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”.