Caitlyn Jenner: A “Real” Woman?

The following is a hateful Facebook post I’ve seen making the rounds, with my own rebuttal after it. I realize I’ve posted a lot on Caitlyn Jenner in the last few weeks, but it’s because I am constantly being barraged with this sort of bigoted B.S. nearly every day.  The thought of a transgender individual dealing with what they have to deal with everyday, having to see this woman’s ignorant nonsense when they jump on their Facebook makes me sick to my stomach…

hateful jenner rant

“I’ve heard you say you “identify as a woman”. But I find that highly unlikely and insulting. You see, Mr. Jenner, there is more to being a woman than beautiful gowns and fake boobs. There is more to being a woman than makeup and pretty hair.” – Of course there’s more to being a woman than dresses and makeup.  Caitlyn Jenner never said there wasn’t.  However, there are plenty of women all throughout the world who do like to wear those things.  Does that make them less of a woman too? Who decides what a “real woman” is? You? Those women that choose to be just like you?

“This is something we mothers begin teaching our young daughters at an early age.” – So is every female without a daughter not considered a woman?  You do realize that not every woman chooses to have children, right? You should also probably know that not all mothers teach their children the same things that you teach yours.  Does that mean they aren’t real mothers too?

“As a woman of nearly 50 years, I can tell you what it is truly like to be a woman.” – You know what it’s been like for you to be a woman.  Your existence is unique to you, to your experiences, to your choices.  As with every other human being that exists, whether male, female, or any gender in between, everyone has a life different from everyone else’s.

“You may be able to understand or even empathize, but you are definitely NOT able to “identify.” – Of course Caitlyn can’t identify with your life, anymore than you can identify with her’s.

“For instance, you will never know what it is like to wake up every 28 days with searing stomach pain so bad it doubles you over, yet still trot off to work or school as though everything is fine.” -You will never know what it’s like to have to live in a body that your mind is telling you you don’t belong in.  You will never know what it’s like to have to pretend to be someone you’re not because of fear that if you live like you feel you will be disowned by family and friends, kicked out of your home, or fired from your job, just for trying to be you.

“You will never know what it is like to have your car break down on the side of the road and when a couple men stop to help your prayer is that their intentions are good because there is no way on earth you have the ability to physically hang let alone overpower them.” – You will never know what it’s like to be a transgender person in that same situation, fearing that the chances are good that if they discover you are transgender they will beat you, torture you, and probably murder you because you aren’t like them.

“You have no idea what it is like to long to have a child only to have your third miscarriage, yet still manage to be able to share in the joy of all the other young mothers in your life.  You will never know what it’s like to get pregnant, gain 40 lbs (1/3 your total body weight), hurl all morning long for 4 months straight, yet still care for your other two toddlers, and not drive your husband to the brink. You will never know what it is like to give birth to a 10 lb. baby boy with absolutely no medication!!!” – This comment is insulting to more than just transgender people.  Why?  Because you will never know what it’s like to live in despair because you want those things so badly, but you know you’ll never have them.  You will also never know what it’s like to be born barren, unable to ever have children of your own.  Again, your experiences as a woman don’t define what it is to be a woman for everyone. They are your experiences. No one else’s.

“You will never know what it is like at the age of 50 to be walking down the streets of Phoenix and popping in the Dairy Queen for a cool refreshing treat only to be gripped at that moment with your fourth hot flash of the day.”  – How are you to know what Caitlyn Jenner will or will not feel?  Have you ever been on extensive hormone treatments?

“In my life, met many women who have been widowed. For me to walk up to them and say I identify with them would be ludicrous.” – Exactly.  Yet you feel that it’s okay for you to say the definition of a woman matches up exactly to the way you’ve lived your life. As if without your exact experiences, your exact choices, a woman isn’t a “real” woman.

“Like I said earlier, I can empathize with them, but I cannot identify myself as one of them because I don’t know what that is like – I can only imagine. And let’s not even talk about women who have worked through their double mastectomy.”  – Again… Exactly.  Your experiences are not the same as theirs, anymore than your experiences are the same as Caitlyn Jenner’s experiences.

“No, Mr. Jenner” – It’s Ms. Jenner, whether you like it or not. So try to get it right.

“There is more to being a woman than you could ever experience or even imagine.”  – There is more to being a woman than you could ever experience or imagine.  You also can’t imagine what it’s like to be a transgender person in a world that would shame, beat, and kill you because you don’t meet the status quo.

“And lesson #1 for all true women is this – botox injections, plastic surgeries, designer clothing, and public approval is NOT what makes a woman. A real woman is one who in spite of the stretch marks, age spots, dirt under her nails and tired eyes, and even with 1/2 plastic photoshopped supermodels as her competition, she has carried herself in such a way that her family, husband, and children, see her real beauty and find her far more valuable than rubies or diamonds and they rise up and call her blessed.”  – Again… That’s your idea of what a woman is.  But there are plenty of “real” women who don’t meet your standards.  Everyone is different.  Do you really not understand that?  Your life as a woman is no where near the life of a woman living in say… South Africa? Mexico? China? Do you not consider them “real” women because their lives are different than yours?

“Mr. Jenner” – Again… Ms. Jenner.  Your condescension doesn’t change that.

“You are a privileged white male living in the U.S.A. In fact, you are so free and so privileged, you can even spend your massive amounts of money to change your outward appearance to whatever you wish.” – You are a privileged white woman who thinks your way of life is the only way that’s real. You are so free and privileged that you can sit on your throne in arrogant judgment over all others because they don’t live up to your standards of what a woman is.

“That is NOT something most women around the globe are free to do even if they wanted.”  – Neither is sitting on Facebook ranting at someone you’ll never meet who has lived a life with experiences, hardships, and struggles that you’ve never even come close to experiencing.  But that’s not stopping you, now is it?

“MOST women in our world don’t even have access to a high school education.”Most women in the world don’t have access to hundreds of things that we have in the United States.  Many women don’t have access to food, to proper clothing, to medicine, to a home, but that doesn’t mean those in the United States that do aren’t “real” women.  If that’s the standard you’re setting, then you’re not a real woman either!

“So, Mr. Jenner”Ms. Jenner.

“I find your claim to identify as “a woman” disingenuous, uneducated, and honestly – quite offensive.” – I find your entire rant extremely arrogant, hypocritical, condescending, bigoted, and hateful.  Not to mention that it lacks any sort of empathy or understanding for what transgender people struggle with and have to overcome in their lives.  Do you know that “41 percent of trans or gender non-conforming people surveyed have attempted suicide.”  Gee, I wonder why that is! Could it be because of the fact that hateful, ignorant, people like you shame them, bully them, beat them, and constantly remind them that they aren’t really who they feel they are? Could that possibly be it?  Perhaps if you stepped off of your high horse for just a few seconds you could possibly sympathize with someone like Caitlyn.  Is it likely you will? Probably not.  The ignorant who have placed themselves on a pedestal above others generally don’t want to realize that they might be completely wrong.  I’m not transgender, I’m not a woman.  I am a member of the LGBT community and I am male.  But I would never think for a second that I could ever tell anyone else who also happens to identify with those groups that they are not really LGBT, or not really male.  As I’ve said several times throughout this post, everyone is different, no matter what category they happen to fall into. Whether you agree with her life or not, it is her life.  Try to respect that.

  • James Garcia 7/30/2015

Caitlyn Jenner IS a Hero

The following is my response to this blog post:

https://emilysuzanne11.wordpress.com/2015/06/02/bruce-jenner-is-not-a-hero/comment-page-103/#comment-9963

Hello,

Per your follow up post, you state that you have received over 4,000 responses so I’m sure you won’t read this, but I feel the need to have my say anyway.  Your second sentence immediately caught my attention as being slightly funny “Most are so deeply embedded in presuppositions…”  Why do I find this funny? Maybe I should have used the word “hypocritical” instead.  You accuse others of holding to presuppositions, but then you proceed to write an article filled with them.  Throughout the article, you have shown your complete lack of empathy towards other human beings as well as your absolute ignorance on what it means to be transgender and what those that are transgender have to go through in their lives.  The premise of your article seems to hinge on three statements you claim as fact:

1) God does not make mistakes

2) “He made them male and female”

3) Caitlyn Jenner (that is her name) is not a hero.

I will address these points one at a time:

1) God does not make mistakes: This is a wonderfully trite Christian belief that just doesn’t hold up to sound reason or any of the available facts.  First off, if there is a God (which is questionable), and he did create the Universe and all that’s in it, then it is littered with mistakes.  I will point out just a few:

  • Genetic errors that lead to downs-syndrome (or any other genetic disorder in a world filled with them)
  • Cancer
  • AIDS
  • Natural disasters
  • Creating a world so bad that he had to destroy it with a giant flood and start over
  • Making his “Perfect Word” so vague, obscure, and hard to understand that religions dedicated to him are so fractured with different beliefs and denominations that their history is littered with internal wars where they slaughtered each other by the thousands

Need I go on?  I’m sure you will attempt to say “God didn’t create those things! Those are a result of sin entering the world!” So please tell me then… Who created sin?  You might say that was Satan, but then… Who created Satan?  If God knows all things, past, present, and future, then he had to know what Satan would do before he even created him. Right? Christians like to claim that everything is a part of God’s wonderful plan, but then that means sickness, disease, pain, and suffering are all a part of God’s divine plan.  That means that God created people specifically to suffer, and specifically to be sinners that hurt other people, which means they have no choice in the matter, and yet He will still punish them with eternal torture in Hell because they served their supposed purpose in his plan?  That sounds like a loving God to you?

Another common Christian response to this is “But sin is just the absence of God’s light!” But… Christians also claim that God is omnipresent, meaning that he is everywhere, even in the darkest, most vile of places.  In other words, if God is truly omnipresent then there can be no place where he doesn’t exist.  If he is truly omnipotent then he sits back and watches as people suffer, when he could step in at any time to stop it.  If you say he can’t because of free will, then he is not omnipotent. So the “God didn’t create sin” and “Sin is the absence of God” arguments just don’t hold up.  Either God created sin, created suffering, and chooses not to do anything about it.  You can say he sent Jesus to save us from all of that, but that doesn’t hold up either, because there is still plenty of suffering around and there is still what you would call sin, even among people that Jesus has supposedly saved. Besides that, you’re honestly going to try and claim that an omnipotent God couldn’t think of a better way to save the world from the sin he created than to have his own son (who is somehow himself) brutally tortured and killed? I could think of a thousand other ways and I’m not claiming to be omnipotent! Anyway… On to your second weak argument.

2) “He made them male and female”: This one is by far the easiest to refute and probably the most ignorant of the world we live in.  With this statement that you claim is fact, you ignore the actual scientific fact that there are other gender variations outside of your black and white fantasy world.

  • Pseudohermaphrodism: Where an individual has both male and female external genital organs, sometimes at the same time. Female embryos exposed to high levels of androgens (the male hormones) develop female internal reproductive organs but male external genitalia. Alternately, genetic defects cause children to be born with female external genital organs, which change at puberty, with the development of a penis and the closure of the false vagina.
  • Androgen Insensitivity Syndrom: Androgen insensitivity syndrome is a condition that affects sexual development before birth and during puberty. People with this condition are genetically male, with one X chromosome and one Y chromosome in each cell. Because their bodies are unable to respond to certain male sex hormones (called androgens), they may have mostly female sex characteristics or signs of both male and female sexual development.

So yeah… “He made them male and female” except in those instances where people have biological characteristics of both, by no choice of their own.  I guess that could also rebut the “God doesn’t make mistakes” argument you make.  In light of these two things (and there are more out there), is it honestly so hard for you to believe that perhaps someone was born with the body of one gender and the brain of the other?  We use medicine to cure countless diseases and ailments, yet you claim it’s a sin to use medical science to correct that? And finally…
3) “[Caitlyn] Jenner is not a hero”: To you? Maybe not… But to the thousands of kids out there that are transgender (or just LGBT in general) who have to suffer in a society that treats them like they are nothing, Caitlyn Jenner can be an amazing hero.  She is someone who has been through it all, rose to fame as an athlete, lives a very public celebrity life, and yet still chose to be herself knowing that people like you would attack her, demean her, and call her a sinner for making that decision.  In spite of the presuppositions that you make from your place of privilege in society, that represents the very definition of courage.  So how dare you try and claim otherwise.  As if you have any basis for doing so.