A Few Thoughts On Caitlyn Jenner And The Doctor

Ralph M. RiveraZeitgeist4 Comments

A Few Thoughts On Caitlyn Jenner And The Doctor. It turns out in reality as in fiction, we can only deal in tropes and stereotypes.

Now that the dust has settled on the Caitlyn Jenner story, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the marketing of these events. Kudos to Jenner and his family for being able to control the messaging during a stressful time. But something has been nagging at me the past few days that I couldn’t quite put my finger on until yesterday.

I made the mistake of imagining what the reveal was going to look like. I imagined Caitlyn revealing herself as a voice for female athletics or equal pay or women in STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

Instead what we got was a perfectly produced model in fancy expensive dresses and a breast augmentation.

Caitlyn revealed herself to be nothing more that a rehash of our existing societal tropes. In the end Caitlyn was less “a woman” and more a stereotype.

What a wasted opportunity.

Before you decide to backlash on me, remember, this is about the marketing, not about the decisions. It’s a critique not a criticism.

I had another disappointment in the most recent incarnation of The Doctor, the titular character of the science fiction show Doctor Who. When the tenure of the prior Doctor was coming to an end there was speculation that the new Doctor would be a woman. This would have been a tremendous and brave move for the writers, but alas it was not to be because the Doctor is and can only be a man. But then we learned that the nemesis of the Doctor had regenerated as a woman. “How brave,” we were told. But wouldn’t it have been a better statement to make the hero a woman? At least for a bit.

It turns out in reality as in fiction, we can only deal in tropes and stereotypes.

These are my 300 words for the day. I am Ralph M. Rivera.

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A Few Thoughts On Caitlyn Jenner And The Doctor. It turns out in reality as in fiction, we can only deal in tropes and stereotypes.

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Hi, I'm Ralph! I'm a web developer and founder of Rahvalor Interactive, a creative marketing services company based in Holmdel, New Jersey. I founded Rahvalor in 1999 with my wife and business partner Carol Lynn, and in January 2012 we created Web.Search.Social as a branded service offering that brings enterprise-level services to small businesses in an affordable way. My primary role is programming and development, and with 25 solid years of marketing experience behind me, I write, consult and develop strategy for our customers. I'm also the CTO of Triberr and I teach web development at Manhattan College in New York City. Carol Lynn and I live near the coast in central New Jersey, less than an hour from the place of my birth – the island of Manhattan. We are at the constant beck and call of Ash, our 17-year-old American Shorthair cat. I'm also trying to build a flux capacitor, but that's not going as well as the other stuff I do.
  • Of course you went there 🙂 It would be nice if those in positions of influence (or at least objects of fascination) would use their positions to do something nice for humanity. Alas, these people are just humans like us, and aren’t always interested in making the world a better place, or even making a statement. Clearly the family has had a lot to deal with emotionally and maybe that is asking too much. Maybe it’ll evolve into something bigger, but by then the world will have lost interest, I suspect. David Tennant and Matt Smith are the only valid incarnations of The Doctor. That is all.

    • As always, you are eloquent in your response. Perhaps we will both be pleasantly surprised in the future by what Caitlyn will bring to the world.

  • I had the same feeling from the Kardashian camp. Why does Jenner need to be an ultra glam Kardashian? Why not an actual woman? One that lives in a real world with a real life and real issues? There is and was an opportunity, not only for women, but for trans rights. Here in the south, we have governors throwing up bills like crazy to refuse Trans men and women the right to use EITHER public restroom. You don’t have to like me, but not allowing me to pee is a bit archaic. Life is not glamorous, it is not a portrait that has been airbrushed. Get real. Be honest. Transition is hard. Period. It is a huge life decision and not an easy one to confront. Doing it in the public eye only magnifies that. I am interested to see this play out…

  • “Instead what we got was a perfectly produced model in fancy expensive dresses and a breast augmentation.” For me, as expected. But then, Southern California was my home for thirty years. Not a lot of reality going on there, Ralph — more like a lot of plastic and cement. And [manufactured] beauty reigns. Celebrities rule. What is valued and revered makes me sick.

    Heaven help the young people of the world is all I can say. They’re going to need it!