“Board Woman” is Awful

A still-shot from the episode “Board Woman” by South Park (S23E7)

South Park has had its fair share of controversial or hot button topic episodes. “Board Woman” is no such stranger to such things. To give a brief background, I’m 25 years old. I’ve been watching since I was a young child. However, as of late (at least the previous 3–4 seasons, when the show started to have a storyline that flowed from episode to episode) the show has really started going downhill. “Board Woman”, it hit rock bottom in my eyes.

“Board Woman” focuses on the idea of trans women entering women-specific sports. This has been a hot button topic for both LGBTQIA community members and cisgender-heterosexual people. However, numerous trans and non-binary vloggers and writers have written articles and made videos on why when down far-enough the line of taking hormones (female-to-male or male-to-female) any “perceived” advantage that they might have in one sex-specific sport or the other is no longer there because of how their body’s biochemistry and physiology has changed.

South Park normally makes their episodes as a way of lightly poking fun at someone (or something), or to provide a more unique perspective (or provide a different way of looking at something or someone). However, this episode? No. It was just an excuse for the South Park creators to hurt the trans community. It was completely tone-deaf. They ran into a similar problem (of being completely tone-deaf) when they tried to do an episode about the phenomena of clinical anxiety in a recent season as well.

They did not provide some magical, insightful piece of information or perspective on trans rights or ideologies. I am not one to be offended by vulgarity but I couldn’t help but shake my head at the fact that they had the trans woman’s clothing so tight that you could clearly see an outline of their genitalia in the clothing.

South Park hit a new, abysmal low level with this episode for me. I, myself am non-binary and am always fighting for my transgender brothers and sisters. I understand and realize that not all transgender people are inherently “good people”, but this episode really just felt like an excuse to take a big heaping poop on trans people.

It’s not “just a joke” when trans people are being killed every day for being trans. It’s not “just a joke” when people can still say “I was shocked that they were trans, so that’s why I killed them” and get away with murder because of that statement (because it’s seen as a legal defense in some areas of the USA).

I’m a queer adopted healthcare worker who writers in their spare time. I have a MPH degree.