Home / Fall 2015 / 2015-12-03 / Misguided symbolic gesture unfairly disgraces Jenner

Misguided symbolic gesture unfairly disgraces Jenner

Caitlyn Jenner speaks to the Chicago House luncheon at the Hilton Chicago on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015. (Nancy Stone/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

Written by Julia Rodriquez, Asst. Opinions Editor

Caitlyn Jenner was given this year’s “Woman of the Year” Award from Glamour magazine. According to BuzzFeed News, James Smith, an NYPD police officer, promptly returned the “Woman of the Year” Award given to him in honor of his wife, Moira Smith, an NYPD officer who died in 9/11.

“I was shocked and saddened to learn that Glamour has just named Bruce Jenner ‘Woman of the Year,’” said Smith in his letter to Glamour Magazine, “I find it insulting to Moira Smith’s memory, and the memory of other heroic women who have earned this award.”

In the letter James continues to refer to Caitlyn as a man, and use her previous name. This makes it clear that James finds giving her the award insulting because he thinks of Caitlyn as a man. James’s actions, however, are an example of what other transgender women like Caitlyn face on a daily basis, and what makes them heroic, powerful women.

I don’t think that the Caitlyn Jenner receiving the “Woman of the Year” award is disrespectful to all other women who received it. In addition, I do not think that it is fair to Moira to have an award returned that was given to her out of honor.

Many transgender men and women grew up in bodies that they did not feel fit the person that they were inside. As these people aged, they came to realize that they were born the wrong gender, at least according to who they were as a person.

So these women are not heroes in the same way that Moira Smith was, but they are fighting every day and serve as an inspiration for the youth who need to see that there are people out there living their lives for who they are on the inside.

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