Holistic local sustainability; food, water, energy, money, people

Is excessive minority advocacy possible?

Why even ask?

Photo by Francesco Ungaro on Pexels.com

In as much as minority groups have been oppressed (be they based on ethnicity, disability or sexual orientation, etc.), advocacy is a healthy thing – for them and the broader society they live in – because any one not in one of those minority groups has the potential to become either a member of one or associated with one through accident, family or proximity. Even if they don’t, acknowledging the common humanity between us is spiritually grounding.

Most women have been an oppressed majority in most societies since forever. But let us not confuse oppression with restriction. Men and women alike have been restricted to defined roles and behaviours throughout our evolution because it served the needs of the group in our journey towards the highly developed societies we are now. Excessive advocacy for women is also possible because there can be no genuine liberation for them without men’s liberation.

What all these groups will experience as a result of excessive advocacy is entrenched division and conflict.

It’s a journey, however and there is nothing to be gained from blame.

I contend that excessive advocacy is rooted in low self-esteem. This lack of genuine self respect may originate from the experience of oppression, but it isn’t necessarily due to the characteristic the individual shares with the oppressed (minority) group. Self-esteem is in us all from the moment we’re conceved [sic]. Depending on our environment (including in utero) that inherent self-regard for ourselves is either nurtured in a balanced and healthy way, or distorted into an inflated ego or diminished confidence.

An inflated ego, but more probably a diminished confidence, can hitch itself to a minority identity and mistakenly assume that all its problems will be solved if it only gets enough recompense. But it’s never enough. It will always seek validation through attention.

Large institutions that feed into this need are perpetuating disadvantage. For example, major corporations that flag-wave their socially progressive credentials may be acting inclusively, but they are also distracting from their commercially predatory policies that maintain and exacerbate material inequality. Material inequality retards the ability of individuals to improve their well being. Government institutions that behave similarly are also smoke-screening and virtue signalling, but are motivated not so much by profit as by political kudos and popularity in order to gain power or the higher moral ground. They too, neglect the more important issue of material inequality.

The problem with excessive advocacy is that it loses sight of what we all really ultimately want; a society of common decency, recognition and respect of and for everyone, regardless of the characteristics they’ve inherited that they have no real control over. The content of our character, however, is something we all have far more governance over, given enough will, time, experience and opportunity.

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This entry was posted on March 22, 2023 by .
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