Inspired by an earlier post and subsequent discussion, I'm curious to know what you think.
We're all familiar with gender reassignment. What if someone white identified as black, or if someone Asian identified as Caucasian?
Imagine: Procedures and surgeries are available to change skin colour and facial features to transform a person of one race to look like the race with which they identify. Human rights laws will be put in place to protect people in this community.
How do you feel?
Is this any different from someone born male wanting to transition to female?
Caveat: For those claiming there is no such thing as race, as we are all part of the human race - we all get that. Please answer the question, or go answer another one entitled "I don't see colour."
If we accept gender dysmorphia as something that can be treated then we have to accept body dysmorphia as something that can be treated.
If we are okay with reducing testosterone and preforming surgery to turn man into woman then we should be okay with reducing melanin and preforming surgery to turn black into white.
When anorexics suffer from body dysmorphia, and see fat where they're skinny, it's considered a self-destructive mental disorder. When a person suffers from gender dysmorphia, and thinks a woman should be standing in the mirror where a man is, it is treated as a disorder of the development of the body. And the jury is still out on racial dysmorphia, apparently. But while an anorexic can stop starving themselves, it's a lot harder to back up the claim that a man can stop being a man, or that a caucasian can stop being a caucasion. No matter how much I may want to be black, I can't escape the fact that I don't understand the reality of growing up a young black male in America. I don't grasp the experience of our cultural and political history weighing in on my existence like black Americans do, nor do I fully know what it's like to take the risks black men have had to take to get by (getting followed around stores, worrying about whether my sweater choices may get me killed, having to find the balance of being "white" enough to make white people comfortable around me but "black" enough to make sure black people don't think I'm ashamed of them, having to carefully consider my behavior my when I'm a black man getting on an elevator with two white women already present). I can read about these experiences, and talk to people about them, but I haven't lived them. There are, whether fairly or unfairly, inherent struggles, benefits, risks, and consequences to being part of a "race" in today's world. Even though the costs have greatly decreased over time, they're still present today. Should I be able to apply to the NAACP for college funds for my kids now? That money wasn't put there for them. Should my kids be expected to act "biracial"? If they don't, are they invalidating my identity by refusing to recognize my blackness? If I fire a guy who identifies as black, but isn't black, should he be able to sue me claiming his termination was racially motivated? I'm struggling to see where recognizing racial dysmorphia as a disorder of the body, instead of as a disorder of the mind, is more effective and better for our society as a whole.
My age old rule is to let anyone do whatever you want unless you're hurting someone else. Cultural appropriation is a tricky one though and as a white male I'm not really concerned with minorities trying to be more white other than being boring. I bet other races would feel differently.
I think we should get to a point where we don't feel that its necessary to do so. In my humble opinion anything that we would use to define ourselves as another race would simply be cultural in nature.
I don't think changing a skin color would make or define you to a culture/ethnicity/race. Its about living to the experience and feeling most comfortable in that culture. Others should be able to accept you despite your appearance.
Hope this made sense.
I think it's really all about the mental health of the individual.
If someone is suffering because they feel their body is 'wrong' in some way, that needs to be addressed by health professionals. You consult the person, check their health, metabolism, hormone levels etc. You counsel them, you inform them, you educate them about the risks and likely consequences of intervention and what is achievable and if they are sane, aware and consensual you agree with them the best route to proceed. It will depend on how much they are suffering and whether a course of treatment is likely to work. Vox pops on forums don't have much relevance.
Some people suffer from a condition where they feel a limb is not their own - such as a hand or arm - due probably to poorly understood processes in pre-natal development. Having this alien appendage gives them great anguish and they wish to be rid of it. Amputation can release them from this syndrome and they are much happier after the operation. Neglecting for a moment the question of costs, this is clearly the best outcome that could and should currently be offered. I don't see how feelings of gender or race misattributions should be treated any differently. If the person is unwell, you try to make them better. Any other course is either cruelty or neglect.
I shouldn't have to spell out that this is a clinical matter, not one of subjective wishes, but I will before someone grabs the stick by the wrong end.
I'm kinda torn on the subject.
On one hand, l stick with my core beliefs that a person's life is theirs to live.
Conversely, if l decide to go to Walmart, purchase one of those $10 plastic wading pools, spray paint it brown, strap it to my back and say l self-identity as an Eastern Box Tourtise, have l crossed the line into absurdity or is it still to be considered acceptable?
I think the person will suffer more. Suppose a black man is reassigned to be white, I don't think he will be treated well by the racists in either camps. Since others didn't care to begin with, he is at net loss. More importantly, race should not be a major part of your identity at all.
Well, in an age where we, as a species, should be so over racism, I think making changing your racial genetics a thing could add to racism (not sure how, thinking on the fly here), or not. Maybe changing race like you change your clothes would actually help to eliminate it. It's an interesting idea. Personally, I love the fact that there is such great racial diversity. I just hate that anyone thinks one race is "better" or "above" another.
"Is this any different from someone born male wanting to transition to female?" Courius, i was accused of being "trasphobic" for making a statement like that this weekend. I was accused of this because i used the word "wanting" like in this statement. Thier argument was "they ARE a man/woman, - not that they "want" to be." I was accused of being "old" and belonging to an older generation therefore, i just don't know any better. That was as close as i ever been called an "Archie Bunker" in my whole life. Personally, i think they be trippen'.
I America we deal with race. In other parts of the world people deal with religion, culture, ethnicity. Myanmar struggles with Rohingya who are ethnically South Asian. Europe struggle with Muslim immigrants. Australia has trouble including the Aborigine people. South Africa now has the opposite problem where poor Blacks out number affluent Whites and hold the reigns of power. It's not a simple matter of being color blind or equal opportunity. I don't know if there is a government policy that will do justice in all cases. We can certainly treat every individual with the dignity they deserve as a fellow human being. Be have more in common than we have differences.