Alexander Dolitsky: Conversation with a progressive activist on the matter of gender identity
By ALEXANDER DOLITSKY
Rebecca, a younger American lady in her late 20s, appeared stressed; she wandered anxiously round the room in all instructions. Then she requested me: “Alexander, do you believe in death?”
I used to be a bit greatly surprised by the query, however answered cautiously and with out hesitation: “Yes, I do.”
“Eternal?” she adopted.
“Forever, of course. Why are you asking such a trivial query? Eventually we are going to all biologically disappear eternally,” I replied.
“Well, do you ever think about your legacy?” She continued.
“Not each day; however sure, I do sometimes,” I replied.
“Please do not be offended; Take my query in the pleasant sense that it’s meant. I want to suggest two variations of your hypothetical obituary and ask which one you favor. Is that okay?” she requested, wanting me straight in the eye.
“Okay, shoot,” I smiled and replied with a pleasant expression on my face.
“Thank you. Here is the first version: “Alexander D. was born and raised in such and such a place, he was educated in such and such institutions, he was successful in many areas of his life, including achievements in many academic fields. In In death he preceded his ideologically progressive, far-left child, who as an adult considered himself non-binary and asked to be referred to as “she/they. This was an identity and beliefs that Alexander D. reluctantly accepted.”
Sure, Rebecca’s first hypothetical model of my legacy/obituary caught my consideration. “And what’s the second version?” I requested with apparent curiosity.
“The second version is this: “Alexander D. was born and raised in such and such a place, he was educated in such and such institutions, he was successful in many areas of his life, including achievements in many academic fields. In death, he preceded his ideologically progressive, far-left child, who as an adult considered himself non-binary and asked to be referred to as “she/them”. That was an identity and ideology that Alexander D. sadly rejected.”
I used to be confused by Rebecca’s questions and the path she was transferring.
“So which version of your hypothetical legacy/obituary would appeal to you?” Rebecca requested with a smug smile.
Looking straight into Rebecca’s smirking eyes, which had been emitting indicators of distorted compliments, I replied, “Rebecca, I understand your implication and reference to my child’s decision to use the plural pronoun “she/they” in reference to himself. You know this has been a tough transition for our household.
“Remember, Rebecca, that social anthropologists define kinship terminology systems as a set of words (e.g., mother, father, sister, brother, aunt, etc.) used in different languages and cultures to describe specific relationships between them or to mark kinship. Societies in different parts of the world use more or less the same terminological patterns of relatedness. Indeed, kinship terminology is fundamental to the maintenance of the nuclear family.”
Rebecca objected in an accusing voice: “But this conventional kinship terminology, each nouns and pronouns, doesn’t adequately describe the gender identity of some individuals. You should not male or feminine; they’re one thing in between. It’s a science, you realize.”
“Rebecca, do not combine that up Word science with work out of scientific inquiries. Science isn’t a topic like math, physics, astronomy, anthropology and so on. Science is a methodology and methodology. It is a process, a course of utilized by scientists for the scientific examine of the pure world. Scientists ask logical questions, suggest logical hypotheses, take a look at proposed hypotheses, gather and analyze knowledge, show or disprove proposed and examined hypotheses, draw logical conclusions, and eventually suggest explanations primarily based on the proof gleaned from their analysis,” I mentioned.
“Alexander, it is a undeniable fact that folks’s gender identities can evolve and alter all through their lives. A toddler could be born a lady (feminine) and regularly grow to be a boy (male). My 3 12 months outdated niece is satisfied she is a boy. She’s all the time yelling at my aunt, ‘Mom, mother, I’m a boy,'” argued Rebecca.
“Rebecca,” I replied, “an harmless 3-year-old who clothes up as an elephant at a Halloween or birthday celebration may even innocently assume they’re an elephant. Do not you assume?
“More importantly, Rebecca, it is a biologically undeniable fact that hormones — the chemical compounds that act as messengers in the physique — will certainly change all through life. This is evidenced by the adjustments individuals expertise as they age in phrases of metabolism, urge for food, progress and growth, temper, stress and physique temperature.
“Furthermore, it’s an plain organic indisputable fact that human chromosomes (male or feminine) don’t change over the course of their lives. The X and Y chromosomes, additionally referred to as intercourse chromosomes, decide a particular person’s organic intercourse. Females inherit an X chromosome from father for an XX genotype, whereas males inherit a Y chromosome from father for an XY genotype (moms solely go on X chromosomes).
“Very well,” Rebecca reacted angrily. “So which version of your hypothetical heritage would appeal to you, first or second?” she requested abruptly.
“Each of us is the owner of our life, our identity and our ideologies. We can choose to strongly disagree with the gender identity choices of our friends and loved ones,” I mentioned. “Nevertheless, it is essential to acknowledge that regardless of genetics or our private ideologies, each human being is free to decide on the course of their life and the selections made in it.
“However, our freedom can be utilized for good or for evil. Ultimately, we’re given the freedom to freely select the good – not like robots, however like people. That is basically the sole objective of free will – to decide on good. If it’s misused to decide on what’s hurtful or dangerous or delusional, then it’s misused.
“We should actually make each effort to like and respect each human being as kids of God, however with out encouraging or enabling dangerous fantasies that finally change the course of their lives.
“My life and identity belong solely to me and nobody else. I can not and won’t compromise my life, my beliefs, my beliefs, my ideology and the factual fact. So, in relation to your query, and from Judeo-Christian values and views, my legacy must be the second model, which reads:
“Alexander D. was born and raised in such and such a place, he was educated in such and such institutions, he was successful in many areas of his life, including achievements in many academic fields. In death, he preceded his ideologically progressive, far-left child, who as an adult considered himself non-binary and asked to be referred to as “she/them”. That was an identity and ideology that Alexander D. sadly rejected.”
Alexander B. Dolitsky was born and raised in Kyiv in the former Soviet Union. He acquired an MA in History from Kiev Pedagogical Institute, Ukraine, in 1976; an MA in anthropology and archeology from Brown University in 1983; and was in Ph.D. program in Anthropology at Bryn Mawr College from 1983 to 1985, the place he was additionally a Lecturer at the Russian Centre. In the USSR he was a social research instructor for 3 years and an archaeologist for 5 years for the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences. In 1978 he settled in the United States. Dolitsky first visited Alaska in 1981 whereas conducting discipline analysis for grad faculty at Brown. He first lived in Sitka in 1985 after which settled in Juneau in 1986. From 1985 to 1987 he was an archaeologist and social scientist with the US Forest Service. From 1985 to 1999 he was Adjunct Assistant Professor of Russian Studies at the University of Alaska Southeast; from 1988 to 2006 lecturer in social research at Alyeska Central School, Alaska Department of Education; and was Director of the Alaska-Siberia Research Center from 1990 to the current (see www.aksrc.homestead.com). He has performed roughly 30 discipline research in numerous areas of the former Soviet Union (together with Siberia), Central Asia, South America, Eastern Europe and the United States (together with Alaska). Dolitsky was a lecturer on the ships World Discoverer, Spirit of Oceanus and Clipper Odyssey in the arctic and subarctic areas. He was undertaking supervisor for the WWII Alaska-Siberia Lend Lease Memorial erected in Fairbanks in 2006. He has printed quite a few papers in the fields of anthropology, historical past, archeology and ethnography. His latest publications embrace Fairy Tales and Myths of the Bering Strait Chukchi, Ancient Tales of Kamchatka; Tales and Legends of the Yupik Eskimos of Siberia; Ancient Russia in Modern America: Russian Old Believers in Alaska; Allies in Wartime: The Alaska-Siberia Air Route During World War II; Spirit of the Siberian Tiger: Folk Tales from the Russian Far East; Living Wisdom of the Far North: Tales and Legends from Chukotka and Alaska; pipeline to Russia; The Alaska-Siberia Air Route in World War II; and Old Russia in Modern America: Living Traditions of the Russian Old Believers; Ancient Tales of Chukotka and Ancient Tales of Kamchatka.
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