Saturday, June 13, 2015

Rachel Dolezal and Caitlyn (Nee Bruce) Jenner

   So...so far as I can tell, these are the liberal (or "progressive") lines on Jenner and Dolezal: 
   Jenner is a woman and that is transparently obvious and if you question it in any way, you are a bigot and an idiot. 
   However:
   Dolezal is not black. 
   (I think this, too, is supposed to be transparently obvious...but it's too soon to tell what the orthodoxy will be with respect to its epistemic modality...)  
   Quite awhile back I noted that the progressive orthodoxy with respect to sex entails a similar conclusion with respect to race. That's pretty obvious. Especially in a case like that of Jenner, who, we're told, still has a penis. If "identifying" as female is sufficient for being female, then "identifying" as a certain race must be sufficient for being a member of that race. I won't go through the arguments again here...and, in fact, I'm too lazy to look up my previous post and link to it...but the cases are obviously symmetrical.  
   Sean Davis at the Federalist makes the same point here.  
   (The normally reasonable (with respect to these issues anyway) Reason goes off the rails with respect to this issue here. The misrepresentation issue is a red herring.)
   I don't have time to go through this in detail...and, let's face it, it's not like I'm getting paid here, nor influencing more than about ten people's opinions, max...so let me make one cut to one of the relevant chases...  
   Progressives and their fellow travelers here have decided that someone like Jenner is a woman, and they don't want to hear any objections. They seem to be on a trajectory to decide that Dolezal is not black, and, if they stay true to form, they won't want to hear any objections to that either. They'll mumble some nearly meaningless nonsense built on some nearly meaningless jargon--"socially constructed" is sure to figure prominently--and when critical mass of groupthink is reached, they'll decree that there is no contradiction between their conclusions...and that anybody who thinks otherwise is...you guessed it...a bigot. And stupid. And ignorant. Etc. Etc.  
   Thing is,  these conclusions have been reached independently of reasoning. The conclusions came first, and then the rationalizations were added. I'm not exactly sure why the left decided to embrace these conclusions...but they did. And they seem to be winning the war to brainwash everyone at least with respect to the Jenner case. If the Dolezal case generates any cognitive dissonance, the fog of lefty quasi-postmodern terminological obfuscation will descend on the discussion until any pangs of intellectual conscience disappear, and any dissent is muffled.  
   In fact, the craziest thing about all this for my money isn't even the mad rush to bully everyone into believing an obvious falsehood about Jenner. The craziest thing is how effectively a false belief has been made orthodoxy, and how effectively dissenters have been shamed into silence. Having accepted Jenner as a woman, we are then forced by similar arguments, mutatis mutandis, to accept that Dolezal is black. If anything, in the eyes of progressives and the far left, Dolezal has a better claim to blackness than Jenner has to femaleness. The view that race is a "social construct" has gained a fair degree of orthodoxy on the left...far more than the claim that sex is a "social construct." (Of course, as I've often noted, you can't have a serious discussion using that radically defective/confused terminology...) (Though there's the confusion with gender gumming up the works, too...) Suggest that race is a biological thing in many circles and you'll basically be categorized as a racist. It's mumble mumble social mumble!  Well...Dolezal has lived many years as if she were black. She kinda looks black. She's made it clear that she thinks of herself as black. For many social purposes, it really is as if she were black. So if race is social and non-biological, then Dolezal's claim to blackness is pretty good. Better than Jenner's claim to be a woman. Of course, in reality, Dolezal isn't black...but Jenner isn't, in fact, a woman, either...  
   But of all the insanity in this sector, the most insane bit is the ban on discussion. It's downright scary to see how easily manipulated and bulled people are. The left has managed to convince people that it gets to decree not only what the answers are, but when discussion is verboten.   
   And that's some downright Orwellian shit right there.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rachel Dolezal is neither white nor black: http://meditoris.com/2015/06/13/rachel-dolezal-is-neither-white-nor-black/

11:00 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

No, she's white alright.

9:07 AM  
Blogger tehr0x0r said...

Dolezal is a white woman in a gold shirt...

Moving on from the silly joke that I saw someone make on twitter. I didn't jump in on the last one about Jenner, but I must say you articulated then what I had been unable to put into actual words, and have done it again here. Although I have been assured by some individuals in my office that you "just can't compare the two" I'm really not sure why. Both sex and race are genetically defined, perhaps race is more clinal than sex, but that would actually play against the position currently being taken by the left. I'm really not sure what someone means when they "feel" black or "feel" that they are a woman. I don't know that I can define a moment when I "felt" male or "felt" white, its just something that I am. In any event, if there is a distinction to be drawn, its that Jenner admits she was born a man but "feels" like a woman, while Dolezal is insisting that she is and always has been a black woman despite the obvious evidence to the contrary.

2:48 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Yeah, of all the bizarre, worrisome things about all this, the most bizarre and worrisome--IMO--is the frantic rush to insist that we simply "listen and believe"--thinking is *verboten*...

There's simply no doubt that these cases are at least *prima facie* similar, and that we are being...well...more or less commanded...to accept contrary conclusions with respect to them.

The Dolezal case is a godsend for people who want to get people to think about these issues...but a disaster for those who simply want to enforce an emergent insta-orthodoxy that, well, just doesn't seem to be true...

I totally agree that, to the best of my knowledge, I never had a moment when I "felt" white or male or whatever. I mean, I'm used to being those things...but I don't think I see either one as some big ass deal...

As for the fact that Jenner made an announcement and Dolezal didn't...yeah, the relevant sector of the left is pushing that really hard...and I think it's worth thinking about...though I don't see how they can say that. Many people in Jenner's shoes *don't* make an announcement and simply try to "pass," apparently. Also, it's been a common refrain from the relevant sector that we're not to say anything nor ask anything about people pre-"transition." That's what that dude on CNN--Piers Morgan?--got in trouble for. Janet Mock (?) took exception to him saying that she had been born male. The relevant sector then issued a diktat according to which it was wrong to say or ask about such things. The implication being that it's permissible to simply try to "pass."
Anyway...there are a lot of things we're being pressured to accept here, and many of them are inconsistent with each other.

10:16 AM  

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