Tuesday, May 31, 2016


For people who are trans, or who express their gender in non-stereotypical ways, gender is part of their personhood. When the parents and kids of William Fremd High School tell a student who identifies as female that she is a “biological male,” that is a denial of who she says she is.
Emma Green. “America’s Profound Gender Anxiety
There have always been conflicts between who we say we are, and who other people say we are. Gender and transgenderism are simply the current battlefront in the fight over which of the two viewpoints is more “real.” And it's worth keeping in mind that people can come down on one side of that in some areas, and the other side in different areas. While it's often considered rude to the point of hatefulness to contradict someone's self-identified view of their gender, consider the following statement: When people tell Rachel Dolezal that she is “White,” that is a denial of who she says she is. Is that any less true than the quote that I lead off with? If not, why is being “transracial” any less a thing than being transgendered? Especially given the widely held idea that “race” is more a social construct than a biological one. Why is race something to be imposed upon a person by accident of birth in a way that gender is not? Is allowing someone to freely chose their race really that much more threatening? How long will we consider those who see themselves as something different be labeled fools or even obscene?

Not forever, I suspect. Although now, the politics of race do not align in the same way as the politics of gender, it seems unwise to presume that it will always be that way. For right now, race is something that one cannot own - it may not be legitimately given away in favor of one that better suits one's understanding of oneself. But we would have been nearly unanimous in saying the same of gender not too terribly long ago.

When we will see more similarity on social views on such issues is not for me to say. I could speculate, but there's little profit in it. But it’s likely that the battle will move from place to place, as people seek more and more to have society bow to their definitions of themselves, rather than being made to bow to society’s definition of them.

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