At a moment when many on the left are desperately trying to conjure up enthusiasm for
This is just one of the more amusing ironies on display as what passes for liberalism today eats itself.
No doubt you've heard:
While conservatives had their own list of complaints about this national celebration, the more intriguing ones came from the left. For instance, many people criticized the Vanity Fair cover of Jenner as a pinup. "One step forward for
One problem with this argument, as many of the people making it recognize, is that Jenner's business is the reality show celebrity-buzz racket. "The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue" surely objectifies women, but it wouldn't sell nearly as many copies if it was the "Sports Illustrated Sensible Pantsuit Issue."
Moreover, there's something gloriously perverse in celebrating someone's courage to boldly smash sexual categories and then, in the same breath, castigating them for reinforcing gender stereotypes. If men are to be free to become women, surely they get to decide what kind of women they want to be. The first word in Vanity Fair is, after all, "Vanity." The Sports Illustrated swimsuit models seem very happy to be paid lots of money to be objectified by the male gaze. Who am I to judge?
But the most fascinating argument comes from those who have no problem with Jenner changing genders, but have serious misgivings about the word "woman."
On a recent MSNBC panel celebrating the "Jenner Effect," The Nation's
In a fascinating piece for the New Yorker, Goldberg wrote about this growing schism.
Some students, she explained, would ask, "What about women who are male?"
Next stop: the other side of the looking glass.
On most days of the week, liberals are fond of claiming that Republicans are "anti-science" on everything from global warming to evolution. Well, last I checked, biology hadn't been declared a branch of the humanities.
I have sympathy for people who are convinced they were born the wrong sex. But feeling oppressed by a category doesn't render that category illegitimate or unreal (short people may resent being short, but that doesn't nullify the concept of height).
Nevertheless, I will certainly enjoy watching this argument unfold as