I tweeted today... not an entirely new or unusual phenomenon but soon after I did I was challenged by a good friend to
"write a reasoned article to counter the cr@p and link to it in Twitter rather than simply comment."
As this is a friend who's opinion I value (particularly in the technology world) I thought I would oblige.
My tweet was thus:
Is there really any difference between Rachel Dolezal pretending to be black and Bruce Jenner pretending to be female?? 1 vilified 1 revered— Mat Cooke (@lotharmat) June 17, 2015
I stand by what I tweeted on a base level as, when it comes down to brass tacks, both people are now choosing to portray themselves as something other than they were born. At the moment, Bruce's transformation into Caitlyn has been widely accepted this will be because of the de-stigmatisation of BGLT. The liberal left™ have been very keen to welcome this with open arms whereas the conservative right™ are obviously more reticent (granted there are a few nutjobs on both sides who frankly should be ignored).
To me, this is where things start to get a bit interesting.. Rachel has said that she now identifies with 'black people' and sees herself as black. She has also said that she has identified this way for a long time (whether you believe her or not is immaterial - this is her claim and her version of the truth). Bruce made the same claims albeit about his gender and words were used like hero and brave to describe him. My own view is that he is neither: He, like Rachel is a person skilled in exploitation. Bruce separated from the Kartrashian clan and realised that in order to stay 'relevant' he had to do something radical.. Welcome Caitlyn.. (Apparently one of his son's long-time girlfriend is called Kaitlynn).
Anyway, enough fluff.. What this issue has made me think about is identity and how we have an identity. One of the issues around Rachel is the fact that she lied on application forms and prevented 'real' African Americans getting a job that was due to them. This is very interesting as there are a number of issues that need to be addressed here:
- Positive discrimination or affirmative action
- The term African American
"Growing up, I came up with this name: I'm a `Cablinasian,' " Woods said during a taping of "The Oprah Winfrey Show." He said the name best captures his racial makeup: a blend of Caucasian, black, Indian and Asian.
I have always thought that the assumption that everyone in America with dark skin is African is a little bit racist in itself!
Jobs in the public sector are allowed to ask you your sexuality at application stage - Where do you draw the line?? Are you allowed to declare that you are gay on your application but really be
What about this scenario: You are a woman who works for M&S fitting bras... You suddenly decide to do a 'Reverse Jenner' and decide to identify as a man! What then? Do you lose your job? Could
Too many questions!