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Dominating characteristics

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Edited by Anita Pilgrim, Wednesday, 6 Sep 2023, 14:33

I was writing something about people with what I was calling 'dominant' characteristics, to distinguish these from 'protected characteristics' (EHRC list of 'protected characteristics'). I didn't feel comfortable with the term and had a closer look at it. I felt that by calling them 'dominant', I was supporting the idea that these characteristics just (always already) are more powerful. Maybe some might argue that by calling for those with 'dominant characteristics' to be mindful, we are being a Nanny State - why should those with stronger characteristics take care around those who are more vulnerable? What about 'survival of the fittest'? Of course I feel that 'the fittest' are usually those who have beenunfairly fitted up before the start with strong advantages over less empowered 'Others'. 

I thought it might be more helpful to say 'dominating characteristics'. That gets across that these are ways of being which enforce themselves as powerful, onto those who have characteristics which mean they need support and protection - because they are being unfairly positioned as 'subordinate', not because they are of themselves 'vulnerable'. 

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