I was on Facebook recently, and I came across a friend who shared a rant about Caitlyn Jenner and how she is not truly a woman. Read for yourself below, but the author addresses several viable reasons as to why Cait should not be able to ‘identify’ as a woman. The list includes things like that fact that Jenner will never experience a period, the birth of a child, a miscarriage, hot flashes, and many more things that encompass the wonderful world of being a woman. She makes some pretty good points, alluding to the glitz and glamour of Hollywood and the privilege that Cait has, while others don’t have an education or even food.
I’d like to quote something she said that I couldn’t help but want to tattoo on my face (not literally, dear Reader), but it’s powerful and it means a lot
“You see, Mr. Jenner, there is more to being a woman than beautiful gowns and fake boobs. There is more to being a woman than makeup and pretty hair.”
She goes on to state that while Mr. (ahem, Ms.) Jenner can understand or empathize, she will never be able to “identify” as a woman because of the aforementioned things that must all encompass being a woman.
My question to the author is the following.
What about the women who don’t suffer from extreme menstrual cramps? Who have a light period, somehow blessed by the Lord Himself? What about the women who decide not to have children, by choice? Does that make them less of a woman? What about women who don’t have extreme menopause symptoms, or for whatever reason, don’t have to suffer through hot flashes and mood swings? Are they any less of a woman because of that? Or women who are trained in self defense, they have never been afraid to walk alone at night, for fear of a man? Are they less of a woman because they don’t live in fear?
Author, I’ve not yet had children, never suffered a miscarriage, and never had a hot flash. So, am I allowed to identify as a woman? I hope so, because while my definition of being a woman doesn’t just include makeup and pretty dresses, it also isn’t narrowing to these things that many women do have to suffer through.
I believe that being a woman goes very far beyond that, but it also encompasses all those things. Being a woman is many, many things. To say someone isn’t allowed to identify as something, is rude and unfair. I guarantee you if Caitlyn could redo her birth and be born as a woman, suffering as you say for 60 years like the rest of us, I’m sure she would in a heartbeat. But then, who would be the voice for millions of young transgenders who need that reassurance that it’s going to be okay, that they’ll get through it? That they shouldn’t commit suicide or self harm? Cait has society talking, shedding a beautiful light on the transgender community.
Caitlyn will only continue to do some amazing things. Granted, she never had to experience the joys and sorrows of womanhood, but we shouldn’t punish her, or any other transgender for that. As a woman of 22 years (hopefully, I am allowed to identify as that, as you say Author), I welcome Cait to our amazing and beautiful world of womanhood, where we need to learn to raise one another up instead of finding reasons to shame each other.
And Author, I hope that one day, you are able to expand your narrow definition of the word, ‘woman.’
*Read the original Facebook post here.