Trans

Jenner Is a Woman and Dolezal Is Black: Self-Fashioning in the 21st Century

People should be free to assert whatever gender or racial identity they feel.

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JennerDolezal
bostonglobe

Americans have been distracted and bemused by two people, Caitlyn Jenner and Rachel Dolezal, who want to transcend the biological and social categories into which they were placed at birth. Caitlyn Jenner was born male and Rachel Dolezal born white. Jenner identifies as female and Dolezal as black. Both plainly believe that such transfigurations make them more fully who they are. There are clear differences between the two cases—most notably, Jenner has been open about her background while Dolezal apparently attempted to conceal hers—but there are parallels as well, and they're worth exploring.

Let's start with some pertinent definitions. Merriam Webster defines transgender as "of, relating to, or being a person (as a transsexual or transvestite) who identifies with or expresses a gender identity that differs from the one which corresponds to the person's sex at birth." Transracial, meanwhile, is simply "involving, encompassing, or extending across two or more races." On the basis of these definitions, Caitlyn Jenner is clearly expressing a gender identity that differs from the sex of her previous persona, Olympian runner Bruce Jenner. Dolezal's alterations certainly involve, in some sense, extending her personal identity to one race from another.

Why are such self-fashionings so controversial? In the International Business Times, Lourdes Ashley Hunter, got to the nub of the issue. Hunter, national director of the D.C.-based Trans Women of Color Collective, said, "We're dealing with gender identity, which is a social construct and is not hereditary; and race, which is also a social construct and is hereditary." Let's parse these claims more closely.

Many social scientists make a distinction between a person's gender and sex. "Most people assume there are two genders, male and female, and that both our sex and gender depend upon our genitals—whether we were born with a vagina or a penis," explain three scholars in the 2014 book Trans Bodies, Trans Selves. "Today, our 'sex' typically describes our anatomical and biological characteristics. Usually, this means our genitals and our genetics. 'Gender' is most often used to refer to our social roles and behaviors." This distinction predates the modern trans rights movement, and anthropologists have long found it useful when discussing cultures that recognize three or more gender identities—the bakla of the Philippines, the xanith of Oman, and so on. Jenner certainly did inherit her sex and for most of six decades appeared as male to most of the world.

Race is a bit more complicated and fraught. Most geneticists and physical anthropologists reject the notion that race has any significant biological reality. Nevertheless, people still do commonly use the term, and it is inscribed in our national census forms. With regard to people, Merriam Webster defines race as "(a): a family, tribe, people, or nation belonging to the same stock, and (b): a class or kind of people unified by shared interests, habits, or characteristics." Stock in this context refers to a group usually having unity of descent.

As we shall see, "unity of descent" is a tricky concept, because how the boundaries of any particular "race" are set is socially constructed. In any case, the first definition implies some kind of heredity and the second encompasses more of a cultural constructivist view. Dolezal does not descend from African-American stock. When asked if she's an African American, Dalezal notably avoids the issue of biological heritage and instead asserts, "I identify as black." In other words, she adopts cultural constructivism when it comes to racial categorization.

So what about heredity? Members of sexual minorities frequently say that their sexual orientation is inborn and not subject to change, a sentiment expressed in the popular "born this way" slogan (and Lady Gaga song). There have been numerous studies in which researchers claim to have uncovered genetic links to male homosexuality. 

Similarly, many transgender folk report feeling discomfort with their gender as early as they can remember, suggesting that gender identity variance may be in some sense inborn. A recent review of research seeking biological or genetic markers for gender identity variance concluded that while "the mechanisms remain to be determined, there is strong support in the literature for a biologic basis of gender identity." Researchers have recently scanned the brains of trans- and cisgender men and women to test the theory that the brains of transgender males would be more similar to those of heterosexual women. A recent roundup of this brain research, collected by the TranScience Project, reports that the results are inconclusive.

Is race more "biological" than gender? In the broad sense of people deriving their ancestry from different "stocks," race can be considered hereditary. Geneticists can parse versions of genes that differ in frequency between various populations to reliably identify the continents of origin of any particular individual's ancestors. Using these markers, the Stanford geneticist Noah Rosenberg reports in the journal Human Biology that "despite the high levels of similarity across populations, the accumulation of small differences across large numbers of markers enables inference of geographic ancestry." In other words, people's genetic lineages can be traced back to certain ancestral stocks.

Why should this matter? Because the distinction between races in the United States has been culturally constructed. Owing to our history of slavery and segregation, who is "black" and who is "white" has always mattered. After emancipation, the majority of states had enacted anti-miscegenation laws forbidding white Americans and black Americans to marry. Jim Crow laws also compelled racial segregation in the South. To enforce these laws it was necessary to define to whom they applied.

Most states adopted the "one drop" rule, in which anyone with any amount of African ancestry was legally considered black regardless of how much "black blood" they had. The rule was not generally applied to Native Americans or Asian Americans. This set up a more or less binary racial situation, with blacks on one side of the color line and everybody else on the other. Since people legally defined as blacks were severely disadvantaged economically, politically, and socially, many sought and succeeded in passing for white. Dolezal, by contrast, is passing for black—a practice that is not unheard-of but much more rare. (As an interesting side note, Brazil's 2000 and 2010 censuses showed a substantial decline in the number of citizens identifying themselves as white. This doesn't just seem to be a matter of demographic changes—officials think a lot of people of mixed descent who previously did not identify as black are now choosing to do so. Mass transracialism!)

So what to make of Jenner and Dolezal? Jenner identifies as female despite her male genitalia and Dolezal identifies as black despite her white skin. Salient biological differences may account for gender identity variance and racial diversity, but both are also clearly constructed by culture. If people feel, for whatever reason, that they must cross the binaries (hereditary or constructed) of gender and race, who has the standing to object? I am basically a live-and-let-live sort of guy. If you say that you're one thing or another and you aren't bothering folks overmuch about it, I opt for amiable tolerance.

NEXT: Humanity Extinct by 2100?

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  1. While I agree with this in general, I do have a problem with trans-folk using the restroom of their preferred gender rather than their biological sex. I know it’s old-fashioned, but that’s how I feel.

    As for the other, I can’t imagine blacks would be happy with whites “identifying” as black to claim scholarships or state contracts set aside for minorities. The solution there, of course, is to do away with the set-asides.

    1. Everyone can identify as whatever they want, just don’t use the force of the state to require others to go along with your delusion.

      1. people conflate “tolerance” with enforced-affirmation

          1. But you support mandatory vaccinations. So, apparently, people should be free to assert whatever racial or gender identity they want (with which I agree), but not be free to decide what is injected into their bodies.

        1. I don’t either, but this seems to be a moral copout given to explain feelings of irrational anger at or disgust by the choices of others. In other words, it’s the lowest form of tolerance – a begrudging “I can’t stop you and I can’t defend why your choices bother me.”

          The spirit of tolerance would require you to at least confront why this upsets you even if concede the freedom argument. The decision to break with cultural and biological barriers are an affirmation of personal autonomy and human liberty. We don’t need to make those choices ourselves to see intrinsic value in them.

          1. No, the spirit of tolerance means that, whether or not I approve of you, you’re free to do what you want. It does not mean that I am obligated to call a human with a dick “a woman”, because that person emphatically is NOT a woman.

            1. Again, that is tolerance in its absolute lowest form.

              Let’s take a white power march. I think we’d all abhor those ideas. We wouldn’t affirm the ideas espoused even if we’d tolerate the march.

              But in a larger sense of toleration, we should confront why we object to the ideas rightly or wrongly and we should welcome tests to freedom of speech even if the way it’s used bothers us.

              So all I’m asking people like you to do is stop patting yourself on the back for not wanting to stone them or lock them up or pass laws to restrict their choices because that’s literally the least you could do as a good person. I’m asking you to say why these choices violate your morals even though you think they’re not wrong enough to ban. And maybe you’ll have a great answer, or maybe you’ll realize that they must offend some sort of ill-defined tender sensibility that you can’t even properly articulate.

              And regardless of your conclusion, I hope you can celebrate strange and unconventional living even if it only serves to accomplish moving the world to more toleration.

              1. “”I hope you can celebrate “”

                why?

                its not my party

              2. I’m asking you to say why these choices violate your morals

                I’m not calling him “him” because his choices violate my morals, I’m calling him “him” because that’s the proper pronoun for a male.

              3. “moving the world “

                yeah, that tends to be the problem

              4. “Let’s take a white power march. I think we’d all abhor those ideas”

                Why would you abhor those ideas and then preach to us that we should celebrate other , non white power ideas.?

                Don’t abhor white power ideas asshole. Celebrate them.

                Practice what you preach in other words.

              5. Maybe it would be easier if you looked at it the way that it is.
                Just as someone believing they are Jesus Christ, or a cat, or a tree; those who think they are a different gender than the one nature decreed they are, are mentally ill.
                They deserve compassion – not in pandering to their delusion but by encouraging that they get some mental health assistance.
                It is particularly so when, as in the case of Jenner, they take unnatural drugs and have plastic surgery to try to cheat nature, instead of looking for the type of help that may bring them back into accordance with how their DNA is aligned.

            2. Is there a rulebook for life that says what a “woman” is? Does the human condition come with an instruction manual? You’ve wrongly elevated a social tradition to the status of a constitutional principle.

              If somebody claiming to be a geolibertarian told you that technically they supported free markets, but they thought profit-seeking was terrible and business owners should be ashamed to go out in public, would you really think there was no internal tension with libertarianism?

              1. Is there a rulebook for life that says what a “woman” is?

                Yes, it’s called an allosome

                1. Exactly, l0b0t. Race can be a very mushy subject. I’m not aware of any ambiguity in whether or not someone is in possession of a Y allosome. Jenner can claim as he wishes, but the basics of reproductive biology are against him.

            3. Do you call a person by the name they were given, or by the name they want to be called? I feel that libertarians should celebrate choices that people make for themselves to assert their own identity.

              1. No one gets to choose what their genetic makeup is.
                XX and XY are derived at the time of conception and not something one gets to choose to alter, or ignore.
                It seems to be against the NAP to allow one to live in the delusion that they are other than what nature decreed.

              2. I’m perfectly fine with calling him “Caitlyn”

                He can change his name.

          2. The spirit of tolerance would require you

            So, when you convert the non-believers, do you have to put some sort of Bible on their heads before you shout this at them?

            “The spirit of tolerance compels you! *BAM* You have been cured of your wicked intolerances.”

            More importantly, can I use the practice to exercise people of various gluten demons and other made-up intolerances?

            1. It’s an intellectual requirement, as in intellectual honesty asks that you confront your ideas and your bigotries and then hopefully reconcile them when they’re baseless or inconsistent with your ethical framework. If you can’t understand this, I feel sorry for you. If you’re just being willfully ignorant and obtuse, then there’s no point in even talking to you.

              1. “”If you can’t understand this, I feel sorry for you. If you’re just being willfully ignorant and obtuse, then there’s no point in even talking to you.””

                two seconds ago this person offered a lecture on the “”spirit of tolerance””

                Thats some Bo-Cara level stuff

              2. Oooh! Can you invoke the spirit of tolerance to exorcise intolerance brought about by intellectual honesty?

                Like, if I find someone who self-identifies as a bear, and their neighbor, being intellectually honest with himself is certain they aren’t a bear. Can then I use the spirit of tolerance to make the neighbor more tolerant? Even to the point of belief?

                You defining what constitutes tolerance for others is intellectually dishonest (not to mention idiotically tautological).

              3. “It’s an intellectual requirement, as in intellectual honesty asks that you confront your ideas and your bigotries and then hopefully reconcile them when they’re baseless or inconsistent with your ethical framework.”

                Why do you abhor white power marches ?

                ” If you can’t understand this, I feel sorry for you. If you’re just being willfully ignorant and obtuse, then there’s no point in even talking to you.”

                Likewise.

                Why do you think someone abhor white power marches but celebrate transwhatever marches ? If neither of them cause physical pain to others why should they not be treated the same ?

                .

              4. “It’s an intellectual requirement, as in intellectual honesty asks that you confront your ideas and your bigotries and then hopefully reconcile them when they’re baseless or inconsistent with your ethical framework”

                Yet you say we should abhor white power marches ?

                What an intellectually dishonest piece of shit asshole preacher you are.

                The ethics of which you speak don’t seem to apply to you, only others.

                You fit the mold of a white Obama voter.

              5. Trevor, if its not a requirement for Y chromosome persons to be male, its not a requirement for people to be intellectually honest.

                You are setting an orthodoxy and not accepting others for not adhering.

                And then you have the nerve to talk about intellectual honesty.

                As referenced earlier (as the lowest form of tolerance) “begrudging” but not aggressing is tolerance.

                We can get along as long as you don’t violate NAP. Not having your feelz hurt is a positive right. This the basic architecture of the tolerance debate, from a rights perspective.

                They are implying a morality about feelz and using ostracism to enforce it, which is further complicated by govt handing out goodies to specific identity categories based on “skin color” or gender.

          3. Tolerance is just putting up with shit you don’t like because you recognize the rights of others. I don’t tolerate those other’s forcing me to accept and validate their tiny little feelings.

            1. Who’s forcing you to do anything? Is asking you to state a case for your belief a terrible infringement on your rights?

              1. The state, social justice warriors and the like. What case am I obliged to state here?

              2. “”Is asking you to state a case for your belief a terrible infringement on your rights?””

                Not only do you have no obligation to explain your beliefs, no one has any obligation to care what your explanation is

              3. Allowing someone to lay in the gutter and wallow in their own filth isn’t a terrible infringement on my rights, but asserting that they have the right to do so and not encourage assistance for the individual borders on cruelty.
                Why do you want to be cruel to the mentally ill?

          4. The spirit of tolerance would require you to at least confront why this upsets you even if concede the freedom argument.

            Pure. Unmitigated. Horse. Shit.

            It’s no more incumbent on someone who dislikes Jenner or Dolezal claims or decision to “confront” their reasons than it is incumbent on Jenner or Dolezal to “confront” their reasons for wanting to make their decisions. It’s nobody’s business.

            And, tolerance is most certainly not “being okay” with behaviors. I don’t “tolerate” a bottle of Rodenbach Grand Cru, a dry-aged sirloin dinner and a blowjob from my girlfriend. I like them.

            The true test of tolerance is whether you choose to respect the rights of others to behave in ways you don’t like.

        2. A lot of people just equate “tolerance” with affirmation, forced or otherwise. I tolerate different beliefs; that doesn’t mean I like, respect, or even give serious consideration of them.

          Of course, if toleration = affirmation then no one is any more or less tolerant than any other, since you can’t sincerely affirm contradictory beliefs.

      2. Reason should rename itself to Will – as in free-will. The magazine take the same position of virtually any topic: if you will to do it you should be free to do it so long as no one else is being coerced.

        The tagline to this story is: “People should be free to assert whatever gender or racial identity they feel.” The assumption here I suppose is that no one is being coerced. And that is probably true. But that doesn’t necessarily mean no one is being harmed. Nor does it mean that this is what is best for society. And what exactly is meant when one says “free”. Do you mean that one should be uncoersed? Do you mean that one should be free from being mocked or from not being fully accepted or undiscriminated upon?

        It might be nice for a magazine with the name Reason to explore what the moral, social, economic, legal and cultural implications might be if people were to broadly avail themselves of the freedom to adopt an identity which is contrary to their biology.

        1. Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. -Alistair Crowley

    2. As for the other, I can’t imagine blacks would be happy with whites “identifying” as black to claim scholarships or state contracts set aside for minorities.

      Ah, that’s just old fashioned rent-seeking.

      And we knew this would happen.

      1. “And we knew this would happen.”
        How could it not?
        Since one only needed to be 1/32 black – a single grandparent, four generations back ( when not identifying as black would have been an advantage) so that an 80 yer old picture of great-great-great grandma, looking dark skinned could get you over the threshold – it would seem that anyone industrious enough could get the benny.

    3. How about the property owner decides how to operate their own restrooms?

      1. Three doors: “Men” “Women” “Miscellaneous”

        1. “Men” “Women” “Miscellaneous Mentally Ill

          Kidding! But only because it would be rude.

          Punchline: All the doors take you to the same bathroom.

          1. And you think there are lines outside the women’s restroom now…

            /TIWTANFL

        2. Or, one door “homo sapiens”.

          Of course that would be exclusionary to the neanderthals among us.

          *nervously glances around*

          1. So… my walking off the set of the GEICO commercial was not enough? Now you’re mocking me too?

          2. 2.8%, which puts me in the 87th percentile of Neanderthal genomic identifiers.

            This is why I’m hairy.

            1. Piker. My mom is in the 99th percentile. (True story)

        3. “X[redacted]s|6.19.15 @ 1:49PM|#

          Three doors: “Men” “Women” “Miscellaneous”

          You seem to not be aware how much ot costs for a small business to add a bathroom that conforms to Government regulations.

          How would you like to spend 20 to 40 thousand of your money to add a bathroom just because Jenner isn’t welcome in either one anymore since he has tits and a dick ?

          If you have no problem with that then I suggest you volunteer to add an extra bathroom to some small business that can’t afford it at your expense.

    4. My issue is that they demand government protections and regulations. So all businesses should now have to cater to less than 1% of the population at the decree of some government bureaucrat or legislature. Meanwhile, they are ignorant of the past.

      I also object to the many transgendered individuals who think society should have to PAY for their procedures. Especially with Obamacare. I think Chelsey Manning should be released from prison and granted a full pardon, frankly, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to buy that the government should be wasting tax dollars on a gender reassignment surgery. Or the military should be paying for it for those who enlist. It’s absurd. No one owes them that.

      I don’t care about the bathroom thing, but its funny because it doesn’t fall under the traditional left/right divide. Plenty of democrats, prog females are going to take issue with anyone with a penis being in a female bathroom. It’s another example of identity politics where they eat their own.

      1. But presumably you don’t think anybody should get any government protections from private discrimination (including by gender, race, religious beliefs, etc.) or for government to fund anybody’s healthcare whether elective or necessary. So its not really about transgenders is it?

        1. No, and I didn’t say it was. A large portion are also asking for more than just protections against discrimination. They want free shit and accommodations that go beyond that. I have nothing against someone who identifies as another gender or anything else.

          But there is a high correlation between progressive stupidity and people who are transgendered. At least in terms of the most vocal among them.

          1. Long story short, I’m a bit cautious on jumping into bed with people who are gung ho about transgendered rights. There is a libertarian position of tolerance, and then there is the batshit crazy leftist position.

            1. Long story short, I’m a bit cautious on jumping into bed with people who are gung ho about transgendered rights.

              Don’t get black-out drunk while in Pattaya.

              1. Shit, too late.

                Slight aside – you know, there are lots of hot female hookers in Pattaya too. They’re not all ladyboys.

                1. They’re not all ladyboys.

                  Okay, Sweety. I’m sure she was a she.

                  *pats Chipwwooder gently on the back*

          2. Even if every transgender were a progressive they would still be a small fraction of the progressive and there’s no reason to believe that every one is. Nor are they all activists. Most people of every demographic group are not loudmouth activists, they are just trying to live their lives. It doesn’t make any more sense to be wary of transgenders because they lean progressive than it does to be wary of black people because 90+% of them (well those who vote at all) vote democrat.

            1. I’m not wary of transgenders. I’m wary of what people are trying to define as rights in this country. I’m also concerned with people who would distort reality and silence inconvenient speech that contradicts the narrative they want to set.

              The only thing transgendered individuals have a right to is to live their life in peace free from violence. I can on a personal level advocate for tolerance. They have the first part already, as far as I’m concerned. They are treated equally under the law.

              Some of my statements on this subject have lacked clarity. I follow the simple belief that if what someone is doing is harmless to someone else, they are free to do it.

              1. I’m not going to wade into all the subtleties you guys are discussing, just gonna point out that Bruce or Caitlin or whoever Jenner also self identifies as a Republican.

      2. “prog females are going to take issue with anyone with a penis being in a female bathroom. It’s another example of identity politics where they eat their own.”

        I tell ya – if I could eat my own, I’d never leave the house – and thus never need to worry about which public bathroom to use.

          1. I see what you did there…

          2. There is an old joke to this effect.

            Ma and Pa were sitting on the porch watching their barnyard animals watering at the end of the day. As the chickens were walking from the water back to the chicken house they saw a rooster top several hens one after the other. Ma looked at Pa and said, “don’t you wish you could still do that Pa” ? Pa replied, ” If I had a different hen each time I still could Ma”.

            End of joke.

    5. Bingo. If race is cosplay only, then by all means, let’s sh*tcan all preferences and set asides and so on. And then, having proposed this, let’s make popcorn and watch the Liberals lose their minds.

    6. The solution there, of course, is to do away with the set-asides.

      I said that, during a conversation with someone about this issue. You’d have thought I was talking about roasting kittens for dinner the reaction I got. Yeesh.

    7. “I can’t imagine blacks would be happy with whites “identifying” as black to claim scholarships or state contracts set aside for minorities.”

      Can whites identify as oreos – blacks who are more comfortable with white culture?

  2. I feel that I am a Cherokee Indian, therefore I expect the gov to let me build a giant casino.

    1. The problem isn’t with them being allowed. The problem is with the rest of us not being allowed. I don’t begrudge their rights. I begrudge the violation of mine.

      1. Yeah, let’s not start begrudging people for their “Native privilege”. That’s progressivism’s shtick.

      1. Since the squirrels won’t let me post in Cherokee syllabary. Grrr!

    2. Ya, I guess we were all wrong about Liz Warren.

  3. I, for one, look forward to the dispassionate and well-grounded discussion of the arguments in the article that shall take place in this comment section.

    1. Also, deep dish abortion.

      1. CIRCUMCISED, deep-dish abortion, PLEASE.

        Oh, and copyright.

        GO!

    2. I, for one, can barely contain my enthusiasm for the release of:

      Black Like Me; the Rhonda Bailey story!

  4. I love this idea. I have always felt a close connection to Native Americans. While as far as I know I have no Native American blood, can I please have my casino license now? Also, I need some money for my kids’ college funds. Some of that Native scholarship money would go a long ways in the American Hero house.

    1. It would be entertaining to see people give up their white privilege to get some of those benefits. The left can never accept the idea of identifying as another race. These are the same people who rant about cultural appropriation as some great sin.

      1. Well it’s stealing from another culture right? I’m willing to give back rap music and peanut butter in exchange for the English language, flushing toilets and the scientific method.

        If cultural appropriation were truly a bad thing then the division of labor is a bad thing, which would be to assert that we never should have left the stone age.

        1. You and your fancy stones are why this planet is turning to filth.

          1. No one needs flint arrowheads to hunt…

            /Cuomo

            1. Don’t exaggerate. He’d let you have up to six. But you have to keep safely stored in mammoth hide and buried 5 feet under your cave at all times.

        2. Wait!
          You mean the ways to get from floor to floor in a government “project” aren’t unflushing toilets?
          Having been in many, you wouldn’t know by the smell.

      2. “give up their white privilege to get some of those benefits”

        hmmmm

    2. I am native American. I mean, i was born here.

      1. I’m 1/2 a percent western African, how can I apply to run a NAACP chapter?

            1. There are also no restrictions on who may run any NCAA chapter. For example, the Maricopa County (AZ) chapter president is a white Jewish guy. Some people are upset; I personally don’t care. Then again, I’m of a race that I don’t really identify with anyways.

              1. yeah, and he doesn’t lie about being a white jewish guy. it’s the lying, get it, pal?

  5. I, too, wish to identify as whatever group gets the most free shit.

    1. And lap83 gets right to the crux of the matter.

    2. Why just one? There are a lot of groups who get free shit.

      1. black lesbian rape victim in a wheelchair?

        1. So, basically Al Sharpton?

  6. “Hunter, national director of the D.C.-based Trans Women of Color Collective”

    Of *course* there’s a Trans Women of Color Collective.

    1. Trans Women of Color Congressional Caucus?

      1. Trans Women Action Team

        1. I see what you did there. Nice….

        2. See, I’m confused:
          Is a “trans woman” one who is transing TO a woman or transing FROM a woman.

    2. New Math taught me that one person can be a collective.

  7. The Native American jokes are good, but the number of genealogists you meet that are desperate to prove they have First Nations ancestry makes the idea seem like a mass delusion.

    1. Wait a second. “First Nations” is a Canadian term. NutraSweet is a secret Canadian?!? GET HIM!!!

      1. Tell us all about that girlfriend you met in Niagara Falls.

        1. Well, I lost contact with her. Last I heard, she had a sex change operation and moved to Kentucky to work as an archiv…WAIT A SECOND.

          1. They fashioned it out of a broom handle, twine and a handful of upholstery tacks.

              1. It doesn’t show up in digital or chemical photos. The doctors can’t find a reason why.

        2. Don’t talk about Epi’s mom.

            1. Nah bro, you want *video.*

    2. Ever notice that people who claim to remember past lives always remember being either someone famous or some character out of a romance novel?

      1. Yup. No one was ever a dirt farmer that got kicked in the head by a mule.

        1. That’s because the kick in the head gives them amnesia, thus no memories of past lives to relive.

          1. Dammit. You are so right.

  8. I AM a native American. I was born here.

    I am SO fucking tired of decades of this bullshit, which INEVITABLY was going to end here.

    So – I’m fine with this STUPID fucking idea, as long as – concurrently – the gummint abolishes all references, favoritism, dis-favoritism, etc. etc. that accrues from all these nonsense labels.

    If you can get that done (“you”, cause “I’m” not interested in even trying), then I’ll support it. Otherwise – STOP THE MADNESS! You are whatever you are, fine – leave me out of it.

  9. I identify as a cyborg – where are my cybernetics?

    1. I think I got them. To tell the truth, they aren’t as cool as I hoped they’d be…..

  10. “Ronald Bailey Argues that People Should Be Free to Assert Whatever Gender or Racial Identity They Feel.”

    OK, so long as dissenters are allowed to treat them as the sex or race they actually are. Freedom for both sides, please.

    1. people conflate “tolerance” with enforced-affirmation

    2. Obviously you can be a dick to people. No libertarian is going to tell you that you have to be nice. So the larger question is why you even want to dissent.

      1. No, the largest question is why you care what he thinks as long as he isn’t actively harming somone.

        1. This is such a narrow-minded view. As libertarians we can’t care about or confront bigotry from an ethical point of view even if we support a person’s right to hold whatever views he pleases? Please. Utterly ridiculous notion.

          What I find annoying is that people here are falling back on arguments of free speech rather than actually explaining why they hold their positions.

          It would be the equivalent of espousing a racist tirade and then citing “free speech!” Free speech tells us why you’re allowed to say something, not why you said what you said. It’s an intellectually dishonest discussion because it avoids the ethical problems of the worldview.

          1. “As libertarians we ”

            You are not a Libertarians or even a linertarian. It is obvious in your words.

            “What I find annoying”

            We have already learned that you find white power marches abhoring.

            Are black power marches OK with you ?

          2. “I hope you can celebrate strange and unconventional living even if it only serves to accomplish moving the world to more toleration.”

            These are you words above in this thread.

            Yet you find white power marches abhoring. what an intellectual dishonest pice of lying shit you are. How about black power marches ? Ok with you ?

            People of your ilk make me sick at my stomach. You are obviously a white, white hating, racist progressive liberal piece of shit.

        2. If his opinion is worth stating, then why is the counter-opinion not worth asserting?

  11. I recently read an article about the ‘transabled’. Google the National Post article about how people purposefully mutilate themselves. I guess we should all be tolerant of that as well. Dear Reason magazine, people are not generally reasonable. Your utopian vision is unworkable.

    1. Why do you care if someone mutilates themselves?

      1. Depends on what you mean by “care.”

        Does it sadden me? Yes.

        Would I like to pay for the medical care they need after disabling themselves? No, unless *perhaps* it’s to treat their delusion.

        1. A big thumbs up!

    1. INUIT.

      My pal Iglakitut is very upset by your micro-aggression.

      1. when i took the SAT, i decided to fill in the bubbles for “race” as, “Native American – Inuit”

        it caused a number of problems when colleges came looking for the smartest Eskimo in NYC.

      2. Eskimo is not a pejorative in the US.

    2. Unless you learn to wear a grass skirt and grow coconuts, you’ll be extinct by 2100.

  12. Strip away all legal privileges/benefits from racial or gender categories, and I would agree, Ron.

    However, when the State imposes burdens or gives privileges based on these categories, then I think that its not so simple. If there are legal consequences to being in a category, that category needs to be defined and enforced (which you kind of indicate w/r/t Jim Crow laws). However, the idea that your race stopped having any legal relevance with the repeal of Jim Crow is just flat-out wrong.

    Now, if you are proposing that we subvert and disrupt the State scheme by having people self-identify, that’s a form of civil disobedience I can get behind.

  13. It’s no big deal as long as we aren’t rewarding people jobs, college admissions, and all kinds of other privileges and goodies based on gender and race.

    Unfortunately, it’s a big deal right now.

  14. I am pretty sure there is more to gender than just culture. Women really are physically different in meaningful ways than men. It saddens me to see Bailey, who claims to be rational and to seek scientific answers, adopt such a ridiculous view on gender.

    As far as race goes, if anyone who wants to can claim to be whatever race they want, then race really doesn’t exist in any meaningful sense. If you can say you are black just as easily as you can say you are an Emo or a Hipster or a Steelers’ fan, then race is nothing but fashion.

    As someone who would like to see a color blind society, I am sympathetic to that idea. As someone who lives in reality, I think it is almost as ridiculous as the gender argument. Being black or white or whatever certainly doesn’t determine the content of your character or your moral worth as a human being, but being that way is sure as hell more than just fashion. If nothing else, living the experience of being that race makes it different.

    1. Think of it this way, could I identify as an NFL player? Why not? I think of myself as being one. the problem is of course there is a hell of a lot more to being an NFL player than just saying I am and liking the “culture”. There is a whole process of spending your life pursuing a craft and being incredibly good at it such that you can get to the top levels of it. And that experience is not something someone can just claim without going through it. Some things are not fashion. You don’t just put them on. You have to in a sense earn them. You have to live that way and be that way.

      Most importantly, this woman was never black for no other reason than she always knew she could go back to being white. If things ever got bad or she ever didn’t like being black, she could always take off the make up straighten her hair and go back home to her white parents. Actual black people can’t do that. They are born black and grow up black and will always be black and everything good, bad or indifferent that means in today’s society.

      I am sorry Ron but this article is ridiculous and frankly insulting. Even me, the biggest Neanderthal conservative on this board understands that there really is such a thing as “black experience” and you can’t just claim to have it because you think its cool or it gets you into college.

      1. Even me, the biggest Neanderthal conservative on this board

        You’ve taken a look around here lately?

        1. Yeah I know, shrike told me it was a giant Team Red Circle Jerk. But I am the jerkiest of them all.

          1. You’re speaking of the perception of someone with a less tenous grasp on reality than Rachel Dolezal, the Human Chameleon.

        2. You’ve taken a look around here lately?

          I am with you on this. I have been calling for people to class it up around here for hours.

        3. Even me, the biggest Neanderthal conservative on this board

          I’m transitioning to Neanderthal.

          1. I welcome the company.

      2. Maybe though this impulse to be anything coupled with getting official credit for it can be used to tear down the entire cultural Balkanization movement in US. When something can be anything then its nothing.

        1. I see that. That, however, doesn’t make it any less than a lie. Forgive me if I am uncomfortable with endorsing a lie even if it does give a result I want. Lies tend to have lots of unforeseeable consequences.

          1. Unforeseeable? I don’t believe that is the case. An iron law comes to mind.

      3. “Even me, the biggest Neanderthal conservative on this board..”

        I am deeply offended.

      4. waffles likes this.

      5. Most importantly, this woman was never black for no other reason than she always knew she could go back to being white. If things ever got bad or she ever didn’t like being black, she could always take off the make up straighten her hair and go back home to her white parents. Actual black people can’t do that. They are born black and grow up black and will always be black and everything good, bad or indifferent that means in today’s society.

        Very much this. It reminds me nothing more than dipshits who sleep on the streets for a week and claim they understand homelessness.

        1. Black people can’t identify as white? Why not?

          1. No. They can’t. It is less insulting because white people generally have it a bit better. But no.

            Understand if you were black or white and for whatever reason grew up from birth being treated like the other race, then you probably could. But no one can grow up and live their life as one race and then decide to be the other.

      6. “Think of it this way, could I identify as an NFL player? ”

        How about this way? Could you identify as a Muslim or a Buddhist? Certainly not unless you have a lifetime’s worth of experience under your belt. I don’t think that holds any water.

    2. I am pretty sure there is more to gender than just culture. Women really are physically different in meaningful ways than men.

      I don’t know why you think this conflicts with transgenerism. If anything, thinking that gender is solely a cultural construct is inconsistent with it. If men and women have different brains and a portion of that is biological, and someone with a brain that is the opposite of their born sex, it would make sense that they would feel trapped in the wrong body and seek to rectify that as best as current science allows. If gender was solely a cultural construct then it wouldn’t matter.

      1. Yes it does. Tansgenerism is a return of an absolutely nasty cultural construct of sex. It is saying what makes you a man or a woman is not your anatomy but your ability or desire to live up to the cultural conceptions about what it means to be such. And people think this is a good idea or anything but nasty and oppressive?

        No, just because you are effeminate or act in a certain way doesn’t change what you are. To say it does is to say what you are is a product of what society tells you you are. And to that I say fuck off slaver.

        1. Transgenders are people who are trapped in the wrong body, it has nothing to do with feeling effeminate or acting a certain way. It is biological. I bet if you ask them if they would have preferred to have been born in the right body, close to 100% would say yes rather than having to go through expensive and painful hormone treatment and surgery. Not to mention the shitty treatment by their fellow human beings. They aren’t a product of society but a product of their own genes and brain chemistry, or environmental factors other than “society.”

          1. No they are not. They are people whose behaviors do not match up to what society says they should be for the body they have. They are only the trapped in the “wrong body” if you think that some behaviors are just not what men or women do. And that is a nasty retrograde view of sex.

            These people feel trapped in the wrong body because they want to act in ways that do not meet societies standards for their sex. Rather than judging the living shit out of them and telling them they are freaks who need to mutilate themselves, how about we tell them they are in the right body and can do whatever the hell they want? Isn’t that a hell of a lot more tolerant and accepting than this bullshit?

            1. It’s more tolerant for you, John, to completely misunderstand what you are talking about and tell them what they really think and feel because of course you know better than they do themselves (not to mention their doctors)?

              Or are you still conflating transgenders and transsexuals? You know that men, both gay and straight, can dress up and act in what society traditionally views as a feminine way while still seeing themselves as men right? It is not the same thing.

              1. It’s more tolerant for you, John, to completely misunderstand what you are talking about and tell them what they really think and feel because of course you know better than they do themselves (not to mention their doctors)?

                If they thought they were unicorns, would it be intolerant of me to point out they didn’t have a horn? I can only tell you what their anatomy is and that their not wanting to act like society says someone of their sex should act does not mean they are the other sex. It means society’s view of the sexes is too rigid and intolerant.

                And their doctors? Really? You are going to just appeal to authority? Moreover, everyone is aware the doctor who invented the procedure stopped doing it because he said it was unethical and didn’t help his patients.

                To the extent that people believe they are in the wrong body, it is because society has convinced them that what it means to be a man or a woman is how well you act in according to societal standards rather than just being who you are. These people are a victim of society and people like Ron and you are just victimizing them more.

                1. Your obstinacy on this is amusing. They don’t believe they are in the wrong body, they are.

                  Do you think gay people are attracted to the same sex because society convinced them to?

                  1. You don’t amuse me. Apatheist. Stupidity never does.

                    And being gay is not denying your anatomy. Being gay is a behavior. It is what you do not what you are. I don’t know what kind of he man views of sexuality you have, but I am pretty sure gay men and women have the same parts straight people do. Just because you like other men doesn’t mean you are a freak or have different anatomy than men who don’t.

                    Being gay is not denying who you are or thinking that because you don’t act a certain way your body is deformed and must be changed. So your analogy fails.

                    1. It fails if you think gay is a behavior and not an innate biological attraction to the same sex instead of a different sex (or both sexes if you are bi, or something in-between). You can be a celibate gay man. It is not a behavior.

                    2. So Apatheist,

                      Are men who go gay in prison or on long sea voyages really gay? Is anyone who ever sucked a cock in boarding school gay?

                      That is a pretty constricted view of sexuality you have. Moreover, since when does your sexual preference define who you are? So what if someone only finds men attractive and I only find women attractive. How is he any less of a man than I am? And are we both forever trapped in ourselves? He could never fall in love with or find a woman attractive or me the same with a man?

                      i don’t think so. In claiming things are genetic, you are just robbing people of their autonomy and dignity. This person isn’t just a human being, he is a “gay human being” and will forever be whether he likes it or not. No thanks to that view of humanity.

                      Our anatomy is what it is. But our behavior and ourselves are what we make them to be.

            2. They are people whose behaviors do not match up to what society says they should be for the body they have. They are only the trapped in the “wrong body” if you think that some behaviors are just not what men or women do. And that is a nasty retrograde view of sex.

              Yep, This is the irony of their position. They force certain behavioral aspects to sexual identity more so than any 1950’s conception of what a woman is or is not.

          2. Oh, so this can be fixed then…if they have a y chromosome we just take that out right? You can’t change your DNA, yet. Some things you can’t change…chalk it up to life isn’t fair. I’m all for letting them be who they want to be but don’t make me an accessory in their lie.

          3. Transgenders are people who are trapped in the wrong body

            Is there anything to back this up? I’ve heard the body brain mix up theory many times and it’s always accompanied with hand waiving. Somehow a fetus getting the hormones to turn its entire body one sex was not able to have those hormones reach the brain?

            I would imagine this one body part of a different sex is as common in the brain as it is for other parts. Where are all the people with female bodies with a male arm or similar? I’m supposed to accept without evidence that this phenomenon not only can happen, but somehow only affects the brain. I call bullshit.

          4. Are you trans ?

            if not what makes you such an expert on the subject?

            And if so are you saying all trans are just alike ?

          5. I’ll bet if you asked, they would tell you that they would rather have been born as Jesus Christ, or a cat, or a tree.
            It doesn’t make them any less delusional than those who think they are not what nature says they are.

    3. Race does exist – culturally – but I don’t see why the “real world” dictates that we’re forever locked into the cultural construct we’re born into, that was erected before we even existed, and that everyone thinks we should adhere to. That’s a much harder position to take rather than simply saying it’s real.

      1. “We” in the larger sense are not. Yes over time the races go away. There are no Romans or Lombards anymore. You and I, however, are. The fact that over time the “black experience” such as it is will fade away and we will invent new cultural distinctions doesn’t make it any less ridiculous for you and I right now to claim we are black. We are not. There is more to culture than fashion. Experience counts too.

        1. Why? Because you said so? If your point is it’s wrong to lie to shortcut your way into being accepted or into a job, then fine. I agree. I don’t see why it’s wrong to live the way you want because you’ve decided you need a requisite amount of experience before the club can grant you membership. Or, in the case of Caitlyn Jenner, your biology is a permanent barrier.

          1. Why? Because that is reality. Can I identify as an Army Ranger? Why not? Why should I have to go to the school and pass the test? I identify as one so I am one.

            You can go paint yourself black all you like, but you are not black. You are a white guy who pretends he is black. You are not black for no other reason than you cna always quit being black. Someone who is born black can’t do that. And yes, the experience of growing up a certain way makes you who you are. Someone can’t be you just because they can dress up like you. In the same way, just because you dress up like a Chinese street walker or a Mexican mariachi player, doesn’t make you one. It makes you someone else pretending to be one.

            You want to treat race like fashion. And in an ideal world that is what it would be. We don’t live in an ideal world. In the real world race and the experience of being born and raised that way means something and isn’t something you can just claim.

          2. Did you just switch from being Apatheist something to Trevor Mcdoodie head ?

            You must be a trans username.

            Not that there is anything wrong with that.

            But there is.

    4. But race doesn’t exist in any meaningful sense. Culture does. Sometimes culture is correlated with skin color and phenotype but that’s about it.

      1. Yes. But when the culture is totally associated with and related to having a particular skin color, you can’t just decide one day to be a part of that culture if you don’t have that skin color. My deciding one day I “identify as black” is just as idiotic as my deciding one day “I identify as an exon or an NBA player”. You can’t just decide to be a part of a culture. That is what Ron doesn’t get.

        1. Well it’s about as idiotic as saying “I identify as a dragon”. I’m all about people being as idiotic as they choose to be such that the institutions that only exist based on historical divisions between peoples come crumbling down. Maybe I’m misguided. But I think rather than fighting the idiocy I should cheer it on so that it accelerates into something less stupid oblivion.

          1. People will always be different and divide themselves into different cultures based on ultimately nothing but bullshit. Even though those distinctions are in the grand scheme bullshit, they have a lot of effect on the people subject to them. So you can’t just claim to be a part of a culture if you haven’t lived it.

          2. I feel microaggressed because I do – in fact – identify as a dragon. A Fire Drake from the Lesser Moon of Gachuckata.

            1. I am a jawa jedi, the only one of my kind. Now someone make me one of those cool brown robes in xxxxl size. (I’ve got a lightsabre…*waahnne* (I have a maroon crystal in it, cause I’m also a maroon)

      2. But race doesn’t exist in any meaningful sense.

        Yes, it does.

        There is a 0% chance that any child of mine would have sickle-cell anemia or Tay-Sachs disease.

        Why is that?

  15. People should be free to assert whatever gender or racial identity they feel.

    They are free to do so. But they are not free to force others to accept or validate such “self-fashioning” with discrimination laws and mandates. Nor are they free to use the “self-fashioning” as a basis to qualify for their neighbor’s tax money.

    1. I will remain free to roll my eyes and dismiss them as idiots.

    2. This is exactly it. I’m fine with trans people. I’m not fine with being told I have to use their personal pronouns or that I have to be open to dating them if I want to keep my “enlightened” card. If that were a valid tactic, so would telling trans people to man up, knock it off, and “start acting right.”

  16. They’re free to assert whatever racial or gender identity they please. Nobody, so far as I’m aware, is trying to take that right away from either of them.

    They do not, however, have a right to be taken seriously.

    1. Which is just your roundabout way of saying that you don’t take them seriously. There’s no point in even arguing that, as everyone who is at all reasonable believes you’re allowed to form your own opinions. This is just how you’re dodging defending why this would even bother you.

      1. Why does he have to defend anything? And loads of people don’t think you’re allowed to form your own opinions, or at least not allowed to make them known if they’re not on the approved list.

        1. If an opinion is worth stating, then how can it not be worth refuting?

          I think the problem here is that there’s no articulable reason to oppose dynamic social identities. Since the only real reason boils down to eight thousand iterations of “my grandpa wouldn’t have recognized this as normal,” there’s really no good argument against it. Since there’s no good argument against it, people can only say “it’s just my opinion.”

          “It’s just my opinion” is equivalent to saying “I don’t have any reason for thinking it, but I still want to self-righteously proclaim it.”

          1. Who said anything about opposing “dynamic social identities”? You could be a one-legged transsexual pirate hooker. I don’t care. I wouldn’t want to live that life myself, I wouldn’t want that life for my children and I can tell we are different enough that we’re not going to be best buddies, but I’m not advocating violence against you. Nor do I owe you approval or affirmation. I don’t owe you anything in fact.

            1. Yes, but as with the open homosexuals wanting to become teachers, we get onto that slippery slope of our children being indoctrinated into believing that such is normal, or natural.
              You say you wouldn’t want that for your children but they will be taught that there is nothing wrong with something you wouldn’t want for yourself.
              So, it’s not just about “letting them live the way they want” because, as in other cases, it gets transferred to others, who are developing their own identities and skews reality for them.

      2. “Which is just your roundabout way of saying that you don’t take them seriously.”

        No, it was my straightforward way of saying they don’t have a right to be taken seriously.

        But yes, I also do not take seriously the idea that an XY-chromosome human being with a penis is female.

        1. XY? Does this mean that true sex identification was impossible before Watson & Crick? Or could it be that you’ve identified a bright line standard that has no bearing on what it actually means to be male?

          Also, I see that you’ve implicitly allowed that you might consider post-surgery transwomen to be women. Noted. So it’s not the arbitrary chromosome formation, you just object to using the identity before getting the big surgery.

          If it’s only chromosomes, then you must think there are tons of unobservable genders. There are many mutations for people with multiple sex chromosomes. So I guess XYY and XYYY must be different genders – newly discovered, since DNA testing was strangely unavailable before DNA was discovered.

          1. The exact same argument could be applied to any subject with a body of knowledge that recent scientific developments have given us a better understanding of. That is if I correctly understand your incomprehensible word salad.

          2. “XY? Does this mean that true sex identification was impossible before Watson & Crick? Or could it be that you’ve identified a bright line standard that has no bearing on what it actually means to be male?”

            A “bright line standard identifying what it actually means to be male” was “identified” many millions of years before the human race even evolved, when sexual reproduction came into being.

            Also, if you think I “implicitly” said Jenner might be female if he had his penis removed, you need a remedial English course. A man with no penis is “a eunuch”, not “a woman”.

  17. But part of my own annoyance at this subject is from listening to these people talk, as I said above. Have you ever heard a transgendered individual lecture about how their is an epidemic of transgendered suicides because of the privileged (ie white males)? I mean, you dare to suggest that pumping yourself full of hormones and altering your body may play a part in that, and you get silenced. But ask that same leftwing moron about a genetically modified tomato and they’ll tell you how unnatural it all is. Science that let’s gay people have children with their genes, sex change operations and the like are ok, but GMO’s are the devil.

    1. It’s simple when you realize that humans are not ‘natural’ to begin with in their worldview. So doing unnatural things to unnatural things is no great sin, but doing unnatural things to natural things is anathema.

      At least that’s what I come up with when I put more thought into it than the people who actually hold such views.

    2. You know, before this moment I never put that together. Excellent observation.

  18. People should be free to assert whatever gender or racial identity they feel.

    People should also feel free to laugh at them.

  19. Don Lemon is a man

    Brian Williams is a journalist

  20. What does Ron mean when he says people should be free to do this? If he means it shouldn’t be illegal, no one I am aware of would say differently. Every agrees you should have the right to pretend all you like. That however makes the article pretty meaningless.

    I assume Ron has a point beyond “it shouldn’t be illegal to pretend”. And I can’t see how it is any other point than “people should accept and validate people like Jenner and Dolezal”. Ah no Ron. Reality and even identity is not subjective. It is objective. You can believe you are something all you like. That however doesn’t necessarily make you that something or require anyone to validate your beliefs.

    1. There are many ways pretending to be a women could be fraud.Same with race.

      1. Sure. But then it is the fraud that is the crime not the pretending. I am free to write a check for a million dollars. It is only when I pass it off as real that doing so becomes a crime.

        1. And you don’t think some will push for laws to protet their rights? You can all yourself a purple elaphant but don’t expect me to accept it.I believe with Jenner it’s about attention and more fame for a aging former star.He has learned well from his family.

          1. How is he not known as Transjenner.

            I don’t get it.

            They should have him endorse some car care products like car wax, standing in front of a Trans Am.

    2. Reality and even identity is not subjective.

      Exactly. I can identify as Sugarfree all I want, but it will never be an inbred, obese, scatologist with a lazy pancreas.

  21. Ron’s a idiot,he’s a man of sciene he says ,but,says its ok to deny biology.Think of all the so so male golfers who could clean up on the LPGA,or guys in the WNBA or soccer,or the Olympics.As far as race,I don’t care what some one says they are,trouble is,the government does and likes to make laws ( hate crimes,Quotas ) and dole out funds to the ‘right’ groups.

    1. This article is very disappointing. Ron claims to be a man of science. Are chromosomes not science? Is that just some kind of cultural construct?

      1. I think the idea is that sex is determined by chromosomes, while gender is a social construct.

        Which, as far as I am concerned, it bullshit.

        1. Since when is your sex and your gender different? Where is the scientific evidence for that? What the hell does that even mean anyway?

          The view that sex and gender are different is really a nasty and retrograde view of sexuality. It is saying that someone who is a man but also effeminate or a woman but also masculine is no longer what they are but the opposite. If you don’t meet up to the arbitrary set of outward characteristics society has deemed “male”, you are really a woman, no matter what your anatomy.

          They claim to want to lessen the importance of societal views about sex but in reality they reinforce them in a very harsh and retrograde way. What it means to be a “man” or a “woman” is to have that anatomy. Whether you want to wear dresses or cut your hair short has nothing to do with it.

          1. What the hell does that even mean anyway?

            It means your gender is determined by your feelings, not your plumbing.

            What they want is for everyone to walk around on eggshells, afraid to use any gender-specific pronouns for fear of offending someone’s fragile feelings. These are the same people who want to criminalize anything that offends them. They basically want to criminalize traditional values.

            1. “They basically want to criminalize traditional values.”

              Just the ones that create a strong, cohesive society. Just the ones that make people secure and independent . Just the ones that make people hard targets.

              1. Just the ones that create a strong, cohesive society. Just the ones that make people secure and independent . Just the ones that make people hard targets.

                Those values are exactly what enables black one-legged transsexual lesbians to live freely and prosper in the first place, despite their long list of idiosyncrasies and eccentricities.

            2. So many women’s studies grads in the world today. Even on this site, I’ve never been so thoroughly re-educated on the latest PC terms to address the concepts surrounding genitalia modification. Truth be told I couldn’t possibly care any less about this amorphous blob of identity politics that wells up from the nowhere every so often.

              Trannies, lesbies, gays, browns, blacks, yellows, halfies, amputees, union fucks, millenial fucks and lesbian black one-legged female gamer trannies; all being positioned into their special interest identity groups and setting themselves up as my eternal enemy merely because I’m a heterosexual white male who doesn’t possess the requisite amount of contrition. Fuck ’em.

              1. I dated a chick who did a double major in Women’s Studies and Psychology. My goodness she was a useless cunt.

                1. So if her cunt was useless, I’m assuming you went in the back door?

                  1. She was useless, though she did have some useful parts.

                2. I think the double major thing comes easy in those fields since they’re about 100% and 90% bullshit, respectively. I dated a girl and on our first date I found she was a double major in Women Studies and “Africana” Studies (she was white). I excused myself to go to the rest room and never came back. I thought it would be more indignant ending that way.

                  1. I excused myself to go to the rest room and never came back.

                    Nice.

              2. Wood chipper you fail to take into account that that is just another form of vote buying that doesn’t require Congress to agree to buy those votes for you.

              3. But what happens when one of the groups you say “fuck ’em” to turns up as a teacher in your third grade kid’s class and tells your kid that they are the normal one, and your opinion should be disregarded?
                It has been happening, with open homosexuals as teachers for decades and has led to where we are today.
                And the slope hasn’t leveled off, any.

          2. If you don’t meet up to the arbitrary set of outward characteristics society has deemed “male”, you are really a woman, no matter what your anatomy.

            Yeah, by today’s standards, the 5′ 5″ Audie Murphy would not be considered very manly.

            1. I don’t know about that. Yeah, he was short, but by all accounts was a pretty charismatic guy and a natural leader. This is a dude who fainted during training but managed to convince his superiors to not discharge him on the spot. And once he got into combat he proved himself to be an efficient, merciless killer.

              He didn’t fit the John Wayne or Clark Gable tough guy persona we’ve come to associate with the archetype, but he seems to have garnered plenty of respect as a Man’s Man during his brief life.

        2. It’s a fine distinction, one that might be valid. Let’s assume it’s true. I actually think it probably is.

          Having assumed that, let’s be totally honest about what it means. An “internal,” mental woman born trapped in the body of a biological male who later has SRS and hormone injections becomes a transwoman. That’s fine.

          But a transwoman is not the same as a biological woman. Full stop. Saying they are the same is not helping anyone, because everybody, even the people demanding we all say and believe they are equal, knows it isn’t true.

          Everybody has to figure out how to be happy with parts of themselves they wish were different or that they don’t like. That’s a part of becoming an adult and a well-developed individual.

          My heart goes out to trans people. But I’m not going to use their personal pronouns or date/sleep with them. I don’t have to explain or defend that any more than a gay man has to explain his sexuality for it to be valid.

      2. Well,if enough guys pulled a Bruce Jenner in collage sports you could kiss title IX good bye,lol.

        1. I think it would be interesting if Title IX made scrapbooking (and collages) into a college sport. Rather gender specific, and they have been so oppressed and all…

    2. Deny biology? I don’t see how getting medical treatment to alter or remove body parts is denying those body parts exist. Is getting a tumor removed denying biology?

  22. “Both plainly believe that such transfigurations make them more fully who they are.”

    For people who can’t tell the difference between reality and what is in their heads, sure. It is called ‘delusion’.

  23. “Most geneticists and physical anthropologists reject the notion that race has any significant biological reality.”

    Does this really just hinge on what constitutes “significant”? It sounds like “social science” creeping in.

    Many argue the few genes that separate the races are just “the tip of the iceberg” but this logic could be extended to Chimps and Bonobos (99% similar) or even Bananas (~60%).

    1. Even if it doesn’t have a “biological reality”, it sure as hell has a cultural reality. Where Ron goes off the rials here is his total misunderstanding of culture. Culture isn’t always fashion. Sometimes culture is something you have to live and can’t just buy or join because you think it is cool.

      People who have been to prison come in all shapes and sizes. Having been to prison has “no biological reality”. It would however, be utter ridiculous if I woke up tomorrow and started to “identify as an excon”, I have never been to prison. There is currency in the experience. You can’t just claim you are something because you like it. Race is the same way. I can’t for the life of me understand why Ron can’t see that.

      1. Sometimes culture is something you have to live and can’t just buy or join because you think it is cool.

        We’re talking about people who want to change culture through legislation and government force. Like redefining marriage for example.

        1. Sure they do. They are idiots who don’t understand culture or what they are doing. They just fucking want something.

        2. Traditional values, redefining marriage. Why do you follow this website?

          1. Because I don’t desire to force my values onto anyone else, and would like others to do the same.

          2. Trevor,
            He identifies as a Reasonoid, so therefore by your thinking you should accept him and not challenge his belief.

      2. “There is currency in the experience. You can’t just claim you are something because you like it. Race is the same way. I can’t for the life of me understand why Ron can’t see that.”

        This is a very good point. Race and Gender have roots in biology and are further shaped by culture/environment. Radical feminists have long argued that Male to Female transsexuals simply aren’t women because they haven’t lived their entire life being viewed as women by the rest of the world, they haven’t been through the process of “ritualized submission.” – putting aside the argument of whether women are actually oppressed – they still make a good point.

        1. Radfems have never made a good point ever, including that one.

          1. “Radfems have never made a good point ever, including that one.”

            Would you care to elaborate?

        2. I kind of have to go with the fems on that. Transexuals are not women, if for no other reason they haven’t had the experience of being born into the world and growing up as one.

          It goes back to my point above, to say that transexuals are not what their anatomy says they are, is to enforce a really nasty view of sex that says anyone who doesn’t fit the norm is really not that sex.

      3. It would however, be utter ridiculous if I woke up tomorrow and started to “identify as an excon”, I have never been to prison. There is currency in the experience. You can’t just claim you are something because you like it. Race is the same way.

        How is race the same way? What common experiences do Ben Carson, Robert Mugabe, and Idi Amin share? For that matter, what common experience does Vincent Cain share with Trayvon Martin? Or, for that matter, what common experience or heritage does a 21st century US white immigrant who came to the US with nothing share with a wealthy scion of an old pre-revolutionary Southern slave owning dynasty?

        1. “…what common experience or heritage does a 21st century US white immigrant who came to the US with nothing share with a wealthy scion of an old pre-revolutionary Southern slave owning dynasty?”

          They are both cartoon characters?

        2. What common experiences do Ben Carson, Robert Mugabe, and Idi Amin share?

          Well, if he wins the race, all three will have been executives of decayed nations.

        3. How is race the same way? Because your race is part of who you are. It shapes your experience and how the world looks at you and treats you. It is not the only part of who you are. It is not that I have nothing in common with Carson or Thomas. In fact, I could have a lot in common with them. But what i don’t have in common with them is that I am not black. I didn’t live as a black person just like they didn’t live as a white person.

          Ben Carson being black is not the same as him wearing Armani suits or being a Steelers fan. i can go put on the Armani or pull for the Steelers and be just like him. I cannot go and paint my face black and do so.

          1. I cannot go and paint my face black and do so.

            You also can’t increase your IQ, or become 6’4″ tall, no matter how much you try, John. People are born different from each other and have different experiences from each other. Some of those benefit us and some hurt us.

            Ben Carson being black is not the same as him wearing Armani suits or being a Steelers fan

            The problem with grouping people on race isn’t that that makes distinctions that don’t exist, it is that that it ignores the millions of distinctions that do exist.

            You don’t know the sum total of privileges, lucky breaks, problems, and challenges that Ben Carson faced. Neither do you know that for anybody else. What is crystal clear is that skin color is only one of many factors, and actually a comparatively minor one.

            Just by being born American, Carson had enormously greater privileges and opportunities than I had being born abroad, no matter what my skin color. What possible justification do you have categorizing Carson and me based on our skin color?

            1. What is crystal clear is that skin color is only one of many factors, and actually a comparatively minor one.

              And yet this categorical distinction predicated on phenotype is positively correlated with all sorts of trends. That’s not to say that black skin means your father is less likely to be in your life, it means that the cultural baggage that tends to be carried by people of that particular “tribe” predisposes you towards growing up in a broken home.

              1. it means that the cultural baggage that tends to be carried by people of that particular “tribe” predisposes you towards growing up in a broken home.

                But the determining factor there is whether you choose to be a member of that tribe, not what your skin color is. Your skin color may limit the tribes you can choose to join (Dolezal notwithstanding), or you may be forced to join some tribes against your will, but it’s tribe membership, not skin color, that’s the causative factor.

            2. “Just by being born American, Carson had enormously greater privileges and opportunities than I had being born abroad,”

              Aha ! So you admit that the USA is the best country in the world ?

              How non liberal can your get ?

    2. Many argue the few genes that separate the races

      That’s the problem: races aren’t “separated” by anything other than superficial characteristics. You can look like a dark skinned black man and have a lower percentage of African ancestry than someone who can pass as white.

      When biologists say that race has no biological reality, they don’t mean that people in different places don’t look different; obviously they do. They mean that there is no consistent way of dividing people into races.

      are just “the tip of the iceberg” but this logic could be extended to Chimps and Bonobos (99% similar) or even Bananas (~60%).

      Chimps, bananas, and humans are different species: we don’t interbreed.

      1. Pugs and Beagles can interbreed.

        1. Yes, and what do you know, they are called “breeds”.

          Dog breeds are not scientifically defined biological classifications, but rather are groupings defined by clubs of hobbyists called breed clubs. A dog breed is represented by a sufficient number of individuals to stably transfer its specific characteristics over generations.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog_breed

          1. Would you be comfortable with replacing the word “race” with “breed?”

              1. I’m glad my computer speakers are hooked up to my iPhone.

            1. Personally, yes. But compared to dogs we are all mutts.

            2. It’s not called “breed” because humans aren’t “bred” purposely.

              It may be useful for the purpose of discussion, though. Breeds are just an arbitrary collection of characteristics that some people like. If you change the definition, a different group of dogs will be a breed, and formerly purebred dogs would now be considered mutts.

              And characteristics that aren’t part of the breed standard can vary independent of breed. For example, German Shepherds have a reputation for being smart, but that’s just because they were also working dogs, not anything to do with the other characteristics of the breed.

      2. That’s the problem: races aren’t “separated” by anything other than superficial characteristics

        Good luck selling that line to a doctor.

      3. This. There are a small number of genetic mutations that distinguish different populations, but those mutations don’t fall neatly on so-called racial boundary lines. There are genetic variations between different regions of England, or between Finns and Swedes, yet we’d consider them all “white.” There are even more differences between southern and northern Europeans, but they’re all white, too. And Africa has the most genetic diversity, yet somehow most just fall under a broad poorly defined category of “black.”

        Genealogy DNA companies have identified some of these mostly inconsequential mutations called “AIMs” (ancestry informative markers) to predict the genetic heritage of test takers, but they’re not racial so much as they are regional.

        We can all agree people who lived closer together tended to look more alike. We can probably also agree that slavery brought together Africans with different genes and cultures to the New World and that they were pretty much just treated the same. This cultural construct is not a genetic one, though, and genetic science does not bear that idea out.

        1. “This. There are a small number of genetic mutations that distinguish different populations, but those mutations don’t fall neatly on so-called racial boundary lines. There are genetic variations between different regions of England, or between Finns and Swedes, yet we’d consider them all “white.” ”

          That just means that there are *more* races, or that races themselves can be further broken down – which nobody denies – it doesn’t invalidate the concept of race itself.

          “There are even more differences between southern and northern Europeans, but they’re all white, too.”

          And Europeans have long been broken up into “Nordic, Alpine, and Mediterranean” tiers.

          “And Africa has the most genetic diversity, yet somehow most just fall under a broad poorly defined category of “black.”

          That’s true. But you can real old Slave Owners and traders giving a much more detail and distinguishing remarks for them.

          Genealogy DNA companies have identified some of these mostly inconsequential mutations called “AIMs” (ancestry informative markers) to predict the genetic heritage of test takers, but they’re not racial so much as they are regional.

          Soon we’ll call people “ancestrial regionalists” as an epithet.

          1. Race is an arbitrary distinction when you get to the granular level. The fact that people debate whether there are three races or five races or fifty suggests that we’re noticing differences but can’t decide where to draw the line or indeed what aspects to count. They exist as categories mostly to serve cultural purposes, such as making broad generalizations about a billion-plus people.

            This is similar to the idea of “continents.” Why are Australia and Antarctica considered continents, but Greenland is not? It’s arbitrary to say that a few million sqmi makes a continent and 800,000 sqmi makes a really big island. It recognizes there is a difference but the ultimate cutoff is arbitrary and depends on social perceptions. That’s why Europe is so often considered a continent, even though it’s geographically the smaller part of Eurasia.

            Since these are merely social conventions, they have no more inherent moral force than the “soda versus pop” debate.

            1. “Race is an arbitrary distinction when you get to the granular level.”

              So is species.

              “The fact that people debate whether there are three races or five races or fifty suggests that we’re noticing differences but can’t decide where to draw the line or indeed what aspects to count.”

              Indeed, that applies to the whole of taxonomy too.

              “They exist as categories mostly to serve cultural purposes, such as making broad generalizations about a billion-plus people.”

              Cultural purposes? They exist as categories, just like all things defined. To make sense of things.

              It recognizes there is a difference but the ultimate cutoff is arbitrary and depends on social perceptions. That’s why Europe is so often considered a continent, even though it’s geographically the smaller part of Eurasia.

              Yes. Made that point already.

              “And there’s no consistent way of separating the Outback from the Bush, doesn’t mean that they aren’t real.”

              Just because an arbitrary point is chosen between, say, white and ?white doesn’t mean the contents have no use. Just be prepared to move the point if needed. Read Michael Oakeshott here.

              “Since these are merely social conventions, they have no more inherent moral force than the “soda versus pop” debate.”

              No idea what “moral force” is.

      4. “That’s the problem: races aren’t “separated” by anything other than superficial characteristics.”

        Did you just repeat the question I raised? What constitutes “superficial”?

        “You can look like a dark skinned black man and have a lower percentage of African ancestry than someone who can pass as white.”

        And?

        “When biologists say that race has no biological reality, they don’t mean that people in different places don’t look different; obviously they do. They mean that there is no consistent way of dividing people into races.”

        And there’s no consistent way of separating the Outback from the Bush, doesn’t mean that they aren’t real.

        “Chimps, bananas, and humans are different species: we don’t interbreed.”

        Dolphins and (Fake) Killer whales interbreed and they’re different species, is “significance” now moved to the next taxonomic rank?

        1. Did you just repeat the question I raised? What constitutes “superficial”?

          As in “appearing on the surface”: skin color, shape of nose and mouth, hair, height, etc.

          And there’s no consistent way of separating the Outback from the Bush, doesn’t mean that they aren’t real.

          I have no idea what you are trying to say.

          1. “As in “appearing on the surface”: skin color, shape of nose and mouth, hair, height, etc.”

            My apologies, I was assuming you meant it as “unimportant” – which is entirely subjective. Since you meant it literally, it’s an even easier reply: we know it has a greater role than “appearing on the surface” so it’s not at all superficial (in the literal sense)

            “I have no idea what you are trying to say.”

            There are blurred lines between many a-thing, that doesn’t mean they are therefore categorically non-existent or insignificant, whether that by bio-regions or races.

      5. I had a discussion with my daughter about the state of politics and said what do you expect, humans are genetically not that far off from being almost chimps. She said well they’re not that far off from a potato, I said you’re helping my point not hurting it.

    3. “Significant” is just weasel words. Race has a biological reality; that’s why DNA tests can generally identify the race of the person the sample was taken from.

      1. Of course, most people are smart enough to not even argue against it. Instead it’s just ignored by jumping to the macro level (“we’re 99.999…% the same”) or the micro (“we’re all unique individuals”).

  24. I self-identify as a billionaire. I’m currently suing the Bank of America for failing to accomodate my orientation.

    1. I knew there was a reason you were my favorite prez.

  25. I am a lion. ROAR!

    1. I am the egg man,

      1. I am the walrus

        goo-coo-ca-choo

        1. +1 Butt Imprint on a Corn Flake.

      2. I am the egg man

        And I’m Sonic the Hedgehog, coming to get you!

    2. MEOUCH!

    3. I am a big game hunter, run!

      1. Just cause I identify as lion doesn’t mean I don’t carry:) lol

  26. I identify as Haf??r Bj?rnsson. Oh, cruel fate.

    Actually, now that I think about it, I remember wanting to be huge and strong from a young age. It’s probably a similar thing to what’s going on with Rachel and Carolyn. I’ll have to ponder this.

    1. “Even as a baby he felt like a giant man.”

      The first line of your biography.

    2. Carolyn?

      1. Or whatever Bruce’s new name is. Close enouhg.

    3. But does Haf??r Bj?rnsson have a Doomcock?

    4. Strongman, actor and former professional basketball player (secundum Wikipedia). That’s quite a range.

  27. “If people feel, for whatever reason, that they must cross the binaries (hereditary or constructed) of gender and race, who has the standing to object?”

    We have the standing to object because of free speech. If Jenner wants to be a woman, fine! If I think he’s nuts for it, then that should be fine too.

  28. The Sloopy Baby has arrived. Tremble before her!

    I hope the picture link works…

    1. Wow! You didn’t SF the link!

      And if that’s what Justice looks like, we’re all doomed.

    2. Why is the sun going out?

    3. Already grumpy:) Takes after dad:) Thanks for the share.

    4. Fresh meat for my candy van!

    5. What does it identify as?

      1. It’s Sloopy’s kid so probably thinks it’s God:)

      2. Ze was assigned female at birth.

      3. Michigan.

        1. That’s terrible. I don’t even think those people even get their own bathroom.

    6. What does it identify as?

      1. You were clearly born a squirrel. I won’t hear otherwise.

    7. Congrats Sloopy! She’ll be nice and plump for Thanksgiving dinner.
      /Swift

    8. Congrats to Sloopy and Banjos, but even more for Justice Forall.

  29. What about the crazy people who think they’re actually lions or tigers? Do we have to accomodate their illusions as well?

    People should be free to live their lives as they desire. If Bruce Jenner wants to be Caitlyn Jenner, go for it. If Rachel Dolezal wants to pretend she’s black, what do I care? You think you’re actually Teddy Roosevelt, like Mortimer Brewster’s brother in Arsenic and Old Lace, no skin of my nose. Wear what you want, change your name to whatever you want, live how you want. Caitlyn Jenner still isn’t a woman, though, and Rachel Dolezal isn’t black, and a human being is not actually a lizard or whatever. There’s no reason not to be polite and call people by the names they want, but I’m not calling a human being that has a penis a woman. Sorry.

  30. Aren’t people “free” to do that already? But the NAACP should also be “free” to kick out Dolezal, and the Olympics should be “free” not to let Jenner run as a woman, and bakeries should be “free” to refuse to bake cakes for transsexuals, transracists, homosexuals, Southern Baptists, Catholics, and midgets. And newspapers and commentators should be “free” to heap scorn on whichever of these demographics rubs them the wrong way.

    1. Precisely.

  31. I would like to thank Rachel and Caitlyn for allowing everyone the distraction of not having to deal with all the real problems in the world for a couple of weeks. Murder, rape, abuse, oppression everyday all over the world but these two people (confused or not) are the sign of the apocalypse? i know that’s not what anyone here is saying but I’ve seen that attitude on display elsewhere in the blogidiosphere I wish nothing but happiness for them both.

    1. The most important thing is that no one is asking why the Hildebeast is not in prison for selling the SOS office. Gotta have priorities, ya’know.

      1. Not to mention they don’t want anyone to notice how her campaign kick-off is falling completely flat on it’s face. She’s generating about as much excitement as a Bay City Rollers reunion tour.

        1. SA!
          TUR!
          DAY!
          NIGHT!

  32. I married a Filipino woman, and “bakla” is much more of a derogatory term than merely a name for a 3rd gender. I was informed that it was the Tagalog equivalent of calling somebody “faggot” or “homo” and had been replaced with newer terms that weren’t as crude.

    On the other hand, Filipino culture is in many ways very accepting – while your mother might be in denial and hope that someday you will give them grandchildren, nobody else really gives it much thought one way or another. They certainly don’t obsess about it politically. There are certain societal expectations/stereotypes though, which are pretty much the same as they are in the US.

  33. I don’t care how people want to identify or label themselves, just so long as I don’t have to take them seriously and so long as it’s not done to defraud others.

    1. “defraud others”

      How so? If your talking about taking advantage of what are in essence sexist or racist policies, I say go for it. I don’t consider that fraud at all. That’s like anti-fraud.

      1. Well, I suppose that’s true enough. Still, some instances of that (like getting private foundation money because you’re black on the right side and white on the left) would involve defrauding largely innocent people.

        1. I suppose, still not gonna make my outrage list. Especially if the person is actually living their life that way and not just lying in that particular instance.

          1. We’re a fucked up culture.

            1. We’re a fucked up species. Have we always been this neurotic? i suppose we hav, just in different ways.

              1. It all went downhill when we became predators instead of scavengers.

      2. Here’s one really rarely invoked instance that gets my sympathy. Marriages have been annulled on the basis of one partner fraudulently representing their gender/sex/whatever to the other partner. I think that’s fair.

        As for the rest of your examples, I agree. Let this be the beginning of the end of such policies!

  34. I’m waiting to see how the International Olympic Committee is going to handle the gender question.

    1. In the way they determine that allows for the greatest amount of graft would be my guess

      1. Men’s soccer is already taken.

    2. Why would they need to do anything? He won eons ago. It’s not like his current gender identification has anything to do with his accomplishment.

      1. I think he is talking about the future.

      2. I think he means moving forward. When the next 3rd-rate man wants to dominate women’s sprinting, basketba… pretty much everything except open water distance swimming and maybe archery.

        1. +! Renee Richards.

      3. I mean in the future when athletes want to compete as what gender they identify as. I can imagine some grumbling from various camps. There’s a reason the genders compete separately now, and it’s not to protect modesty.

        1. The segregation is by sex, not gender.

          1. Why does this just leave me more confused???

            1. Do you mean confused or “confused”?

      4. If they want to do it retroactively, they can change the records so that Jenner is a woman, then they can disqualify his gold medal for the men’s decathlon on the grounds that only men can compete in the event.

        Will Wheaties be reissuing their cereal boxes with a gender-correct version?

        1. I don’t think anyone seriously would want to revoke Bruce’s well deserved medal, which he won competing against other men. I was talking about the future.

          If a man is a transvestite in regular life, I have no problem with him competing with other men as long as he hasn’t had disqualifying hormone treatment or surgery. Same for women.

          1. I was talking about a supposed attempt to have his name changed on the records. If not, of course they should leave it all alone.

            1. I think there was an ill-conceived prank of a petition to that effect, but it was not serious.

              On the other hand, I think “Will Wheaties” from your post above is a great way to bring ST:TNG into the thread

      5. I don’t think we’re talking about that specific question, but what will the IOC do when Warty wins the gold in Women’s Powerlifting?

    3. They have already handled it a number of times. With enough political and media pressure they do nothing.

      Caster Semenya

      1. I think she was intersex. I recall they decided she was OK to compete as a woman because her testosterone levels were below some magic threshold. That might have been the rule of some Asian games rather than IOC standard; my memory is dim.

      2. Well she is intersex, not transgender, and if are to insist on separating sports by sex there really isn’t a good way to handle intersex people.

    4. Gender should not be an issue. Sporting competitions are segregated by sex to accommodate the average differences in size and musculature between the sexes. If the purported distinction between sex and gender is honestly held, an athlete should be competing under the classification that fits their genotype.

  35. Anyone yet read Bailey’s article “The Dictionary As An Evolving Document? Read somewhere it was published at Slate.

  36. A neuroscientist’s note on the meme travelling around this week that there is neuroscientific evidence for gender dysphoria but not for racial dysphoria.

    Two issues here. One is, confusion of absence of evidence with evidence of absence. Overall, there has been a great reluctance to fund studies looking at racial differences in the brain, for obvious reasons. However gender differences in the brain have been studied a lot, as they have been seen as a key to understanding better how the brain functions.

    Second, the studies “proving” biological substrates for gender dysphoria are a familiar formula and if those same research procedures were applied to three cohorts of whites, blacks, and white people “identifying” as black, you would likely get similar sorts of results, showing that the trans-racial cohort was more similar to black than white brains in one or another area of the brain. I would need to be strongly convinced that the multiple comparisons problem had been controlled for very conservatively to believe any such study whether applied to race or gender, and they are rarely controlled for well enough.

    1. I agree. Ultimately, the entire concept of being “trapped in the wrong body” is a tautology. It assumes we know what the “right body is”. How is the body you have ever the wrong body? The only way it is “the wrong body” is if your behavior doesn’t match up to what society says should be associated with that body.

      I dream of being a linebacker in the NFL. I am a six foot white guy with lousy natural speed. Damn it, I identify as a linebacker. Am i not a linebacker trapped in a equipment manager’s body?

      It is the same thing with sex. I am a man but I like to play with dolls and enjoy wearing dresses. Does that make me a woman trapped in a man’s body anymore than I am a linebacker trapped in a equipment manager’s body? No. What I am in both cases is someone who likes behaving in ways that are either not expected of or not possible for the body I have. That is it.

      1. I am a man but I like to play with dolls and enjoy wearing dresses.

        At this point it is obvious that you have no idea what the hell you are talking about.

        1. Oh really? Do you think people who want sex changes just one day wake uyp and want to? They are out going to strip clubs and lifting heavy things and doing other “manly things” and one day they just decide they are really women?

          Is that how you think this works? Ah no. People don’t just decide they are really a woman. It is a process. And the process consists of them consistently not meeting the standards that society sets for their gender or meeting them but hating it and not wanting to do it, until finally they decide that the problem is not society but themselves and that they are freaks who need to change their bodies. That is what happens.

          And people like you help them along by saying yes, if you don’t fit into what we say is your gender then you are not that gender and must change.

          That is what is happening.

          1. Oh really? Do you think people who want sex changes just one day wake uyp and want to?

            This is the opposite of what I’ve been saying, and is in fact what you have been saying. That people just decide one day because “society” convinces them. Continue to wallow in your ignorance. And I don’t think they are freaks, but it’s clear that you do.

            1. That people just decide one day because “society” convinces them.

              Were you unable to read my post above? I said the exact opposite. People don’t decide one day. It is a process of years of not living up the standards society sets. And you apparently agree with society. I don’t.

              And yes you do think they are freaks. I think they are people with different desires and behaviors than most. I think their bodies and minds are fine. You are the one who thinks their bodies and minds don’t match. How is that not thinking they are freaks? I am saying they are perfectly fine and shouldn’t mutilate themselves because they don’t meet society’s view of what they should be. You are the one saying they should and they are defective, not me.

              I don’t think you mean to but you have let your desire to be tolerant and fit in on this issue cause you to adopt what are really intolerant and restrictive views of sex.

          2. The problem is that society has overly narrow and restrictive expectations of how men and women “ought to” behave.

            So a man who likes wearing dresses and playing with dolls absorbs the message that there’s something wrong with him, based on his physical anatomy.
            If everyone in society just accepted that gender isn’t binary and that there’s a natural behavioral spectrum for both sexes, that guy wouldn’t feel trapped in the “wrong” body anymore. He’d be free to play with dolls regardless of what his body looked like.

          3. “Oh really? Do you think people who want sex changes just one day wake up and want to?”

            As a matter of fact, Bruce Jenner seems to have done something rather like that. With respect to his claims of lifelong struggle with gender dysphoria, all I can say is that if anyone trusts the word of a fellow who dated Kim Kardashian any further than he could throw said fellow, I have a bridge in London for sale. I find the autogynephilia hypothesis infinitely more plausible, so far as this particular case is concerned.

            1. “a fellow who dated Kim Kardashian”

              Make that her mother. Not that it makes any substantive difference to my analysis.

      2. The only way it is “the wrong body” is if your behavior doesn’t match up to what society says should be associated with that body.

        So I *should* be mauling campers and shitting in the woods!

        1. Well if you are a bear, maybe so. Bears gotta bear. If you are a human being, you should be doing whatever the hell you want to do and not thinking doing so makes you some kind of defective.

    2. There’s a lot less biological difference between me and Michael Jordan (besides my sad lack of fast twitch muscle fibers) than between me and my wife.

      I really distrust the studies that set out to prove that a male trans brain is “like a womans”.

      1. Me too. To the extent your wife’s brain is different than yours it is largely becuse she has different anatomy and a ton of different hormones. Could you make your brain more like hers if we pumped the right hormones into you? Probably. But your desire to have that happen doesn’t make your brain right now anymore like hers.

      2. Yeah, it’s possible that transgeners brains are “more” like a womans, but I don’t buy that a brain that exists in a male body, with male hormones good enough to make functional testes, is going to be *exactly* like a womans.

  37. Of course they should be able to call themselves what they want.

    And lunatics should be free to live under bridges and talk to themselves as long as they don’t hurt others.

    They are still nuts though.

  38. This article is total bullshit. I don’t care what he asserts, I’m not going to consider Lincoln Chafee a presidential candidate.

    1. I heard he self-identifies as intelligent. The shame.

  39. So, my only take away here, is that “gender” has about as much an objective meaning as the word “person”. So I should just stick to using the word “sex” instead of “gender”.

    So, when I say the pronoun “he”, I am referring to sex and not gender. Therefore Jenner is a “he”.

    Someone stop me when I’m wrong.

    1. I am having trouble figuring out the proper terms too. I think I am being respectful I if I say “I went to school with him. He got straight A’s,” referring to our actual history, and then switch terms and say “I hear she is an accountant now,” when referring to the time post-change.

      But maybe I am supposed to alter pronouns (names?) even referring to the past? So confused.

      1. Control the language, control the mind, control the culture.

      2. I don’t bother. I’ll call the spade a spade (shovels, I’m talking about shovels).

        I refer to you by your sex, not gender. If you don’t like it, blame God. I’m sure you do anyway.

        1. “If you don’t like it, blame God. I’m sure you do anyway.”

          Er, it appears I have inadvertently offended you. Sorry about that.

          I was trying to find out what the “correct” way to deal with pronouns and history and transitions is. Heck, I was the last person in America to find out that “Oriental” is now offensive. FML.

          Anyway, I enjoyed your spade/shovel clarification. Can’t be too careful! 😉

          1. Oh, my bad. I don’t mean the “you” you, just the general “you”…

            English is a wonderful language, ain’t it?

            1. WHAT’S THAT SUPPOSED TO MEAN!???!

              Oh wait, never mind…carry on!

    2. It’s an it as far as I’m concerned.

  40. My favorite is when Kareem Jabbar came out as 5’8″.

  41. Am I the only one that gets tired of Reason articles that live in philosophy only?

    I agree people should be able to identify as whatever they want, and it is up to private businesses and people to determine whether they accept that identity as it affects their policies – thinking diversity hiring policies: But as long as the government has protected classes and affirmative action is government sanctioned, this does not work.

    Otherwise I’m going to go claim my portion of Indian tribal land. I’d like to think that this could be a good thing; putting enormous financial and regulatory pressure on the gov causing them to rethink these protected classes, but I’m not that naive. Unfortunately this is likely to result in yet more regulation and gov intervention.

    Back to the main point, I get tired of reading open borders arguments that fail to acknowledge the incredible financial burden this would impose thanks to welfare and the rest. Focusing on philosophy is a good thing to a point. If most knew the ideal state of progressives and repub statists they would be horrified: Incrementalism and emotion are powerful tools to make the sheeple commit to terrible things.

    I think this focus of discussion originates from Libertarians’ being marginalized; we have no say in real policy so we talk philosophy and ideal states, but Rand Paul is proof that Libertarian views are becoming more popular.

    1. In an ideal world, Ron would be right about race. Racial distinctions are utterly arbitary. We do not however live in an ideal world. Cultural distinctions are arbitrary and in the long term meaningless. They are however in the short term and to the people subjected to them incredibly meaningful. That is what Ron misses.

      And he is just wrong about sex.

  42. But I thought we were supposed to round up all the delusional people and lock them away.
    I don’t know what to believe, anymore.

    1. Only the AGW deniers. They are the real threat.

  43. If I (not white, not fit) identify myself as a well built white guy who looks like Chris Evans, can I audition as a the next superhero in one of Hollywood’s film? Hey look, I’m a well built white guy!

    Perhaps a company accused of not hiring enough woman can just hire some transgender man? Hey, there might be experienced tech guys who might not mind wearing a dress to work.

    As many have pointed out here, there’s a limit to how much you can deconstruct your identity. The same goes for marriage. And we all recognize that the government will pass a bunch of laws enforce “tolerance” and acceptance.

    Sometimes down the road, libs will be bitten by their own tolerance. Why can’t some male bench rider in the NBA play for the WNBA? He’s going to dominate that league.

    1. See: Rene Richards

      1. That’s just…weird. Nobody stated the obvious fact that he/she had an advantage over the XX women?

        (XX meaning chromosomes, not phatties)

        1. Yes, they did. SCONY (SCOTUS:NY?) ruled that it be allowed to play.

          1. I use “it” as I don’t know (nor care very much about) the distinction, nor the pronoun, nor which is appropriate for pre/post-op trans-woman at the time.

    2. I think this ignores the push-pull effect of the free market. You can identify as whatever the hell you want but I don’t have to recognize that.

      The picture you paint isn’t far off from what happens today in small scale: Many people lie about aspects of their appearance, inflate achievements on a resume and so on. It would be naive to trust a self-description as an accurate representation of reality. In your NBA example the NBA and WNBA would determine what is male or female. You can identify with what you want, but they are not bound by that.

    3. They don’t even need to hire transgendered men. Just have some of the men they have already hired claim to be women. If gender is a construct that we can choose, then if they say they are women, they are.

  44. The anger of many on the Left at Dolezal shows how thin their “anti-bigotry” principles really are.

    1. Victims have to stay within their caste. You can’t have anarchy.

    2. I’m surprised at how little fuss is being made about her blatant art plagiarism (yes I know it’s common to copy great painters as a learning tool and even an homage, but then the copier is supposed to state “After Rembrandt” or “After Monet” or whomever).

      To me, the plagiarism is key to deciding whether her blackness was more likely fraudulent or just her honest emotional expression. The painting fraud, along with false accusations about her parents, make her an utterly untrustworthy person.

      Link

  45. Why would a sane person consider gender, race, or culture as fashions in the first place? This is not an advance, this is repeating the same mistakes of the past.

    Everything that has even been IN fashion eventually falls OUT of fashion and is ridiculed, mocked, and scorned. Fashion is by definition disposable. This is why Postrel’s writing over the last 10 years or so is useless – glamor really has little to do with liberty, it is nothing but Kulturkampf.

    An advancement would be to STOP fashionizing race and gender and culture. Let fashion remain in the world of clothes and other disposable items. Otherwise we risk things such as intelligence and liberty being nothing but fashionable and therefore disposable.

    One could champion Jenner and Dolezal for living their lives as they see fit, but the two of them only want to coerce respect out of others. For that they are as useless as Postrel’s writing. John Waters had more to say about the value of liberty than Postrel ever has.

    1. That is a fantastic point. If race is just something you put on and decide to be, then I guess some government can tell all of the black people to be white now. Sure, that would be immoral and totalitarian. But according to Ron it would be possible. And in fact while wrong, not the worst thing that has ever happened to someone. Race is in Ron’s view just a cultural construct and fashion, so what would be the big deal about forcing every member of a racial minority to just stop being that way and become the majority?

      1. Indeed the state takes it upon itself to dictate legitimate and illegitimate cultural constructs and fashion all the time. Sometimes for the right reasons, other times not.

  46. Hey, remember last week when the Jacket assured us that there was no equivalency between Mx Jenner and Mx Dolezal? Those were simpler times.

  47. Always brings us back to heredity vs environment doesn’t it? if one is raised in a friendly neighborhood, one might tend to be a friendlier person than someone raised in an atmosphere of distrust and violence. it makes sense where one is raised in a blended community (this is PC for mixed) one might become comfortable to identify as other or more than your own particular ethnic ‘stereotype’. Aside from the occasional costume party or Halloween, or wearing platinum afro wigs or freakin Barbie Doll braids for variety, it is no compliment to disguise your true self so that you may obtain approval.
    A disguise allow the wearer to act upon stereotype assumptions which is projected upon the object of admiration. If one’s personal paradigm requires a disguise in order for one to feel accepted, the mask has reinforce the stereotype, in this case the projection that black will not accept me as white. Maybe a jealousy formed in childhood, who knows. As with most contents of melting pots, some elements melt quicker than others.

    1. Your true self is always there and you can always go back to it if you want. You can take the wig off. That is what makes you a pretender.

  48. I have this fantasy that, when society asserts that people have the right to identify with whatever gender they want, and whatever race they want, and whatever sexuality they want, and that they also get special protections and perks based on identity, that the whole thing is seen as the silly game it is, and abandoned, out of the sheer unworkability of it.

    It’s just a fantasy, though. Really, who could expect people to be rational enough to realize that you can’t give special perks to victim groups, and allow anyone to identify with any group they want, and refuse special perks to people you don’t consider victims.

    Of course, they’ll try to choose all of the above.

    1. Unworkable? Of course. But as long as one can get thousands of billable hours out of the unworkability, they’re gonna put in those hours.

      1. It is unworkable because dividing themselves into tribes and disliking or even hating one another is what people do.

    2. Life imitates the Sneetches.

      Or, rather, it fails to, because we are in the throes of mass insanity.

  49. If there are any pharmaceutical experts out there, please help me with this.

    Don’t new drug trials almost exclusively use white males of a certain age group, precisely because the new drug doesn’t necessarily work the same across genders and races? Scientifically speaking, would we be better or worse off if the drug trials didn’t limit variables in the sample group?

  50. +

    For what its worth, there are certain genetic/medical conditions that makes the transgender issue all the more confusing. We know that men have XY chromosomes and women XX chromosomes. But there is a condition called Klinefelter’s syndrome, where an individual has XXY chromosomes, and in one very famous case (a boy who ended up being a girl, and then a Bond Girl in For Your Eyes only), XXXY chromosomes.Look up Caoline Cossey on Wikipedia for the story, I’m having trouble posting the link.

    Nature makes mistakes.

    1. Sure it does. Consider Tony.

  51. Personally, i think Dolezal has much more of a claim to being black than Jenner has to being white, because blackness is so clearly more of a cultural construct. Dolezal has also spent much of her life immersed in black culture, including going to a predominantly black university and studying African art.

    1. Er, than Jenner has to being a woman.

      Also, it’s way more plausible for a white person raised in a black community to “feel black”, than for a biological male to feel like a woman. Culture is easy to absorb from others, but hormones are fucking hormones. A brain immersed in male hormones is going to be shaped to be more masuline – even if there is some degree to which maybe something went wrong in the womb and they got the wrong hormones. It’s very biologically unlikely to have a female brain in a male body. Transgenders are probably better placed in some middle or mixed category where they are feminine in some ways and masculine in others. IMO, they would also probably be better off not getting gender reassignment survery, but rather being more accepted by society as gender atypicals.

      1. +

        I mentioned chromosomes a few posts up, and will address hormones here. I an a guy, I’ve always felt like a guy, and I’ve always been attracted to women only. I also am really big into saving cats, and will use cats as an example of gender and hormones.

        Testosterone and estrogen are the male/female hormones in cats as well as humans. How many times have people heard that, once you spay and neuter, there is no personality difference in male and female cats, as there are no longer any sex hormones prescribing gender?

        WRONG. Post-spay/neuter, my boys are still boys and my girls are still girls. Sure, the boys don’t spray, the girls don’t go into heat, and no new kittens are produced. But decidedly male traits in cats (friendlier by far) and decidedly female traits in cats (shyer by far), aren’t altered one bit. I’ve had shelter cats, cats born in my house (spay and neuter quick if you rescue strays! And yes I kept them), and now I’m into the whole feral rescue thing. Across the board, there remains something distinctly male and female for all sixteen cats I’ve had over the last 20+ years.

        So more is at work then hormones alone, and in the case of cats, it can’t be socialization: None of my boy cats ever wanted GI Joes, and none of my girl cats ever wanted Barbies. 🙂

        1. It’s not just the hormones, It’s the fact that hormones shape the developing brain from he fetal stage to adulthood. A biological male is going to go through puberty and everything with male hormones shaping how his brain develops. You can take away the hormones later in life, but you can’t reprogram the brain entirely. There’s still going to be ways in which those hormones shaped that brain.

          Now, yeah, it’s possible that a male fetus could get dosed with female sex hormones in a way that profoundly alters how that baby develops. And his brain may never resemble “normal” male brain. But it’s not going to resemble a “normal” female brain either. it’s going to be some mix of different effects.

  52. Can one be bi-gendered and tri-specied?

    If they can, how would this alter the “lgbt” thing?

    1. Insulated gate bipolar transistor? This is more complicated than I thought.

  53. ” Since people legally defined as blacks were severely disadvantaged economically, politically, and socially, many sought and succeeded in passing for white. Dolezal, by contrast, is passing for black…”

    Because now, being black makes you *legally* advantaged.

  54. “Most geneticists and physical anthropologists reject the notion that race has any significant biological reality.”

    That is young-earth-creationist-level stupid. Do they, really? A trivial consequence of evolution is rejected by most geneticists?

    Physical anthropologists are, I believe, the people who explicitly declaimed that what they were doing is “science”, so I’m leaving them out of the discussion. Essentially, I don’t expect any better of them than to say something this stupid and at odds with observable facts. But geneticists?!

    1. Not to mention, we now know that Europeans and Asians have Neanderthal DNA, while Sub-Saharan Africans don’t, and that Asians (and I guess indigenous Americans) have Denisovan DNA as well

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  56. Medical Definition of DELUSION
    1
    a : the act of deluding : the state of being deluded
    b : an abnormal mental state characterized by the occurrence of psychotic delusions
    2
    : a false belief regarding the self or persons or objects outside the self that persists despite the facts and occurs in some psychotic state

    Jenner, male.
    Dolezal, white.

    That is all.

  57. I don’t give a shit what people “self-identify” as. Just don’t require that I buy into their psychoses.

  58. what a bunch of crap. linguistically able sophistry. we are not all free to “self-identify” as we please. we are bound by the realities of the physical world. another word for this idiocy is “delusion” or “mental-illness.” nice try, ron, but you’re full of “hot air”?..

  59. In a still-free country, the delusional are free to believe anything they wish as long as it causes no harm to others, but they have no right to demand that others deny reality just to please them.

  60. I woke up feeling like a dog….therefore I should be able to marry your dog.

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  62. Can one be bi-gendered AND tri-specied?

    If not, why not?

  63. This is the article that I was looking for when people were hating on Gillespie for his article on Jenner and Dolezal.

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