On the (Rest of the) Net.

In praise of Cher’s Twitter account. [The Guardian]

Women who choose not to have children are “just frivolous people who are wasting our lives away until we add to the world’s population.” [Salon]

Further to that, Sofia Vergara is well within her legal and moral rights to destroy the fertilised embryos she created with her ex. [Daily Life]

Should we be showing porn in schools? [Junkee]

I also wrote at Junkee about the end of Glee and, with it, its atrocious treatment of minorities. And storytelling.

Do we only care about the plight of black women when they’re on our TV screens? [For Harriet]

Why are self-proclaimed feminists like Beyonce and Nicki Minaj supporting woman-beater Floyd Mayweather? [Spook Magazine]

I wrote this a couple of Mother’s Days ago: the divide between second- and fourth-wave feminism.

My last “Welcome to Monday” for feminaust is jammed packed with goodness.

ICYMI: “Some Thoughts on Bruce Jenner”.

Grey’s Anatomy‘s top ten deaths.

Some Thoughts on Bruce Jenner.

bruce jenner abc interview

I’ve been loath to contribute my feelings about Bruce Jenner’s coming out as a trans woman to a feminist/humanist/trans rights sphere because, as a cisgender person, the last thing I’d want to do is cisplain.

However, as probably the most well-versed person on human rights in my immediate circle of friends, colleagues and family members, I’ve been throwing my two cents out there whenever the conversation inevitably veres Bruce’s way.

Because the people I’ve been talking to about him* are espousing predictably ignorant views. Things like “what’s his deal?”, “is he a she-he” and “tell me about this Kardashian who now thinks he’s a woman”.

I try not to get angry when explaining that gender is a spectrum, being transgender is a legitimate gender identity, and that it’s not for us to judge a person who’s spent 65 years keeping this secret, but I can feel my expression change as the fury bubbles up inside me.

One person I was actually able to have a tempered conversation with about Bruce wondered whether ignorance to trans issues (and, by extension, race, gender, sexuality, disability, class issues) could excuse such bigoted reactions: “You can’t fault people for not being aware,” she said.

Except you can. How do you think anyone who’s sensitive to minority issues came to be that way? Because they listened to people who are from these communities and actually deal with these things on a daily basis. Read about them in books like Janet Mock’s Redefining Realness and online. Follow enlightened people on Twitter. Watched Bruce’s interview with Diane Sawyer to understand that not everyone who falls under a certain umbrella wants to be addressed in the ways that are generally accepted as politically correct. The information is out there and ripe for the picking so ignorance is not an excuse. I actually have more respect for bigots who are informed about the issues they choose to be so bigoted about, even though I fundamentally disagree with them and think they’re horrible people.

My friend agreed, saying that watching shows like Transparent (which is problematic in it’s own right) has opened her up to trans issues. The problem she has with Bruce’s coming out though, she said, is that he lied about it: “You don’t have to come out, but when he was asked whether he was a trans woman in the past, he said no.”

Sure, there are ways Bruce could have framed his answers to be more ambiguous, but the media still would have spun it to service their agenda. It’s not Bruce’s job to make us more accepting of people who don’t fit our preconceptions.

Imagine the weight on his shoulders being a trans woman whilst also being a) held up as an American hero as an Olympic gold medalist in a sport that women can’t even compete in (thanks, Alice Eve!); and b) a member of a family comprised of some of the most famous women in the world who, whether we agree with it or not, are the epitome of femininity in many instances. (And for all the Kardashian haters who’ve made comments such as those in the third paragraph of this piece, Bruce’s family has actually come out in support of him—a low barometre of decency, but I digress—in his transition which makes them better than you.) No wonder he didn’t feel safe or accepted to come out. (Props to Bruce and ABC for mentioning the very real violence trans people face, especially trans women of colour who aren’t protected by the security Bruce has.)

Maybe it’s just because I try to surround myself with progressive people (at least online if not IRL), but the reaction to Bruce’s interview has been overwhelmingly positive. Those who actually took the time to listen to his experiences can take into account the obstacles put in Bruce’s way that have prevented him from living his truth in public. Maybe it will open their eyes to the obstacles put in the way of other trans people who haven’t been #blessed with the privileges Bruce Jenner has.

*I’m referring to Bruce by his birth name and using male pronouns as that is what he’s stated a preference for at this time and is in line with GLAAD’s guidelines.

Elsewhere: [Slate] Jill Soloway Apologises for Joking About Bruce Jenner on Facebook.

[The Mary Sue] Why Transparent Has Lost the Trust of the Trans Community.

[Jezebel] Alice Eve is Sorry She Said Bruce Jenner is “Playing at Being a Woman”. 

[GLAAD] GLAAD Responds to ABC News Interview with Bruce Jenner, Releases Tip Sheet for Journalists.

Image via ABC News.

On the (Rest of the) Net.

In case you hadn’t realised from the uptick in wrestling-related links I’ve written and posted here of late, I’m kinda obsessed with it! Here I am, erm, writing about that obsession. [Writers Bloc]

Why should we worry about the lack of women in publishing when there are bigger gender inequality problems in the world?:

“The obscuring of women’s voices in media platforms, however elite, however niche, is part of the obscuring of their voices in general; and a lack of commitment to, or an inability to hear, their voices in literary culture is related to the same lacks and inabilities in relation to their voices in harassment, in sex, in courtrooms, and in the workplace.” [LA Review of Books]

Unpacking the media’s handling of Bruce Jenner’s alleged gender transition. [Bitch]

Shit vegans say. [Spook Magazine]

Mia Freedman—like the rest of the country—was wrong about Tony Abbott. [MamaMia]

Just because Beyonce used a plethora of producers to help make Beyonce, doesn’t mean she’s any less of an artist than Beck or any less worthy of the Album of the Year Grammy. [Daily Life]

Further to that, Kanye West is right in saying she should have won it. He just goes about voicing his opinion in a manner that rubs people up the wrong way. It probably also has to do with race, which I would’ve liked to see the author go into more. [Grantland]

Robyn Lawley being featured in Sports Illustrated is not a win for diversity or feminism. [Daily Life]

And if you’re thirsty for more links, the 81st Down Under Feminists Carnival has them all. [The Hand Mirror]

TV: Is Kris Jenner a Bad Mother?

 

She’s constantly on Khloe for her weight, Kim to prioritise her money-making appearances with family and love, and Kourtney to get married before she has another child. Not to mention that she neglects, according to them, Kendall and Kylie in favour of her older daughters.

But is Kris Jenner a bad mother because of this?

One could argue that she spent her former days of motherhood raising her six kids (not to mention Bruce’s four other children from previous marriages), and is rewarded by earning 10% from their business endeavours.

But some of the things Kris says and does arguably aren’t in the best interests of the wellbeing of her children. Or is that just how they choose to portray her on the show?

In the first season of Khloe & Lamar, Kris berates Khloe for her size (in the same episode that Lamar calls her “not small” in Playboy magazine), saying it’s not cohesive with her other sisters’ frames, nor with QuickTrim, the diet supplement the Kardashian sisters promote. In other episodes of the Keeping Up with the Kardashians franchise, Kris is on Khloe’s back to have a baby. After all, she has been married for two years (who would have thought that would last?!) and is relatively young, so it shouldn’t be that hard, right?

Kris also doesn’t approve of Kourtney’s boyfriend and baby daddy Scott Disick, and in earlier seasons of the show, who could blame her? But even after Scott made a 180° turnaround in his behaviour after son Mason was born, Kris still can’t accept him.

Kim, the head moneymaker of the Kardashian cklan, can usually never put a foot wrong in her mother’s eyes, but every now and then Kris will get upset with her for being so uptight. So do her sisters, for that matter.

But, in the latest season of Keeping up with the Kardashians, Bruce surprises Kris and the family with a trip to Bora Bora to celebrate the couple’s twentieth anniversary. The tables are turned from Khloe’s weight woes to Kris’, as she worries about her body and even contemplates surgery before they go away.

Kris asks how she’s supposed to strut around poolside in a bikini, when all of her young, hot daughters are, too? When I heard this, I wanted to throw up in my mouth a little bit. If anyone had any doubts about Kris being a “stage mum” of sorts, I think the proof is in the pudding (pardon the pun) here, as she’s jealous of her children.

I’m not a mother, so I don’t know if this is a common occurrence, but mothers should be proud of their daughters, not envious. And it’s not healthy for mothers to talk down about their own weight and appearance at the risk of passing that attitude on to their children. At the end of the day, she helped make them the way they are, and she should be proud they’re so successful.

It’s a peek into the insecurities she perhaps projects onto Khloe. I know my mum and I have clashed because of our similar traits.

If you’ve ever watched an episode of the show, you’ll see each 20-minute installment is wrapped up nicely by the time it comes to an end. Like Beverly Hills, 90210, each episode has a message, and everyone learns their lesson and it’s all hunky-dory at its culmination. Khloe realises she has nothing wrong with her body, and she’ll become pregnant sooner or later. Kim realises she needs to loosen up and, incidentally, her new husband, Kris Humphries, helps her do that.

But does the neat little package the Kardashians’ antics are tied up into mean that Kris’s overbearing and insensitive nature is just for show, or edited from an even more tyrannical version of herself?

Elsewhere: [Jezebel] Is Kris Kardashian Just a Glorified Pimp?

[Jezebel] Kris Jenner, Momager Extraordinaire, Has Body Issues Too.

Image via Celebuzz.