A bigger story surrounds gender | Our Corner

The following is written by Maple Valley/Covington Reporter Rebecca Gourley:

When Caitlyn Jenner made her debut on the cover of Vanity Fair’s June issue, my first reaction was, “Wow, she’s beautiful.” There were, of course, people that disagreed. But, to be perfectly honest, I have no idea how many people actually thought her decision to transition from male to female was “disgusting,” “repulsive,” or “(insert any derogatory adjective).” I don’t know how many people thought that because I chose not to look at Internet comments, whether I thought they would be supportive or not.

I knew there would be a lot of hate surrounding the topic and decided it was in my best interest to not allow those people a platform to speak from or an ear to preach to.

From everything that was talked about during the early days following Jenner’s magazine debut, the most revealing element wasn’t that a man became a woman.

During the past few weeks, it has become clear the media treats transgender women and non-transgender women pretty much equally.

But, is that a good thing? It’s not – not when the way the media treats women is belittling to begin with.

Like every other woman in America, Jenner will now face constant judgement from everyone about her looks and everything she does and says.

The “Daily Show’s” Jon Stewart said it best (sarcastically): “Caitlyn, when you were a man, we could talk about your athleticism, your business acumen, but now you’re a woman and your looks are really the only thing we care about.”

He adds, “…congratulations, welcome to being a woman in America.”

Stewart was right.

Yes, most of the responses from mainstream media were generally positive. But, most also had an underlying theme of equating Jenner’s worth to her looks.

Whether one agrees with her decision to transition is irrelevant. The fact that the moment someone identifies as female is enough cause to judge that person based on their looks and not their intelligence, courage or bravery is a problem.