Monday, 30 August 2010

A Question of Privilege

From Jack of Kent. Who I accept was not being deliberately transphobic, nor malicious (accidentally or otherwise). He was quite offended, and even deeply hurt, at the suggestion that he might be.
To what extent should the law regulate which toilet a transgendered person can use?

Should equality law enable transgendered people to use the toliet of their choice, in respect of either public toilets or toilets on private premises (eg, pubs and restaurants)?

Or should the law relating to, say, breaches of the peace be used to prevent transgendered people, especially male to female (MTF), intruding into the "space" reserved for a particular gender?


Query: Would it be possible to say
To what extent should the law regulate which toilet a coloured person can use?

Should equality law enable coloured people to use the toilet of their choice, in respect of either public toilets or toilets on private premises (eg, pubs and restaurants)?

Or should the law relating to, say, breaches of the peace be used to prevent coloured people, especially black, intruding into the "space" reserved for humans?
Without being racist? Is there any significant difference between the two situations?

My thesis is that privilege can mean that one can unconsciously and unwittingly make remarks that in other contexts would be seen as horrendously prejudiced and bigoted without meaning to be so. And that while such remarks should be called out when one sees them, one should not assume that the remarker is either prejudiced or bigoted - for privilege is something we all have to some degree, under some circumstances. I for example have privilege because I'm living in a Western society, and because the melanin content of my skin is relatively low. (Which shows just how stupid the whole situation is).

Neither should the remarker feel terribly hurt if someone calls them a bigot. Because although they may not be bigoted, their remarks most certainly may be.

1 comment:

chipuni said...

Neither should the remarker feel terribly hurt if someone calls them a bigot. Because although they may not be bigoted, their remarks most certainly may be.

There's a difference between someone being a bigot and someone making bigoted remarks...

-- Chip Uni