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.’
For those of you who have read it, I’m going to voice my opinion on this article. To be quite honest, I one hundred percent agree with the author of the article. The author makes 8 very valid points as to why young teens should look up to Sadie Robertson as a role model versus the somewhat scandalous Jenner. I’m in my twenties and I’d rather take a few lessons from Sadie than Kylie. I find myself wanting to read Sadie’s book over wanting to make my lips appear ten sizes larger.
The article highlights exactly what is wrong with our society. As a society, we constantly put women up against one another, in a fight to the death competition of who is better, or prettier or thinner. These girls are both 17. Seventeen! We should not be comparing why one is better than the other. Neither is better, neither is worse. They both live a life of fame and each have responded differently to their surroundings. Kylie was raised in California with sisters who are currently in their thirties. She’s probably seen and heard a lot from them, which would explain why she acts so mature. She has four older sisters to model herself after (five if you count Kris Jenner), who are all strong and beautiful women with a drive to find success. And Sadie’s family has found a way to remain humble and generous with their rise to fame. She grew up in a strong Christian family in Louisiana, whose laid back and low maintenance lifestyle is to be expected.
So, why are we comparing them? They have grown up and been exposed to different surroundings.They have had different experiences and each have their own story to tell. At the end of the day, who is anyone to say that one is better than the other?
We need to put a stop to this constant comparison of women in our culture and start celebrating women, of all ages. Sadie has a prom gown line, a best selling book and has accomplished so much at the age of 17. Kylie is an up and coming model, with a clothing line at PacSun and is already making a name for herself in the celebrity world. Good for them. Both of them. They are both amazing and should be applauded.
What do you think, Reader? Is the article right to compare the two?
Happy Monday Reader!
For the past month, I have been undertaking a daunting task. No, it has nothing to do with the title of this post, but it actually has everything to do with this title. Let me explain.
Reader, I was bored with my Facebook profile picture. You know that feeling, it’s been up for months and there haven’t been any new likes and it’s old and you need to freshen things up. I like to think of it as a rebirthing of sorts. You post it, people like it and comment on it and, don’t you dare deny it, you feel so (shallow) wonderful and confident!
I took selfies any chance I got that I looked moderately presentable. If you saw my camera roll, you’d be either be impressed or judging me for the amount of pictures of myself I had taken in the last week. But alas, one magical day, I swiped on some red lipstick and knew it was game time (que ‘Style’ by Taylor Swift). After capturing a few dozen photos, I set out to edit one or two. Reader, you’d either be impressed or judging me for the amount of photo editing apps one of my picture goes through before I post it.
One app in particular is similar to photoshop. Now, I believe that photoshop is awful and in Hollywood can have negative affects on us mere mortals in normal society. But this app is magical! It’s called FaceTune and you can smooth skin, whiten teeth, and reshape/resize your face.
Here, I will admit, I do think I am pretty. I have dainty features; small mouth, cute almond eyes, tiny teeth all of which is ruined by my nose. When I look in the mirror it’s all I can see. I’ve always hated it, mostly the tip which is just fat and round and awful and sort of comes to a point like a beak. I have a bump on the bridge of my nose which is something I’ve come to love, but I haven’t been able to accept the rest of my nose.
Enter FaceTune. Yes, I reshaped my nose to make it more suitable for my personal tastes.
Here’s the two pictures, on the left is the unedited picture and on the right is the edited picture. It’s probably hard for you to tell but I can immediately see that the nose in the right picture is more of the nose I’ve always wanted.
But which picture did I post on Facebook?
I chose to post the unedited picture; although, I’d be lying if I said that my hand didn’t hover over the edited one for a few seconds. I don’t want to be a hypocrite and I would have been if I had posted the nosejob selfie. I’m one of those, ‘beauty is on the inside, who cares about what you face looks like!’ harpies, so I’d be lying to not only the world, but also myself if I posted that picture. I’d rather be real and genuine than post a false picture of myself. Plus I would have hated myself every time I got on and saw the false image.
The unedited picture I posted has gotten a considerable amount of likes and comments about my appearance. I guess maybe, my awful nose isn’t that noticeable to anyone else. Maybe most of the time, we’re the only ones who can see the ugly parts of ourselves. And maybe, those ugly parts are just part of our imaginations and they’re not so ugly after all.
Reader, have you ever heavily edited a picture of yourself? I hope you haven’t, and I hope you love every part of yourself.
“She’s so skinny, look at her thigh gap. I wish my thighs didn’t touch, she’s perfect.”
“Look at all those guys around her, slut.”
I’m calling out my sex for their horrible habits. For one thing, we constantly compare ourselves to other women. Why? Why do we have nothing better to do than sit around and pick at other people’s imperfections/perfections? Does it matter if I have a thigh gap? Does it matter that the girl next to me has long and toned legs while the next girl has a large chest? Oh, but it gets worse. Once we’ve picked out how they’re better than us, we complain to the nearest female about it.
I feel like our culture has programmed us to spend more of our time focusing on other people and their appearance or lives rather than focusing on our own. Imagine if we channeled the energy we usually used for judging and gossiping about others into our own work, personalities or relationships. I bet we’d get a lot more accomplished and our personalities would rock. We wouldn’t have time to be judgmental jerks. And I bet we’d all have higher self esteems if instead of judging each other, we congratulated each other.
Let’s start celebrating other women and their bodies and personalities and hair and faces and curves and lack of curves and talents and skills and everything. Why is it impossible for us to step out of the race of being the best female alive and work together on finishing the race?
I wish it were that simple, I really do. Reader, I want to make a promise to you, that I will try my very darnest not to judge anyone, especially other women. Reader, I hope that you can do the same. If a mean thought pops into your head about another female, stop and look at her and try to pick out something good, like she has really cute shoes! Then try and tell her that exact thought. Maybe it will help encourage her to support other women. And maybe, just maybe, we can stop judging each other and create something beautiful.
You’ve seen the zombies everywhere. They have a dead pan look on their faces as their eyes glisten, reflecting the light from the screens in front of them. They have white chords hanging from their heads, unable to hear anything from the world around them. They don’t speak to others, merely mumbling, unable to speak because their world is digitized. You may have thought they were brain dead, the way the stare off into nothing, mumbling nonsense about hash-tags and ‘likes.’ Everyone makes a big stink about the zombie apocalypse that is sure to come, caused by some scary virus breaking out among our world’s population (Ebola?!?). However, the zombie apocalypse was started by a different kind of virus. In the 90’s we were introduced to what would one day be the modern smartphone. As technology improved, the virus slowly began to fester in our souls. We became attached to beepers and PDAs that would command our every move. Shortly, cell phones became more compact and we could email! We could get online! We could instantaneously connect with a friend down the street or across the world via a small device in our back pocket. Pictures, music, games, blogs, and social media have enchanted our minds to ensure that our whole worlds can be held in the palm of our hand.
And it’s no where near the end of this societal phenomenon. As our phones and tablets get more features, we become even more transformed into zombie like creatures. We retreat into ourselves, restricting our social interaction to the digital realms of our devices. These devices were supposed to enhance our society’s social abilities. If you look around though, is anyone really talking? Plugged into headphones, it’s hard to hear anyone else’s voice, let alone carry a conversation with them. With our eyes hopelessly trained on our device’s screens at every spare moment, how are we able to notice the people around us? But we’re having a conversation via texting! I just tweeted at my friend! I’m building a relationship with a guy on Tinder!I’m using a social network for Pete’s sake!
These e-interactions are hardly healthy or even very social. Studies show that technology is limiting our interaction and social abilities. Katherine Bindley quotes Melissa Ortega in her article, When Children Text All Day, What Happens To Their Social Skills? Ortega, a child psychologist at New York’s Child Mind Institute mentions, “Another thing I’m noticing is they may have trouble initiating interactions, those small talk situations. They don’t have as much experience doing it because they’re not engaging in it ever. They always have something else going on.” The article also discusses how children aren’t learning nonverbal cues or how to handle conflict.
I know I am guilty of this. When I get to class, I immediately pull out my phone to avoid sitting there with no one to talk to. In some of my classes, I do have friends to chat with, but our chatter seems loud compared to the deafening silence surrounding us, since everyone else is on their phones. Sometimes I feel like I’m bothering my friends by talking to them, they chat but occasionally glance down at their screens to check for notifications or messages. Will this behavior ever change? I doubt it. This is the way our society lives now and it’s only going to get worse as more and more technology comes out.
Reader, what do you think? Is technology helping us or hurting us?