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S01.E02: The Road Trip - Part 1 2015.08.02

Cait can be whomever she wants and since she decided to do a lot of it on a TV show, viewers are free to comment on her and their impressions and even judgements in a space specifically named for that purpose. If just being left alone and not being analyzed by the general public is something a person values, living a life in private out of view of anyone's TV screen would be a great way to do that. Since that is not the path Cait has chosen, I assume her skin is thick enough to handle some Internet comment; especially after spending as many years as she has in the Kardashian reality show machine.

Edited by red12.
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OK Am I mistaken or do I remember Chandi from an episode on Sex & the City ?

Ugh I don't want to describe the episode for fear of using wrong words & offending anyone

I will research (terminology. & SATC)and return!!!

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Cait can be whomever she wants and since she decided to do a lot of it on a TV show, viewers are free to comment on her and their impressions and even judgements in a space specifically named for that purpose. If just being left alone and not being analyzed by the general public is something a person values, living a life in private out of view of anyone's TV screen would be a great way to do that. Since that is not the path Cait has chosen, I assume her skin is thick enough to handle some Internet comment; especially after spending as many years as she has in the Kardashian reality show machine.

And likewise, people can defend Caitlyn when it appears that the criticism of her is based on the fact that she's white and rich and was a famed Olympic athlete. And Republican. If, during the Diane Sawyer interview, Jenner had identified as a Democrat, I think these discussions would have a different tone.
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The transgender community is not homogeneous, and there isn't one "right" way to be transgender

 

I see Caitlyn's enjoyment of the trappings of womanhood, like clothes, hair, etc, as being like cisgender women:  some of us are really into the hair and makeup, some of us could care less.  As a ciswoman just a few years younger than Cait, I would love to talk fashion with her, I'm loving most of her choices!

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I wonder if Cait is aware of the Log Cabin Republicans? They are the GLBT Republican group. From what I've heard, which might be really dated or innaccurate, the GOP has never wanted anything to do with them. Although, lately the GOP seems to be aware that they need to court women and Hispanics, maybe they'll reach out to the Log Cabins too? My small personal experience makes me only aware of white, male Log Cabin members, I don't know how many of the LB and Ts, or GLBT people of color feel like they would benefit from Republican representatives, but at least the Log Cabins are open to them joining. Obviously, I don't get the Log Cabin Republicans, why they want to belong to a party that doesn't want them and won't protect them. I think they are generally white and male enough that they are trying to get and protect the privilege that they do have, despite being gay.

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Also, what's the deal with avoiding the paparazzi?  She's gone from one reality show to another.  Her life is on full display.  It seems like avoiding the paparazzi is just a way to avoid having the media scoop her appearance and activities before the carefully-planning introduction at the ESPY's and then the debut of I AM CAIT.

 

Come on, Cait. Don't pretend that you're being stalked by ISIS.  It's just a fucking camera.  The same device that bought your house and all of your cars and gave you the money for all the medical procedures that made you look so good. (With a little help from the javelin, high jump etc.)

People magazine paid $4.1 million dollars for the Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt baby photos in June 2006. Second higher paid photo went to Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher’s wedding photos, for which OK! magazine reportedly paid $3 million in October 2005. Paparazzi are more than a nuisance to celebrities. Photographers depend on getting photos that are highly sought after in order to make a living, they aren't chasing and stalking for fun. Celebrities can also manipulate their careers by making their photos desirable and selling them to magazines. It's almost a natural instinct that people want to uncover something that's hidden and take a photo of it. If a celebrity walks on Rodeo Drive shielding their face with a big hat or disguise, people are even more intensely interested in them without it. How many sex tapes of celebrities were 'leaked' unintentionally? It's a huge career boost to get free publicity whether it's positive or negative, it's still putting them in the spotlight. If a celebrity wants to draw attention all they have to do is rebuke it publicly.

 

If Caitlyn Jenner doesn't want paparazzi following her and snapping photos of her no matter where she goes or what she's doing, then rather than run away trying to avoid them, she would be smarter by offering herself freely to photographers no matter where she is or what she's doing. Take the photos, take millions of the photos, who cares? After a short time of the market absolutely deluged with photos of Caitlyn Jenner, nobody will even care anymore. When a photo of Cailtyn Jenner eating a hot dog from a food cart isn't new or out of the ordinary, no paparazzi will feel it's worth their time chasing and stalking her anymore.

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And likewise, people can defend Caitlyn when it appears that the criticism of her is based on the fact that she's white and rich and was a famed Olympic athlete. And Republican. If, during the Diane Sawyer interview, Jenner had identified as a Democrat, I think these discussions would have a different tone.

I can't comment for anyone else, but I come to this site to discuss tv shows not politics. I could not care less whether Cait identifies as Republican. I know of plenty of entitled, rich, know-it-all liberals who believe themselves worthy of deference regarding subjects with which they have no education or experience too. If any of them do a reality based tv show that I watch, I will make notable observations about their behavior as well. I don't have any problems with comments meant to defend Cait's actions, but I do think it's problematic to discount any differing points of view and assume them to be completely based in political party affiliation and class jealousy.

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I watched this show because it was getting good reviews from unexpected places. I had very low expectations because Caitlyn and the Kardashians have never been interesting to me before, but I actually liked "I Am Cait" because I thought it does a decent enough job of introducing people who are either fans of the Kardashians, or who are old enough to remember Jenner-the-Olympian, or who saw the Vanity Fair cover, to trans issues. It's not a deep immersion in radical gender theory or Everything LGBT From The Dawn Of Time Until Today, but it's an accessible entry point and a crash course in "these are human beings, relax, get to know us a little bit and let go of some of the freaking out about it, mmkay?" I think we still need that. I think it's a great service.

 

Jenner was a big deal back when she won those Olympic medals, bigger than most Olympic champions, more of a cultural phenomenon than Michael Phelps, so lots of people of my generation or older will be interested. And then there is the current generation who, for reasons I don't understand, are interested in the Kardashians. It's a broad range of people. And many probably never gave trans people a thought before, so it's a huge opportunity to get the word out about what "transgender" is.

 

I think this is why so many who are concerned with trans issues are invested in how Caitlyn handles herself. It's like everyone will get judged by one person's presentation, and it's a huge opportunity, but also could be terrible if she represents us badly. No one wants to see this opportunity backfire or be wasted.

 

And honestly, Cait is choosing to take on the role of representative. She's choosing to air issues beyond her personal life on this show. No one is forcing her to be in the limelight, or to talk about politics or be an ally to anyone else. She could easily retreat to her isolated estate, ask to be left alone, and be shielded from this role completely. But since she's decided to try to leverage her fame to talk about the community, of course the community is invested in what she says.

 

And actually I was pretty happy with how she allowed herself to be shown on her show as being lacking in awareness, and the show presented us all with the hard silence and flaring irritation of the other women who went on the road trip with her, at times. Even Caitlyn herself said she was shocked by things she was hearing, and how it upset her and was wrong, and that some of her worries suddenly seemed petty even to her in comparison to what others have been facing. This is a choice she's making, to bring awareness to others by portraying herself as a person who is coming from not knowing, to discovering, to caring. I choose to think it's a sincere desire to learn, and a sincere desire to show solidarity and to educate the general public, and to raise concern and understanding for people who, like herself, have struggled with discrimination and lack of acceptance.

 

It is frustrating to see how much of a bubble she's lived in, but I think it's very helpful of her, now that she's gotten the spotlight, to use it to showcase others who are not in the bubble, or as well known as she is, and otherwise would not get nearly as much publicity. Look at how many of us now want to read Jennifer Boylan's work! And how many people had no clue that so many trans people are living in poverty, that the suicide rate is so high, and that it's adults, not children, who are often the worst bullies! By Caitlyn using her privilege to introduce others who are less privileged, and having her treat them as interesting and fun and call them her friends, I think it makes a huge difference in opening up the minds of other people, to not react in fear or judgment, and to follow her example and not only embrace Caitlyn, but also be open to other transgender people they may encounter in their daily lives.

 

Maybe she will change her own views and maybe she won't. But she is giving air and showing respect to people who disagree with her and have very different life experiences than her own, and I think that is a good thing.

 

I also think it's frustrating in that "why her?" + life is unfair + so and so would have done it better + but what about this, that, and the other? way. It's half empty/half full. It's not everyone's show. But it's trying, and I think it's doing some real and substantial good, even if it's certainly not the show I'd make myself, if by some miracle anyone wanted to see what I was doing or thinking about anything.

 

I think splitting the show between Caitlyn-being-Caitlyn and Caitlyn-showcasing-other-trans-people is really smart. It keeps her fans engaged, but it also brings in awareness of things that are much more the reality of 99.9999% of the world outside her bubble. My guess is that the show's narrative will show Cait herself bursting the bubble a little, but not entirely leaving it behind. I think that's okay. A balance between change and continuity is where most of us settle in our own lives, too, even when we're stretching.

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But we know they aren't her "friends" - the producers auditioned them for these two episodes. So this is not really reality, and all of her "oh wow!" exclamations are most likely scripted. I don't see this as an authentic experience, it's basically a showcase for Jenner, and a way to lead up to the Espys - which will probably be the last episode, when she makes/made her first live appearance - and which was not really awarded to her, but was a condition of ABC getting the Diane Sawyer interview. And of course this weekend, when a 65-year-old woman mostly likely will win an award for "Teens' Choice." 

 

I guess this is an OK vehicle for transgender people to be introduced to E's audience, but I don't give her any props for this show. I think it could have been a docu-series if she had been open and honest about the reality - if example, not complaining that the paparazzi might take a picture of her, when she was already on the cover of Vanity Fair. That's just audience manipulation. 

And acknowledge the car accident. Isn't the fact that she was a participant in, and may have been the cause of, a fatal accident as important to explore as her transition? After all, someone died. I'd say that was pretty life-transforming for anyone to go through, and yet there's no mention of the anguish she may be going through (or maybe there's no anguish at all, which is even more disturbing.) 

 

Yes, pay for Blossom's education, but also offer to pay the family of the woman who was killed. 

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I'm sorry-- I didn't know about a car accident. I had to look that up to see what you were referring to.

 

And I know the show is all scripted, and the women on the show aren't really her friends. What I was trying to say was not that I thought it was real, but that I thought it was doing some good despite the fakeness, and that it could be much worse, i.e. not even trying to do any good. So to me, whether it's scripted or not, the script is designed to bring people other than Caitlyn into the collective consciousness, and that is so much more than I had expected or even hoped for, even if it's far from the ideal.

 

And also, that the "not leaving her alone" stuff is really on her, because I think she courts the attention, and so of course people are going to scrutinize her behavior, and have opinions about it, when she is a token, and claims to want to represent the collective.

 

I'm sorry if I wasn't explaining my perspective clearly before. I hope this helps at least to clarify what I was trying to say, even if others still do not agree.

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But we know they aren't her "friends" - the producers auditioned them for these two episodes

 

Yes to this. Are we to believe these ladies will be regular visitors to the big compound in the hills? Having regular girls nights with Caitlyn? Maybe Candis will come by, she at least is a part of the entertainment industry, but the others? I truly doubt it. Jennifer Boylan and the other Jen, they will go back to doing what they've done for all these years, working for the community. They'll keep in touch with Caitlyn for sure,,, she's a powerful ally to have. The same as Caitlyn can call Ellen and get thru, they'll call her to use her pull to try and make something happen and I think Cait will be fine with that. Her talk about not wanting to go back home was because she's still in hiding and can't drive around freely, once she made the Espy appearance, she was all over the place. San Francisco was beautiful but if Cait really wanted a new lifestyle from the one in Calabasas, she could have downsized and not bought that huge place up in the mountains. She enjoys the luxury lifestyle (and that's not a bad thing, she earned it), but I don't see how she can keep one foot in each world and do them both justice.   

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I'm not really getting all this "I have to hide from the paparazzi" stuff, with Caitlyn changing cars when going someplace, hiding lying down on the back seat, looking for a remote villa to have a party, etc. Caitlyn wants to be a reality show star. From many reports, she hopes to have the I Am Cait series renewed for next season and beyond. She wants her present stardom to continue.

To keep your face in front of the public over time, you have to let yourself be photographed by the paps so you can stay in the media and get clicks on articles about you. (Those click statistics are worth money when you're negotiating your fee for a product endorsement or a public appearance.) The other Kardashian-Jenners actually make deals with the paps, and tell the favored paps ahead of time where they'll be. Many stars (and many D-listers too) have their publicists pay the tabloids to do articles about them. Cooperate with the paps and the tabs. It comes with the territory.

Maybe Caitlyn's no longer hiding from the paps right now, since the episodes of the I Am Cait show are [apparently] already all filmed, but even if you look at it in the context of the time the show was filmed, it seemed like she had a mercenary attitude. Like she was entitled to get paid [estimated] $5 million for the TV show, but nobody else should be allowed to profit from her transition. Caitlyn said "I've heard that the paps can get $250,000 for a picture of me." Okay, so why not let them take the damn pictures? Spread the wealth around. Paps have rent and bills to pay too.

Caitlyn's political philosophy is the conservative kind where the "trickle down of wealth" from rich people spending money and creating jobs is supposed to help the low and middle classes get ahead. So let some wealth trickle down to the paparazzi by allowing them to take the $250K pictures and the other "money shots." They'll spend the money locally -- at restaurants, grocery stores, clothing stores, dental clinics, car repair shops, veterinarians, and all sorts of other places where they need to buy products and services. These expenditures help create and sustain jobs for the businesses in the area. So Caitlyn should just smile for the cameras and let the money start trickling.

Edited by Coffeecup.
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Maybe there's a transgender pap out there (I'm serious) Cait could give them the big shot and the big payday and help out a member of her community? She could do

so much in small gestures like that. Are any of her or the Kardashian family glam squads transgender, does the family even know?

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I'm not really getting all this "I have to hide from the paparazzi" stuff, with Caitlyn changing cars when going someplace, hiding lying down on the back seat, looking for a remote villa to have a party, etc. Caitlyn wants to be a reality show star. From many reports, she hopes to have the I Am Cait series renewed for next season and beyond. She wants her present stardom to continue.

 

I think that Caitlyn said she didn't want paparazzi photos because she hadn't introduced herself to all of her children yet.  Also, I'm assuming that she didn't want tabloid-style headlines accompanying paparazzi photos until she had the opportunity to introduce herself publicly in the controlled environment of the Vanity Fair interview and her reality show.  I assume that was an attempt to give dignity to the subject of transitioning, rather than allowing gossip magazines to control the narrative.

Edited by Miss February.
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In the first episode, she said she didn't want to bring the paparazzi to the home of the family grieving their child. I'm guessing it's also an effort to avoid spoilers for the show. Also, I wouldn't be surprised if she enjoys the shenanigans, because it makes her feel "important"-- but that might be one of my more cynical thoughts

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I think that Caitlyn said she didn't want paparazzi photos because she hadn't introduced herself to all of her children yet.  Also, I'm assuming that she didn't want tabloid-style headlines accompanying paparazzi photos until she had the opportunity to introduce herself publicly in the controlled environment of the Vanity Fair interview and her reality show.  I assume that was an attempt to give dignity to the subject of transitioning, rather than allowing gossip magazines to control the narrative.

The Vanity Fair article was already out. If she hadn't introduced herself to all of her children after that, it's her fail. She could have "introduced herself" to her children the day before the photo came out. She's a reality star, she's in all the gossip magazines anyway, pictures had been posted all along. Don't believe the hype. 

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The Vanity Fair article was already out. If she hadn't introduced herself to all of her children after that, it's her fail. She could have "introduced herself" to her children the day before the photo came out. She's a reality star, she's in all the gossip magazines anyway, pictures had been posted all along. Don't believe the hype. 

 

These are good points.  In my effort to give Caitlyn the benefit of the doubt, I hadn't thought about the Vanity Fair article having already been released.  Also, there was the Diane Sawyer interview in May so, yeah, I was a little naive to think that Caitlyn's avoiding the paparazzi was due to noble reasons.

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The Vanity Fair article was already out. If she hadn't introduced herself to all of her children after that, it's her fail. She could have "introduced herself" to her children the day before the photo came out. She's a reality star, she's in all the gossip magazines anyway, pictures had been posted all along. Don't believe the hype.

Weren't photos published in tabloids of Jenner before transitioning that were unflattering-- wearing earrings and a ponytail with a baggy sweatsuit? Why would Caitlyn care about being photographed now that she has transitioned and has professional hair, makeup, and wardrobe consultants to help her look her best?

It's about controlling spoilers for the show and being able to sell exclusive images to other media outlets.

To be fair, it's not only Caitlyn Jenner who does this, but many celebrities, especially those with reality shows.

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It may just be a plot device for sake of storytelling; that happens frequently on KUWTK and Teen Mom (OG & 2).

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It's about controlling spoilers for the show and being able to sell exclusive images to other media outlets.

To be fair, it's not only Caitlyn Jenner who does this, but many celebrities, especially those with reality shows.

And who knows how to manipulate the entertainment press/paps better than Kris Jenner?  Cait seems to have picked up a thing or two from her ex-wife. 

 

I agree if she was hiding because not all her kids had 'met' Caitlyn [while filming a reality show no less] then that's on her.  And I laughed at Cait's determination to hid from the paps during this show because as soon as the Espys had aired, her publicist or whoever, calls the paps on the regular to let them know where she'll be that day/night. 

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I just finished watching this episode and reading the comments here, and I'm honestly quite dismayed that Cait still isn't being allowed to be her "authentic self." The transgender community is not homogeneous, and there isn't one "right" way to be transgender. And nobody has a special appointment to tell transgender people that this or that is the right way to be transgender. Cait should be the one who decides how Cait is going to be transgender...why should she still be trying to please other people? Why, at 60-something years old, can't she be who she really is...whether you like it or not? It seems to me like the only thing that's changed is that she's gone from trying to meet society's expectations for what a non-transgender male should be (and Kris' long list of expectations) to trying to meet the transgender community's expectations for who she should be/how she should act/what she should believe/what she should do/what interests she should have/how she should spend her time, money. Doesn't really sound like much of an improvement on being one's authentic self to me....just sounds like a shift in whose expectations are being forced upon her now.

And one final thought...yes, Cait is rich. She has more "privilege" than most of us can even imagine. But people make it sound like she's done something wrong by being rich, like it's a fault, like it's her fault. LIke it's a moral failing. It's not...it's just different, but it's part of who she is. And she should be allowed to be who she really is just as much as any of us. It also doesn't make her "less" because financially she has more. We're not all the same...but it doesn't make one way of being superior over another. I also think it's ridiculous when people insinuate that the only way rich people can redeem themselves for the horrible moral failing that being rich apparently is is by donating all or most of their money away. She earns her money, so why is it everyone else's decision to say what she should do with it?

In summary, I'm really trying to say - can't we just let her be who she wants to be? Isn't it really irrelevant whether we like who she wants to be? Is it really that difficult to stop trying to control and judge her and just. let. her. be?

Believe me, I feel the same. However, it's been made quite clear to me that most threads here pretty much just ream on her. I would like to have some constructive conversation about Cait and her transition. If the thread "Moving forward with Cait" picks up people can discuss more positive observations there.

(Formerly barbaralewis)

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She can be whoever she wants to be. But she's chosen to be a celebrity, chosen to appear on the covers if magazines, has done several TV specials, and now she has her own TV show.

I'd say we're entitled to some gentle snark. Because she's transgender, does that mean she's immune from criticism? If we snark on Kim K's voice, clothing, and degree of famewhorism, we can do the same with Cait.

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She's also a public figure on the verge of possible criminal charges, as well as one who's had barely hidden publicity moves that ANYONE could fairly be criticized for.

 

The criticism OF the criticism of Caitlyn inevitably boiling down to some variation of "trying to deny her right to be her authentic self" seems itself to deny the possibility that she's not PRESENTING her authentic self to us. It's judging her as authentic, even in the face of information which contradicts that, and those that comment on that as being transgender haters.

 

For those who believe that, I invite you to go to the forums for other shows covering transgender characters or personalities and see if the same people are criticizing characters or actors on those shows. I can't say I've done any exhaustive check, but I bet the number of people harping on Jazz from I Am Jazz or Laverne Cox on Orange is the New Black or the subject matter or characters on Transparent, or any other similar project isn't very big. Is that simply because we were all lurking around waiting for a big enough target?  I don't think so. I think it's because it's the person, Caitlyn Jenner, being criticized, not the transgender figurehead.


For the record, I think the "Moving forward with Cait" topic is a good idea.  It should probably formally be labeled as a "Positivity" topic, the like of which exist in many forums for many shows, characters and personalties. I personally have no intention of violating the sanctity of a topic like that, and hope that's true of everybody.

Edited by Kromm.
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She can be whoever she wants to be. But she's chosen to be a celebrity, chosen to appear on the covers if magazines, has done several TV specials, and now she has her own TV show.

I'd say we're entitled to some gentle snark. Because she's transgender, does that mean she's immune from criticism? If we snark on Kim K's voice, clothing, and degree of famewhorism, we can do the same with Cait.

Yes you can! Say whatever you want about her, please go for it!   I assume these are rhetorical questions re "to snark or not to snark" because the moderators would have cleared that up for you :-)  However, if a positive observation on the primary threads is expressed, the poster will immediately be "straightened out" with a lecture about how wrong they are. This is counterproductive to conversation about Cait. In fact, they are conversation enders. The Moving forward with Cait thread is intended to discuss more positive observations about Cait without offending those who don't find anything positive about her.

Edited by freeradical.
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"I've heard that the paps can get $250,000 for a picture of me." Okay, so why not let them take the damn pictures? Spread the wealth around. Paps have rent and bills to pay too.

There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is the middle ground between light and shadow This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone

Edited by freeradical.
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