“If the sensationalism that followed Caitlyn Jenner’s revelation of herself as a transgender woman has something to teach us, it is not about the particulars of what it means to be transgender. Jenner, like each of us, has a gender identity that is too complex and individual to generalize about, and neither she nor anyone can be made to stand for the entirety of a diverse social category. More important than a lesson in identities, Jenner’s announcement and the media frenzy that followed has provided an important diagnostic tool, a moment to pause and do what we anthropologists love to do: pull back from the tight focus on Jenner’s smiling face and corseted waist, and locate her story and its massive media response within a broader context.
If we keep our faces pressed up against the TV screen or our noses buried deep in the crease of Vanity Fair, we’ll certainly find well-packaged answers to the endlessly repeated question what is transgender? But those answers will aspire to generality. To answer fully, perhaps a better question might be, What does ‘transgender’ look like in America today? And, perhaps more pointedly, of what broader contemporary American realities is the crushing focus on Caitlyn Jenner an example?”
(Via. Huffington Post)