In a recent article in the New York Times, Elinor Burkett said she winced when she read Chelsea Manning gush on Twitter that “I am so much more aware of my emotions; much more sensitive emotionally (and physically).”
According to Ms. Burkett, the hype around Caitlyn Jenner has once again taken the brains, hearts, bodies, and even the moods of women and placed them back into tiny compartmentalized boxes.
She goes on to exclaim (in her opinion NY Times article entitled What Makes a Woman) that this is the nonsense that held women back for centuries -- the predefined notions of what it is to be “woman.” Her assessment is that those who have not lived their entire lives as women should not get to define woman. This includes both Ms. Jenner, and Lawrence H. Summers (who stated many years ago that men and women have different brains).
She seemed offended that Caitlyn Jenner’s Vanity Fair spread was a statement of what a woman is: “a cleavage-boosting corset, sultry poses, thick mascara and the prospect of regular “girls’ nights” of banter about hair and makeup.”
According to Ms. Burkett, for Jenner to claim her identity as female tramples on the dignity of Ms. Burkett’s. She states that “Their truth is not my truth. Their female identities are not my female identity.“
But here is the thing Ms. Burkett, Caitlyn never said it was; she never said her identity, views or feelings were yours. So why do you feel that you need to diminish her’s to protect yours? Isn’t that the same argument straight married couples use to stall gay marriage: that the existence of the one defames the other?
We are all spiritual being simply living a physical life, an individual life. Isn’t Caitlyn Jenner allowed to live hers? isn’t she entitled to say “this is how I feel, how I see the world?” Why would you think that because you were born a genetic woman that somehow that gives you privilege to discount someone else’s life?
It is this narrow thinking that has stifled individual freedoms for centuries, including the very real oppression women have suffered at the indifference men have heaped on them for so long. Isn’t it time to stop oppressing people, whether minorities, women, gay and transgender alike. Have we not been on this Earth long enough to finally stop the oppression -- of everyone?
Why I can appreciate that you may feel like Ms. Jenner is crashing your secret girls club, perhaps her inclusion would enhance it, not diminish it.
Times are changing, and that doesn’t mean all that is good and solid in our life experience has to be pushed aside. Good family values, equal pay for equal work, marriage and all the other good things in this life should remain in tact.
However, we’ve evolved from Neanderthals to modern day, which was likely scary for many during the various times of change. People feared sailing the seas for fear that they’d sail off the end of a flat world.
Human's have survived all sorts of challenges, and we as a species can evolve and continue to redefine our existance and futures. But the 1950s are in the past, no matter how good (to some) they might have been, get over it, move on and let’s build a fairer, more tolerant world for each individual to reach their own highest goals.