Caitlyn Jenner Stirs the Debate

 You would think that Caitlyn Bruce Jenner, who won the men’s decathlon in the 1976 Olympics and depended on his feet, would not to be prone to such a serious misstep.

I applaud Caitlyn’s bravery; I applaud her bringing transgender issues to the family dining table; but I question flaunting her flaming sexuality… which to my bra-burning generation, reduces women to empty-headed Barbies.

Caitlyn looks sultry in a dress zippered front and back for easy access.

Caitlyn looks sultry in a dress zippered front and back for easy access.

Women have spent generations proving (trying to prove) that we are more than empty vessels, and with just one Vanity Fair cover photographed by Annie Leibovitz, enlightenment has come to a screeching halt. Maybe not a halt… more like a stumble.

Hopefully, Caitlyn has brought gender issues to the fore. Maybe the value of her over-the-top, “outing” is more about the questions than the answers. I don’t think that Caitlyn is the answer, but the highly sexualized photos, prompt us to question. What defines a man? What defines a woman?

2015 07 23 convergence 046A couple of blogs ago I wrote about Westcliffe’s Jazz Camp at which professional musicians, performing together as Convergence, mentor aspiring middle and high school jazz students. The  youth of the musicians and the quality of the musicianship gives me hope that with passion and talent, maybe the next generation will do better than we have.

Out of the forty students, three were girls. I was thrilled to see the girls. Not tokens but players. But I couldn’t take my eyes off the trumpet player.

2015 07 23 convergence 048Yes, I was looking at her clothing, but her dress said so much about her. Her dress said that she was confident and happy with her identity. I could only envy her self-assuredness because it was such a contrast to my own amorphousness at her age. You never would have found me wearing baggy basketball shorts and exposing an uneven tan line!

I would not repeat my high school years if you paid me. I was shy. I slunk down the hallways hoping that no one would notice me. I tried hard to be invisible. Doing that called for dressing just like all the other girls. We didn’t wear uniforms, but uniformity of thought, behavior, and dress was important. Heaven forbid that you walked your own walk.

Maybe we should thank Caitlyn for putting the hard-to-chew grizzle on the plate.

About timeout2

I have lived 100 lives. I write essays, short stories, poetry, grocery lists and notes to myself. If I am ever lost, look for a paper trail, but be careful not to trip over any books that lie scattered here and there. I am a reader. I am a reader in awe of writers. When I don't live in Westcliffe, Colorado, I live in London where I am a long-time member of Word-for-Word - Crouch End.
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2 Responses to Caitlyn Jenner Stirs the Debate

  1. Brent says:

    Thank you Doris for this wisdom, so obvious to some, so surprising to generations. People and counties need time to grow up. I’m with you on this. Thinking back in my own life and actions there is much I would change. So glad to see so many healthy changes in our collective, cultural norms.

    • timeout2 says:

      Dear Brent, I realize that watching one girl who is happy in her own skin and dancing to her own tune is jumping to conclusions in terms of positive cultural changes. Is she an outlier or does she represent a new wave? Like many of my generation, I am grasping at straws. Without any statistical evidence, I choose to believe that she represents positive change.

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