A social experiment aimed at discovering which identities can and can’t be self-defined on campus. (Spoiler: They all can!) “These people are ripe for dictatorship,” writes Rod Dreher. “They will not let themselves see reality if it offends against the party line.” They do see it, though. That’s the thing. Their answers frequently take the form of “If that’s what you say you are, I’ll go along.” They know the reality, they just don’t want to cause trouble by speaking up for it. That’s what makes them ripe for dictatorship, or at least bien-pensant authoritarianism. And bien-pensant authoritarianism is what the American college experience is all about.
How feeble do your reasoning skills have to be, incidentally, if you’re onboard with “transgenderism” yet can’t distinguish it from height? The touchstone of left-wing “identity” rhetoric is that identity is fluid and to some extent “socially constructed.” There’s no yardstick to measure sexual orientation or how masculine or feminine someone feels, whatever they may be sporting below the belt. There is, however, a yardstick to measure height. It’s an actual yardstick. On the other hand, they’re all surprisingly chill with the idea of this guy defining himself as Chinese even though he’s as white as this year’s Democratic presidential field. The lesson of the Rachel Dolezal flap, I thought, was that even the left won’t tolerate self-definition of one’s race because whites shouldn’t be allowed to pretend that they don’t enjoy tremendous social privilege. Dolezal can say she’s black all she wants, but she’s white because she grew up with the advantages that white kids have. How dare this interviewer suggest that he can possibly understand the terrible hardships that a Chinese person in America must endure! Especially one who’s 6’5″. And a woman.
Exit question: Why aren’t men who identify as women scorned for trying to shed their “male privilege” the same way Dolezal was scorned for trying to shed her white privilege? A question for the next experiment perhaps.