This is another reblog from my now defunct The Squircle blog. This has relevance based on the April Fool's Day post I wrote earlier this week.
Homer Simpson: I’m a white male, age 18 to 49. Everyone listens to me — no matter how dumb my suggestions are.
The comment made by Homer Simpson in the episode Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy is based on the fact that the demographics he falls into; being a white male, and being 18 to 49 mean that he is not part of a minority. And because of that, he has a say in things. Minorities on the other hand, not so much. I too am a white male, aged 18 to 49 but I really don’t identify with this majority group for it is minority groups that I like to spend my time being a part of.
Minority groups have fighters amongst them; freedom fighters, peace activists, social equality promoters, ‘voice of the people’ type people. But there is a dark side to minority groups and a darker side to those who are (often) the self-appointed spokespersons for these groups. Stick with me, I will get to that soon.
I am left-handed. Left-handed people make up only 10% of the world. Therefore I am in a minority group. How am I prejudiced against? Power tools are made for right-handed people. So are kitchen utensils. Most high-powered guns dispense the empty shells so that they would hit a lefty in the face. And the ergonomic computer mouse that so comfortably sits in your hand does so for right-handed people only.
Musical instruments like guitars are made for us, but in a shop in Sydney that hold over 200 guitars on their shop floor, there were only 2 for me to try. That’s right, 198 different types of guitars for right-handed guitarists, and only 2 for us southpaws.
Generally when it comes to things like guitars or kitchen utensils, you can definitely get a left-handed version, but with many of these products you can expect to pay somewhere between 10% and 50% more. I have even seen products for us that are twice the price.
I wish there was more of us. I look forward to a time when we are 50% of the world’s population (although this may never truly happen). But why do I want more people to be left-handed? Well, of course I would like more choice in products and the prices to go down (something that happens when demand goes up of course). But in the end, I don’t really care. Because whilst there’s a school of thought that being left-handed is a disability, and whilst there are some cultures that still look down upon those whose favour their left hand and claim that we are possessed by Satan, I really don’t have that much to complain about for being this way.
I can’t find conclusive studies that give actual figures but I can state that the following groups are still minorities along with us left-handers; homosexuals, single mothers, the non-religious, smokers, vegetarians and vegans, anti-vaccination supporters plus people who listen to decent music*. (Please note, whilst there are other minority groups such as indigenous people of Australia and America, I am focusing this article on groups that you could step out of if you wanted; for obvious reasons, people of a specific racial background cannot change the colour of their skin, or the way they look).
And what do all of these minority groups have in common? They all wish they weren’t in the minority. Another thing these groups have in common is;, there are others within the opposing majority that would prefer if these groups were even smaller, or if they didn’t exist at all.
And so what about this dark side to these minority groups that I alluded to earlier? Within any group, be it a minority or a majority, be it a political party, a religious organisation, an activist group or cultural group, there are always those radical extremists who will take the cause and promote it even if it is at the detriment of what would be seen as decent and with good morals. Let me explain…
On some of the parenting sites and forums that I follow there are often times that (generally mothers) parents will ask the other forum members some advice about the break-down in their marriage. Often times they are looking for a way to make their marriage work and keep their family together but invariably you get the single mothers who promote the benefits of being a single mother and suggest that this person who is asking for advice on rebuilding their relationship should pack it up, move on and more out. To me, that’s just not healthy. But the single mothers want it, and I think they need it.
I have thought about it long and hard as to why this would be the case. Like with many things on parenting sites (or any forum aimed at offering advice or help), the followers and those who join in are just searching for answers to their own situation and hoping that what they are going through is normal. Some people just like to mark themselves against a litmus test; if this is the social norm, if everyone else is like me, then there is nothing wrong with this situation that I’m in.
Which brings me to homosexuals. I am proud to say that I am not homophobic and support the rights of gays and lesbians (remind me how lesbians can’t fit under the gay banner again). Anyway, with most of the homosexual people who I have known, I can honestly say that their gaydar needs a major adjustment. I worked with a lesbian who claimed she could pick out another at fifty paces. She was so far off the mark, but I always felt that she was hoping rather than knowing.
Another gay guy that I worked with was another who claimed that every heterosexual person is really a homosexual who is lying to themselves. His evidence? He married a woman when he was straight (excuse the pun) out of high school but later discovered that he wasn’t actually straight. And really, his logic is bent more than he is.
I remember discussing celebrity men with him to see who he thought was attractive (hey, I’d have a conversation with another bloke about whether Mila Kunis was hotter than Jessica Alba, and I’m comfortable with my own sexuality, so why can’t I discuss the hotness of male celebrities with a gay guy?) But what I remember from that conversation was the constant barrage of “well he IS gay” every time I said “and what if Brad Pitt was gay, would HE be your type?” or “Matt Damon, too little boyish, hmmm?” Yes, every male actor I put forward to him for his opinion on just their looks, he told me they were gay.
It is possibly the stigmas or negative connotations that surround being homosexual or a single mother, or being a smoker or a vegetarian that make those who are in these minorities wish that more people were part of this group. I think it is because they just want the support. Or maybe it is to feel that what they are doing is right (this is non-judgmental, I’m applying this logic to how I feel when I think about my own traits that put me within these minorities).
The non-religious, or more specifically, those who call themselves Atheists (rather than Agnostic or just non-religious) are a prime example of a minority group who is constantly trying to break the shackles that are put upon them. They are always fighting against a wider group who are religious (that’s one thing the religions who are normally opposed to one another can agree on; the Atheists are wrong…and also evil).
And whilst there are plenty of memes being produced daily by the Atheist groups in order to shame, ridicule and destroy the very foundations of what the religious call faith, it is this action that makes what they are doing part of the dark side of their cause. Yes I wish there was more Atheists in this world for I too would like to feel part of the religious (or anti-religious it would be) majority. But we have to find a better way than hurting people mentally. Okay, so whilst there’s a quote from Richard Dawkins which appears on a meme where he says something like “now excuse me whilst I go and strap a bomb to me” in reference to the fact that Atheist tend not to be suicide bombers, Atheists need to be cleverer and hold that higher moral ground that they are always claiming they have.
Yes I am an Atheist, a left-handed Atheist for that matter, but I want to bring this minority out of the mud that would so ceremoniously throw at those who aren’t part of their group; or at the very least, a supporter of.
Vegetarians and vegans need to stop shaming the carnivores. They need to stop throwing red paint at celebrities who wear fur or the skin of an animal. Homosexuals need to stop pointing their gaydar at every neatly dressed, clean-shaven man. Single mothers need to stop promoting others to break their vows. Anti-vaccination supporters need to stop promoting false information. Atheists need to stop being mean to their fellow-man who, for whatever reason feel they need to keep the faith. And smokers, well, they just need to stop smoking.
*decent music is subjective