The Bruce Jenner Paradox
I’ve always refrained from writing about anything concerning the LGBT community because I’m really not the best person to speak on it. It’s kind of like white people dissecting the black experience in America. I end up basically reading waiting to hit the series of ignorant statements that will inevitably come from someone not having walked in the proper shoes to speak about the path. It’s not that white people can’t talk or write about the black experience, but it takes extreme thoughtfulness and care in order to be objective, thorough, and fair. It’s always best to wait for each individual community to find its voice and identify it’s leadership who can seamlessly communicate the plight effectively. It’s not just about communication, but also offers a sense of pride (no pun) amongst the people in the struggle trying to find their place in one of the most segregated societies in the modern western world.
Sometimes its hard to keep my mouth shut because not everyone speaking is qualified to speak, not because they’re not a part of the community being spoken about (that’s not a qualification for me), but because they haven’t thought through their argument thoroughly before presenting it. Or maybe they’re coming out of pure emotion and not realizing; thus, making them sound silly in the larger scheme of things. But even in these circumstances I would generally just keep my mouth shut.
The other reason I don’t speak about it is because of the hypersensitivity around the idea of equal rights and recognition in the LGBT community these days. It’s the hot topic in the courts and politics with marriage equality and everything else. I get it. Folks are ready to stick you on one side of the fence or the other with the quickness if even the slightest bit of insensitivity or intolerance comes out of you mouth or off your keyboard. It doesn’t take much. It’s kind of like presenting the ‘all cops aren’t bad argument’ to the black community as we watch video after video of black male youth being literally gunned down, electrocuted, and choked to death for “resisting arrest.” Like I said, I get it.
Anyway, Bruce Jenner proclaimed to the world that he is a woman and has been struggling with this all his life. Bruce Jenner stating he’s a woman is different than the average person because his accomplishments, personal brand, and wealth have all been generated based on his masculine persona. It’s his physical outer strength, which won him Olympic gold in 1976. That physical outer strength is of course attributed to masculinity – the muscles, stamina, and ability to endure great self-inflicted physical abuse. He was the ultimate man. A decathlete extraordinaire and the best on the planet leaving other men laying in their own sweat and blood. Not only that, but the fact he was American made it even that much more masculine because we’re the super power of the world, meaning we’ll blow you up if we really want to and there’s nothing you can do about it. It just drove home the American dominance reality to see the French and German decathletes begging for medics while Bruce ran victory laps around them.
But here’s the thing, I don’t really want to talk about Bruce per se. Don’t get mad – I told you I wasn’t really qualified. Instead, I want to talk about me and it’s super personal. It’s something that I’ve experienced since middle school, a bit in college, and in certain situations throughout my life. It’s something that other males go through, but don’t often understand and would never admit either way.
When I was in middle school I tried out for the football team – I made it. I was in the 8th grade and I wanted to be Walter Payton, Franco Harris, or Lynn Swann and juke some mfs out of their socks, score the touchdown, and wink at the girls as I walked out of the locker room. That was my dream and then to play professionally of course. Instead, I found out I was physically inept and underdeveloped. I was on the field with some serious mfs. These dudes wanted blood. They were knocking heads off any chance they could and the coach encouraged it. I was a sitting duck out there. Long story short, I was a blocking and tackling dummy. The coach would say, “Ok, Carl is going to run down the field and if he makes it to the 10 yard line, the whole team is running sprints until your balls are dragging in the dirt. Go!!!” Needless to say, no sprints. Ouch!!!
Fast forward to locker room showers. I’ll be honest, that shit was intimidating. I thought everyone’s dick was pretty much twice the size of mine up in there. It’s like guys were flaunting their cocks while I was hiding mine behind the towel and trying to get up out of there. I felt like less of a ‘man’ around those guys on the team to be honest. Actually, to be honest, I felt like a bitch. I didn’t know what I was thinking in joining the football team not having lifted a weight in my life. Why did I feel like a bitch? It wasn’t because the other guys were bigger than me or had bigger cocks – it was because their level of testosterone and masculine energy was way higher than mine. Let me explain. That was my first time being in a men’s locker room around that many men with confidence, aggressive mindsets, and a high level of courage. What I experienced was a decrease in my masculinity whenever I was around them. Does that make sense?
What I’m saying is that one person’s masculine energy can decrease another person’s masculine energy. I actually started feeling more feminine around these guys. I remember this shit like it was yesterday. I felt less masculine than before I went to practice. I would feel cool all through school and then practice would come and it hit me. I can’t say I totally understood it, but I felt even at that time I kind of understood what was happening. I remember making a decision that I was going to try to match the aggression of the other guys on the team mainly because I wanted to actually play in a game. Plus, I was tired of being knocked all over the football field. I thought it would be more fun to take someone’s head of instead of getting mine handed back to me everyday. Because in truth I wanted to be more like varsity players. I wanted to be like the upperclassmen who were getting ready to go to high school because they were the cool ones. They had all the girls, the letter jackets, and had the respect of everyone in the school. I remember, challenging myself to hit harder and lose the fear I had and when I did that I noticed my masculinity picking up. The more I did it the less ‘feminine’ I felt around the guys. The feminine feeling I felt could only be described as what I interpreted gay to be at that time. It made sense how if someone felt that way they would feel a certain kind of attraction, or need for submission, toward a man. Again, it was just my interpretation of how I was feeling at that time in my life as a young fourteen year old.
I remember wondering if I was gay to be honest. Why? Because the feeling just came over me. It just came out of no where where I felt like yielding (submitting) to these guys. I felt like they were more dominating than me and I was more submissive. It’s honestly how I felt. But the ‘gay’ question was answered FOR ME as time went on. As I increased my masculinity I no longer felt the ‘gay’ feelings. Again, this was nothing I did intentionally, it just happened naturally.
I’m really glad I had these experiences during that football season because it taught me a lot about energy and how easily it can shift depending on the environment and people you’re around. It also showed me how my mindset would automatically switch when I felt my feminine energy coming up and me assuming it meant something other than there is stronger masculine energy around me.
This has been especially helpful in raising my two sons. I’ve been a lot more sensitive about how I raise my masculine energy up around them as to not make them feel threatened or needlessly submissive. I’ve learned to tap into a softer side of my masculine energy so theirs could grow. I like seeing their masculine raise up and when it gets too high where they’re getting in their mom’s face (or mine) a little, I raise my masculine and they subsequently lower theirs. For me, it’s just a law of two things not being able to occupy the same space at the same time. Someone is going to take the lead and dominate to a degree. Someone is going to follow – to submit.
This happens to me even to this day. Sometimes I may be around men who’s masculine energy is higher than mine because I can feel my masculine decreasing when I’m around them, so I just raise mine up when I’m ready. Or I sometimes feel my masculine energy is too high for the men around me and I lower it so they don’t feel threatened or too submissive around me. For me it’s just a responsibility I have to the men around me to manage my energy correctly. You can make people uncomfortable in a number of ways: (a) say something threatening, (b) physically hit or harm them or (c) over power their energy with your energy. I’ve lived all these aspects and been on both sides of all of them too.
Why am I sharing all this and what does this have to do with Bruce? Well, the big question going around is did Kris Kardashian (Jenner), Bruce’s ex-wife, emasculate him? Was her over demanding ways forcing him into his feminine? In other words, was her masculine too high for his; thus, forcing him into his feminine? To that I say YES and NO. YES, based on my observation and my personal feeling, Kris did dominate Bruce on a number of levels. She publicly humiliated him in my opinion. She assumed the leadership position in the relationship. It appears she controlled the money at a certain point in their marriage. She mentally and emotionally abused him from what I could see on their TV show. That’s just my opinion. I would have told her to get in line or divorce me, coming with all that nonsense. If any man lets that happen to him without standing up for himself he’ll find himself losing testosterone. It’s not even a question. Testosterone is developed through confronting and initiating conflict, demonstrating courage, and taking risks. Through standing up and defending yourself and your right to thrive in the world. It’s also developed by being a recognized leader with all the accountability and pressure on you. Bruce didn’t appear to be in that leadership position. Again, just my opinion as I don’t know either of them personally.
But I say NO too because I believe Bruce picked Kris as a partner consciously and subconsciously. He picked and tolerated someone who was dominating and mentally abusive. He chose to not take a leadership position in the relationship. So in essence, he subjected himself to a process of emasculation voluntarily. This is what he wanted. This is what he chose for himself. He didn’t want to fight and was comfortable with Kris taking the lead in all the major aspects of their relationship. When I’ve watched the show, I’ve NEVER seen Bruce lead anything. I’ve never seen him stand up for himself or a principle or anything. I just haven’t. You could say that Bruce not stepping up as a leader was his passive aggressive way of forcing Kris to take that position herself. There are always two sides to every story and I don’t believe there are any victims or villains in life. We simply choose what we’re willing to accept and live accordingly.
I personally don’t blame Kris Jenner for anything that Bruce is going through right now any more than I would blame Bruce for forcing Kris to be who she is today. Whatever choices he’s making are his and his alone. I personally am happy for Bruce that he’s found peace in his life and has family around him who accept and support him. It’s a beautiful thing to see. I wish him the best.