Wednesday, July 10, 2024

I'm cisgender : Inclusion vs attempted erasure of the diversity of the human experience.

I’m an Autistic white cis-heterosexual male settler, claimed as a citizen by the Dominion of Canada at birth in 1968. I have lived on lands of Anishinaabe peoples my entire life.

I say all of this as an introduction for a very specific reason, which is to offer myself as a SAFE person for people who are ostracized by this society (some to the point of reduced lifespans, such as #MMIWG). I have been granted unearned privilege in this society because of many of those demographic traits I have (all but being Autistic).

Some of my traits are visible and some are not. Suggesting people to try to hide any normally invisible traits (neurotype, gender, sexual orientation, etc) is in my mind no better than saying out loud that being non-white is a bad thing that people should try to hide if they can.

The tendency to prejudge people negatively if they don’t match specific hierarchies of demographic traits is a feature of specific cultures. It is not universal, and not part of “human nature”. That negative judgment is something that needs to be corrected in specific cultures, and making people realize that this isn’t universal (by outing yourself as a safe person) is a critically important tool in ensuring that this type of conversation happens.

If we hide the reality of diversity and intersectionality, those who want to crush diversity or impose social hierarchies where they put themselves as superior will always win (white supremacy, Androcentrism/misogyny, etc). Only by recognizing and embracing who we actually are as intersectional and diverse beings can we move forward.

I feel it is important to point these issues out. After trying to erase someone for discussing their being nonbinary, claiming caring about “labels and differences” of demographic traits shouldn’t be a focus, the person in the above exchange wanted everyone to focus on their gender and age to try to claim that calling out their behaviour was a form of bullying. It feels obvious that what they meant is they believe their demographic traits matter, and they are part of “shared humanity”, but other demographic traits are not part of shared humanity and should remain hidden and never mentioned. It is unfortunate that those who uphold such divisive ideologies will regularly claim it is those who are inclusive that are focusing on what divides us.

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