First business: I will be at Denver comicon, for sure tomorrow and Saturday (I have very strong doubts I will be able to do it Sunday, considering where I’m starting from in terms of exhaustion.) The family isn’t going because we’re in the middle of three moves (one for us, one for each of the kids.) I wouldn’t go if it weren’t MY job. I’d postpone it till next year. BUT as is, I’ll be there. Come see me at the Wordfire Booth. If I find them, I’ll have souvernir-fishTM to give away. Also, again supposing I find them, T-shirts and some posters for the DST series.
Okay, business out of the way: In one of the closed groups I frequent on FB, someone said we live in weird times, when gender (or sex), concept with clearly definable biological roots is considered mutable on the say so of an individual, while race, a concept biologically so nebulous as to defy definition, is considered immutable, binding and part of you forever and ever, supposed to inform even your political opinions.
I think I understand both of them. Kind of. Well, I understand the first one.
For many years, human sexual definition was tied inescapably with the reproductive role. And before you say anything, yeah, that is still the way we make babies, though thanks to assisted reproduction technologies, that is become a little wobbly and will become more so in the future.
But our ROLES — i.e. what we do vs. the new generation — have already become largely unmoored from reproductive “sex”. This is for various reasons, mostly because of the pill AND the (by and large) defeat of infant mortality which make child bearing and child rearing relatively unimportant in comparison to careers or marriages or even hobbies. Yeah, I know it seems like a long time, particularly if you’re in the middle of it, but at most child rearing, unless you’re one of the rare families that have more than a couple, three children, takes up maybe a third of your productive lifetime. Less, if you average it, because we’re … not reproducing. I mean, the main reason you haven’t seen a precipitous drop in population is that we’re not dying as early as we used to. BUT of my close friends group, I’m fertile fanny with 2 kids. I have a friend who has ONE kid, and the rest are childless. We bought this house from a childless couple. The couple who bought our house had ONE teen daughter.
Child rearing just takes up less and less mind space in our society, and as such it’s not so much a case of “mamma bear” or mamma anything. (btw, a post for another time but the strangest experiment our society is engaged in is the outsourcing of raising an entire generation to under-educated strangers who don’t have the power to punish the children.)
As such people have a vague and queasy idea that sex roles, and sex itself as part of humanity’s make-up is changing faster than they understand, and try to see sex roles as immutable and “the can must match the contents.” When it doesn’t they convince themselves they have sexual disphoria, instead of simply being atypical or very atypical males or females. Because averages are statistical, not flesh and blood.
This doesn’t apply to the people uncomfortable enough in their bodies and informed enough to undergo surgery. Even though the surgery we have amounts to butchery, if people undergo it, I’ll treat them as what they wish to be, and I’ll respect their choice.
OTOH the people who think they have gender that changes every other day? PFUI. I suppose one can’t help a degree of Aspergers above a certain IQ, but seriously, if you’re that smart you should realize that what it says on the can about gender roles is the merest suggestion.
At any rate, the exception to people who have undergone surgery notwithstanding (and that not resting on a biological basis, but on a psychological basis and being a matter of respecting someone else’s accommodations to survive in reality) sex is simple. If you’re XX you’re female. If you’re XY you’re male. The rate of people who are some stranger mix is very, very rare. And that chromosomal make up DOES influence everything from your upper body strength (it was a shock to me to find out that my kids at fourteen were not only stronger, but exponentially stronger than I was as an in-shape forty something. They hadn’t even stopped growing) to your mental pathways, some of it started by hormones in uterus.
Now all of this means bloody nothing to the individual (except that physical strength thing. Women can sort of, if they devote their lives to it, reach the lower edges of male strength. BUT what the heck, we have the endurance they lack, and a lot more resistance to/ability to endure pain.) Some women “think more” like men and some men “think more” like women. In aggregate the two sides process very differently. All men would be ADHD women including the freakish ability to concentrate when needed, and all women can multitask better than men. (Something favored by evolution I suppose, since picking berries AND watching the toddler is how our foremothers survived. Those whose toddler was eaten didn’t get to be our foremothers.)
Still, in biological terms, sex is easy. You’re either xx or xy and the in-betweens are misfires. People with physical OR psychological mismatches of the true kind (the kind that is actually helped by the operation) are very few. So the current drive to convince every kid that his problems are rooted in really being an x trapped in a y body are at best insane and at worse (in terms of species) suicidal. And people who think they change genders on their say so, with no surgery, no hormonal treatments, because the wind blows from the East and it’s Thursday have been sold a bill of goods.
Then there’s race. We’ve all become obsessed with race one way or another, and i’m glaring (what you’d think I’d be staring out indifferently? Why?) at a future in which we’re all race obsessed socialists. It’s just the races we emphasize that change.
That obsession with race was always part of socialism, at least if the examples quoted by George Watson in The Lost Literature of Socialism are correct.
Despite being internationalists, traditional socialists were also white supremacists (What a vat of charming) and thought the other races should be killed for “racial hygiene.”
What changed in the last half of the twentieth century is that they found all their experiments in first world countries, all their attempts to bring about a proletarian revolution were foiled by human progress and human disinterest in envy as a cardian virtue.
The left-socialists then turned to the third world, which you might term the eternally dispossessed, as the source of that revolution and at any rate realized threatening the first world with the third gave them power, always their main objective.
Then the right-socialists (well, they SAY they’re right) decided that if white people were treated as second class citizens by the intelligentsia and clerisy, it was time to reverse the tables.
So, yeah, I do — sort of — understand the current obsession with race.
There is more to it, too. The world is being changed by tech too fast for any of us to adapt, even those of us whose metier it is to meditate on technological change.
When that happens humanity as a whole sort of experiences a regression in psychological terms. And it’s very easy both to understand and to embrace race as a form of organization, because humans are tribal and creatures of bands. In the small band, every human looked alike. Not looking alike was a stranger and thus possible (extreme. Our ancestors ate each other, and not in a fun way) danger.
But the problem is race as race doesn’t really exist. We won’t go into Hispanic or Latino, which even our government thinks is a cultural group, not a genetic one. (Though there are genes for people who are not just of Latin upbringing but of Latin body-type. One of which is for weight explosion when faced with easily available food. But that’s sub-racial “genetic grouping.”)
Sure there are people who are very dark, and that might coincide with very curly hair, etc. BUT here’s the thing, the external appearance genes have very little to do with temperament or intelligence or other genes. They even have bloody nothing to do with ancestry. I’ve known two pale blonds with majority-African blood. I once heard it said that African Americans (appropriate term in this case) are racially what’s known as “caucasians.” I don’t know if that’s true, but I know that’s how Africans think of them.
Even in racially based states, there are difficulties telling race. I remember being in South Africa when they found an abandoned baby girl. A crisis ensued as they had no clue what family to place her with/where she should live. BUT not even hair follicle analysis could give them an answer to this little girl’s race. (I left before it was resolved.)
The fact that race is a mirage, as cultural as it is physical, at least in being perceived as a certain race, makes it very dangerous in any society, but particularly a SOCIALIST society (as most societies now are, to an extent or another. And this is about to get worse looking at the two potential presidents.)
You see, socialism sees people as widgets. It tries to fit them into a vision that can’t possibly work long term.
If it’s race fixated, when it fails, it will start going after various racial groups. It already has when socialism failed in the Western world. Now some people seem to think a socialism of whites, yeah, that will work.
It won’t. And then come the distinctions between whites and the searching through people’s DNA tests. This is one of the reasons I haven’t tested, though I suspect like Larry Correia I’ll test mostly or a lot of British, because… North of Portugal. If you know the history of the area, this will make perfect sense. Heck, our kings were plantagenets because of marriages.
And yet the North of Portugal — in passing — is as Latin as the rest of the country. Oh, sure, we’re quieter and more reserved than most Latins. (No, really.) But the culture is the same. BECAUSE it’s culture not race that informs how large groups behave.
One of the commenters said that my post on how Venezuela was different from the US was an obvious “against mass immigration from Latin countries” post. That surprised me because it’s not WHY I wrote it, but then I thought of course it is. I am against mass immigration from ANYWHERE. Import enough people fast enough and you change the CULTURE. This is particularly true if first generation immigrants are surrounded by “their people” and feel no pressure to learn the language or the culture of their adopted country.
This leads to balkanization and cultural change. And if you’re — like us — a country of ideology, that will kill you as dead as mass murder.
I see no hope for it now, but what I see for the future, as our only hope, is for us to become again a country of belief and contract.
The alternative is to chase that phantom race on the way to socialism, which no race is pure enough to achieve, and to end up defining race in narrower and narrower groups. Eventually we’ll arrive at the “celtic” race again, and have “more than 20% Irish ancestry makes you non white.” And won’t that be fun.
But it’s all right, right? It’s “scientific socialism” and “race hygiene.”
Here we go again.