Saturday, April 16, 2011

Jane Fonda: Trans Friends
'Gave Up Penis Privilege'

The Stonewall Democratic Club of Los Angeles honored activist, feminist and actress Jane Fonda with a "Stoney" award last weekend. (I wonder if marijuana advocacy groups have any problems over the nickname for this club's award. ) Over at her blog, Fonda wrote that she took along two friends to the ceremony, Calpernia Addams and Andrea James, two transgender woman. 

This pic from her blog shows the three gorgeous gals glammed up and ready for fun and lots of socializing. From the left, James, Fonda and Addams, smile for the camera:

Some background details from Fonda about her friends and some of the ways they have collaborated together:

My son starred in “Soldier’s Girl” a few years ago ( was nominated for a Golden Globe for his portrayal) in which he played a GI…true story…during the Gulf War, who was bludgeoned to death by his roommate because he ( my son’s character) fell in love with a singer in a nightclub who turned out to be transitioning into a woman. ... [Addams and I] have become friends and I have learned a tremendous amount from her and Andrea about the journey and courage of people who know that, for whatever reasons, they have been born into the wrong sex and make the decision to be who they are meant to be. 

I was so moved and impressed that I convinced Eve Ensler to allow these women to perform her “Vagina Monologues.” Prior to that, only women were allowed to perform the monologues, but I said to Eve, “these women voluntarily gave up penis privilege. In many ways, they know more about being a woman than I do.” There was a performance of all transgendered women..all shapes and sizes, all with slightly different stories. It was an amazing evening. Calpernia wrote a special monologue which was very moving, called “Home Spun”. ...

That Jane Fonda, always the radical and here she doesn't disappoint, opining about penis privilege and abandoning it. I'm so glad she doesn't tip-toe around these matters, uses frank language and discusses her friends who happen to be transgender women with respect. Surely Ensler couldn't turn down Fonda's request for the trans production of her theater piece, and it's probably quite a show when performed by transgender women before a live audience.

What other liberal icon was in attendance at the Stoney's a week ago? Man of many talents and careers with his own controversial history that at times rivals and surpasses Fonda's, the legendary Gore Vidal. Here is a great photo of them together, and I dig that half bemused, half skeptical look on Vidal's face:

Speaking of Fonda, my partner and I recently watched her one-hour interview with Robert Osborne on Turner Classic Movies, and she brought up her TV movie from the early 1980s "The Dollmaker". She played an Appalachian wife and mother uprooted with her family during World War II to Detroit for her husband's employment in the auto industry, and won an Emmy for her performance.

I thought it must be on DVD, so I went to the public library to borrow a copy of it but sorry to say, "The Dollmaker" has only been issued on video cassette and the San Francisco library system does not possess it.

Whichever entertainment corporation owns the rights to the TV movie could make a few bucks, by releasing it on DVD. Rest assured, that DVD would get some free publicity on Fonda's blog!

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