Jazz Jennings, teen boy, shows women how to “woman”

*This post was written in conjunction with the brilliant Phonaesthetica
RoleModel

Hey, gals, guess what? This fourteen-year-old boy is a role model for YOU. Yep, you, full-grown-ass women. Meet Jazz Jennings, YOUR ROLE MODEL.

This weekend, we sat a spell to watch an OWN documentary all about our role model. We wanted to know more about this person that we (dykes aged thirty-eight and forty) should look to and strive to emulate.

What we learned is that Jazz Jennings is a kid who likes pink, dresses, makeup and flipping his shiny hair. Jazz is also a kid who refers to himself in third person. “I like being Jazz,” he says, as he reclines in a pink bed awash with plush animals.

Most of what Jazz says sounds forced, coached, even as he spouts off the ubiquitous tropes surrounding transgenderism: “I’m a girl trapped in a boy’s body” and “I have a girl brain.”

Jazz, again, is fourteen. His parents began transing him when he was in preschool, after discovering that he preferred the company of girls and enjoyed wearing his sister’s swimsuit. Jazz himself never speaks of an inner torment, a period of struggle – his transition has been relatively easy, thanks to parents who immediately recognized his effervescence, his fondness for crimson hues as evidence of ladybrain.

What we swiftly deduced: Jazz’s parents, a relatively conservative duo, could not bear the thought of a homosexual son (much less the screamingly flamboyant, Fire-Island-style homosexual Jazz was on the road to becoming), and preferred instead a more “normal” straight daughter.

“Jazz has a girl brain,” the child’s father insists (he also frequently kisses his girlbrained child on the lips – make of that what you will).

“Jazz plays like a girl,” the child’s soccer coach affirms. “She runs daintily.” (No, really. One of the interviewed subjects in the film actually fucking said this.)

And then there’s the nauseatingly emphatic refrain that the kid is a “perfectly normal girl – no different than any other girl.” EXCEPT, of course, for small differences like how Jazz has to go to an endocrinologist to have his measured to determine if he’s yet reached puberty. (I mean, that’s a rite of passage for all girls. I’ll never forget the day my parents took me to the doctor to have my testicles measured.)

At the above doctor’s appointment, it is determined that Jazz has begun puberty. The child is then asked if he would like to start taking puberty blockers. “You don’t want to grow facial hair, do you?” His mother (who also refers to herself as a “transgender mom”) coyly queries her son.

“No,” Jazz says. “I don’t want that.” And so, a child is encouraged to make a permanently life-altering, fertility-destroying, medically unnecessary decision.

Despite the incessant claims that Jazz is “no different from any other girl,” Jazz is acutely aware of his specialness. In fact, his specialness seems to dominate life in this family, practically eclipsing the existence of his three other siblings. Jazz is constantly consulted regarding what he thinks; what he wants – because Jazz’ every word comes from the Burning Gender Bush.

But, the thing is, Jazz isn’t special. Jazz is a kid whose parents, like so many others, believe the lie that conflates biological reality with outward presentation; the lie that posits an individual’s preferences and tastes are intrinsically representative of the preferences and tastes of an entire category of people: female.  They also believe the lie that females’ brains are structurally different from male brains – the lie from whence legally-codified misogyny has sprung since the beginning of time.

And this is where we get down to brass tacks. Jazz Jennings, himself, doesn’t really matter. Jazz is just another kid whose parents hock his “specialness” for reality-TV money and some skin care product commercials (he does have great skin, probably from the hormone blockers). What matters is what we can learn from this kid who’s been shoved into public view – and it’s not a lesson about bravery, or being “the real me” – rather, it’s a lesson in how hopelessly steeped in misogyny our culture still is.

As we watched the trainwreck of Jazz, we speculated about what might be a truly progressive way to work with and nurture a kid like him. Let him wear dresses and makeup, we decided. Let him grow his hair long, and hang out with girls and have crushes on boys. Be a good, vigilant parent and make sure no one is bullying your son for wearing his dresses and makeup and long hair to school.

And while you’re doing that, afford that kid a modicum of reality – let him be okay as a male, let him be okay with his body and his biology. Help him be part of a world where a boy can wear dresses if he wants, where a boy can drench his bedroom in pink if he likes, and still be what he is – a boy. A perfectly healthy, loveable little boy who likes things that our fucked up, narrow-minded, patriarchal society has deemed “abnormal” for him to like. And, when he grows from a boy into a man, let him fall in love with normal gay men who might love him back – not people who will simply fetishize him.

The progressive response to a kid like Jazz is NOT to conclude he has a “girl brain” but to accept that as individual human beings our inclinations do in fact vary, and that those variances have precious little to do with our biology. That approach might create a real cultural shift. That approach might take a sledgehammer to regressive notions of gender. Because if a male – a perfectly normal male – can pursue interests that have previously been deemed exclusively “female,” then we really have scrambled gender, really turned it on its head.

People like Jazz’s parents, people who believe in and perpetuate the tenets of transgenderism are the same people who – albeit inadvertently – cause problems for women like us. In a gendered sense, we don’t “do woman” very well. When we’re in rural areas, buying gas, we get stares because we’re not women “doing woman” the way we ought to. The butch-er one of us would probably make folks in some areas more comfortable if she’d just transition. A little facial hair might ward off some looks.

Because that’s gender – it’s not a spectrum, it’s a dichotomy.

Gender isn’t designed to be a playground of special identities – it’s a system that categorizes males and a female based on social/cultural conventions; then subjugates women while exalting men. The system that facilitates rape and honor killings is the same system that says a little boy can’t enjoy wearing a colorful swimsuit without requiring extreme medical intervention. This system says it’s better to medicate and mutilate your male child than have him be a homosexual boy who likes stereotypically “feminine” behaviors and interests. That’s how Iran does it, right? Better he be a girl than challenge repressive gender norms in a way that could, potentially, upend patriarchy. Better he appear on TV and condescend to girls (and full-grown-ass women) how to “be themselves.”

Masculinity and femininity are both bullshit notions. What is deemed masculine, what is deemed feminine – these are nothing but human behaviors. Males can be highly emotional but we’ve filed “emotional” underneath “feminine” so as to trivialize it. Males can like sparkly pink skirts and lipstick, but because we’ve relegated this aesthetic to the realm of the feminine, it is deemed “silly” and “prissy.” We equate femininity, and its coded behaviors and preferences, with weakness and frivolity – and yet, women (and only women) are supposed to be subsumed by these matters. When they show themselves subsumed (because how else to garner male approval in the hierarchical structure of gender?) we delude ourselves into believing that this is a natural state: Women are silly, trivial, frivolous, petty.

Conversely, females can be physically strong (watch any female Olympic lifter, martial artist, or gymnast) but we’ve relegated physical prowess and powerful musculature to the realm of the masculine. Females can be interested in auto mechanics. Females can be highly logical, a quality gender ascribes to the realm of the masculine. Females can also be serious and stoic. And none of these characteristics have jack shit to do with our DNA; our physical, biological reality.

What we do, as a society, when females and males blur these lines, employ behaviors, or follow interests that do not “fit” with the category their biological sex has socially placed them in, is we label them “anomalies” or “transgender.” We claim we can “fix” the male child who wants to grow out his hair and wear his sister’s sundress. We claim the butch dyke who likes tinkering with cars probably has a male brain. We work really hard, and the medical community is fully on board, to preserve gender norms. And transgenderism is a way of preserving gender norms and calling the oppressive mandate “subversive.”

Do we believe that some folks feel better, more comfortable, more “at home” in their bodies by presenting as women when they were born male? Yes, of course. And we support individuals’ decisions to present in a way that feels most “right” to them – but we do not, and will not, buy into a belief in “girl brains.” The very idea of “girl brains” is nothing more than a form of eugenics that’s been used against women (and racial/ethnic minorities) for many centuries in order to deprive us of bodily autonomy, education, votes, and anything else a human needs and wants to enjoy full humanity.

Nor do we believe that it is moral, ethical, or in the best interests of a child to medically alter his or her perfectly healthy body in order to make our sexist, misogynist society feel more comfortable with who that child is. Nor do we believe that swallowing large amounts of synthetic hormones MAKES one female or male, and we think selling that lie to a child is most pernicious because it denies a developing human being the opportunity to weigh her/his options as an adult with adult reasoning/critical thinking skills. It denies a developing human being the opportunity to know reality – i.e. biology.

And, at the end of the day, it hurts girls – you know, actual female children. In the documentary about Jazz, the child’s father laments that his daughter (son) cannot play on the girls’ soccer team at school. The child’s father CRIES (seriously) when discussing the grave injustice of a male-bodied person not being able to play on a girls’ sports team. (Especially when he runs so daintily!)

We encounter real problems when we sacrifice basic biological knowledge at the altar of special identities/feelings/and gender – e.g., biologically, boys and girls develop differently. Like, our bodies are actually different. And, particularly in adolescence, boys have a distinct physical advantage over girls. And athletics have, historically, been a great way for girls to gain access to college scholarships, as well as to develop healthy relationships with their bodies. Now, of course, in order to placate the feelings (delusions) of boy children, girls will be made to compete with male-bodied persons in the field of athletics, placing them at a disadvantage.

But this is what gender always does; this is what gender is meant to do – put females at a disadvantage in all things. Our needs, our feelings as females do not really matter. What matters is that we do what girl-brained people are supposed to do, shut up and suck it up, and accept the version of reality that’s being sold to us – even when it doesn’t make any fucking sense.

In the documentary about Jazz, no hard questions were asked of the child’s parents. Like, “what does it mean to have a girl brain?” Or, “Do you have any qualms about delaying your child’s normal growth when we don’t understand what the long-term ramifications of that decision might be?” Instead, the entire scenario was presented as “adorable” and “inspiring.” It’s adorable to delude your male child into believing he’s female. It’s adorable to pump a healthy, pre-pubescent body full of chemicals. It’s adorable to interpret meaningless penchants as biological imperatives. It’s inspiring when a child’s every whim is indulged. It’s inspiring when children emulate the repressive gender stereotypes laid out for them by the society in which they live.

But no one challenges the transgender line of thinking, because transgenderism is comfortable; transgenderism challenges nothing about the dominant gender paradigm, or the hierarchical structure that positions women on the bottom of everything. And those of us who dare ask meaningful questions about where all of this leads are slurred, villified, de-platformed.

The adults encouraging Jazz’ transition, though, are all presented as white gender knights. In one scene toward the end of the documentary, Jazz’ mother brings him to speak on a university panel. The only minor in attendance, Jazz is surrounded by grown-ass trans people who, frankly, look and sound pretty miserable. They all tell Jazz how lucky he is, and how happy he’ll be that he began transitioning early. This is the only time Jazz drops his confident, shiny-haired posing and looks like what he actually is – a scared little boy. He cowers toward his mother, and doesn’t have much to say except, “I want boobs.”

At the end of the panel, one of the transwomen wraps Jazz in a long hug and says, “I’ll trade you my boobs for your hair.”

How is this anything but skin-crawlingly weird?

So we hope, for Jazz’s sake, that the kid turns out all right, that the world is kind to him, and that he doesn’t grow to resent the bullshit line he’s been sold about “girl brains” and “boy brains,” that he doesn’t have to shoulder the profound burden of regret created by what his parents, the medical community, and the adults around him did to his perfectly normal body when he was still a child.

Sadly, however, we’re positioned as a society to only see more stories like Jazz’s – where parents apply gender dogma to their children’s behavior, and allow their firm (albeit erroneous) convictions about what “girls do” and what “boys do” to justify wreaking havoc on their children’s minds and bodies.

As for females, the consequences of continuing to perpetuate the lie of ladybrain will be increasingly devastating – as we make room for males who believe our lives are nothing more than a hunch; a feeling in a man’s head; we can say goodbye to women’s colleges, women’s sports, women’s clinics. As an understanding of reality becomes synonymous with bigotry, we will part with all language and art that allowed us to address, deconstruct, express and celebrate our lived female experience. Our feminist folk heroes will be grown men, our role models adolescent boys.

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39 thoughts on “Jazz Jennings, teen boy, shows women how to “woman”

    1. I am a straight white (Conservative and Christian) man, I don’t even aggree with Feminism as a valid ideology in any way…and this article is wildly correct. It’s (supposed) Liberal media making a sexual fetish out of a kid. Holy fuck already. It’s disgusting. Women (grown women) , born female should get up in arms and really take media to task who try and sell you this shit. A woman is born female, you can’t create the female energy or soul using surgery. Your hero’s in Pop culture want you to keep buying their books, keeping up to date on the new correct language, keep you scared of men, of men’s nature (our aggression and our passion or our physical strength)…keeping you distracted by t.v. shows and with fashion… I do admire a chick who has a fighting spirit though, someone questioning things… I respect a strong enemy.

      1. OFFS! The opinions of MRAs are not required. He doesn’t agree with feminism “in any way.” He thinks women are defined by (patriarchal) constructs of “energy” and “soul.” In his world, men are defined by their “aggression,” “passion,” and “physical strength.” That is nothing more than typical patriarchal essentialism. This fellow is a perfect example of a pathetic fallacy.

  1. Reblogged this on Thou wouldst still be adored and commented:
    “But no one challenges the transgender line of thinking, because transgenderism is comfortable; transgenderism challenges nothing about the dominant gender paradigm, or the hierarchical structure that positions women on the bottom of everything. And those of us who dare ask meaningful questions about where all of this leads are slurred, villified, de-platformed.”

  2. “Runs daintily” … O.O
    Did those idiot parents never watch the “Run like a girl” videos??????????
    What an insult to children everywhere.

  3. Thank you for this. I am a graduate student in a Women’s Studies program. I showed this to a few classmates. The response wasn’t pretty. What was odd for me is that while the Wome’s Studies crowd tended to be pretty vehement in condemning this article and every last aspect of it, women in another major (Education, to be precise) were, like me, more outraged by the attitudes of the parents and other authority figures in Jazz’ life (the whole running daintily thing especially). Make of that what you might.

    1. I’m surprised Women’s Studies programs still exist; my understanding was that they are all “Gender Studies” now — so as to, you know, do away with having to center on women. Hang on to that outrage, sis.

  4. I completely agree with the point of view of this post, especially the part about wanting to accept the science-based reality that boys are still boys when they dress in pink.
    I do have a strong opposition to a point made in passing in this article: the one about boys somehow having an athletic advantage over girls. When other women put down our bodies it always sounds extremely masochistic to me: it’s clear from the other points you make that you understand how patriarchal the medical industry is, so I don’t get why you would buy wholesale claims of woman inferiority when it comes to athletics: it was just in the 1970s that Katherine Switzer was told she shouldn’t run a marathon because her ovaries would fall off after 3 miles. The men scientists were all in agreement: women can’t really run. Yet she did run, and won the entire fricking marathon in the 80s. Many women are making unisex records in swimming, skiing, running and many other disciplines RIGHT NOW, not to mention we have always held the primacy in gymnastics, one of the few disciplines that’s been open to women for a long time. In a world where there are still many countries that legally prohibit women from practicing any sort of sport, where women are encouraged to starve from the crib everywhere, Western countries included, where passivity in girls is actively and strongly encouraged, DO WE REALLY NEED TO SAY THAT IT’S OUR BODIES FAULT? THERE IS NO PROOF OF THAT!
    There is no proof that when men and women have equal opportunity men are better on average AT MORE SPORTS than women. Considering the political, economical and cultural disincentives we face when trying to practice sports from a young age (that’s how you win a world record usually, by practicing your entire life), we are indeed probably performing BETTER than men, when all variables are accounted for.
    Arguing women’s sports should be kept because we are handicapped is like arguing pink quotas are necessary because we are mentally retarded. It completely disregards the real structural oppression we face and argues instead from a misogynistic point of view. Statistics confirm pink quotas in governments and companies are useful because blue quotas have been in place for millennia. We must argue the same about women’s sports. Otherwise we are just basing our politics on men’s ideas of women, not what we are and not what we can be.

  5. Thanks for weighing in, Pandoracurioser. We are both athletes, so putting down women’s bodies is not our thing. Women are not “handicapped” or “inferior” in sports. Women are trememdous athletes and excel in EVERY sport, including those men said we could not/should not do, e.g. ski jumping, extreme marathoning – hell, the Victorians even panicked about uterii when women wanted to go for a bicycle ride. There are sports where we consistently outperform men – such as archery and skeet shooting – where muscle mass, skeletal structure, height and bone density do not factor in as they do in other sports.

    However: What we have learned from our experience in competitive athletics is this: The strongest man will always be stronger than the strongest woman. That’s why competitive sports (and college sports, where scholarships are so often dependent on perforrmance and results) are sex-segregated.

    Men tried to keep Katherine Switzer out of the marathon not because they thought she couldn’t do it, or would “hurt herself” (the latter might have been a convenient, acceptable, compassionate-sounding excuse) but because the marathon was a boys’ club and they resented her “intrusion.” To this day, top male finishers and top female finishers of the Boston Marathon are listed separately, as below:

    http://raceday.baa.org/top-finishers.html

    Thanks again for reading, and for sharing your perspective.

  6. Guess it’s easier to alter your physical appearance than to work on your self-esteem/identity issues. I have nothing against “transitioning,” but it shouldn’t be prioritized above internal transition. You know, the kind that transforms your immature, insecure, unstable self image into a healthy one. The kind of transition that makes you comfortable in your own skin despite the stereotypes society has put in place.

    This is no different than encouraging an anorexic to lose weight or giving someone with body dysmorphic disorder all the plastic surgery they want. If you’re going to alter the exterior, please don’t neglect the interior.

  7. This is excellent. Extremely well-written, as are all the posts on this site.

    What a tragic tale is the tale of Jazz. I myself am a heterosexual female (and a *real* feminist) and I think we’re lost in the funhouse. I feel for my lesbian sisters having this bullshit foisted upon them. And now we can’t say “vagina.” I was lucky I got through my Women’s Studies courses, not to mention my continuing self education, just before gender identity dementia started taking over academia. How can anybody who passed Water is Wet 101 buy into it? An understanding of reality becoming synonymous with bigotry indeed. It’s a really sad and rather scary state of affairs.

    Anyway, thank you for speaking the truth.

  8. I weep for future generations.. My guess in 10 years we will either see this whole joke for what it is.. A medical disorders no different than any other and it’s sufferers will be afforded therapy and help or a more scary scenario will be a whole generation of inbetweeners claiming special protection status.. And ofcourse.. Women’s rights further eroded.to the wimps of 40something males..

  9. Have you seen the book “my princess boy”? It’s a book a mom wrote about her GNC son, because they were being constantly inundated with question, and nastiness. (they were also on a hidden camera show, which was eye opening) It highlights how he can like “traditionally girl” things while remaining a normal healthy boy. She is all about knocking down gender distinctions, which is why “traditionally girl stuff” is scare quoted; she agrees these things do not have anything to do with femaleness.

    While I am still leery of anyone putting their kid in the public eye, it appears that the book originated as a way to help make his life easier. The feedback pushed her to grow into something more, to help GNC kids, rather than doing it for exploitation and attentions sake. The book is a simple example of getting people to accept a GNC kid as themselves (transition is not even mentioned).

    Also of note- this is a traditionally structured, nuclear, black family, within their black community. All of their members agree, and are supportive. Mom wrote the book, along with the kid, and is the one teaching related classes/creating curriculum about accepting others as they are.

    I mention her racial class because *my personal observations* have shown me that outside of the middle class “progressive” white community (which I spent years in), people really don’t buy the trans thing, nor consider it at all. This includes multiple global majority communities in the USA (aka PoC, generally black, Hispanic, or East Asian, in my state), as well as economically disadvantaged whites.

    I’m not saying I speak for, or have extensive experience with, communities outside of my own (current and past). I cannot say whether or not they are all totally accepting, free of homophobia, or that traditional notions of gender arent still ingrained. I am only specifically speaking to *my observations* that GNC doesn’t equal trans for those groups (in USA). I do t know what I forms the rejection of the trans narrative, and would like to learn about it.

    I will talk more about my own tight knit, poor/working class neighborhood, which is 1/2 white, 1/2 Mexican, with a few blacks, Indian/Hindu, East Asians, Central American families. Most families do adhere to traditional roles, with kids that are generally gender conforming.

    Even so, a boy liking barbies and a girl liking trucks is not seen as noteworthy. I reguarly see boys with barbies, mixed sex playgroups (child chosen, not parent directed) girls riding BMX, etc. And the idea of altering a kids body over their likes of feelings is seen as basically “craz, something for liberal rich people, wholly unnatural. That’s if they have even heard of trans theory, or bothered to think about it at all, which is uncommon even a highly liberal city/ state (Eugene, OR).

    In my current community, I also don’t see much (overt) homophobia/ nor attitudes, and its not socially acceptable to be anti gay or rascist. It’s no utopia, but has been surprisingly free of these particular forms of hatred. Maybe that helps? I wish I knew. My only guess is that some groups are more aware of reality, because their physical realities have been a constant source of oppression and persecution. The privileged have the ability to seperate their realities, as well as see their reality mirrores back, to have any identity construction validated. The oppressed cannot identify their way out, so that may give rise to a more reality based approach to genderism. Or not. I just don’t know.

    (if I overstepped, please let me know. I chose to talk about my own observations, but as all whites, I am sure my views are colored by latent racism. I would like to eradicate it, when I am unaware of it, and am working towqrdw this.)

    1. FREEFROMSEXPOZZIES, you make a valid observation with this:

      “My only guess is that some groups are more aware of reality, because their physical realities have been a constant source of oppression and persecution”

      The reason the Black community in particular doesnt buy into trans is because Black people have always been GNC in that we were/are excluded from stereotypical male/female roles due to our exclusion from White culture in general. From our perspective, performing gender seems to be a “luxury” we can not often afford (and are not allowed) if we are to survive on a basic level. We do not live by gender as some White people seem to, so to us it mostly “(rich)White peoples shit”.

      As for scientific proof of “brain sex” and gender, we do not TRUSTor BELIEVE this because: We were told we were slaves. We were told we were 3/5 human. We were told we were intellectually inferior. We were told we were sexually deviant. We were told our brains were different/inferior, that we had more “animal” characteristics. We were told we didnt have the same kinds of emotions as White humans which made it okay to rape us, take our children, brutalize and beat us without regard for our humanity.

      And this wasnt just because some racist White man (whom we can all dismiss and forget about) said so.

      ALL OF THIS was supported by WHITE SCIENTISTS who backed it up with BRAIN/SCULL STUDIES, PSYCHOLOGICAL TESTS, OBSERVATIONAL DATA, ANTHROPOLOGICAL “FINDINGS” and INTELLIGENCE TESTS. It was SCIENTIFICALLY PROVED that we were INNATELY inferior and SUBHUMAN!

      So when we see/hear White males say shit like “…some people are trapped in the wrong body AND THEREFORE …” we know White (Male) Culture is about to capitalize on, manipulate, appropriate, or steal something. And whatever “theory, belief, psuedoscience” being propogated at the time is only the bullshit justification for that theft and exploitation.

      That the face of transwomen is a Black one (Laverne Cox) is curious to us. By curious I mean suspicious. Especially since most trans are White males. This is similar the to “curious” trend of nearly all prominent Black male actors to put on womanface in movies. And the “feminizing” of hard core rap/hip hop male artists. Indeed. We have our own theories about this…

      A lot of us look at stories like Jazz and collectively shake our damn heads. Poor child. We often feel bad for Middle class White parents and their children. Because although we have watched Whites (even tolerant/liberal ones) destroy/exploit POC, we’ve also watched Whites do horrible things to themselves. And their children.

  10. Poor boy and awful sexist and homophobic parents applying gender roles as if being a woman was something different to what each woman does every day.

  11. I’m gonna have to give a thumbs down to this article, and many more thumbs down for a lot of these comments. You all “pity” the kid, but ignore the fact that she’s happy—like you know what’s best for her better than she does, or her family does. You’re totally dismissing how she feels. You don’t take feelings seriously, do you? They’re too nebulous, right? Well we’re humans, and we don’t throw out our feelings because they aren’t scientifically valid, we live by them because they’re essential to our well-being. Even if you’re not trans, surely you can emphasize with at least that much.

    1. Jazz is not a “she”. Jazz is a boy. He’s been shanghaied by his “gender”-obsessed parents into being this “happy”. And now his parents are hormonally castrating him to keep him “happy”. His parents are committing a moral crime. Pull your head out of your butt.

  12. Reblogged this on Gender Is War and commented:
    What is going to happen to these kids who take puberty blockers and get surgery in twenty years, when they’re not pretty or special anymore? What will they do when they are just another men in dresses or ugly cows (as they like to call us)? I shudder to imagine the response of these little narcissists when reality hits them in the face.

  13. Thank you for this article. I thought I was the only one who felt this way about the transitioning of children. I happen to be a heterosexual woman, and a nurse, but am of the belief that the only thing that defines gender (except in cases of ambiguity at birth) is our reproductive organs. Everything else is exterior and defined by society. If you’re an adult and feel so strongly the need to conform to your “gender” by mutilating yourself, fine. But a child? I will never know what it’s like to get kicked in the “nuts”. But once I was dealing with cramps and had a very effeminate coworker tell me he (she?) felt my pain. Um….no. You don’t. Don’t pretend to be something you aren’t. Embrace your “femininity” along with your penis.

  14. Knowing Jeanette and Jazz personally, I can attest full heartily that what you are saying is spot on. Jeanette reached out to me after seeing me on the Maury Povish show. I was being interviewed by Broward New Times here is the story and how Jazz was placed in the lime light after I brought attention to her cause. http://www.villagevoice.com/news/see-tom-be-jane-6427828

    http://ngforequality.blogspot.com/2015/06/coming-soon-i-am-jazz-another-reality.html

    Thank you for writing this article and spreading truth.

    Mark Angelo

    1. MArk, I have been watching your vids on You Tube and they are fantastic. It’s the most intelligent conversation I have ever come across in the gender debate. Thanks so much from an old rad fem lez.

      1. thank you for watching and your support, we plan to continue to spread truth and create another voice that counters the narrative that is being sold.

  15. This “I am Jazz” is total nonsense! He, yes HE wants to be real girl and by being a real girl you have to like pink, have cute plush toys all over your room, and have long,shiny hair. This is a mockery of every girl, including myself who doesn’t have the “perfect body”, running gracefully “like a girl”, or just being as delicate as flower. It’s insane how people call him or “it” beautiful, brave, or (vomit in mouth) more sexy than other women. I got this from YouTube people! I am so appalled by how their putting this crap into book form, making elementary children read this without parents consent. Some didn’t mind it at all! Why are we allowing this in places where it’s most inappropriate like in schools where children are being fed these lies about a 14-16yr old boy being a “girl”. This needs to stop!

  16. Thank you much, Hypotaxis and Phonaesthetica. Your thoughtful essay beautifully expresses a dilemma I currently face as a college professor who teaches Women’s Studies as well as Gender Studies.

    The current “party line” in Gender Studies in the U.S. does indeed reinforce the biologically deterministic stereotypes, dichotomies, and canards that have long oppressed women AND men, but especially women. This standard view relies on the constructed dichotomous labels (“masculine” vs. “feminine”) and associates them with sex ( “male” vs.”female”), while also trying to pay lip service to the idea that gender is actually a spectrum of internal characteristics or tendencies that are simply labelled masculine or feminine by our culture. But you can’t have it both ways, and this party-line view in the end cannot really see gender as a purely socially constructed dichotomy, or as a normal human spectrum. While the prevailing view PRETENDS to say that we are all inherently androgynous, and that we should be encouraged to freely express the spectrum of traits that have been traditionally labelled “masculine” and “feminine,” it ultimately denies that the embodiment of “gendered” traits can truly be INDEPENDENT of our “sex.” I am troubled by this dichotomous and repressive thinking, which is largely why I find the Caitlyn Jenner and Jazz Jennings docuseries troubling.

    Don’t get me wrong. I fully support the Trans community, which faces so much oppression and danger. And being free to express oneself, and to live as oneself, should be a right for all people. But isn’t it a little sad that in both cases (Jazz and Caitlyn), a primary focus of being female seems to be on putting on “feminine” clothes, makeup, having long hair but being otherwise hairless, and erasing any trace of non-normative “feminine” behaviors or traits? Is that what the female brain wants — to become a sex object for men’s pleasure? Would it be better for humanity if Caitlyn Jenner could just dress and act as she liked, without needing to be labelled “male” or “female”?

    ( I do think part of the media hullabaloo over Jenner and Jennings is because they are transitioning from biologically male to biologically female, rather than from biologically female to biologically male. The underlying assumption is that their transition is a bigger deal than say Chaz Bono’s. A male-to-female transition is seen unconsciously by most people as more threatening, more courageous, because they seem to be opting out of the “male privilege” they have inherited by virtue of simply having penises. Given the way that women are treated and viewed within our social structures, who would CHOOSE to be woman? Why would someone born as MORE-THAN want to become a LESS-THAN in our society?)

    in any case, even racking my own putatively “female” brain over the scholarly research on these questions for years, I’m still troubled, and worry about how to handle the discussions with my students. …. However, my intuition tells me that the biological labels we are so eager to associate with human behavior (“race,” “sexual orientation,” etc.) ultimately only serve oppressive purposes (see WORLD HISTORY for numerous examples) — and that we probably need to move away from these biological labels altogether.

  17. This article just makes so much sense… thank you for this voice of reason! I am increasingly freaked out by this growing trend to label children as ‘transgender’ just because they like toys or clothing or activities that the other gender typically gravitates towards.

    I am a mother of two beloved children. A boy and a girl. My daughter hated wearing dresses during childhood. She did not want to play with dolls. Did not want bows in her hair. Most all of her friends were boys. So what! We let her wear jeans/shorts, play with dinosaur toys with the boys, and trimmed her hair to keep it out of her eyes. We did NOT proclaim her a boy just because she did not fit society’s stupid stereotypes! Now fast forward, she is a beautiful, grown up young lady who decided she likes to wear dresses, put on a little makeup, hang out with guys AND girls, and she is very well-adjusted and accepting of others.

    Soooo glad this stuff was not all over the news about ‘you may be the other gender’ when she was at the awkward pre-pubescent stage. She may have been duped into believing something was ‘wrong’ with her. Parents, please… accept your children as they are and teach them to accept themselves. Do NOT be duped into the notion that you should let your child lead the way. There is a reason you are the parent. Your child’s brain has not fully developed. Your child needs your guidance, not the other way around!!!

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