What does it truly mean to be a woman? It's a question that I had to ask and answer for myself as I transitioned into womanhood.
Womanhood be like...
As women, we all share similar human connections. There's the first time we get our period, something that can often be more of an embarrassment than a feat. There's the first kiss with the guy that we think is going to be the one, too young to know what real love is. Or even the birth of your first child, a magical moment of its own. Everyone has a different story to tell when it comes to the day that they realized they were no longer a child, and were officially entering into womanhood.
Maybe you realized that you were a woman the first time you had sex, or the first time you paid bills on your own. But for people in the trans community, it seems they come into that realization a lot later in life, especially if they took years to embrace themselves as women.
Yes, this is a Caitlyn Jenner post, and she’s a prime example of what I am referring to when I talk about trans women discovering womanhood.
What we can’t deny about Caitlyn is that she’s had a hell of a year since she revealed the new her on the cover of Vanity Fair. In June, she was awarded the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYs (which was deserving!), and now Glamour has selected her for one of the Glamour Women of the Year honors.
Glamour made the announcement this morning after a few days of speculation, which sent a host of people in an uproar:
And this just discredits the Glamour Woman of The Year award, if the criteria is based on page views & press mentions, it loses its honor!— bevysmith (@bevysmith)1445797363.0
Caitlyn Jenner named Glamour magazine's Woman of the year. Sad day for people with ovaries that have accomplished something this year.— Jessica (@Jessica)1445620973.0
It is so ridiculous that Caitlyn Jenner won woman of the year. There are real woman doing amazing things that deserved that award.— Ky (@Ky)1446128776.0
I have to admit that I also disagree with Caitlyn’s selection for Glamour Woman of the Year--mostly because I think all of these awards are putting an unfair expectation of who she is “supposed” to be as a trans woman, when she hasn’t even had a chance to settle into womanhood yet.
Caitlyn Jenner is going to be Glamour's woman of the year? She hasn't even been a woman for a year.— Myka Fox Ⓜ️ (@Myka Fox Ⓜ️)1445868227.0
Don't get me wrong, I think she was truly brave for revealing who she really was before the world. She's had a very heartbreaking transition into her new life as a public figure. In a Glamour news article, she said,
There I was, in this beautiful beach house, all by my little lonesome, right back where I started, dealing with the same issues I had when I was 10 years old," she remembers. Her breaking point came when photographers showed up outside her doctor's office, spying on what she'd hoped could be a private medical procedure to reduce the size of her Adam's apple. That night she couldn't stop thinking about a gun she kept in her home. "Go in there, no more pain," she recalls saying to herself. But in the light of morning, she had a revelation. "I thought, 'OK, you transition, big deal! You are still alive. You have to make your life interesting.' "
But is that a reason to honor her as a Woman of The Year -- this year? Or is this all for the press, publicity and controversy that stems from including her as an honoree?
Besides, I think people are doing her a disservice by selecting her for so many awards, especially those geared towards extraordinary women, without allowing her an opportunity to settle into womanhood or do more work in the community first.
Caitlyn still has a lot to learn about herself as a 66-year-old lady, and a year of wearing heels, dresses and makeup is not what will help her shape the new world she’s established for herself. She has a long road ahead of her, and by giving her all of these honors, the only thing people are doing is putting extreme pressure and expectations on her to be the voice of the trans community. Who is to say that in the future, she will do anything else in support of the community, versus the Republican Party? Just because she’s now apart of that community doesn’t necessarily mean that she wants to regularly host fundraisers and benefits in support of LGBTQ people. She hasn't shown us much of anything yet.
Caitlyn needs room to be herself and discover who she is. She’s spent 60-something years being Bruce. Let her spend the rest of her life being Caitlyn, and let time tell what she chooses to do with her star power in support of other communities.
"I started thinking maybe this is why God put me on earth. This issue has been swept under the rug for so long. I need to tell this story on the highest level you can possibly do it, not just for me but for this entire community. I am just excited about the future for the first time in a long, long time and that is a nice feeling to have…to be honest with you, if the worst thing in the world that happens to you is you are trans, you've got it made." - Caitlyn Jenner
Let's let her live first!
What do you think of Caitlyn being honored as one of Glamour's Women of the Year?