If I have three apples and there are twelve people than I am left with a decision, I could keep them to myself, I could share them out between a few, I could share them out unequally or I could share them equally. I have only a finite number of apples and whatever I do some will think it is fair and others won’t. Some will think they are gaining and others losing with opinions along a spectrum in between. If the bearing of an apple or part thereof was to signify importance, status, privilege or power then its possession would take on a new significance. If would be sort after, fought over and prized by many if not all. How many would give up their bit of apple or share it if it meant losing some or all of what they believe defines them?
Not many as it turns out. Throughout history we have sought to hold our place in the world and whilst this may be most clearly defined today by the highly privileged “elite”, it runs through all sections of society and socioeconomic stratum. It is like a survival mechanism, as if we are protecting ourselves against the perils of losing that which sustains us. In these terms it is almost understandable, after all there are limited resources to go around. “Why should we suffer for the sake of others, there is not enough to go around and that’s not my fault”. “If we haven’t got it then somebody else will, so it might as well be us”.
This process, this way of thinking has supported others to hold on to their power, privilege and control for centuries. The clever bit is convincing the rest of us that it is necessary, so that they the privileged can, through getting more provide more for all and that they because they understand this they know better and are best suited (more capable) of leading (having control). The relationship is not that different from that of parent and child, except we are not children, we are not less and we do not need to be dictated to, to protect use from ourselves.
It’s time for all of us who are or have been considered minorities and or some how different and less to dispel this pernicious narrative to come together and demand that the rhetoric that has suppressed all of us, Women, different ethnicities, the disabled and neurodiverse, the LGBTQ+ community and many many other groups and collectives seen as different and therefore negative, dangerous and in need of suppression, needs to end. Others do not need safeguarding from us.
Equality is not a resource that is finite, it is not something that when given to someone else depletes our own reserves, the inclusion of others, the widening of acceptance and inclusion builds knowledge. Without it there would be no continuing development, no growth or progression across all of the branches of human experience. To deny equality is to deny the very thing that drives us forward, seeking to maintain the status quo.
I don’t want or need your equality, I don’t want you to give me what you have, for that would be me seeking to be you and I do not fear the inclusion and acceptance of others as you do. Rather I demand an end to predetermined privileges and rights, I demand that everyone’s voice be heard and listened to and I demand that differences should not be used to set the path of our lives by the few who fear to lose what they believe is theirs by right.
Throughout history there has been a drive by those who see themselves as powerful and above the throng, to classify people as a minority or incapable in order to prevent the realisation of fair and reasonable treatment and opportunities for all. It is time that we raised ourselves up and declared that we are neither. We are not incapable and together we are not the minority. We will be heard.
Aspie and Proud.