All Things Being Unequal
Tonight at work I was shaken by having to deal with some very outspoken white male bigots. I heard one in particular shouting at somebody over the phone (and I beg you, please, excuse the language) “listen to me, you fucking nigger!” Several people in the group laughed, showing genuine amusement at the use of such a negative racial epithet. The same person performing the shouting later remarked that one of the members in the group was “a long-haired faggot” because he was neither drinking with the rest nor had any means of lending assistance to their situation. Again, members of the group laughed, but I could see the pain flicker in the eyes of the victim of the verbal abuse. He knew his compatriots were in the wrong, and attempted several times to apologize in their defense. I felt sad for him. He felt intrinsically complicit in the vitriloic behavior of his comrades yet seemed to me to appear powerless to stop it in that moment. I wished them well, him most of all, and left them to their own devices.
In a similar fashion, there was evidently quite the uproar at the end of last week over some very contentious articles written for various UK publications. The Trans community took offense to some writing by one authori in particular, who in turn rebuked the commenters via what I understand to be ad hominem attacks. This led to attacks on both sides, and spilled forth from there into more public forums. Both sides handled things particularly badly, but some good seems to be coming of the incident. In particular are those providing details of attacks they have suffered from the medical and media communities in addition to private persecution for having the courage to be resolute in becoming inwardly and outwardly comfortable with themselves. The fact that those in the Trans community suffer persecution, particularly in the form of violence, is no secret. What is surprising is how blind to that fact so many people seem to (willingly?) be.
What I find most disturbing about the entire incident is how members of differently persecuted groups seem to be willing to actively engage in some terribly hateful behaviour and speech toward members not of their own groups. Women being abusive toward Trans people. Trans people being abusive toward Lesbians. Lesbians being abusive toward Straight and Trans women alike. Gay Men joining in the fight to proclaim that they have the biggest persecution. So on and so forth, et cetera, ad nauseum.
The biggest problem facing those of us within the LBGTQ community as well as those who were simply born without having low melanin content in skin and a penis is not that there is persecution or abuse of one group more than any other other group, but that there is abuse and persecution of anybody at all! Equality is not reserved for one under-privileged group at the expense of others; it is obtainable for all, and should be fought for just as valiantly.
Women should have the same inherent rights as men regarding wages, working conditions, property rights, and the like.
GLBTQ individuals should have the same inherent rights as their straight counterparts.
Genderqueer and non-binary sexed individuals should have the same inherent rights as their counterpart individuals within the binary normative system.
The ultimate goal should be to embrace the mantra put forth by Depeche Mode: “People are people.” We should fight, all of us, to overcome the inequalities handed to us by unreasonable legislation and bigoted lobbyists. We should not fight for one group only, or only those groups with which we associate. We should fight for all who suffer at the hands of others.
We should eschew these trappings of religion, of ethnic origin, of sexual and gender identity, and embrace one another as people. All of us, all made of the same stuff, having the same basic bio-chemical composition. We are humans, not animals, and we should treat each other with the respect, dignity, and compassion that is innately due us all.
Enough of the fighting between sub-cultures; let’s stand as one, united against oppression.
Stay SINful, friends.