Okay, can we talk about this whole Bruce/Caitlyn thing?

Don’t worry, I’m not going to say anything stupid and get myself in trouble. I fully support her rights to be whatever she wants to be. I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. This isn’t a shock to me, and I am thrilled that the world is showing so much support for someone who wanted to change gender. This isn’t about that.

The thing is… oh, the irony of having a ‘thing’ in a post about somebody who had their ‘thing’ removed… that I am a little surprised that the first thing she did as a woman to introduce herself to society that way, was to pose for a lingerie picture. And once again, I am not judging her, I am just curious if any of you thought that seemed like an odd choice. I mean, if the first thing my daughters did when they turned 18 to show the world who they were was to go pose in their underwear for the cover of a magazine, I wouldn’t be all that thrilled to be honest. I would be supportive, but I wouldn’t be overjoyed.

Oh, I know Caitlyn didn’t pose naked with her legs open on the cover of Penthouse, or star in a ‘Girls Gone Wild’ or some porno movie. I suppose, considering that I have no fashion gene and I think the fashion industry is the biggest sham ever foisted on the world, that Vanity Fair is a pretty tame place to show your undies… but how do you women feel about this? Is this a step forward or a step back? And guys, did you find yourself thinking ‘Oh, yeah, Baby’ when you first saw that picture… until you realized who it was and sort of freaked out a little… Hey, I am just asking. That is what I do. I ask the questions nobody else does.

I will point out one thing to you, ladies. I know there is nothing wrong with posing naked or partially dressed. This is not a comment on the morality of it… but you ought to know that as long as you do these kinds of things, or work in a Hooters, or even just dress in clothes that slow you down in an emergency situation… as long as stylish hair and makeup is an actual concern to most of you, a lot of men… and I don’t mean enlightened men like me… are not going to treat you or view you as equals. That is just the sad truth of the matter. If you put too much effort into how you look, don’t be surprised if many men treat you and think of you as something to look at and not anything more.

Also, to be honest, and I hope this doesn’t get me labeled as an ageist, but doing a lingerie shoot at that age is a little weird. I mean, I guess that is a real thing now… hot grandmothers… but should it be a thing? I think this began in Hollywood when they were portraying older actresses as still being suitable for sexy roles, but I would be willing to bet that if you Google ‘sexy grandmas’ you will see a whole lot of pornography pop up along with pictures of movie stars. And once again, I am not judging… just asking if the fashion industry is really doing us any favors.

Finally, can I just say that Caitlyn is a name more suited to a teenage girl than a woman of that generation. And I guess that leads me to wonder if maybe, besides trying to finally feel comfortable in her gender if she isn’t also trying a little too hard to feel younger. Is she going to get a tramp stamp tattoo now? Not that there is anything wrong with that. I am just curious is all.

So did any of you ever give thought to any of this? Or were you too caught up in being either supportive or appalled? Were your first thoughts either; ‘you go, girl’ or; ‘that is just sick and wrong’? I fall into the first category, but after the initial rush of feeling happy that someone had the courage to be themselves, I took the time to begin wondering about what all this says about gender and age in modern society… and it left me with more questions than answers.

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12 Responses to Okay, can we talk about this whole Bruce/Caitlyn thing?

  1. Trent Lewin says:

    I’d look at photos of you in lingerie… just saying… wait, that’s an entirely new blog idea! Make it happen, man.

  2. It was absolutely important for Caitlyn to pose for a photoshoot like that. Lingerie is typically associated with femininity, and for transgenders it’s all about the small things. As Bruce, she was not able to wear lingerie with confidence – as Caitlyn, now she can do all the things that are normally reserved for women, like painting her nails and curling her hair and wearing lingerie.
    Also, we do not know for certain that Caitlyn has had any kind of genital surgery. That is not required for her to transition into a woman, though, and she may not be interested in a surgery like that. We may never know, as that would be a huge invasion of her privacy, unless she decides herself to tell us, and that is her decision and hers alone.

    • I am no expert, but without any physical alteration, isn’t it still just dressing like a woman? I mean, what makes a person one or the other gender? Is it the clothes? A level of hormones? Is it just a decision? I am genuinely curious.

      • From what I have learned in the past few months, it is initially their genitals that determines their gender. That is what we write on birth certificates and it’s called “gender assignment”. As a person grows older, some of them realize that they do not fit with the gender assigned to them and eventually transition into the gender they do fit with (or lack thereof [agenders/non binaries]).
        The reason it’s so important to base gender off of a gut feeling is this: many transgenders cannot afford or are not physically capable of going through genital surgeries. Some have disabilities that lower their body’s healing rate, which means they can’t go through a huge surgery like that. Caitlyn Jenner is fortunate enough to have a healthy body and enough money to go through surgeries, but she cannot possibly represent all of the transgenders out there because there are so many different kinds. So ultimately, yes, it is a decision.
        It’s also very important that clothes do not determine a gender. When you think about it, that’d be kinda ridiculous, because it would mean that girls that wear cargo pants and flannels are boys.
        As far as hormones go, they’re entirely optional. Most go through hormone therapy (if they can afford it) to feel more comfortable with themselves. For example, testosterone will make voices deepen, while estrogen can stimulate breast and hair growth.
        I understand your curiosity. It’s definitely an interesting subject and I really wish schools would teach more on it rather than having to sift around on the internet to find any accurate information on it (:

  3. NotAPunkRocker says:

    I am too busy thinking Annie Leibovitz is hugely overrated as a photographer.

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