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.[line]