Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Sit down, shut up and listen!


There are a lot of things I fail to fully understand. Quantum science, bigotry, trigonometric functions, narrow mindedness, string theory, hate… The list could go on!

I recently learned about something that has got me all confused. The term “cis”.

Now, from my understanding, to be cis gendered is to be born with female genitals and identifying as female (just as an example). Now, what is wrong with that?

We are all born with things we like and we are all born with things we don’t like. Myself as an example here is a list of things I was born with and whether or not I’m ok with them;

Brown hair x

Brown eyes +

Curly hair x

Thick hair x

Female genitals +

White skin +

This is not by any means an exhaustive list, I don’t have all day…!

I don’t like my brown hair, therefore I dye it.

I like my brown eyes but I reserve the right to wear coloured contacts.

I despise having curly hair so I straighten it.

I abhor having thick hair so I cut it.

I like having female genitals (for the most part) although I wouldn’t mind experiencing male parts.

I like having what is predominantly considered white skin but I reserve the right to get it tanned or tattooed.

These are just small, flippant examples. On the grand scheme of things they don’t matter.

As a child, I was bullied by working class white children. When I say bullied, I do not mean people poking fun at me or saying mean things. I mean physical violence, psychological torture, verbal abuse. To the point I was terrified to leave my own house for any amount of time. To the point where I considered on a daily basis ending my own life and even made several attempts. As a result, do I hate them now? No.

As an adult, I have been verbally abused by jazz lovers, Jazz haters, heterosexuals, drag queens, homosexuals, white people, black people, feminists, anti-feminists, Manchester United supporters, Arsenal Supporters… The list goes on. Do I hate these people? No!

I don’t hate anyone. Not really.

People who know me will have often heard me say “I hate people”. This is not quite so cut and dried. People scare me. People hold these unwritten expectations about themselves and others. They have taboo subjets that we MUST NOT discuss. They are easily offended, they are weird. What I’m generally saying here is “I hate things in people that I’m insecure about in myself”. Isn’t that what all hate really is?

People wanting equal rights for all sexualities, I stand firmly by your side. However, I do not identify with any sexuality. I like men, I like women, I like men who want to be women, I like men who want to be women being men…! I don’t have a sexual preference really. I like humans.

This applies across all boards of equality though. I often hear “feminists” talking about how there need to be more women in powers of position. Ok, that’s fine. Let’s take one sector as an example. Banking. Banking is a predominantly male dominated job. Now, I’m just spitballing with figures here but let’s say there are 80 men and 20 women at the bottom level of the hierarchy and there needs to be 10% of the staff at the top. What are the odds that there will be more men at the top than women? Well, mathematically, given that there are 80% of men at the bottom! men have an 4/5 chance of being promoted whereas women only have a 1/5 chance. Is this inequality? NO! That is purely maths!

The same goes for people of different race, religion, sexual orientation, people who like jazz, people who like Shakespeare, people who like Justin Beiber…!

At the end of the day, we’re all human beings and what we should be fighting for is human rights!

I identify myself as a white, English female with no sexual preference , various mental health issues and a penchant for music books and creativity. That’s just me. You can be whatever you choose to be as long as you choose to be nice.

I accept people at face value. If you have male genitals, fine. If you have blue eyes, fine. If you like to paint your skin luminous green and wear a rubber glove on your head, fine! I don’t care what you look like, where you come from, what religion you practise, how you identify yourself. If you’re nice to me, I will be nice to you! 

I was brought up in a household with 4 other children. We all had the same mother but one had a different father. She also had different hair, skin and eyes. Did we make her feel bad about it? No. She was one of us still! My dad was (probably still is) what would be considered incredibly homophobic but would say things like “no son of mine will ever be gay” is that really homophobia? I doubt it. 

We didn’t have much money growing up therefore we didn’t get what would be considered “privileges”. Pocket money? What was that?! Latest gadget? Huh?! Did this influence me as a person? Probably. Maybe on a subconscious level. However, it didn’t encourage me to hate. It encouraged me to accept. 

By pointing these differences out you’re making yourself different. You’re creating a tension that wasn’t there. You’re opening yourself up to the problems that may follow when people don’t understand heteroflexible, green skinned, alternative kitten rap lovers. We fear things that we do not understand and as human beings, we have a fight or flight response to fear. That means we will either get into a tussle with you or we will run the fuck away! People will be offended by either!

It’s like jokes, people are offended by jokes. Why? They’re jokes! I make racist jokes, sexist jokes, Nazi jokes, jokes about dead babies, jokes about rape, jokes about cats… I make these jokes because they’re funny. The difference is, I don’t make these jokes at someone else’s expense. If someone tells me they are offended by something I said, I will ask them to reiterate what I said then either clarify my point or apologise. I won’t stop making that joke. 

We all crave to fit in somewhere yet we all want to stand out. You can’t have it all and have nothing at the same time. 

You want your gender option available on a form? Cool! So I think there should be an “other” option where you write how you identify yourself because otherwise there would be 547 different check boxes and that is a waste of paper! 

We have words such as “normal” and people get offended by that. By my own standards, I’m perfectly normal. By society standards, I ought to have been carted off in the white van many moons ago. But I don’t care! Who really cares? 

If you need to tell me you’re a spaghetti monster worshiping, gender fluid, millionaire with male genitals, breasts and blue pubes that’s fine but don’t freak out on me if I think it’s a little strange. I’m a curious person therefore if I wish to know more I will ask. Don’t abuse me if I don’t wish to know more and don’t abuse me if I ask a million questions. Just be thankful that I like you enough to spend more than 30 seconds in your presence! 

I have friends who are gay, straight, bisexual, black, fat, thin, white, Muslim, Christian, Hindu, tall, short, they work, they’re unemployed, kinky, they earn minimum wage, they’re migrants, they’re funny, they’re stupid, sexy, they’re annoying but they all have one thing in common. They’re my friends!

You’re a person and I dig that! I would probably also dig it if you were a flower or a unicorn. But not if you were a spider, sorry to all you spiders…! 

Keep Smiling

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