02 Sep
Mouthing Off: Boycotting Dancing With The Stars

Welcome back to Mouthing Off, an every-once-in-while feature where we Mouth Off on issues that have caught our eye.

It’s amazing that we don’t update this hourly.   Sheesh.

Today we’re Mouthing Off about the threatened boycott of Dancing With the Stars.

At first we were all for it, assuming that the protestors were upset about ABC playing loosey goosey with the term “Stars.”   Seriously, come on. Rob Kardashian?   Nancy Grace?   We’ll give you solar mass, but they’re not stars.

But we soon realized that people are calling for a boycott of the show because one of the contestants is Chaz Bono, the son of Sonny Bono  and Cher No Last Name Required.   (And do you know why there’s No Last Name Required? That’s right, because Cher is a star.)

The boycotters’ concern is that seeing Chaz will confuse children.   And the children will then ask questions.  And we think that we can all agree it’s better to boycott something than have it lead to actually talking with  your child.

One viewer said, “Manufactured genitalia is not the conversation I want to have with my children.”  Excellent point.  When we watch television with our children, we don’t discuss the genitalia of anyone on the show.  Manufactured or otherwise.  Obviously, a missed opportunity there because Lord knows we have so much to say about Glenn Beck’s junk.

But all kidding aside, what would happen if your child were to ask, unlikely as it would be, “Mom, was this man ever a woman?” What would the harm be in saying, “Yes, Chaz Bono was born a woman.  But that is not who he is.”   Even if this happens, we promise your child isn’t going to ask for gender reassignment for her next birthday.

Because being transgendered is not contagious. And if at some future time your child were to encounter someone struggling with the issue of gender identity, is it really a bad thing if your kid were sympathetic instead of terrified?  Compassionate instead of bigoted?  We’ve heard talk that humanity can shine as bright as stardom.

57 Responses to “Mouthing Off: Boycotting Dancing With The Stars”

09.02.11#1

Comment by Karin.

hmmm… I obviously keep up with pop culture – Chastity has a sex change?

stjohn_hippo Reply:

haha! I was thinking the exact same thing. I was completely unaware that Chaz was once Chastity (I didn’t even know Chaz was CHAZ until about 5 minutes ago)

09.02.11#2

Comment by chris10.

<3

09.02.11#3

Comment by Danielle.

It’s weird because DWTS viewers are definitely into other parts on that show. The number one search on my site is Lacey Schwimmer Boob Job. So, I think they are being extremely selective about their surgeries. I have watched the show since the beginning. If I don’t watch this season it is because I can’t watch one more season of Karina being dressed like a slutty Easter basket and the sound of Nancy Grace’s voice.

Karin Reply:

for the record, I’m not a DWTS fan, or really any of that competitions model (American Idol, ANTM, or even Survivor or Big Brother – perhaps if they were less drama-y and more comedy like Wipeout). but a boob job and a sex change have very different moral, ethical and social implications – it’s not like boob job vs nose job which would be being selective about surgeries.

I'm a big ol' b with a captial B! Reply:

I absolutely agree, Karin. They are nothing at all alike. In fact, boob jobs and nose jobs are superficial and only to please the outside of a person (unless it’s breast reduction which can seriously impair people’s backs). Not that I’m judging. If they want that and have the money for it, more power to them.

A transgender surgery is all about being true to a person’s heart, soul and mind without consideration of superficial outsiders. You’re right. Totally different.

Danielle Reply:

I love you!

09.02.11#4

Comment by maria from nj.

This is why I love you.

Aubrey Anne Reply:

I second this.

Moira Reply:

Me three!

09.02.11#5

Comment by I'm a big ol' b with a captial B!.

Huh, I must live under a rock. 1. I had no idea that Sony and Cher (without a last name, I agree) even had a kid much less that said kid changed genders. 2. That this kid is on DWTS (I don’t watch). 3. Or that, for some reason, this is even an issue somehow.

But let me just crawl out from under my rock for a second to say, I absolutely agree with your viewpoint. I may just have to tune in now–if I can stand Nancy Grace.

09.02.11#6

Comment by Cate8.

silly … I even follow Chaz on twitter ..
I am old, too. you youngsters better catch up.
P.S. absolutley not going to watch DWTS ever well maybe if Matthew McConaughey (can’t spell that) or Dennis Quaid were on it.
But good luck Chaz.

Plano Mom Reply:

I was thinking the same thing. I am old. I remember wanting to be like Chastity, she had such pretty straight blond hair. I love it that all these old people having a cow don’t get it that younger generation not only doesn’t have a clue, but also could not care less.

09.02.11#7

Comment by Kati.

I personally was planning to watch up until I heard Nancy Grace’s name. Now I can’t. Everytime I hear her voice, I think I’m in trouble!

But now that you’ve made mention of Glenn Beck’s junk, it’s safe to assume I will never be able to watch tv again, ever.

09.02.11#8

Comment by Meredith L..

I’m going to EXTRA watch the show this season!

(And my husband is going to EXTRA work late to avoid it, because he doesn’t like DWTS because he loathes joy.)

GrandeMocha Reply:

I’m going to EXTRA watch the show this season too! And make my friends and family watch it.

I’m excited about Carson Kressley being on DWTS.

Momof4Luds Reply:

I’ve never watched this show – much prefer So You Think You Can Dance. But I’m with you all, I WILL watch this year to support tolerance! Also I’m jazzed that JR Martinez is on – the most unlikely soap opera star ever. (A real vet with serious scarring from war injuries, hired to play a vet with war injuries.)

Momof4Luds Reply:

Ooops, I may have to re-think this. I have no issue with Nancy Grace but I have made a concerted effort to pretend that the Kardashians don’t exist

09.02.11#9

Comment by tracey - justanothermommy.

I wish I liked DWTS so that I could continue watching it, but I really don’t. It kind of… sucks. SORRY!

That said, it’s depressing to know that people are still so prejudiced against anyone who isn’t exactly like they are. One of the sweetest people I know is transgender. My children and I have had many conversations about what it means, but all they really know is that they love Annie. Why does anyone care about how other people live? How does Chaz’s brave decision to follow his heart and stand up to public (and family) scrutiny affect anyone else’s life?

09.02.11#10

Comment by wendy @ mama one to three.

this is really well said and well written. thanks for the smartness to start the weekend.

09.02.11#11

Comment by Kelly.

Well-written, on-point, hilarious as usual. I made my husband read it. He laughed and said when kids ask questions parents don’t want to answer, they just need to yell, as in “La la la la la…CAN’T HEAR YOU CAN’T HEAR YOU.” Avoidance. Always an option.

09.02.11#12

Comment by Lena Teegal.

Hopefully, one day evolution will do it’s job and breed out this hatred and bigotry.

I'm a big ol' b with a captial B! Reply:

Amen!

09.02.11#13

Comment by Becky.

which is worse; having drastic surgery performed because your brain is telling you you’re not the right gender or having drastic surgery performed because you have weakened to society’s pressures to be “perfect” and only value the superficial, aesthetic things in life?

Good job Wendy. If more people were open to the kind of discussion with their children you suggest above, imagine what a better place this could be. It should be a teaching moment, not a fear moment.

09.02.11#14

Comment by Suburban Snapshots.

To think these offended parents would miss a golden opportunity to spread their narrow-mindedness to their children. When else might they have the chance to hand down their own ignorant beliefs? How would they otherwise broach the subject? Chaz Bono is practically a gift to these folks.

09.02.11#15

Comment by Becky.

Damn right. Wendy, you are a star (but I’m still not interested in seeing you dance.)

09.02.11#16

Comment by Manic Mommy.

Right here, right now, I’m starting the rumor that “Nancy Grace” used to be “Andy Grace”. Please pass it along…

Wendi Reply:

Spreading that rumor immediately.

09.02.11#17

Comment by alli3300.

I don’t watch this show but people who think they need to boycott this show because of Chaz are ridiculous. The show must be boycotted because of Nancy Grace. I am not sure how her husband or really anyone in her life spends more than 14 seconds with her.

Plano Mom Reply:

It will never happen because rude, shrill people are all the rage right now.

09.02.11#18

Comment by Megan.

1. Shouldn’t your little kids be in bed by the DWTS is on? 2. Do you honestly think they’re going to even notice?

The irony here is that if it were not for the surgery, Chaz wouldn’t be on the show at all.

Who the he’ll is Rob Kardashiian?

NoAdditives Reply:

My thought exactly! Unless parents bring it up themselves, or unless the children are old enough to read People magazine, how are they even going to know that Chaz wasn’t born a man?

And for the record, Rob Kardashian is Kim Kardashian’s little brother. He’s famous because he’s on two Kardashian reality shows.

09.02.11#19

Comment by Kim.

Love this. Shared it on my FB page. So perfectly put.

Amelia Reply:

Exactly. Me, too.

09.02.11#20

Comment by Amanda Austin.

Also? What child will look at Chaz and see a woman? How will it even lead to having that discussion? It confuses me as to why this is even an issue unless you make it one.

NoAdditives Reply:

Well that’s the point. The people who disagree with the idea of being transgender (and also homosexuality) are making it an issue simply because they can. Their excuse is flimsy but they have nothing else. They can’t just come out and say they’re boycotting the show because they think he’s immoral, or whatever it is they think. They make it about the children because that’s more socially justifiable.

N and Em's mom Reply:

Soooo, people don’t know what to say when their child says, “That man looks like a lady.” How about, “He sure does.” Leave it at that because sometimes that’s the way life is for people and no surgery was involved. All this falls under the category of ‘none of my business’; a concept that we don’t seem to teach anymore. No child is going to ask about gender reassignment surgery unless you bring it up. And if people don’t like it, they can turn the channel.

Amanda Austin Reply:

Precisely. I like that…I know lots of things that fall under the category of “none of my business”!

09.02.11#21

Comment by BrittanyandTahn.

I couldn’t agree more!

Favorite line?

“Because being transgendered is not contagious”.

Amen!

09.02.11#22

Comment by Mimzy Wimzy.

Chaz had plastic surgery. If someone feels the need to “protect” their child from that they will need to lock them in the basement with no access to anything from the outside world. There is more fake on DWTS than Sesame Street! {For the record I love the show & will be watching! Lacey is my favorite so obviously I am biased to want Chaz to win} Fake boobs, fake hair, liposuction to create fake body shapes, fake faces that can’t change expression due to over lifting faces… you get the idea.

Suck it up people. Its 2011. Wait until the day one of these single women who are up in arms protesting Chaz finally get married to the man of their dreams, have infertility issues and come to find out that the man of their dreams… used to be a woman!!

09.02.11#23

Comment by I'm a big ol' b with a captial B!.

@Danielle, I borrowed virtually all of it from Becky in the responses below but just happened to put it in a reply. (Thanks Becky!) Thanks for the love but must give credit where credit is due. 🙂

09.02.11#24

Comment by VG.

In the words of Peter Griffin: WHO THE HELL CARES??? It’s a DUDE! It’s not like Chaz will be wearing the girly costumes/get-ups that the other women wear.
Also, lets talk about that: People are upset that their children will be seeing a transgendered person on DWTS. How about the OUTFITS/COSTUMES they wear? Some of the males don’t wear shirts and have tight pants on (I’M NOT COMPLAINING ABOUT THAT AT ALL, DO NOT ATTACK ME PLEASE!). The ladies wear skimpy outfits, barely covering the “special areas”. How about the DANCES they perform? Some like the Samba and such are quite provacative in nature.
You’ll let your kids get all of that but won’t discuss the fact that Chaz was born Chastity? I smell a big pile of steamy BS aka Hypocrisy.

09.02.11#25

Comment by Roxanne.

I have absolutely no problem discussing transgender persons with my child, should the topic ever come up (and I’m sure it will eventually).

But watching Chaz dance on TV isn’t going to make any child start asking about his gender. I’m not sure if this is insensitive or whatever, but you don’t look at Chaz and think “he used to be a woman.” He looks like what a lot of children expect a MAN to look like. Does that make sense? Unless the child already knows that Chaz used to be Chastity. Right? Am I making any sense?

09.02.11#26

Comment by nic.

We’re in a new generation now. I’ve taken many classes where we talk about this freely. Basically, children are effected by what they see. They don’t know it’s wrong unless you tell them it is. It is VERY doubtful that question (“Mom, was this man ever a woman?”) would ever come up unless something was said before. If anything, parents should teach their children that yes, Chaz Bono used to be a woman, but is not anymore, and that it’s okay.

There are many reasons to boycott “Dancing With the Stars”, but because a transgendered person is competing is NOT one of them.

09.02.11#27

Comment by Taraloha.

I don’t watch DWTS but I might start now that Chaz is on the show. I think it’s unfortunate that he was probably only chosen as part of the cast because of his surgery, but good for him! I’m sure he knows he is going to be the focal point for a lot of narrow-minded nitwits but he’s doing the show anyway. Go Chaz! Win it all!

09.02.11#28

Comment by Taraloha.

Oh, and btw, I’m Chaz’s age. My mom is Cher’s age and I watched “Sonny & Cher” when I was a kid. I always liked it when Chastity came out at the end of the show because she was so pretty and we were the same age. So I have a sort of affection for Chaz because I felt like we could have been friends when we were little. 🙂

09.02.11#29

Comment by Maureen.

People need to get a life dancing with stars never did have top stars and it is a show for entertainment Chaz Bono is a very kind person and is coming on the show to show how genuine he is

09.03.11#30

Comment by Darlene.

If the Transgender issue is no big deal, why are their even blogposts about it? The bigger issue is how many people watch these ridiculous shows. How about turning on the history channel or discovery channel for their kids? How about
Teaching their children about real issues and about our wonderful country? It’s appalling how many children know the latest contestants on reality shows but have no clue about our
Constitution or other important topics! My 13 year old knows what transgender is but focuses his time on important matters not these attention seeking topics!

09.03.11#31

Comment by I'm a big ol' b with a captial B!.

History and Discovery have also gone down hill, Darlene. Swamp People, Pawn Stars, Ice Road Truckers, Dog Fights, American Chopper…. There’s not much ‘history’ or ‘discovery’ about them, I think.

Darlene Reply:

Oh please, you missed my point… Which was spend your time wisely and stop focusing on issues that don’t matter… I.e Chaz being transgender! You didn’t mention my other points… Such as knowing important information such as American history!!!! I personally didn’t know about one show you mentioned… Time to turn off your tv….

I'm a big ol' b with a captial B! Reply:

Actually, I really didn’t miss your point. I expanded on it. 🙂 TV, on the whole, is getting dumber and dumber. Channels that once could be viewed as educational are now succumbing to the ‘reality tv’ craze and aren’t worth watching anymore. For the record, I also don’t watch the shows I listed but have seen commercials during shows like Mythbusters and Dirty Jobs. I think to myself, “What the HECK is so Discovery/History Channel about those?”

09.04.11#32

Comment by Mindy.

I don’t know. Maybe I’m confused but why would a child ask a question like that from just watching DWTS? I understand the whole Chaz issue, but why should it matter?? It doesn’t change how he dances, does it????

09.06.11#33

Comment by Amy W.

I don’t watch DWTS… but I plan to this season, for the simple fact that I’m boycotting this boycott. I feel sorry for Chaz. What he has been through had to be very difficult emotionally, not to mention the physical pain. Now he is finally comfortable in his own skin, only to find that the world can be such a hateful place.

If an 8 year old looks at him, I guarantee that child will not think anything other than Chaz is a guy on DWTS. Kids aren’t old enough to know who Chastity Bono is!

And *if* the transgender question comes up, then parents should give an age appropriate answer (because this is our job as parents). You can’t “shelter” your children from things you don’t agree with, because unless you’re on lock down in some cult compound, your children will enter the world someday, to discover these things for themselves.

This whole thing is truly upsetting. Why can’t we just accept people for who they are? The people boycotting this program are hate mongers & need to focus less on Chaz Bono, and more on being decent human beings.

09.06.11#34

Comment by Peggy.

These “millions” of moms need to worry about other things like bullying, sexual harassment, etc. I always look forward to DWTS. I hope that none of them ever have to cope with a child of theirs being gay. I would fear for the child. God help them.

09.10.11#35

Comment by Tara.

I had no idea there was a boycott out on DWTS. It is really a sad thing that people would call for a boycott on this issue. I think that being transgender is such an interesting phenomenon and honestly I am really happy that DWTS has asked him to participate.
I grew up knowing her as Chastity. I remember when she came out and I remember when she chose to go through surgery. Personally, I think the more exposure my kids have to the way things are (i.e. that there are people different than you are and that is OK), the better equipped they will be when they get older and they get out into the world.

09.12.11#36

Comment by Nicole.

But you do have to admit, “Manufactured Genitalia” would be an awesome name for a band.

11.03.11#37

Comment by Jengie.

Forget about Chazz, what about Rob Kardashian and the way he will end up winning this whole thing because of Mama Jenner and her pocket book. Let’s vote him off the show! His family is nothing but a bunch of money hungry idiots and will stop at nothing to get it!

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