Christine Flowers Has Thoughts About Caitlyn Jenner
Over at the Daily News, Christine Flowers has some thoughts about this Caitlyn Jenner business, and it’s pretty much what you’d expect from her — crankiness, generally, the world didn’t stop changing after 1964 or so.
We wouldn’t bother with it, in fact, except it seems important to point out that the crux of her argument is a might confused. Jenner, she says, was wrong not to consider how her very public coming out would affect her family:
But take a look at the daughters, who are now faced with a father who exposes his new bosom in a national magazine. Look at the wife of two decades, who is criticized for her less than exultant response to her ex-husband’s metamorphosis. Look at the sons, who hear questions asked about whether their father will “lose” his penis
These are people, too, people who deserve consideration. As Arthur Miller wrote, attention must be paid.
But Flowers gives the game away when she reveals the depth of her own contempt for Jenner’s reality-star family. “And that’s the saddest part. Bruce Jenner always seemed out of place among his brunette, botoxed, bawdy, buxom brood, the classy oasis in the midst of the trashy storm.” It’s a great thing that Flowers is on the lookout for their dignity and feelings, right?
Then again, her entire column is a model of wanting to have it both ways. She’s “moved by the honesty” that Jenner displayed in the now-famous Diane Sawyer interview, yet appalled when that honesty includes actually being shown as a woman on the cover of a national magazine. “Really, was it necessary to show that perfect, manufactured cleavage to tell us that Bruce had shed his muscled carapace to emerge as his, and now her, true self?” Flowers asks.
Flowers’ logic, of course, is the logic of the closet — the logic of those “I’m not a bigot!” types who want to ensure that people whose lives and experience differ from their own are never seen or heard, and who thus conveniently conflate “dignity” with suffering silently … but only when it’s other people who need to remain silent. It’s the logic of a woman who tramples on a family’s feelings in the name of defending that family’s feelings. Which is to say it’s illogic, really — but that’s about all you can ever expect from Christine Flowers.