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Norman Bates' subtext

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I do not agree with that. I think Caitlyn/Bruce does have a split personality. The difference here is that Caitlyn's acts are self-destructive against Bruce. Mother/Norman's acts are outwardly destructive against women who signify a potential threat. 

 

I'm not sure what Jenner is up to.    But one area that I don't like is that all the focus is on superficial things like painting one's nails, wearing high heal shoes,  make-up,  glamor dresses etc...      

 

To me that is offensive to the modern women since it implies one isn't a 'real women' unless they participate in these superficial things.    These things were imposed by men on women centuries ago for men's sexual pleasure.  

 

What's next?  Chinese foot binding?    Wearing a burka? 

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We can agree to disagree here. All I know is that Jenner felt like a woman trapped in a man's body and had the means to realize herself. Transphobia not included. 

 

I don't put her on par with Norman Bates, because Jenner's condition of identity and Bates' identity are two totally different things, like a donut and an apple. 

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Besides, given the patriarchal reality of the under-valued status of women today, why would a man want to be a woman anyway? Women don't want to be women, and those that don't usually sound like men in the process condoning the daily doses of sexism that come with womanhood worldwide. 

 

But, hey, the possibility that gender is not a biological absolute but a fluid social construction does sound appealing. Unfortunately, fear of gender fluidity is why people make horror films exposing social fears and people believe that people who transition gender are scary, mentally ill psychos whose personal psychology is cheap entertainment. And, we are back to talking about Psycho (1960). 

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Besides, given the patriarchal reality of the under-valued status of women today, why would a man want to be a woman anyway? Women don't want to be women, and those that don't usually sound like men in the process condoning the daily doses of sexism that come with womanhood worldwide. 

 

But, hey, the possibility that gender is not a biological absolute but a fluid social construction does sound appealing. Unfortunately, fear of gender fluidity is why people make horror films exposing social fears and people believe that people who transition gender are scary, mentally ill psychos whose personal psychology is cheap entertainment. And, we are back to talking about Psycho (1960). 

 

I assume we all agree that there are certain biological absolutes as it relates to gender;  e.g.  the ability to develop a fetus and give birth to a baby.      But gender identity,  like racial identity,  are social constructs and it is my opinion the less barriers the better.   I'm all for gender fluidity.

 

Note that I was shocked that the Cannes film festival required women to wear high heals shoes to certain events.    I would have hoped that in a country as progressive as France (as well as an industry like the film industry),  that sexist gender identity restrictions would no longer be imposed.    We still have a way to go and I don't see folks like Jenner helping in this regard.

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I assume we all agree that there are certain biological absolutes as it relates to gender;  e.g.  the ability to develop a fetus and give birth to a baby.      But gender identity,  like racial identity,  are social constructs and it is my opinion the less barriers the better.   I'm all for gender fluidity.

 

Note that I was shocked that the Cannes film festival required women to wear high heals shoes to certain events.    I would have hoped that in a country as progressive as France (as well as an industry like the film industry),  that sexist gender identity restrictions would no longer be imposed.    We still have a way to go and I don't see folks like Jenner helping in this regard.

 

Why? If you don't mind me asking. 

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Also, we as a society made gender equate physical body parts, but we've also reduced people's identity to body parts and their use and value, i.e. women, which is why sexism is still commonplace today. We under-value female genitalia because the male genitalia must dominate always. I disagree with that thinking. I think men are more than the sum of their parts, and I think women are more than the prison men have made of their parts. 

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Why? If you don't mind me asking. 

 

Not sure what you're asking 'why' to.   So I'll answer why I'm all for gender fluidity:  I think people should feel free to dress, act, or do things they feel are right for them.   Terms like tomboy are dated.   

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We can agree to disagree here. All I know is that Jenner felt like a woman trapped in a man's body and had the means to realize herself. Transphobia not included. 

 

I don't put her on par with Norman Bates, because Jenner's condition of identity and Bates' identity are two totally different things, like a donut and an apple. 

Actually, if you go back and re-read my earlier comments, you will see I noted differences in how Norman/Mother and Caitlyn/Bruce deal with their competing identities. But both do have competing identities, and I do consider them both to be examples of split personalities or at least some sort of dualism. 

 

For the record, i do not like terms like transphobia. As an out bi male, I find those kinds of terms bogus and to be constructs developed by social scientists that try to codify everything, usually for political purposes. I don't go for that stuff. Also, I am sure that some transgendered people probably have their own internalized transphobia or whatever kind of made-up word we want to apply to it. So this is not an evil condition that can only be foisted upon outsiders looking in...because I am sure these phobias happen within the community, too.

 

Furthermore, I find the expressions 'a man trapped in a woman's body' or 'a woman trapped in a man's body' to be cliches at this point, and quite frankly I am surprised people are still trying to get by with saying such things. Again, what we really have in these cases are people with competing identities that are based on gender differences. And often, it is just plain old fashioned confusion, until they successfully merge the identities into one whole being.

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I was asking "why" because I wanted to know why you thought Jenner wasn't helping. 

 

I don't feel Jenner is helping because all I have seen is the media and Jenner pushing dated, sexist views of what it means to be a women.    e.g. the painted nails,  the Vanity Fair spread,  etc....   

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I'm not sure what Jenner is up to.    But one area that I don't like is that all the focus is on superficial things like painting one's nails, wearing high heal shoes,  make-up,  glamor dresses etc...      

 

To me that is offensive to the modern women since it implies one isn't a 'real women' unless they participate in these superficial things.    These things were imposed by men on women centuries ago for men's sexual pleasure.  

 

What's next?  Chinese foot binding?    Wearing a burka? 

I agree that Jenner is going about this all wrong. All these people that think Jenner is a role model are really jumping on the wrong bandwagon. The whole thing is a publicity stunt and silly one at that. This kind of stuff is anti-progressive when you sit down and analyze it. The fact people want to strip Jenner of those Olympic medals means they are using the fact that Caitlyn is no longer Bruce against "her" to reclaim what belonged to Bruce. What a huge mess. So we have a person with less respect and less rights than ever before. And we also have a person whose history is being erased. That cannot be a good thing.

 

In terms of painting nails and wanting to take up superficial things men have imposed upon women, this is Jenner's very public fetish. But it is no clarion call for LGBT rights. Jenner is looking for attention, not a chance to be an advocate for anything meaningful. 

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I don't feel Jenner is helping because all I have seen is the media and Jenner pushing dated, sexist views of what it means to be a women.    e.g. the painted nails,  the Vanity Fair spread,  etc....   

Exactly, you said it better than I just did. Jenner has a kinky fetish and is using the media and the plastic surgeons to accomplish it. Deep down with such a person, we have an old-fashioned sexist brain that is playing games with the outside. It does seem like a psychotic masquerade and in that regard Caitlyn/Bruce may not much different than Mother/Norman.

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I'm an out bisexual myself, and I think everyone who is under the rainbow should taste the rainbow, so to speak. If Caitlyn believes herself to be a woman, then I believe her. It is not for me to say anything against her person because I don't know her person, she does. Though she is one person and her story is not universal, I have to commend her coming out and doing what she can to achieve her full potential and be glad that she has full support of her family and friends, which many transgendered individuals do not have, and why so many trasngender individuals are homeless and often consider suicide because they cannot be themselves. 

 

If I buy into the logic that transphobia has transpired over the ages, albeit Psycho (1960) and others, and for myself to demand that I be treated equally regardless of orientation, it just seems hypocritical of me to say "accept me, but don't look at that freak of nature over there." This is just where I am coming from here. 

 

I don't know Caitlyn Jenner, but I don't want GLBT youth to beat themselves up extensively for being who they are. Furthermore, Caitlyn has said herself that she always felt she was a woman, and that before she met Kris Kardashian, she was about to transition. She is herself physically realized by her standards. There was no competing personalities, just a person's true self fighting to get out and be out proudly and actualized. 

 

If Norman Bates had Caitlyn's confidence, let alone decency and respect for self, he wouldn't have amassed his mother's identity in blackout periods and killed women in the process. He would have been a friend. But, that would be revising a known story, and I don't want to do that. 

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I don't feel Jenner is helping because all I have seen is the media and Jenner pushing dated, sexist views of what it means to be a women.    e.g. the painted nails,  the Vanity Fair spread,  etc....   

Has the media done that, or has she? She put her story on Vanity Fair, everyone else in media and otherwise made a huff about how beautiful she is, and she is, but that sexist standard has yet to be evaporated. 

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Exactly, you said it better than I just did. He has a kinky fetish, and he is using the media and the plastic surgeons to accomplish it. Deep down with Jenner we have an old-fashioned sexist brain that is playing games with the outside. It does seem like a psychotic masquerade and in that regard Caitlyn/Bruce may not much different than Mother/Norman.

I disagree. I think Caitlyn has been wary and doesn't take after his ex-stepdaughters at all. 

 

I mean, does Laverne Cox from Orange Is The New Black get the same flack that Caitlyn is getting? Laverne is realized, however, and while she did share her story, her story wasn't publicized during the transition as Caitlyn's was. I don't think its a psychotic masquerade for attention. I think its a kind charity so that those who feel alone don't feel alone. 

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Has the media done that, or has she? She put her story on Vanity Fair, everyone else in media and otherwise made a huff about how beautiful she is, and she is, but that sexist standard has yet to be evaporated. 

 

She is the one that pushed for the story to be all focused on 40s type girly glamor.   It wasn't just to get her story out since the focus of the article was the pictures.   She could have gotten her story out without the pictures.    Everything about this has been planned from the start in an attempt to remain relevant now that she is no longer married to Kris K.      

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Again, I have to ask the question, if it were Laverne Cox, would it be considered a cry for attention? 

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I disagree. I think Caitlyn has been wary and doesn't take after his ex-stepdaughters at all. 

 

I mean, does Laverne Cox from Orange Is The New Black get the same flack that Caitlyn is getting? Laverne is realized, however, and while she did share her story, her story wasn't publicized during the transition as Caitlyn's was. I don't think its a psychotic masquerade for attention. I think its a kind charity so that those who feel alone don't feel alone. 

I don't watch Orange, so I have no idea what it's about or who you are mentioning on that show. 

 

I think you may be over-stating and over-glamorizing the way people share their transitioning stories. Not everyone who shares their story is an effective role model. And also a hundred people can share their story, and someone with gender identity issues in Smalltown, Nebraska can still feel alone. There is no guarantee that visibility makes people feel less alone. Also, in some cases, the huge amount of hype and backlash that occurs makes some of these stories a curse for people who want to live their lives quietly.

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She is the one that pushed for the story to be all focused on 40s type girly glamor.   It wasn't just to get her story out since the focus of the article was the pictures.   She could have gotten her story out without the pictures.    Everything about this has been planned from the start in an attempt to remain relevant now that she is no longer married to Kris K.      

I agree. It's all very orchestrated. Jenner and his handlers know the ins and outs of publicity. And most of it is about money. They make gobs of cash doing these magazine exposes and doing the reality shows. So exploiting the transition process is a role Jennier is playing to the hilt, to extend the fifteen minutes of fame and to keep cashing in big time. I'd be more interested in seeing how this played out with an ex-military officer all-American jock who was living on $30,000 a year. 

 

Getting back to the thread topic, Norman Bates and Mother Bates are more than just characters in a 1960 movie. In some ways, they symbolize what happens when man wages war on himself in a tragic attempt to establish one consistent identity.

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I don't watch Orange, so I have no idea what it's about or who you are mentioning on that show. 

 

I think you may be over-stating and over-glamorizing the way people share their transitioning stories. Not everyone who shares their story is an effective role model. And also a hundred people can share their story, and someone with gender identity issues in Smalltown, Nebraska can still feel alone. There is no guarantee that visibility makes people feel less alone. Also, in some cases, the huge amount of hype and backlash that occurs makes some of these stories a curse for people who want to live their lives quietly.

But that is the thing, they cannot live their lives quietly because no one has any respect for the lives they want to live. When there is no equal visibility of some aspect of the human condition they can relate to, and even if the visibility is negative and passed as a scary, how does one combat it? 

 

Caitlyn Jenner isn't the only transgender individual in the world, and every transgender should have the same attention paid to them, except more respectful. It isn't a matter of just sexual orientation identity, but gender identity as well. Sure, everyone in the media has stated that Caitlyn Jenner is beautiful, looks better than her ex, and looks like Jessica Lange, whom accepted it as a compliment, but many transgender individuals have had problems with this individual's journey in relation to theirs. Many individuals have a problem that it doesn't matter what she looks like on the outside, but that she is beautiful on the inside as well, and not be reduced to sexist standards of personhood. 

 

How do we combat transphobia then? How do we combat the sexism that dictates transphobia at that? Also, I keep using "transphobia" because it accurately describes people's fears manifesting in ill treatment of these human beings, like homophobia is for gay people. 

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But that is the thing, they cannot live their lives quietly because no one has any respect for the lives they want to live. When there is no equal visibility of some aspect of the human condition they can relate to, and even if the visibility is negative and passed as a scary, how does one combat it? 

 

Caitlyn Jenner isn't the only transgender individual in the world, and every transgender should have the same attention paid to them, except more respectful. It isn't a matter of just sexual orientation identity, but gender identity as well. Sure, everyone in the media has stated that Caitlyn Jenner is beautiful, looks better than her ex, and looks like Jessica Lange, whom accepted it as a compliment, but many transgender individuals have had problems with this individual's journey in relation to theirs. Many individuals have a problem that it doesn't matter what she looks like on the outside, but that she is beautiful on the inside as well, and not be reduced to sexist standards of personhood. 

 

How do we combat transphobia then? How do we combat the sexism that dictates transphobia at that? Also, I keep using "transphobia" because it accurately describes people's fears manifesting in ill treatment of these human beings, like homophobia is for gay people. 

 

To me the entire concept of gender identity is a sexist and dated concept.   Men and women are equal and should be treated as such.   The main reason gender identity is stress in the USA is to market products.     e.g. there is a truck commercial that mocks men that don't have manly jobs and how they shake hands.    This is done to say 'real men, own big trucks'.    The entire fashion industry is set up to get women to spend money on items so they can be 'real women'.    So the transgender movement isn't a progressive social movement but instead a back to the stone ages movement. 

 

I see no connection between sexual identity and gender identity.  One is innate while the other is an imposed social construct.

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To me the entire concept of gender identity is a sexist and dated concept.   Men and women are equal and should be treated as such.   The main reason gender identity is stress in the USA is to market products.     e.g. there is a truck commercial that mocks men that don't have manly jobs and how they shake hands.    This is done to say 'real men, own big trucks'.    The entire fashion industry is set up to get women to spend money on items so they can be 'real women'.    So the transgender movement isn't a progressive social movement but instead a back to the stone ages movement. 

 

I see no connection between sexual identity and gender identity.  One is innate while the other is an imposed social construct.

Great comment. I think this is the post of the month, maybe of the year. Thanks for stating that so articulately and clearly.

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To me the entire concept of gender identity is a sexist and dated concept.   Men and women are equal and should be treated as such.   The main reason gender identity is stress in the USA is to market products.     e.g. there is a truck commercial that mocks men that don't have manly jobs and how they shake hands.    This is done to say 'real men, own big trucks'.    The entire fashion industry is set up to get women to spend money on items so they can be 'real women'.    So the transgender movement isn't a progressive social movement but instead a back to the stone ages movement. 

 

I see no connection between sexual identity and gender identity.  One is innate while the other is an imposed social construct.

I wish our laws could reflect that sentiment about men and women are equal. Right now, it is hard to tell. Also, I am going to agree to disagree with you regarding the transgender movement. They are people too, and their lives matter regardless of how freaky it looks to those who don't understand and don't want to. 

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One thing I wanted to ask here, since we were talking about Norman Bates' subtext-- what is the subtext of Caitlyn Jenner exactly? Or any cross-dresser for that matter? (And I am saying cross-dresser because to my knowledge Caitlyn still has Bruce's male genitalia, so while we are talking about a transgender individual, we are not talking about a transsexual).

 

A guy I went to high school with (he was our senior class president in fact) just disappeared off the face of the earth. I received a friend request from someone named 'Amber' on Facebook about a year or two ago. It turned out that 'Amber' was the alter ego of my high school classmate Jon. He went by Amber when he was performing in clubs, doing a cabaret act, and he constructed this whole other identity for her. Part of his subtext was that he wanted to come out as a gay man, but he had a wife and bosses who may not approve. So he kind of went underground with it, and built a whole show around it. Then late last year, he announced he was getting a divorce and changing his gender and will now be known as Jen. I guess Amber is defunct and no longer needed. 

 

Meanwhile, I had written a proposal for a screenplay many years ago about a drag queen. After I dusted it off and re-read it, I contacted Jon/Jen and asked for some feedback. My goal was to make sure the story was more accurate. I wanted to get the character's subtext correct-- why would he/she do this, what was his/her real motivation, that sort of thing. Jon/Jen told me that one assumption about transgender individuals is that their goal is to trick straight men. And I did cover that angle in my story. 

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Does genitalia define a person's gender? Or have we as a society made it so to determine how to treat people? 

 

The subtext I am picking up from Caitlyn is that she feels she has always been a woman, and it took a lot to transform into one, but she has to figure out her sexual identity first before she decides to transform her genitalia this way or that. I don't think people transition to get attention from people as much as a person crying for help isn't doing so to get attention when the options feel exhausted to the point of considering self-violence. In Caitlyn's case, society views her self-violence is becoming a woman when she spent the majority of her life being a man with all the perks of manhood. Caitlyn views it as actualizing her true self, not denying the history of her life, but realizing her life as would make her happy. If society didn't define it to be "weird" and place mental illness in the equation, this discussion wouldn't be happening. 

 

Caitlyn has not figured out where her orientation is, and given her history, I think that is best to be left alone and awaited on her cue so we can move forward. 

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