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."
"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 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 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.
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.
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 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.
Gender reassignment, sure. Racial reassignment, I am not supportive of it. It is insulting to think that someone who is white can all of a sudden claim they are black and have not shared the experience of what it is actually like to live as a black person in today's society. Gender reassignment is okay, because that is actually linked to body and brain chemistry.
I could care less about color, gender,beliefs some one has or wants to be. By all means express yourself. Be who, or what ever you like. I'm more interested in the person underneath the label.
But please, stop with the bullshit about my use of pronouns offending you.
I think one of the best examples of this was with Morgan Freeman in an interview about race and such. Morgan, pretty much said, 'I'll stop calling you a white man, if you stop calling me a black man. How about just calling me Morgan. I thought that was brilliant.
Sometimes I'd really like to just completely divorce myself from the white race, but that's not the same as identifying as a different one.
Racial reassignment would involve a whole lot of procedures, from plastic surgery to figuring out how to change the way one's hair grows.
It'd make for some interesting fiction.
I dunno, those are my thoughts on it, anyway.
Personally, people are entitled to do whatever they want with their bodies. Once upon a time tattoos were seen as taboo. Now it’s hard to walk anywhere without someone’s body art in view. However I do feel that anyone who wants to change their outward appearance through a medical procedure should be given a mental evaluation from an unbiased medical professional so they know the ins and outs of their decision.
The real question is why is society against it?
Because it’s new? “Weird”? Because it makes conservatives feel a certain way?
Apparently Facebook’s algorithms have decided I am African American due to my cultural likes and political leanings and I’m not bothered by that at all. My actual ancestry is a combination of seafaring cultures and I dig that as well, the only surprise being that I have some Spanish or Portueguese DNA in me instead of Native American. I don’t know if I’d do any reassignment now. I seem to have accepted who I am finally. Had I been asked this question thirty or more years ago I would probably have sought reassignment.
Look, either people get to decide their own identity or not. If people think gender identity is fluid, you don’t get to just dismiss racial identity fluidity. Either they are both acceptable or neither are. It’s funny how people completely arbitrarily decide what type of self-identification they will take seriously and what they will not.
Personally, I think placing a huge emphasis on gender or racial identity is a complete waste of time as neither of those things really tell me anything important about you at all. But, hey, that’s what’s trending right now. It’s all about them fads.
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.
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.