This post tells you how lucky I’m because I don’t have to deal with any form of exclusion in my life. People just accept me as I’m.
I’m following some real interesting people on Twitter. People who confront me with my biases and make me aware of things I underestimate because I have never faced them.
I’m lucky to be a white heterosexual male working in tech because:
- Nobody questions my expertise
Because I’m a male. Small mistakes are just forgiven. I see that members of underrepresented groups have to do twice so well as me for the same amount of appreciation. It seems their competence is always underestimated and not appreciated enough. I can lead meetings, men will not try to explain in simple words the technology we are using.
- Nobody gives comments on my looks
Because I’m a male. I doesn’t matter if I’m overweighed or just very skinny. Nobody cares about my belly or my breasts. People won’t say a word about it in my face or behind my back. They will not make jokes about my appearance or my clothes. If I was a woman, it would happen for sure. If I was a transgender, I fear it would be even worse.
- Nobody asks me from where I from
Because I’m white and they assume I’m born here. So, that makes me part of the gang. It was the great Martin Luther King who already dreamt of a world where his four little children will not be judged by the colour of their skin, but by the content of their character. This was more than 50 years ago!
- Nobody refuses to work with me
Because I’m a white heterosexual male. If a was a transgender, female, gay or bisexual, people would refuse to work with me. They wouldn’t tell me right in the face, they would seek excuses for not be working with me.
- Nobody will make sexual jokes/remarks to me.
Because I’m a heterosexual male. I don’t have to take those ‘funny’ comments or jokes. Come on people, be more original. Leave these remarks away.Nobody feels uncomfortable or gives a remark when I talk about my partner.
- As a heterosexual when I tell I’m married or mention my partner, I don’t have to hear: Oh, I didn’t know. Ok, I’m fine with that. Or also: “Great”.
- When I’m working late or have an evening meeting, nobody asks how I combine this with my kids, my family or my work at home. I don’t have to prove that I’m a good parent.
- When I behave a little bit strange, that is a sign of a strong personality
Others would be judged as having an mental disorder. My strange behaviour is seen as a sign of the unique strong personality I have.
- People don’t say that they are very sorry but that it is impossibleBecause my disabilities are not visible. Instead of looking what somebody can do and how we can create the best environment for that, we look only at what seems difficult are impossible. Here in Belgium a female deaf Phd got a work offer: she could start folding letters in a sheltered employment. Being deaf was enough, they didn’t look to all her other qualifications.
This is a shoutout to @KatVanMul who learned me that deaf people are not disabled, but a language minority.
To @Erinspice: who made me aware about underpresentation of native Americans and woman and introduced me to the term mansplaining.
To @judithheumann who told her personal story at the conference from @ZeroProjectorg I became aware how often we exclude others. And how more inclusion benefits everybody.
To @pdsutter: she doesn’t want to be a role model for transgenders. And strangely, that makes her such a strong rolemodel. She just is who she is and that is fantastic!