I wasn’t going to post on this; it’s none of my business, it’s kind of sad and sick, and I really don’t give a damn anyway. But now, blast it, I gotta. My hand has been forced.
The Price of Caitlyn Jenner’s Heroism
A NEW goddess has emerged like Botticelli’s Venus rising from the sea. Caitlyn Jenner gazes out from Annie Leibovitz’s July Vanity Fair cover, bare save for a satin bodysuit. Her auburn curls tumble over alabaster shoulders. Can she really be the avatar of personal freedom and self-expression the media claims her to be?
Caitlyn Jenner’s transition is more than a private matter. It is a commercial spectacle on an enormous scale, revealing some disturbing truths about what we value and admire in women.
Inside the magazine, Ms. Jenner poses in skintight dresses, a cinched black lace corset and two different gold evening gowns — the kind of outfits favored by her voluptuous stepdaughter, Kim Kardashian. She lounges on a sofa, peers into mirrors or reclines with her head thrown back, eyes closed. In keeping with the classic iconography of female stardom, Ms. Jenner appears languid and glamorous, her body still and on display rather than performing any activity.
Ms. Jenner is 65 years old, but Caitlyn “codes” many decades younger. Her features are tiny and doll-like, her lips plumped, her skin lineless. Even her new chosen first name feels bizarrely girlish, conjuring more a college student, or maybe a sixth Kardashian sister, than a grandmother.
We have known for months that Bruce Jenner was becoming a woman, and we rejoice if this brings her happiness. But were we prepared for this woman?
“Caitlin” is many things–sad, wretched, pitiable, confused, pathetic–but a woman is definitely not one of them. I’ll let DC McAllister explain why:
Not every girl has such an embarrassing story, but each one remembers. They know what it’s like to grow up and become a woman, and those experiences are integral to shaping their feminine identity—and an identity that is rooted in their nature, in their genes, not in their fantasies. It’s something no transgender man can ever know. He might become an imitation of woman with artificial breasts and hormone injections, but he will never be a girl who became a woman—and that is all the difference in the world.
He’ll never know what it’s like to be a girl, to bravely face the realities, not the fantasies, of nature. He won’t know the joys, either. The comfort of a girl resting in her father’s strong arms. The sweetness a woman feels when her husband makes love to her and they create life together. The soft movements of a child as she or he grows inside her womb. The peace she feels as she feeds her baby at her breast, having given life and now sustaining it.
The celebration of Jenner “becoming a woman” is a fantasy. It’s artificial. It’s make-believe. It’s not authentic at all. It’s a mirage. Jenner has always fantasized that he’s a woman, dreaming of the possibilities of becoming what he imagines himself to be. But possibilities in life are only fantasies when they aren’t rooted in something real. You can’t become a woman without being a girl, complete with XX chromosomes that determine our sex. The man posing as a woman on the cover of Vanity Fair is a delusional mockery of every woman who knows what it’s like to be a girl with all the pains, humiliations, and joys of actually growing up and becoming a woman—and each one of us, in different ways, has faced it bravely through every stage.
As always, the argument Progressivist nitwits–and that’s who it is out there cheerleading poor Bruce Jenner’s “transformation” from a sad, damaged man into a sad, damaged man who calls himself a woman and has had his willie chopped off, or expects to eventually–are having isn’t with any person or political party; it’s with reality. More not on Jenner specifically (the article is from 2014) but covering the whole gruesome mess here:
This intensely felt sense of being transgendered constitutes a mental disorder in two respects. The first is that the idea of sex misalignment is simply mistaken—it does not correspond with physical reality. The second is that it can lead to grim psychological outcomes.
The transgendered suffer a disorder of “assumption” like those in other disorders familiar to psychiatrists. With the transgendered, the disordered assumption is that the individual differs from what seems given in nature—namely one’s maleness or femaleness. Other kinds of disordered assumptions are held by those who suffer from anorexia and bulimia nervosa, where the assumption that departs from physical reality is the belief by the dangerously thin that they are overweight.
You won’t hear it from those championing transgender equality, but controlled and follow-up studies reveal fundamental problems with this movement. When children who reported transgender feelings were tracked without medical or surgical treatment at both Vanderbilt University and London’s Portman Clinic, 70%-80% of them spontaneously lost those feelings. Some 25% did have persisting feelings; what differentiates those individuals remains to be discerned.
We at Johns Hopkins University—which in the 1960s was the first American medical center to venture into “sex-reassignment surgery”—launched a study in the 1970s comparing the outcomes of transgendered people who had the surgery with the outcomes of those who did not. Most of the surgically treated patients described themselves as “satisfied” by the results, but their subsequent psycho-social adjustments were no better than those who didn’t have the surgery. And so at Hopkins we stopped doing sex-reassignment surgery, since producing a “satisfied” but still troubled patient seemed an inadequate reason for surgically amputating normal organs.
It now appears that our long-ago decision was a wise one. A 2011 study at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden produced the most illuminating results yet regarding the transgendered, evidence that should give advocates pause. The long-term study—up to 30 years—followed 324 people who had sex-reassignment surgery. The study revealed that beginning about 10 years after having the surgery, the transgendered began to experience increasing mental difficulties. Most shockingly, their suicide mortality rose almost 20-fold above the comparable nontransgender population. This disturbing result has as yet no explanation but probably reflects the growing sense of isolation reported by the aging transgendered after surgery. The high suicide rate certainly challenges the surgery prescription.
I wouldn’t be in favor of legislatively limiting anyone’s right to surgically mutilate himself because of a mental disorder, necessarily; I AM, however, all in favor of not lauding such piteous souls to the high heavens as “heroes.”
If ever there was a more overused word in the English language, I’d have a hard time coming up with it. And now it’s being tossed at people who are not only sick but so narcissistic as to go to such hideous extremes in indulgence of their underlying pathology. The liberal experiment in taking easily understood words (such as, say, “liberal”) and forcing a redefinition of them until they come to signify the opposite of their traditional meaning in public discourse continues apace, I guess.
He’s a unicorn–a beautiful, beautiful unicorn update! Or a Centaur.
Americans of all stripes have showered accolades upon the new Ms. Jenner, all the way up to the White House. “It takes courage to share your story,” Barack Obama’s Organizing for America Twitter account declared; White House fixture Valerie Jarrett echoed this praise. Countless media outlets heralded Jenner’s “bravery”; others thanked his/her “life-affirming” public transformation. Many naïve souls praised Caitlyn’s beauty, which led, somewhat hilariously, to an immediate leftist backlash, with various commentators bemoaning “female objectification” and the oppressive reinforcement of white, upper-class beauty standards. There are certain squares in this cosmic bingo match, friends, where you can’t win.
One can view Caitlyn’s positive, wall-to-wall, quasi-obsessive cultural reception as a welcome sign—an indicator that most Americans, despite our nails-on-the-chalkboard, marathon culture wars, just want to be kind, supportive, and accepting. For most people, this is certainly true. Why should anyone care about someone else’s personal decisions? What difference does it make? These questions, however, are based on the assumption that “live and let live” is a two-way street. Unfortunately, for most hard-core transgender supporters, that’s just not the case: In their world, we all must agree. Because of this, many people are simply too scared to say what they really think.
Caitlyn, of course, is not really a woman. Mr. Jenner has not even shed his essential lower male infrastructure, let alone his pesky, clinging XY chromosomes. In this sense, he’s actually more of a proverbial Gender Centaur, or even a proverbial Gender Mullet, than anything else. This might be uncomfortable, but it is the truth. It certainly doesn’t lessen Jenner’s worth as a human being or as a child of God. Yet, strangely, if you calmly note this simple scientific fact, certain people will get very, very upset.
They don’t like facts; all facts ever do is get in their way, and make them feel bad.