The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
4 Points

Rachel Dolezal claiming to be black is no different than Bruce Jenner claiming to be a woman.

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/12/2015 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 908 times Debate No: 76512
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (7)
Votes (1)




Background info:
Rachel Dolezal is an NAACP leader who was recently outed as being born white.
Bruce (Caitlyn) Jenner is a former olympic athlete and reality TV star who recently underwent gender reassignment surgery.

First round is only acceptance and introduction.


I accept. Whether you agree of disagree with the actions of Rachel or Bruce/Caitlyn is not the issue. There are obvious differences between the motivations and actions in both cases. Thanks to Pro for setting up the debate.
Debate Round No. 1


Well perhaps I should have titled this debate 'Rachel Dolezal has a MORE of a case on being actually black than Bruce Jenner does on being a woman'.
In my view, it's really quite simple: The color of one's skin is purely a superficial difference, one's sex isn't. Studies have shown that there is virtually no difference in brain function between members of different races. In contrast, the brains of men and women are very different insofar as chemistry, structure, and processing. These differences are completely biological, and the brain of someone born male can never function like a female's, regardless of how they may 'feel'.
My bottom line is that Rachel Dolezal could realistically "feel" like a black woman, because the neurological differences between black women and white women are negligible, but it is unrealistic that Bruce (Caitlyn) Jenner could actually feel like a woman, due to the differences inherited directly from his XY chromosome.

And just for the record, I don't care how Bruce Jenner chooses to live his life, I just think it is important that we don't lie to ourselves as a people.



Pro’s arguments do not address the resolution. This is not a debate about which claim is more realistic. Pro asserted that the two claims were the same when there are fundamental differences.

Rachel lied about who she is.

The two claims are completely different. Rachel’s claim was a lie while Caitlyn simply admitted to a feeling. Caitlyn did not lie about who she is and she does not deny reality. She has always acknowledged that she was born a man while being honest about the fact that she identifies as a woman. Caitlyn has only claimed to feel like she is a woman while Rachel claimed to be black. Simply admitting to a feeling is very different than claiming that you are, in fact, another race.

Rachel lived as a fraud for years

Rachel claimed to be black for years. She became an NAACP chapter president under false pretenses. Caitlyn only recently admitted identifying as a woman and did not live as a fraud.

Caitlyn is a woman.

Caitlyn is an anatomical woman. This alone makes the claims very different. Rachel is not black and will never be black. Caitlyn is in fact a woman so claiming to be a woman is accurate while Rachel claiming to be black is a lie.

Pro’s resolution is indefensible.

There are obvious differences between the two claims. Even as Pro argues that claiming to be black is closer to reality (this does not support the resolution) than claiming to be a woman he points out major differences between the two claims. According to Pro there are major differences in brain function between males and females more so than between different races. This makes the claim that you are a woman very different than claiming that you are another race.

He also claims that it is more realistic to feel like you are black than it is to feel like you are a woman. This again points out a difference between the two claims. Pro is building a case that it is more realistic to claim that you are black when this is not relevant to the resolution.


Rachel lied about who she is while Caitlyn has been honest. Rachel lived as a fraud for years while Caitlyn only recently admitted to feeling like a woman. Caitlyn is now a woman. Claiming to be a woman is accurate while Rachel’s claim is false.

Debate Round No. 2


JDiamond forfeited this round.


Pro's argument is a form of an equivocation fallacy.

He set up an argument to debate the nature of two claims but then argues about two states of being. It's true that the two situations are similar and this is what Pro argues. both women identify with a nature that is different from the state they were born into. That makes their feelings about their nature (I still would not say they are essentially the same) similar but this does not support the resolution.

Pro has made a statement about the nature of their claims, not the validity of those claims. The two claims are handled in exactly the opposite way. Rachel chose to lie about who she is while Bruce/Caitlyn was simply honest and acted on the feeling. The claims are very different.

If the debate were about the validity of the claims, as I have pointed out, one claim is true and the other is a lie.
Debate Round No. 3


JDiamond forfeited this round.


Arguments extended.
Debate Round No. 4


JDiamond forfeited this round.


Arguments extended.
Debate Round No. 5
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by 2-D 3 years ago
Yes, I did argue that She was physically a woman but this was not my main argument and Pro did not respond. Thanks for the correction. I understand that their situations were similar but their claims were quite different as I pointed out.
Posted by ZenoCitium 3 years ago
@2-D: Caitlyn has never had gender reassignment surgery, only a breast augmentation and plastic surgery to his face. Doesn't this prove to be damaging to your arguments? Regardless of this, sex can be determined even without observations such of genitalia. It is in his blood, DNA. On a basic level, Caitlyn is no more of a women then Racael is an African American. They both make modifications to their bodies and their appearance to express the identity they feel more comfortable with.
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 3 years ago
>Reported vote: dairygirl4u2c// Mod action: Removed<

3 points to Pro (Arguments). Reasons for voting decision: aside from the FF, pro made the better case

[*Reason for removal*] (1) No explanation for the arguments point. Simply repeats the point category.
Posted by YaHey 3 years ago
Except that black isn't how you feel on the inside. To be black one must be African American, and her ancestry is European, as her parents confirmed. I guess you could make the case that being african american is how one is treated by society, but race/ethnicity isn't a feeling.
Posted by Wylted 3 years ago
They, that is literally the stupidest thing I've ever heard. The same concept can be applied to Rachel. Maybe Rachel is black on the inside. I think it's more likely she is suffering from a huge case of white guilt and self hatred, but you can't make that argument for Bruce Jenner, without being a hypocrite.
Posted by YaHey 3 years ago
Except that Rachel isn't black now... She's pretending to be black, and has been outed as not black. Caitlyn is a woman, and she pretended to be a man named Bruce. So, Caitlyn stopped pretending and Rachel began to pretend. There's your difference.
Posted by Emilrose 3 years ago
Both were *not* born who they *now* are so this could easily be won on the basis of technicality.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by salam.morcos 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro ff 3 rounds out of 4. Immediate loss.