Bruce Jenner AKA Caitlyn Jenner, why do we need to know about this?

Discussion in 'Free Thoughts' started by cosmictraveler, Jun 9, 2015.

  1. Daecon Kiwi fruit Valued Senior Member

    I'd never even heard about Caitlyn before except for a cutaway gag in an old episode of Family Guy about Bruce Jenner entertaining the troops.
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  3. billvon Valued Senior Member

    It's a lot less "crap" news than half the other stuff on CNN's website. On their top stories list right now:
    Recommended stories:
    Other stories on their front page:
    No mention of Jenner.
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  5. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    As Russia is still invading the Ukraine and ISIIs is moving onward to other parts of Iraq and on and on with more important news. Seems we have lost the real news and only get crap now a days.
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  7. origin In a democracy you deserve the leaders you elect. Valued Senior Member

    There are entire industries who's job is to research how to get the most viewers. They have all cocluded that you get more viewers with crap. The problem is that the people you talk to aren't idiots. I remember when Al Jazeera was starting their news in america and there plan was to present news that mattered and to go into some depth, analysts specifically said, "that business model does not work in the US". So it is not 'people like me', it is just the way it is!
  8. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Then listen to NPR; they tend to ignore the fluff.
  9. origin In a democracy you deserve the leaders you elect. Valued Senior Member

    Agreed, I listen to and from work. Good stuff.
  10. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member


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    In truth these sorts of inquiries bring both amusement and disgust; I admit, there is very little basic sympathy in my reaction. That said, I will try to set those sentiments aside.

    There is more going on here than you describe. Our society is always in transition, it is true, but there is a pretty significant paradigm shift occurring in our regard for sex, gender, and sexuality. I am bound by the duties of basic decency to here observe my own distaste that all of this is happening while our society aims to push women back down the human rights ladder. That said, I will try to set that sentiment aside.

    This particular transition was unimaginable a quarter-century ago. Back then, the limits of the Christian supremacist imagination seemed to be gay marriage. So the argument went, if you don't ostracize gays to the point of rewriting medical school curricula and hamstringing prosecutors when a crime victim happens to be homosexual, then the damn faggots will want to get married. And as I've said many times, we would not have achieved the marriage equality we will win this month without the zealots pushing the issue.

    But what we're winning right now is huge. It goes way beyond gay marriage. Next up are our transgender neighbors, a fragile community fraught with the perils of oppression, and our supremacist neighbors are prepared to bring their own fearmongering 'round full circle―in Texas, they're going after children.

    What? Does nobody remember that time? A time when no amount of logical, supported argument could overcome the dullard argument that the queers are comin' for the kids? You know, just like nearly no logical, supported argument can overcome the moronic appeal to emotion that they're coming to steal your money, your guns, your religion, your thoughts?

    It is one thing to say those who don't learn from history are condemned to repeat it, but even should historical cycles not be accelerating, the question remains how people can forget history they lived through. Like Chief Justice Roberts, who expressed during oral arguments in Windsor his serious doubts that animus had anything to do with the Defense of Marriage Act. Which might be a bit more believable if he hadn't lived through the time; even more so if he hadn't done pro bono work in the trenches of the gay rights movement. Really, John? We're supposed to believe you don't remember? We're supposed to believe you can read the historical record without perceiving the animus? Really, John? We're supposed to believe your doubts? Where's the fucking bar, John? I mean, really. That was an undignified performance by the Chief Justice.

    And yet we come 'round the circle. Now it's the Christian zealots, and they really are after the children.

    That's how far we've come.

    In truth, I hadn't been paying attention to the Caitlyn story. You see, in my little corner of the Universe, transgenderism is so normal and human that this whole thing seemed like distant celebrity gossip of the sort I generally disdain. It's not that there aren't many transgendered in the world that I wondered who cared. It's that I forgot how big a deal this is to some people. When the magazine cover hit, sure, I was impressed, but come on, Thomas Roberts on msnbc showing us the Caitlyn cover? Big effin' deal. That's about as spectacular as Rachel Maddow saying John Boehner is bad at his job.

    And then the public discourse went nuts.

    In my world, this isn't big news because transgender is no big deal. It isn't a matter of sucking up airtime when there are more things going on in the world. Once again, I'm in the minority; this is apparently a huge deal to a whole freakin' lot of people.

    Part of it is that I've already been through this. And maybe Christine↱ is another reason I didn't want to pay attention to the story. Six years later, it still hurts, and badly. But it isn't fair to ask any one person to carry that burden. The death of Christine Daniels hurt like nothing ever should when it's somebody you've never met. We needed her. Goddess grant, we needed her. And all she ever wanted was to be and feel human.

    And this time, we are through the looking glass; Caitlyn becomes the icon.

    There is a reason so many people are making a big deal out of this; Caitlyn is the harbinger of the new day. That is to say, these people care because their Universe just turned inside out, and the arrival of this symbol means this is the way things are, now, and there's no going back.

    I don't think you're ignorant of the fact that societies use celebrity as allegory and fable and communal symbol.

    The FOX News freakout is, I believe, instructive on this occasion:

    Fox Business Network's Neil Cavuto, for example, opened his "Business Alert" segment by pulling up the Vanity Fair cover and shouting out, “What the hell is going on!?"

    Reporter Dagen McDowell responded by repeatedly using male pronouns to describe Jenner's identity ....

    .... Bill O'Reilly's comment later that evening summed up the network's problem:

    "Now he's Caitlyn," O'Reilly said, looking at the cover. "That's Bruce Jenner."


    That's why it's a big deal. Perhaps you don't think it's worth the airtime, and that's fine. But this is why it's a big deal. Really? It's worth shouting about? It's worth going out of one's way to publicly deny? Really?

    Well, if we consider that their comfortable supremacist Universe just turned inside out―remember that constant obsession with other people's sex lives is how the virtuous Christian avoids sexual temptation ... well ... in that Universe, at least―then yes, it really is worth ... er ... ah ... humiliating oneself as certain FOX News personalities decided to. Or something like that. In truth, this vicious cruelty only makes sense to me in an abstract, academic way.

    But that's the thing. The cruelty exists. It is an awful, grotesque fear that some people simply choose to live in. Well, you know, they choose it unless it can be shown that being Republican or Christian is a chromosomal thing. But, in the end, if their equal rights mean others must suffer inequality and injustice, there is a functional problem that is entirely their own. And outside my little Universe, it still happens to be that this cruelty is a genuine problem in our society.

    It is a deadly cruelty.

    And for my side of this fight, every conscientious sympathy we can win not only helps the political struggle, but has the potential to save a life.

    So, you know, if Caitlyn―you know, the former Olympic medalist and Wheaties cover boy?―helps some Americans get over their fears and start accepting that this is the real world, yeah, that's a really big fuckin' deal.

    And besides, watch your Mondays. One of the next three will bump Caitlyn from the news cycle until someone asks her about the Supreme Court, but generally that's where the queer headlines will be. So, you know, there's something. We can both hope for this coming Monday.

    (Oh, come on, who wants to bet on the twenty-ninth? If the Court does Burwell and Obergefell on the same day, we might actually see riots, and I have no idea what they would be about. That could be a hell of a Monday, so I'll put odds on splitting up the rulings.)

    The Caitlyn wave represents a significant portion of Americans coming to terms with the fact of transgenderism in society. And in this time of zealous cruelty―they really are coming for the children↱ in Texas―the fifty year-old has-been is an icon of a societal revolution, a symbol of the new reality. This is how people deal with things in their role as The People.

    And, in truth, that's how it works regardless of how you feel about it.

    Don't give us that.

    We've heard that the whole time. Just hush, don't fight, and everything will be okay. It was a hard case to make when the question came from zealots hoping to install supremacism in state law. Yeah, just hush, don't fight, and let them have their way, and everything will be okay.

    Do not give us that.

    And it's not a "'straight' world".

    What would you tell blacks about a "white world"?

    What would you tell women about a "male world"?

    Just hush? Don't fight back? Let them have their way? Everything will be okay?

    Don't give us that.


    Friess, Steve. "Mike Penner, Christine Daniels: A Tragic Love Story". L.A. Weekly. 19 August 2010. 10 June 2015.

    Taibi, Catherine. "Fox News Coverage Of Caitlyn Jenner Is What Transphobia Looks Like". The Huffington Post. 2 June 2015. 10 June 2015.
  11. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    Fighting back by having media coverage about one transgender person? I don't think that's fighting. It just ruffles every "straight" persons feathers for awhile and stirring the pot for crap news to be thrown at people instead of more important news. Easy news to get a rise out of people that do not care for that kind of news then the news will stop about it and life continues on forgetting about this after a few weeks of not hearing anything about it.

    I use the word "straight" not to be demeaning of anyone but to address those people who live in a so called fantasy world that thinks everyone should be just like them, heterosexual, and do their best to make life like that as best they can. I use this here about this situation not others that you have brought up.
  12. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    I'm on the internet allot of the time and only see the news it reports all day long so watching NPR once or twice a day just doesn't make it in my world for I'm seeing the shit the media passes along to others as I surf the web. I also hear allot about the things that are happening through people who, like me, go to forums like we have here and read what people are discussing.
  13. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    Well all of the people I know say the same thing, the news is shit, and all of us can't be wrong. We never have been asked about our news preferences and so that means many peoples opinions are not being listened to. Even when important news is discussed it has a certain "spin" on it so that we never get the entire story or never get the truth or never get facts but only made up crap.
  14. orcot Valued Senior Member

    It's relatively innocent, the kardashians apparently Always flaunt their private lives it might be interesting that she's actually not attracted to men (she claims), makes you wonder what exatly gender is. Also a fun fact people who's last name ends on ian are Always almost of armeanian decend.
  15. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    Since that is a TV reality show on only once a day I do not have to watch it and I don't. Most everyone I know doesn't watch it either so I don't know how crap like that can even get sponsors to pay for it to be done. Sad TV shows out there but thankfully they are on once a day so that I don't have to view them. News on the other hand is 24/7 so I can't get away fro m its crap.
  16. billvon Valued Senior Member

    NPR is a network of radio stations (hence the name). They also have a website. If you prefer to get your news from the Internet, then just go there.
    In other words, the reason people are seeing news about Jenner on this forum is . . . you.
  17. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    No, it is because of people like me who complain that we do not see much of this news for it could be a hell of allot worse as you know.
  18. billvon Valued Senior Member

    You've posted more than anyone else about Jenner. It is because of people like you that her name is everywhere. If you are OK with that, then no worries.
  19. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    SciForums is slowly gathering a number of discussions about Caitlin Jenner. Eventually we'll have to merge them.

    As I said the first time this came up, Jenner is not just "one more transsexual." In his youth he was a star of American football, a sport so utterly masculine that it's one of very few that have no women's league.

    Then in the 1976 Olympics, he won the gold medal in the men's decathlon, incidentally setting a world's record--and incidentally beating the USSR in an event that they had locked up as their own for years.

    In other words, Bruce Jenner was the quintessential "man's man," to use a British expression.

    So to discover that inside this "he-man" (to use the American expression) was the soul of a woman, is not everyday news.

    And that, sir, is the "big deal."

    Note from the Linguistics Moderator: the British man's man is well-rounded, displaying politeness, sophistication, charm, wisdom and leadership. The American he-man is just a really good jock. (I suppose now you Brits are wondering what a jock is. It's a man who focuses his life on participating in sports. He's competent at some of them, but not necessarily a champion. The word is a shortening of jock strap, an athletic supporter, and ultimately from "jockey.")
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2015
  20. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    I think there are a lot of news stories we can ask why we're covering "one person". But in this case, there is more going on. I have a hard time believing you're not aware of the power of societal icons that are often invested in one person.

    This is the issue at hand. Caitlyn Jenner is a prominent symbol in what has been described as the civil rights fight of our time.

    I also have a hard time believing you have such a poor view of straight people.

    You do realize that you're not making any sense?

    The "straight" world is a statistical outlook. The "bigot" world is more in line with what you're talking about. As such, I think it is unfair either way; you cannot denigrate "straight" people that way, and it really is hard to comprehend why you would hope to straightwash bigotry.

    There will come a day when the idea of "one transgender person" undertaking the transition will not be such news. But the Caitlyn obsession is symptomatic of the times we live in. If, to use your terminology, "straight people" weren't so godforsaken insecure about their own sex lives, we could be well beyond these discussions by now, and then you wouldn't have to wonder why so many people are so fucking obsessed with Caitlyn, Caitlyn, Caitlyn.

    This wouldn't be news, except for the circumstances that make it of public interest. And if you disdain that public interest, take it up with the public.

    No matter how you cut it, this is only big news because we're still dealing in the bigots' world.

    Think of it this way: Shanté dies, be it suicide or murder or, well, do you know what it's like to hope, when you receive notification that we've lost another transgender brother or sister, that it is merely cancer? So now she's dead, and her family makes funeral arrangements, for her, and then everyone gathers to bury Marvin.

    This is going on. I don't envy these families, but they are so determined to deny their children, for their own pride, that they disrespect them even in death.

    Caitlyn? Well, she is one of the symbols. Bill O'Reilly's petulance―"That's Bruce Jenner!"―is emblematic. And in Texas, they're preparing to shield state agents who send queer kids to Christian re-education programs.

    Here's a question for you: Why is one person with HIV a big deal?

    Ryan White. 6 December 1971 — 8 April 1990. It's enough to make me want religion; Goddess grant his soul proper rest.

    Ryan White was emblematic of society's problem dealing with human immunodeficiency virus and acquired immune deficiency syndrome. We lost so many people during the "gay measles" era. There's a reason why Ryan White was a big deal. And there's a reason why, in the twenty-first century, with politicians aiming to amend the U.S. Constitution over the issue, that Caitlyn Jenner is iconic.

    And in truth, having known you here over the years, I really do have a hard time believing you don't understand how individuals become icons of larger societal issues. And that's happening now, with Caitlyn Jenner, for a reason.

    It wouldn't be a big deal, but for "straight people" as you call them, or the bigots I would identify within that cohort.

    True, it shouldn't be a big deal.

    But it is, and there are reasons. And you need to find your peace with that fact.
  21. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    I don't mind being called "straight." It's a lot easier to say than "heterosexual." Twenty-thirty years ago, homosexual men and women were both content (or perhaps resigned) to being called "gay." Today, we're told to call homosexual women by their Greco-Roman name, "Lesbians." The dictionary insists that this word is normally written in lower case, but then it goes on to provide several examples, all of which are capitalized.
  22. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    The Jenner story does raise an important social issue that affects few people but is certainly important to their lives. Perhaps it might promote tolerance or acceptance.

    That said, ultimately all news is that which is most likely to engender readers, not change or progress. News is a business, and slave to capitalism. If it reads, it leads. This is why I laugh in the face of those posturing about the sanctity of the 'Fifth Estate'.
  23. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    "Straight" does, though, imply the "non-straight" are then "crooked": a meaningless colloquialism today, certainly, but still... not precisely proper, is it? I suppose it's socially acceptable in certain contexts, like if a "straight" girl somehow widens her horizons in a twenty minute clip on an internet site, or something equally rare.

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