Despite perception, Jenner is still a man
On the front page of the June 2 News, there was a blurb about Bruce Jenner’s cover photo on Vanity Fair. It mentioned that he has been “long identifying as a man.” That is an inaccurate statement. He did not “identify” himself as a man – he was (and still is) a male. If he wants to call himself Caitlyn and have surgery to make him look like a female, society now lets him do so, but he was born male and cannot change his DNA.
One can feel great empathy for those who feel they are in the wrong body, just as one can feel sorrow for those who see themselves as fat when they are wasting away or perceive one of their limbs to be foreign to their body and want the limb removed. We do not, however, encourage anorexics to continue to lose weight; nor do surgeons remove a healthy arm from someone who thinks the arm is alien. Why, then, does one’s perception of being the opposite sex from one’s body trump reality?
I know there are rare cases when nature or botched surgery have led people to be identified as the wrong sex. These rare cases, however, can be identified and corrected. The recent push to encourage even youngsters to demand that they be treated as the opposite sex and accommodated by changes seems to ask what feeling like a girl even means? Do boys want to wear pink clothes? Play with dolls rather than trucks? What do they think constitutes being a woman?
Journalists, of course, should cover stories like the one of Jenner because of his past accomplishments and as a human interest story. But they should be careful not to buy into the current push to accept perception over reality.