he was good in Thomas the Tank Engine.
image

KyuubiNoKitsune-Hime:
Typical, they make a movie that's about a trans woman and get a cis man to play the role. Heaven for bid they at least get a cis woman to play the role, to make it somewhat more authentic, or you know actually get a trans woman to play the role. It's roles like these that are made for trans folk, yet not only do trans folk never get seriously considered for these roles... They insist on putting cis men in the roles of trans women and cis women in the roles of trans women. Some times it feels like they intentionally do this bad casting to give trans folk a bad image...

Just depressing, especially considering the movie isn't particularly good and over fictionalized.

Unless I misread the article, the story is about a man who dresses up as a woman and then slowly finds out that he's more woman inside than man and sticks with being a woman.

So it is about a person who has a biologically male body, but identifies as being a woman, how is it more authentic to have this character portrayed by a biologically female person? It may be better that way metaphorically speaking, but more authentic?

It is set in the 1920's, a time when hormone therapy to make males look more feminine didn't exist yet, so for the time it is set in, I'd say that it is pretty authentic?

bluegate:

KyuubiNoKitsune-Hime:
Typical, they make a movie that's about a trans woman and get a cis man to play the role. Heaven for bid they at least get a cis woman to play the role, to make it somewhat more authentic, or you know actually get a trans woman to play the role. It's roles like these that are made for trans folk, yet not only do trans folk never get seriously considered for these roles... They insist on putting cis men in the roles of trans women and cis women in the roles of trans women. Some times it feels like they intentionally do this bad casting to give trans folk a bad image...

Just depressing, especially considering the movie isn't particularly good and over fictionalized.

Unless I misread the article, the story is about a man who dresses up as a woman and then slowly finds out that he's more woman inside than man and sticks with being a woman.

So it is about a person who has a biologically male body, but identifies as being a woman, how is it more authentic to have this character portrayed by a biologically female person?

It is set in the 1920's, a time when hormone therapy to make males look more feminine didn't exist yet, so for the time it is set in, I'd say that it is pretty authentic?

I think the issue is more of a lack of respect than authentucity. Had they went with the orginal female actor, that action might of spoken louder than any sentiment on trans people could have, since a cisgender women and a transgender women are still women by a lot of trans people's definition.

By choosing someone male bodied who is not trans, I think there would be a level of disrespect found, given people often conflate being a man with being a transgender women. Anyone's opinion aside, its obvious that people who identify as women do not want to be conflated with men.

Although to be honest I am not sure how a cis female actor could play the male presenting half of the character's life and be belivable, men can often have a much stronger voice than a woman. Maybe they could of used two actors or sfx. I guess this ultimatly depends on the quality of the actor though.

KyuubiNoKitsune-Hime:
Typical, they make a movie that's about a trans woman and get a cis man to play the role. Heaven for bid they at least get a cis woman to play the role, to make it somewhat more authentic, or you know actually get a trans woman to play the role. It's roles like these that are made for trans folk, yet not only do trans folk never get seriously considered for these roles... They insist on putting cis men in the roles of trans women and cis women in the roles of trans women. Some times it feels like they intentionally do this bad casting to give trans folk a bad image...

Just depressing, especially considering the movie isn't particularly good and over fictionalized.

I'd rather have a competent actor than a shoehorned trans person for the sake of PC.

bluegate:

KyuubiNoKitsune-Hime:
Typical, they make a movie that's about a trans woman and get a cis man to play the role. Heaven for bid they at least get a cis woman to play the role, to make it somewhat more authentic, or you know actually get a trans woman to play the role. It's roles like these that are made for trans folk, yet not only do trans folk never get seriously considered for these roles... They insist on putting cis men in the roles of trans women and cis women in the roles of trans women. Some times it feels like they intentionally do this bad casting to give trans folk a bad image...

Just depressing, especially considering the movie isn't particularly good and over fictionalized.

Unless I misread the article, the story is about a man who dresses up as a woman and then slowly finds out that he's more woman inside than man and sticks with being a woman.

Well two things, the way the article put it is kinda vague... The main character was asked to pose as a female model for a portrait painting, through this they discover that womanhood fits them. Either way a lot of trans folk have discovered they're trans through some form of cross dressing, especially before the internet, and this rings doubly true for people who felt such things before transgender even was a term.

bluegate:
So it is about a person who has a biologically male body, but identifies as being a woman, how is it more authentic to have this character portrayed by a biologically female person?

Possibly as a period piece, still it's not all that difficult to make a female actress look like a man at any rate. The point is partially validation on the premise of gender identity being what makes a man, a man, or a woman, a woman. More importantly trans women tend to show more feminine behavior, so having a cis woman play a trans woman would be closer to how a trans woman experiences the world and holds them selves, both externally and internally(not biologically). Still that's a half measure to have a cis woman play a trans woman, or a cis man play a trans man, because from an acting stand point they realistically can't express the deep feelings of a trans person. There are plenty of experiences and deep emotions that can be acted, gender dysphoria is not one of them. So trans characters should be played by trans folk, because that's we're the ones with the most authentic experiences to bring to that performance.

bluegate:
It is set in the 1920's, a time when hormone therapy to make males look more feminine didn't exist yet, so for the time it is set in, I'd say that it is pretty authentic?

Not really, because generally using a cis man to portray a trans woman, or cis woman to play a trans man, is more about the statement that trans folk are more our biology, than what we identify as. It might be authentic from a technical biological point of view, but not from an identifying and experience based point of view. As I said before, this is more about authenticity in the acting, not the physical biology of the person, by that a woman can more authentically portray a trans woman in her acting, because she understands what it is to identify and be a woman. Besides that, make up and voice modulation could easily be used to make a female actress look and sound like a man.

In short the/TL;DR - It's more about the authenticity of the performance being given than it is about physical body of the person in this case. Having a cis gender man play a trans woman is kind of like saying that cisgender drag queens are the same as trans women. That's not exactly the case, a woman would be far better at expressing the emotions, experiences, and identity of a trans women. Still trans characters really should be played by trans folk of the same gender identity, that makes the performance completely authentic to the trans experience.

Edit: Whoops buggered up the quote coding.

Pinkamena:

KyuubiNoKitsune-Hime:
Typical, they make a movie that's about a trans woman and get a cis man to play the role. Heaven for bid they at least get a cis woman to play the role, to make it somewhat more authentic, or you know actually get a trans woman to play the role. It's roles like these that are made for trans folk, yet not only do trans folk never get seriously considered for these roles... They insist on putting cis men in the roles of trans women and cis women in the roles of trans women. Some times it feels like they intentionally do this bad casting to give trans folk a bad image...

Just depressing, especially considering the movie isn't particularly good and over fictionalized.

I'd rather have a competent actor than a shoehorned trans person for the sake of PC.

So a trans woman actress can't be a competent actress and a trans man actor can't be a competent actor? Yeah sure because there are no trans people who are very talented and desperately need jobs? That's basically what you're saying there and it's totally untrue, also lets look at the facts shall we:

-There are a lot of talented trans actors and actresses, they could have gotten a trans actress for this role who would have done well.

-This is a story about a trans woman, from an acting perspective, a trans woman playing the role would have been better because a trans woman knows exactly what it's like to be trans. Meaning a trans woman in the role would have brought more authentic experience and emotion to the role than a cisgender man ever could.

-Eddie Redmayne isn't a universally considered a particularly good actor and a lot of people are saying that he fumbled playing this role competently. So if competence is the question, there is a huge plethora of talent they could have casted, that would have done the role competently, coincidentally there are probably more a few of those who happen to be trans stage actresses.

So the "a shoehorned in trans person for the sake of PC" doesn't particularly hold any water here. Especially because they shoehorned Eddie Redmayne into this role as a blatant attempt to score an Oscar. Seriously Oscar winning actor + Oscar bating with trans positive movie = Lots of Oscars for The Danish Girl, at least in the minds of directors and producers. So yeah your argument holds less water than a spaghetti colander considering those things.

KyuubiNoKitsune-Hime:
Typical, they make a movie that's about a trans woman and get a cis man to play the role. Heaven for bid they at least get a cis woman to play the role, to make it somewhat more authentic, or you know actually get a trans woman to play the role. It's roles like these that are made for trans folk, yet not only do trans folk never get seriously considered for these roles... They insist on putting cis men in the roles of trans women and cis women in the roles of trans women. Some times it feels like they intentionally do this bad casting to give trans folk a bad image...

Just depressing, especially considering the movie isn't particularly good and over fictionalized.

They just wanted to make the entire film authentic to the experiences Trans people face every day. That's why they gave a job to a cis man instead of a more qualified trans woman. It's just like real life!

KyuubiNoKitsune-Hime:

Pinkamena:

KyuubiNoKitsune-Hime:
Typical, they make a movie that's about a trans woman and get a cis man to play the role. Heaven for bid they at least get a cis woman to play the role, to make it somewhat more authentic, or you know actually get a trans woman to play the role. It's roles like these that are made for trans folk, yet not only do trans folk never get seriously considered for these roles... They insist on putting cis men in the roles of trans women and cis women in the roles of trans women. Some times it feels like they intentionally do this bad casting to give trans folk a bad image...

Just depressing, especially considering the movie isn't particularly good and over fictionalized.

I'd rather have a competent actor than a shoehorned trans person for the sake of PC.

So a trans woman actress can't be a competent actress and a trans man actor can't be a competent actor? Yeah sure because there are no trans people who are very talented and desperately need jobs? That's basically what you're saying there and it's totally untrue, also lets look at the facts shall we:

-There are a lot of talented trans actors and actresses, they could have gotten a trans actress for this role who would have done well.

-This is a story about a trans woman, from an acting perspective, a trans woman playing the role would have been better because a trans woman knows exactly what it's like to be trans. Meaning a trans woman in the role would have brought more authentic experience and emotion to the role than a cisgender man ever could.

-Eddie Redmayne isn't a universally considered a particularly good actor and a lot of people are saying that he fumbled playing this role competently. So if competence is the question, there is a huge plethora of talent they could have casted, that would have done the role competently, coincidentally there are probably more a few of those who happen to be trans stage actresses.

So the "a shoehorned in trans person for the sake of PC" doesn't particularly hold any water here. Especially because they shoehorned Eddie Redmayne into this role as a blatant attempt to score an Oscar. Seriously Oscar winning actor + Oscar bating with trans positive movie = Lots of Oscars for The Danish Girl, at least in the minds of directors and producers. So yeah your argument holds less water than a spaghetti colander considering those things.

Now I may have misinterpreted what they said but my understanding is they were saying they would rather have the best actor/actress they could get. NOT that there are no great trans actors/actresses. Simply putting it: There are way fewer trans actors/actresses so getting one to play the role would have been harder, at the same level. I do reject the notion that you have to have the actor be what they're playing, that's why it's called ACTING. I played the pope in shows (I'm not even catholic), I've played a murderer (I'm not one of those....), and I've played many other parts that I am not. Would it have been played better by a person who was those? Probably, but then again I'm not an A list actor. If someone can portray the character well I don't care what they are in real life.

That being said: I haven't watched the movie nor do I particularly care to (rarely watch movies), but how was the acting by the person chosen?

KyuubiNoKitsune-Hime:

Well two things, the way the article put it is kinda vague... The main character was asked to pose as a female model for a portrait painting, through this they discover that womanhood fits them. Either way a lot of trans folk have discovered they're trans through some form of cross dressing, especially before the internet, and this rings doubly true for people who felt such things before transgender even was a term.

Possibly as a period piece, still it's not all that difficult to make a female actress look like a man at any rate. The point is partially validation on the premise of gender identity being what makes a man, a man, or a woman, a woman. More importantly trans women tend to show more feminine behavior, so having a cis woman play a trans woman would be closer to how a trans woman experiences the world and holds them selves, both externally and internally(not biologically). Still that's a half measure to have a cis woman play a trans woman, or a cis man play a trans man, because from an acting stand point they realistically can't express the deep feelings of a trans person. There are plenty of experiences and deep emotions that can be acted, gender dysphoria is not one of them. So trans characters should be played by trans folk, because that's we're the ones with the most authentic experiences to bring to that performance.

Not really sure I get this, as it stands the movie has a male actor playing a role where someone born with a male body transitions to female. Are you suggesting that it would be better to have a woman play a man who in turn transitions back to woman?
Isn't that something like double sexism, or triple?
I agree with the sentiment that they could've coached or instructed the actor better, as most of the acting felt rather forced, but in the end he is an actor, which means he takes on the roles of people he has nothing in common with all the time.

KyuubiNoKitsune-Hime:
Typical, they make a movie that's about a trans woman and get a cis man to play the role. Heaven for bid they at least get a cis woman to play the role, to make it somewhat more authentic, or you know actually get a trans woman to play the role. It's roles like these that are made for trans folk, yet not only do trans folk never get seriously considered for these roles... They insist on putting cis men in the roles of trans women and cis women in the roles of trans women. Some times it feels like they intentionally do this bad casting to give trans folk a bad image...

Just depressing, especially considering the movie isn't particularly good and over fictionalized.

Honestly with what an extreme minority trans people are, and the fact that most usually dont broadcast their status i wouldn't be surprised if they couldent find any skilled trans actors who fit the role. Also remember in the time period sex reassignment surgery, did not exist, so having a women in the role would be hard to sell; (although it might be really neat if they cast two actors, a male and a female for the role, for scenes where they are being perceived by others or by themselves respectively, but that might be hard to pull off)

kekkres:

Honestly with what an extreme minority trans people are, and the fact that most usually dont broadcast their status i wouldn't be surprised if they couldent find any skilled trans actors who fit the role.

Given the sheer number of actors available, I don't think that could be true.

Remember, it doesn't have to be a household name.

kekkres:
(although it might be really neat if they cast two actors, a male and a female for the role, for scenes where they are being perceived by others or by themselves respectively, but that might be hard to pull off)

That's... an interesting idea, actually. Let me think about that.

Pinkamena:

I'd rather have a competent actor than a shoehorned trans person for the sake of PC.

Except the two aren't mutually exclusive, and it's not for the sake of "PC."

I would note that we're expected to feel the pain of every straight white dude when a black guy gets cast as a white character, even if their ethnicity isn't of import. Or oh no, they made a Green Lantern gay.

kekkres:

Honestly with what an extreme minority trans people are, and the fact that most usually dont broadcast their status i wouldn't be surprised if they couldent find any skilled trans actors who fit the role.

Have you tried Google? Serious question. It's not hard to find trans actors in the public eye already, let alone trans actors in general.

*reads the discussion*

Yeah, it's the same as having non-disabled actors play disabled people, which in part, went as far as damaging the public perception of people.
I didn't really think about it when reading the article, but it is kinda shitty.

MarsAtlas:
*snip*

First off, I think calling it akin to blackface is extreme hyperbole. Yes there exists a stigma against trans people, transphobia is a very real thing and very frightening in the extremes but to put it on the same level of the racism that has existed (and to a far greater extent) is just wrong. That's my feelings on that particular matter.

Now, onto the casting choice for the movie, without having seen the film I don't see any issue casting a cis man as a transgender woman, especially considering the role wasn't played off as 'haha, she's really a man.' It seems the film portrays transitioning in a more serious light and while I can't speak for the talent of Eddie Redmayne, I think the choice in casting is hardly inappropriate let alone being malicious.

Edit made here due to misunderstanding of who was actually cast.

Don't get me wrong, I certainly see the merit of having a trans woman being portrayed by a trans woman, it's easy to portray that transition because they've experienced it. They've been through it. However, I do not believe it's absolutely necessary to do so. That'd be like asking Gary Sinise to actually cut his legs off to better portray Lt Dan after his double amputation just to understand the struggle of the handicapable. But he wasn't asked, and he didn't have to. Because as an actor, he does a very, very good job at acting.

On a final note, why is it offensive for a man to be cast to portray a woman (post-transition) but not offensive for a woman to be cast to portray a man (pre-transition)? Wouldn't it be just as derogatory for Nicole Kidman to don a suit with a baritone voice and 'be a man' for the first half of the film? It seems a bit of a double-standard to criticize one and not the other. But that's just my two cents.

Mortis Nuncius:

On a final note, why is it offensive for a man to be cast to portray a woman (post-transition) but not offensive for a woman to be cast to portray a man (pre-transition)? Wouldn't it be just as derogatory for Nicole Kidman to don a suit with a baritone voice and 'be a man' for the first half of the film? It seems a bit of a double-standard to criticize one and not the other. But that's just my two cents.

I'm not an expert, but from what I've seen, the attitude among trans people is that before they realized they were transgender, they were still mentally that gender, they just didn't realize it yet (which is consistent with what we know about gender dysphoria). So for the first half of the film she would be a woman in a male body, not a man. (Note that people's opinions probably differ on this, this is just the concensus I've seen)

step1999:

Mortis Nuncius:

On a final note, why is it offensive for a man to be cast to portray a woman (post-transition) but not offensive for a woman to be cast to portray a man (pre-transition)? Wouldn't it be just as derogatory for Nicole Kidman to don a suit with a baritone voice and 'be a man' for the first half of the film? It seems a bit of a double-standard to criticize one and not the other. But that's just my two cents.

I'm not an expert, but from what I've seen, the attitude among trans people is that before they realized they were transgender, they were still mentally that gender, they just didn't realize it yet (which is consistent with what we know about gender dysphoria). So for the first half of the film she would be a woman in a male body, not a man. (Note that people's opinions probably differ on this, this is just the concensus I've seen)

While true, I imagine this varies from person to person. Not being familiar with the story myself however, the character may have identified as a man until they realized they were more comfortable identifying as a woman. From what I gather the crossdressing acted as a sort of trigger for their transition, but up until they point they were still a man both in body and in mind. But again, I'm not familiar with the story and I could very well be wrong.

I also feel the need to clarify that this only extends as far as the film, I'm not nearly well-read enough on the subject to speak of gender dysphoria as a whole.

Mortis Nuncius:

While true, I imagine this varies from person to person.

Yes, but you asked why this was more an issue one way. Even if we afford for the notion that there are transwomen who felt like men beforehand (yet to meet one, but I can't preclude it), this is the larger issue. The commonality between transwomen and men is their genitals at birth. The commonality between transwomen and ciswomen is pretty much everything else.

Something Amyss:

Mortis Nuncius:

While true, I imagine this varies from person to person.

Yes, but you asked why this was more an issue one way. Even if we afford for the notion that there are transwomen who felt like men beforehand (yet to meet one, but I can't preclude it), this is the larger issue. The commonality between transwomen and men is their genitals at birth. The commonality between transwomen and ciswomen is pretty much everything else.

I can certainly see it as being less of a leap for a woman to portray a man pre-transition as one could say their identity before that realization was already an act of sorts seeing as they weren't their true selves. And again, there is no doubt great merit for casting a trans woman, or even a cis woman for the role. But ultimately, even though it would have made a much greater impact and would have been a more wise choice overall, I don't believe it was absolutely necessary to have done so.

Edit:

To elaborate, I feel what this really all comes down to is Eddie's portrayal of the character. If it was done well, it only goes to show the range of the actor. If it was done poorly, it would be at best, simply a misunderstanding of gender dysphoria and the transition of one's gender identity, and at worst, complete ignorance and lack of sensitivity trans women. Not direct malice of the filmmakers.

Mortis Nuncius:
I don't believe it was absolutely necessary to have done so.

Is anyone saying otherwise?

I think people are disappointed they're being utterly ignored. In a movie about people in a shared demographic.

And yeah, I'm kind of disappointed, too. It's disheartening to know that even if I did something like cure cancer tomorrow, I'd probably be played by a dude. This might be no big thaing to you, but I've spent most of my life invisible.

We get massive threads complaining that Hermione is black, or the Gunslinger is black, or the Kingpin is black. We get big threads on why Bond and The Doctor can't be black or a woman. Honestly, I would think that a transwoman playing an explicitly trans woman would be a lot more understandable than traits even the authors often don't care about (Rowling, King, Doctor Who writers).

Except I forget myself. We're a very tiny minority and it's still acceptable to punch down at us.

While I'm on the subject:

First off, I think calling it akin to blackface is extreme hyperbole. Yes there exists a stigma against trans people, transphobia is a very real thing and very frightening in the extremes but to put it on the same level of the racism that has existed (and to a far greater extent) is just wrong. That's my feelings on that particular matter.

You know, a lot of those white people thought they were being positive to black people. It's easy to forget how being in the majority can blind one to certain things. But really, have you looked at the death rates for trans individuals? Suicide rates? The only way it's not on the same level is that blacks outnumber us by orders of magnitude. I would bet real money that parity between the two would paint a much different picture. This is not to diminish anything blacks have been through, because I still wouldn't want to be black in the US. Especially not in a place this white. But I'm betting the main reason you feel this way is because one group gets coverage and the other is ignored.

And that goes right back to why we might want some sort of presence in media specifically about us.

But this was about a double standard, and I'm not really sure I see one. You effectively asked why we were more comfortable with women playing women rather than men playing women. Well, this is why.

Qizx:
Now I may have misinterpreted what they said but my understanding is they were saying they would rather have the best actor/actress they could get. NOT that there are no great trans actors/actresses. Simply putting it: There are way fewer trans actors/actresses so getting one to play the role would have been harder, at the same level. I do reject the notion that you have to have the actor be what they're playing, that's why it's called ACTING. I played the pope in shows (I'm not even catholic), I've played a murderer (I'm not one of those....), and I've played many other parts that I am not. Would it have been played better by a person who was those? Probably, but then again I'm not an A list actor. If someone can portray the character well I don't care what they are in real life.

That being said: I haven't watched the movie nor do I particularly care to (rarely watch movies), but how was the acting by the person chosen?

To boil it down to it's most simple essence, gender dysphoria is one of the very few things that it's basically impossible to portray without having actually experienced it. Also when it comes to trans folk, having a man portray a trans woman is exactly the opposite of useful, because the commonality between men and trans women is genitals, where a cis woman and a trans woman have most everything else in common. Basically in both ways a cisgender man really can't effectively bring across the essence of a trans woman, a cisgender woman on the other hand, at least has the experience of identifying as a woman. You wouldn't ask a man to play Susan B Anthony, or a woman to play Abraham Lincoln for example. So if cis actors must be used the casting method needs to change, have cis women play trans women, and cis men play trans men, it's not hard and even that little bit would show a lot of respect and understanding. The way they do it now is basically quaint and backwards.

I'd say that Redmayne came off a bit stiff, pretty unconvincing, very forced, and didn't put any honest emotion into the role, all in all it felt pretty hollow.

shinyelf:
Not really sure I get this, as it stands the movie has a male actor playing a role where someone born with a male body transitions to female. Are you suggesting that it would be better to have a woman play a man who in turn transitions back to woman?
Isn't that something like double sexism, or triple?
I agree with the sentiment that they could've coached or instructed the actor better, as most of the acting felt rather forced, but in the end he is an actor, which means he takes on the roles of people he has nothing in common with all the time.

It's very simple, trans women identify and feel that we are women, therefore we have a lot more in common with women mentally, as opposed to what we have in common with men, which is genitals. The same is true with trans men regarding what they have in common with cisgender men, versus women. Because of that there is nothing sexist about asking a woman to portray a trans woman, because we're talking about authentic emotional portrayal, not what genitals they happened to be born with. To put it bluntly to think of a trans woman as a man who transitioned to being a woman is the exactly wrong way of looking at it, because it requires viewing someone who has never really been a man as a man. That's how casting directors keep looking at this sort of thing and it's exactly wrong.

Now sure actors play people they have nothing in common with all the time, but you'd call it insulting to cast a man in a role in any narrative where the character is supposed to be a woman. This is exactly the same thing, trans women are not men, never have been men.

kekkres:
Honestly with what an extreme minority trans people are, and the fact that most usually dont broadcast their status i wouldn't be surprised if they couldent find any skilled trans actors who fit the role. Also remember in the time period sex reassignment surgery, did not exist, so having a women in the role would be hard to sell; (although it might be really neat if they cast two actors, a male and a female for the role, for scenes where they are being perceived by others or by themselves respectively, but that might be hard to pull off)

First a quick google search will show you plenty of trans actors and actresses. Second it's plenty easy enough to make up a trans woman, or cisgender woman look like a man, they do it all the time, so it wouldn't be a hard sell to put a woman trans or cis in the role. As for the two actors playing the same role? Well they do that all the time in movies where a character appears at different ages, it's not hard to pull off. Still having a man play a trans woman pre-transition is still asking a man to play a woman's role, in film that's not done unless the character is trans, or we're talking about a really bad comedy.

the silence:
*reads the discussion*

Yeah, it's the same as having non-disabled actors play disabled people, which in part, went as far as damaging the public perception of people.
I didn't really think about it when reading the article, but it is kinda shitty.

Apples and oranges really. It's a lot better to cast a cisgender woman for the role of a trans woman, than it is to cast a cisgender man for that same role. In basically any other circumstance you could never cast a man to play a woman, so here it's a double standard. Besides that, the reason I'd like to see trans actors and actresses casted to play trans folk, is because that's basically the only role they could reasonably get in any mainstream film or television currently. So basically the only roles that trans folk could ever be considered for in mainstream are given to cisgender men. That's not insulting at all, nope.[/sarcasm]

Mortis Nuncius:
I can certainly see it as being less of a leap for a woman to portray a man pre-transition as one could say their identity before that realization was already an act of sorts seeing as they weren't their true selves. And again, there is no doubt great merit for casting a trans woman, or even a cis woman for the role. But ultimately, even though it would have made a much greater impact and would have been a more wise choice overall, I don't believe it was absolutely necessary to have done so.

Really it's a double standard, after all you'd never expect some on to cast a man in the role of Margret Thatcher, or any other cisgender woman, that would be offensive. Yet it's never considered offensive by the mainstream to have a man play a woman when that woman is trans. So saying it's not absolutely necessary to cast a woman, cis or trans, as a trans woman to me sounds like it's not necessary to cast a woman in the role of a historical figure that's a woman. Which in practice would really alienate the vast majority of people.

Edit: Got ninja edited...

Edit:

Mortis Nuncius:
To elaborate, I feel what this really all comes down to is Eddie's portrayal of the character. If it was done well, it only goes to show the range of the actor. If it was done poorly, it would be at best, simply a misunderstanding of gender dysphoria and the transition of one's gender identity, and at worst, complete ignorance and lack of sensitivity trans women. Not direct malice of the filmmakers.

It was done poorly and I have yet to see a cisgender man ever play the role of a trans woman convincingly.

Also at worst it's complete ignorace and lack of sensitivity to trans woman? No there are plenty of instances where a cisgender man was cast to play a trans woman purely out of transphobia, so as to make the character look bad. Jared Leto's character in Dallas Buyers Club is a perfect example, especially because the character was originally a cisgender gay drag queen, which makes the whole thing doubly offensive.

Something Amyss:

Mortis Nuncius:
I don't believe it was absolutely necessary to have done so.

Is anyone saying otherwise?

The poster I initially responded to sure made it seem that way. Apologies if that came across as being directed at you.

I think people are disappointed they're being utterly ignored. In a movie about people in a shared demographic.

And yeah, I'm kind of disappointed, too. It's disheartening to know that even if I did something like cure cancer tomorrow, I'd probably be played by a dude.

I'm not sure that's an apt comparison. If it was a story of how you cured cancer, I've no doubt you would be portrayed by a woman because that is how you identify and it's a story about you curing cancer, which would be the focus. The Danish Girl, however, is a film about the transition. That is a central part of the story which it revolves around. And to me it would make sense for the character's pre-transition masculinity to be represented by a man and see the point he realizes that he feels more comfortable as a woman through crossdressing and later identifying entirely as a woman.

This might be no big thaing to you, but I've spent most of my life invisible.

We get massive threads complaining that Hermione is black, or the Gunslinger is black, or the Kingpin is black. We get big threads on why Bond and The Doctor can't be black or a woman. Honestly, I would think that a transwoman playing an explicitly trans woman would be a lot more understandable than traits even the authors often don't care about (Rowling, King, Doctor Who writers).

Except I forget myself. We're a very tiny minority and it's still acceptable to punch down at us.

While I'm on the subject:

First off, I think calling it akin to blackface is extreme hyperbole. Yes there exists a stigma against trans people, transphobia is a very real thing and very frightening in the extremes but to put it on the same level of the racism that has existed (and to a far greater extent) is just wrong. That's my feelings on that particular matter.

You know, a lot of those white people thought they were being positive to black people. It's easy to forget how being in the majority can blind one to certain things. But really, have you looked at the death rates for trans individuals? Suicide rates? The only way it's not on the same level is that blacks outnumber us by orders of magnitude. I would bet real money that parity between the two would paint a much different picture. This is not to diminish anything blacks have been through, because I still wouldn't want to be black in the US. Especially not in a place this white. But I'm betting the main reason you feel this way is because one group gets coverage and the other is ignored.

And that goes right back to why we might want some sort of presence in media specifically about us.

But this was about a double standard, and I'm not really sure I see one. You effectively asked why we were more comfortable with women playing women rather than men playing women. Well, this is why.

It could very well be that I'm not as exposed to the hardships of transgendered individuals, or that I don't see the abuse those individuals endure. I'll chalk that up to me living in one of the more progressive parts of the US.

Now, having said that, I'd appreciate it if you didn't assume things of me and my experience. Because while I may not have the same level of exposure, I am well aware of those hardships. I have a good friend that recently transitioned. She is fortunate to have had the level of support that she has had. I briefly dated a woman who hadn't so easily transitioned. She didn't have the support from her grandparents (with whom she was living with at the time) and unfortunately she became depressed.

This will probably come across as one of those, "it's okay, I have a black friend" defenses but I'm telling you so you'll know I'm no stranger to those hardship. Though I'm just been an outsider looking in, I still have an understanding of what it is a person can go through in a period of transition.

And this wasn't about a double standard, though it was something I had brought up and conceded that it wasn't as I had initially thought, something that we had discussed just prior.

What this was about was whether or not the representation of trans women was a positive one in regards to the casting decision for the main character of the film. And in that regard, I still believe it really comes down to how the character was portrayed rather than who the character was portrayed by. I'm certain there are many trans actresses that could've played the role just as well, and likely even better, but it was a creative decision not to. Not a political one.

KyuubiNoKitsune-Hime:

Mortis Nuncius:
I can certainly see it as being less of a leap for a woman to portray a man pre-transition as one could say their identity before that realization was already an act of sorts seeing as they weren't their true selves. And again, there is no doubt great merit for casting a trans woman, or even a cis woman for the role. But ultimately, even though it would have made a much greater impact and would have been a more wise choice overall, I don't believe it was absolutely necessary to have done so.

Really it's a double standard, after all you'd never expect some on to cast a man in the role of Margret Thatcher, or any other cisgender woman, that would be offensive. Yet it's never considered offensive by the mainstream to have a man play a woman when that woman is trans. So saying it's not absolutely necessary to cast a woman, cis or trans, as a trans woman to me sounds like it's not necessary to cast a woman in the role of a historical figure that's a woman. Which in practice would really alienate the vast majority of people.

I feel that there's a bit of a difference in taking the role of someone who was, for the entirety of their life, both biologically and mentally a woman, and a woman who had been born male, experienced a period of dysphoria, then coming to the realization that they are not the same gender they were at birth. It's the transition that this movie is focusing on. That's how I see it at any rate.

Mortis Nuncius:
To elaborate, I feel what this really all comes down to is Eddie's portrayal of the character. If it was done well, it only goes to show the range of the actor. If it was done poorly, it would be at best, simply a misunderstanding of gender dysphoria and the transition of one's gender identity, and at worst, complete ignorance and lack of sensitivity trans women. Not direct malice of the filmmakers.

It was done poorly and I have yet to see a cisgender man ever play the role of a trans woman convincingly.

Also at worst it's complete ignorace and lack of sensitivity to trans woman? No there are plenty of instances where a cisgender man was cast to play a trans woman purely out of transphobia, so as to make the character look bad. Jared Leto's character in Dallas Buyers Club is a perfect example, especially because the character was originally a cisgender gay drag queen, which makes the whole thing doubly offensive.

John Lithgow's character in The World According to Garp seemed to do so with critical approval. And I think it's hard to say what's 'convincing' given how diverse people can be. There's not really a mold for trans people or any lines they need to be colored within to be 'convincing'. Unless of course you're talking about the performance of the actors rather than whether or not the women they're portraying would be considered 'passable'.

And you can't really say that it was done 'purely' out of transphobia. Granted there are numerous examples of transphobia in film, it's more likely that it was ignorance than active oppression. And I'm not defending that ignorance, just trying to draw a line between anti-trans and just not pro-trans.

At the risk of digressing, I'm curious as to how Jared Leto portraying a character that is the same gender, is gay, and crossdresses doubly offensive offensive in comparison to him portraying a trans woman? Is it because it would be a straight man portraying a gay man? A man who (I assume) doesn't dress in drag portraying a man that does?

KyuubiNoKitsune-Hime:

It's very simple, trans women identify and feel that we are women, therefore we have a lot more in common with women mentally, as opposed to what we have in common with men, which is genitals. The same is true with trans men regarding what they have in common with cisgender men, versus women. Because of that there is nothing sexist about asking a woman to portray a trans woman, because we're talking about authentic emotional portrayal, not what genitals they happened to be born with. To put it bluntly to think of a trans woman as a man who transitioned to being a woman is the exactly wrong way of looking at it, because it requires viewing someone who has never really been a man as a man. That's how casting directors keep looking at this sort of thing and it's exactly wrong.

Now sure actors play people they have nothing in common with all the time, but you'd call it insulting to cast a man in a role in any narrative where the character is supposed to be a woman. This is exactly the same thing, trans women are not men, never have been men.

Trans women are women who were born with the physical characteristics of a man, but identifies as a woman, so wouldn't it make sense to have man play the character as we're talking about someone with a male body?
Wouldn't a woman playing the character be even stranger as trans women in the 1920s wouldn't have access to modern tools of transitioning?

KyuubiNoKitsune-Hime:
Typical, they make a movie that's about a trans woman and get a cis man to play the role. Heaven for bid they at least get a cis woman to play the role, to make it somewhat more authentic

image

I agree with the trans woman to play a trans woman, but if you want autentic having a cis woman is a step backward because outside of his perspective of identity he was once a man and then a trans woman, he wanst a cis woman.

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