Where is Laverne Cox?
April 27, 2014 10:03 AM   Subscribe

This year's Time 100 List is out: conspicuously missing is trans activist and actor Laverne Cox, who had been consistently on the top of the poll. Many online are deeply unhappy, calling it a snub against trans women of colour (though not everyone agrees). Time has not responded; Laverne Cox is gracious and thankful.
posted by divabat (62 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
 
That Jezebel article is spot on.
posted by graphnerd at 10:08 AM on April 27, 2014


I don't know if I agree: if the argument is that "Laverne Cox is not influential worldwide", that should eliminate people like Carrie Underwood or Kerry Washington (or the stacks of American politicians on there), and the work of Laverne Cox has been inspirational to many trans people worldwide where the ability to be openly activisty about it has not been as possible.
posted by divabat at 10:09 AM on April 27, 2014 [10 favorites]


Just think: there are kids today who are just about getting their drivers' licenses, and who are yet still too young to remember when Time was even a tiny bit relevant.

Time has long been nothing but bland, conspicuously-middlebrow pablum, albeit with some good photography. It exists for nostalgia value only, and doesn't want to rock the boat by doing anything controversial or taking any difficult positions.

It can and should be safely ignored – a fitting punishment for a media outfit that no longer says anything worth listening to.
posted by Scientist at 10:11 AM on April 27, 2014 [14 favorites]


I'm not convinced that celebrities should take so many places of the top 100, but given that they have I can't see how she's less influential than Benedict Cumberbatch or Miley Cyrus.
posted by jeather at 10:12 AM on April 27, 2014


Irrelevant magazine is irrelevant.

The Jezebel article was not good, especially since it wants to argue that Laverne Cox does not fulfill the criteria set out by Time, but then it also admits that Time itself does not follow those criteria. As divabat points out, it argues that Cox is only important in the Anglosphere, but that would also nix many of the other people on the list. It doesn't even mention the more credible argument "against" Cox's inclusion, which is that Jenji Kohan was already on the Top 100 list - but wouldn't the same argument about the anglosphere apply to Kohan?

It's a poor showing. But then again, since when has Time been good?
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:13 AM on April 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


So looking at it, my hunch is that what happened was that they commissioned Shonda Rhimes to write the entry about Jenji Kohan, who is the creator of the show that Laverne Cox is on, and then including both Jenji Kohan and Laverne Cox would make the list look weirdly Orange-is-the-New-Black-centric. So they went with the celebrity, not with the poll.

But yeah, the idea that Miley Cyrus is one of the 100 most influential people in the world is deeply goofy, and Time sucks.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:19 AM on April 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


I don't think Jenji Kohan has anything to do with why people feel that Laverne Cox should have been on the list. Although Cox was on orange is the new black, it's far from the most influential thing she's done in the last year. It's not a credible argument, and it makes sense that the article didn't include it. If being on the same project precluded people from being colisted - there go all of the politicians and the Koch brothers.

Time set themselves up for this by displaying the yes/no percentages and the number of votes cast. Once you display her positive rating and the huge number of votes cast, it's impossible to draw any other conclusion than Time deliberately keeping her off the list. And since time hasn't seen fit to say anything about it? Why are we trying to make excuses for them?

They erased a trans woman from their list. Trying to paint it as anything but cowardly transmisogyny is giving them a benefit of the doubt they have not earned.
posted by stoneweaver at 10:25 AM on April 27, 2014 [18 favorites]


Also -- Jenji Kohan is the celebrity in this pair? I had to look up who she was. I mean, maybe I'm just out of touch but I think Laverne Cox is the celebrity of those two. She's got her own vh1 show and a prominent role on OitnB. I wouldn't recognize Jenji Kohan in a line up.
posted by stoneweaver at 10:27 AM on April 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


I don't need Time Magazine.
posted by docgonzo at 10:30 AM on April 27, 2014


But yeah, the idea that Miley Cyrus is one of the 100 most influential people in the world is deeply goofy, and Time sucks.


Nobody said the list had to be influence for good.
posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College at 10:30 AM on April 27, 2014 [4 favorites]


I'm talking about Time's rationale, not about the rationale of the people who are up in arms about this. I'm not sure what their rationale is. This seems to me to be a weird thing to be making a big deal about, given that Time is pretty irrelevant and the list is really stupid.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:31 AM on April 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


Do we have to be labeled as up in arms? Can't we just be exasperated or Tired Of This Shit for once?
posted by Corinth at 10:34 AM on April 27, 2014 [18 favorites]


I'd buy Miley Cyrus. Gets all of media talking about her on the regular.

metafilter.com/tags/mileycyrus - 8 posts past year
metafilter.com/tags/lavernecox - 3 posts ever
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 10:39 AM on April 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


"I don't think Jenji Kohan has anything to do with why people feel that Laverne Cox should have been on the list."

Absolutely, but it does help explain what Time's editors were probably thinking - wrongheaded as that thought process might have been.

Time is trying to maximize the audience for their list, so they pick people representing "diverse" spheres of interest in public life. Not diverse in terms of gender or race but diverse in terms of respective audiences.

They probably assumed that Kohan's show was they only reason Cox is famous - so they went with Kohan instead of Cox and figured they'd covered that particular sphere of influence well enough and then proceeded to pick Carrie Underwood and John Green and all the rest to get some exposure in their particular fan base universes... and of course by snubbing one of their top vote getters, one with a rightfully vocal base of support who represents and fosters progress in a legitimate and newsworthy area, they maximize their exposure still.

There is something really dark about Time effectively saying that Cox is only influential because of Kohan. There is a kind of logic to it but that logic rings hollow. Orange is the New Black is an interesting and surprisingly influential show for a paid web series, but Cox is public in other ways and Time is sort of saying that she is a non-entity apart from that show, something which is demonstrably untrue.
posted by striatic at 10:48 AM on April 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


Not including Ms Cox has probably given TIME 5 or 10 times the ad revenue and discussion about the list than including her would have.

These lists are clickbait - their whole purpose is to generate discussion and controversy. Discussion and controversy about who is on the list drives clicks as people who ordinarily wouldn't care click to see who is on the arbitrary list. If you want to generate controversy online and drive traffic there is little better tactic than poking the internet social justice slacktivist brigade.

This is like the 5th place i've seen discussion about this, and I've seen like 1or2 stories about everything else about the list. laughing all the way to the bank.
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 10:53 AM on April 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


Can't we just be exasperated or Tired Of This Shit for once?
I think there's a lot of shit worth being tired of. But the list was almost certainly drawn up months ago, and the poll was a transparent attempt by a desperate, fading magazine to generate hits. It's a completely arbitrary list, and it's not something anyone would have paid attention to except for this controversy. There is so much shit out there: I just am not entirely clear on why this shit is getting so much attention.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 10:54 AM on April 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


"Orange is the New Black" (where I primarily know Cox from) is one of the most critically acclaimed, buzzed-about shows of the past year. Cox's inclusion in the cast and beautiful portrayal of Sophia was, I think, revolutionary. So including her in the Time 100 would not have been at all inappropriate.

Having said that, "a lot of people voted for her in this online poll so she should have been included in the list" seems like a pretty weak argument in her favor, considering the unscientific nature and how easy such a poll could potentially be gamed.

On a side note - I'm not getting the arguments against Miley Cyrus' spot on the list. Whether or not one is a fan of Cyrus is irrelevant; it is virtually inarguable that she was one of the most controversial and frequently talked about pop stars in the world during the past year. That is pretty much the perfect criteria to be included on the celebrity side of this list, whether or not one wants to sit outside the pop culture bubble notwithstanding.
posted by The Gooch at 10:56 AM on April 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


Maybe you're not sure why it's getting so much attention because it's not something that impacts you. (Maybe it does! I don't know you.) I do know that for the people feeling tired of this shot it's because it's yet another time they're seeing that it's easier and more profitable to ignore and make money off their backs. Being used as a cynical pawn is disgusting an feels awful.

Time held out hope that trans people could have someone on the list. They chose to put Cox in the running. They're a magazine my grandparents get. That my bank has in the lobby. Now tell me that it wouldn't have meant The World to me for those people to be exposed to the amazingness that is Laverne Cox.
posted by stoneweaver at 11:00 AM on April 27, 2014 [5 favorites]


Time held out hope that trans people could have someone on the list. They chose to put Cox in the running.

Because trans* stories are hot right now and the story of leaving her off the list is hotter than the story of including her.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 11:20 AM on April 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


There's still a TIME magazine? I guess you need something to read at the doctor's office besides Sports Illustrated and pamphlets about Flomax.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:28 AM on April 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


None of Cox's media presence outside of OitNB is about OitNB. She's all over the place advocating for trans people and intersectional feminism. She's helped CeCe McDonald. She's dealt valiantly with ignorant cis interviewers on national TV. She's embarked on a speaking tour (I had the great pleasure of seeing her here in New Orleans a few months ago), and she meets with local trans and LGBT groups before and after her talks to encourage them. She's relentlessly put herself forward as a "possibility model" to try to give young trans people someone they can look to and realize, whoa, that's me, or it could be.

If you've read anything about her in the past year (or even before - she was doing this kind of thing even before OitNB), odds are it was about her advocacy and not her show. She's been one of the primary spearheads for the current increased awareness of trans people by never failing to use her growing fame for the advancement of the disadvantaged. That's what makes her so important.
posted by Corinth at 11:39 AM on April 27, 2014 [15 favorites]


the list itself is totally pointless (and the online polling doesn't help at all).
Going fairly by the pointless terms of its own apparent flawed "world influence" criteria (which includes e.g. Fox News host Megyn Kelly on the list for some reason) and the fact that they did the online poll thing, Laverne Cox should probably be on the list.

But, big picture, it's just another silly list in Time....
posted by Bwithh at 12:07 PM on April 27, 2014


The list was gamed to get moot from 4chan on the top and that earned him a spot in the magazine.

Time is international and this issue would have been amazing for trans awareness worldwide - the effect stoneweaver said.

The notion that Time is.irrelevant so therefore people shouldn't be upset has a...classist? sort of? feel to it that makes me uncomfortable.
posted by divabat at 12:15 PM on April 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


Also why are people assuming that Time won't get as much attention if they DID have her in the list?
posted by divabat at 12:17 PM on April 27, 2014


Laverne Cox is gracious and thankful.

I got to see her speak recently and she was just. awesome. Time is unworthy to even look at her (not that that excuses whatever double-standard bullshit they engaged in).
posted by rtha at 12:20 PM on April 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


John Green, who is on the list, is also not happy about Cox's exclusion.
posted by divabat at 12:32 PM on April 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


I think its as simple as this: I have heard of everyone on Time's 100 list, I never heard of Laverne Cox before this post. It is not a list about people you should hear about, its a list of people you are probably sick of hearing about.
posted by mediocre at 1:40 PM on April 27, 2014


mediocre: Really? You've heard of Erwiana Sulistyaningsih or Ory Okolloh or Mary Jo White? Because I certainly haven't (and now I'm glad I have), though I have heard of Laverne Cox.
posted by divabat at 1:44 PM on April 27, 2014 [6 favorites]


Important to note: I said heard of. Not hugely familiar with. Yes, I had heard of Erwiana Slistyaningsih, Ory Okolloh and Mary Jo White. In as much that I had read their name and remembered reading it.
posted by mediocre at 1:55 PM on April 27, 2014


Also, "I am outraged X is not on Y's publication of a List of Most Adjectived Proper Nouns!" is the oldest gripe on the internet. There will always, ALWAYS be someone someone else feels is more deserving. Usually, the griping amounts to yelling at clouds. In this case, it probably gave Ms. Cox more exposure than inclusion on the list would have.
posted by mediocre at 2:05 PM on April 27, 2014


mediocre: Time asked for reader votes, Laverne was a consistent top scorer, and yet they ignored her. Why ask if you don't want an answer?
posted by divabat at 2:10 PM on April 27, 2014 [4 favorites]


Trying to paint it as anything but cowardly transmisogyny is giving them a benefit of the doubt they have not earned.

Trying to paint it as cowardly transmisogyny is using a firehouse to paint a matchtip and intellectually dishonest to the point of complete invalidation. Passionately disagreeing with a publication is one thing, throwing ugly attacks at them because you disagree does not help the case for inclusion. Without any knowledge of the editorial process, all anyone has is the results of an online poll vs the published list.

Why ask if you don't want an answer?

Approximately 100% of the time, online polls are ignored by editors of publications or people otherwise choosing a list of whatever and are primarily in place to show what the visitors of their website thought vs what they thought. Recently here in Portland there was a public input poll as to the naming of a new bridge being built. The top vote getter, by a massive no-fucking-contest margin was that it should be named for "Working" Kirk Reeves, a longtime street performer who took his own life last year. His name didn't even make the list of official finalists. Online polls like this are, I don't know.. bread and circus? Something to make people think they have some influence on the editorial process, but they never do.
posted by mediocre at 2:15 PM on April 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


mediocre, I completely understand where you're coming from. But ain't it funny how the first people to be left out are, say, trans women of color? The fact is that trans women of color are left out of tons of things - Time lists, the US health care system, etc. - and at some point you have to recognize that trans women of color don't just have exceedingly bad luck.
posted by Corinth at 2:25 PM on April 27, 2014 [9 favorites]


That's the problem, though. Any niche group can claim this. I'm an outlier in this thread because I hadn't heard of Laverne Cox, I also have never seen an episode of Orange Is The New Black. I am also far from any variety of gender discrimination.

And how are trans women of color specifically left out of the US Health Care system? I don't say this mean spiritedly, I can see how trans individuals are a whole are left out in many ways and that is never okay. But trans women of color specifically?
posted by mediocre at 2:33 PM on April 27, 2014


How is that a problem?
posted by Corinth at 2:34 PM on April 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


It's a problem because it puts in this instance Time Magazine in a no-win scenario. Cox for whatever reason doesn't make the list, there is a backlash. Cox does make the list, there might be a backlash from whomever she knocked out of the list. Unless it was Miley Cyrus.
posted by mediocre at 2:38 PM on April 27, 2014


there might be a backlash from whomever she knocked out of the list.

I can't see anyone she could have replaced on the list be the source of a backlash against her. Even if she did get on the list and one other person didn't, I highly doubt that person would blame her for taking their spot when there's 99 other people you could point to.
posted by divabat at 2:41 PM on April 27, 2014


I did not mean to imply that the backlash would be against Cox, but against Time Magazine. And not from the individual specifically, but by supporters of whomever this person would have been. As mentioned in the OP, Cox herself did not initiate the backlash. Sorry if I did not make that clear.
posted by mediocre at 2:43 PM on April 27, 2014


mediocre: Time asked for reader votes, Laverne was a consistent top scorer, and yet they ignored her.
They have the poll every year, and they don't say that the top scorers will be included on the list. I don't think that the top scorers usually are all included on the list. That's because they have no way of knowing who will do well in the poll, and you can bet that the actual list is determined weeks or months prior to publication. The entries are written by celebrities and other outside writers, rather than by Time staffers, and they need time to decide on celebrity authors, approach them, allow them time to write (or "write"), and then edit (or write) their submissions. I don't think it's very likely that they're going to change the final list at the last minute because of the poll, which closes pretty much at the same time that the issue comes out. And the reason that they have the poll, which includes hundreds of nominees, is because it's clickbait, plus it generates interest in the list.

I think Laverne Cox is awesome, and she would have been a great person to be on the list. I'd certainly put her on a most-influential-people list before I'd put John Green, and The Fault in Our Stars literally made me weep in public. (Don't read that book on a plane!) But I don't understand how it's a double standard or an expression of bigotry that she wasn't on the list. And I feel like I'm getting a ton of angry tweets in my twitter feed that don't make a lot of sense to me.
The notion that Time is.irrelevant so therefore people shouldn't be upset has a...classist? sort of? feel to it that makes me uncomfortable.
I grew up reading Time, because my parents subscribed to it when I was a kid. They stopped sometime in the past ten years, for the same reasons that lots of people have stopped subscribing to general interest news-magazines. There's more competition from other kinds of media, there's a crisis in advertising revenue, and the magazines like Time and Newsweek have responded to the loss of readership and revenue by dumbing down the content, which in turn alienates their core readership. Magazines like Time are in absolute crisis, and I think there's a real chance that they won't be around in five years.
It's a problem because it puts in this instance Time Magazine in a no-win scenario.
I seriously could not care less about Time Magazine's no-win situation. Plus, I promise you that this particular no-win situation is the least of Time Magazine's worries right now.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 2:50 PM on April 27, 2014


I don't really care, I guess? Or rather, I care more about trans women of color being consistently left out of things than I care about Time Magazine feeling uncomfortable, so I'm willing to err on the side of the former. Besides, given all of the pressure on estabilishment outlets like Time to support the white/cis/het/male status quo, maybe a little pressure in the other direction finally wouldn't such a bad thing?
posted by Corinth at 2:50 PM on April 27, 2014 [4 favorites]


You mis-attributed a quote to me, ArbitraryAndCapricious. Divabat made that remark.
posted by mediocre at 2:58 PM on April 27, 2014


I didn't think I attributed it to anyone, mediocre! Those quotes were all from different people, and only the last one was from you, I believe.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 3:00 PM on April 27, 2014


Putting up a poll in a situation like this in which you don't intend to be in any way bound by it is very, very foolish, and this is why.

Online polls and editorial judgments often differ, and that's not only valid, but necessary to the entire idea that you can put together a "Time 100" that isn't just the top 100 celebrities who get Googled.

But by saying you're going to consider the votes but feel free to ignore them, you're essentially inviting this response. If it's unjust not to include Laverne Cox if she gets a lot of votes, is it unjust not to include Justin Bieber if he gets a lot of votes? If not, if you go back to "it's unjust to ignore the votes if they're right," it becomes circular.

When you say you'll consider reader input, you make it appear that every "we didn't pick that person out of the six billion people on earth" is a "we snubbed that particular person." So the things I would expect to enter into list-making enterprises like this in the first place (which do indeed include not putting in too many representatives of the same show/movie/whatever), which otherwise just are sort of part of the ridiculous mix of coming up with 100 names, suddenly look like people were cut from the team.

I think Laverne Cox would be a great person to put on this list. So would zillions of other people who aren't on it, some of whom are transgender, some of whom are women of color, some of whom are white dudes. But she got the votes, and by setting it up the way they did, they made the soft silliness of making a list like this in the first place look like a hard and hurtful snub.

I don't really think that they refused to include Laverne Cox because she's a trans woman of color, but I don't blame anybody who feels stung by it or suspicious of it. This is such a bad practice. Never put things up for a vote if you haven't thought through what you're doing with those results when you get them, particularly if the result may make it appear that you're making cuts. This kind of list -- literally a list of important people, basically -- has such a history of being exclusionary and gross that inviting input and then ignoring it without comment is ... not what I would do.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 4:54 PM on April 27, 2014 [4 favorites]


I don't really think that they refused to include Laverne Cox because she's a trans woman of color, but I don't blame anybody who feels stung by it or suspicious of it.

I think there may be a case to be made, though, that if a straight, cis, white man did unexpectedly well in the poll, they would have been more likely to consider whether that person was more worthy inclusion than someone they'd picked. That's more the issue than whether you or I would swap Laverne Cox in for whoever.
posted by hoyland at 5:08 PM on April 27, 2014


I think that case is to be made in exactly the same sense it's always a case to be made, you know? I think that is always an issue with lists like this that are so unbelievably subjective and gauzy to begin with. I frankly would assume that anyone who was trying to make this kind of a list had better be EXTREMELY conscious of all those biases. Vigilant, even. So I agree completely that that's possible, because that's always possible. I assume it's a potential factor in every single pick they made, because to assume otherwise would be to assume they can suddenly determine "importance" free of cultural biases that exist everywhere else.

I mean, her influence is so closely tied to her identity that it's like ... what would the test for bias even be? "Would we include a straight white cis male if he were equally influential for the way straight white cis males are represented?" It just becomes an impossible question to answer. All I'm saying is that I don't necessarily attribute bias to the decision not to include her, but it doesn't even matter. The sense of invisibility it creates is there anyway.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 5:15 PM on April 27, 2014


I like Laverne Cox. I loved Orange Is the New Black. I think her activism is important, and valuable, and she is terrific at what she does.

But to think a supporting role on a Netflix-only programme, however well received, as well as some US-only appearances, is all the reason one needs to put her on the list is the exact same myopia that goes with the 'I've heard of her, so she must be important worldwide'. Like Time's Person of the Year, it is both not based on merit or any value judgement and simply irrelevant.

You might hate Miley Cyrus, but she is definitely more well-known and influential than Laverne Cox. Kerry Washington is the black female lead of a network TV show that has been buzzing and popular, an extremely rare thing - objectively more visible than Laverne Cox. Linda_Holmes has it right in that the online component is foolish for exactly these results, but declaring transmisogyny because the Person I Like isn't being Recognised as Important as I Say is, at best, short-sighted. Time magazine isn't your world, and won't reflect your values and knowledge. I would think that, knowing the magazine, you'd take comfort in that - I know I do.

I mean, isn't this the same thing that caused Stephen Colbert to start a fake feud with Korean pop star Rain a few years ago, because Rain kept beating him in the online poll? Which incidentally drew attention to just how much fan bases had a hand in the online votes and how relatively easy it was to manipulate them?
posted by gadge emeritus at 7:47 PM on April 27, 2014 [3 favorites]


These "person of the year" things are basically the only reason anyone notices Time any more, so whatever. I can't remember the last time I saw an issue of it on someone's coffee table, in a doctor's office, or whatnot. Whatever Time's demographics are, they sure aren't anywhere near my circles.

I'm a transwoman and I have no idea who Laverne Cox is. I have no clue if that's a lack on my part or if her non-inclusion is a lack on Time's part. Looking at Time's site I also have no idea who a lot of the other people who did make it into their list are either.

I don't think every exclusion of work by a trans woman is "transmisogyny". I have had my comics praised but rejected by a bunch of publishers, and I've never once felt the urge to say IT MUST BE BECAUSE I'M TRANS. There are many other perfectly good reasons for these rejections.
posted by egypturnash at 8:23 PM on April 27, 2014 [2 favorites]


The fact that multiple people are comparing a black trans woman actress and activist's "fan base" to the fan bases of pop stars boggles my mind.

It sucks to be called short-sighted/throwing ugly attacks/griping/yelling at clouds/up in arms/etc. for pointing out the pattern in the case of this FPP. Trans people could totally be wrong in this case - maybe secretly Time is staffed full of allies and is completely resistant to systemic bias and unconscious prejudice and advertiser pressure and so on and so forth - but if people handwave away every instance of things like this happening (which they do!), we're still stuck with the absurd suggestion that trans women of color really are just this unlucky.
posted by Corinth at 8:42 PM on April 27, 2014 [4 favorites]


According to the Huffington Post link, she retweeted the Time Online poll and that's when her numbers spiked. According to the online poll, both Katy Perry and Justin Bieber came ahead of Laverne Cox, and Rihanna just below. None of those three appear either. The two who came ahead of her in the poll that are on the list are Indian politicians who are, to quote the Time articles, "...the world leader[s] chosen by the largest electorate on the planet." Which, leading a billion people might just be a little more influential than being a trans activist and actress in America.

So Laverne Cox didn't get a place on the popularity contest of something Time did, but unlike every other omission, hers is purely because of who she is, rather than any other factor that might have contributed.

Systematic anti-trans bias is a real thing, so you shouldn't need to gin up examples of it where it doesn't apply to make that point. It's not 'handwaving away every instance of things like this happening', it's disagreeing with you, often with explanations of why. Saying it's absurd to believe differently isn't a productive or useful tactic and only weakens your point.
posted by gadge emeritus at 9:10 PM on April 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'll forward your branding suggestions to the trans mothership for consideration. If they elect not to fire the Twitter cannon during the next snubbing, you'll know they heard you.
posted by Corinth at 9:22 PM on April 27, 2014


Nobody said the list had to be influence for good.


Indeed, how do you think we all won in 2006?
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:35 PM on April 27, 2014


Also -- Jenji Kohan is the celebrity in this pair? I had to look up who she was. I mean, maybe I'm just out of touch but I think Laverne Cox is the celebrity of those two.

I thought they were saying Shonda Rhimes, who Time commissioned to write on Kohan, had the most celebrity pull.
posted by rewil at 10:56 PM on April 27, 2014


the man of twists and turns: from what I can tell, the Time Person of the Year and Time 100 aren't related to each other.
posted by divabat at 11:18 PM on April 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


Anyone who thinks that the jezebel article is based on any premise but "we need to get something contrary out there ASAP to get clicks!" is a rube.

Yea, they wrote an article, but i would bet a stack of greenbacks that was the prompt. They're repeating stuff i've heard others say, but it's basically just copy to fill the page so that they can get views.

divabat: The list was gamed to get moot from 4chan on the top and that earned him a spot in the magazine.

This, as far as i'm concerned, is a slam dunk argument. It's like a one shot, one kill conversation ender. They have no excuse as far as i'm concerned. This is total "you gave everyone in line an ice cream cone, including the kid who showed up naked and asked you to wedge it between his butt cheeks. why doesn't she get one?"

The notion that Time is.irrelevant so therefore people shouldn't be upset has a...classist? sort of? feel to it that makes me uncomfortable.

I think that times relevance or lack thereof is a derail. They're obviously relevant enough to generate this much discussion and outrage, therefor they're relevant.

I don't think there's necessarily anything classist about the argument that they don't matter though, regardless of my opinions on its flatulence. I think the point that people are making is maybe one of a generation gap, in that this is basically a old vs new clash for the most part. teens and 20somethings on tumblr and twitter do not read time... their parents do. And their parents peers, generation wise, are writing and running this shit.(or at the very least, are sitting in the editors chair and such pulling the levers that run the place)

stoneweaver: They erased a trans woman from their list. Trying to paint it as anything but cowardly transmisogyny is giving them a benefit of the doubt they have not earned.

Not only this, but they thumbs downed that trans woman after greenlighting some fucking internet nerd that no one outside of a few online communities full of horse porn and cat pictures even knew of. They didn't know who he was either, and had to bullshit their way through seeming like they sort of did after the fact.

Being on a netflix show that gets talked about a lot is 1000x more visibility than being the admin of a website that most people don't know about, who prior to then had less than 10 publicly visible photos even posted online.

You can't say she doesn't mean some bar of relevance when there's people way below her on that scale who got in.
posted by emptythought at 11:54 PM on April 27, 2014 [4 favorites]


moot is founder of 4chan, which to a magazine like Time equals Anonymous equals the whole concept of Internet as a swarming force that can effect actual change. Again, you might not think him important, but it's harder to argue that whatever year he was considered influential (I didn't see him on the list this year) would have been when the idea of what a bunch of random people on the internet could get up to when they put their mind to it rated as some significance.

I'm not arguing for his inclusion on the list, but other people's perceptions of what is and isn't influential can be very different from yours. Compared to a regular Time reader, I would expect that to be true for most people on MetaFilter. I wouldn't have thought that a particularly controversial point.

And again, I loved Orange Is the New Black, but it's only talked about a lot in certain contexts. It is remarkably easy to not have any idea about the show or its supporting cast while still remaining involved with the world - just different parts. To me, complaining so insistently about Cox's absence from the list is to come off like a Belieber, hashtag included.
posted by gadge emeritus at 2:34 AM on April 28, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm a cis white man and I am disgusted with the apologist palaver in this thread.

Let us not forget that trans men and women are daily ostracized, beaten and murdered with impunity.

This is a civil rights issue.

Time is international, relevant and very influential.

Including Laverne Cox would have signaled that trans is not weird, kinky, fuckedup or wrong in any way, and helped to dispel the 'what's in your pants' rubberneck bullshit.

I am a trans ally.

Which side are you on?
posted by Pudhoho at 4:14 AM on April 28, 2014


This, as far as i'm concerned, is a slam dunk argument. It's like a one shot, one kill conversation ender. They have no excuse as far as i'm concerned. This is total "you gave everyone in line an ice cream cone, including the kid who showed up naked and asked you to wedge it between his butt cheeks. why doesn't she get one?"

Based on this argument, where is the equal (or actually greater) outrage at Katy Perry and Justin Bieber being left off of the 2014 list, considering they actually did better in the online poll than Cox did?


I am a trans ally.

Which side are you on?


You know what, this is just absolute bullshit. As I said upthread, I think Cox's groundbreaking work on OItNB alone was enough to make her a worthwhile candidate for inclusion on this year's list. But this argumentation tactic of, "You either think in lockstep with this one viewpoint we've deemed acceptable or you are the enemy" is just odious.
posted by The Gooch at 7:40 AM on April 28, 2014 [7 favorites]


It seems like a major piece of evidence for the snubbing argument is the online poll, and if so, that's just uproariously silly. Are we still pretending that online polls mean anything except a feigned interactive option for websites to pull in more traffic for ad revenue? Or that the parties who helped facilitate the padding of said online poll aren't a tad disingenuous when they turn around and take umbrage at the very padding of the poll highlighting the non-binding nature of it?

I say this about online polls in general; not just this one. I'm not arguing in any way or form about the merits of Cox, who does indeed seem like a very influential and relevant person. But Time's Person of the Year Poll literally has to be programmed every year specifically to prevent people from voting for Jesus, because every year that is what people do, and then 4chan or reddit decides on which random person they want to push for for the lulz.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:42 AM on April 28, 2014


To me the poll simply signifies that Time knows who Laverne Cox is and what she's been up to in the past year. That seems like enough on its own not to have to talk about whether you think she gamed the poll on the level of pop stars or reddit or 4chan or whatever, because comparing her misfit band of trans people and allies to the enormous machines of those groups is frankly preposterous.
posted by Corinth at 10:07 AM on April 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


Time's not even one of the top 100 influential magazines. C'mon.
posted by klangklangston at 2:10 PM on April 28, 2014




Speaking of Laverne Cox, I'm sitting in a coffee shop next to these guys having a rather loud kind of transphobic conversation. Then one says "Have you been watching Orange is the New Black?" and then explains about her character's backstory and how trans characters are usually portrayed as horrible people. Given that their language suggests no one has ever done a trans 101 with them, that's a pretty big deal.
posted by hoyland at 7:58 AM on May 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


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