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Friday Feedback, Caitlyn Jenner, and What Makes a Hero a Hero (or a Shero a Shero)

Dear Readers:

I don’t literally have a dick, but today I’ll stick my figurative one in the hornets’ nest.  Come along with me, won’t you?

Welcome to Friday Feedback, our formerly-weekely, now occasionally-as-circumstances-demand excising of the blog’s milia using the sharp instruments wielded by readers of criticism, scorn, and condemnation.

I was discarding some old blog drafts this morning when I came across this one. Given my “issues” lately, I thought it would be a good time to finish what I began last year.

Back when I started this piece (unfinished until now) on April 28, 2015, all the world was abuzz discussing Bruce Jenner’s transition announcement. Caitlyn came out in spectacular fashion, landing a cover story in Vanity Fair magazine and a very nice photo spread shot by Annie Leibowitz.

I’m still waiting for my Vanity Fair Cover.  Graydon?  Annie?  Are you reading? Please contact me soon because People is considering me for their “Most OK-Looking Person” issue and I really don’t want to over-expose myself.

Last April I was considering Caitlyn’s announcement, fascinating not only for obvious reasons but also because she clearly chose to spell her name with a “C” instead of a “K” to poke Kris Jenner in the eye.

Fascinating or not, the repeated use of the word “hero” to describe Jenner did not sit well with me.  I am a big believer in the power of words and I do not appreciate it when impactful words like “hero” have their meaning diluted through overuse and misapplication.

Like, “literally.”  Get it?

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Please keep in mind that when this was written, Jenner was still using the male pronouns.

I made the following post on Facebook:

Can we please tone down the “hero” rhetoric for Bruce Jenner? I don’t give two shits, no, I don’t even give ONE shit about his transition. Good on him; nice he can afford it.

But he’s no hero. He is a man who abandoned his children from his first two marriages for YEARS, all the while playing the perfect dad and stepdad to his third family. YEARS. Years went by and he didn’t call, write, send birthday cards, etc.

Let’s save the word “hero” for people who deserve it. I’ll name a few:
1. MLK Jr.
2. Edward Snowden
3. Margaret Sanger
4. Winston Churchill
5. Malala Yousafzai
6. Nelson Mandela
7. Elizabeth A. Birch
8. Nikolai Girenko
9. Mr. Patience and Understanding, and
10. Margot, for putting up with Archie.

My post was very popular, generating 66 comments.  

My usual right-wing nemesis and good friend John chimed in and scolded me for labeling Edward Snowden a “hero.”  He’s always messing with me, that little rascal.  We manage to remain friends despite his constant politically-based criticisms of me because deep down he knows I am always right.

I also received very negative feedback from a woman who chided me over and over again for opining that Jenner was not, at least by my definition, a “hero.”  If you are bored and have time on your hands, click on the following link and expand all the comments.  

It got pretty heated!

Robin v. Angry Lady

What Makes a Hero?

Pronunciation: /ˈhirō/  

Noun (plural: heroes) 
1. A person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.
2. The chief male character in a book, play, or movie, who is typically identified with good qualities, and with whom the reader is expected to sympathize. 
3. North American: another term for submarine sandwich.

Sorry, I don’t think so.  Let’s look at the definitions above and apply them to Jenner.

Definition Number One: 

A person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities

She lives in the public eye, therefore to “come out” there is hardly courageous or outstanding – it’s factually necessary. She filmed a television series around her transition to make money for herself.  Is that especially noble?  

She has long supported politicians who hate her and who fight strenuously against LGBTQ rights.  She now seems to be “coming out” for Trump – a man whose followers would likely rip her and everyone like her to shreds with their bare hands if given half a chance, to say nothing of how they would be treated from a legal perspective.

Definition Number Two:

The chief male character in a book, play, or movie, who is typically identified with good qualities, and with whom the reader is expected to sympathize. 

Not applicable, unless someone is writing a book about her in which they ignore both her gender and her character flaws.  I’ll admit having sympathy for Caitlyn Jenner, but that sympathy is for being subjected to Kanye West on a regular basis.

Then again, Jenner is largely to blame for the emergence of the Kardashians as a media force, so fuck her.

Definition Number Three:

Another term for submarine sandwich

Caitlyn is not a sandwich, although her driving skills have notably created a metal sandwich of death.

You know who is a hero but doesn’t get anywhere near the press Caitlyn Jenner does?  

Ex-Navy Seal Kristin Beck.  You can read about her here:

Kristin Beck: Transgender Former Navy Seal

The reason I am poking an angry bear today is because I continue to remain frustrated that if you criticize someone for behavior completely unrelated to their status as LGBTQ (or any other), you will be immediately labeled a bigot.

The uneducated and unwashed masses who support Donald Trump constantly echo his damnation of “political correctness.”  

PC or not PC?: That is the Question

To Trumpians, “politically correct” means deprivation of the right to openly call for the lynching of President Obama while labeling his beautiful family with a word that rhymes with the plural of “jigger.”  

“Jigger,” by the way, should also be labeled “offensive speech.”  Who needs one of those when you can just pour with abandon in amounts of your choosing? Why doth the jigger seek to control me?

These folks don’t understand the difference between hate speech that encourages violence and valid criticism of President Obama’s policies.  They decry “political correctness” because they have no understanding of what that term means.

I do.  

“Politically correct” means you can never offer any negative opinion or observation about someone’s behavior if they are a member of a protected class, even when that criticism is based upon actions wholly unrelated to the status of the individual being considered.

If you do so, you proceed at your own peril.  Take it from me, being labeled a bigot is a very serious matter, especially when you are trying to achieve the goals I am working so hard to achieve.  

Especially galling is that the people doing the labeling are ignoring years of my writing and stated beliefs simply because I opined on the behavior of someone of a certain status.  Not upon the status itself, mind you, but the behavior.

So that, my friends, is why we have people holding signs at Trump rallies like this one:

MOBILE, AL- AUGUST 21: A supporter holds up a sign as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a rally at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on August 21, 2015 in Mobile, Alabama. The Trump campaign moved tonight's rally to a larger stadium to accommodate demand. (Photo by Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images)

I’ve marveled for months as the painfully ignorant Trumpians transmute the terms “hateful violent speech” and “political incorrectness.”  

I’ve wondered:

How can anyone be so willfully stupid so as not to see that attacking others based upon their race, LGBTQ status, religion, gender, or lack of a Labradoodle in their home isn’t just “politically incorrect,” but simply “wrong” and “idiotic” and “sure to expose you as an antiquated discriminatory dickweed.”

When did respecting the basic tenants of human decency, dialogue, and discourse become something to be mocked and avoided?  Why don’t the meaning of words matter to these Trump fans?  Is it because they cannot read?  

So here I sit, laughing, because I am a good illustration of how these morons got to their stance on “political correctness” today.  As one of my fans wrote to me after reading the latest bar complaint and my response:

BTW, the word “transphobic” is an ugly neologism that should have been aborted before birth; a combination of the Latin “trans” for across  (not “against”) and the Greek “phobic” which means fearful.  It first appeared in 1990, and is a sad and grammatically shameful mule.  Like the mule, it is without pride of parentage or hope of progeny.

Everyone  should read  some George Orwell (“peace is war”, “love is hate”, etc. etc.) and study  the Communists under  Stalin and the Nazis under  Hitler. Words were perverted to mean what the thought police wanted them to, and neologisms were rife because  common language didn’t  have a term for the new un-permitted thought.

Makes me laugh when I’m not throwing up.

Indeed.  

I’m off to plant, clean the garage, and ponder when and if this post will generate more trouble for me.  I just can’t help myself, can I?  

I’d sure love to read your comments, be they supportive, neutral, or derogatory. Bring it on!

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This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Sam Smith, not my real name

    Don’t you have enough problems as it is? I love this. It was a little long but really good. These observations will almost certainly piss off some people even though they should not. Follow this link for more on Jenner’s astounding political comments: http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2016/03/11/3758625/caitlyn-jenner-anti-hero/

    1. Robin DesCamp

      I never liked Bruce Jenner much, but Caitlyn has lost her damn mind. As a privileged and wealthy white male Bruce Jenner’s support of the GOP was not notable. As a transgendered woman it is astounding. Thanks for the link. I really don’t like this bitch.

  2. West Hills Alum

    You wrote at the beginning “I don’t have a literally have a dick, but today I’ll stick my figurative one in the hornets’ nest,” which raises the question: does Samantha? A huuuuuge fan of the series wants it back and wants to know whether Samantha got the full meal deal. Has that complaint been dismissed yet?

    1. Robin DesCamp

      That is none of my fucking business or anyone else’s except hers. Sorry to be rude but I’d like to discourage comments along those lines. It feeds directly into my exact point that her status means nothing to me. I’m letting your comment stand instead of deleting it so it can serve as a warning to others: please do not leave comments like this. I’m not interested in becoming the National Enquirer or making guesses such as these.

      1. West Hills Alum

        OK, sorry. But can you talk about the complaint??????

        1. Robin DesCamp

          I have no idea when the complaint process will conclude. I will report that I’ve asked the Oregon State Bar to ask Complainant directly and unequivocally if I ever contacted her. I am somewhat disappointed to tell you the response was “we will consider it.” It seems to me that since the bar told me the only allegation they needed me to respond to was the potential violation of 4.2 (contact of a represented party), they should be willing to do some investigation of the accusation on her end, as well as mine. “Investigation,” meaning the following exchange:

          “Hey, yo, Complainant! We know you gave us that text exchange that proved you asked your ex-wife to have RD contact you and that when RD realized you were still represented by Hooker with a Heart of Shit she said no. That was super-helpful and all, but only insofar as it exonerates DesCamp. So, Complainant, can you please tell us about the time she actually contacted you? What’s that? She ‘attempted’ to contact you?

          “What does that mean? When did that happen, and how? Did she call you and the signal got dropped? Did she text you but then accidentally drop her phone in the toilet? Did she send out a smoke signal in the neighborhood you share where you do NOT have coffee but the wind whipped it away before it reached your dwelling?

          “Look, the argument is moot anyway because she never acted as an attorney on your case and the only conversations she had with your ex’s attorney about it were months after the October incident in which YOU attempted to contact HER through your ex-wife. Seriously – this whole question is silly because even if she had knocked on your door with a muffin basket, an offer to go through your bills, and her BFTC (Billing Fine-Toothed Comb) at any time it doesn’t matter because 4.2 is not raised given the facts here.

          “Still, satisfaction of our curiosity demands: can you please tell us when she contacted you or tried to contact you? You can’t? You say the text exchange shows that she attempted to contact you? That’s what you see there, huh? Interesting…that’s a very interest interpretation of the words there. Have you considered being tested for a brain tumor recently? No offense, but it could explain your creative approach to reasoning and your allergy to accountability.

          “We’ll take this under advisement. I sure am glad Robin asked us to actually ask you a direct question about the only potential violation of any ORPC in all of your seven-page complaint! Golly, we should have done this before we made her respond to it! That would have saved us all a lot of time, am I right?”

  3. SLMLWYR

    I’ve got two parallel trains of thought running through my head. One is how eager some members of some groups are to deflect any criticism of their actions, using the shield of their membership in the group: “You only hate me because I’m transgendered.” So using that bad reasoning allows them to keep a distorted view of the world and protects them from having to change or even consider if change is warranted, harming THEM.

    For you, making the criticism of their actions because the ACTIONS deserve criticism, being called a bigot for daring to criticize a member of that group is completely unfair. The validity of the criticism is never addressed, and you are punished socially for having the bad taste to speak badly of someone who is entitled only to be treated with kid gloves.

    This cluster ends up harming everyone, but most of all the children who grow up believing that it is wrong to criticize “protected persons'” actions, wrong to just not like every protected person (some protected persons are assholes!), and wrong to expect that, as a member of that protected class, you will be dealt with honestly by others–who only know how to tiptoe around you.

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