A Twitter thread by @hatpinwoman
I’m in a lot of left spaces. Still. So I know the power of “I identify as”. It’s an invocation&if you say those words they give you the power of being believed.Unless of course your identity is on the “not allowed list”. I as a female, could say I was a gay man but not Chinese.
There’s a conflation of 2 groups of people that happens with those 3 words. In the first are people using “I identify as” to describe a material reality. It’s objective. In the second are those using “I identify as” as a statement of how they want to be perceived. Its subjective
The left as a whole has conflated these 2 groups and now cannot differentiate between them. When someone “denies someone’s identity” by pointing out those in group 2 aren’t *actually* X people see this as being the same as it would be to deny group 1 are X.
A gay male who says “I identify as a gay man” doesn’t actually need to identify as one because he *is* and how he lives his life, who he loves and sleeps with and the reality of his biological sex all prove that he is gay. A female saying “I identify as a gay man” is fantasising.
The only way she can claim to be a gay man is through ‘identity’. There is no other way. Personally, this leads me to the conclusion that “I identify as” language is inherently useless. It is unnecessary for people who *are* and open to misuse. But the left won’t accept that yet
So maybe their starting point needs to be a recognition that claims to an identity are only that. You can respect when someone feels like they are something without accepting they are that something. It is, in fact, necessary to make such a distinction. Anything else is dishonest
If I claim to be a singer you shouldnt force yourselves to believe I’m sublime as I croak like a dying frog. Even if you also don’t demand I stop saying I can sing. When it comes to minority groups especially the idea there’s no difference between claiming and being is so harmful
It’s usually the case that when a subjective&objective claim of identity are treated as equally true,the group who are objectively x are imposed upon&suffer as a result. It’s the inevitable consequence of a personal sense of self conflicting with the material facts about others
Gay men, women, lesbians, the disabled, black people etc all have the right to be acknowledged as distinct groups without people who claim to be them getting in the way of their needs, their resources and their protections. Or in the way of their rights movements.
If all you have in common with another group is that you both use those three little words,you don’t have much.All this talk of privilege yet the left can’t recognise that it is a huge privilege to claim to be something and expect to always be treated like those who really are.
I don’t care if someone subjectively identifies as a woman. You envision yourself as you like. That’s not my business. I do care that the group of people who are objectively women are not sidelined, dehumanised&made to concede their safety and privacy in the name of your feelings