I can’t BELIEVE it!! I could hear the grumpy old man in me bubbling to the surface of my incandescent mind as I read this article.
The story is this:
An animal rights activist has claimed he was discriminated against by his former employer and was sacked because he’s a vegan. “Some people only eat a vegan diet but they don’t care about the environment or the animals, they only care about their health… I use this term ‘ethical veganism’ because for me veganism is a belief”. In a landmark case, a tribunal is now to ask whether veganism is a “philosophical belief”, with a similar standing to religion, and whether it should be protected by law.
I’ve given up my legal work so I don’t have to worry about coming up against this sort of issue in the future. I have just got used to people claiming on census forms that their religion is ‘Jedi’ and I’m not yet ready to accept religions based on food choice or shoe size.
This is on the same day as I heard on Radio 4 Women’s Hour an argument between a self described militant feminist lesbian (MFL) and a self-described ‘butch’ lesbian (BL) about whether or not a trans lesbian (TL) i.e. a person born a man (M) who self identifies as a woman was to be encouraged to form a relationship with another woman and identify that relationship as a lesbian (L) one.
I am proud to know and be friends with a number of men and women who prefer a physical relationship with people the same sex as themselves. They are happy, I am happy, no issue. It’s when people start to weaponise sexual orientation that I start to be uncomfortable. What the MFL was arguing, I think, was that this relationship should be described as heterosexual since this was the genital composition of the participants. She also complained of the alphabetti soup of acronyms currently floating around and the resulting difficulty in categorising a person correctly. Why? A person is a person not a set of genitals with a brain attached.
The argument went to and fro, each combatant claiming moral superiority over the other. What was sadly lost in the somewhat bitchy discussion was the fact that lesbians suffer more frequent and a wider range of abuse and discrimination than gay men. This is the key and very disturbing issue of multiple gender associations.