The Problem of Pedestals

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The Problem of Pedestals

A photo of Bruce Jenner and law enforcement at the scene of the crash.

A photo of Bruce Jenner and law enforcement at the scene of the crash.

A photo of Bruce Jenner and law enforcement at the scene of the crash.

A photo of Bruce Jenner and law enforcement at the scene of the crash.

Joseph Rodriguez

Caitlyn Jenner has been cleared of all charges relating to a fatal crash that led to a deadly crash on the person she crashed into, which was two months before coming out as transgender. Kim Howe, the woman who was killed in the accident, rear-ended a nearby Toyota Prius, which led to Jenner to then rear-end Howe’s vehicle, which pushed their car into high-speed traffic where a Hummer struck the car head-on, killing her instantly. The families of both Howe and Jessica Steindorff, the woman who was driving the Prius, both separately sued Jenner for negligence on her part. Jenner, on the day after the accident, expressed sympathies for the family and friends of the deceased, stating how she was willing to cooperate for anything involving the case. Caitlyn Jenner, who was formerly known as famous American athlete Bruce Jenner, has become one of the most talked about and controversial figures in the world in only a matter of months. Since coming out as transgender in April of this year, hundreds of thousands of individuals have made her a hero in having the courage to come out in such a public space like 20/20 and becoming a symbol for transgender people everywhere. The issue comes in that she has become such a positive and known figure for supporters in and out of the LGBT community that even a comment has become a minefield in controversy and discussions on anyone who criticizes Jenner in any way. It’s not like it is not without merit, as most seem to only go against Ms. Jenner for the sole reason of her being transsexual or wanting attention for themselves for going against the majority. She has become such an icon that she had placed high on the 2015 edition of the Woman’s Hour Power List of top 10 influencers of the year for making such a colossal impact in both the transgender and female communities. At the same time though, her actions on that fateful February earlier this year before her transition that have been decided to be completely ignored by the federal court system brings up discussions of when as a society, do we ignore the morally grey actions of celebrities based on their status alone? Ms. Forman, who is the teacher of the LGBT club on the River City campus, doesn’t have much knowledge on the case itself, so she can’t make a judgment at this point in time, but she does have an idea for why thousands almost worship these Hollywood stars/starlets as gods, and that has to do with the meaning of being special. “People put celebrities on a pedestal because to them, fame means that you are special, and they want to be considered special to so many others out there.” Daniel Lira, who is a sophomore at the school, is much harsher on Jenner, feeling like she should be tried for the crash that caused the death of an innocent woman. “A woman is dead because of Jenner, so saying that she should not be taken to court for her actions is honestly pretty stupid; it’s stupid that someone is getting away with murder just because people know who they are.” Jenner is no stranger to morally ambiguous actions or statements, as she actually acknowledges that her opinion of homosexuality was negative before the transition, but is now in a place where she more or less accepts it, which is strange, considering who she is now, but keeping what she represents and what she has done in mind, the question of whether or not she is a hero is a difficult one for some. Forman thinks that on the grand scheme of things Jenner is, but on a personal level, she cannot connect herself to the transgender icon, but she still believes that Jenner being a huge symbol is a good thing overall, “Look, love her or hate her, she has put trans people on the map.”

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