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…
“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