13 Nov Sisa’s Bitter Pill: The Thing About Caitlyn’s ‘Woman of the Year’ Award
This post is not an attack on transgender women, nor transgender people in general. If you have been following juan.com.ph for quite some time now, you would know that we have always been supportive of some of the issues of the LGBT group. We know their struggles, and we cried side by side some of our LGBT friends who were ecstatic over granting the legalities of the same sex marriage in the US. But today, I would like to take the perspective of my co-biological women.
I have been quiet regarding the issues of transgender equality and acceptance. I have many times shushed myself with regards to Caitlyn Jenner’s coming out. It is to say that as women, we don’t quite comprehend the idea of “a woman’s soul/essence/spirit” trapped in a man’s body, but we continue to understand the plight of transgender women. There have been issues where we are caught in the crossfire and we have our fair share of being accused as mere tolerating the idea of transgender people, and not actually accepting them. “Understand” – that is the word we are taking, but truth be told, many of us biological women will never be able to fully comprehend the idea that transgender women and biological women belong in the same umbrella.
In a recent post by feminist/poler/female executive of an Australian company/mother Ira Clare Reyes about Caitlyn Jenner being hailed by Glamour Magazine as woman of the year, a hodgepodge of opinions about the issue has sparked our curiosity. Reading through the thread has made me realize that I am not alone with my views on this issue.
Juan.com.ph writers have commended Caitlyn’s coming out as some sort of bravery. I too have commended her for that. But as I put out my opinions regarding Caitlyn’s choice and timing, I was attacked by certain individuals that may know better about Transgender101 than I do. Pronouns were corrected. My stand on the issue was questioned. Which led me to be more confused regarding transgender people. Sorry, hindi naman lahat ng bagay pwede ninyong ipalunok sa akin ng ganun ganun na lang. And that does not make you right, nor does that make me wrong. My question is, if they were so secured about their identities, slip ups of unknowing people like me, should be taken as an opportunity to educate, not to attack, not to shame people who do not share the same beliefs as they do. Hindi porke’t hindi ko nilulunok ang konsepto ninyo eh kaaway na ako!
I too have taken the liberty of asking biological male friends who are STRAIGHT if they would dare date a woman who was once a man, even if this woman is in every way the woman that they have been looking for all their lives. Yun lang, may titi! We already know the answer to this question. I personally don’t think it is discriminatory, but it is a matter of PREFERENCE. As I have said, no matter how much we fight for it, we can’t make people swallow our own beliefs as gospel truths.
So today, as Caitlyn Jenner accepted that “Woman of the Year Award” I will take a stand for biological women, and maybe some people would take a step back and try to make this sink in.
Why I do not comprehend the idea of transgender people
When the story of Caitlyn Jenner came out and my transgender women friends saw a certain tag on my facebook timeline quoting what my website wrote regarding Caitlyn’s choices, my transgender women friends felt for me. I was lucky enough to have people who would patiently explain their side of the equation rather than personally attack me for putting out MY beliefs in MY website (note the capital letters. I was attacked on MY own personal opinion written in a website that I OWN. WTF). Slowly they were explaining the transgender “dogma” which to this day is conflicting with my personal beliefs as a woman and as a Christian. In my heart, to say that they are women trapped in the wrong body (that particularly of a male), is in conflict with my belief that God does not make mistakes. In my heart, to believe in this explanation is to say that God made a mistake in putting the “spirit” of a woman in another body. I do have issues with that. You can call me a bigot anytime, and blame me for reading the Bible everyday, but this is my personal belief: the God that I serve does not make mistakes. If you’ve been reading the bible diligently, you would come to know that God is NEVER the author of confusion. He is precise with his actions. And that is what I have always believed in, and that is what I will believe in until the day I die.
The Issue of Caitlyn Jenner’s Award
I am happy that more and more people are speaking about this issue. Certainly, this is one of those things where I can’t say “It is just GENDER.” To be blunt about it, many women are getting hurt and are speaking out about Jenner’s award. She doesn’t represent women period. It is arguable that she felt that she was a woman all these years, but to us biological women, being a woman is more than just a feeling. Being a woman is far more than just being in touch with your feminine side – the alleged “softer” side. But to being a woman means having the capacity to give birth, undergoing C-section, getting through the brutality of an abusive husband and more importantly playing the different roles of what it is to be a woman today – breadwinner, wife, mother, daughter, boss, among many others. And while we do respect the struggles of the transgender women, we would always see them as transgender women. And I am not saying this in a condescending manner.
Majority of us love our mothers, most of us came from the wombs of our mothers. After giving you everything she’s got and putting her life at risk, undergoing through the pain similar to 10 bones breaking in one go; don’t you think your mother deserves this award than someone who just feels like she is a woman all her life?
And as one of the commenters on that particular thread above states that to brand Caitlyn and give her an award as a “Transgender Woman of the Year,” is to discriminate, I couldn’t help but cringe. Reading her defense on Caitlyn Jenner proves a point that she is accepting of that idea, but to call out people who do not share her opinions is NOT DISCRIMINATORY? It is a fact, we discriminate all the time. Everybody hurts. Everybody has judgments. So suck it up princess!
Sadly, no matter how much we fight for the things that we believe in, there will always be discrimination that each gender must face. Sometimes, ‘discrimination can be a good thing.’ It sets us apart from the rest.
And in my world, as long as biological women have the capacity to be pregnant and science can’t find a way for transwomen to miraculously bear a child, then there will always be a demarcation line between transgender women and biological women. And as long as transgender men, no matter if they were able to have penises attached to them, kahit sa noo pa yan ilagay, and you can’t spurt out sperm cells to impregnate any biological women, then there will be a line for preference. PREFERENCE, that is the word, not discrimination. Because there will still be men who want to have children, who want their wives to bear their children, even if it means getting their eggs and having their sperms fertilize it inside a tube. And there will be women who would want to have the chromosomes of their husbands that are found in their sperms that would meet with their eggs and make an offspring.
To be blunt about it, there will still be people who’s sexual preference would be based on their genders/genitalia, and not on feelings. Ako? Ayaw ko ng daliri lang. Ayaw ko ng pakamay-kamay. Ayaw ko ng vibrator! Yung totoo lang ang gusto ko. Again, preference. And we say this as an in your face truth.
Like many biological women who have responded to the thread of Caitlyn Jenner receiving the award, we too are questioning why it was her that was chosen to be “Woman of the Year.” However, unlike many of them who are moving hell and high water to air out their disgust, we do understand Glamour’s point of view. That award I dare say, isn’t about us women in general, it is just Glamour magazine’s opinion about women (and maybe solicit publicity while they are at it). With that said, we get the choice of Glamour. I would have done that too, back in the day when publicity and money were more important than my principles. Glamour’s strategy may exactly be this to enrage the biological women who have strong points regarding this issue and to get the sympathy of the majority of transgender women and those women who put Caitlyn Jenner as an icon, a shinning example of bravery by her coming out.
But to us, there are better women who deserve this award – the mothers who have single handedly raised their children; the women in the army who have lost limbs and their sanity just fighting for the country; women who are battling breast cancer, even those who have fought and lost. To us, Caitlyn’s bravery to come out pales in comparison to the many struggles that biological women are facing. It pales even to the pain of giving birth. MANGANAK MUNA KAYA SIYA. Mahimatay muna kaya siya sa pagle-labor. Magdala muna kaya siya sa kanyang sinapupunan nang isang buhay na iningat-ingatan mo ng siyam na buwan.
So today, I wish to commend all biological women – our mothers, our friends – who are quite uncomfortable with this issue, but are taking a stand for themselves this time. I believe that there is nothing wrong by doing that, by recognizing the fact that what separates us from biological men and otherwise is the ability to nurture lives in our bodies, to carry babies for nine months, to go through menopause, to be at the risk of breast cancer, and to be just that have a vagina and a uterus for heaven’s sakes. We are women and I say this lovingly, no science, no group should make us feel that we are discriminatory just because. WTF! Hindi madaling maging babae. PMS pa lang para ka nang baliw!