I had no intention of writing about the Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner story from the moment that I first heard about it. Jenner’s life is entirely his/her own to live and I have very little to say about it. If he has the money and the desire to become a she it is not the least bit my business to weigh in with an opinion. I suppose that I could comment on the silliness of calling Jenner a hero but I am not really inclined even to do that. I have my own ideas about hero and heroism, and a terribly confused person with the money and backing to act on his/her delusion more nearly fits my definition of a curiosity, much like a satan worshipper who surgically grafts horns onto his forehead or splits her tongue to be like a snake (no, I am not comparing Jenner to satan or it’s friends), than a hero. But if Jenner is a hero to you then fine – Jenner is a hero. I’m not really that interested and you can have my share of his adulation.
There is one thing however that did capture my attention in the story. Jenner is sixty five years old. I am sixty six years old. I am a gregarious person and have many friends; unconfusedly male and female I might add. None of the women of my age group with whom I associate look anything like Jenner. Granted, I don’t live in the highest of society or jet to Bali and the Caribbean and so on, but then many women who do those things don’t look like Jenner either. Everyone that I know has a few extra pounds, have a few wrinkles here and some loose skin there, assorted liver spots, stretch marks, and surgical scars from the wear and tear of life. I have not had access to Jenner’s belly button (nor do I covet such access) but my guess is that that area and all of the rest of Jenner’s sixty five year old body doesn’t look anything like any sixty five year old that I know.
So what is this then? Envy? Emphatically no. My wrinkles and scars are the result of a life energetically and enthusiastically lived. I do not covet anybody else’s body and have written over one hundred stories about the life that I have somehow muddled through more or less happily in my own. And besides, I am perfectly comfortable in the maleness of my male body which, providentially, houses an xy male through and through. No, envy is not the word to describe my thoughts. Distaste, actually, comes closer to the mark.
I feel a sense of distaste that Jenner has chosen to remold himself into the Barbiesque caricature of what an American female is suppose to want to look like. I am not a woman (and I am quite certain of that) but I have many friends who are, and virtually all of them reject the glamour queen image that has been projected upon them as the ideal which the culture values as ‘the perfect woman’. Jenner had the option of how he would ultimately look, so why didn’t he choose to look more like his mother or grandmother did at sixty five, or like most women of sixty five now do? Instead, with his long, perfect auburn hair, cantaloupe breasts, wasp waist and smooth, unwrinkled legs, he looks like – – – nobody I know!
So I’m going to keep this short. Jenner can be whoever and whatever he chooses to be. That is entirely his business and I will lustily shout that everybody who is having a cow over the Great Transformation should concern themselves with their own lives if they have lives and, if not, get one. Bruce Jenner can be what he wants to be for now at least, and it’s no skin off of my nose. I do wish his conversion to being a woman would have been a bit more affirming to women however, but I suppose that is an axe that the ladies will have to grind with him if they so choose.