PHILIP'S BLOG: "Privileging up": when marginalised people forget where they came from
BY PHILIP PATSTON
As reported in express:
Jacquie Grant ONZM, defends Whittaker's over controversial 'gender reveal' chocolate.
The former Human Rights Review Tribunal member says most Trans people agree with her.
While Whittaker’s latest chocolate block has come under fire from some within the LGBT community for ‘erasing’ gender diverse and Trans people, (in addition to espousing outdated concepts of gender) the chocolate company had found one vocal supporter in Jacquie Grant.
The Coconut Ice Surprise blocks, come in blue or pink, with consumers only finding out which colour they’ve received when they open the block.
Grant has said "the majority of Trans people share her view that there is nothing wrong with Whittaker’s new product.
“For God’s sake, the majority of babies born are the sex their genitals indicate. Baby boys have dicks, baby girls have vaginas and they grow up to hopefully have the odd gay baby,” Grant says.
This was in response to RainbowYOUTH’s executive director Frances Arns' statement that the campaign was “disappointing” from a Trans and intersex perspective.
“The baby may grow up to have a different gender that they were assigned at birth. The concept is also erasing 2 percent of babies born intersex.” Arns said.
Grant, who is transgender, says, "[minorities need to] work it out and get on with it. I don’t think the world owes us anything except to be able to live our lives and realise our potential like the majority.”
Man up, in other words.
Or "privilege up" – I'd like to coin my own new phrase. Forgetting where we come from and taking on the normative rhetoric is something we need to be aware of, avoid and challenge.
I confess I've let slip the odd rant about disabled people needing better problems when they complain about non-disabled people parking in accessible carparks. But I am not (nor would I want to be) part of the Order of NZ Merit, and wouldn't say it publicly.
Grant, with her new-found privilege, had the perfect opportunity to suggest Whitaker's create a rainbow Coconut Ice Surprise. But by doing so she would have to confront her own internalised bias about parents wanting their baby to grow up to be the cis-heterosexual angel of their dreams.
"Making it" or "passing" in the mainstream may be seen as a triumph by the likes of Grant. But, in my opinion, it also brings with it the responsibility to remember where you come from and support, not denigrate, your people.
Even if it is just over a bar of chocolate.
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