I wish…

What do I wish? That is the question. That I was pink and purple? I need to become a minority.

I would hazard a guess that it was the pink and the purple in the Guardian ad which caught my eye. “Writers’ workshop for minority voices” said the ad, and straightaway I felt the calling. They are to be applauded for wanting to include more minorities in the making of the paper. But who – exactly – do they have in mind?

“If you belong to a minority group through your ethnicity, gender, disability, age, sexual orientation, religion or belief” they are interested. But only as defined in sections 47 and 48 of the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 and the Race Relations Act 1976.

I can’t help but feel that I’m a minority in many different ways. The one I’m most taken with is the gender one. I thought we were roughly fifty-fifty, so am unclear on whether I belong to the correct half. (I suspect I do.)

I googled the sections, but to no avail. There are only nine million Swedes in the world. That’s a minority. Define disability. I don’t think it covers me, but where do you draw the line? And how old do I have to be to be past it, and thereby belong with the discriminated against? Maybe over 95s are rare enough?

The sexual orientation I can guess. That’s most likely the inspiration for the pink and purple colour scheme. Religion. That’s vague. I could form my own church. Many do. Belief. Sometimes I feel I’m alone in what I believe.

OK, so that was mostly frivolous speculation, but the information doesn’t inform terribly well. If we start with women and add non-white people, gay people, those belonging to unusual religions, and anyone with some kind of physical impairment, then we aren’t talking minority any longer.

Is there a proper list somewhere? Or do you apply and hope for the best? Not that I want to apply. There was just something about the ad that appealed to me. Before I read the “small print”.

7 responses to “I wish…

  1. What a great post, Ann. Well done for stopping just short of satire; I envy your restraint.

    No doubt their motives are laudable; but part of me gets cross at this sort of thing. Not least their gaff about ‘minority gender’ which you so keenly observed. I assume they mean women, and that’s terrible if they are thinking along such lines.

    Things like this – aren’t they ever so slightly patronising? By positively discriminating in favour of ‘minorities’ (whatever those are perceived or defined to be) don’t they just reinforce those negative ideas? Aren’t we all minorities of one, really?

  2. Hope I didn’t come across there as frightfully reactionary. On re-reading I sound like one of those who sees ‘positive discrimination’ everywhere and resents it… that’s not what I meant. I was thinking more in terms of their lumping lots of wildly different types of people together and calling them ‘minorities’, which feels insulting and wrong, and reinforces the idea of the ‘normal’ majority.

    Ach, I don’t know what I mean. You said it much better, Ann, just by being arch and between-the-lines-ish. You don’t need a writing workshop.

  3. Now, now, Nick. You are just put out because you are male and white and can’t come up with any minority issues for yourself.
    Seriously though, I think you’re right. It’s wrong to set out to take a group of unfortunates and give them ‘an opportunity’.
    Thank you for suggesting that I’m already an excellent writer. (You did say that, didn’t you?) I know. But thank you anyway. The thing though, is that they will probably give the lucky minority of minorities who make the workshop a good opportunity to write for money, and also to write on subjects like being in a minority.
    So will it be blacks on gays, or the muslim man on being a woman, or what?

  4. Of course you are an excellent writer – can´t help thinking you might be in a minority there.

    Politically correctness must be well-meant, but it always leaves me incredibly tired.

  5. For heaven’s sake. You’re a witch. Talk about underrepresented minorities.

  6. But are we mentioned in sections 47 and 48?

  7. Pingback: It might be in the post | Bookwitch

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.