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  • Trans-Actions: Is It Self-Identification, or Is It Cultural Appropriation?

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    If you latch yourself to leftist ideology, sooner or later its contradictions will force you to become your own enemy.

    You’ve probably read about the stunning findings in a recent Pew Research poll, regarding how various politically affiliated Americans view human gender assignment. If not, you need to hear this, and, no, it’s not fake news (I wish it were). According to Pew’s report, a whopping 77 percent of Democrats with a bachelor’s degree or higher, “say a person’s gender can be different from the sex they were assigned at birth.” Okay, I’m an English major and not a scientist, but I hope to God none of these people are teaching—any—science to our children.

    I understand psychology may play a role in how some humans feel about what gender they consider themselves. But does that change the biology of what gender they are scientifically? I’m not saying people who feel they are the different gender from from that which nature assigned them at birth are bad people. They feel what they feel; how can that be someone’s fault? However, does how a person feels, no matter how sincerely, change DNA or gender chromosomes?

    This issue also brings up a glaring leftist contradiction—I know… no surprise. The far-left seems to argue that, aside from an individual choosing his or her gender, they also argue a person can change/choose his or her ethnicity or race to one that suits them. The strange thing is, leftists also simultaneously argue that individuals may not engage in “cultural appropriation.”

    You recall cultural appropriation, right? Remember the clamor about colleges warning non-Mexican students not to wear sombreros and non-Indians not to wear feather headdresses on Halloween? You may also remember the Oregonian women who were harassed for selling Mexican food from their food cart—specifically because they are (non-Hispanic) white. The left says people must not appropriate cultures that are not theirs. But do they really mean it?

    A few days back, on Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson Tonight, Carlson interviewed left-wing commentator and Catalina magazine publisher, Cathy Areu. She seems like a nice person, and she wore a sardonic smirk throughout the interview, so I couldn’t tell for sure if she was being serious about the issue being discussed: a blending of cultural appropriation and self-identification. Uh-oh!

    Well, this nice far-lefty expressed to Carlson that she has no problem with a white Florida man, known as “Adam,” claiming he is not only transgender, now a female, but also transracial, an Asian. And, reportedly, he has culturally appropriated the identity of a Filipino woman. “Adam” now goes by the name Ja Du, loves Filipino music and food, and drives a purple Tuk-Tuk (motorized rickshaw used for transit in the Philippines).

    Now, like Ms. Areu, I don’t have a problem with anyone who wishes to adopt some peaceful fantasy life for themselves, even if they choose to share it in public. There are many stories about individuals of one culture being adopted into another. Movies like A Man Called Horse and The Last Samurai come to mind. However, Ja Du’s case is a bit different.

    Rarer, as in Ja Du’s case, are people who reverse the cultural adoption phenomena and, instead, proactively “adopt” another culture into their lives. And, even rarer still, again, in Ja Du’s case, are the trans-trifecta: transsexual, transcultural, and transracial. One person sexually, culturally, and racially appropriating a gender, ethnicity, and race not one’s own. So, is this cultural appropriation or self-identification? I’m confused.

    Apparently, Ja Du says she knows a very nice, kind Filipino woman and wants to emulate her. That’s a great thing about America, you should be able to do whatever you want, live your life and lifestyle as you choose—pursue your happiness, as long as you don’t hurt others, take their stuff, violate their rights, or expect them to accept rather than tolerate your choices.

    The problem comes when leftists attempt to elevate delusions—or we can call them eccentricities, even peaceful ones, and ascribe to them some quasi-scientific validation. I have no doubt Ja Du feels a genuine connection to Filipino culture, perhaps even truly feels Filipino. Many people feel a “connection” to cultures with which they share no biological, historical, or cultural ties. Since I was a kid, I’ve had an affinity for Japanese culture, but I’m not about to become a Geisha.

    An affinity for a foreign culture can be a beautiful thing. What a sublime compliment it is for a human being to adopt an admired or even revered culture into his or her own life or lifestyle. However, while the far-left might agree with me about cross-cultural affinity being a good thing, they also accuse me of, at best, committing microaggressions and at worst, cultural appropriation, if I express my chosen affinity by donning traditional garb associated with a culture not my own. Which is it, self-identification or misappropriation of another culture?

    So, lefties, is a person who expresses admiration of another gender, culture, ethnicity, or race, by emulating it, a virtue or an affront? Is it a matter of what the left believes is a person’s motivation by divining what’s on a person’s mind or in a person’s heart? Is that why it’s okay when liberal, transsexual, transcultural, and transracial Ja Du does it, but if a couple of white gals in Oregon do it, they’re cultural appropriating bigots?

    And, now that we’re into the weeds on this subject, what if I’m half Mexican? Can I wear half a sombrero, poncho, or eat only half a burrito? Can I wear just one feather in my hair if I’m 10 percent Lakota or five if I’m 50 percent? Am I allowed to wear a full Cheyenne war bonnet if I’m of Sioux, Apache, or Wampanoag extraction? And don’t even get me started on who’s allowed to drink green beer on St. Patrick’s Day. 

     

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