Diversity…How dare I??

Posted on January 15, 2022. Filed under: Apply topically, Journal from behind the desk... | Tags: , |

So, this week America celebrates Martin Luther King day, whilst here in Britain for comparison, the department store Marks & Spencer’s have felt the pressure and changed the name of their sweets as “Midget gems” was considered offensive, therefore I’ve decided to talk about diversity. (Not Diversity)

M&S cancels Midget Gems after campaigner brands term 'offensive' | Evening  Standard
How long before Gemma complains??

The problem is I am not allowed to talk about diversity, as I am straight, British, white, middle aged, middle classed (I guess) and apart from a severely dysfunctional “dad sense of humour” I have no known disabilities and therefore anything I say potential has the same sting as the Daily Mail… For the American reader(s) I am white with a moderately nice house with a white picket fence. I may as well start with the statement “I’m not racist but…”

I went to school in middle England (a little like middle Earth, but we had slightly smaller, less hairy feet (not that I have anything again small people with big feet – I am not Hobbitist)).

Thorin's Map from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit 11 x 17 Poster.  $15.00, via Etsy. | The hobbit map, The hobbit, The hobbit movies
Now that’s what I am Tolkien about.

My primary school had one child not from a white background, as far as I recall, but even his name was Paul and it’s so long ago I don’t even recall guessing his ethnic group!

Wow. What dare I say?!! I definitely don’t want to offend, not because I don’t want to offend… But because I think, I think diversely. I like who I like, irrelevant of their background, and I think twonks are twonks, irrelevant of their “grouping”. Now with a rush of hatred, people may run forth saying I can’t think diversely as I can’t understand the issues “other” groups experience, and as such I am unable to understand the problems they face, to an extent this is true. Can I truly relate to the problems faced by a disabled, Muslim lesbian? Well that’s an easy… “No of course I can’t”. Can I try to empathise? I bloody well hope so.

So how dare I comment? The irony of course, is all of the above shows I am being stereotyped! Anyone that has read my previous posts knows I don’t feel favourable towards the Daily Mail, and I work for the NHS…a health service that would crumble in seconds if it didn’t have a brilliant, strong, immigrant, racially and sexually diverse work force as its back bone.

Sexual diversity is definitely a revolution I have lived through. Homosexuality was legalised less than a decade before I hatched on Earth, and now we are being encouraged to specify our gender pronouns at the end of an email. This is probably the most controversial thing I will say… I am confused by this. I will try to make myself clear, and safety net my arse with the statement that this is just my opinion, and you are welcome to discuss it… If we are encouraging people to just “be” who they want to be, why are we then supposed to be encouraging people to label that? There are so many letters that follow LGBT these days, it will include everyone and therefore exclude nobody but heterosexuals that read the Daily Mail and thus create a larger sense of “us and them”, which is surely not inclusive at all! It seems to be about being recognised as different whilst wanting to be treated the same, I understand that, but sometimes I feel people need to accept themselves before expecting society to accept them.

In the words of Gloria Gaynor – I am what I am. I am a nurse. I don’t like football. I drink gin more than lager, (I drink gin more than I should), I like sweet potato, but I am not a vegetarian. I am an individual. I don’t label myself so please don’t label me!

Yam vs. Sweet Potato - Jessica Gavin
I yam, what I yam.

So whether we call our sweets/candy “Not overly sized nor too small, gelatine, multi coloured but equally respected, variable flavoured, non binary, chewy, diabetic risk inducing shapes” or just midget gems, let’s just accept who we are and who everybody else is… And be nice.

Max (Nurse/human)

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