Responding to Responses to Caitlyn Jenner’s Vanity Fair event


Conducting a measured, informative, respectful conversation on Twitter is an art. I know because I have not mastered it, and the consequences have been–as they say–interesting. On June 6, 2015 journalist and film producer, Elinor Burkett published an Opinion in the New York Times Sunday Review concerning the coming out of a well-known public figure, Caitlyn Jenner. Jenner, formerly well known as Bruce Jenner, was the 1976 Olympic Decathalon record setter and seller of Wheaties. Subsequently, she was the husband (now divorced) of Kris Kardashian and father of their two daughters, as well as a player in the reality TV show “Keeping Up with the Kardashians”, and was followed up by a cover spread and lavish inside story in the July issue of Vanity Fair. Famed photographer Annie Leibovitz’s stunning visuals of Jenner’s coming out received huge public attention.

The press went nuts, in predictable ways. Fox News was snarky and negative while MSNBC fell all over itself to accept everything Jenner said at face value. No representative of the giant media companies did critical reporting, not on Jenner, and more importantly not on the phenomenon of transgender. The major media outlets did not mention the terrible dangers from violence (for example, on the same day as the Vanity Fair release there was minimal coverage of an

My mistake, for which I have been duly excoriated, denounced and generally sworn at, was to state my feelings publically in a medium–twitter–that does not permit reasoned exchange. As I saw no way to respond effectively to name-calling and curses, I first chose silence. But after transfeminist writer (and Brown University student), Ragna Rök Jóns appealed to me to respond I started to reply. As the twitter medium was only moderately pliable in my hands, however, I promised to write a —> Read More