Friday, June 5, 2015

Will the Real Caitlyn Jenner Please Stand Up?

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.

Wilhelm writes:

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.


Ares Olympus said...

Re: 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.

I agree with the assessment of cults and belief, but the word "nature" confuses me. Rather it would seem what we're doing is using science to stretch things beyond natural forms.

And Bruce was apparently taking estrogen since the 1980s, so it sounds more like a "science cult" than "nature cult".

In the past more people accepted who God made them to be, accepted the "traditional" roles that society would accept them for, and if you couldn't conform, you could retreat from society, or end your life.

It is interesting to think "cult" and "culture" have the same basis, and perhaps cult in the wider sense is "subculture", so you can be in many subcultures and in each "echo chamber" of mutual reinforcement whatever rises from each subculture has a chance to expand into the wider culture, while it may or may not be useful or necessary, but on the boundaries of these subcultures is where acceptance or tolerance may be desired or needed, and where values that conflict with the dominate culture are challenged.

The word bigot is a strongly shaming word, at least I imagine it makes most people retreat from whatever they're doing or saying that is intolerant or unaccepting or insensitive, or sterotyping or whatever, BUT maybe ONLY if you're a member of a subculture, if their opinions matter to you.

Jon Stewart's joke about the fact that no one wants to have a sexual relationship with Caitlyn was bold, but perhaps many people are not too concerned about their sex lives after 60, and he's had 4 wives and kids and all, and admitted he was unfair to them for keeping secrets.

Now I suppose he'll make his living representing the transgender community, giving $10k speeches to help people "accept" this as good and normal, again, via the cult of science can do anything we want.

But the dialogue I'm interested in goes back to the question of self-harm, but its no different than the body builders or cosmetic surgery women accept as necessary for their sex appeal.

So I'll choose to be a potential self-harm bigot, and disapprove of tattoos, implants, and modern chemistry to make people things they are not. But its still only "self harm", and some uses of some of these modern science techniques can serve to correct defects and help people fit in better, rather than to stand out.

The questions that arise for me is like discrimination. A business isn't allow to deny services by the law, but can a business owner express a preference "I don't like gays, but I promise they'll be treated fairly" or whatever and then gays can decide if that's a business they want to use. Or can I refuse to hire a transgender person (or a person with a pierced nose or cheek) for a service job because I'm afraid it'll harm my business?

But again, these are all larger issues of cultures and subcultures. I'm not offended or scared by Caitlyn's new look. She can find her subculture and live happily ever after.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Well, like it or not, it's a fact. Bruce Jenner is now Caitlyn Jenner. Wikipedia says so, therefore it is true. He is a she. Time to take the champagne out of the fridge.

This quote from "Caitlyn" Jenner captures all of the absurdity: “You start learning the pressure women are under all the time about their appearance. I never had it until a couple weeks ago.”

Ummm... I don't know where to start with that. This is the consequence of making a choice. We seem to have forgotten the idea of choice and free will. Are we all pre-programmed genetic robots, subject to the whims of our feelings and emotions? Do we really have no control over our lives.? We feel, therefore it is true. That is the Enlightenment turned on its head. We are all victims. Not only is "the man" screwing us, nature is, too. Who does "Caitlyn" complain to?

As you've pointed out in the post, we've moved from Benny Hill transvestite fetishes to fundamental surgical alteration as "transgender," which ObamaCare covers. We obsess over the suicides that are the consequences of bullying, yet we ignore the suicide rate after transgender or sex-reassignment surgery. People have regrets. People say gender is a "social construct" and then can't construct new lives socially after the radical procedure.

This is postmodern absurdity in living form, for all to see. We have the greatest male athlete in the world in 1976 moving from the front of a Wheaties box to a corseted oddball on the front of Vanity Fair... all in less than 40 years! My how things have changed. We are told this is reality, yet there is nothing real about it whatsoever, other than people falling all over themselves in self-congratulation.

Watching this train wreck in slow motion reminds me of Charlie Sheen's meltdown years ago. And this is not the sideshow of old. This is a big, swirling media vortex. This is in your face. And if you turn away or make any kind of harrumph or wincing facial expression, you are a bigot. You're the freak. Who is Big Brother now?

So what happens if I FEEL like a female Eskimo vegan lesbian who suffers from PTSD from the tour that I FEEL like I did in Iraq? Does that make it so? Can I put that on a job application? Can I get an honorary degree from Oberlin or Occidental? Can I get an endowed, chaired full professorship at Harvard Law School because my grandmother told me I was 1/32nd native American? What would happen to me if I tried to do that?

Great piece on this craziness from the other day:

Anonymous said...

This is it. I am going dark on media. I may just stick with the wisdom of the books I have, as no real wisdom seems to be valued anymore. I have a great family, great friends, a great shop, great customers. Mine's a quiet town. Everything is good. We don't bicker about this kind of stuff because it's way out there. I watch and read news, blogs and all kinds of other things to stay in touch with the world. I am in my 40s, certainly not an old fart or fuddy duddy by any means. I run a business and employ 10 people. But this media infotainment culture is turning us into morons. We consume ourselves with what doesn't matter, and complain we don't have time for anything or anybody else. After 9-11, lots of people reconnected to what was most important to them. I think I'm there. I'm ready to tune out. This media culture uses and confuses people. Lots of rotten people think they're the most virtuous people in the world because they tolerate everybody and everything but they're so filthy rich they never have to live in the human wreckage they leave behind. The black-and-white religious types are reactionaries. Limbaugh said yesterday that the conservatives are becoming the freaks. What's now conservative used to be called normal. This has all happened so fast. Who's running the show? I remain anonymous because I don't feel being tarred and feathered is worth it. We found out you can't be a pizza parlor in the middle of Indiana minding your own business without becoming a nationwide bigot pariah. TV is killing us. I'm just gonna take care of my own corner of the world and leave the national agenda to the crazies, statists and free market ideologues who are destroying this country. Signing off

Webutante said...

Best piece I've read on this utter freak show to date.

n.n said...

We have reached a generational or perceptual threshold. We are privileged to observe the inevitable progression of individual men and women from a "liberal" to "conservative" state. We'll need to create a new label to classify these "protestants", or perhaps just collect them in one class and call it a day.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Interesting, n.n. I never thought of myself as a protestant. I guess I am in this context. Here I stand, I can do no other.

I've had it. I've put up with all the postmodern drivel as I've been able to endure. I am at my wits end. When someone's feelings are fact (we used to call it "perception is reality"), then we're toast. I may follow Anonymous above and switch off the glowing box... permanently.

We live in the land of imagination, and we demand others celebrate our imagination and emotional decadence as fact. THAT is bizarre. You can't connect with another that way.

I suspect the tolerance group doesn't want to connect, they just want to... tolerate. And no doubt be left alone. So now we seek to live apart with people like us, in gated communities, with our association rules about color, trim and ornamentation -- and all the while proclaim we're the most tolerant people in the world. It's easy to tolerate the mob when you're behind a high wall... I suppose it's a spectator sport at that point.

I thought man's search was to communicate his experience so he could connect with another. We now just declare our experience, and expect much rejoicing. The Oprah culture writ large... we hear slogans and we reflexively applaud. 1984.

And yes, Webutante... it is a freak show.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

One other thought... I said "I've had it." I thought of what old fashioned, normative people used to think in the past. What I remember is that they couldn't necessarily explain why they believed or favored the things they did. They just were. That's the way things always were. That was normal. "Saturday Night Fever" disco types were weird because they were ostentatious, faddish, strange, what was passing through. Certainly the old way will prevail...

Fair enough.

Today, things are different. I am prepared to talk about what I believe and the way things are -- if asked. I'm not going to promote, I'm not going to defend. The old ways of the pride of ownership (no debt), work hard, approach the world, personal responsibility, delayed gratification, social mobility, sexual discretion, man as protector and provider, women minding the home, faith in God, and American exceptionalism.

Not vacant traditionalism. No, no, no... that is reactionary. That's how we get ISIS.

Im talking about what makes a good, enduring, full life.

Order. Belief in a better future... a better life for our children. Stability. Pride in work. Faith. The covenant of marriage. Children. Grandchildren. Excellent public education. True public servants. Modest government ordered toward liberty rather than control. Law that serves man, not man serving law. Debt for a concrete, aspirational purpose; rather than for a pyrrhic, fashionable pleasure. The enduring over the temporary. Brick over vinyl. Wool over polyester.

The one thing I remember about beatniks, hippies, flower children, dreamers, protesters and activists is that they were hardened by being picked out, harangued, ridiculed, marginalized, beaten and displaced. Well, today that's where a lot of conservatives find themselves. And that seems to be considered "justice" because of false empowerment around a sanitized, cleansed, oppositional, ideological, multicultural "history."

We don't need to defend or protect our way of life. We just need to live our way of life. And have the love and courage to share it, when asked. In the case of our own families, that's how we pass down our values.

And the belief that what you feel in the moment determines who you are is insane. The idea that a temporary emotional state is true reality is hollow. The belief that you're perpetually oppressed is a perpetual prison.

We must become more than we might otherwise be. Otherwise, we are trapped. And the trap is of our own construction. That's what it seems Leftist politicians are selling us today: doom, and the only absolution is taking someone else's money (government).

If I'm a loser in the eyes of others, at least I won't be owned by them. Today's true slave master is the glowing box.

Dennis said...


You might find this series by Dennis Prager instructive. At the bottom of the page is a link to Part One of this series. After reading the first part I was struck by the fact that both Prager and I change from being Democrats for the same reasons though I moved more towards being an Independent with Republican leanings. Now I just need to find some Republicans.
Reading this one should understand why I tried to point out that we are a Republic and not a democracy. If one is going to affect the flow of life then one has to step into the arena. Nicely state IAC. You might be surprised at how many people agree with you. Too many people assume that because the media and supposed opinion leaders say something that vast majorities agree, but that is almost never true. The natural state for many people is to avoid conflict so true beliefs are hard to measure.
If religion is losing so many people why are faith based films doing so well. I would suggest that even those who say they eschew religion are looking for it.

Suffice it to say that one has to recognize what something is in order to understand it especially in a larger context. One might say we are all born a yetzer tov and a yetzer ra. The problem is denying that the yetzer ra exists.

Mariam said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Squeeky said...

Good points! The continued presence of Jenner's weenie makes me suspect that we will soon see Season 2 or maybe 3 in this little drama, wherein Jenner returns to maleness. A month or so ago I wrote this little Irish Poem about Jenner:

Hard Times Come Again No More???
An Irish Poem by Squeeky Fromm

There once was a fellow named “Jenner”
Who went to soprano from tenor!
‘Cause he had his eyes
On a new booby prize,
And he got it, but he ain’t no winner!

Squeeky Fromm
Girl Reporter