A few weeks ago, I was browsing through documentaries on my Firestick, and I noticed that there was one on Rachel Dolezal. In spite of my love of any and all things multicultural, I did not have to much time to pay attention to Ms. Dolezal when she had her 15 minutes of fame (maybe I was busy birthing or miscarrying babies…not sure). But from what I do recall…I just thought that she was a lying, opportunist oddball. Because that’s all of the information that I have to work with.
Well you live and you learn (life has been teaching me that). The documentary explained that Rachel sees herself as ‘transracial’; in that even though she was born as a White girl to two White parents, she has sense stopped identifying herself with White people. Given her explanation and her experience, I could clearly understand where she was coming from. I do not deny that there was probably a certain element of familial dysfunction that influenced her worldview. But a lot of us can say that.
I was kicked in the butt (so to speak) to write this post because I posted a video featuring Dr. Michelle Cretella talking about the dangers of the use of puberty blockers on adolescents
(this is not the video – but another one that sums up her philosophy)
Right away, people commented with harsh criticism (I can’t link though, because my Facebook page is private). The first was about how the American College of Pediatricians is seen as a right-wing, extremist hate group. The sad thing is, I actually agree with a lot of the stances the organization supports. Now I am arriving at these opinions as a religious Jewish woman. I am not qualified either in scientific knowledge or anecdotal experience to say what is right or what is wrong.
I admit this all knowing full well that people will see me as a bigot. Oh well. If not feeling the need to steer your child into a socially complex situation before they are old enough to buy beer makes me a bigot…then I will own that. Some have told me that the ACP believes either that transgender-ism and homosexuality do not exist (or if they do, that therapy can reverse it). I cannot bring myself to say that. But I will say that developing children need support and space to figure life out. Let them be children with childish issues. Being an adult who is trying to figure out what is going on with a child is no simple feat. No one knows the future. Sometimes you just need to wait….and have things flesh themselves out.
So if it isn’t threatening their life and safety…leave it alone.
What are Race & Gender?
Getting back to Ms. Dolezal…I guess people can argue that someone can be born transgender….but they can’t be born transracial. That race is a social construct, and gender is not. Is it that simple though? DNA research has made discoveries that pretty much co-sign what slave traders believed 300 years ago; that Africans (and those of African descent) are better suited physically to perform certain tasks (i.e. running, strength, endurance).
And gender is not always as simple as X chromosomes vs. Y chromosomes…as this article from Newsweek states:
Studies have shown that parents treat boys and girls very differently—breast-feeding boys longer but talking more to girls. That’s going on while the baby’s brain is engaged in a massive growth spurt. “The brain doubles in size in the first five years after birth, and the connectivity between the cells goes up hundreds of orders of magnitude,” says Anne Fausto-Sterling, a biologist and feminist at Brown University who is currently investigating whether subtle differences in parental behavior could influence gender identity in very young children. “The brain is interacting with culture from day one.”
So if race and gender are pretty comparable, why is it that Rachel Dolezal (transracial) has pretty much been ridiculed en-masse while Laverne Cox (transgender) has been congratulated and celebrated?
In today’s politically polarized climate, the liberal camp is quick to jump on anyone who dares restrict anyone else’s right to do what they want (for the anti-Israel camp, this includes terrorists as well – they are ok with us because they are brown-skinned!). Strangely this does not apply to White people…thanks to the ‘White privilege’ issue. Therefore love and tolerance is conditional; it depends upon who is asking for it. Hmmmm…..that actually sound a bit at odds with the entire concept of love.
I am a Transjew; where is my love?
As a convert to Judaism I’ve heard a lot of fluffy feel good stories about the process. Not sure which ones I believe and which ones I do not…but that is besides the point. One of the stories is that converts are really Jewish souls that were born into non-Jewish bodies. Wow…sounds wonderful, right?
Well the reality is that I am reminded far too often that in spite of my conversion and personal actions and beliefs professing that I am a Jew; I was not born a Jew. I am not accepted as ‘really’ Jewish. And it is deeply and thoroughly hurtful. So I get it.
Even so, even if it would have made things easier, I am glad that I converted as an adult…and not a child, like I originally wanted.
Now why would I say such a thing? Well, because the implications of changing your faith are tough to understand…even when you are an adult.
And speaking of Judaism…
People bristle when you mention that you are religious and, God forbid, that you allow your religion to steer your moral compass. Again, tolerance and love, for many liberals, is not something that ‘religious nuts’ get to benefit from. Even so, traditional Judaism does not just recognize two genders…but four. Also there are Orthodox rabbis that have given the subject of transgender Jews serious thought. No where is the mainstream response to fear or hate transgender or homosexual individuals. Without a doubt, it takes a considerable amount of courage to endure a lot of uncomfort and pain to be transgender and still remain within the traditional Jewish community. I do not think that the people who find themselves in this situation are being flippant, and simply confused.
In a nutshell
So to wrap things up, there are two issues here:
#1 – Children should not be steered in these matters
Maybe I’m being unbelievably cruel here, but let them experience life (which includes what ‘gender’ means to them) before you makes these kinda of choices for them. I also do not believe that kids should be popping anti-depression or ADD/ADHD pills left and right either. I’m crazy, I know!
#2 – Part of being ‘tolerant’ means that you apply it across the board
To me, people look utterly ridiculous jumping to defend parents who want to delay the puberty process for their children because they are transgender; and then sit back and denigrate Rachel Dolezal…a grown woman who made the decision to identify with a race different from the one that she was born with.
You don’t believe me? Well this tweet has 6,000+ likes:
Now if this was said about a transgender person, this person probably would have been flagged a hateful bigot (kinda like I was?).
Rachel Dolezal doesn’t need a documentary streamed on your site. She’s fraudulent and problematic. Why don’t you take all that money and put it towards projects made by real black women?
— Breniecia (@LuxePosh) March 7, 2018
Bottom line: take people as they are; but give them the proper support and tools to be successful in this journey.