I’ve been reading quite a bit about Rachel Dolezal lately as the promotional media for her book has gotten rolling. If you don’t recall, she’s the woman born to white parents who has taken on a black identity. That’s a whole big tangled ball, one I’ll get to in a bit, but the biggest headline is that she has adopted the term transracial and claims to be the target of more discrimination than transgender people.
This coming from someone with a history of false hate crimes reports across multiple institutions.
Look, I don’t know how to deconstruct race in a meaningful way, let alone analyze if it is analogous to gender. Both are societal constructs, especially when it comes to expression. I do think, though, that choosing to adopt race culturally is relatively simple—in fact, I would argue that people do it all the time. Adopting supposed biological components is significantly more difficult.
That, for me, is the biggest difference: that gender almost has to be expressed through biology rather than cultural accoutrements. I’ll have more on this in another post, my own questioning of me, but for now, I’m left with this dilemma:
I want to call bullshit on what Dolezal is claiming leading up to her book. But I also know there is a legion of folks calling bullshit on who I am, too. It makes for a good opportunity to check myself.