Looking at Real Trans Media in Her Story Episode Four
Continuing the discussion on Her Story.
Hi and welcome to episode four in The Mary Sue’s look at Her Story. You can read about the previous episodes here. Please note: trigger warning for domestic abuse and misgendering.
Her Story episode four opens on a monologue from Allie, taken from the article she’s been writing with the help of Violet. In the background is a typical date montage: running, hugging, laughing, and splashing in the surf. The monologue is great:
I always thought myself firmly on the progressive side of every issue, but like too many in our community, I thought the tacit acceptance of the reality of trans people was sufficient. I never questioned their total absence from my world. I now see that great disservice, not just to those we’ve excluded, but to ourselves. For our world is less rich without their stories, their laughter, their voices. It’s less that the world has changed for trans people and simply that we’re seeing them as people. They are our brothers and sisters, our parents and children. Our colleagues, even our friends.
I love this opener. We’re then into the show proper, and it’s a scene at Violet’s place. Allie and Violet are together and having a fun night in, getting cuddly on the couch after Allie’s successful piece has been published. This is basically what spouse-human and I do: couch cuddles and Netflix bingeing; I can so relate to this scene, though it needs them surrounded by cats to truly represent my house experience. Then, Violet’s jerk-face boyfriend Mark comes home unexpectedly, and Allie gets a glimpse of the way Violet is currently living. Jerk-face is excellently played by Josh Wingate, because you can’t help but hate the guy. Violet has to get him a drink right away; she’s clearly afraid of him. As soon as he’s got the drink, Mark politely but firmly orders Allie out of the house. The scene includes Mark physically restraining Violet as he prevents Violet from speaking confidentially to Allie, and then he answers for her in conversation.
Pretty much every red light possible goes off in this relationship. There is both physical and mental abuse, Mark manages to be far more sinister than Kylo Ren ever managed to be with much less whining and daddy issues. This scene is well scripted, acted, and shot by Berenice Eveno, because so little is said yet so much information is imparted. As someone who has been in an abusive relationship, emotional abuse, gaslighting, controlling … it’s a hard scene to watch, because it’s accurate and reminds me of a time I want to leave behind. Allie leaves but asks if Violet wants to leave with her, which is perfect, but Violet declines, and my heart sinks.
The next day Lisa and Allie are talking at a cafe, with Lisa saying Violet is in an abusive relationship and pointing out that she’s a kept woman. Allie struggles with the idea and wonders how she can get Violet out of the situation. Lisa points out with accuracy that Violet won’t get out until she decides to get out. I presume this is the only coffee place in L.A., as Paige then walks in. Lisa verbally attacks Paige when she finds out that she’s defending a trans woman in a case where the client was excluded from a women’s shelter. Lisa’s TERF hackles go up, and she misgenders another trans woman. Paige, cool as a penguin in a freezer slipping a slurpee, just walks away, followed by a fun line where Allie calls Lisa a colossal twat (with the American accent, so it comes out “twot”!)
Allie later seeks out Violet at the bar she works in, checking in to see that she’s doing OK. Violet sidesteps the issue and introduces Penny, who is supposed to be a cockney Londoner, but you get the worst English accent since Bert in Mary Poppins. Allo, guv’nuh. Penny’s a singer in a band, and Violet and Allie agree to go to the afterparty later that night. We then switch to Paige and Jason eating cheeseburgers, and they are ridiculously cute together. Paige still doesn’t reveal much to Jason, but she does give him a little background info on her family: she was kicked out of the house at fourteen by her family; she doesn’t reveal why, though. Jason comforts her, and the joking around ends in a kiss. Eeee!
Things are heating up! Join me next time to talk about Her Story episode five.
If you’re in an abusive relationship and need help then you can reach out to http://www.thehotline.org in the US. In Canada, call 211 or visit http://211.ca, and in the UK, visit http://thisisabuse.direct.gov.uk/need-help. Free confidential help exists in many other countries, too.
Marcy (@marcyjcook) is an immigrant trans woman and writer. This includes Transcanuck.com, a website dedicated to informing and helping trans Canadians. She also has a nerd job, too many cats, is a part time volunteer sex educator and has an ongoing sordid love affair with Lego. Those last two are not related … probably.
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