CommentaryPhnom Penh

INCLUSION: Diversity, Mainstreaming, Awareness, Gender, Sensitivity

These days, it seems that there is a lot of chattering about such words, from a certain class of people. Great importance is placed in them, policies are written about them, jobs and whole careers are being created to study, implement, monitor, evaluate and report on them.

Of course, before all this Re-Packaging, Re-Branding, Re-Marketing and Re-Investment, we just had the good old fashioned ‘Equal Opportunities’ principle. The basic premise of which, was that you had to treat everyone equally and fairly, regardless of sex/race/creed/nose length/or whatever.

Which was great, that is the way that it should be; the same rules should apply to everyone equally, regardless of gender, belief structure, sexual orientation or ethnicity.

A level playing field, with no favoured or disavowed players.

However, now with a mini industry being created out of such things, anyone who does not conform to being ‘actively proactive in the activities of Inclusion’ is under suspicion.

Any infraction, or suspected infraction, of not championing certain types of people before and above other types of people and you are under the microscope.

Every comment is analysed, every sentence is removed from its original context and dissected for any trace of evidence that can be used against you.

Anything said in humour – guilty
Anything not in line with the current views of the organisation – guilty
Anything that Dr Weird Beard does not personally like – guilty
Anything said that the most extreme and radical of the Uber Politically Correct gets upset about – well, forget guilty, just go straight to Sentencing

With all of this, the NGO Powers That Be get their panties in a bunch. Unbeknown to the intended victim, they converse and conspire, they circle their wagons and decide on courses of action. Everywhere from the Phnom Penh Programme Office to Topaz to Cafe Java to the London HQ, the cry can be heard – ‘Burn the Witch.’

Beware, the uber-politically-correct are coming for you, the hunt is on. With their verdict and course of action already established; then, and only then, is the ‘offender’ dragged before a disciplinary hearing. For as the old axiom goes, – Once you have made up your mind, facts are but a mere annoyance.

Speaking of axioms, I am reminded of the Khmer proverb, which translates as, ‘The squeaky wheel gets the oil’ or to put it less cryptically ‘those who cry the loudest get the attention.

Worse than this, I am also reminded of Orwell’s NewSpeak, specifically the concept of ‘CrimeThink‘ – to even consider any thought not in line with the principles of the NGO Policy is a cause for trouble. The modern day evolution of these Orwellian ideas would be ‘Double-Speak‘ for example; Feminists are Self-Confident, Men are Arrogant. Favouring women is Empowerment, Favouring men is Discrimination.

Khmer440 as the new Chestnut Tree Cafe? Well, maybe not.

But worse than any of this, is the worry I have that another concept sums up this attitude so much more accurately, even if they would not admit to it to themselves -‘Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas

Who was it that uttered those chilling words that so accurately describe the NGO uber liberal thought process? One Joseph Stalin.

So I had argued with Ms Radical Feminist Lesbian – who then went running and crying to the Country Director of our NGO, like a little girl running home to Daddy with a skinned knee. I was summarily judged guilty, then called in for a disciplinary hearing, where I was told I was guilty, then asked if I had anything to say in my defence so that they could see ‘if there was a way to give me a second chance?. ‘

Well I took my ear-bashing and my ‘recorded verbal warning’, was forced to produce a written letter of apology (lying through my teeth as I typed it) and then allowed to hideout in silence for the rest of my contract – although a member of the NGO Staff was delegated to check on my public writings from time to time to make sure I did not transgress again.

So, having been found in error, having been held guilty of being – ‘insensitive to the needs of others at all times‘ – as was required by my, now expired, NGO contract – I started to think more about this, I had to ask myself, what other groups in society have I been insensitive to?

Who are these ‘others‘? What is ‘insensitive‘?

On deep reflection, there are a few groups of people that I have commented insensitively on, such as:

Paedophiles and other abusers of children. In previous articles, posts and comments I have advocated such punishments and chastisements for these people that even Archon Draco the lawgiver of Athens would have blanched.

Rapists – my thoughts and writings on these people have always been clear and consistent, ‘pass me the shearing knife.’

Men who hit Women – I have always said that, on a day to day basis, these are the worst kind of scum one is likely to meet. A gentleman should never hit a lady, end of story. Even if the ‘lady’ in question is a radical feminist lesbian bitch from hell who is begging for a slap in the chops to make her dream of being treated exactly like a man come true. No, you should never hit a woman.

Of course, I have also been critical of NGOs and NGO Employees, but surely that could not have been what their witch-hunt was about?

Looking at the above list realistically, I think that it is safe for us to assume that there are ‘some’ people and views who are to be Excluded from this Policy of Inclusion, or possibly my contractual requirement to be ‘sensitive to the needs of all others at all times’

That there are in fact some boundaries and limits on this overarching, crosscutting, policy of Mainstreaming and Inclusion.

But who is inside the Inclusion circle, and who is on the outside?

Who decides who is inside and who is outside?

Judging from my events above, it would appear to be safe to assume that you specifically have to Include feminists (especially ‘radical’ ones).

From my perspective, there seems to be an apparent, unspoken, unwritten, NGO Standard Policy and Point of View that believes ‘White, Heterosexual, Males are Guilty until they Prove their own Innocence.’

Even then we are probably still held to be guilty, just because.

Under such a thought process; your views count for nothing, your opinions count for nothing, your point of view is irrelevant – you are the bottom of the food chain.

So I can only assume that I am not part of this Inclusion.

In fact, after the events of the last 6 months with the NGO that I used to work through, I can honestly say that I have never felt so Excluded in any company, organisation or Country I have ever worked for, or in.

I have spent the last 6 months forgoing all of the organisations social events, remaining silent in discussions, meetings and workshops, not publicly criticising certain individuals, groups, organisations or their policies.

In short, I did dare not open my mouth, or keyboard, in opposition of, or even to dare question, anything.

For I had been warned, one more contravention and I was for the chop.

For I am the Excluded. My needs are not held as ones that others need to be sensitive to. My opinions are dismissed. My humour, dangerous and to be used as evidence against me.

So I worked quietly, finishing my time there as someone unwelcome, unwanted, undesirable and unappreciated.

But now I am free from the NGO yoke of oppression, so remember:

Equal Rights, not Special Rights

Lord Playboy, Pariah of Phnom Penh.
Back in the bosom of the Private Sector

[email protected]

‘The most tyrannical of governments are those which make crimes of opinions, for everyone has an inalienable right to his thoughts.’ – Baruch Spinoza, “Ethics” (1677)

‘If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear’
– George Orwell

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