In a previous post I wrote about Richard Dawkins and how he was 'excommunicated' from the AHA for inviting his followers on Twitter to discuss a question concerning the ideology of transgender. I'd like to put forward this original question that started the fuss.
Here we go: What is the ethical difference between these two types of "transition"?
We are told that it should be considered normal if someone who was assigned male at birth self-identifies as female later in life (or female-to-male). We should welcome the transition and support the person (for example by using the correct new pronowns)
But obviously the same is not true about "transrace", as the case of Rachel Dolezal has shown: A "white" person is not allowed to self-identify and live as someone who self-identifies as "black". This kind of transition seems to be morally reprehensible. The taboo of 'transrace' is even more strange if one takes into account that biologically 'races' do not even exist (whereas no biologist would claim that sexes do not exist). So, why is a transition between socially constructed races not as easy and morally unproblematic as a transistion between socially constructed genders.
Can anybody give me a logical explanation for this strange asymmetry? What´s the ethical difference between a transgender person like Caitlyn Jenner, and a transrace person like Rachel Dolezal? Why was Jenner celebrated and Dolezal vilified if we start from the assumption that self-identification constitutes the "essence" of a person?
They are quite different. Since as race is a purely cultural idea, there can be no biological reason for wanting to change the race you were said, by culture, to be born into, since biology only exists in the real material world and can never be a part of a purely human cultural construct. (You therefore either accept the false concept of race and with it the one you were assigned to, or you reject racism, in which case race does not exist so you can neither be assigned one or adopt one. )
Gender however does exist in the material biological world, as a real thing, so that it is perfectly possible to be assigned to the wrong gender, and have a need to amend the mistake.
I never did understand all the hate directed at Dolezal. To me she seemed a sympathetic character who cared deeply for the community she served, a community she wanted to immerse herself in.
As to why Jenner's change was largely accepted while Dolezal's change was largely condemned...I don't have a logical answer for you. Maybe the difference was simply how the information came to the public. Jenner made a big announcement; Dolezal was found out. Announcements are proud; secrets are shameful.
In the coming years (like 10-100 years), I expect all aspects of human categorization to be up for argument, including race, like you mention. It's just not race's turn yet (like "Lola" wasn't yet the time for trans).
If deconstruction of pre-existing categories continues, I can imagine a time when some people cease to identify as human (e.g. identifying as alien or AI, both of which are fairly easy to fathom). Another possibility is to cease to identify as an individual (e.g hive mind, actually quite a likely future option with computer/brain interfaces). I name these because they are the other major categories that my current brain can fathom, that I believe are likely to be challenged in coming years.
Sounds to mr like an american problem. It's not uncommon to "transrace" in Aussie where for the most part, race is defined by your acceptance into that culture. I have known several people accepted as aboriginal because they lived with and became part of their culture..
There is a big difference between transgender and "transracial". Race is only physical differences- color of skin, shape of eyes, etc. Otherwise we are all the same. Gender exists of course; however, it isn't just genitalia. The brains of men and women are structured differently. Research has found that someone who is born I man but identifies as a woman has a brain structured like a woman's brain. So while the body presents as a male, the brain is female. There are other issues with the Rachel Dolezal case. She grew up with all the privilege that comes with being white and none of the struggle that comes with being black. And, she can plug into that privilege any time the wants. A black person cannot just choose to stop being discriminated against or stereotyped- they are born black and will die black. If she identifies with black folks, likes being around them, etc, cool, do that. But you don't get to call yourself black.
"Research on the Transgender Brain: What You Should Know – Cleveland Clinic" [health.clevelandclinic.org]
Did Dolezal claim to be Africa-American for personal gain? I don’t know enough about the situation to state one way or the other. We had one guy in the Army who was white, but swore he was African-American. As long as he did his job we didn’t care to much. This was in the early 80s.
Jenner is NOT universally celebrated by the the transgender community. I’m a transman and she does NOT have the experience nor knowledge of the community to speak for us. She maybe a media darling, but given her money and celebrity status prior to transition, her experiences are vastly different then most.
The article linked below claims that the issue is based on which action more severely undermines the effort to correct intergenerational injustices. If, for example, reparations for Blacks were being considered, should one qualify for reparations simply by “feeling” Black, when neither they nor their ancestors suffered what generations of Black families have suffered to deserve the reparations.
It’s an interesting argument but I’m not sure how strong it is. Many women might feel they deserve reparations too, though I haven’t heard that proposed yet.
Personally, I suspect it has more to do with timing and conditioning. We’ve been exposed to the concept of gender dysphoria now for decades and the DSM has recognized it and given it a name. It has had time to be assimilated into the culture.
Rachel Dolezal, as far as I know, was the first to receive broad public recognition for claiming racial dysphoria, which is, as yet, not acknowledged in the DSM.
I’m pretty sure the first person to claim a gender identity other than the one assigned at birth was treated much like Dolezal was by the general public. Collectively, we don’t assess these changes as they come up by reason alone. We tend to respond according to our conditioning.
Give it time.
I was reading one of Darwin's books and became aware that in his time at least race was defined as a significant variation within a species. Look race up in the dictionary. Race not only applied to humans but to all other animals and plants. A poodle or a pit bull for instance would be examples of two different races of dogs. Today we use the terms like breed or variety to discuss racial classifications in nonhuman species. Transrace would require being able to completely change you physical makeup. Like changing a poodle into a pitbull, transrace in humans would be impossible. You could still adopt the language and ways of other societies, people do that all the time around the world but that is culture not biology. A man can choose to act like a woman and even have superficial surgery but his basic biology would not change. I think at leasts some of the gender identity issues have more to do with social choices than biological makeup. The rest could be the result in random mutations that may or may not be viable.
None. Pretending that you are another gender is no different than pretending to be of another race. I would even argue the drag queens are part of the modern-day minstrel show. They often have exaggerated feminine accents, names, make-up, boobs, etc. to satirize women just like minstrels would exaggerate the characteristics of blacks. If you are really trans then you are suffering from body dysphoria. Otherwise, just because a man wants to pretend to be a woman so he can peep naked women like in that spa in LA, then pretending to be black like Shaun King does is no different
There is no "race" other than "human race" or blood transfusions & organ donation, not to mention progeny, wouldn't be possible.
There are huge permutations in gender depending on birth genetialia, nurture, culture, or yes overwhelming internal urges/"knowing" and it is none of anybody else's business, unless you belive in in creating misery for other humans for no reason whatsoever!
There is a deeper historical aspect of blackface and passing which adds a dimension not well appreciated when so called transraciality comes up. White people would wear blackface to feign blackness in derogatory ways. Some black people were able to pass as white and took advantage of such perceptions because…well…the way society has worked under racism, segregation, and hierarchy. So a white person trying to pass as black, especially if advantage is sought, doesn’t quite sit well.
Now that said I can understand cultural crossover points and non-appropriative appreciation of different ways of doing things. Music, food, art, literature… And enculturation can work both ways.
A certain sensitivity for such things may make one realize “passing” shouldn’t readily go both ways per racial identity.
I fail to see how this context can map over to issues of genders.
For one, Jenner is a celebrity. Jenner claims to have transitioned and also had surgery to do so. Dolenzal was and is a white person who was in the NAACP. Her claims of being "racially black" can not be proven or substantiated in any way. This is because she is biologically white, or caucasian. My guess is that each of them had something to gain in transition. Niether of them wants to be known as a liar.
One of the issues is how society will recognize your identity, don't forget if you want to be part of society then you have to accept their rules/basis.
transgender is a more emotional term, while transracial is about the obvious and recognizable facts. transracial is more like a fake identity!
How you as a german can claim to be Chinese or Black African ?! how you can change your Ethnicity ?! or your skin color?
again, transracial is more like a fake identity!
When "trans" is added to a noun, ya know it ain't that thing.
"" Trans race ""Just more shit that relies on woke idiots believing in MAGIC....
A man clicks his little heels, and says the magic words, "I am a woman." And all kinds of shit heads genuflect. That's religion for ya.
Nothing real about that...... Gotta stop tolerating that.
My own personal observation:
A white person remains white regardless of what he or she thinks.
In another category, transvestites, a gray area. Some men can put on a wig and, presto, he's a girl! If he has a girlish or womanly voice, the transformation is complete.
I went out casually with a transvestite for about two months when I lived in Alaska in the 70s; I only found out because another transvestite told me, 'she' was that convincing. It's amazing how fine the line is between the two sexes, and who's to say whether or not at least some of those 'trannies' are NOT women, except for the inconvenient fact they have a penis...and maybe a few other details? 99% of the people they come across would tell you, "That's a girl!"
And I'm not talking about something society constructs, it seems to be in very nature of the individual.
Then there are, of course, the delusional/mentally ill. That's pathetically different.
And finally, there are just men, and there's nothing they can do to disguise the fact.
Transsexuals are a whole other category, of which I have no knowledge or personal experience.
Why call it transrace, would transculure be more of what a person is doing? I can understand there is connection between what is considered different races and the cultures associated or that has developed along with those of close ancestry.
For many years, (25 +) in my observations, there has been many people cross the cultural divide both ways. I have seen perhaps more "white" people act and mix into aspects of things in the "black" community. However, I have seen black cowboys riding horses, branding cattle, dipping snuff, listening to country music and mixing in with others of a dominantly white culture. I don't think they are either way trying to change any genetic features that are more common to their original genetics, but much of or all their lifestyles, clothing, manners of communication etc. are in lines with the translation into the culture that by "race" they are the minority.
I recall very little about details of motives or reasons, but could Michael Jackson perhaps be considered as one that has gone thru physical changes as to appear transrace, not necessarily transcultured?