It’s worthwhile to compare the other “iconic” Vanity Fair cover
with Caitlyn’s curious spread
From the ultimate image of womanhood to its ultimate caricature.
Moore’s deliberately immodest cover offered pregnancy as a feminist provocation: you can’t do this.
Caitlyn’s celebrants, twenty four years later, would be outraged.
In seizing immediately upon socio-political platitudes, Moore’s defenders missed the point in the same way Caitlyn’s evade it today. She was not, for instance, showing us a pregnant woman can still be “sexy”–quite the opposite! (The controversy is perhaps difficult to appreciate after the last quarter century of delirious Progress, but it was that a pregnant woman was striking a sexual pose–and on the cover.) Pregnant Demi was a parody of lithe and desirable pre-pregnancy Demi. The real defiance lay in the fact it’s decidedly not sexy; her state stops men in their always lusting tracks. She’s off limits, dammed-off, “knocked up.” She’s there to thwart and mock the searching male “gaze”.
Pregnant Demi is woman having conquered; having captured a man’s seed and bearing a complete soul in a belly swelling like the earth. Man’s paltrier conquest is over and done, and is only complete if he escapes; otherwise, the pregnant woman represents his capture and the tyranny (and uncertainty) of paternity and domesticity.
Woman’s power lies in her possession of her children, and she never possesses them more–or suffers more by them–than when with child. Still women remain the most sympathetic audience the trans community has and I find this curious. Why are they–if indeed they are–so fully on board with redefining womanhood into oblivion?
Hoary theory about male privilege–as if patriarchy were a trick played upon the girls, rather than the obvious result of primitive necessity originating in, there it is again, pregnancy–is depressing and dull. Birth is anything but, especially for those capable of it; so maybe that explains feminism’s cavalier attitude toward the co-optation of femininity. Dissuading pregnancy has become a necessity by implication for a feminist movement driven by yuppie women lobbying for greater advantages in employment. The necessity to deny biological origins for behavior, to create the illusion of imposed inequality, has taken down motherhood. The times are sinister.