THOUGHTS ON CAITLYN 📂
I wrote this when Caitlyn Jenner posed for Vanity Fair, and didn't publish it. But, for draft week...
- •I am happy for Caitlyn Jenner. She, like all people, deserves to live in her truth with our respect and support. She is very brave to be so open publicly about her experience; bless her for helping people across america talk about transgender issues in a new way. Her journey has also made me think about my own experience as a woman, afresh.
- •Here are some thoughts:
- •One of my favorite things about living in our current cultural moment is the re-awakening of feminism.
- •And I understand why some women looking at Caitlyn Jenner on the cover of Vanity Fair were upset by the perceived definition of womanhood
- •Because there was something about it that got under my skin too.
- •Not because she was wrong to position herself that way. She can put herself out into the world in any way that feels good to her. And Vanity Fair deserves credit for taking a person who has not been treated in a glamorous way, and letting her be a glamorous cover.
- •But I was bothered because it feels, often, like our culture's definition of womanhood, of femininity, is very shallow.
- •And the idea that the proof of transition is in having a person look like a pinup seems overly simple. And pretty depressing.
- •In my experience, being a woman has much to do with fighting to be taken seriously as a human being, fighting to not just be seen as a sex object. Fighting not to be made smaller because of your sexuality.
- •But I think about what it would be like to be a brand-new woman. Because, in essence, Caitlyn is a brand-new woman. Her birth as a woman was as a woman in adulthood. She never had to be a little girl, a middle school girl. (At least not in the same way.)
- •I think about being born a brand-new woman, not a little girl grown into a woman. But suddenly to be a woman. All new.
- •I wonder what it would be like to wake up one day, as a woman in a new way. With none of the baggage of all those years of girlhood. (With plenty of other baggage, yes, of course. But not with that particular suitcase full.)
- •And to position yourself as glamorous, as sexy. Without the years of dealing with the male gaze, and all the ways that can transform your feeling about yourself
- •But just to wake up, with your beautiful female body, proud and excited and eager to show it to the world.
- •And I'm jealous.