Tag Archives: Caitlin Jenner

And Then There Were #Haters

Standard

I hope this is my last blog post / comment on the Caitlin (neé Bruce) Jenner situation.

Of course there are haters. We do not live in a utopian world: judgementalism and fear have done an excellent job of setting up a premise and creating a platform from which to spout vitriol and puke deep self-loathing and fears, cloaked in hate.

Think about it this way: if you felt good about yourself, felt secure about your prospects, felt happy or content with your life, and felt as though you’ve done everything you can to create a positive environment for yourself (so, ultimately, you’ve done away with all greed, envy, reactivity and shame; and now, you fart rainbows and butterflies) and others, then why would you hate on anyone who decides to do whatever that person wants to its own body?

You wouldn’t.

You’d say, “not for me, but more power to you.”

Not, “the world is a mess and what has happened to us?”

I’ve got news for you: people have been cross dressing, with intention and fear for their lives, for millennia. Has it ever hurt you, o hater, before? Has the cross dresser or transgender or whomever shown up at your senate confirmation hearing for installation as the most balanced, articulate, and rational hater on Earth and said,

“NO NO NO!!! GOOD SENATORS AND STATESMEN! DO NOT PASS THIS INDIVIDUAL AS NOMINATED! HE HAS FEAR IN HIS HEART AND I AM HERE TO PROVE IT! STRIP HIM OF HIS MANHOOD! SHOW HIM HOW DAAAAAAAAANGEERRRRRRROUS I AM TO HIM…. I WILL THWART HIS EVERY EFFORT TO BUY GASOLINE FOR HIS CAR, OR AMMUNITION FOR HIS GUN, OR MATCHES FOR HIS CIGARETTES, OR BEER FOR HIS MAN ‘FRIDGE … BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT I DO… BECAUSE I AM DAAAAAAAAAANGEERRRROUS… boooowhoooohaaaahahaaaahaaaa…”

Get over y’damnselves. Look in the mirror.

I will say it again: I care about the kids in this situation. I care about the kids in all situations where the adults have let fear and apathy and narcissism run themselves freakin’ rampant. Where those adults lose all control of themselves and their grounding. Where the adults lie, and hide, and obfuscate, and deny, and deflect, and project, and displace all their OWN self-shit on to their kids. Where the kids are left holding the bag for the adult who is really, truly, deeply, still a child deep, deep, deep inside. Bruce Jenner hid his truth from his children.

I’m not just talking about the transgender feelings, I’m talking about his PLANS to have surgeries. That tactical and strategic side to all of this. The dude was a freakin’ world-class athlete: he KNOWS all about strategy and execution. It’s like when my dad asks me to find out things for him: he’s an investigative journalist for crying’ out loud…

Bruce never told them. He planned it all along; logistics for this takes months to line up. Months, perhaps years of psychotherapy has to be experienced and assessed before one gets the medical clearance to begin looking into procedures. Bruce hid his truth and only when asked — the kids HAD TO ASK THE RIGHT WORDS IN THE RIGHT WAY — did he pout, look down, and while fiddling with his shirt, say in a very non-sportscaster voice, “mmmm, yeah.”

Much as like how a kid would admit to hitting a baseball into a neighbor’s window.

“But you should’ve seen the hit! It was aMAZing, Mom…”

Bruce has been acting on id impulse for a very long time. See me. Watch me. Listen to me. See me. SEEEEEEEEE MEEEEEEEEE!

Where the adult is acting ONLY ON ID, where the id is in control.

When the id is in control, it’s dessert all the time. Except for you. Just me. That’s my teddy bear. Get your own. Your teddy bear is ugly. I don’t want to watch that show, idiots like that show. I want to watch this. Now. No, now. NOW.

Ids are freakin’ tenacious and selfish motherfuckers. (Sorry.) And ids can rationalize anything. Count on it.

So in my estimation, we have ids running the media and ids hating on others.

The haters have to hate, lest they sit with themselves. It’s all about projection, peeps. They feel so alone.

What gets me the most in this, is the people out there who are FREAKING out and saying that Bruce has become a woman.

No.

I don’t care if Bruce had his genitalia removed, enhanced, fucked with …  there is NOTHING that will turn Caitlin (neé Bruce) into a “woman.”

It’s too late for that. There is and never was a uterus. There are no ovaries. There are no eggs. There were no periods. There were no breast sprouts. There was no breast growth (and that pain! OY!). The hips didn’t widen and curve. There were no stretch marks. There were no girls at school who were shitty to him and slut-shaming and date-rape. There was no ambivalence about growing INTO a woman, no flood of questions about “WHAT THE FUCK IS HAPPENING TO ME????” There were no pregnancy scares or losses. The hormones were never there natively. It’s simply not possible. And Caitlin’s body is 65 years old. So… menopause!! Bruce missed all the windows.

Maybe it’s semantics.

“Female…”? Same point as two paragraphs above.

But… guess what?

None of this matters! How much of what you do is because you are male or female? Really? In the entire existence of your day, do you drink your coffee in a manly way? What about when you scratch your butt or go for your car keys, do you feel especially gender-identified?

Hmmm, Chet. That wasn’t quite manly enough just now, when you pressed the key fob to unlock your Lincoln. It didn’t feel right to our focus group. Let’s try that again. From the doorway, as you step out into the sunlight. Think, ‘How would John Wayne do this?’

But, y’know keep that façade, that shit up, because, really, that’s what matters. It matters HOW you order your grande Americano.

Sally… ? It is Sally, right? Hon, we need to do this again. You didn’t flush the toilet femininely enough. It’s causing all sorts of confusion for us. We need you to go back in, pee, and when you flush, think, ‘How would Joan of Mad Men, not Arc, do this?’

It matters HOW you sit at the steering wheel or periscope because that defines your sexuality. It does. And people are watching. They are. Just now. Yup.

Female. Male. Woman. Man. Metrosexual. Lumber-sexual. Foxy. Hawt.

Gah. These are all “words” and “brands” and “identifiers” we all have created as a construct in order to assign place, and rank, and meaning to our lives. I happen to dig them. I am a word person. But I don’t use them as weapons.

That’s easy for you to say, Molly. Your kids are ____ and ____ and you’re all set.

Well, no. It’s not like that. And you can bet your ass that if one of them came home and said to me, “Mom, I want to be a woman…” I’d likely flip out. The fact is, though, that I would say to him what I said above: no ovaries, no female. It’s not happening, authentically, for you. You can play dress-up and do the façade thing all you want, but biologically and energetically, well, it’s going to be very challenging. Hell, I don’t know what being a woman is. This shit just happens. I don’t know if I’m “doing” it right.

I maintain my position in the first post I wrote about this: Caitlin is Caitlin. And what the hell does it change in your personal life? Nothing. Unless you’re Caitlin, or Caitlin’s (neé Bruce) children. And even to them, it’s their own versions of affect.

Thank God, we are all different versions of each other. I can’t experience what you’re experiencing and you can’t have mine — even if we experience the same thing at the same time, we PROCESS it differently. We might have the same shoe size, but the shoes will fit us differently. And no shoe is the same. I don’t care what you say: they’re not. There is a bubble in the sole of one whereas there is none in the other. A fiber on one is not the same on the other.

THAT’S HOW IT’S SUPPOSED TO BE.

Take comfort in that. (Sorry, China.)

When this story broke, and I saw all the comments flying around, especially the flip and glib ones, I said to my oldest son, “Don’t look now, America, but you’re about to go existential on yourselves… Welcome to the rabbit hole, strap in…”

Haters ‘gonna hate. Let ’em. They need to be seen too. They feel left out. Just don’t give a toot.

Take a deep breath, and sigh it out.

rest.

Take another one, deeper this time… sigh it out.

rest.

And repeat a third time…. BIG SIGH.

Let that crap go. It’s not yours. None of this has anything to do with you.

The world is not ending over this. Maybe it’s just starting! Ha! Ever thought of that? There are so many other situations which desperately need our enthusiasm and energy: cancer, racism, terrorism, world hunger, bad haircuts….

You still have to pay your taxes and make dinner and do the dishes… life goes on. With or with out you, life goes on.

Yup. That’s all I’m going to say about that. 

Thank you.

Call Me Observant. And Confused. And Distracted. And Supportive.

Standard

I came home Tuesday afternoon to my kids asking me if I’d heard about Caitlin.

“Caitlin who?” I asked them.

“Caitlin Jenner,” one son said.

“Caitlin… Caitlin Jenner… You mean Kaitlin Jenner? One of the Kardashians?” I asked.

I’ve only recently become interested in the Kardashians as Laundry Support Entertainment, so I have no opinion of them other than they are hugely successful at getting people to talk about them.

They’re not on the forefront of my consciousness. I know they aren’t thinking about me.

So it took a little bit, honestly, to figure it out.

“It’s all over the internet…” the other son said.

“I don’t think there is a Kaitlin… there’s only the two Jenner girls, the one with the fake lips and the one with the supermodel eyebrows…” I said, drifting off, slipping into old age.

“The sex change one… ” the first son said.

“AAAAOOOOOMAAAAIIIIGAAAAADDDD!!!” I shouted. “BRUCE?! You mean BRUCE JENNER???” It was clicking in now.

I raced to my phone.

Not to call Caitlin, nor anyone, but to go online.

“Yikes!” I honestly said, when I first saw the now-famous Vanity Fair cover photo; that was Bruce Jenner. “That’s insane. That’s a complete change… ” I didn’t have any expectation, frankly, but I didn’t think a Vanity Fair cover would be it; nor did I consider this new visage in, essentially, a merry widow.

Egads, I guess I did have an expectation.

Vanity Fair has always had amazing covers. Annie Leibowitz is … I don’t need to even say anything; she is synonymous with renown photographs, regardless of the subject. It seems rather fitting, now in retrospect, that Annie do the shoot and Vanity Fair host the unveiling. It’s very 21st Century.

I have no opinion on the situation, really, OTHER than to say that we have other things going on, too, in the world.

I’m not going to say this isn’t news, nor that it’s not historic, because it is. It’s huge, frankly.

Back to watching the Kardashians.

I watched, since Tuesday, the second part of the Kardashian/Jenner girls’ interviews / meetings with then-Bruce, about his situation, his decision to come out as a transgender male and his interest in surgery to become a woman.

The girls are all quite bright, despite what the media say about them. I don’t really think much about them other than to say that if you think poorly on them, it’s a waste of your energy. They ask intelligent questions, and have the same types of concerns any child or step-child of a person in Bruce Jenner’s situation would have.

Bruce Jenner is father to six of his own biological children and step-father to four? Kardashian kids. He was married to Kris Kardashian for almost 23 years. That’s a big, long time: My husband and I have been an item for almost 25 years and will be married for 21 years (woot!) in a couple weeks. So that’s a long time.

The youngest of the kids, the Jenner girls, were (in the televised interviews) pretty disturbed. I’m sure they put on their brave faces and kept it together, but they have a lot to process. Kris Kardashian, the ex-wife and mother to the youngest two, was the final person Bruce spoke to in the series of chats he had with everyone.

Their conversation, the one which was televised, was the most raw and real marriage conversation, without a lot of selfishness and digs and jabs, I’ve ever seen.

Yes, it’s a train wreck, all those people… they put themselves out there; they reap what they sew; they made their bed, they sleep in it; blah blah blah… it still doesn’t take away from the fact that in the universal scheme of things:

1) There are people hurting out there,

and

2) Fear and deceit destroy people.

The exchanges between Bruce and Kris were stunning and she was firm yet supple. A body language / eye roll expert would nail the contempt in Bruce for Kris’ questioning. He pouted, his voice went high and little, he avoided, he looked at the floor, he deflected. He did everything he could — fear driven (so don’t tell me I’m being bitchy, I know what fear does to people, I get it) — to avoid her reasonable, clear, insistent and detailed line of questioning. She was sincerely grieving.

These two had a marriage.

She married an Olympian. A freakin’ decathlete. Gold medalist. Cereal boxes an’ shit. They had kids together.

He was weak. He deceived her. I can’t help this opinion; it’s how I feel. He chose the easy route which was really the hard route. He didn’t want to disappoint her. He had to live up to a standard. He had to be something he’s not.

He said he was honest with her, that she knew he had a thing for women’s clothing. He said in other interviews that he knew since he was 10 that he was a woman trapped inside a man’s body. But she said she never knew it would come to this level; that “Bruce” would be gone.

It’s a clear case of sins of omission and not asking enough of the right questions. It’s also a matter of people simply not owning their truths.

And yet, he said “I’m not going anywhere…” and “I love you…” and “I’m still in here…” and I’m thinking, “Ok…  but who the hell is that? You don’t really know yet do you, Caitlin? It’s all new territory. Because who you were to them is not who you are to yourself…  How can it be?

There are MANY paths this can go; I’m not going to go on most of them.

All I know is that when we lie to ourselves, we lie to the world. We lash out. We act flip and glib and say things without thinking about them.

When an addict comes out of rehab, everything has to change. The lifestyle the addict experienced before, has to change. Bruce was sort of addicted to a lie. Shame kept the lie going.

All the while, he was afraid.

When we are afraid, we lash out. We are like wounded bears. We withhold. We go within. We build walls. We put on façades. We perform for others. We are unpredictable and moody and sensitive. We do what we can to keep going though. And so does everyone else.

Kendall Jenner, the oldest of the Kardashian / Jenner girls said in the interviews that she encountered him cross-dressed at 4am when she went downstairs to get a drink of water. She cried as she sympathetically recounted it (I’m paraphrasing), “If your only way to safely be the person you feel yourself to be is to do it at 4am when no one else is awake, and to be like that for almost 65 years… That’s so sad. That’s so awful…” She said she, too, snuck around the room to escape his discovery of her discovery.

The people whom it most affects, his kids, get it. The rest of the world should too.

There were lots of questions about the woman version of Bruce… will she still be interested in women? “YES!” He sort of said. Then recanted, but no one picked up on it… If so, does that make Caitin gay? He didn’t comment on that, “I’m not going to go into that…” Bruce said. The daughters praised him as the best dad…. “Will we still have a dad?” Kylie asked. “I’ll always be your father…” he said, his voice full of sportscaster confidence and certainty, but his face, had a sort of wince, because … well … it’s just going to be really different now.

The nice thing, for the Jenner girls, is that it’s out in the open and they don’t have to explain anything. Bruce took care of that with the VF cover. Caitlin can field those questions now, or the daughters can have them referred to Caitlin’s publicist. But it sure does create a new dynamic, doesn’t it?

So what this entire thing does, for me anyhow, is create a new level of awareness and a discussion about labels and brands and identification with standards and how we speak to and about each other. And the use of pronouns and gender possessive tense: “her purse” and “his jockstrap.” Maybe it’s “her jockstrap” now… . And “mother” and “father” and birth certificates… what I am feeling is that it’s none of my business. And while it’s none of my business, that makes sympathy hard.

I’m not trying to pick a fight; it’s in my nature to question things when they don’t make sense to me — but what is “sensical” to me? It’s all based on a set of standards which are based on expectations which are based on biases. And then there are people who really like their HIS or HER status. Bruce Jenner wanted the pronouns. He wanted the gender possessives: HER and SHE and … hmm… I guess that’s all there is to it. No… because there are transgendered people who don’t want any gender identifiers. I got hissed at about a year ago for saying “goodnight ladies!” to people when I wasn’t aware of the context for my invitation to lead a meditation for them. Can’t win for losing.

I was watching, remotely, with interest and anxiety, the media storm over this situation. Lots of people are pissed this is considered news. But it is news. It’s just not super depressing, racist, ISIS-related, political, FIFA, scandalous, nor horrifying. The best and most succinct approach to this news is:

“It’s really heartening to see that everyone is willing to not only accept Caitlyn Jenner as a woman, but to waste no time in treating her like a woman.” — Jon Stewart

Everyone talked about Caitlin’s appearance. Then her comparability to her ex-wife and Kim Kardashian. And then, her age. And then, what she looks like without the make-up. I’m floored and yet not.

There is no justice.

I heard someone say “I’m jealous of her legs! They’re awesome!” and I’m sitting there, SILENT, thinking, “that’s because they are the legs of a world-class decathlete you moron….” There is a part of me who doesn’t ever want to forget about Cereal Box Bruce, not because I’m a _____phobe (you pick the type), but because Bruce accomplished some seriously awesome feats and it was amazing. His decision to become Caitlin does not at all take away from 1976. Sorry. That doesn’t get wiped out. Nor do his kids, or his tax returns or his speeding tickets or his authenticity; well… I guess it takes away from his authenticity. That, he has to rebuild.

When we live without fear, we live fully.

In the final analysis, Caitlin’s not talking about me, so I’m going to stop talking about her.

Thank you.