Social movements & reactions
Spot the difference.
We have LGBTQ Pride, we have Disability Rights Movements and we have #BlackLivesMatter. One of these social movements does not get questioned as to why it is used.
Black Lives Matter acknowledges that the rights and safety of black people needs to be protected. U.S police have killed at least 194 black people in 2016, and unfortunately, counting. Unfortunately, whilst #BlackLivesMatter has grown, so has another hashtag, #AllLivesMatter. I guess you’re right. All lives do matter. However by using this as a hashtag, people are demeaning, the concept of Black Lives Matter. Black Lives Matter isn’t a campaign to disregard other people’s lives, rather to say black lives are being killed and something needs to be done about it.
The focus of LGBTQ Pride is to promote acceptance of sexualities and genders that aren’t seen to be the social norm, aka, heterosexual and cis gender. But then someone always says… “Where is Straight Pride?”. The answer is, it’s not official, but in a way, it is everyday. People that identify as heterosexual fortunately haven’t been subdued to beating, bullying and isolation because of their sexuality. Straight Pride would take away from the importance, celebration and acceptance of all other sexualities that, in our past, have forced people to hide, be jailed or even killed because of the sexuality that they identify with.
Let’s talk about the one that doesn’t get as much backlash… The Disability Rights Movement. This movement was made to ensure that disabled people have equal opportunities and equal rights with independent living and making life more accessible for their needs. The disabled parking permit was introduced for those whose mobility is put at risk by age, disability or illness.
Unlike LGBTQ pride, or the Black Lives Matter Campaign, there isn’t a non-disabled person asking why there isn’t a permit for them. They have to be understanding and acknowledge that the majority of the car park is for them. So if everyone accepts that, why doesn’t everybody accept LGBTQ pride and Black Lives Matter for their purpose?
Acceptance of men but not women, in the same roles
Now lets talk about gender. Let’s talk about someone that you may have heard of or had the pleasure of viewing, 28 year old maths teacher turned model, Pietro Boselli. He was scouted out at age 6 and began modelling. Later graduating in mechanical engineering at the University College of London in 2010. By 2016 he’d completed his PHD while teaching undergraduate mathematics to mechanical engineering students. With the investigation of students, his secret modelling jobs went viral, catapulting him into the media and the hearts of many.
Unfortunately, 21 year old teaching assistant and side-model, Gemma Laird didn’t receive the same response. In fact, she got so much backlash, she got fired from her job. I will mention that she was teaching six year olds as opposed to teenagers if that makes a difference & she’d only been there a week, but after a parent had stumbled onto her modelling page on Facebook, the headteacher said, and I quote, ‘She doesn’t want her year six pupils thinking it is acceptable to be a model.’
Women vs women
I am a woman, currently, 18 years of age, Indian/African heritage, 4ft 10inch and have been friends with many women throughout my life. But why is it that regardless of industry, background, ethnicity etc. women are pitted against each other? Whether it be by media or by fan bases, one woman has to be victorious and the other one ridiculed or labeled a flop.
One of the biggest examples of this is the ‘female feud’ between Taylor Swift and Katy Perry. Why have we separated these two individual, strong, powerful females? Because of a man. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t let a man come between the women around me. You see fans being negative about one and ‘stanning’ the other, you see the media make sure their getting clicks from articles that fuel the fire… instead of wanting them to be friends and moving on from feuds.
We don’t choose to be queer. We don’t choose to be disabled. We don’t choose to be black. We don’t choose to have the societal pressures and stereotypes of gender. Why can’t equality exist for all?
Written by Meescha Bhamra.
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