We pride ourselves on being children of the enlightenment. We worship at the altar of the god of Reason and thrill to the reign of empirical fact. No vulgar superstitions for us. We believe in science. God help you if you do not.
But, we believe in science… but only up to a point. In the absence of traditional religion, we are building a nature cult.
And cults have nothing to do with science. They have everything to do with belief and conviction. They are catnip for the gullible.
If you want to belong to the new nature cult you will be tested. You will need to show that you can accept propositions that are scientifically untrue.
If you believe that men and women are different, that their difference is based on reality, you will be expelled from the cult and sent off to live in the land of the bigots.
If you believe that Caitlyn Jenner is not every inch a woman, as much of a woman as Kim Kardashian you will be rejected from the cult and shunned as a bigot.
It’s almost as though Vanity Fair is testing our gullibility. We have been invited to gaze on the highly photoshopped picture of Caitlyn Jenner and to assent to the fact that she is all-woman.
The test seems to be how quickly and how fully you can declare your joy at the effulgent femininity of Caitlyn Jenner.
If you do not drop to your knees in awe at the miracles that plastic surgery can perform you are a bigot.
Of course, the cultural barometer for all this is Jon Stewart of Comedy Central.
Stewart began his riff by announcing that he is overjoyed to see so many people accepting Caitlyn Jenner as just another one of the girls.
It's really heartening to see that everyone is willing to not only accept Caitlyn Jenner as a woman, but to waste no time in treating her like a woman.
We are all heartened to see Stewart, slightly tongue in cheek, jump on the politically correct bandwagon. If he had refused to do it, he would have been drummed off the air.
But, sad to say, Stewart managed to let slip an incredibly bigoted statement, that is:
You take away the corset and the make-up and I don’t know if anyone wants to bang her.
Horror of horrors, such flagrantly abusive sexism should not be allowed on Comedy Central. It’s a disgrace to define Caitlyn in terms of her availability for sexual congress… especially at a time when she is notably lacking in lady bits.
One might easily argue that Bruce is a modern day transvestite, more than transgendered.
In fact, Kaitlyn has been posed to hide the fact that she still has her man parts. One suspects that it took more than a corset to make her waist so wasp-like. Clearly, those cannot really be her hips. And also, Piade Solenni pointed out, her hands are hidden from view. The size of her hands would give the game away.
In an exceptionally good column Heather Wilhelm exposes some of the facts of the case:
Caitlyn, of course, is not really a woman. Mr. Jenner has not even shed his essential lower male infrastructure, let alone his pesky, clinging XY chromosomes. In this sense, he’s actually more of a proverbial Gender Centaur, or even a proverbial Gender Mullet, than anything else. This might be uncomfortable, but it is the truth. It certainly doesn’t lessen Jenner’s worth as a human being or as a child of God. Yet, strangely, if you calmly note this simple scientific fact, certain people will get very, very upset.
But, it’s the culture war aspect that is most impressive, especially, as Wilhelm reports, for being so like the Spanish Inquisition:
Declare that Caitlyn’s not a woman, and within moments, echoing the infamous Monty Python “Spanish Inquisition” skit, transgender enforcers—from various corners of the media, politics, and, increasingly, public schools—will rush in, displaying alarm, surprise, and a fanatical devotion to magical gender fluidity. Caitlyn, we are told, is a woman, because she says so; it is rude, cruel, backwards, and dangerous to think or say otherwise.
To believe that Caitlyn Jenner is all-woman is to take leave of one’s rational faculties and dispense with all concern with fact... and with freedom.
This insistent squelching of the freedom of thought, and of simple facts, is remarkable. It’s also remarkably unscientific. But in this sense, the Caitlyn Jenner media adoration explosion becomes illuminating, as it reveals an eternal truth about human beings: We can be incredibly intelligent and incredibly moronic at the exact same time, and are desperate for certainty in an uncertain world.
Good-bye Enlightenment… it was nice to know you.