Because it evolves, I keep a close eye on language. I know that dainty used to mean substantial and pretty once meant sly. I also know that brave can be a synonym for showy. So I wasn’t surprised that progressives called male athlete Bruce Jenner a hero for identifying as female and white activist Rachel Dolezal a poseur for identifying as black. I thought that poseur must have evolved into a synonym for hero when I wasn’t looking. I assumed that both now meant courageous.
It seemed only logical that as progressives believe we can beneficially change our gender or sex they also believe we can do likewise with our ethnicity or race. They had told me often enough that a cardinal rule of identity politics is that we can define ourselves however we like.
Yes, I realize there’s a caveat. Our new identity must make sense to others. But I assumed that if progressives think it makes sense for someone with male genitalia to identify as female they also think it makes sense for someone with white skin to identify as black. I guess they don’t, and I guess I don’t understand the progressive mind.
At least I’ve learned something. I now know that a poseur is a pretender at best and a fraud at worst. I just don’t know why Dolezal is considered a poseur and Jenner isn’t. Thanks to verbal evolution, maybe it’s because sexy is more trendy than racy.
Or, maybe it’s because progressives didn’t assess the assumed identities in light of what sex and race are for. They recognize that Jenner’s sense of being in the wrong body is significantly biological. They also recognize that Dolezal’s sense of being in the wrong skin is only superficially so. But if they fail to take into account what sex and race are for, I don’t see how progressives can carry the distinction to its logical conclusion.
Maybe I should help them. Surely they won’t mind if I point out that, basically, sex is for procreation mediated by male and female complementarity. Without it, humanity has no future. I thought everyone knew that. If Jenner’s hormonally induced sense of self–his thoughts and feelings–conflicts with his genetically induced genitalia, his condition militates against what sex is for. In this light, it is not only significantly biological. It is also disordered. Disorder is not a difficult concept to grasp. If a system operates according to what it’s for, it is functional or ordered; if it doesn’t, it is dysfunctional or disordered. When inclinations and related organs are at cross-purposes, they don’t operate according to what they’re for.
Basically, race is for promoting survival in different environments. However, its contributions, mediated through differences in largely superficial biological characteristics like skin colour, hair texture and facial features, are relatively minor. This is increasingly so as different racial groups modify their environments.
So if Dolezal’s cultivated sense of self conflicts with her genetically induced appearance, her condition does not militate significantly, if at all, against what race is for. In this light, it is not necessarily disordered. Rather, it may be eccentric or idiosyncratic.
If it is disordered, it is not psycho-racial in the sense that Jenner’s is psychosexual. It may only be psychological. This is because the differences in skin colour and such that Dolezal is dealing with are not themselves disorders but variants of the human condition. However, as they’re in conflict, the hormonal and genetic differences Jenner is dealing with are themselves disordered.
Jenner’s declaration that his brain is more female than male puts mainstream feminism in a bit of a quandary. Although they consider themselves militantly progressive, feminists deny there is such a thing as an innately female brain. To them, talk of thinking, feeling or acting like a woman is stereotypical and offensive. Why, one of them has coined the word neurosexism to describe the insult.
As I said, language evolves. But unless their ideology evolves, it’s difficult to see feminists agreeing that anyone can feel trapped in a body of the opposite sex. Not if they want to avoid contradicting themselves.
The issue, of course, is not whether some feel that way. Some obviously do. The issue rather is that because their feelings and genetic makeup are out of sync, the situation is disordered and the media-academic complex shouldn’t celebrate it.