At the end of class on Friday we came to an interesting question in regards to Queer ecology, what is the distinction between diversity and equality? This got me thinking about the whole objective of this class, which I think in the end is advocate for discourses that promote equality. Sometimes we get so caught up in the differences between people and how we define them, that we lose insight into the fact that no matter what variation exists in the human species or even in the animal kingdom, we are all made of the same building blocks of life.
I think the main issue that we come across when discussing diversity, is what is normal, and who is the majority? If you want the "scientific" answer, you would take whatever trait you are testing, generate a bell shaped curve, and whatever lies 2.5 standard deviations away from the average is considered to be abnormal. Now the word abnormal in itself is simply a descriptor that describes this statistical analysis, however, in a societal context the word has a stigma attached to it. Abnormal in society is equivalent to alien, inferior, and is generally a minority. So I wonder, should we spend so much time discussing the differences between people? People say diversity should be celebrated and embraced, but is the cost of highlighting diversity an increase in alienating those who society at large considers to be abnormal? Don't get me wrong, I think that have diversity within society is a fantastic and wonderful thing, but sometimes I wonder if we should instead focus on our similarities and connections to facilitate equality.
I specifically look towards the readings we did for this week as well as Nancy Tuana's Viscous porosity to develop this point. In the reading for Friday, we discussed how at a very basic level we are all made up of the same recyclable materials that have been here since the beginning of time. Since matter can not be created or destroyed, the atoms we are made up of could have been part of a plant, an animal, a rock, or any other matter. Furthermore, though these atoms are bonded by various forces, there is still space between them, making what appears to us as solid a fluid, dynamic, and porous entity. This is where I bring in Tuana's idea of viscous porosity and her ideas on intersectionality. We are all connected because of our viscous porosity. We exchange molecules everyday with everything we encounter whether it be people or our environment. Our intersectionality is quite literally inescapable. Our building blocks may be arranged in different ways, but they are the same building blocks.
This brings me back to the idea of normality. We try so hard to define what is normal, and natural, so I form this conclusion. If we are modeling ourselves based on nature, then we need to act as the viscous and porous beings that we are and embrace our interconnectedness, not necessarily define our differences or similarities for that is where ideas of inequality are born. I found this video on youtube that features a doll making workshop called "We are all the same Inside" that focuses on our common humanity and teaches children the idea of equality.