I’m Ok, You’re Ok, Bruce Jenner’s Ok
Bruce Jenner is the most high-profile transgender person to come out of the closet.
And people seem fairly accepting of the transition so far. But transgender folk face hate crimes at astonishing rates, says Nick Kristof at the New York Times. He points out:
So far this year at least three transgender people have been reported murdered in the United States. The Human Rights Campaign issued a report the other day listing 13 transgender women murdered in 2014: They were shot, strangled, burned and beaten.
Bullies project their own shame onto others. And then they beat the crap out of what they hate inside themselves. Sometimes verbally, and sometimes physically.
What is it about transgendered-ness that cues insecurity?
More specifically, what cues male insecurity? Because it’s bullying men who bash.
Once again, “gender ranking” underlies the problem.
We rank men above women. So men must prove they deserve that high status: men have to prove they are men. Women don’t have to prove that they are women.
In fact, when women and girls do something really well they might be told, “You the man!” But when men and boys don’t do something very well they might be called a girl, or a woman, or a lady. As in: “You run like a girl!”
So guys may worry that they don’t measure up.
Then they see someone who clearly isn’t “a man.” Someone who is blurring gender lines, or even crossing over them.
The insecurity is sparked. And they attack what they hate inside themselves.
Plus, blurring or crossing gender boundaries is a threat to the whole notion of male superiority. And apparently being male is the only source of self-esteem that some guys have.
If more people knew that they really were okay inside, it would be a lot easier to see that Bruce Jenner and other transgender people are okay, too.
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