Tuesday, June 09, 2015

The LuLac Edition #2932, June 9th, 2015

This past Sunday in her "Zeroing In" piece,  Times Leader columnist Betty Roccograndi (one of my favorite writers) wrote a column about Caitlyn Jenner formerly known as Bruce Jenner. First off a few things. The reason why I like newspapers is because you hold them in your hands, read it and voice your own opinion. There are no comments at the bottom of the page to guide or sway you. You’re on your own.
On the other hand if you read something on line, there are comments on the bottom. Then there are Facebook postings about the article. My big flaw is that I read those first and then the actual article. Call it left handed brain.
Monday morning I heard Sue Henry talking about the article and I thought I had better check it out. Then my day intervened and I had no chance to read just what outrageous thing Betty Roccograndi wrote.
Roccograndi said she refuses to call Bruce Jenner Caitlin. Let me cite this paragraph.
The former Bruce Jenner was a superstar. In 1976, he out performed his competitors in a fierce decathlon and won Olympic gold for America. He was celebrated and revered and was on the cereal boxes of Wheaties, the breakfast of champions. He’s come a long way, baby.
As observers of the American scene, sports fans, columnists we are entitled to our memories. Even though Jenner has changed, that doesn’t mean the memories of what he was should be criticized. How many times have we met our childhood idols and been disappointed?
And then Roccograndi wrote this.
On the one hand, I admire Jenner’s courage to take control of his destiny. He told Sawyer that as a young boy, he secretly put on his sister’s dresses and liked what he saw.
She essentially said she admired his guts. Personally I think Mike Lupica said it better on The Sports Reporters when he said that even though Jenner has a great support system, the true person with the most courage is not yet known to us yet. He or she is in a small town some place unrecognized, underfunded and with no support system. When that person dons a dress, there will be no Vanity Fair waiting, just fellow townspeople and we all know how tolerant they can be.
Betty also wrote this,
On the other hand, I think it’s kind of creepy.
Referring to Jenner’s enjoying putting on his sister’s dresses. I would not have used the word creepy in that situation but I’m sure I’ve used that word to describe something someone else cherished. But see it was my opinion. It was a declaration of what I wouldn’t see or do but certainly not a condemnation of a group.

Roccograndi then did a Pope Francis on this one when she wrote:
If American Olympics icon Bruce Jenner wants to say, hey world, I’m Caitlyn; it’s who I am, who are we to argue or to judge?

Let me point out that when Pope Francis made his comments about same sex people loving each other he used those same words. But his Church does not seem to be moving in that direction. Is he all of a sudden disgusting?
Roccograndi also wrote Bruce Jenner decided to pursue happiness living the rest of his life as a woman. We should try and respect that. It doesn’t mean we have to understand it.
Is this what got everybody angry? I know people who I like and respect professionally but they have babies out of wedlock and raise the kids like ornaments for when they finally decide to get married. I respect their decision because it isn’t my life, and doesn’t impact it. BUT I don’t understand it.
I don’t understand battered women who get PFAs in an abuse relationship and then after police risk their lives taking down the abuser she never shows up for court or drops it “because he cried and said he was sorry”. I do not understand that.
When you start to come down on someone who doesn’t understand something or that issue isn’t for them (all the while saying they wish the subject well and want him to prosper) then we get into tricky territory.
Is a writer, opinion maker obligated to understand everything? I think not.
While we’re at it, I have never met Betty Roccograndi and I’m sure she’d look down her nose at an insignificant blogger like me. But really she doesn’t deserve the comments she received on the comments underneath the story.
I don’t think she was spewing transphobia either. The definition of transphobia is an intense dislike of or prejudice against transsexual or transgender people.
Roccograndi never said she didn’t like Jenner, far from it she saluted his decision even though she didn’t like it.
In my estimation she wasn’t prejudiced either. The definition of that is a preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience.
Seems to me the only people here who were prejudiced were the on line posters spewing their outrage. The on line posters gave Bob Lawton the day off!
My advice, save the outrage for something more important than a celebrity’s choice of a lifestyle and a local columnist’s reaction to it.
The beautiful part about living in this country is that opinions are like colors of a rainbow. Anything else is the dreary dark brown of suppression. Think like I do, like what I like......or else you are a less than.Or Ted Cruz.
I’m sure there are right wing bigots thinking Roccograndi is “one of them”. I think there are people totally committed to their LGBT Community disappointed by her lack of acceptance of Jenner’s choice.
Her column was a gem, she pissed everybody off. I hope I did too.


At 11:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Didn't care about Jenner then, don't care now.
If I were ever to meet Jenner v.1 or v.2 (unlikely) I would politely say "hello" and move on.
Why do we feel obligated to choose sides on such pablum?

At 7:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yonki defending a woman that isn't tall.
Never mind Jenner, that is the true breaking news!


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