Why I Don’t Like Caitlyn Jenner

Mae West

Call her Mae. Not Madison.

I’ve been holding back for a while now and I must get this off my chest. I don’t like Caitlyn Jenner. Not one bit.

Caitlyn Jenner was not meant to be Caitlyn Jenner — and you know it, too.

Oh, I’m very much okay with Caitlyn Jenner the person. I’m very much okay with Caitlyn Jenner not being Bruce Jenner. And the switching out of pronouns. And that I get to be judgmental now about how well she plucks her brows. All of that.

What I’m not okay with is Caitlyn Jenner. The name “Caitlyn Jenner” is all wrong. 

Okay, I admit to having a teeny-tiny chip on my shoulder when it comes to names. I’m getting older, you see, and I don’t much care for the way my name announces this fact. These days, my name feels like I’m shuffling around at a hip beach party in a boxy floral muumuu among a crowd wearing sleek mini-dresses. There is nothing about my name that sounds breezy or fresh or It. Also, I’m drinking a stupid Mai Tai.

This ol’ name that I lug around (a name that shall remain nameless here) effectively bookmarks me in a chapter called The Seventies. Yes, it is here that I arrived. Born on a Tuesday in December in the Age of Jennifer.

And Kim and Becky and Heather and Jennifer. And did I mention Jennifer?

Born to a Sharon, Linda, Donna, Jan.

Who was born to a Lois, Edith, Norma, Irene.

Who was born to an Ethel, Myrtle, Gertrude, Maude.

That is the cycle of life. This is our truth. And it’s what God damn well intended. Human beings were meant to have names that go in and (horribly) out of fashion and imprison us in our time. We cannot break free from this — doing so would disrupt our very fragile generational ecosystem. And then what next? 80 year-olds dressing in glittered tutus? Babies doing crossword puzzles? Teenagers complaining about taxes? It’s a slippery slope.

And what Jennifer or Becky or Kim didn’t want to be Caitlyn or Quinn or Mackenzie. But what’s a girl to do — change?!

So the reason I don’t like Caitlyn Jenner? It’s just not goddamn fair.

Caitlyn Jenner was born in 1949. Caitlyn Jenner is supposed to be Carol Jenner.

Or Bonnie Jenner. Or Judy Jenner. Caitlyn Jenner should have to accept the rumpled, faded, itchy-woolen, mothball-scented name she was meant to have — and just be happy with who she is.

In the meantime, call me Addison.

41 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Like Caitlyn Jenner

  1. My dear, errr, Vi. It is Vi, right? Imagine MY predicament. Born in 1957 when there wasn’t another Elyse on the planet. My biggest childhood trauma is being the only child in the USA without a bicycle license plate with my name on it.

    Now? It’s all the rage.

    And I don’t even have a bike.


    • When I think Elyse, I don’t so much think of all the baby Elyses I’ve met this past month…so much as I think Elyse Keaton. There is a badass woman you can feel proud to share a name with.

      I have a feeling you can now find that bike license you always wanted.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello Vi. I feel your pain. I went through a brief phase where I tried to get people to use the sophisticated big city version of my name “Susan”. To no avail. Small town Sue I shall be.


  3. Pingback: A Rose by Any Other Name | Childhood Relived

  4. This is despicable, namist prejudice if ever I saw it. Get with the times – you can self-identify as any sex, race or species you want to be nowadays, halleluiah! A name is nothing. Once you pick all of that new stuff, you then get your own TV show.


    • Peg, I can’t imagine you as anyone but Peg. Tatum-o-leg, for example, would be all wrong. And you’d never get your own TV show either.


  5. I feel your pain. As a Jessica born in the Year of Jessica (1985), there were so many of us in school that we were reduced to first name/last initial introductions. At one point, there were FIVE of us in one class in high school. Talk about confusing. Now it seems like such an outdated name. You never hear of baby Jessicas anymore, except for of course Baby Jessica who is well beyond her diaper years. What I wouldn’t give for a non-trendy name, but of course not something so obscure that people would give me the “Seriously?!?! That’s your name?” looks.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. In the great year of my birth, 1977, my given first name (no, it’s not Dru,) was the most common girl’s name in my state of origin. At one time in elementary school, I had five other ____’s in my class. All I really wanted was to be called Stephanie.


    • Take it from me, when your name is Stephanie you end up in a real pickle.
      Your nickname, of course, is Steph. It just happens that way. But it sounds quite workmanlike and it’s so short that when you say, “hi, I’m Steph”, your introduction is over so quickly people visibly have to stop and process it for a second.
      So you switch to Stephanie, and anyway it sounds more grown up and professional.
      Here’s the kicker though: even if you introduce yourself this way, within three repetitions of your name people are calling you “Steph”. Plus being called by your real name makes you feel like you’re constantly in trouble with someone.
      So, back to Steph you go, and then you’re faced with your original dilemma all over again.
      I beg of you, don’t wish for things you don’t understand.
      (Joking aside, I do like my name. But it was good to get that off my chest.)

      Liked by 1 person

      • I have called my beautiful wife Steffi since our second date and she loves it if that helps. Whenever we hear Stephanie, it sounds so official and Steph just seems so short and dull, like you shy coughed out your name. Cool blog.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. As a Stephanie born in ’74, the name that I am still mistakenly called the most today is, “Jennifer”. So many Stephanies and Jennifers at that time. I guess the two names became inextricably linked in people’s minds. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I got Gypsie. WTF? All I’ve ever wanted was Kim or Becky or Heather or Jennifer. Everyone was Jennifer. Can’t I just be Jennifer*!?
    *This is the internet. I could have been Jennifer and no one would have been the wiser. Damn. Is it too late to change?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Could have been worse like Bubbles, Candy or Taffy, right? Just know that the Betty’s, Geraldine’s, and Margaret’s of the world would give anything to be named “Gypsie”. Kinda like it myself.😀

      Liked by 2 people

  9. 1972 Tracey
    Is it Tracy with a Y?
    Is it Tracey with an E-Y?
    Is it Traci with an I ?
    Is it Tracee with an E-E?
    Is it Tracie with an I-E?
    It’s Tracey with an EY. You’ll never guess my middle name! Nope, not Lee! Lynn!
    I didn’t like Tracey until I saw a cool old black and white movie and young Catherine Hepburn played a Tracey. She’s amazing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • As a teenager, I intentionally changed the spelling of my name as often as I changed underwear. I was Patty and then Patti and then back to Patty and back to Patti. Happily, there is only one way to spell Patricia. I too loved Catherine Hepburn, yes she is amazing.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. As a Patricia, my name from the 50’s even though there are many women with my exact full maiden name, even a cousin’s wife. However, I did not grow up being called by my lovely first name, I became Pat, Patty and Patsy. One day as an adult, I woke up and decided that I no longer had to live with those awful nicknames so I began giving my name as Patricia. Most people don’t want to call me Patricia, however, so they ask with hope in their voice “Do you go by Patricia or Pat?” and when I say “Patricia”, they grimace. Too formal, too long? I asked my mother why she didn’t call me Patricia and she said “It’s such a big name for such a little girl.” Go figure.

    Liked by 1 person

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