Caitlyn/Bruce Jenner's t.v. series about living as a transgendered woman premiered last weekend. As expected, it is full of drama and gut wrenching emotion - both mortifying yet fascinating.
The press and media are more than willing to give this individual a pass- as if all of this is normal and even healthy. How else could a rich, white 65-year-old woman get a reality show? There are plenty of shows that deal with the decay of the family - including Jenner's previous reality show, Keeping Up with The Kardashians. This reality show is going forward because this particular older woman was an Olympic male athlete, who married a beautiful woman, and became dad and step/dad to her famous children. The unique twist of course is that the drama comes from bucking the natural law - i.e. it's not the norm for your daddy to turn into a woman.
With that in mind, here are some things I would like to see covered in this television series at some point, either in front of the camera or in an interview.
1. Gender identity is a modern malady. It's one that only an affluent society with plenty of spare time could ever develop. Because if your sole occupation is keeping shelter and finding food, you don't have a lot of time to worry about feeling pretty, especially if you're a guy.
2. Sex reassignment surgery is not for those struggling financially!
The Philadelphia Center for Transgender Surgery, where basic male-to-female surgery that includes testicle removal, genital surgery and breast augmentation would cost a little over $30,000 while for basic female-to-male surgery that includes mastectomy, areolar reduction and genital surgery, would cost between $12,000 and $25,000 depending on the type of genital surgery chosen.
3. Transformation requires surgery -with all the consequential risks and potential complications including bleeding, infection and wound healing problems. Wonder how it works? see here.
4. Whether or not one believes in God, intelligent design or evolution, it boggles the mind that a human being was purposely created or evolved to only feel whole and complete by surgically redesigning the body and maintaining massive doses of hormones at great cost financially and physically.
5. On that note, if this is really a psychological issue, wouldn't it be better treated with psychology and psychiatry rather than surgery and gender reassignment? According to a doctor at Johns Hopkins it would:
6. Caitlyn Jenner obviously has the means to go through this surgical process. But at 65 years old, why is s/he trying to become a 35 year old woman and dress like the Kardashian step-daughters. It seems s/he is not only trying to change gender but roll back the clock a few decades as well.
7. And lastly, but maybe most importantly, Bruce Jenner was involved in a fatal car accident in February of this year. His vehicle struck a woman's care in the rear and pushed her into oncoming traffic. The woman, Kim Howe, died on impact from an oncoming vehicle. Here's the thing - at least in Ohio, if you hit someone from the behind, you are responsible, because you are supposed to keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you and be able to stop at any time. Bruce Jenner had a trailer behind his vehicle and probably needed even more distance to stop safely, something he obviously was unable to do. This is going to play out in civil court as Ms. Howe's step-children sue for wrongful death.
But I wonder, how does someone involved in such an horrific event, that takes the life of another human being, brush that aside long enough to do magazine covers, interviews and a new t.v. show, all self- focused. It seems inappropriate, crass and more than a little macabre. Where's the remorse? the anxiety? Caitlyn seems to have more regrets from living life as a male than in taking another person's life. I'd love to see the press, media or even the t.v. show call this out.
Disney ABC television via Flickr cc
Is Transgenderism a Mental Disorder or a Right?
Straight Answers - the Morality of Sex Change Operations
American Family Association