So, recently in the news, we’ve had a couple of curious stories.
- Bruce “Caitlyn” Jenner self-identifies as a woman, going so far as to change his appearance. The cultural elites tell us this is a good thing and we must accept it, treating him as a “woman."
- Rachel Dolezal self-identifies as African-American, going so far as to change her appearance. The cultural elites tell us this is a bad thing and we must reject it and not treat her as African-American.
For the person who believes that the self-identity of Bruce Jenner is a matter of feeling and choice, there is no justifiable reason to condemn Rachel Dolezal. If something so fundamental as gender is not fixed so that the individual can claim to be something that goes against the genetic code involving X and Y chromosomes, why should it be wrong for a person to claim to be a different ethnicity if that is what they are comfortable with? The fact is, if one wants to argue that identity is dependent on self, and that it is intolerance to refuse to refer to Jenner as female, then it is intolerance to refuse to refer to Dolezal as African-American.
I might add that I self-identify as the King of America and your new liege insists that you treat him in that way.
However, if a person recognizes that what a person is is not dependent on what they self-identify as, then it becomes clear that Bruce Jenner is a male (XY chromosomes), regardless of his changes superficially (he has not undergone “gender reassignment” surgery yet); Rachel Dolezal is a Caucasian woman of Eastern European descent, regardless of her changes superficial; and I am not the King of America.
Once again, the words of Aristotle are relevant:
To say that what is is not, or that what is not is, is false; but to say that what is is, and what is not is not, is true; and therefore also he who says that a thing is or is not will say either what is true or what is false. [Metaphysics 1011b.25]
- When Bruce Jenner says “I am a woman”…
- When Rachel Dolezal says “I am African-American”…
- When I say “I am King of America…"
…we say of what is not that it is, and therefore speak falsely.