Monday, November 02, 2015
Dear Glamour Magazine: Caitlyn Jenner represents everything I DON’T want my daughter to be
My daughter is 11. She is smart, funny, compassionate, and crafty. She started designing clothing when she was about 8, and aspires to be a fashion designer someday. She is inspired, and inspiring. She dreams of designing affordable, fun, flattering clothing for women of all shapes, sizes, races, social ranks. She already has quite the portfolio.
From time to time I purchase a magazine, and we look through it together (after I go through it first; most articles are not age-appropriate, and I skip over those – we’re only in it for her to become inspired by the clothing and accessories, and to see what trends are of the day).
We’ve thumbed through a number of Glamour magazines, but that ends today.
You see, when you named Caitlyn (nee Bruce) Jenner as one of your Women of the Year, you lost us. Forever.
Caitlyn Jenner represents everything I DON’T want my daughter to be.
I don’t want my daughter to think that, in order to become successful and celebrated, she has to have been born a man.
I don’t want my daughter to think that, in order to make headlines, she has to be horribly wealthy and latched to a family who is famous for reasons no one really knows.
I don’t want my beautiful, strong, self-respecting daughter to think that she must spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on plastic surgery, then get tucked and squeezed into lingerie, airbrushed, and prostituted on a magazine cover.
I don’t want my daughter to believe that, in order to be true to herself, she needs to undergo massive, extensive surgery, changing every. single. feature. of her face and body.
I don’t want my daughter to ever even know that Caitlyn Jenner exists.
I want more for her than that.
I want my daughter to learn to embrace who she is, even when she feels uncomfortable in her own skin.
I want her to love herself, even when she hates what she sees in the mirror.
I want my daughter to be in the ranks with REAL “Women of the Year.” I want her to be inspired.
I want her find strength from the women soldiers who fight daily for our freedom, leaving their lives, husbands, babies, homes, to fight for what they believe in.
I want her to find strength from mothers who make it through life-threatening labors, then take home, love, and raise children with severe disabilities.
I want her to look up to the scientists and humanitarians, those who won’t sleep until they discover a cure for disease, or who risk their lives trying to end sex trafficking.
I want her to see women who have beat breast cancer and be secure in knowing that, no matter what life throws at her, she is preceded by women who have faced every odd, and won.
I want my daughter to aspire to rein in the strength of her grandmothers, one who is in a medical hall of fame for her work in molecular pathology, and the other who was a homemaker and raised five strong and successful children.
I want her to look up to mothers, nuns, artists, police officers, soldiers, musicians, songwriters, poets, teachers, nurses, CEOs, CFOs, dentists, senators, custodians, dog trainers, attorneys, computer programmers. I want her to see women doing amazing things – big to the whole world, or simply big in their own little world – and think, “I can do that. I can do great things.”
I want her to know that she can do anything, she can be anything, she can accomplish anything.
But you see, the only thing my daughter cannot do… the only thing she can never, ever do… is become a man. No amount of thought or prayer or surgery will ever change her physical makeup. She will never, ever, have a Y chromosome. And Jenner will never, ever, ever - no matter what steroids or hormones or surgeries he buys – be a woman.
When you had the audacity to dub a man with the honor of “Woman of the Year,” you told my daughter (had I let her know – which I haven’t, and never will) that, if she really wants to do great things – she should have just been born a man… or become one?
Because the only notable thing that Jenner did this year is parade around in women’s clothing, undergo massive physical reconstruction, obtain breasts, and begin plans to have his penis removed. What Jenner did this year is exactly the OPPOSITE of “be true to oneself.”
Jenner didn’t spend $70,000 fighting for rape victims, sex slaves, abused women, medical advancements, or for our country. He didn’t help fund a school or house for a deserving homeless family. He didn’t foster needy children or bring clean water to those in need. He spent $70,000 on his face. His face. To make it “her” face. A face that you will plaster on your pages and celebrate in the name of women.
And so, I leave you with a thanks. Thank you for reminding me what I’m up against in this culture – this anti-woman culture which celebrates the highest-paid female CEO in the country and the Woman of the Year in 2015 as women, when both were born men. Thank you for reminding me that I have to be more aggressive than ever before in combating this ridiculous culture which operates under the façade of pro-woman.
Thank you for reminding me that our work is not done. The women who were beaten and imprisoned in the name of women’s right to vote did NOT march for this. THIS is a war on women. And we, those women (and men) who see it for what it really is, are ready to fight.
Thank you for rekindling my fire. And thank you for reminding me that your magazine is trash, and has no place in my home.