Monday, November 27, 2006

People of

I admit it. I think referring to those with a certain skin pigmentation as "people of colour" is idiotic and it offends me in some vague way. Everyone is one colour or another. In fact everyone is a mixture of colours (though rarely green), so using this phrase to describe a specific subset of people annoys me. As a response to this usage I shall refer to women as "people of gender" whenever it occurs to me to do so, and I would encourage others to follow my example.


Anonymous said...

But... Does that mean that, as a male, I am a "person of no gender"?

I'm so confused!

Anonymous said...

Yes. I think you are- or else joking at an anhydrous level. Mari's point, surely is that everyone is person of gender, just as everyone is person of colour. Except (of course) for the denizens of The Pigmentless Zone- first appearance FF#213...

Anonymous said...

I'm sure it is. And it's a valid point, too. At the time I read it, though, a silly impulse rose within me and I wrote what I wrote.

I meant no harm.

Marionette said...

Thinking about this later, perhaps I should have made it part of a more general piece about silly euphemisms, but what particularly annoys me about the whole "colour" thing is the assumption that people with lighter pigmentation are the default, so only those with darker pigmentation are recognised for their colour status.

It's the same assumption of superiority that you see in gender politics, which is why I drew the parallel: men do not need to be described as persons of gender because their gender is the assumed one; you only need to draw a distinction if you are talking about someone who isn't male; if you use "person of colour" to describe someone who is black, then logically someone who is only described as "a person" has to be assumed to be white.

And I find that offensive.

Plus I find the whole black/white thing confusing anyway because people come in such a range of colours, so I never know where the line is being drawn.