Wednesday, 17 June 2015

I Am What I Am Not...

(20 internet points if you get that reference.)

I tweeted today... not an entirely new or unusual phenomenon but soon after I did I was challenged by a good friend to

"write a reasoned article to counter the cr@p and link to it in Twitter rather than simply comment."

As this is a friend who's opinion I value (particularly in the technology world) I thought I would oblige.

My tweet was thus:

I stand by what I tweeted on a base level as, when it comes down to brass tacks, both people are now choosing to portray themselves as something other than they were born. At the moment, Bruce's transformation into Caitlyn has been widely accepted this will be because of the de-stigmatisation of BGLT. The liberal left™ have been very keen to welcome this with open arms whereas the conservative right™ are obviously more reticent (granted there are a few nutjobs on both sides who frankly should be ignored).

To me, this is where things start to get a bit interesting.. Rachel has said that she now identifies with 'black people' and sees herself as black. She has also said that she has identified this way for a long time (whether you believe her or not is immaterial - this is her claim and her version of the truth). Bruce made the same claims albeit about his gender and words were used like hero and brave to describe him. My own view is that he is neither: He, like Rachel is a person skilled in exploitation. Bruce separated from the Kartrashian clan and realised that in order to stay 'relevant' he had to do something radical.. Welcome Caitlyn.. (Apparently one of his son's long-time girlfriend is called Kaitlynn).

Anyway, enough fluff.. What this issue has made me think about is identity and how we have an identity. One of the issues around Rachel is the fact that she lied on application forms and prevented 'real' African Americans getting a job that was due to them. This is very interesting as there are a number of issues that need to be addressed here:

  1. Positive discrimination or affirmative action
  2. The term African American
You will only get true equality when people are hired on pure ability and race, colour and creed are never considered.  I see no reason why job application forms  should even ask the question about ethnicity...

This guy:

You'd think that he'd be classed as African American right??? If you saw him you'd likely describe him as that..


"Growing up, I came up with this name: I'm a `Cablinasian,' " Woods said during a taping of "The Oprah Winfrey Show." He said the name best captures his racial makeup: a blend of Caucasian, black, Indian and Asian.

I have always thought that the assumption that everyone in America with dark skin is African is a little bit racist in itself!

Jobs in the  public sector are allowed to ask you your sexuality at application stage - Where do you draw the line?? Are you allowed to declare that you are gay on your application but really be straight heterosexual? Apparently most people seem to have a 'feeling gay' phase - Could you be dismissed from your job if you just happened to be going through that at the time of application?

What about this scenario: You are a woman who works for M&S fitting bras... You suddenly decide to do a 'Reverse Jenner' and decide to identify as a man! What then? Do you lose your job? Could Bruce Caitlyn Jenner apply for woman only jobs?

Too many questions!

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Divider Robbery...

Or 'taking offence' if you will.

It can't have failed to escape your notice that there are an awful lot of 'Charlies' around at the moment - Everyone is proudly proclaiming that 'they are Charlie'. This has got me thinking..

We currently live in a culture where it is almost fashionable to 'take offence'. You only need to have a quick scan of any national newspaper to see it littered with people moaning about what someone else has said. recently there was the Alan Sugar incident in which someone, uninvited, tweeted him with the opening missive "Evening sugar ;-) can I call you that... Lol". Alan Sugar replied thus: "yes no problem as long as I can call you fatty". He didn't actually call her 'fatty' he pretty much just said "if you call me sugar; I'm going to call you fatty"

This seemed to provoke a storm of epic proportions, some of the replies to him were comical in their hypocrisy - "miserable old goat", "arrogant b&%£$&*^".

The woman at the centre of the furore, accused Alan of 'cyber-bullying'. In the stakes of unwanted female attention (could loosely be described as sexual harassment) 'she shot first'. Sugar is used as a term of endearment - akin to him calling her sweetie, honey, babe, doll etc. She sees 'fatty' as an unwanted word having negative connotations.. Childish, immature and rude are also unwanted words having negative connotations, and they all came from her fingers - to him.. Is he crying about cyber-bullying? No.. and I am glad he's not apologising either. I was always taught 'if you can't take it; don't give it'. Maybe Elena should have subscribed to this.

I detest Big Brother™! Initially it started out as an interesting social experiment but after the first series, it became a competition for morons to see if they could make a name for themselves - some of them did.. Anyway... Celebrity Big Brother or 'a vehicle for z-list celebs and below to try and drag themselves up a notch by prostituting themselves', Ken Morley was removed from the CBB house recently for remarks he made, prompting 251 complaints to OFCOM... I wonder how many of these mortally offended people 'are Charlie'..

You only need to look at the way Charlie Hebdo portrays it's caricatures to see that there is indeed racism it them:

the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.

Are the people complaining about Ken Morley (of whom I have no particular opinion  - I never watch Corrienders Close or whatever it was he was / is in) still Charlie?

One of the standout things in this debacle is that Morley's son deemed it appropriate to 'apologise for the offence his dad had caused'.. What a meaningless act...

And this:
Hundreds have taken to twitter in support of the decision to remove him from the house after the 'offensive' comments.

How is this any different to what the people complaining (with Guns) about Charlie Hebdo are saying. They, also are outraged. They are feeling offended. All the Je suis Charlie supporters are saying that you shouldn't be offended.. I don't get it..

I'm fully aware that freedom of speech and expression comes with the caveat that you may be universally thought of as 'a bit of a moron' and people are free to call you out on it but why this need to take offence so easily? Are we that weak that we cannot think for ourselves about what we deem to be acceptable? My opinion is that CBB should have left Morley in and let the public vote him out - If he was being as offensive as the complainants said; then he would have been voted out anyway!

Charlie Hebdo stands for itself - we are the ones who make the choice to be offended or not to be offended

I would argue that anyone claiming 'Je suis Charlie' who is taking offence at others' actions are basically hypocrites.

One man's humour is another man's Jihad! The Muslim terrorists tried to silence what they classed as offensive using AK47s.. Others try and achieve the same aims using twitter...

I will leave you with Stephen Fry: