THE BLOG

Three Everyday Ways Privileged People Can Help Equality

12/11/2015 16:17 GMT | Updated 12/11/2016 10:12 GMT

Being privileged is tough. My equally liberated friends and I are constantly expected to like, be respectful towards minorities or something. So to help with this massively inconvenient task, I've written up three everyday ways you can challenge prejudice and work towards equality. (Don't worry, it doesn't involve making punny placards and marching to Number 10).

1.) Ask people how their names are pronounced

Lots of us struggle to pronounce those really tough, long, non-English names. This is of course because they're simply just too difficult to learn and nothing to do with subtly undermining people's racial heritage through imposing our colonial language unto them. Just remember the infamous 2007 series of Celebrity Big Brother, in which reality TV personality Jade Goody referred to Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty as 'Shilpa Poppadom' after claiming she couldn't pronounce her surname. I mean I get it, Shetty sure is tough to pronounce with those two whole syllables. More recently, 'Orange Is The New Black' star Uzoamaka Aduba recalled on a chat show how she had asked her mum to start calling her Zoe when she was younger, as her friends claimed they couldn't pronounce Uzoamaka. Her mother replied by saying 'if they can learn to say Tchaikovsky and Michelangelo and Dostoevsky, then they can learn to say Uzoamaka.' I hate to admit it, but I think Mrs Aduba had a point. So the next time you meet someone with a difficult ethnic name, fight all those British instincts and just politely ask them how it's pronounced. Yes, it will be a massive inconvenience to you, but at least you'll have all those racial equality jobsworths off your back, right?

2.) Use people's preferred gender pronouns

The latest battle on the civil rights agenda is making trans people an accepted part of society (Who do these people think they are, wanting to live their lives as their authentic selves without the fear of abuse?) Every time Caitlyn Jenner posts an Instagram picture, the comments are flooded with questions about whether she should really be called 'he'. When Caitlyn's daughter Kylie tweeted about Father's day, plenty of Twitter users were happy to point out that 'LOL, bitch you don't have a father anymore'. I mean, obviously what the pronouns and names that the family members of trans people have agreed upon is totally the business of random internet users. However, those lefties are telling us that it is not. So the next time you meet someone who doesn't conform to your severely limited ideas of gender and asks you to call them by a pronoun that you don't think fits, just save yourself the hassle and do it. At least it's better than getting into another comment war on that activist's Facebook page.

3.) Stop being so f*cking gender binary

Just the other day, two male radio presenters asked the singer Ariana Grande about the new emojis that have been released by Apple for iPhones. The presenters asked Ariana to list her favourites and the popstar listed a bunch, among which was the unicorn emoji. Ignoring the five or six others she mentioned, the radio hosts focused on the unicorn emoji and implied that it's meant for just girls. I mean, unicorns are pink and fluffy, so obviously no self-respecting man would use a unicorn emoji, knowing that his use of miniature cartoon pictures on his mobile phone clearly conflates to the stability of his masculinity. Anyway, Ariana replied with some lie about how boys use the unicorn emoji too. It would seem that political correctness has gone mad, to the point where we're no longer even allowed to suggest that a mythical creature entirely determines and characterises someone's gender. Sigh. Next time someone says that blue isn't just for boys or that girls can play with action figures, just agree with them. Save yourself from some lecture on how gender equality will actually work to undo gendered expectations across the board and probably make us all a lot more comfortable in our own skin...or something.

I hope you've found these tips helpful. It's definitely tough to be a privileged individual who has to be inconvenienced by pandering to the needs of those with less of a voice, but hopefully, with enough perseverance and the right attitude, we can manage it.