A Pareto of Prejudice

Caitlyn Jenner’s decision to present as female has been in the news recently, as have reactions to it from various people and organisations. And, being interested in equal rights, those perspectives have been a frequent feature of various of my social media streams. My stance on her right to become more comfortable with herself hasn’t changed. But the ongoing discussion has raised issues about other people’s search for comfort.

The Stories That We Tell Ourselves

Yesterday’s Guardian contained an article by Eva Wiseman exposing the difference between critics’ descriptions of male and female departures from the mainstream: what in a male artist might be termed insight or genius is often labelled quirkiness when displayed by a female artist. While I don’t agree with the gender binary, I definitely agree there is a bias here: between the worthy expression of suffering in the traditional voice of the literary white male and the unvalued expression of suffering in the many voices of the other, whether literary, white, male, or otherwise. A bias that not only supports privileges but also damages mental health.