Monday, 27 April 2015


I am a White, Male, Single Father living in the West and I am about to talk about discrimination. If this is something you feel I have no right to write about then please move along...

Something has snapped for me this morning and this has been a long time coming. Positive Discrimination is like an infection that is running rampant in our society and, if unchecked or unchallenged, it threatens to make asses of us all. Nowhere is this more evident than on Social Media where it creeps, stalkishly and with malice of forethought. I'm not just talking about the extremes either, although I will later, it is everywhere and worse it is championed by people who really should know better. The dictionary definition of discrimination is very clear "treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favour of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit". There are no exceptions and no quarter should be given, when you define someone by a singular grouping or tick box you are committing an act of discrimination. So far so good you may say, well actually no and the worst culprits of discrimination or tick boxing are often those who have been discriminated against.

Female bias or Feminist agenda, when taken to an extreme, threatens to discriminate against male in a disgustingly vitriolic way. How many of us have seen sexist tweets that are stereotyping males and sniggered but would you have found it so funny if it had been the other way round? It seems acceptable and many who peddle the Feminist stance would point out that it is simply a reaction to decades of oppression, correcting the pendulum swing if you will. Well, that's perfectly acceptable isn't it? Discriminating because you have been discriminated against, who could object to that? Actually I do, why is it considered acceptable to right a wrong and commit the same crime yourself? We can see this with those who have been bullied or abused, the cycle continues and they, themselves become the bully or the abuser. When you look at the rise of Lesbian and Gay Pride it is clearly an emotive subject as individuals have been prevented from expressing their sexuality by law. This is wrong but it is equally wrong to fight a battle at every turn. We all have drums to bang and we all have issues that we feel passionate about fighting for. But to make every article, every review and every tweet an empassionate call to arms undermines the very point that is being made. By accentuating one facet or characteristic you reduce that person to simply male, female, gay or straight. Are we not more that just the sum of our parts? 

I mentioned pendulum swing earlier and historically it is an issue where ever you care to look. South Africa suffered from a tyrannical, white dominated rule which claimed the lives of countless Black citizens. Trailblazers like Nelson Mandela and Steve Biko lost their lives to a cause which championed equal rights, yet now this evil has been quashed a pendulum swing has occurred. It is now unsafe to live in parts of South Africa as a white person for fear of violence and murder. Wrong so wrong and racism in all its ugly form. Just because a group or individual has experienced discrimination does NOT give you the right to exact the same crime. Neither is it acceptable to promote an individual based on gender or sexuality, you know the sort of thing I mean, championing Female Authors or Directors may sound like a worthy cause but what are you really doing here? By focusing on gender rather than the quality of the writing you are placing the focus firmly on Sex. Doesn't matter if they are a great writer whose work deserves to be seen or read, they are female and that is the sole reason their work should be promoted. Personally, I want my work to be read because it is a well honed and put together argument and not just because I feel oppressed. 

We have now created an environment where positive discrimination is so acceptable it has actually been made law for companies seeking to be more diverse. Companies are expected to meet recruitment percentages to ensure they are employing fairly a cross section of society. This is deceptive as it sounds so anti discriminatory and surely whats wrong with making sure discrimination is stamped out? When an individual is employed because of the colour of their skin or their ethnic origin and NOT because of their suitability to undertake the job it constitutes discrimination. Those who are chosen for employment because they are disabled and not because they offer the best solution for recruitment are examples of tick boxing running rampant. Who would want to find themselves in a job because they fulfil some sort of twisted charter and not because they are valued as an individual? Its insanity! 

I completely understand where the campaigning for various groups rights comes from. Decades of ignorant and oppressive segregation, whether its actual or in mind, have led to a motivating of a united front. Yet when this is taken to an extreme, it undermines the very core belief and aim. Campaigning for an individual groupings voice or rights at the exclusion of others is perpetuating the very view that has been railed against. I do not wish to see female, gay rights or any other specific groups elevated above others but would rather we focused on celebrating achievement. I will read a book or go and see a film because I have identified that it represents fantastic writing or tremendous cinematic talent. The fact that the author or film maker is female or gay makes absolutely no difference to me at all and neither should it.

Many people reading this will probably at this stage state that the reason feminists or other activists feel they have to speak out in such a way is because they are still being oppressed. It is, they would argue, because of the views that people like myself convey that a constant pressure needs to be placed and that I should just go back to my privileged, white, Western Male life. It is a view point that I challenge as erroneous. When we live in a country that displaying the English flag makes you vulnerable to cries of Fascist or Nazi I question how successful this is. By focusing on diversity and championing positive discrimination we have opened ourselves up to more outrageous examples of stereotyping and remove the very individuality that was sort for. If you want to see past the gender stereotype or the bias against disability then you, yourself need to stop focusing on it. Focus, instead on the skills and talents that you have legitimately honed and developed. Breaking through the glass ceiling and reaching true equality means that the very voices that call for change need to change their tune. You are not going to achieve anything other than derision and hate by becoming the very figures you so loudly lambaste.

We are all individuals and we are not so easily boxed. I am more interested in people that recognise me as an individual with all of the quirks, strengths and weaknesses that go to make me who I am. The fact that I am a White Male has little or nothing to do with who I really am. There is only one of me and I am unique, we all are. 

David Martin is a firm believer in wider reading but also spends his time watching horror films and going to the theatre. He has been known to venture outside but prefers worlds he can imagine. Follow him on Twitter at @ventspleen2014

1 comment:

  1. Love it, wrote a massive response as a comment but it has been eaten by the web. Now I want to discriminate against the web. Grr!