#CallMeCaitlyn
June 1, 2015 12:25 PM   Subscribe

Introducing Caitlyn Jenner [Vanity Fair]
Speaking publicly for the first time since completing gender transition, Caitlyn Jenner compares her emotional two-day photo shoot with Annie Leibovitz for the July cover of Vanity Fair to winning the gold medal for the decathlon at the 1976 Olympics. She tells Pulitzer Prize–winning V.F. contributing editor and author of Friday Night Lights Buzz Bissinger, “That was a good day, but the last couple of days were better. . . . This shoot was about my life and who I am as a person. It’s not about the fanfare, it’s not about people cheering in the stadium, it’s not about going down the street and everybody giving you ‘that a boy, Bruce,’ pat on the back, O.K. This is about your life.”

Caitlyn Jenner Is Finally “Free” on Vanity Fair’s Cover [YouTube]

Caitlyn Is Greatlyn in These Historic Vanity Fair Photos: via: @DavidCaplanNYC
[image] [image] [image] [image] [image]

Trending via Twitter #CallMeCaitlyn

Previously.
posted by Fizz (155 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
 
wait is this the full article? YAY
posted by poffin boffin at 12:27 PM on June 1, 2015


"Woah Jessica Lange looks great on that VF cover but why is everyone on Tumblr sharing it" - me for about 30 minutes this morning before coffee
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:29 PM on June 1, 2015 [76 favorites]


I see they went the "Glamour Shots" route.
posted by ReeMonster at 12:30 PM on June 1, 2015


I'm happy if Caitlyn is happy, but sad about the role the tabloids played in the story.
posted by Slothrup at 12:32 PM on June 1, 2015 [5 favorites]


I hate to be a wet blanket, but my first thought was, "Whose bright idea was it to take a picture of her behind the wheel of a car?"
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 12:32 PM on June 1, 2015 [6 favorites]


I have a question, and I hope I'm not being obtuse here. But is there an accepted way to deal with past tense when someone transitions?

Did Bruce win the gold medal in 1976, or did Caitlyn? Did he, or she win it? Wikipedia seems to sidestep some of this by using "Jenner" as much as possible, though all the pronouns did switch to "she", even when discussing winning the Men's Decathlon when she identified as Bruce Jenner.

[mods, feel free to remove if this derails too much.]
posted by ALongDecember at 12:35 PM on June 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


Caitlyn won it; then known as "Bruce."
posted by klangklangston at 12:38 PM on June 1, 2015 [28 favorites]


This came up in my Faceebook feed simply introducing a new Jenner with no other context and I was like "dear lord there's another one of these fuckers? Where the hell did she come from?"
But of course I ended up being pleasantly surprised.
Cheers to her for sticking the landing and getting started on the life she really wants to live.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 12:38 PM on June 1, 2015 [28 favorites]


She looks gorgeous. Jessica Lange is right on the money. I'm glad she feels like she's "dealing with this" (her words) and doesn't have to feel like she's wasting time anymore.
posted by easter queen at 12:39 PM on June 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


I believe you would say she won the gold medal. And if necessary, clarify 'while presenting as male.' The way to think about it is, trans women aren't men who became women, they are women who were misidentified as male as children. However there's a certain amount of personal preference involved here.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:39 PM on June 1, 2015 [14 favorites]


That's one of those things where 1) generally the preference of the person is paramount; 2) Jenner's story discusses always thinking of herself as female even through e.g. the medal ceremony; 3) you really can't go wrong by using the surname (which, honestly, since I came up learning AP style is the most comfortable for me anyway, so that may just be personal bias).
posted by klangklangston at 12:40 PM on June 1, 2015 [6 favorites]


Good for Caitlyn. She looks amazing.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:40 PM on June 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm happy for Caitlyn.
posted by sweetkid at 12:42 PM on June 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


"She looks gorgeous. Jessica Lange is right on the money. I'm glad she feels like she's "dealing with this" (her words) and doesn't have to feel like she's wasting time anymore."

Yeah, my wife and I had a bit of a chuckle over like, if there's a time you're gonna look glam, it's a Vogue cover by Leibovitz. What with the plastic surgery disasters she was open about prior to transition and the years of weather her face had taken, you can definitely see the power of a big budget team of experts in how femininity is performed on that cover.
posted by klangklangston at 12:44 PM on June 1, 2015 [11 favorites]


These photos are wonderful and I hope she has a great life.
posted by marxchivist at 12:44 PM on June 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


via: BoingBoing 'How to talk about Caitlyn Jenner: a guide to speaking and writing about transgender people.'
posted by Fizz at 12:45 PM on June 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


This also gives me the opportunity to add something new to my list of "things that will immediately make me weed you out of my life and/or unfollow you on Facebook": Refusing to refer to her as Caitlyn.
posted by maxsparber at 12:46 PM on June 1, 2015 [29 favorites]


Jenner's feelings on pronouns are also discussed in the excerpt currently available:

Bissinger apologizes to Jenner for repeated pronoun confusion and asks whether she is sensitive about it. “I don’t really get hung up,” she tells him. “A guy came in the other day and I was fully dressed—it’s just habit, I said, ‘Hi, Bruce here,’ and I went, Oh fuck, it ain’t Bruce, I was screwing up doing it.”

As time passes, perhaps she will begin to express more of a preference when it comes to discussing her past, but for now (and since the interview), she seems to be taking the confusion in stride as part of being a public figure.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 12:47 PM on June 1, 2015 [16 favorites]


I'm happy for Caitlyn, and the shots do look fantastic.


I still wish I didn't know who any of her family was, though.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:47 PM on June 1, 2015 [9 favorites]


Also, this tweet is appropriate:
And yes, the ultimate form of shade is not spelling Caitlyn with the requisite family "K." #CallMeCaitlyn— Janet Mock (@janetmock) June 1, 2015

posted by Fizz at 12:47 PM on June 1, 2015 [36 favorites]


Also, one thing I'd like to make a brief note of is: she looks super hot and feminine in these photos, but looking super hot and feminine (or, for trans guys, super hot and masculine) is NOT necessary for 'legitimate' transness. A friend of mine wrote an article about this, how trans women are expected to present themselves in a certain way lest they be held up, even by other LGBT folks, as an example of 'doing it wrong,' and how that is fucked up.

So, just keep in mind that, for example, the facial feminization surgery Jenner was able to afford is an amazing resource, but no trans woman should be thought less of for not wanting or being able to afford such surgeries.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:48 PM on June 1, 2015 [130 favorites]


Good for her, and the article is actually a fairly non-sensational (less-sensational?) piece than I feared.

But I still pretty much can't stand anything having anything to do with the Hollywood Trash Royalty Corporate Machine. So again, good for you, now I don't care to hear anything about you again.
posted by dirtdirt at 12:49 PM on June 1, 2015 [11 favorites]


wait is this the full article? YAY

It's not the full article, more of an extended preview.

I was surprised the transition was completed this quickly. In the interview with Diane Sawyer, it had sounded like Jenner was going to take a year or so before she was ready to use female pronouns or have a new name. But it looks like it all went swimmingly for her.
posted by Cash4Lead at 12:50 PM on June 1, 2015


So again, good for you, now I don't care to hear anything about you again.

Caitlyn is in a very unique position. She is rich, powerful, has the media's attention, and is part of a demographic in this country that does not enjoy the same rights as most other Americans. I really, really hope she uses her platform.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:52 PM on June 1, 2015 [40 favorites]


You know, when presenting as Bruce, Jenner often looked uncomfortable (and even slightly furtive sometimes) on KUTK, which I took as the discomfort a person who become well-known via merit would feel when lumped in with the whole "Famous for Being Famous" gang. Caitlyn, however, looks centered and strong. More power to her.
posted by carmicha at 12:52 PM on June 1, 2015 [5 favorites]


"I'm just grateful that she didn't spell Caitlyn with a "K." But seriously, good for her."

Given her fame, I'm going to assume that Bono told her an Irish given name would help balance her South English surname.
posted by klangklangston at 12:52 PM on June 1, 2015


It's not the full article, more of an extended preview.

I just noticed, and I am disappoint.
posted by poffin boffin at 12:53 PM on June 1, 2015


I will call Caitlyn Jenner anything she wants, because I saw her win that gold medal and I'm pretty sure she could still kick my ass.
posted by yhbc at 12:54 PM on June 1, 2015 [10 favorites]


I'm just grateful that she didn't spell Caitlyn with a "K." But seriously, good for her.

I'm actually surprised, given the whole Kardashian "K obsession" thing. But I guess it would be especially odd for her to change her name to align with the pattern of the late family patriarch for which she was formerly the step-dad.
posted by theorique at 12:54 PM on June 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


the facial feminization surgery Jenner was able to afford is an amazing resource

Not to mention having access to a crack team of the most qualified facial contouring makeup artists in the world, courtesy of her stepdaughters (or maybe mostly Kim).

Just in advance of more comments about "blech all Kardashians": I get it, but at the same time, people who use their fame (ill-gotten or otherwise) to bring light and healing to issues that literally kill people are trying to use fame for good.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 12:54 PM on June 1, 2015 [22 favorites]


Maybe I have excessive compassion problems or something but I sort of feel for Kris. Her first husband died and now it seems like everyone's trashing her over this, but it's a private thing. Even though she's the one who's been driving this hyperpublic life with her family.
posted by sweetkid at 12:56 PM on June 1, 2015 [5 favorites]


I was surprised the transition was completed this quickly

So was I! I didn't even think just the swelling would be gone by this point. I guess the Diane Sawyer interview was probably shot a while ago?
posted by LizBoBiz at 12:56 PM on June 1, 2015


"The way to think about it is, trans women aren't men who became women, they are women who were misidentified as male as children. " posted by showbiz_liz at 3:39 PM on June 1 [3 favorites +] [!]

I think it is a bit more complicated than just looking under the hood. One is simply not mis-identified as one or the other sex (unless there is genital ambiguity). One more often than not self-identifies as one or the other at some later date.
posted by Gungho at 12:59 PM on June 1, 2015


The URL of that VF photo refers to her as "Bruce"
http://photos.vanityfair.com/2015/06/01/556c7a214ae56e586e457d37_vf-cover-bruce-jenner-july-2015.jpg
posted by Rumple at 12:59 PM on June 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


This is amazing, and I hope it signals a shift toward (slight) mainstream acceptance. A LOT of people will see this and talk about it. Someone I know on Facebook mostly posts about celebrity-type stuff, and she posted a link to this with "Very interesting. He looks good. Hopefully he's finally happy!" I politely corrected the pronouns, which I suspect many of us will end up doing (a sign that more people are thinking/talking/writing about something they've never given much consideration to, which is good, after all.)
posted by naju at 12:59 PM on June 1, 2015


fwiw - Caitlyn Jenner has said explicitly that he would still prefer the use of male gender pronouns and had informed Vanity Fair of this at the time of the photo shoot.
posted by JoJoPotato at 1:02 PM on June 1, 2015


JoJoPotato, Caitlyn's own Twitter says otherwise.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:03 PM on June 1, 2015 [5 favorites]


fwiw - Caitlyn Jenner has said explicitly that he would still prefer the use of male gender pronouns and had informed Vanity Fair of this at the time of the photo shoot.
posted by JoJoPotato at 4:02 PM


Dad GUM it! I can't keep up!
posted by magstheaxe at 1:04 PM on June 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


So again, good for you, now I don't care to hear anything about you again.

Like roomthreeseventeen said, it's super important that she uses her platform. I was impressed that she specifically mentioned violence against trans women of color during her interview with Diane Sawyer. We need a lot more of that. Whatever their feelings on the Kardashian spectacle, the general public is still more apt to listen to Jenner than to Laverne Cox or Janet Mock, whether due to race or degree of fame.
posted by desjardins at 1:05 PM on June 1, 2015 [12 favorites]


You know, I'd like to edit my previous comment. I was just trying to make a joke, but I shouldn't have implied that it would be okay to not use someone's preferred name if he or she wasn't a former decathlete who was physically stronger than I was.

"I will call Caitlyn Jenner anything she wants, because she has earned it."
posted by yhbc at 1:06 PM on June 1, 2015 [8 favorites]


"You know, when presenting as Bruce, Jenner often looked uncomfortable (and even slightly furtive sometimes) on KUTK, which I took as the discomfort a person who become well-known via merit would feel when lumped in with the whole "Famous for Being Famous" gang. Caitlyn, however, looks centered and strong. More power to her."

As a funny bit of trivia, I ran across a description in a book on political campaigns from the '30s that said Davy Crockett was the first person contemporarily derided as "famous for being famous." Unfortunately, that book didn't have a cite, so if anyone knows of any early 1800s sources for that, I'd love to find them. (That bit itself was in an aside about Alice Roosevelt's socialite celebrity.)
posted by klangklangston at 1:06 PM on June 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm so happy for Caitlyn and hope this brings about more acceptance and support for people who are struggling.
posted by mochapickle at 1:08 PM on June 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


you can definitely see the power of a big budget team of experts in how femininity is performed on that cover.

What I think I find most stunning is how youthful-looking the photo is. How many 65-year-old women - even celebrities - are willing to be photographed in what amounts to a bathing suit? (Suddenly, it seems, Helen Mirren has company.)

Now I'm really curious what it's like to be an older woman who possibly escaped most of the socialization about body politics that women go through while growing up.
posted by psoas at 1:16 PM on June 1, 2015 [10 favorites]


What I think I find most stunning is how youthful-looking the photo is. How many 65-year-old women - even celebrities - are willing to be photographed in what amounts to a bathing suit? (Suddenly, it seems, Helen Mirren has company.)

Yeah, I was would like to know the technical details of the shoot (camera settings/lighting) and what, if any, post processing was done.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:18 PM on June 1, 2015


What I think I find most stunning is how youthful-looking the photo is.

It's not like these are beach candids. No one on the cover of VF (or any other fashion or lifestyle magazine) looks how they really look.
posted by aaronetc at 1:20 PM on June 1, 2015 [11 favorites]


Yeah, I'm going to have to retract my earlier comment. The first story I heard on NPR left the impression that she still preferred he. Apologies.
posted by JoJoPotato at 1:21 PM on June 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Now I'm really curious what it's like to be an older woman who possibly escaped most of the socialization about body politics that women go through while growing up.

Not just that, but an older woman who spent her salad days as a celebrated male athlete.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:21 PM on June 1, 2015


So, the photo is by Leibowitz (arguably highest ranked photographer of celebrity portraits) and the article is by Buzz Bissinger, who, though an investigative reporter in general, is best known for sports journalism aimed at a general audience.

Jenner as a general celebrity hasn't been terribly interesting to me, though her celebrity does put her in the general-interest category of the first (I believe) trans person that the media knew fairly well before and after transition. (As opposed to, say, Laverne Cox, who we only know post-transition, or Chaz Bono, who was never really present in the spotlight.)

But I am curious if we can assign any particular interest or cultural significance around the fact that Jenner was a highly regarded athlete, and is there any added meaning to the non-team-sport aspect of that sport. Or does that fact not matter so much except that it catapulted (the male persona of) Jenner into a basic level of fame? I can't quite put my finger on it, in terms of physical culture or the particular use/function of a person's body.
posted by vunder at 1:30 PM on June 1, 2015


...an older woman who spent her salad days as a celebrated male athlete.

I wonder what Renee Richards, now 80, has to say.
posted by carmicha at 1:36 PM on June 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I was would like to know the technical details of the shoot (camera settings/lighting) and what, if any, post processing was done.

I'm OK not knowing. The whole point of Vanity Fair covers is the fantasy. It would take me gobs of makeup and industrial trussing to look even close to that good. Caitlyn's spent a lifetime waiting for this moment, and she's earned the magic of this cover beyond any discussion of lighting and post-processing.
posted by mochapickle at 1:38 PM on June 1, 2015 [20 favorites]


But I am curious if we can assign any particular interest or cultural significance around the fact that Jenner was a highly regarded athlete

I think it is significant that Jenner is a person who was held up as a paragon of masculine manhood in her youth, yeah. She's not just a woman who was initially famous as a man - she was famous for being a perfect example of the Ideal Man. It's like if a former Miss America came out as a trans man. It counfounds traditional ideas of what masculinity and femininity are, or can be.
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:39 PM on June 1, 2015 [34 favorites]


In related positive news, OSHA has today issued transgender bathroom guidelines.
posted by bearwife at 1:39 PM on June 1, 2015 [19 favorites]


I think it is a bit more complicated than just looking under the hood. One is simply not mis-identified as one or the other sex (unless there is genital ambiguity). One more often than not self-identifies as one or the other at some later date.

One goes along with the identity prescribed by others before having some realisation of that not being the case. I for one totally mis-identified myself in my youth, along with everyone else.



You know, I'd like to edit my previous comment. I was just trying to make a joke, but I shouldn't have implied that it would be okay to not use someone's preferred name if he or she wasn't a former decathlete who was physically stronger than I was.

"I will call Caitlyn Jenner anything she wants, because she has earned it."


...and those of us who haven't earned it? Maybe "because it's basic human respect"?
posted by Dysk at 1:40 PM on June 1, 2015 [28 favorites]


vunder: "But I am curious if we can assign any particular interest or cultural significance around the fact that Jenner was a highly regarded athlete, and is there any added meaning to the non-team-sport aspect of that sport."

It's really fascinating. You could argue that even before the reality TV stuff, Jenner was and is the world's most famous decathlete (quiet down, Dan and/or Dave), the sporting discipline most associated with the sort of well-rounded "athletics" competition that the Olympics aspires to. It's hard to imagine a more masculine individual sport - all over strength, speed, endurance, it's got it all. I think, should she want to, Caitlyn is amazingly well-positioned to really shatter many of society's notions about gender.
posted by Rock Steady at 1:41 PM on June 1, 2015


the URL of that VF photo refers to her as "Bruce"

It's all about Search Engine Optimization.
posted by stargell at 1:44 PM on June 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Caitlyn Jenner is a hero in more ways than one. Being possibly the most high-profile person to publicize her journey (and coming from the hypermasculine world of sports, to boot) takes a tremendous amount of courage and helps to pave the way for countless other people. I have nothing but admiration for her and I'm so happy that she can finally be herself.
posted by triggerfinger at 1:45 PM on June 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


her celebrity does put her in the general-interest category of the first (I believe) trans person that the media knew fairly well before and after transition.

Lana Wachowski. Alexis Arquette. Chelsea Manning, for pete's sake.
posted by desuetude at 1:47 PM on June 1, 2015 [23 favorites]


catapulted (the male persona of) Jenner into a basic level of fame

I see what you did there (teehee)

[re: decathalon] Caitlyn is amazingly well-positioned to really shatter many of society's notions about gender.

Maybe some, but not many. Whatever her mental state at the time, she still was physiologically male at that moment in time, and that is what people will see. It doesn't really break any barriers to be an accomplished athlete while phenotypically male, and a glamour model while phenotypically female.
posted by smidgen at 1:50 PM on June 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


"I'm just grateful that she didn't spell Caitlyn with a "K." But seriously, good for her."

Given her fame, I'm going to assume that Bono told her an Irish given name would help balance her South English surname.


"Caitlyn" isn't an Irish given name. "Caitlin" (pronounced Kathleen) is.

I am on the bandwagon of calling Jenner whatever she wants because I think it's every person's right to decide what they want to be called. I do think, though, that she has "name lag," which is kind of common among trans folk. Nobody 65 years old is named Caitlyn--that name and its MANY American variances came into vogue 15-20 years ago. We know a 50-ish Madison, and that wouldn't have happened either. I can't remember what trans writer commented that there were a lot of 30-ish trans guys named Logan--again, about a generation ahead of themselves. I guess that's how to explain Caitlyn Jenner. She was just ahead of herself.
posted by dlugoczaj at 1:51 PM on June 1, 2015 [12 favorites]


It's news that a famous athlete, someone featured on a Wheaties box, is transitioning. I hope it inspires many people to get over themselves about which bathroom anybody uses, about just dealing with pronouns, about transgender and gender dysphoria being real. I hope anybody who is or has or will transition takes hope from the positive messages. Hat tip to Jessica Lange.

Then I hope I can hear the last of the Kardashian and Jenner families. I know this will not happen. But we all need a little bit of a dream to hold on to.
posted by theora55 at 1:53 PM on June 1, 2015


I think it is a bit more complicated than just looking under the hood. One is simply not mis-identified as one or the other sex (unless there is genital ambiguity). One more often than not self-identifies as one or the other at some later date.

No, showbiz_liz's rule of thumb is more correct than this. Individual people are always different, so cis people shouldn't look for "rules" for dealing with trans people, but as far as rules of thumb go it is far better to assume that a person's identity is (retroactively, if appropriate) valid, rather than to assume that they made some kind of "choice" to "change." There are of course trans people with whom that narrative resonates, but as a rule of thumb it is better to view binary trans people as really being who they say they are; as, often, always having been who they say they are. So, past tense: use names and pronouns appropriate to who they are, with qualifiers if absolutely necessary. That shouldn't really be hard to figure out and isn't even 101-level stuff. "Don't refer to people in ways they might find hurtful," is what it boils down to.
posted by byanyothername at 1:54 PM on June 1, 2015 [13 favorites]


Dysk, that is what I meant - that everyone has earned the right to be called what he or she wants and treated accordingly. I didn't want to inadvertently stumble into a nomenclature argument, but if I have, I apologize and hope that the derail can stop now.
posted by yhbc at 1:59 PM on June 1, 2015 [6 favorites]


I guess that's how to explain Caitlyn Jenner. She was just ahead of herself.

Well, she was (and presumably still is for a sixtysomething) pretty damn fast.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:01 PM on June 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


More seriously, and sort of related, there was actually a pretty amazing part of the Diane Sawyer interview when Jenner basically talked about how some of the Olympic success and certainly the work ethic behind it had (not the words used) a 'performative masculinity' quality to it; becoming THE world class decathlete was the way to be a capital-M Man in a way that wasn't the lived reality in Jenner's head.

Obviously, there's something tragic about that, but it is also strangely beautiful.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:05 PM on June 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


Lana Wachowski. Alexis Arquette. Chelsea Manning, for pete's sake.

Hm, if you say so. I think the profile is lower and and/or behind the scenes (and really, I had to look up Alexis Arquette - I have literally never heard of this person). I mean, it's not like TV has been all inside Chelsea Manning's home, family, etc.

But ok, abandon the idea of 'first', I still think there's something telling level about of media presence/familiarity over 40 years.
posted by vunder at 2:10 PM on June 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


ALongDecember: "Did Bruce win the gold medal in 1976, or did Caitlyn? Did he, or she win it?"

This is something of an outlier as Jenner competed in a men's-only sport so Jenner's status as "male" actually mattered during her athlete days. I'd expect stories referencing her sports history to say something like, "Caitlyn Jenner, then called Bruce Jenner and understood by the sport's governing body to be male, won the men's decathlon ..." Whereas for Chelsea Manning, her gender didn't matter very much for the wikileaks stuff, so in a shorter article it probably isn't important to mention (while you'd expect a biographical article to mention it).

I've been keeping an eye on media handling of this, and there seems to be a couple of emerging consensuses -- Use the pronouns that the individual prefers and in shorter stories there's no need go into why. In longer biographical pieces, some outlets are saying "he/him" before the individual transitioned and switch to "she/her" after the individual publicly says "these are the pronouns I prefer." That might be questionable in a written biography focusing on the person's life (for example), but is probably defensible in some news stories attempting clarity on the presentation of facts. Some outlets are putting statements at the top or bottom of the piece, like, "For clarity, this piece refers to Chelsea Manning as "Bradley Manning" and "him" until his transition on DATE, because all public records and discussions until that date refer to Chelsea in this fashion. Readers should note that Manning prefers to be referred to as "she" and "her."" Because if you're reading quotes from people talking about Manning's actions where the QUOTES all say "And then he copied my hard drive and ran like crazy" but the NARRATIVE says "she was terrified she'd be caught" that can get legit confusing. (Again, a longer-form piece or a book with more narrative freedom in structure than a straight-ahead news story might choose something different.)

Finally, I've noticed some outlets going with the classic "née" when they want to note a prior name in passing: "Caitlyn Jenner, née Bruce, hosted a charity gala this week ..." (Née means "born as." For a man it's , like "Chaz Bono, Chastity.")

Just some trends I've noticed because I'm interested in news style and how it emerges. Personally I find the née/ use elegant and succinct for news stories, since in the US it has long just signaled a change of name where you might recognize the former name, whether it's a maiden name or a stage name ("Tom Cruise Mapother") or an Ellis Islanding or a change of first name, and I like the way it normalizes transitioning within the same structure of "normal ways humans sometimes change how they're publicly identified." But other people will feel differently and have coherent objections, and it'll be interesting to see what the norms turn out to be.

AP Style is currently, "Use the pronoun preferred by the individuals who have acquired the physical characteristics of the opposite sex or present themselves in a way that does not correspond with their sex at birth. If that preference is not expressed, use the pronoun consistent with the way the individuals live publicly," but they make exceptions for people in the process of transition, or for explaining a transition (as in a biographical piece), where clarity may be enhanced. (When Manning announced her preference the AP began referring to her as Chelsea/she/her, except in stories reporting on the transition process itself, where talking about her prior life as a man and current life as a woman were relevant to the story.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 2:16 PM on June 1, 2015 [29 favorites]


"Lana Wachowski. Alexis Arquette. Chelsea Manning, for pete's sake."

Yeah, none of those have anywhere near the traction — Laura Jane Grace neither. Manning's pre-transition life has a sizable plurality of Americans calling her a traitor, Arquette came to indie fame playing drag queens, and Wachowski was part of a cult sibs duo at the height of her fame.

In contrast, Jenner was on fucking CHiPs, you know? An earlier comparison seems apt: Jenner's Jessica Lange famous. People who aren't nerds know who she is.
posted by klangklangston at 2:17 PM on June 1, 2015 [6 favorites]


"Whereas for Chelsea Manning, her gender didn't matter very much for the wikileaks stuff, so in a shorter article it probably isn't important to mention (while you'd expect a biographical article to mention it)."

Great comment overall, but I'd disagree that Manning's gender didn't matter for Wikileaks, as the Army's trans- (and homo-) phobia was one of the instigating factors in Manning's decision to leak the files.

When we put up statues of her as a hero, we should make sure they depict her as a woman.
posted by klangklangston at 2:21 PM on June 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


This semi-nerd person had no idea who she was when the supermarket tabloids started going on about "BRUCE JENNER'S SHOCKING DOUBLE LIFE AS A DRAG QUEEN" and whatnot; it was weeks of that crap before I worked out that she was connected to the Kardashians...
posted by Mars Saxman at 2:34 PM on June 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


Now I'm really curious what it's like to be an older woman who possibly escaped most of the socialization about body politics that women go through while growing up.

I realise that sounds like something that should be true, but it isn't at all borne out by the reality of my life, nor that of almost any trans woman I've spoken with about it.

My experience is distinct from Jenner's in that I transitioned fairly early, but I had already internalised a whole lot of bullshit about the way I was supposed to feel about my body, my sexuality and my position as a girl and woman under patriarchy long before I was officially 'out', and I've never found that those socialised attitudes substantially diverged from, or were incomplete compared to, those reported by cis women, or that they resembled those exhibited by cis men. I have every reason to believe I received 'female socialisation' (or received a unitary socialisation's messages about gender, femaleness and womanhood as applicable to myself) by the effects of my socialisation upon me compared to cis women's upon them, and our comparable struggles to overcome those effects. I see no reason to assume Caitlyn Jenner didn't, too (with the addition that like any of us, she'll have had a hell of a lot of extra body shame heaped upon her by a media culture that still others, monsters and mocks trans women's bodies specifically).
posted by emmtee at 2:43 PM on June 1, 2015 [17 favorites]


This Vanity Fair cover photo instantly feels iconic and important, even aside from the context of Caitlyn's fame, and I'm trying to figure out why. It's an incredibly well-done photograph, and here's the weird thing: I think the airbrushing/photoshopping is the major reason it works. It's not just incidental or unfortunate. She's being presented the way Vanity Fair would present any other woman on its cover, and the modifications to emphasize femininity are a big part of that. And our attention is being called toward that, the whole Vanity Fair-ness of it as well as the "famous woman performing femininity" aspects of it. So the photo contains an additional metacomment on itself, and contributes to 1) the feeling of Caitlyn being accepted as a woman from the outside, 2) us, the viewer, accepting her as a woman, and 3) Caitlyn's personal comfort and identity as a woman, as shown in her expression.

I'm probably overthinking. It's a really striking image.
posted by naju at 2:44 PM on June 1, 2015 [32 favorites]


More seriously, and sort of related, there was actually a pretty amazing part of the Diane Sawyer interview when Jenner basically talked about how some of the Olympic success and certainly the work ethic behind it had (not the words used) a 'performative masculinity' quality to it; becoming THE world class decathlete was the way to be a capital-M Man in a way that wasn't the lived reality in Jenner's head.

Studies show that trans people are over-represented in the U.S. military (compared to the general population) for this very reason. Chelsea Manning has said that she joined the Army as a way to prove to herself that she was a "real" man, as has Kristin Beck.
posted by Etrigan at 2:47 PM on June 1, 2015 [13 favorites]


(When Manning announced her preference the AP began referring to her as Chelsea/she/her, except in stories reporting on the transition process itself, where talking about her prior life as a man and current life as a woman were relevant to the story.)

For what it's worth, this sort of pronoun switching is widely derided by trans people and kind of plays into some fairly problematic narrative tropes when talking about trans lives.
posted by Dysk at 3:07 PM on June 1, 2015 [9 favorites]


In longer biographical pieces, some outlets are saying "he/him" before the individual transitioned and switch to "she/her" after the individual publicly says "these are the pronouns I prefer." That might be questionable in a written biography focusing on the person's life (for example), but is probably defensible in some news stories attempting clarity on the presentation of facts.

I would argue it's not defensible even there. I've been happy to see fewer and fewer articles following this convention in recent years, and I'm annoyed with the AP for promoting it now.

Because if you're reading quotes from people talking about Manning's actions where the QUOTES all say "And then he copied my hard drive and ran like crazy" but the NARRATIVE says "she was terrified she'd be caught" that can get legit confusing.

If the source had used a nickname for Manning that wasn't widely known, or referred to her with an unprintable epithet like "that motherfucker," there would be no controversy over how to deal with it — just correct it in brackets to one of the following:
And then [she] copied my hard drive…
And then [Manning] copied my hard drive…
This is widely considered to be accurate enough and clear enough for journalism, and it works just as well for correcting pronouns as it does for correcting other misleading or problematic expressions.
posted by nebulawindphone at 3:08 PM on June 1, 2015 [11 favorites]


Huh. I wonder if that will shift when the armed forces finally give up their officially transphobic policies.

(I wonder if there are any reliable numbers about the relative percentages of gay veterans versus current servicemembers. I only mention that because I once talked to an older gay couple and one of them joined the navy out of hopes that the discipline would turn him straight, and he framed it in "make a man out of him" terms, whereas the other guy went into the navy to meet dudes. Extra cuteness: They met in WWII, when their ship assignments meant they "manned the same gun," which they could hardly say without giggling.)
posted by klangklangston at 3:09 PM on June 1, 2015 [7 favorites]


I mean, the vast majority of AMAB people in the armed forces are still conventionally manly straight cis men. I think gay men and trans women are going to keep finding that a convenient stereotype to hide behind — or reinforce their denial with — for a long-ass time.
posted by nebulawindphone at 3:14 PM on June 1, 2015


"I would argue it's not defensible even there. I've been happy to see fewer and fewer articles following this convention in recent years, and I'm annoyed with the AP for promoting it now. "

I also think that there's also a big generational shift going on with this — a lot of education has happened around gender identity, which just wasn't there for a lot of older trans people even in figuring out how to talk about their own identities. The most obvious example of that is "transsexual," which some older people I know still prefer despite the fact that a lot of transgender people would feel really insulted by being called "transsexual."
posted by klangklangston at 3:15 PM on June 1, 2015


The transgender v transsexual thing is a lot more involved and complicated than that. There are groups that call themselves one and use the other derisively to refer to trans people who are 'doing it wrong', for example. There's at least one PhD thesis in linguistics and sociology right there.
posted by Dysk at 3:20 PM on June 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


I realise that sounds like something that should be true, but it isn't at all borne out by the reality of my life, nor that of almost any trans woman I've spoken with about it.

That's quite interesting, thank you.
posted by psoas at 3:36 PM on June 1, 2015


Yeah, sorry, didn't mean to oversimplify it, and especially have no desire to wade into the internal political conflicts of the trans* communities. I do think that people who self-identify as "transsexual" tend to be older than those who self-identify as "transgender," and in my experience people who are trans* and younger tend to have more of a social/political identity connected to that, which often does include things like a more consistent pronoun preference.

(Not to mention that people who are trans are people, and people are individuals. Pretty much any social identity has idiosyncratic members.)

"My experience is distinct from Jenner's in that I transitioned fairly early, but I had already internalised a whole lot of bullshit about the way I was supposed to feel about my body, my sexuality and my position as a girl and woman under patriarchy long before I was officially 'out', and I've never found that those socialised attitudes substantially diverged from, or were incomplete compared to, those reported by cis women, or that they resembled those exhibited by cis men. I have every reason to believe I received 'female socialisation' (or received a unitary socialisation's messages about gender, femaleness and womanhood as applicable to myself) by the effects of my socialisation upon me compared to cis women's upon them, and our comparable struggles to overcome those effects. I see no reason to assume Caitlyn Jenner didn't, too (with the addition that like any of us, she'll have had a hell of a lot of extra body shame heaped upon her by a media culture that still others, monsters and mocks trans women's bodies specifically)."

I think that also ties back into the pernicious TERF trope of "socialized as male" inherently joining trans women with the patriarchy.

In any event, that was a pretty great comment.
posted by klangklangston at 3:40 PM on June 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Finally, I've noticed some outlets going with the classic "née" when they want to note a prior name in passing: "Caitlyn Jenner, née Bruce, hosted a charity gala this week ..." (Née means "born as." For a man it's né, like "Chaz Bono, né Chastity.")

Just some trends I've noticed because I'm interested in news style and how it emerges. Personally I find the née/né use elegant and succinct for news stories, since in the US it has long just signaled a change of name where you might recognize the former name, whether it's a maiden name or a stage name ("Tom Cruise né Mapother") or an Ellis Islanding or a change of first name, and I like the way it normalizes transitioning within the same structure of "normal ways humans sometimes change how they're publicly identified." But other people will feel differently and have coherent objections, and it'll be interesting to see what the norms turn out to be.


It's just another way of cramming in mentions of former names to make trans people's lives public property, though. Once in a blue moon, it's relevant clarifying information, but usually it's not. I mean, when was the last time you heard someone mention Tom Cruise's birth name? I didn't know Tom Cruise was a stage name until your comment.
posted by hoyland at 3:44 PM on June 1, 2015 [10 favorites]


> Yeah, none of those have anywhere near the traction — Laura Jane Grace neither. Manning's pre-transition life has a sizable plurality of Americans calling her a traitor, Arquette came to indie fame playing drag queens, and Wachowski was part of a cult sibs duo at the height of her fame.

I've seen a lot of comments to the effect of vunder's, including a Reuter's article that was picked up by a lot of media outlets which cited Jenner as the "most high-profile American to come out as transgender," and it's making me pretty cranky. I mean no offense to Caitlyn Jenner and her struggle. But just because the media is more interested in Jenner and Jenner is more interested in the media does not make her the first or highest-profile person to come out as trans.
posted by desuetude at 3:48 PM on June 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


" I mean, when was the last time you heard someone mention Tom Cruise's birth name? I didn't know Tom Cruise was a stage name until your comment."

It's almost always done in a way that's more uncomfortable for trans people, i.e. "born," but it's fairly common journalism.
posted by klangklangston at 3:50 PM on June 1, 2015


"I've seen a lot of comments to the effect of vunder's, including a Reuter's article that was picked up by a lot of media outlets which cited Jenner as the "most high-profile American to come out as transgender," and it's making me pretty cranky. I mean no offense to Caitlyn Jenner and her struggle. But just because the media is more interested in Jenner and Jenner is more interested in the media does not make her the first or highest-profile person to come out as trans."

Definitely not first, even first "high profile," but I can't think of a higher profile person to come out as trans*. In a big way, her position in the tabloid machinery is part of the story.
posted by klangklangston at 3:53 PM on June 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


It's almost always done in a way that's more uncomfortable for trans people, i.e. "born," but it's fairly common journalism.

I grant you that you produced a link from last week. On the other hand, the Daily Mail (i.e. the same publication for those who didn't click the link) managed to write two other stories last week without doing it. (And I'd go so far as to argue the Daily Mail shouldn't have mentioned his birth name in that first article. It's totally awkward and random.)
posted by hoyland at 3:57 PM on June 1, 2015


To be clear, I am happy that people are reacting positively to Caitlyn Jenner, and that the general populace is inching towards greater, broader acceptance of transgender people.

I am less happy that this acceptance is being couched so strongly in terms of how she looks so pretty on the cover of Vogue.
posted by desuetude at 4:01 PM on June 1, 2015 [13 favorites]


Definitely not first, even first "high profile," but I can't think of a higher profile person to come out as trans*. In a big way, her position in the tabloid machinery is part of the story.

This seems like a silly argument. The only reason I've ever heard of her is because of the tabloids being gross and speculating about her gender and I managed to hear that Kim Kardashian is pregnant on the radio this morning, so it's not like I'm living in a reality-TV-free zone. (I grant that there's an divide here between Americans who can remember the 1976 Olympics and everyone else.) I'd never heard of Chaz Bono either, but I had greater frame of reference via Cher.

Paradoxically, in terms of sheer impact (courtesy of media grossness), it's probably still Christine Jorgenson. I know more than one trans person who's had an someone awkwardly asking them about "going to Denmark".
posted by hoyland at 4:02 PM on June 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


> In a big way, her position in the tabloid machinery is part of the story.

That's pretty much the definition of privilege, sure.
posted by desuetude at 4:03 PM on June 1, 2015


Excellent blog Streetlaughter dissecting a 1979 Mad Magazine "The Incredible Hulk" parody that contained a gag whose setup was that they changed Bill Bixby's character name from Bruce Banner to David Banner for the TV show because the producers felt that Bruce "wasn't a masculine enough name..."

This is relevant only as an odd social artifact.

At age 12 (when I bought this issue of Mad) I was aware enough of my own bisexuality and the way that it might be perceived by other people that I was starting to really get uncomfortable with MAD because of their gay jokes. This particular gag had me hopeful that they might be turning around, because of the third panel punchline, which I still think is somewhat clever for 1979 MAD Magazine, though less way funny in retrospect, in light of current events. But they continued with the cruel stereotypes and I quit reading it around age 13.

I certainly wish Caitlyn Jenner the best. All of us who are old enough admired her as an athelete, even if we're not keeping up with her reality show family.
posted by Cookiebastard at 4:09 PM on June 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


"This seems like a silly argument. The only reason I've ever heard of her is because of the tabloids being gross and speculating about her gender and I managed to hear that Kim Kardashian is pregnant on the radio this morning, so it's not like I'm living in a reality-TV-free zone. (I grant that there's an divide here between Americans who can remember the 1976 Olympics and everyone else.) I'd never heard of Chaz Bono either, but I had greater frame of reference via Cher."

I can't remember the '76 Olympics, but Jenner was, like, the default archetype for "All American Athlete" well through the '80s. Like, the iconic Wheaties box — even kids too young to see the '76 Olympics spent years eating cereal with Jenner's face on it. The two athletes that did more than anyone else to transform Olympians into celebrities were Mark Spitz and Jenner, with Spitz being the dark "bad boy" whom Jenner was compared favorably to (despite Jenner working just as hard at being a media personality).

I mean, it's even hard to find comparisons for Jenner because in terms of famous athletes becoming famous actors, Jenner is still the person to who tops lists that include people like OJ Simpson.

Cher's nigh impossible to search for with things like google's ngram (not least because of Saint-Cher), but at the height of Sonny Bono's entertainment career, Jenner was getting about five times as many book and magazine mentions. To use the same metric, in 1979, Jenner was as well known as Luke Skywalker. In 1985, Jenner was as well known as Dan Marino, who broke all sorts of passing records leading up to the Superbowl. If you were an American boy in the '80s, you were very likely to recognize Jenner as an archetype of clean athletic achievement.

"I am less happy that this acceptance is being couched so strongly in terms of how she looks so pretty on the cover of Vogue."

Yeah, I'm with you on that one. That's why I really liked that Autostraddle link somebody posted above.

"That's pretty much the definition of privilege, sure."

Yeah, but that seems like an odd objection to Jenner being the highest profile person to come out as trans, since being high profile is inherently a privileged position. Maybe I'm misunderstanding you.
posted by klangklangston at 4:41 PM on June 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


The @Caitlyn_Jenner Twitter account amassed a million followers in four hours, breaking President Obama's @POTUS time to 1M by about half an hour.
posted by Etrigan at 4:57 PM on June 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


I was really bothered by the late-night mocking of the way she looked. It was really cruel, and it seemed dicks like Maher couldn't get enough of making fun of her.

I'm happy she can present as she always was!
posted by persona au gratin at 4:59 PM on June 1, 2015


I have every reason to believe I received 'female socialisation' (or received a unitary socialisation's messages about gender, femaleness and womanhood as applicable to myself) by the effects of my socialisation upon me compared to cis women's upon them, and our comparable struggles to overcome those effects.

I do a lot of voice work with amab trans women who want to change their vocal presentation as part of their transition, and from my observations and experiences, I can absolutely back this up. Many of my clients come to me with extremely specific and narrow ideas about what a "woman's voice" sounds like -- ideas that don't cover the vast majority of women's voices, even if you restrict it to afab/cis women. At least half of the work I do is just challenging that perception, to break those vicious socialization patterns that persist despite the masses of contrary evidence that we all hear every day.
posted by KathrynT at 5:12 PM on June 1, 2015 [17 favorites]


To add the closing paragraph that I somehow failed to write -- whether you grow up assigned male or assigned female, you definitely receive a TON of messages about what it means to be a Man and what it means to be a Woman. Physically, vocally, emotionally, behaviorally, culturally. Trans people don't somehow avoid receiving those messages.
posted by KathrynT at 5:17 PM on June 1, 2015 [9 favorites]


I'm just amused at the "omg she didn't spell it with a K!" thing.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:13 PM on June 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


Clearly, more trans folks should have the option available of an awesome photo shoots with excellent stylists for announcing a coming out and/or a name-change. It should be a public service.
posted by rmd1023 at 6:17 PM on June 1, 2015 [8 favorites]


The photography is very powerful.

I don't know if she still does it, but at one point Annie Sprinkle had a gig working as a specialized portrait photographer. Her clients were women. Annie would make them up, dress them up, and then shoot them in soft-core / glamour style. Then she'd do the standard post-production and deliver the final product: photographs of beautiful, sexy, women.

I saw her talk/slide-show in the 1980's or 90's and it included a series about this work, with before and after shots. You can imagine what they were like. Everyday, no make up, nothing special before, and then vavoom eye-catching after.

By her telling, it was empowering for the women to be able to see themselves this way, at multiple levels. First, it showed them that they were beautiful, full of powerful sexy beauty. But more subtly, it showed them that all those other women -- the women in the magazines -- probably really weren't so beautiful in real life. It very effectively deconstructed that illusion.

You can see Caitlyn's power, her self-assuredness and comfort in these photos, and its great. I can only imagine how she must have felt seeing them, seeing herself, her true self, maybe more clearly than she ever had before. And that's wonderful.

For the rest of us, we should enjoy that, but we should also remember that these are Annie Leibovitz photos, and that no real person will look like that, even people who can afford the best cosmetic surgeons in the world.
posted by alms at 6:26 PM on June 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


Nthing the sentiment that trans women do generally internalize society's expectations for women, even late-transitioning ones like Jenner.

Honestly, if there's a difference between cis and trans women's gender socialization, it's that trans women are less likely to have been taught ways of coping with those expectations.

I mean, there are so many skills that women use, either to live up to social expectations, or else to resist those expectations with dignity. I think of these things as "femme armor." Some of them are tangible hands-on skills that women are expected or assumed to excel in: childcare, elder care, shopping, event planning, makeup, fashion. Being aggressively competent at that stuff is useful in its own right, but it is also useful as a way of proactively meeting expectations and preventing people from questioning your femininity. And then some of these skills are... well, I guess "soft skills" is the euphemism of choice — things like "Here are some ways of coping emotionally with all these heavy expectations around your appearance" or "Here's something you can try to shut down men who are approaching you in creepy ways" or "Here's how you stand up to other women who are doing gender-policing bullshit" or whatever. Special social techniques that are optional for many men, but necessary for coping with our particular socially-imposed version of womanhood.

It does sometimes happen that cis women make it to adulthood without learning much or any of that stuff. But more often they're taught at least some of it — some by their parents, if they're lucky, and probably more by their peers in their teens and early 20s. It's a lot more common for an adult trans woman to end up in this shitty double-bind situation where she knows that she's supposed to be able to do that stuff, but she doesn't know how to do it.

…I'm sort of reluctant to post this, honestly, because it comes a bit too close for comfort to the idea that trans women are Bad At Femininity — which is not true at all. It's more that we're too often stuck navigating femininity alone, without the guidance and mentoring that cis women are sometimes fortunate enough to get.
posted by nebulawindphone at 6:38 PM on June 1, 2015 [30 favorites]


It's funny how insidious these gaps in our upbringing can be, too, even in supposedly egalitarian environments. I grew up in a staunchly feminist family, and my parents would have sworn up and down that they had raised their "son" to be the kind of "father" who would do a full 50% of the childrearing — and I was the oldest sibling or cousin in my family — and yet the first time anyone ever handed me a baby to hold, I was 33 years old and had already transitioned and I felt like the world's shittiest aunt because I didn't know what to do. Meanwhile, my female cousins were all having babies handed to them (along with admonitions to support their little heads etc) before they reached their teens. And nobody in my family even noticed the discrepancy until I pointed it out.

Of course, I could have taught myself the right way to hold a baby, the same way I taught myself during the early part of my transition to meet (or resist, or gracefully sidestep) people's expectations about my appearance and my social mannerisms and all that other stuff. But that's the point — I would have had to teach myself.

Anyway, tl;dr, yes, we internalize all those expectations, and we feel just as panicky and helpless as cis women do when we find ourselves unable to meet them, and actually that happens to us pretty often.
posted by nebulawindphone at 6:42 PM on June 1, 2015 [20 favorites]


Honestly, if there's a difference between cis and trans women's gender socialization, it's that trans women are less likely to have been taught ways of coping with those expectations.


This is a really good point. Also, I know the criticism of "pretty" is well meant, but I can't fault any woman for wanting "pretty" as part of their public profile, or identity as a woman. I don't even know that I see it as a failing, or would like it to be seen as one. Especially someone who is a high profile late transitioning woman. Also in my experience with the super wealthy (which yeah is a weird sentence to write), gender binaries are even more tightly enforced, for reasons that can be kind of easy to understand (trophy wives, powerful men, etc).
posted by sweetkid at 8:23 PM on June 1, 2015 [6 favorites]


I am so happy for her; she looks so happy, too.
posted by Deoridhe at 9:54 PM on June 1, 2015


>née/né

I've never seen the male version of this (). Its original use is in the sense of 'maiden name'. To me as a French speaker it feels awkward in a male context.
posted by Dragonness at 10:09 PM on June 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Née in the sense of maiden name is attributed in English back to the mid-1700s; né for men is attributed in English back to the 1930s. For men it's often seen around professional names (stage names, nom de plume, whatevs) and formal titles, like Count Lothropshire (né Baron Wigglebottom of Umberland).
posted by klangklangston at 10:24 PM on June 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


Clearly, more trans folks should have the option available of an awesome photo shoots with excellent stylists for announcing a coming out and/or a name-change. It should be a public service.

If we're talking utopias, I'd prefer the one where we collectively just stop giving quite so much of a shit about appearance and prettiness.
posted by Dysk at 1:03 AM on June 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


Mod note: One comment deleted. Bim, your comment is incredibly offensive and is absolutely not okay for Metafilter. If you comment in a remotely similar manner again, you will be banned.
posted by taz (staff) at 1:08 AM on June 2, 2015 [13 favorites]


I really dig this robot on Twitter that is correcting people.
posted by NoraReed at 2:39 AM on June 2, 2015 [4 favorites]


That's really cool, NoraReed.

Everyone feel free to be smarter than me and avoid reading the tweets it's correcting, unless you want to be incredibly bummed out in the shortest possible space of time.
posted by pseudonymph at 3:36 AM on June 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Cher's nigh impossible to search for with things like google's ngram (not least because of Saint-Cher), but at the height of Sonny Bono's entertainment career, Jenner was getting about five times as many book and magazine mentions. To use the same metric, in 1979, Jenner was as well known as Luke Skywalker. In 1985, Jenner was as well known as Dan Marino, who broke all sorts of passing records leading up to the Superbowl. If you were an American boy in the '80s, you were very likely to recognize Jenner as an archetype of clean athletic achievement.

This is all sort of tangential, but, while I'm not always the most reliable source for typical American childhoods, I think there's an age under which people have no notion of Jenner as an athlete (and sure, you'd know better than me what that age is, I just know I'm under it) and I think this does cleave the way one reacts to her transition and I've found that interesting to watch as this plays out. My point about Cher was that her fame has had staying power, rather than the quantity of her fame.
posted by hoyland at 4:31 AM on June 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


There's a grey area, too - we're both in our early thirties, but I didn't follow sports until my teen years and completely missed that moment in popular culture, while my wife did and knew her as an Olympian (and was shocked I didn't).
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 4:42 AM on June 2, 2015


I was half contempating checking the see if my born-in-1993 co-worker knows who Dan Marino is, because I suspect there's a similar age cutoff for his fame. But then I realised my boyfriend has probably never heard of Dan Marino.
posted by hoyland at 4:50 AM on June 2, 2015


I was born mid-'70s and I remember Bruce Jenner on the Wheaties box, in commercials, and starring in a Very Special Episode of Silver Spoons in 1985. I think people my age might just be the cusp of that era.

Ooh: I had to check imdb for the date on that and was delighted to find Jenner's name listed correctly as Caitlyn Jenner and the Actor header for Jenner's credits is already changed to Actress. Nice job, imdb!
posted by mochapickle at 5:06 AM on June 2, 2015 [12 favorites]


That bot keeps correcting this other bot/spam, which actually gets it right

Rob Kardashian Found Out About Caitlyn Jenner Through A Mass Text — And He Didn't Even Recognize Her!

posted by sweetkid at 7:18 AM on June 2, 2015


i'm in my early-mid 30s, i grew up as a girl in arkansas who really didn't care about sports except the dallas cowboys, and i'm sure i knew she was an olympian, i more knew her as a "prototypical all american sporty dude with a colgate smile." i'm pretty sure if asked to describe what that meant in the 80s, i would have described jenner. but people's cultural touchstones vary and not everyone will know celebrities at the same amount. for instance, i'm positive that a couple of my lgbtq friends (who are younger and more into punk/hardcore) would have known way more about laura jane grace than caitlyn jenner, far before either of their going public with their transitions.

i do think it's pretty true to say, to a lot of people, for different reasons, caitlyn jenner is one of the more famous pre-transition celebrities and to some, the most famous. it only really matters insomuch as it describes her reach. i hope she does responsible and wonderful things with the platform she's on.
posted by nadawi at 7:39 AM on June 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


i love love love what laverne cox had to say about caitlyn, visibility, and privilege. she's my possibility model every single day.

here is the conclusion of her beautiful piece if you don't want to click through :
Most trans folks don’t have the privileges Caitlyn and I have now have. It is those trans folks we must continue to lift up, get them access to healthcare, jobs, housing, safe streets, safe schools and homes for our young people. We must lift up the stories of those most at risk, statistically trans people of color who are poor and working class. I have hoped over the past few years that the incredible love I have received from the public can translate to the lives of all trans folks. Trans folks of all races, gender expressions, ability, sexual orientations, classes, immigration status, employment status, transition status, genital status etc.. I hope, as I know Caitlyn does, that the love she is receiving can translate into changing hearts and minds about who all trans people are as well as shifting public policies to fully support the lives and well being of all of us. The struggle continues…
posted by nadawi at 8:40 AM on June 2, 2015 [17 favorites]


the love she is receiving can translate into changing hearts and minds

Yep. Celebrities can bring awareness in a way that other educational methods just don't. A sobering example is the watershed that was the news going public that Rock Hudson had AIDS. Hopefully, Caitlyn's transition will help a lot of trans-unaware/uninformed people reconsider what they think they know and open their awareness and make things easier for other trans folks.
posted by rmd1023 at 10:59 AM on June 2, 2015 [4 favorites]


I can't remember the '76 Olympics, but Jenner was, like, the default archetype for "All American Athlete" well through the '80s. Like, the iconic Wheaties box — even kids too young to see the '76 Olympics spent years eating cereal with Jenner's face on it.

I do remember the '76 Olympics, and watching Jenner win the Decathalon. I was pretty sure Bruce Jenner was Superman or something. (Cut me some slack, I was 6.) Had the posters, the articles, the Wheaties box. I had no idea until about a year ago that Jenner had anything to do with the Kardashians - and I still really don't know anything about them, except that they are very pretty and famous for it. (Celeb gossip doesn't really interest me.) When I started seeing Jenner's name all over the tabloids at the grocery checkout, I didn't know quite what to make of all of it.

So now she's Caitlyn. She looks astonishingly like my friend Lizzie, she looks happy and at ease with herself, and that's pretty awesome. I'm thrilled that she is able to have the life that she wants, instead of the life that she was told to have. I'm sorry she felt like she had to wait so long to do it, and I hope any regrets she might have about waiting are softened by being able to "deal with herself" on her own terms now.
posted by MissySedai at 11:23 AM on June 2, 2015


I'm happy for Caitlyn Jenner, as I'm happy for all people, trans and otherwise, who are able to find and embrace themselves.

That said, my feelings about the celebration of this Vanity Fair cover are complex. We all know that images of perfect celebrity bodies contribute to ordinary people's feelings of bodily shame, especially women's normative unhappiness with their own bodies in contemporary Western societies. And for trans women, feelings of bodily dysphoria are typically particularly intense. Our society polices trans women's bodies viciously, and few trans women have the genetics and the money to be able to escape this body policing. Our society often cruelly refuses to affirm a trans person's gender identity unless they look like a cis person of the same identified gender (something not possible for nonbinary trans people), and the standards for "looking like a cis person" get set very high by images like this cover shot of Jenner.

But another problematic thing is that binary trans people, especially binary trans women, get critiqued strongly, and in a way that cis people don't, for conforming to gender ideals. It's completely unfair to disparage Caitlyn Jenner for doing what most cis woman celebrities do--get plastic surgery, have hours spent on their wardrobe and hair and makeup, and have their images photoshopped--unless we make the same complaints of every magazine cover image we see of a woman.

The thing is, I do complain this way about all media representations. But most Americans don't--and I think that's a big problem.
posted by DrMew at 11:53 AM on June 2, 2015 [7 favorites]


Our society often cruelly refuses to affirm a trans person's gender identity unless they look like a cis person of the same identified gender (something not possible for nonbinary trans people), and the standards for "looking like a cis person" get set very high by images like this cover shot of Jenner.

This is right on the money, except that the problem isn't the bar being raised, it's the reification of existence of a bar at all that's the problem.
posted by Dysk at 2:06 PM on June 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


Wow. I just got off the phone with a relative in her 70s who I don't think of as well educated in these issues - sort of mainstream level. Apparently she watched The View segment and was telling me all about it and she did not misgender the pronouns once. Hell yeah.
posted by rmd1023 at 3:40 PM on June 2, 2015 [9 favorites]


"But another problematic thing is that binary trans people, especially binary trans women, get critiqued strongly, and in a way that cis people don't, for conforming to gender ideals. It's completely unfair to disparage Caitlyn Jenner for doing what most cis woman celebrities do--get plastic surgery, have hours spent on their wardrobe and hair and makeup, and have their images photoshopped--unless we make the same complaints of every magazine cover image we see of a woman.

The thing is, I do complain this way about all media representations. But most Americans don't--and I think that's a big problem.
"

Most of Jenner's plastic surgery was done well before coming out, and honestly coming out will probably decrease the amount of criticism she gets for it — her previous work got her compared to Michael Jackson, but I think (hope) people will be more accepting in the context of transgender identity. Which goes back to your point about gender norms.
posted by klangklangston at 3:58 PM on June 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


As I said in the last thread about her, her performance in the 1976 Olympics was dead in the middle of my adolescence, so yeah, I definitely knew who she was. But like others here, I was completely unaware of her involvement with the Kardashians until the last year or so when rumours resurfaced around her gender identity.

I'm an older trans woman, having begun transition in my mid- to late-twenties. Most of my professional life working in stealth, doing my damnedest to keep my gender identity isolated. I'm only just beginning to understand why and that's an ongoing process. Still, there seems to be such a surge in public awareness of trans and gender topics in recent years, both in the US and my adopted home in Australia. Some, such as Caitlyn's VF spread clearly have amazing reach into popular culture but there are also other more fundamentally positive changes taking place, at least in Melbourne.

It certainly seems like there's a Sea Change underway, but there's still a massive gap to span.
posted by michswiss at 4:05 PM on June 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


klangklangston: I wanted to make that same observation about her cosmetic surgery. Most of the feminisation work has taken place over the intervening years. The photo spread is more about presentation.
posted by michswiss at 4:09 PM on June 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Now I'm really curious what it's like to be an older woman who possibly escaped most of the socialization about body politics that women go through while growing up.

I don't remember where I heard it, but somebody made the observation that whenever you first come out as a transwoman, you're your biological age, but you're also suddenly kind of a teenage girl. That part of you that has been locked away deep inside, while the rest of you has been out there in the world experiencing stuff. A lot of the stuff that women have to work out in their teens gets dropped in your lap all of a sudden. You can feel very raw and fumbly and naive and self-conscious, and you can make a lot of dopey mistakes and trust the wrong people. Add to that the complication that you're probably as desperate to be pretty as any teenage girl, but you're working with the face and body of a grown-up (possibly very grown-up) biological male. It's a thrilling, agonizing time. (Again, much like being a teenager.)

I remember having to figure out that I could still be attractive even if I didn't look like the women on the covers of fashion mags. I'd been attracted to plenty of women who weren't tiny little blondes, but somehow I'd internalized this thing that I had to look like that or I was ugly. I was holding myself up to bullshit mainstream standards that I wouldn't put on other women, and even when I realized that's what I was doing it took effort to get past it. It was OK for me to not be some 5-foot-2, 90-pound blonde with a button nose!

For complicated personal reasons, I'm ambivalent about the media circus surrounding Jenner coming out. She's not the person I would have picked to be our spokeswoman, but that's what seems to be happening and I hope she doesn't fuck it up or create a whole bunch of new stereotypes we have to struggle with. I think her wealth and fame will spare her some of the belated teenage girlhood a lot of transwomen experience, but then again most of us don't have to transition with the entire world watching us. She is a mega-rich, famous Republican person and I don't feel much kinship with her, but I won't deny that she is brave as hell. Even with all the money and the fame and the top surgeons and the stylists and everything else, she is still stepping out into a raging hurricane.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 7:33 PM on June 2, 2015 [9 favorites]




I'm one year into HRT as of yesterday and "what the fuck is transgender?" gets harder to explain with every passing day. I think it's best to try not to understand this as something that exists at a point, but is rather a process that needs *a lot* of ambiguous space to unfold.

Just let the gender be in a space for a while, Caitlyn will continue to define who she is, just like we all do and I am happy she's got off to a good start.

Now, personally, I'm not all that "femme" though I do like to "be pretty" every so often. I like having "boyness" but I don't want that to be "what I am" I am girl with some boy in me, not male-centered. I dunno. shit's complicated yo.
posted by Annika Cicada at 6:56 AM on June 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


NoraReed: "I really dig this robot on Twitter that is correcting people."

A short article here from the creator of the bot: I created the Caitlyn Jenner bot @she_not_he. This is what I learned.
"See, there are four distinct types of people who respond to an automated, misgender-correcting bot ... Best of all, though, are the reformees. ... we saw strings of well-meaning @-replies from tweeters around the country, tweets that apologized for ignorance or explained that they hadn’t previously known about these things."
posted by exogenous at 9:26 AM on June 3, 2015


I don't remember where I heard it, but somebody made the observation that whenever you first come out as a transwoman, you're your biological age, but you're also suddenly kind of a teenage girl.

There was a great essay about this entitled Adolescence. It was mentioned in this post.
posted by desjardins at 9:28 AM on June 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


Stewart has a poor record on trans issues, and his sudden flip to defending Jenner specifically without owning up to his own transphobia is really indicative of why this has been so frustrating for me. There are suddenly a lot of clueless cis people being loud about trans issues, acting as if they've been secretly cheering trans people on all along while taking narratives back away from trans people, "supporting" trans rights while continuing to spout common misconceptions and transphobic talking points, "bravery"/"awareness" that doesn't mean a thing for actual trans people, etc. There is a lot of that in this thread, and it's basically the kind of vacuous back-patting pretend-support we discussed in the recent LGBT month MeTas.

If you want to be a good ally, speak up, but don't speak for and when the room is drowning in noise from other cis people such that it exposes trans people to unwanted and uncomfortable attention, maybe just shut up.





Guess who just had their proverbial-straw moment after seeing yet another completely empty "support" post. You want to support trans issues? Do something that matters for anyone and just Google it instead of voicing yet another ignorant nothing. Trans people don't have employment or healthcare or legal protections or the ability to change their legal name/status or use a public restroom or not be raped or not be beaten up or not be murdered or not be poor or not be discriminated against in literally every and any situation in life, and all you want to talk about is "bravery" and appearance and the same tired transphobic talking points I've heard a million times that you don't realize are transphobic because you literally haven't thought about this until two minutes ago? God, if you call me "brave" to my face, I will actually hit you. It is so condescending and belittling.

/vent
posted by byanyothername at 11:31 AM on June 3, 2015 [19 favorites]


i've been annoyed by the jon stewart thing all morning - thank you for voicing that, byanyothername.
posted by nadawi at 11:35 AM on June 3, 2015


Caitlyn Jenner could be the next face of MAC Cosmetics
MAC has over 700 stores worldwide, and Jenner would follow in the footsteps of LGBT-friendly MAC representatives including RuPaul, Ricky Martin, Elton John and k.d. lang. Rihanna, Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj have also been spokesmodels. The line’s motto is “All ages, all races, all sexes.”
posted by filthy light thief at 1:47 PM on June 3, 2015


There was a great essay about this entitled Adolescence.

I definitely didn't hear it there first. It's a concept I've known about for a long while, but I couldn't guess where I heard it from. Perhaps it would have been more accurate for me to say something like, "There's this things trans people talk about..."

Stewart has a poor record on trans issues, and his sudden flip to defending Jenner specifically without owning up to his own transphobia is really indicative of why this has been so frustrating for me.


I haven't forgotten some of Stewart's shitty anti-trans jokes either... but he has been so unambiguously supportive of Jenner's transition that I feel like that's what really matters now. Yeah, I'd like him to admit he has a poor record on this stuff, but I think that's less important than him trying to do the right thing now, while he still has his show and has more fame and influence than he's ever likely to have again. He's evolved on the issue, like many other people are evolving right now. By saying the stuff he's saying now, he's going to change some minds and get more people to support us. That's what matters to me, not some lame jokes he made 8 years ago.

You want to support trans issues? Do something that matters for anyone and just Google it instead of voicing yet another ignorant nothing.

Are you basically telling people that instead of expressing their support for trans people they should shut up and go read about our issues instead? I'd agree that the more they know, the better off we'll all be, but I don't think there's anything wrong with cisgender people voicing their support right here and now, regardless of how informed about us they are. Even if they're just saying it because they think it's fashionable right now, I'll take it. And I don't think there's anything transphobic about calling Jenner brave. Yes, she has a lot of resources most trans people don't, but she is still risking worldwide ridicule and physical violence by coming out. By being the most visible transwoman in America, she has a giant target on her back right now.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 2:20 PM on June 3, 2015 [4 favorites]


Are you basically telling people that instead of expressing their support for trans people they should shut up and go read about our issues instead? I'd agree that the more they know, the better off we'll all be, but I don't think there's anything wrong with cisgender people voicing their support right here and now, regardless of how informed about us they are.

It's not so much voicing support rather than learning something that's irritating, it's the thinking that it makes them a good ally. In that dreadful MeTa, dysk used the phrase 'performing acceptance', and there's definitely an element of that going on in the "voicing support". Is it really support or is it using a trans person as a prop? Making a "supportive" post on Facebook is different to, say, commenting on someone else's transphobic post and saying "not cool", regardless of whether anyone involved knows anyone trans. The latter is actually offering support.

And I don't think there's anything transphobic about calling Jenner brave.

It's super patronising and I can see an argument for calling that patronising reaction transphobic. That doesn't mean she's not being brave, but it's not helpful for cis people to say that. (And calling coming out brave kind of frames not coming out as cowardice, which I'm not so thrilled with.)
posted by hoyland at 4:16 PM on June 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


I don't think there's anything transphobic about calling Jenner brave.

I don't think it's transphobic, but it's very patronizing and just not something that adults say to other adults. It definitely feels like it trivializes the struggles within a transphobic society by framing everything in terms of personal choice.

I had a freakout earlier after seeing Jon Stewart being held up as the Role Model Trans Ally blasted all over my social media, and it was just the final straw. hoyland explained it perfectly. There's actual support, and then there's loud posturing in which you get to pat yourself on the back for pretending to care, and I've seen a huge uptick in the latter this past week. Much of it is also embarrassingly ignorant--referring to "transgenders," or Jenner's "transformation" (I've always thought this one's kind of awesome, but it's still ignorant and wrong), evoking "fe/male socialization" or "biologically fe/male," presuming to speak for or to have greater knowledge of trans people and trans issues, defending Jenner despite a long history of vocal public transphobia (yay!) that you're conveniently forgetting right now (boo!), just ignoring or invalidating the lived experiences of trans people and the actual issues they face, and so on. These are not sincere ally behaviors. I really don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, but I do feel really upset about this on some level. None of us exist to educate you, to validate your worldview or to make you feel better about being pretend-progressive. If it gets to the point where cis people's loudness is actually drowning out trans voices, it is maybe time to think about stepping back some.
posted by byanyothername at 6:00 PM on June 3, 2015 [4 favorites]


Trailer for "I Am Cait"

In her cover story in the July issue of Vanity Fair, Jenner spoke about her upcoming docuseries, which, she said, will “focus on ways of lowering the rates of suicide and attempted suicide, among other issues.”

This is why I have faith she will use her platform for good.
posted by desjardins at 6:00 PM on June 3, 2015 [3 favorites]


I don't think it's transphobic, but it's very patronizing and just not something that adults say to other adults.

Never known anyone with a long-term illness? "You're so brave" is all over the place with that.
posted by Etrigan at 6:04 PM on June 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


"Making a "supportive" post on Facebook is different to, say, commenting on someone else's transphobic post and saying "not cool""

Agree, but I want to add the small piece that studies show that posting agreement or approval of an issue helps normalize it among that facebook member's peer group, and can soften attitudes and pave the way for acceptance. I didn't post anything in particular about Caitlyn Jenner (it was already all over my feed!), but I HAVE gone out of my way to post articles about Ferguson, Missouri, knowing I have many Republican or Republican-leaning facebook friends who should hear from a friend that, hey, this shit is important! Hey, this is systematic, not a one-time occurrence! I know that I'm in the primary effective dissemination audience for facebook posts (K-12 moms), so I try to use my power for good when I think its important. Yeah, it's kinda cheap to suddenly be like " yay Caitlin!" but on the other hand, its signaling to a lot of soccer moms that "yay!" is the appropriate response and that their peer group approves and will ostracize then if they don't approve.

I don't post a whole lot on contentious issues - I try to save it for the big ones - but I do observe that it helps, that it helps create a new normal.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:46 PM on June 3, 2015 [9 favorites]


I'd say there is a difference between, say, linking to Laverene Cox's piece about this, or another genuinely supportive piece or something, and going "omg Jenner is like, sooooo brave and hot" or whatever. The latter very quickly becomes patronising and starts to come across like Jenner (and trans acceptance more generally) is being used performatively to make a point about the poster/speaker rather than actually being about its supposed subject.
posted by Dysk at 2:04 AM on June 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


It initially confused me when people threw the brave-thing my direction. Brave? Nah. Scared shitless of how every living person might judge or abuse me? Hell yeah. So, so much in the early years. But it came down to two options, move forward or cease existing. I reached that threshold relatively early, was already leaving behind a trail of personal destruction and was lucky enough to be able to cobble together enough resources to fund my own way through the process. Arguably Caitlyn is brave, or at least braver than me. Possibly a reflection of her discipline, sacrifice and training earlier in her athletic life. She would have had a much deeper toolkit to draw on and probably dealt with a great many more external expectations.

I've come to accept that when others tell me how brave I was, am. It's their way of saying they have no way to truly understand the imperative. They either mean it genuinely or well, they are dickheads. If they are in the media and say she's brave and don't back it up with some form of active give-back to the T* community, then they are (to co-opt the recent NSW parliament's admonishment of Eddie McGuire) Boofheads.

The photo spread, the photo spread. It hasn't sat well with me, including the way corset image has graced the airways. The more I think about the photo spread, the more it starts to feel like a really high-class version of trans-adolescence.
posted by michswiss at 3:10 AM on June 4, 2015 [3 favorites]




Wow, the trailer for her show. I couldn't have cut a more vapid, entitled, ignorant, harmful piece of shit if I'd tried.

☑ Royal we for all trans people
☑ Pointless cliche bullshit shot of TRANS WOMAN PUTTING ON MAKEUP OOoooOOOooooOOooo
☑ Wisecrack implying that, you know, having your makeup done professionally for an Annie Fucking Liebowitz shoot is something all women have done and she's late to the party
☑ AMAZING REALIZATION that "women are under a lot of pressure to look good"
☑ Says she's "out in the world" when she literally just crossed the property line of her enormous estate in some kind of fancy golf cart that probably cost four times as much as my car
☑ Talks about "being normal" and "blending into society" while still in said fancy golf cart with film crew etc. etc.
☑ Literally calls herself "the new normal"
☑ Barf

She's really pushing things forward!
posted by Corinth at 9:19 AM on June 4, 2015 [6 favorites]


janet mock discusses caitlyn jenner, the media, privilege, and why she initially wasn't going to say much
In less than an hour after the Vanity Fair cover was released, I was inundated with media requests to either provide a quote for an article, sit down for a television interview or write an opinion piece. That one hour resulted in more requests than I have received from the release of my book, the release of Laverne Cox’s TIME cover, my infamous CNN debate and the consistent deaths of trans women of color — combined.
posted by nadawi at 9:28 AM on June 4, 2015 [6 favorites]


ugh thanks for watching that trailer for us Corinth. I mean I'm glad someone's having a positive experience with transition but now I think I'll just go back to forgetting about Caitlyn Jenner. The TV show thing just sounds like...no.
posted by sweetkid at 9:40 AM on June 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


I am so so glad that I was lost in Paris during all this with really limited access to media. And lots of access to cheap red wine.
posted by Annika Cicada at 9:57 AM on June 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


Transgender Lives: Your Stories, from the NYTimes; a large collection of first-person stories and images.

It's impressive how quickly this is moving now.
posted by alms at 12:21 PM on June 4, 2015


This was the headline article on The Age this morning. The dos and don'ts of talking about Caitlyn Jenner and other transgender people.
posted by michswiss at 5:58 PM on June 4, 2015


Boofheads

What a wonderful word! I shall be adding this to my lexicon. Thank you!
posted by MissySedai at 6:22 PM on June 4, 2015




Wow. The Air Force is the last branch I would have expected to do that. Even the Marines aren't generally as wackadoo Fundy as the Air Force.
posted by Etrigan at 3:48 AM on June 5, 2015






There was a post of that Caitlyn Jenner NYTimes Op-Ed that just got deleted (presumably because there was an overlapping conversation going on in this thread) and one of the comments included a link to DrMew/Cary Costello's critique of the article, which I found super thought-provoking and valuable. I thought I'd drop it here in case anyone else was interested. It's a really good read.
posted by pretentious illiterate at 9:18 AM on June 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm glad you posted this, pretentious illiterate. Burkett's op-ed is a such a prodigiously giant step backwards.
posted by mochapickle at 9:49 AM on June 10, 2015


DrMew is a treasure.
posted by rtha at 9:52 AM on June 10, 2015 [5 favorites]


Speaking of which...
posted by desjardins at 12:30 PM on June 10, 2015


/runs screaming
posted by rtha at 12:37 PM on June 10, 2015


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