Jenny’s ChannelMom Blog:
However you view “gender dysphoria” or the idea of sex changes… hear me out.
I have a friend down the street, who raised three lovely girls all by herself after her husband died in a tragic car crash. I have another friend who has been a foster mom to dozens of deeply troubled children, forced into our state system by the fact of failing families. And, I’ve also got a friend whose son willingly served as a soldier in Iraq and made the ultimate sacrifice — his life. I know many folks, most of them moms and dads, who regularly go overseas to build homes for the poor and serve food to near-dead children.
How must these brave and sacrificing men and women feel when we devote days of media space to a guy who had enough money to remove and add body parts, to buy his new “girl crib” in Malibu and, then, do a glamorous photo shoot with the famed Annie Leibovitz? I mean, really. Is this really worth days of news coverage and millions of dollars worth of photography, newsprint, bandwidth and airtime? We’re talking about much less than .5% of the population who face this kind of gender identity crisis. And, yet, we give more glory to this man-now-woman than to millions of notable Americans — operating outside the lens of superficial media — who work hard to nurture their families and contribute to our society.
And, now, from miles away… I can just hear the folks at Vanity Fair and salon.com screaming at me: “Jenny, you have a deep prejudice against transgender people,” or, uttering their favorite putdown, “you’re a bigot and a hater.” Nope, I don’t and, nope, I’m not. Bruce Caitlyn Jenner can do whatever he/she wants to with his/her life and his/her body. I am actually less disturbed by his sex change than by the amount of accolades and attention we’ve given to Caitlyn in the media. And, now, I am giving her media attention too.
Here’s why I’ve chosen to add to the media space given to Caitlyn Bruce… I want to call media people out. I know, I know. I know all about the justification for the coverage. Bizarre stories like this sell magazines and web ads and TV spots. It’s supposed to promote the acceptance of all peoples. But, isn’t it really promoting the self-promotion of the Kardashian/Jenner clan? Is this what we’ve come to in America? We choose to promote a sex change operation over a whole array of news stories that would offer more help to moms, dads, kids and families. Perhaps, this is why our families, our marriages and our children…. our children, people…. are in trouble. Because we care more about someone’s body part switches than a hungry child. Or, we care more about a transgender’s new identity than we do about the rate of suicide among teens. And, by the way, gender dysphoria, unsolved by the sex change process, can also end in suicide.
Because I’m a proponent of strong families and good mothering, I’d rather see news features that tackled salient parenting issues or the latest encouragement for couples struggling with infertility or even news on the cure for cancer, for goodness sake! Study after study can point to dysfunctional and broken families being the direct cause of a whole host of problems in children: crime and delinquency, drug and alcohol abuse, thoughts of suicide, early sexual debut and failure to finish school. People on both sides of the political spectrum — from Focus on the Family to progressive, Cornel West — agree that we need to have greater appreciation and support for the family in this country. It is the first and best building block of our society. So, how about we use media time for subject matter that might actually help American families and children? I’m not sure what Caitlyn Jenner is doing for any of us at this point.
~by Jenny Dean Schmidt, Host of ChannelMom Radio