Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Unbelief Makes For a Crazy Mixed-Up World

Rachel Dolezal
Dozelal as she appears today--as a transitioned black
A Problem of Identity

Rachel Dolezal has become far, far worse than a "gender bender".  She has become a "race bender" which is a step too far, it would seem for our stereotyped "identity culture".

Her autobiography can be perused at leisure. The short version of her story has been published in The Guardian.

The Guardian piece, can be summarized as follows:

Rachel Dozelal is genetically a caucasian female. She has, however, self-identified as a black female.  She has been rejected by whites, blacks, homosexuals, and transgenderists.  Go figure.

Dozelal as a teenager
This is a sad story.  But the angry rejection of Dolezal by both blacks and sexual identity protagonists is telling.
 The Guardian's piece summarises the situation now faced by Dozelal:
Dolezal finds herself in a curious catch-22. Nowadays we would not call someone who presents as a woman, but was registered a boy at birth, a liar. We would not blame her for any subterfuges she might have felt compelled to commit, or cite them as proof of her untrustworthiness. But because Dolezal is seen to have lied about her race, her credibility has been undermined in the eyes of the law. Her book contains many details about her family which she says help make sense of her story; but they have not been corroborated by them, so cannot be repeated here for fear that a libel court would reject them as the claims of a self-confessed liar.

If the narrative of fluid, non-binary gender identity is now widely accepted, Dolezal believes the same should apply to race. “It’s very similar, in so far as: this is a category I’m born into, but this is really how I feel.”  Is racial identity as fluid as gender? “It’s more so. Because it wasn’t even biological to begin with. It was always a social construct.”

Trans commentators have been incensed by the suggestion of parallels. “Transgender people transition out of medical necessity,” wrote one. “Dolezal’s ‘transition’ to black, on the other hand, is surrounded by layers of deception.” They argue that her colour was a choice, so cannot be analogous to their gender identity. But if we believe someone born without ovaries or a womb can be a woman, and accept radical surgery as a legitimate corrective necessity, is it so different for a woman who is born white but feels black to reposition herself on the racial spectrum?
The criticism from blacks and trans commentators comes across as childish petulance.  As one writer sarcastically put it,
Who are you to judge her for living out loud what she feels and believes is her own truth?? Don’t you know we’re not bound by anything as antiquated and restrictive as identity – be it gender or racial. It’s fluid. And who are you to make the determination of which identities one must remain wed to in their lives? Or maybe you and others just prefer to be selective in which white women you support who are seeking the freedom to be their perceived real selves.
It’s a brave crazy new world, people. Learn the rules, and try to keep up.

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