I shared the first meme when I saw it on Facebook. I wrote an angry message and deleted the poster when I saw the second. We’d been online friends for seventeen years.
Two completely different reactions for two almost identical memes… except they’re not.
I’m sure everyone remembers the black and blue/white and gold dress from February. If you’ve got an internet connection, you’ve seen it. It’s the dress that took over the world (for a few days at least). I’m pretty sure there were people living under rocks saying, “but it’s blue and black”. I thought the meme was hilarious because it was the colour I saw the dress. Jeremy, who was firmly in the blue and black camp, thought it was funny too. It seemed totally random who saw which colours, which meant both sides were equal.
The second meme is layers of wrong wrapped in three short words. It translates to “if Bruce is so dense to think he’s a woman, he must think this dog is a cat”. There’s no equality here, just a group of people pointing their fingers at her and proclaiming her not only wrong but stupid and destroying society to boot. If you thought it was funny before, do you still think it’s funny now?
She is a woman. Biology is a lot more complicated than XX and XY chromosomes. Not only do people have all sorts of chromosomal variations but I read an article yesterday about people in an isolated village in the Dominican Republic who appear female at birth only to have their penis and testes appear at puberty. And, of course, there’s the brain scans which actually show the differences between cis men and trans women (and cis women and trans men). The people who argue that biology proves she’s “Bruce” are ignoring a heck of a lot of biology.
Also, her name is not Bruce. This should be obvious. People change their names all the time without anyone making a huge deal about it. They go by a nickname for years and decide to switch to their full name, or vice versa. My uncle has gone by his middle name since the day he was born; it’s the name he uses for everything. As far as I know, no one’s complained about it yet. My great-grandmother found out as a senior citizen that her father couldn’t spell her chosen name of Margaret and wrote the nickname Maggie down instead. My great-grandmother was so not a Maggie. That didn’t make her any less Margaret. I’ve met people who changed their birth name simply because they never liked it.
If your neighbour came up to you and said, “I have always hated my name. I don’t feel like a Eunice, it doesn’t suit me. I’m changing my name to Sarah.” what would your reaction be? Would you say, “No, don’t be foolish. Your name is Eunice on your birth certificate so that’s what you’ll always be” or would you say, “Sarah’s a nice name, of course I’ll call you that”? It should be the latter for her and the same for Caitlyn. It doesn’t matter why the name doesn’t suit someone; you call them by the name they chose.
And quite frankly that poor dog is too cute to be caught up in such a hateful meme.