I am in the midst of a minor twitter argument which I will now attempt to not engage in further for the sake of my mental health/my followers who may not want a stream of Malcom Tucker swearing.
It has made me think about the issues of quotas and equality legislation, which are problematic in some terms (othering, they make people stand out etc etc) and are a very blunt instrument to attempt to solve a complex crisis but I agree with them as a shirt term stopgap to do something, they’re a little teaspoon.
The fact is you may think judging everyone equally is the way forward it is in a way but when people have had vastly different journeys to get to that one place you are judging them from, when some people haven’t even been able to get there and are standing outside being denied entry, it all becomes trickier.
My personal circumstances mean if I am judged by a plain old CV and my ‘achievements’ I look shit. There is no space on my CV for the long and complicated story of being ill, missing lots of school, re-taking years in uni, not being able to do as much extra work as I’d like , not having worked as a teen in a saturday job etc etc. Not to mention the fact I am still ill, I have chronic long term conditions. Do I lie to ‘look better’ and then risk looking bad if I need help later on due to my illness? Am I open about it and risk stigma?
That’s just me, people from all sort of backgrounds have all sorts of ‘baggage’, opportunities that were not available to them, stigma and prejudice they have to deal with – yet again a case of having to be ten times as good to be thought of as even half as worthy and ‘equal’.
If you judge us all to the same standard you inadvertently act out the affirmative action you so despise by favouring those lucky enough to be born, richer, whiter, more abled bodied, straighter, Cis gendered etc. It’s like judging people on a 100m race and awarding the gold to the winner who had a flat, empty course and could do the race on a souped up super fast segway whilst those who were slower had to face a whole load of obstacles, and some of them couldn’t even get to the starting line in the first place. These evil quotas which take jobs away from poor straight white dudes do no such thing, they just ensure some non straight white dudes have a chance to even get in the fucking door. The biggest lie these ‘omg quotas are bad you give jobs to people who are useless just cos they’re a black lesbian in a wheelchair!’ types delude themselves with is that are competing equally, they have been benefitting from ‘affirmative action’ for years, it’s that this entrenched inequality is seen as the default. They have been whisked to the finish line in a limo whilst the rest of us have been stuck trying to get across a swamp infested with crocodiles and if someone offers us a hand they still complain they we’re getting ‘unfair’ help.
I have resisted, and I still do in some ways, any attempts to get me ‘special treatment’ because of my disability but then looking at it realistically, I am not starting out from an equal position. The fact I can do stuff and am capable gets ignored because I haven’t had the luck to be able to work, get as many qualifications or experience as I’d like because I got ill. Which wasn’t my fault and I’m not bitter about it (well maybe a bit) but it just happened, I can’t change it, so why shouldn’t I be entitled to protection in law against discrimination, which as well all know is ineffective at stopping discrimination as it still happens all the fucking time, but y’know it’s a teeny tiny something that says ‘well maybe you’re human after all’ and that’s something. Because that is what discrimination does, it makes you feel less than human.
In short I am sick of the white male abled bodied heterosexual cis gendered supremacist system thinking it can tell ME what to think about MY life and MY experiences and how they affect ME. So when I say White het cis abled bodied dudes STFU about equality I mean it. I don’t mean you can’t have an opinion, I mean that you might want to listen to some of the people who live this stuff everyday, for whom this is not some abstract thing ranted about in a tabloid, this is their lives, and that their opinions on the matter might be you know, valid.
I’m sick of privilege denying dudes.