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Bruce Jenner and the "Transgender"

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posted on Apr, 25 2015 @ 02:03 PM
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In considering how to write up this post, I want to make a few things clear: I have great sympathy for Jenners emotional struggles. However, I do not for a second believe that the "soul" is gendered. I also do not believe that the brain is "gendered". Finally, it is a complete myth of our modern day and age that each of us has an 'essential self', in the singular, simple or general sense.

Both research in neuroscience and the psychoanalytic study of the mind has yielded an enormously cogent thesis that the "self" as we experience it is largely an illusion. This is illusion can be subjected to laboratory conditions to the point that we can now say that the human mind is only "aware" of any moment for about .100 milliseconds to .500 milliseconds at a time. That is to say, every moment or so a "new round" of consciousness occurs, yet, we aren't in any sense aware of any interruption in our awareness. Reality seems fluid and singular.

On the other hand, our we ever aware of our blinking - or our heart beating - or the rate of our breathing? The brain-mind seems to be designed to give the impression of continuity, even though, from a neurobiological perspective, the brain is in no way "fixed" upon any psychological orientation.

How consumerism disturbs the mind



The problem of our time - and the bane of capitalism - is in its "fixating" the developing mind upon external realities. This is precisely what capitalism does. From infancy upward, we are dazzled and enticed by the objects in the world around. From clothes, to toys, to gadgets and cars, we begin to define our "sense of self", unconsciously, on the relationships we establish with certain 'desired cultures'. The perniciousness of this arrangement is in keeping the mind ignorant of itself and of it's instinctive organization. In such an environment, is it at all any surprise that there are people - let alone psychotherapists, neuroscientists and sociologists - who in their phenomenological ignorance of their own minds believe that some people are born psychologically to be "boys" or "girls"?

This sort of response is structurally consistent in a culture that fixates upon external 'signs' - such as the biological reality of sex - but the far more subtle realities of the mind and it's ungendered, multifarious, malleable and fluid workings, remain largely misunderstood."Easy fixes" - which in reality are BIG and UNNECESSARY changes - come to be seen as desirable and even ethical; and on the part of others, we are expected to welcome and encourage these drastic transformations, and if we even raise an alarm, or beckon a deeper exploration at the level of psychodynamics, we risk being labelled a "bigot".

The Mind is Genderless



What exactly does Bruce Jenner mean when he says he has the 'soul of a woman'? Does this mean he feels as a woman does? In what sense? Without knowing exactly what he means, its hard to say. On the other hand, in reading the psychoanalytic literature in therapists who treat people who are considering undergoing a sex-change, we can see that what underlies these feelings are largely unacknowledged conflicts relating to early life relationships. In other words, events in the persons life-history have implanted meanings in them that later on produced thoughts and fantasies of being the other sex.

While it may be presumptuous to assume a 'general' etiology, the literature indicates that trauma underlies feelings of not feeling adequate as being a certain biological sex. For example, a woman who grew up in a abusive household where her father beat up her mother might be caught in an internal struggle where passivity is identified with femininity, and strength, activity and subjectivity, comes to be associated with masculinity.

There is absolutely no question at all that the mind "constructs" itself in this way, as the meanings we form are instinctive productions of an oftentimes inconsistent relational environment. The mind is a system, and in some minds, the different associations generate beliefs, fantasies and images of ourselves being "the opposite sex". When sex-change is understood from this psychoanalytic perspective, it can seem enormously drastic and completely unnecessary, nay, strengthening the internal dissociation between self-states, for someone to undergo an external transformation without ever acknowledging the hidden meanings that generate the feelings in question.

On the other hand, there are boys who grow up feeling inadequate as men. They may, similarly to females who resent passivity, come to resent the aggressiveness and machismo of the males they come to associate with in their life; producing, as in the earlier example, beliefs, fantasies and images about being the "other sex".

The point of this conversation is that these conflicts - and the feelings, fantasies, beliefs and images they produce - can be DISSOLVED through self-understanding, self compassion, and an acceptance of the different "ways of being you", from the masculine body and athletic interests of the swimmer (who Bruce Jenner was) to the compassionate, empathic and caring nurturer (who Bruce Jenner experiences himself as being.

As someone who studies the mind, emotions, the brain, and the process of psychological transformation, while I can find merit in looking upon another persons experience with compassion and sympathy, I find the whole notion of "psychological gender" and having a "soul of a woman" to be contemptible in it's naivety. It implies, yet again, how utterly dissociated we are as a society from the way our minds work.

What also frustrates me, is how little conversation occurs between the sciences of psychotherapy and the wider culture. The multiplicity of the self. The conflicts between self-states (contradictory experiences we have) and the strange feelings they generate in the experiencing mind.

We can also see, on a wider, sociological scale, how unacknowledged conflicts - such as that between unfettered capitalism and self-awareness - will, produce "solutions" that skirt the work of self-understanding.
edit on 25-4-2015 by Astrocyte because: (no reason given)



+34 more 
posted on Apr, 25 2015 @ 02:05 PM
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a reply to: Astrocyte

Who cares he aint harming anyone.
Live and let live.



posted on Apr, 25 2015 @ 02:14 PM
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a reply to: boymonkey74

Exactly. Well put.


+5 more 
posted on Apr, 25 2015 @ 02:19 PM
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Very well-written and eloquently expresses my general feelings about it too on several levels. I'm sad more than anything else, for Bruce, because I know that happiness won't be found in having a sex-change. Just my opinion, but I'm pretty confident. I'm sad too for the "example" he/she/ has chosen to be in public form, a hero or heroine to the ones who want to be the other sex. I think hormones like testosterone and estrogen are more of a factor than the brain. To me it's just sad that Bruce (now in his sixties) has chosen to travel this road.

If the brain thinks something for long enough, action follows, sure enough. I think he's been thinking about this for many years and now he is in the action stage. We do become a result of our thoughts. I have seen very fewif any truly happy post-sex-change persons.



posted on Apr, 25 2015 @ 02:28 PM
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a reply to: Astrocyte

Good post. But Jenner probably shouldn’t be taken literally when he talks about a “soul” since it is a superficial colloquialism he is stating not a metaphysical one.

But your points are well taken about capitalism and identity



posted on Apr, 25 2015 @ 02:28 PM
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I really don't truly understand (as yet) why Bruce Jenner at 65 years old is making this choice in his life; I am trying to understand...but (as of right now)...I just don't get it.

It is his body and his life and I know he will do what he wants to do...I just don't understand the reasoning behind his decision to become a woman.



posted on Apr, 25 2015 @ 02:32 PM
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We are told we can do anything, be who we want to be, from birth.

What do you expect?

Also, what does it really matter either way? If bruce wanted to be a super villain i suppose that might be news worthy.
edit on b3333234 by Biigs because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 25 2015 @ 02:34 PM
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a reply to: Astrocyte

Dr. Phil on Bruce Jenner


+15 more 
posted on Apr, 25 2015 @ 02:39 PM
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Fruit Loops. Sorry, I feel there needs to be some semblance of normal in an already chaotic society.



+35 more 
posted on Apr, 25 2015 @ 02:39 PM
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The fact is Jenner has an X chromosome in every cell of his body, an Adam's Apple, and the musculoskeletal system of a male. The fact that someone will cut off his privates and replace it with a hole that does nothing and give him hormone shots to create fake breasts does not alter that. This is a phenomenon made possible by modern medicine and enabled by a self-indulgent society that mistakes civil rights of people who cannot change what they are, such as race, with preferences of people who can pretend to be what they are not.

Sure he has the "right" to do what he wants, and people who have no idea what the ramifications are in his personal sphere will continue to claim he "isn't hurting anyone" without knowing if he is or is not, but other people also have the "right" to view this as representative of the decadence of society, and his choice to do this as laughable and pretentious. "Bruce Jenner is a woman!" Riiiight. Whatever you say, bub.



posted on Apr, 25 2015 @ 02:41 PM
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a reply to: Astrocyte

Thank you for the food for thought. I tend to think hormones would play a bigger role than the mind, but I really don't know.... I'm still trying to understand how it "feels" to "feel like a woman." I AM a woman, and I still couldn't tell you.. I can tell you how it feels to live the life of a woman, because I have. Likewise, how could I possibly know what it feels like to be a man? I have absolutely no frame of reference, except from the outside looking in! But I don't have to understand to know this is his choice and is very emotional to him, and therefore very important to him. It's not my head, not my body, not my money, not my journey.

I wish Bruce and his family the brightest blessings. This is a rough road he's embarking on, and I sure don't envy him, but I hope he finds what he's looking for in the end. He's already breaking barriers and stereotypes... maybe we'll all learn something from his journey too.



posted on Apr, 25 2015 @ 02:59 PM
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propbably a publicity stunt for the show no doubt



posted on Apr, 25 2015 @ 03:01 PM
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a reply to: Astrocyte

I'm extremely sympathetic to transgender issues, but I think the media is being, well the media, and using the wrong example in Bruce Jenner to make the case palpable to the average Joe six pack.

Remember the media circus at the OJ Simpson trail were we first met the Kardashians? The Kardashian circus is never ending, and now Bruce Jenner is going to have his own reality show about his transgender journey. Please! Me thinks some former Olympic star is hurt that he/she just isn't getting enough attention.

Keep up showing the short documentaries about children and young adults, that we all can relate to. But Bruce Jenner is just too creepy and circus like to represent transgender issues and their impact on regular people.

In my opinion, Jenner's in your face publicity on this issue, all created probably to promote his new reality show, creates more problems than it solves.



posted on Apr, 25 2015 @ 03:27 PM
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a reply to: Astrocyte

So, I am even more confused now.

In another thread (transgender toddler), I was assured that transgender does not involve surgery, drugs, etc.

Which is it?

Serious question at this point.

Also, who the hell cares about what junk Jill Benner has between her knobbys?

Also also, didn't he just kill someone in a car accident?
edit on 25-4-2015 by greencmp because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 25 2015 @ 03:30 PM
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Whether we like it or not, all fetuses begin as females in the womb. Between the 8th and 24th week of fetal development the fetal body is flooded with sex hormones which will determine whether the fetus will be a boy, or a girl. This has to be timed perfectly! If it is not, then obviously things can go wrong, such as hermaphroditism. And also transgenderism.

There was a study done in 1995 that learned that some children as young as 3 know something is wrong with their body. They know they are in the wrong body. The brain of a male child is larger than is should be, like that of a female child. Autopsies have been done on transgendered people to get a better understanding. Here is a paper from the study in '95, it is in PDF form.

Sex Difference in the Human Brain and it's relation to Transsexuality

Now we can deny this all we want, but it's nature. It happens. Could this be because of outside influences, it doesn't say. Anything is truly possible. Another article I found interesting was In Womb Development of the Transsexual Brain.

Personally I think this is Bruce's journey, or whatever name he wishes to go by now. It is not our journey. I thought he was very brave to not only come forward, but to highlight the suicides and murders of other transgender individuals. Not many would do that. I saw that as please, don't put so much focus on me, but let's focus on helping others like me. They need help more than I do. He has a huge heart. I think it surprised me that it was Kanye that got Kim, and some of the rest of the family to come around. The media makes Kanye out to be this heartless, cold bastard. Maybe he's not to bad after all? Though, not too sure about Kris. The stories coming out about how Jenner tricked her and she only just now found out, either they're just made up stories, or she's lying. As Jenner said, he had 36c breasts from hormonal treatment, he couldn't exactly hide those from her when they got married. Considering she helped Kim sell her sex tape, I tend to go with Kris being calculating, but we'll see.

Believe it or not, I don't watch the show, just a headline here and there from Daily Fail (they are FASCINATED by this family), a rag magazine my dad will buy me now and then when I was in a hospital to give me something to read (I get sick a lot), so I've kept up over the years that way, but I've yet to see an episode of their show.



posted on Apr, 25 2015 @ 03:33 PM
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originally posted by: Mc740052
propbably a publicity stunt for the show no doubt



Do you honestly believe someone will go through the trouble of taking hormones, and then eventually cutting off a "useful" male appendage, just for a TV show????? Are you out of your gourd??? He began treatments before he married Kris and stopped only because he thought he would harm his children. When he married Kris, he had size 36c boobs! If it was for the show, don't you think they would have shown the boobs then? C'mon a tad common sense would be nice here.



posted on Apr, 25 2015 @ 03:37 PM
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originally posted by: windword
a reply to: Astrocyte

I'm extremely sympathetic to transgender issues, but I think the media is being, well the media, and using the wrong example in Bruce Jenner to make the case palpable to the average Joe six pack.

Remember the media circus at the OJ Simpson trail were we first met the Kardashians? The Kardashian circus is never ending, and now Bruce Jenner is going to have his own reality show about his transgender journey. Please! Me thinks some former Olympic star is hurt that he/she just isn't getting enough attention.

Keep up showing the short documentaries about children and young adults, that we all can relate to. But Bruce Jenner is just too creepy and circus like to represent transgender issues and their impact on regular people.

In my opinion, Jenner's in your face publicity on this issue, all created probably to promote his new reality show, creates more problems than it solves.



Actually due the car crash he was involved in, there are rumors there wasn't going to be a reality show now. The show was more going to be a documentary documenting his process of going from Bruce to Her, as he referred to her. That's what the show was going to be about. Then came the car crash and E! said about of respect for the victim, they were not going to go forward with the show, unless they decided a different path for the show that I haven't heard of yet. Please remember, this was filmed before the car crash back in January I believe, early Feb at the latest.



posted on Apr, 25 2015 @ 03:43 PM
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originally posted by: greencmp
a reply to: Astrocyte

So, I am even more confused now.

In another thread (transgender toddler), I was assured that transgender does not involve surgery, drugs, etc.

Which is it?

Serious question at this point.

Also, who the hell cares about what junk Jill Benner has between her knobbys?

Also also, didn't he just kill someone in a car accident?



As a child, no surgery is involved until they are old enough to make the decision for themselves. They can, however, take the hormonal injections to prepare them for gender reassignment if they wish, but they MUST go through counseling, therapy, and speak with the doctor extensively first to ensure this isn't a fluke they're thinking of doing.

My daughter used to be on Lupron/Luprilide to protect her from being taken advantage of by boys in school and she was too young for birth control, we were told. That's one of the drugs they use to treat transgender youth. We were told by age 13 she HAD to go off of it because unless she was transitioning to another sex, after the age of 13, continuing the injections can destroy her bones. They switched her to birth control instead. (She is special needs and extremely vulnerable to suggestion. If a boy said, "If you have sex with me, I'll be your friend." She'd believe them and do it. Hence the protecting her.) We had to go through counseling, therapy, and speaking extensively with the doctor just to do the injections. They're every 3 months in the thigh. My daughter took them from 9-12.


Edit to add: some special needs parents of SEVERELY special needs children will continue the injections to keep the kids small and better able to manage and handle, such as children who need 24 hour/day care. If you see on the news a 20 yr old in a reclining wheel chair who has the body and size of a 9 yr old, you can bet the parents have them on Lupron/Luprilide, unless something better has come on the market in the last 10 years. This is what I was advised by my daughter's doctor.
edit on 4/25/2015 by Anyafaj because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 25 2015 @ 04:35 PM
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originally posted by: Astrocyte
In considering how to write up this post, I want to make a few things clear: I have great sympathy for Jenners emotional struggles. However, I do not for a second believe that the "soul" is gendered. I also do not believe that the brain is "gendered"...


You do not believe that because you never met Grace Kelly in person.


img0.etsystatic.com...


Also, the 'soul' is just a construct to explain that which is not yet quantified.
edit on 25-4-2015 by Maverick7 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 25 2015 @ 04:37 PM
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a reply to: Astrocyte

Interesting and brilliant post. S+F. I will have to re-read more slowly later. I was reminded after reading through that there was a time pink was considered the accepted colour for boys and blue the colour for girls.


The march toward gender-specific clothes was neither linear nor rapid. Pink and blue arrived, along with other pastels, as colors for babies in the mid-19th century, yet the two colors were not promoted as gender signifiers until just before World War I—and even then, it took time for popular culture to sort things out.

For example, a June 1918 article from the trade publication Earnshaw's Infants' Department said, “The generally accepted rule is pink for the boys, and blue for the girls. The reason is that pink, being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl.” Other sources said blue was flattering for blonds, pink for brunettes; or blue was for blue-eyed babies, pink for brown-eyed babies, according to Paoletti.

In 1927, Time magazine printed a chart showing sex-appropriate colors for girls and boys according to leading U.S. stores. In Boston, Filene’s told parents to dress boys in pink. So did Best & Co. in New York City, Halle’s in Cleveland and Marshall Field in Chicago.





I find the whole notion of "psychological gender" and having a "soul of a woman" to be contemptible in it's naivety. It implies, yet again, how utterly dissociated we are as a society from the way our minds work.


Yup!

ETA: www.smithsonianmag.com...




edit on 25-4-2015 by Involutionist because: (no reason given)



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