Today, I came across a post shared by an acquaintance on facebook. This post was written and published publicly by someone else, a stranger whom I have never met, it was then shared by the person who I know. I wont name names, this isn’t an all out war. This particular post was in regards to Caitlin Jenner. You can read for yourself below, but the post was rude, biased and in short, completely absurd. Needless to say I was angry. So on my lunch I wrote a pretty well worded response (if I do say so myself), and had every intention of posting it on the acquaintances wall. However, after maliciously typing I thought better of myself and decided to post it on this public forum instead. First you will find the original post by the stanger. Followed by my response.
I’ve heard you say you “identify as a woman”. But I find that highly unlikely and insulting. 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. This is something we mothers begin teaching our young daughters at an early age.
As a woman of nearly 50 years, I can tell you what it is truly like to be a woman. You may be able to understand or even empathize, but you are definitely NOT able to “identify”. For instance, you will never know what it is like to wake up every 28 days with searing stomach pain so bad it doubles you over, yet still trot off to work or school as though everything is fine. You will never know what it is like to have your car break down on the side of the road and when a couple men stop to help your prayer is that their intentions are good because there is no way on earth you have the ability to physically hang let alone overpower them. You have no idea what it is like to long to have a child only to have your third miscarriage, yet still manage to be able to share in the joy of all the other young mothers in your life. You will never know what it’s like to get pregnant, gain 40 lbs (1/3 your total body weight), hurl all morning long for 4 months straight, yet still care for your other two toddlers, and not drive your husband to the brink. You will never know what it is like to give birth to a 10 lb. baby boy with absolutely no medication!!! You will never know what it is like at the age of 50 to be walking down the streets of Phoenix and popping in the Dairy Queen for a cool refreshing treat only to be gripped at that moment with your fourth hot flash of the day.
I have, in my life, met many women who have been widowed. For me to walk up to them and say I identify with them would be ludicrous. Like I said earlier, I can empathize with them, but I cannot identify myself as one of them because I don’t know what that is like – I can only imagine. And let’s not even talk about women who have worked through their double mastectomy.
No, Mr. Jenner there is more to being a woman than you could ever experience or even imagine. And lesson #1 for all true women is this – botox injections, plastic surgeries, designer clothing, and public approval is NOT what makes a woman. A real woman is one who in spite of the stretch marks, age spots, dirt under her nails and tired eyes, and even with 1/2 plastic photoshopped supermodels as her competition, she has carried herself in such a way that her family, husband, and children, see her real beauty and find her far more valuable than rubies or diamonds and they rise up and call her blessed.
Mr. Jenner you are a privileged white male living in the U.S.A. In fact, you are so free and so privileged, you can even spend your massive amounts of money to change your outward appearance to whatever you wish. That is NOT something most woman around the globe are free to do even if they wanted. MOST women in our world don’t even have access to a high school education. So, Mr. Jenner, I find your claim to identify as “a woman” disingenuous, uneducated, and honestly – quite offensive.
I have to start by saying that I do not normally do this. And by this I mean leave preachy comment on people’s posts. One because nothing realistically nothing I type is going to change the way you feel and two, because I hate dramatic feuds. But this post, this bothered me, it irked me and it frustrated me. So much so that I have spent all morning thinking about it, instead of focusing on my job. This then frusterated me even more because I have got shit to do. So here I am commenting on someones post, doing something I do not do simply because this portrayal of what it means to be a woman is so severely closed minded and narrow that I can’t just ignore it.
The first paragraph of this post is not incorrect. There is more to being a woman than beauty. However, this is the first and last thing written in this post that I can agree with. Let’s make a list shall we:
– Not all women get periods. Many do. But many do not, be it because of health and fertility issues or birth control, or because they are trans-gendered. At the end of the day not all women get periods.
– Not all women assume that any man who approaches her to offer help is actually intending to attack them. This is incredibly sexist and misguided.
– And even if a man had bad intentions, some women could totally overpower these men because some women are super strong, some women are super smart, some women are super precautions and rely on more than just a prayer to keep themselves safe.
– Not all women have miscarriages
– Better yet, not all women have children, not all women try to have children, not all women want children
– Not all women have nausea while pregnant, not all women get super duper hormonal while pregnant, some do, but not everyone.
– Not all women get married, and those who do don’t necessarily get married to men.
Each and every one of these claims is just ridiculous. Most of these claims are stating popular biological facts about the female sex. And Caitlin Jenner is a women who will never have the experience of being female. Because she doesn’t have female sex organs such as a uterus, ect. But womanhood, and the woman gender is not biological. It is a social construction. Therefore Caitlin Jenner can most definitely identify as woman. If she, or any trans-gendered person for that matter, feels that they connect with and relate to and identify with the social construction of what it means to be a woman more than a man, then who are you to disagree with them.
Some trans-gendered women will change their names, some will take estrogen pills to prevent things like facial hair and body hair (things that are more inherent to someone of the male sex but don’t necessarily appear and all people who identify as men) , some will have plastic surgery to greatly alter their appearances. And some will not. But that does not mean that either person is more of less of a women.
I guess, at the end of the day, what I am trying to say is that all people experience life, gender and sexuality differently. What I experience as a female who identifies as a women is going to be different from what my sister experiences as a female who also identifies as a women. And our experiences will be different from a male who identifies as a women and from a female who identifies as a man. Yes, it is a difficult concept to grasp, gender fluidity, but no persons experience should ever be discounted and discredited just because it is different from your own.