I'd like to preface this with the understanding that I am not making any remarks against transgender people, their movement for equality, nor their existence in itself, at all. I feel like that is extremely important in order to continue the discourse on why I think Caitlyn Jenner is awful for feminist movements.
It's unfortunate, really. I make no assumptions that I can identify with a person who feels out of place in their own skin, nor will I try to pretend otherwise in this piece. However, I do know what it means to be a woman; one who constantly sees other women's bodies sexualized and abused and defined by men.
Here is where Caitlyn Jenner becomes problematic to me. She is lovely, and I can sympathize with her life as Bruce without necessarily identifying with it. She felt like a woman trapped in a man's body, okay.
But she still was allowed to live a life with a man's privilege. This makes her uniquely problematic to both a transgender movement and a feminist one.
She Can Afford A Stellar Surgery:
She was able to afford not only surgery to make her look more pretty by societal standards, but also to make her anatomically female. For many transgender people, these surgeries are far too expensive. Her ability to change her looks drastically, to give herself an undeniably great set of breasts, an hourglass figure waistline, and cheekbones that would make Angelina Jolie jealous. It sets the bar so high for other transgender people who are unable to afford even a plastic surgery to alter those appearances, much less the full surgery to anatomically change the sex organs.
She Perpetuates Gender Stereotypes:
I'm not going to sit here and pretend otherwise: Caitlyn Jenner is beautiful. Like, that's great, and good for her, but it is difficult for me when she is seen as beautiful because of what she physically altered. She highlights the sexualization of women's bodies, and that sucks. It sucks that in order to make her outward appearance reflect her internal feelings she felt it was necessary to make herself sexually appealing, essentially validating those claims that say sex appeal is the mark of an attractive woman. Which sucks. Like a lot.
She Sets A Standard:
It sucks when people look at Caitlyn Jenner and say "see, even a man can be a better woman." She sets a standard for transgender people which is completely unrealistic for the average income, and that is so disappointing to see. I'll admit, I get more frustrated with the idea that men are so intent upon defining femininity that they would like to say "look, let a man show you how its done" which I recognize is not that case with Caitlyn, but it is disappointing when it is taken as such.
I recognize that Caitlyn Jenner has faced her fair share of public criticism, and she has a right to be respected and loved and appreciated. However, when she is placed on a pedestal for transgender people it seems to create more problems than not. She should not be a hero for the transgender, nor a feminist movement wishing to cite intersectionality.