The story of Caitlyn Jenner, once American Olympic gold-medalist Bruce Jenner, has been flooding social media, TV, radio and print for the last 48 hours or so. And to be completely honest (because no-one else seems to want to be), the overwhelmingly positive reaction is really bothering me.
Why? Not just because of all the gender and feminism issues it brings up (I’m not going to attempt tackling those, but this article has some great points); but because it seems fake – it’s a worldwide show of political correctness that’s quite draining. Because as much as Bruce’s gender transition to Caitlyn is being applauded as a brave move, a move that finds her apparently now finally happy and fulfilled, no-one wants to admit that the situation is objectively not normal and super intense for all involved. Behind the too-upbeat comments from everyone who has praised it on mainstream media, I sense a layer of confusion, or at least a desire not to rock the boat.
Because let’s be real – how would they feel if that was their father? Or their ex-husband?
I have to admit that I think it’s great that the Kardashian family has been so publicly supportive and united on this front. I’m all for family unity. But I’m also for truth, and I don’t think you just wake up feeling unflustered about the fact that your father is now a woman. Who knows what feelings go on behind their closed doors? Who knows what turmoil a person experiences in that situation? If we have to admit the transition that has taken place, why can’t we be real about the consequences too?
A person’s security is largely dependent upon the esteem and security of their own parents – and suddenly, all the ridiculous things that the Kardashian and Jenner kids have done over the years start to make sense (not all Bruce/Caitlyn’s fault, but the situation has an impact). And what happens in the future? Are they suddenly fatherless or do they just have to adapt to another mother? How will they feel about relationships and lasting marriage? Who will walk the Jenner girls down the aisle one day?
And what about Bruce’s three ex-wives? Surely they’d question the authenticity of the love they had shared. And then there are his friends, relatives, and all his admirers from his Olympic athlete days. Not to mention Bruce himself, who is quoted as wondering the following after his feminization surgery: “What did I just do? What did I just do to myself?”
Is it just me or has this this event, that the media wants us to believe is so wonderful, left a massive trail of destruction? I’m not here to say that Bruce/Caitlyn doesn’t deserve happiness – she most certainly does. But is this happiness? To me, it all seems like such a lonely journey that has ended in more questions than answers.
Tamara Rajakariar is editor of MercatorNet’s Family Edge blog.