Mini Gems good – Midget Gems baad!

14 Jan

Yesterday in the Metro (also in Daily Mail, Independent, Times, Sun and – ta-da!  – Wakefield  Express) …

Marks and Spencer has become the first high street retailer to relabel Midget Gems over complaints the name is outdated.

A disability campaigner has been calling on producers to ditch the term because it may cause offence to some people with dwarfism.

M&S will rename its product ‘mini gems’ and there are hopes more will follow suit.

The push is being led by Dr Erin Pritchard, a lecturer in disability studies at Liverpool Hope University who has achondroplasia, a condition which stunts growth.

She has previously approached other supermarkets and companies to raise concerns the word ‘midget’ could be seen as derogatory for people with growth problems.


I once did copy-writing for a disability charity which banned the term, brainstorm, as offensive to epilepsy sufferers. Staff were told to substitute the term, thought-shower. My asking whether the views of epilepsy sufferers had been solicited met with cool disdain. A respected academic writer on disability, I was told, had championed the new term.

And that, it seemed, settled the matter.

Tricky, innit? I avoid terms like nigger  as steeped in lethal savagery. (Though I do wonder at the obsession with language while bombs raining down on brown-skinned people in Yemen, to the enrichment of investors in the West’s death industries, raise few PC eyebrows.)

I’ll likely do the same on brainstorm  and midget gems – once I’ve seen hard evidence of mass enslavement and vicious discrimination on grounds of epilepsy and achondroplasia. Or even the slightest indicator that epileptics and those of unusually short stature want me to  …


Meanwhile on Facebook. Thanks to Didi Cooper for this:

“So first of all you weren’t there.

Second, if you were there you stumbled in by accident.

Third, once you were there you thought you were at work.

If that fails you were having a pizza with me at the time. I’ll back you up.

* * *

3 Replies to “Mini Gems good – Midget Gems baad!

  1. Could be that we are in, or close to, hierarchies of oppression territory?

    Something Michael Parenti succinctly skewers:

    Given how toxic this territory is – see here:

    Seems sensible to get ahead of the curve.

    Which is why I’ve decided that the binary/non binary dichotomy is…….well…… binary and to ‘come out’, as it were, as Hexidecimal.

    From now on I’m self identifying from base 16 because Wikipedia advises they provide a human-friendly representation of binary-coded values.

    Sod that old fashioned oppressive binary/non binary fascism. From now on I’m operating as a four bit unit.

    From Sunday through to Wednesday my pronoun will be the nybble; Thursday and Friday it will be octat; and Saturday the tetrade. If the slatterns in the oppressive and exploitative binary/non binary community can’t keep up with my base, vector constants, and floating point values they can stay out of my unix shell.

    I’m not putting up with any irrational numbers in this purity spiral.

    And don’t get me started on those weird sexadecimal’s!

    • Yes, and what about the mini people? That’s what I should like to know. If we have to stoop to denigrating the mini, in the name of sparing the midget, what price Woke?

      As a kid I liked floral gums – so tough on the gnashers that your threepence went much further than with other sweets – but they were taken off the market over complaints by Fair Play for Flower Persons, led by Daisy Tanner and Tulip Townsend.

      • Why is always about the awake?

        What about those of us who go through life permanently asleep?

        Or the walking dead in supermarkets?

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