Does “transgender” make any more sense than “transracial”?

The case of Rachel Dolezal has put the concept of “transracial” at the forefront of people’s imaginations. Almost everyone has rejected it with laughter or disgust. It seems absurd to people that a person could claim to be of one race while actually being another. She has been quickly associated with blackface and minstrel shows for her behavior.

Self-identification was clearly rejected in this case: people do not care at all if she claims to “really” be a black person. But this is strange given that self-identification is the banner of the liberals, their rock. Where are all the liberals defending Dolezal’s “agency”? Why do they defend transgender people but not transracial people? Try as I may, I can’t come up with any other, non-circular, answer to that question than: because explicit racism is no longer acceptable, but explicit sexism still is. They care about black people’s integrity but they don’t give a shit about women’s integrity.

The challenge that this case has issued to trans theory is this: if a transracial person self-identifies as a different race, and a transgender person self-identifies as a different gender, and this is the only relevant fact in both cases, then why should we treat the latter any differently than the former? Why aren’t liberals treating transgender people like bigots and ridiculous clowns like they did Dolezal? Or treating transracial people with the respect they give transgender people, as in this satirical article?

Is it that race is somehow more “real” than gender? No, they are both social constructs. Although they are both constructed partially on the basis of biological observations, there is no biological reality behind either of these concepts: there is no more scientific evidence for the proposition that people of African descent are inherently lazy or violent than there is for the proposition that female humans are inherently emotional or bad at mathematics.

A trans theorist may argue that it’s sex we should be talking about, not gender, and that sex is a social construct. I’ve already debunked this latter brand of nonsense. In a great entry, Jonah Mix argued that self-identification makes even less sense for sex than it does for race. There are many more races than there are sexes, and there are far many more “biracial” people than intersex people; these are the two main criteria that trans theorists use to argue that sex is a construct and that we should respect people’s self-identification, and yet race fills the profile much more than sex.

I will add that you could replace “sex” with “gender” and still arrive at the same result. There are more races than there are genders (liberal make-believe genders notwithstanding), and there are far more “biracial” people than transgender people or non-binary genders from other cultures.

Is it that transwomen are “really” women “deep down” in their brain? I reject this position, because there’s no such thing as “being a woman” or “being a man” apart from the society that imposes it. I don’t dispute that some of these people have a very real issue (body dysphoria). At least, I think we should give them the benefit of the doubt. But why should we not also give the benefit of the doubt to Dolezal? Or does the concept of “body dysphoria” only extend to the genitals? That’s a pretty limited “body.” Why can’t Dolezal feel “deep down” that she’s really a black person?

The concept seems absurd, because it assumes that there is a “real race” in your brain somewhere that is dissociated from your ethnicity and actual body, disconnected from the reality of who they are. But that’s also what liberals say about transwomen (just replace “ethnicity” with “sex” and “race” with “gender”).

A long time ago, long before Rachel Dolezal, a kerfluffle was happening on tumblr about people (probably anti-SJW trolls, now that I think about it) identifying as trans-racial. Tumblr was up in arms about the issue, and I remember one post (probably long lost at this point) explaining how identifying as trans-racial was problematic because a white person hasn’t had the same lived experiences as a POC. “Yeah!” I said, “A white person hasn’t grown up experiencing racism! And besides, it’s really racist to say, ‘I like rap music and soul food, so I must be black’!”

But then I followed that line of thought. A trans woman hasn’t had the same lived experiences as a cis woman, I thought. She didn’t grow up experiencing misogyny. And isn’t it kind of sexist to say, “I like make-up and dresses, so I must be a woman”?

Trans theory is profoundly sexist, in that it reinforces genderist stereotypes (a child who loves pink must be a girl, a child who likes sports must be a boy, and so on) and demands that people self-identify as their “real gender.” This seems to be very hard for liberals to understand. However, they have no problem understanding how Dolezal “feeling black” on the basis of her liking of black culture and social activism (things which are much less offensive than the reasons behind men becoming transwomen) is racist.

Liberals are moral cowards who are perfectly willing to stab women in the back for the benefit of violent, entitled men. We already know this. The fact that they are not insane enough to believe in transracialism proves the sexist nature of their duplicity.

Blythe Baird – “Girl Code 101” (NPS 2014)

The process of devaluating newly female-dominated fields.

I don’t usually refer to tumblr posts because they are difficult to follow and attribution is dicey at best, but I thought this one was worth reading.

Personal anecdote time! I’m in a biology graduate program. An acquaintance wanted to introduce some guy to me because his son was thinking about becoming an undergrad science major. When he found out I was in the biology department, he grinned and said, “Well, I guess that’s kind of related to science.”

I gave him what I hope was an icy look and said, “Isn’t it strange how men outside the field started saying that right around the time biology majors shifted from mostly male to mostly female?”

The guy got this look on his face like he was about to play the “just a joke” card, and then an older woman who had been standing nearby, talking to someone else, turned to me and said, “The same thing happened with real estate.” She went on to explain that, over the course of the career, the male-to-female ratio among real estate agents had dropped, and the pay and “prestige factor” of that job dropped along with it.

The Mosuo: families without fathers.

This short article from Sociological Images (but since I refuse to link to them, I linked to Pacific Standard instead) discusses the Mosuo of China and their father-less family structure. There is not even a word in their language for “father,” apparently.

From the Mosuo point of view, separating marriage from the raising of children ensures that the vagaries of romance do not disrupt the happiness and health of the child and its mother. Nor can the father wield power over the mother by threatening to withdraw from the marriage. Meanwhile, because the family of origin is never eclipsed by a procreative family, the Mosuo system reduces the likelihood that elders will be abandoned by their families when they need support in old age.

Children’s freedom of thought: a strangely controversial position.

From my anti-childist point of view, the issue of children’s freedom of thought is very simple: children are human beings, human beings have freedom of thought, therefore children should have freedom of thought.

Of course, reality is quite different. We live in childist societies where children’s freedom of thought is still considered a strange and quaint idea held by a few crackpots, a hopelessly naive conceit. We believe that children should have the religion of their parents, not the religion they decide to have, and that this is a perfectly normal thing. Then, when they’re adults, they can change their religion if they want. We believe it is perfectly natural that a child should believe they are of a religion, race, class, gender, nationality, political faction, as assigned by their parents.

As an antinatalist, I know this much: no matter their positions on other things, breeders cannot stand to have their parental authority questioned. Even the most liberal atheist flake will become protective of their authority, downright authoritarian, once you start even bringing up the possibility of telling them how to treat their own children. No one likes being told that their privilege should be revoked, even hypothetically; from the backlash against feminism, we know that is the sort of thing people will get violent about.

There can be no justifiable reason for children to be indoctrinated in the religion of their parents, if one first accepts that children are full human beings. I realize this is a huge “if,” since very few people do not buy the childist party line, even in radical circles; as I do for most of my favorite topics, I am writing mostly for my readers and a few other crackpots. But if you accept the premise, then children’s freedom of thought follows inexorably; I believe this is the only defendable position to hold.

Freedom of thought in adults is not really controversial, at least not in the Western world. Freedom of religion, especially, is not at all controversial. So it seems strange, if you look at this without child-hatred, that freedom of religion for children is considered to be so outrageous; even atheists, who are particularly supportive of freedom of religion, balk at such an idea, especially breeders.

It’s hard for me to understand how anyone can be in favor of freedom of religion in adults but not in children. Such a combination is logically contradictory. Person A was indoctrinated in Christianity at a very young age and remains a Christian as an adult because they are completely invested in the fixed ideas they were taught. Person B was indoctrinated in Christianity in childhood, rebelled against it, and later on changes denominations, or becomes an atheist, or simply drops out of the whole religion debate.

Person A has been trapped in some fixed idea (such as the infallibility of the Bible) and is not free to think outside of it. Person B changed their allegiances as a reaction the indoctrination they received, not as a form of freedom. Neither of them had freedom of religion at any point. And yet we believe that after 18 years of age A and B gained “freedom of religion,” when they already got indoctrinated into their gender, race, religion, nationality, and so on, between the ages of 2 and 6, and that these were constantly reinforced by their parents, school and society for at least 12 more years.

Does believing that no one can be free from their childhood indoctrination make me a cynic? Perhaps, but even if some people somehow manage it (and no, changing religious identification in itself is not evidence of that), how does that make freedom of religion real? If you have to fight against your own indoctrination for years to finally be free from it, them it’s not much of a social freedom. Surely the point is that we should all be free, and it should not require tremendous work by the individual to be free, or it’s not freedom at all. It’s like looking at the black elite that came out of affirmative action and saying “you see, black people are equal after all!”

To freedom of thought they oppose parental authority and their own ego. I should raise *my* child the way *I* see fit, they say. To which one can simply reply, what gives you that authority over another human being’s rights? If one accepts the existence of freedoms (a given if they discuss “freedom of thought” in the first place), then how can a fundamental freedom be overridden by someone else’s arbitrary authority? Would parents relinquish their freedom of thought because *I* (as a non-parent) decided it was impractical to grant it? After all, I have about as much justified authority over them as they do over “their” children.

I’ve already mentioned the mafia-like Omerta (conspiracy of silence) maintained around child abuse, which is composed of three elements: the inviolability of the home, the perceived necessity of the family structure, and the ownership of children. The bitter truth about the Omerta is that it not only makes childism and child abuse possible, but it also places near-insurmountable barriers to any sort of reform. When parents say things like “I can set any rules I want in my own home” or “they’re *my* children and I’ll take them to church if I want to,” they are implicitly relying on the Omerta, and on the conspiracy of silence that will support their abuse based on it.

But the funny thing is that we already do have institutions which serve the role of controlling parents (in the United States, Child Protective Services, in Quebec, Departement de la Protection de la Jeunesse, and so on). Western societies already admit exceptions to the authority of parents. So what’s another exception?

Children, I’ll argue, have a human right not to have their minds crippled by exposure to other people’s bad ideas—no matter who these other people are. Parents, correspondingly, have no god-given licence to enculturate their children in whatever ways they personally choose: no right to limit the horizons of their children’s knowledge, to bring them up in an atmosphere of dogma and superstition, or to insist they follow the straight and narrow paths of their own faith.

In short, children have a right not to have their minds addled by nonsense. And we as a society have a duty to protect them from it. So we should no more allow parents to teach their children to believe, for example, in the literal truth of the Bible, or that the planets rule their lives, than we should allow parents to knock their children’s teeth out or lock them in a dungeon.

Nicholas Humphrey

Derrick Jensen Resistance Radio w/ Gail Dines – February 8, 2015

Capitalism in one lesson.


Pornography is not sexual liberation.

Maya Shilayen asks the important question: how is “feminist porn” feminist?

Lost in the emphatic “hurrahs!” about freedom and empowerment is any honest discussion about what happens in porn, how women get into it, or how it impacts women outside the industry.

“I never met any woman that had a professional career and left it to go into porn just for fun,” recounts Vanessa Belmond, an industry veteran turned anti-porn activist. “Many got into it because of financial desperation. Many also had abusive childhoods. I had a roommate who had been on the streets, prostituting herself since the age of 14, and by the time she got into porn at 18, it was all she knew.”

That women in porn are usually there because they lack other options is a well-known fact – one that even pro-porn feminists don’t deny. In a documentary called After Porn Ends, pornography apologist Nina Hartley admits: “They don’t know how to do anything else. They don’t know how to do retail; they don’t know how to do Excel spreadsheets. Many people [in] adult entertainment… are not suited for nine-to-five work.”

Instead of asking why some women are so disenfranchised, pro-porn feminists seem happy to leave these women where they are – at the bottom of the barrel…

But is “sexual freedom” really just reducible to more sex, no matter the circumstances?

“I did coke occasionally, but I was mostly a drinker. And then I got into painkillers – those are really popular in the industry, especially for women that do a lot of anal. And I smoked a whole lot of weed, too. I wouldn’t have been able to do [porn] otherwise. You can’t do that stuff sober,” Belmond recalls.

This is not a picture of a sexually liberated woman. It is, in fact, the picture of a woman who must lay back and think of England in order to “endure” sex. Those who denounce anti-porn feminism as “puritanical” have ignored the fact that pornographers do exactly what the Puritans did: deny women sexual self-determination.


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