Thursday, June 11, 2015

Vanity and what's fair: the person on the cover

Women are beautiful because they are women. Womanhood is itself beautiful. Women bring something distinct and special to the world. They fill a void and play a role that no man can.

A woman is a woman not merely because of whatever cosmetic feature a man might vaguely emulate. A woman is a woman because of her biology, which Bruce does not share and never will. A woman is a woman because of her capacity to create life and harbor it in her body until birth, which Bruce cannot do. A woman is a woman because of her soul, her mind, her perspective, her experiences, and her unique way of thinking, of loving, and of being — all things Bruce can only mimic.

A woman is a woman. She has earned that title. She pays for that title. She suffers with that title and gives life with that title and lives from conception until death and beyond with that title. She is that title.

- from Calling Bruce Jenner a Woman Is an Insult to Women

* * * * * * * * * *
I’m not surprised that the conclusion he arrived at was that he needed to surgically alter his outward appearance in an attempt to calm down the inner turmoil.

What is this world we live in? Why can we not see that superficiality is self-defeating in the end? We all seek communion, to be loved and accepted for who we are INSIDE. We need people to see beyond the masks, past the walls, into the very core of who we are as human beings, as God’s creation. When that happens, we blossom, as flowers in the sun. We don’t cower in the darkness waiting for death to come for us.
The world seems to think this is the blossoming, the ultimate freedom for Bruce Jenner. But he has simply exchanged the masks he was wearing before, the walls he put up around himself, for new masks and new walls. Sooner or later the masks will have to come off, and the walls have to crumble.

- from Dear Bruce, You Need the Almighty, Not Caitlyn

 When I started this post, I honestly didn't know what else to do with it besides provide excerpts and links to stories worth reading about the issue that has hogged the headlines in media-saturated societies for weeks now.

When I started this post, the Vanity Fair cover image had likely become a familiar sight to most if not all heavy social media users. It still is being used to accompany many write-ups pertaining to Bruce Jenner, homosexuality, gender, "transgenderism," and anything remotely related to these. But the initial novelty and avid interest that come with anything out of the ordinary being presented in media have waned, as expected. Is that good or bad? I don't know. Interest when it's prompted by morbid curiosity can easily lead to a gossip session, that much I know. A genuine desire to learn and to bring something helpful to the table, on the other hand, is the way to go. So, is the general waning interest in the Bruce Jenner news along with all the details something to rejoice or lament? It depends on what motivates people to want to know more about the whole thing.

When I started this post, I wished it were easier to constantly remember that Bruce is a person with feelings, ideas, aspirations, talents, struggles, unfortunate experiences, a soul. He also has parents, children, women who at one time or another were his spouse. This means the center of this entire issue is a human being, not some object or commodity but someone who ought to be accorded respect and compassion that is due any child of God. Now, after poring over news, more detailed features as well as opinion pieces, his humanity has somehow become more pronounced in my mind. Who will be unable to regard the one-time Olympian with even just a tinge of compassion (or pity even) upon learning that he struggled as a young boy with the confusion of seriously wanting to be a girl and opted to hide his feelings for many years instead of confiding in someone who could have guided him and helped him find healing? Reading further about the things he has said in recent interviews shows even more clearly his confusion pertaining to his sexuality. Learning that his mother will continue to call her son "Bruce" because "his father and I named him that" is all I need to keep in mind that, hey, this is a human being -- with parents who will have to deal with their son's choices and struggles and come across the comments (both heartening and unsavory) that others may make. If only for the sake of being more careful about the manner in which I evaluate this issue regarding Bruce, I shall do my best to remember that amid the discussions of "feminization surgery," "gay pride" and gender confusion, is another child of God.

Now, compassion and compromise don't necessarily go hand in hand, so it's perfectly possible to maintain one's love and respect for someone while pointing out what needs to be pointed out. Going along and agreeing, after all, may demonstrate many other things and not genuine caring and friendship; everyone has had an experience or two regarding this, so though I won't elaborate, you'll know exactly what I mean if you do some reminiscing about your own relationships.

Let me share with you a piece I came across today and which resounded with me the most so far as it touched on vital points that didn't even occur to me prior to reading it. Below is an excerpt but -- like the two previous materials I included here, I highly encourage you to read the whole thing.

When an emaciated young woman suffering from anorexia tells us she is fat, we don’t show her to the plus size department and hand her diet pills.  When someone suffering from severe body dysphoria tells us his arm or leg isn’t supposed to be there, we don’t rush him in for an amputation or give him a chainsaw.  If a person is deluded into thinking he’s Barack Obama, we don’t let him anywhere near the Oval Office.  But for some reason, our society has chosen to treat gender dysphoria differently.  We reinforce the delusion instead of helping people accept the reality of their own biology.

Meanwhile, the rest of us are expected to carry on as if nothing is wrong, or even out of the ordinary.  Schools and businesses are forced to permit biological males to use female-only toileting and shower facilities, regardless of how women and girls may feel about it.  Female athletes are forced to compete against biological males, regardless of the added risk to their safety.

- from The Emperor is a Crossdresser

* * * * * * * * * * 

While thinking of a  title for this post, the name "Bruce" reminded me of other men with the same name: specifically Bruce Banner and Bruce Wayne. Funny how both happen to be superheroes, and Bruce Jenner is in some way a hero as well owing to his athletic skills and the honor he brought his country and family through his Olympic feats. But the first two are fictional characters, and that spells the difference. Bruce Jenner is not 2-dimensional but a real person. And with that comes a certain dignity that no one can ever take away, especially if he himself knows and understands its essence, lets it guide his choices, and holds on to it.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...