Is Caitlyn Jenner Costume Justified?

Is Caitlyn Jenner Costume Justified?

—August 29, 2015

Another Hash-It-Out! blog about Caitlyn Jenner? Really?

Yeah, sorry, but he/she is in the news again, and he/she definitely stirs up some significant issues for debate. Like this blog referring to Caitlyn as he/she. How dare we not refer to Caitlyn by his/her self-identification.

The LGBT community insists that self-identification should be all that is required to establish one’s gender; however, biologically, Caitlyn remains very much a man. Meanwhile, on the legal spectrum every state has different laws regarding gender change and the legal definition of male or female. California has among the most liberal laws regarding gender change in the nation, but we don’t know whether Caitlyn has actually taken the steps needed to be legally female.

With the biological transition definitely absent and the legal aspect unclear we will continue to refer to Caitlyn as he/she. As for those staunch defenders of self-identification, we ask: if a man takes rabbit hormones, surgically attaches rabbit ears to his head, and insists he be treated like a rabbit, are you really going to treat him like a rabbit?

But, we digress. The latest Caitlyn Jenner news is the “massive outrage” spurred by the introduction of a Caitlyn Jenner costume. According to dozens of different news organizations, Internet social media sites like Twitter and Facebook erupted in outrage and anger as news of the costume spread. While costume retailer Spirit Halloween was the named perpetrator at the heart of the Internet backlash, it should be noted that several Halloween costume makers are offering Caitlyn/Bruce Jenner costumes of different varieties, not to mention of questionable taste.

There are two issues here: First, is the outrage justified? And second, is the outrage truly “massive?”

Let’s address the second question first. We found it quite interesting how dozens of the news articles regarding the controversial costume were so similar to each other. In fact, most of the articles published the same quotes from both leaders of the LGBT community and supposedly random social media tweeters and commentators. A Tweeter identified as “beki,” who Tweeted, “the caitlyn jenner halloween costumes are disgusting. being trans isn’t a ‘costume’ and treating it as such is ignorant & transphobic,” must be among the most quoted people by the media this week, her tweet being so prevalent among the Caitlyn Halloween costume stories.

Given the reported size of the public outrage, we decided to look for it on the Web. Interestingly, Tweets about Caitlyn Jenner Halloween costumes began back in early June. These early tweeters primarily focused on how Caitlyn Jenner would definitely be one of the most popular costume ideas for 2015, with many Tweeters proclaiming their own intention to don such a costume come Halloween, and only a few Tweeters suggesting that it might be offensive. The first photo of the Spirit Halloween Caitlyn costume was posted on July 24, and yet still, not much sign of outrage….

Then on August 21, a Huffington Post blog came out calling the Caitlyn costume the “worst idea we’ve heard all year.” That article spurred a few negative Tweets, which accelerated coming into this week, but by no means does it appear that this was a mass outcry of fury regarding the costume. In fact, the killing of Cecil the Lion (see Hash-It-Out July 28 blog: Iconic Cecil the Lion Slain by Dentist, Moronic Human Killed by Gator) marked more fury on Twitter by hundreds of thousands of Tweets. Yet by August 25, dozens of news organizations had posted similar stories about the alleged mass social media outrage (LGBT PR machine in high gear, perhaps?). We also looked at other social media sites for commentary on the issue, and sure, found plenty of commentary expressing outrage, dismay and other emotions about the costume, but found equal, and in many cases more, commentary decrying the political correctness of those criticizing the costume and of the news media reporting on it.

Also to be noted is that many of the news stories pointed out that a change.org petition had been started on Monday to demand that Spirit Halloween stop producing and selling the costume. As of Saturday morning about 13,500 apparently outraged people had signed the petition. We wouldn’t call 13,500 mass outrage, and also note that this number is smaller than the more than 15,000 people who have signed the change.org petition demanding the Olympic Committee revoke Caitlyn Jenner’s 1976 gold medal.

As for the first question–is the outrage justified? Well, if you are a member of the “easily offended and outraged” club (i.e., the politically correct) the answer is obviously, “yes.” Caitlyn is the club’s newest sacred cow, joining dozens of other groups and individuals who should be treated with unquestioned reverence (as an aside, we’d like to note that we know of another easily “outraged and offended” club that thinks its ok to execute those who dare insult their sacred cows–scary….).

But why should Caitlyn get the sacred cow treatment? He/she is a self-made, attention-seeking, public figure, and thus should be subject to the general public’s scrutiny and resultant commentary, the latter inclusive of caricature and parody, which would include Halloween costumes.

And frankly, we’re finding this year’s “Dentist and Cecil the Lion” costume far more distasteful, but we’ll certainly withhold our outrage because we don’t believe in sacred cows.

–Originally published August 29, 2015 by Hash It Out!

Keeping Up with the Kardashian’s New Step-Mom

Keeping Up with the Kardashian’s New Step-Mom

—June 7, 2015

The former Bruce Jenner, a 1976 Olympic decathlon gold medal winner and television personality best known for his “father” role in “Keeping Up with the Kardashians, is now probably the most famous transgendered person in the world, thanks to her debut this month as Vanity Fair magazine’s cover story. The story of Caitlyn, as Bruce is now to be known, has pushed the issue of transgendered people into the national spotlight, and, well, raises a whole lot of questions.

Let’s start with Bruce…. Uh, we mean, Caitlyn.

Jenner claims that she suffered from gender identity disorder since childhood, and that “God gave me the soul of a female.” Yet the disorder did nothing to hinder his former complete success at being a man’s man: high school football star, world-record breaking Olympic athlete, race car driver, married to three different hot babes, father of six kids, successful businessman, Hollywood actor….

It begs the question, did he feel like a woman when he scored a touchdown? Did he feel like a woman when he smoked the competition on the track? Did he feel like a women every time he was trying to conceive any of his six kids?

While those questions remain unanswered, Jenner now says “for all intents and purposes, I’m a woman,” and news media is reporting that Jenner is post-transition. And yet, Caitlyn is still walking around with the male bits dangling between her legs. That’s right, Jenner has not undergone sex reassignment surgery. So, how can someone with a penis and testicles be considered a woman?

Can he…. Uh, she?

This is a question that even the transgendered community can’t seem to agree on, with some in the community arguing that successful sex reassignment surgery should be required for consideration as a true post-transitional man or women. Others, Jenner apparently included, feel that it should be based more upon a state of mind.

The question of what constitute’s one’s gender remains a grey area in the U.S. legal system, as the court’s have not really had to address too many cases…yet. The state of Maine’s supreme court did address the issue last year in a decision affirming the right of a transgender male-to-female to use the ladies room of his/her high school.

So which locker room is Jenner going to use, and how is that going to play out? Is Jenner going to be comfortable in either one? As a woman, the men’s room should conceivably make her feel uncomfortable, but the ladies room could be equally awkward for her due to her remaining manhood. And what of those sharing that same locker room space? How would you feel sharing shower space with Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner?

Interestingly, Jenner says he has no interest in men and that he is currently asexual. But what if his–sorry, her–sex drive returns? We suppose Jenner will be chasing the ladies as a lesbian. But how is his lesbian paramour going to feel about her lover having a penis?

And what of that penis? Should Jenner decide to go further into his quest for womanhood does sexual reassignment surgery really work. Does penile inversion–the most common technique for  transgendered male-to-female–create a true approximation of a working vagina?

See–a whole lot of questions, with each question begetting more questions. I think we’d better stop with that last one….

—Originally published June 7, 2015 by Hash It Out!