“The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” While not the highest of moral roads to travel, from a strategic standpoint that kind of logic certainly has it’s place in politics. This particular brand of highbrow reasoning also appears to resonate big with the talking heads that leach a living by telling people what they should think about horrible politicians and public figures and the terrible things they do.
Latest example comes from everybody’s favorite anthropomorphized potato, Jorge Lanata. In his quest to publicly detest everything even remotely associated with the president’s political agenda, Lanata has once again taken aim one of the most public figures in Argentina’s trans movement Flor de la V.
Not content to let dick jokes and homophobia pass into the social obscurity enjoyed by other outdated comic devices like fanny-packs and Rosanne Barr, Lanata took issue with the way Flor de la V’s dress was fitting at the Martín Fierro awards earlier in the week. He put a creepy amount of focus on Flor’s trans lady-parts and noticed that her gown was not fitting completely flush against the front her and asked if anyone else saw the “microphone” in the photo while on air in his radio show. The microphone being a clever euphemism for dick, because in the land of bolas, pelutudos, and boludos, if there is anything an Argentine can’t talk about it’s male genitalia. Cualqueria…
It might have gotten a few laughs on air but CHA (Comunidad Homosexual Argentina) President César Cigliutti didn’t think it was all that cute and noted that Lanata had not only violated Argentina’s Gender Identity Law but was also in violation of policy set out in the country’s Audiovisual Communication Services Law which stipulates that hosts cannot insight discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.
This isn’t Lanata’s first run in with Flor de la V. He took issue with her ability to be a good mother to her children due to her being a trans woman. While calling someone out for not having the right to be a mother (or as he put it “a father in the best of cases”) seems low, it is just another example of Lanata taking up arms against any cause current president Cristina Kirchner has even tacitly supported.
The real causality here – basic human decency. Lanata’s comments serve to accentuate the divide between progressive social policy and actual societal acceptance. The current administration has created a polarizing legacy rife with controversy, but their contribution to LGBTQ rights cannot be understated. Christina and her administration led the region in providing legal rights and recognition to group of people many in society wrote off as sub-human. It is surprising that Lanata, for all his rhetoric over legitimacy and the black and white nature of good political policy, can’t bring himself to do what his arch-rival could – recognize human decency in people who happen to express or think about gender a little differently.
The ability to see people as people, instead of jokes or problems has a lot of pull in Argentina. A quick review of the election results three (almost four) years ago makes that very clear. So while Lanata may have a decent laugh track and the keen ability to incite anger in a population run thin by an unpredictable economy and schizophrenic politics, he does not have history or common human decency on his side.