Transitioning Double (or Triple) Standard

Although it seems much longer, the saga of Bruce Jenner transitioning to a woman has been all over – has permeated the news, sports, entertainment, politics, and even a certain Republican’s campaign, with Lindsey Graham saying he would like Jenner’s vote.

Personally, I was tired of hearing about it on the very first day.

Now, this may seem a bit off topic, but it’s not. Bruce Jenner may claim to be anyone or anything he likes, but a woman, he isn’t. As far as I know, his male organs are still intact. If one is serious about this, he would have had them permanently removed already. If Jenner is what he and the fawning public say he is, would he not have already had the procedure? Is he even planning to do it? That still won’t magically make him a female, but at least we’ll know he’s committed (or should be).

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Yet, according to most, we are to consider him a woman. The country praises him for the courage to publicly reveal and share with us his brave deed to live his/her life honestly.

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Yet, there is another, who has not received the same loving adulation. Her name is Rachel Dolezal, president of the Spokane Washington chapter of the NAACP. The problem is that she is evidently white – just pretending to be black – unlike Jenner, who is definitely NOT pretending and is 100% a woman.

Buzzfeed found and reached out to Rachel’s cracker parents. “Rachel Dolezal’s father, Larry Dolezal, said he and her mother are both white. ‘She’s our birth daughter and were both of European descent,’ he said, adding ‘we’re puzzled and it’s very sad.'”

Sad? Why would they not celebrate the fact that their daughter “feels” she is a black woman trapped in a white woman’s body? If Rachel came out and declared she always knew she was a lesbian, the country would demand her parents embrace the change and celebrate her courage. Same goes if she said she always believed she was a man.

So why can’t we praise her for the courage to transition into a historically oppressed race? She’s doing everything right, and certainly more than has Jenner. She’s head of her NAACP chapter. She’s a well-respected civil rights leader. She chairs Spokane’s police oversight commission. She got her master’s degree at a black college, Howard University and she’s a professor of Africana studies at Eastern Washington University. She’s darkened her skin and has curly hair, representative of black heritage. And still there are naysayers.

One such naysayer is University of Miami law professor and certified black woman, Osamudia James. James claims that Dolezal has “successfully duped people into seeing her as black.” She says that Rachel has done good on behalf of black people, but “she also appropriated a black identity to gain status and influence in a community that isn’t actually her own. Pictures of her feature large kinky Afros or blonde braids and locs, often pinned into intricate updos. Her nails are long and brightly colored; her Julie large and chunky.”

First – how does James know what’s in Rachel’s heart? And second – her description is stereotypical and racist. Would she say the same of Jenner?

“In these stories and images, I see blackface – she gathered limited and stereotypical notions about black female aesthetics, using them to inform a ‘black woman costume’ to wear out into the world.”

Again, it sounds like James is making a rather harsh and close-minded judgment. No one in a protected class should have to stand for that abuse.

Why is it so wonderful for Jenner to do what he’s doing and not Rachel? Why is it okay for him to profit from his transition but it’s so wrong for Rachel? If she wants to be black, she should have the right to transition. At the very least, we could call her white-questioning.

I’d like to say there is a double standard, but even the double standards appear to have double standards.

Why don’t we just all go back to how God made us? It would be a lot less confusing.

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