A 5’9″ white guy goes onto the University of Washington campus and asks students to explain why he isn’t a 6’5″ Chinese female child in first grade. They can’t do it. They are so afraid of being judgmental, and offending against the sacred dogma of Self-Definition that they are unable to deny anything he claims about himself.
The insanity must end. We have gone too far down this road and need to turn back.
It is time for us to begin debating the limits of self-definition, or we make a mockery of the important progress – and the critical work yet to be done – in the civil rights movement.
The point of identification in the first place is to mark the individual as a possible target for systemic discrimination, and to enable the process of ameliorating that discrimination. To take physical attributes out of the identity discussion is to render identity meaningless, and at some point renders efforts to redress discrimination meaningless, wasteful, or both.
So I open it up: I posit that there must be limits to self-definition, and that in all cases where physical attributes are relevant, that physical attributes make the determination of gender, race, and disability. End of story.