I’ve wanted to write this blog post since last year, after a reader came to me having read an entry I made about the prejudice against intersex people. It wasn’t that I wasn’t inspired to write it—but I felt I had to be in the right frame of mind to do the subject justice.
Last year, I had visited the New Dowse in Lower Hutt where there was a photographic exhibition about intersexuality, transsexuality and transgender, which a friend had picked up on. She relayed an incident to me about how two intersex clients at a gym were mistreated, and it obviously struck a chord with my reader.
The reader, based in Sydney, has a huge amount of experience in her ﬁeld, yet once she was outed, her experience was that she could not get work again. Others in their professions have suffered similar fates in Australia.
One of her friends, working for a multinational, has workmates who knew of her medical history and told others in related ﬁelds. When being interviewed, she was asked, ‘So what is this about you being transgender?’
She was told that she would deﬁnitely not be considered for the job and the recruiter never called her again.
While transgender and intersex are very different things, all it takes is this sort of prejudice to stop people who may be leaders in their ﬁeld from getting a job.
Not to mention all the medical experimentation that has literally gone on—because narrow-minded people in society demands genders are assigned.
I was surprised to ﬁnd that Australians and New Zealanders, known for being relatively open minded and quick to condemn others for, say, backwards laws over homosexuals, would still harbour such resentment and prejudice toward the intersex community. New Zealand has had a transgender MP, but now I wonder if an intersex candidate ran, would there be the same acceptance? I am not so sure.
It disgusts me to know that people are being denied basic human rights. Last year I blogged about the prejudice against two intersex gym-goers here—and the Australian situations are equally shameful for our neighbours across the Tasman.
To my Australian friends reading this, it isn’t about trans-Tasman rivalry and who is better than whom at treating different groups. Let’s face it: we both have a long way to go before we can even begin to consider ourselves enlightened or progressive.
We aren’t far enough advanced as human beings to stop labelling one group as “freaks”.
It’s about bringing to the surface the sort of crap we give people in both our nations.
When you hear these incidents you just have to wonder what it does to the perceptions of our countries.
Maybe it’s because I would never prejudge someone because of their gender or sexual orientation that I ﬁnd it unfathomable that anyone would.
In fact I would probably give someone who didn’t ﬁt into some predeﬁned category more props because they had to ﬁght that much harder to get to where they are.
I’m all for bringing shame to the companies who discriminate against the intersex community, and I’d bet that most readers of this blog feel the same way.
I encourage greater dialogue and if there are commenters who know of cases, I really would love to see some boycotts happening to hurt these brands at their bottom line.
If I may tie this back in to the usual topics on this blog, audiences control brands these days, not corporations. And we hold the power in our hands over whom we purchase from. I certainly wouldn’t want to give my business to the multinational that my blog visitor mentioned above—and would dearly love to know who these ratbags are. Posted by Jack Yan, 12:39
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