Caitlyn Jenner ‘Woman Of The Year’ Award Controversy Intensifies

Noelle Nicholas - Author
By

Nov. 22 2015, Updated 4:44 a.m. ET

As the world is well-aware by now, the former Olympic gold medalist and Keeping Up With the Kardashians reality TV personality, formerly Bruce Jenner, has transformed himself into the suave yet controversial Caitlyn Jenner this year. Though Caitlyn has enjoyed a huge amount of support for her gender transition, she has endured an equal amount of backlash.

In June, Caitlyn Jenner debuted her new look on the cover of Vanity Fair, waving a fond farewell to Bruce. While she did not undergo reassignment surgery, in Caitlyn’s opinion, her transition to a woman is complete. According to Vanity Fair, World Professional Association for Transgender Health’s “Standards of Care” states that final gender surgery is not a good idea until at least a year after the initial transition.

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In July, Caitlyn Jenner was the recipient of the ESPY’s Arthur Ashe Courage Award, ESPN reported. Social media lit up with posts both honoring and hating on the decision to cast a transgender person in such an honorable light, just for being transgender. Many people were of the opinion that Caitlyn did not deserve the award.

However, the dictionary defines courage as the “quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.” Certainly, Caitlyn has that in spades. One line of her ten minute acceptance speech reached into many hearts and softened hatred there.

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“Trans people deserve something vital; they deserve your respect. From that respect comes a more compassionate community.”

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Most recently, Caitlyn Jenner was presented with an award by Glamour magazine that left many people, especially women, screaming mad. According to the Daily Telegraph, not even six months after coming out as a transgender woman, Caitlyn Jenner was honored with Glamour’s Woman of the Year Award.

As one might imagine, this ignited a furious storm of controversy. One man, whose wife had received the award fourteen years ago, was so inflamed he actually returned the award to Glamour.

James Smith’s wife, Moira, a New York Police Department officer, perished during the September 11 attacks in New York on the World Trade Center. Today reports that Moira Smith entered the flaming skyscraper time and time again to bring others to safety, ultimately giving her own life in favor of others.

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In an open letter written to the magazine, James Smith’s emotional response to Caitlyn Jenner’s award is rather heartbreaking.

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“I was shocked and saddened to learn that Glamour has just named Bruce Jenner ‘Woman of the Year’. Was there no woman in America, or the rest of the world, more deserving than this man?

“At a time when we have women in the armed forces fighting and dying for our country, heroic doctors fighting deadly diseases, women police officers and firefighters putting their lives on the line for total strangers, brave women overcoming life threatening diseases… the list of possibilities goes on … is this the best you could do?”

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A spokesperson for Glamour, standing by the decision to honor Caitlyn Jenner, made the following statement.

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“We were proud to honor his wife… in 2001, and we stand by our decision to honor Caitlyn Jenner. Glamour’s Women of the Year Awards recognize women with a variety of backgrounds and experiences.”

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While it is easy to understand both sides of this conundrum, it seems most people take one side or the other on this topic. There are certainly different types of bravery (physical, mental, emotional). No one knows the inner battles going on within another person.

Do you think Caitlyn Jenner should have received the Woman of the Year Award?

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