In the Age of Us-and-Only-Us: Why Inclusion Feels Like an Exclusive Club these Days

Right, let's talk about inclusion. It's the buzzword du jour, plastered on everything from yoghurt pots to workplace mission statements. We're all meant to be big, happy families, holding hands and skipping through fields of diverse wildflowers. But have you noticed something funny? The more we shout about inclusion, the more we seem to be dividing ourselves into ever-smaller, ever-more-specific groups?

In this era of supposed inclusivity, exclusive groups are popping up like, well, mushrooms after a damp spell. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for community and shared experiences. But when the "inclusion club" has a stricter door policy than Buckingham Palace, it starts to feel like we're playing musical chairs with segregation.

It's like a game of social Jenga, where every identity becomes a precariously balanced block. You've got the gluten-free vegans, the ethical beekeeping enthusiasts, the left-handed quidditch fanatics – each with their own exclusive club, all under the banner of "inclusion." Don't get me wrong, celebrating shared experiences and passions is brilliant. But when every group becomes an island, are we building bridges or sinking in a sea of micro-identities?

Imagine attending a "super inclusive" event. You rock up, bursting with acceptance and ready to mingle. But then, the gatekeeper appears. "Are you gluten-free, ethically sourced, and fluent in binary code?" they inquire, clipboard in hand. Flustered, you stammer, "Well, I'm mostly gluten-free, and I try to be ethical, but my coding skills are limited to making PowerPoint presentations dance." Boom, denied entry. Turns out, even inclusivity has its VIP section.

Now, I'm not saying these groups are bad. They provide support, understanding, and a sense of belonging. But isn't the whole point of inclusion, well, including everyone? It's starting to feel like we're building walls around our little identity ponds, bobbing smugly on our lilos of self-righteousness while peering suspiciously at anyone who doesn't have the right floaties. 

The irony is, this hyper-segmentation might actually make things worse. It reinforces "otherness," creating an "us vs. them" mentality even within the supposed inclusion movement. We end up judging people based on their group affiliations rather than their actual selves.

Here's a radical idea: how about we focus on building inclusive communities, not exclusive clubs? Imagine a world where the kale-munching vegans high-five the bacon butty brigade, and the Rowling-loving bookworms share a metaphorical candle with those who prefer a good dose of vitamin D. Imagine a world where bilingual toddlers can switch between French and English without their mothers suffering existential crises.

It's a crazy thought, I know. But maybe, just maybe, true inclusion isn't about finding your tribe within a tribe within a tribe. Maybe it's about tearing down the fences and letting everyone join the damn playground, kale allergies and all.

So, the next time you're tempted to form an "ultra-specific-interest-support group," ask yourself: are we building bridges or just prettier walls? And remember, the most inclusive group is the one that welcomes everyone, even if they occasionally sneak in a cheeky sausage roll.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a meeting with the "People Who Like Long Walks on the Beach (But Only If It's Sunny and There Are No Seagulls) Support Group." Don't judge. We all have our quirks.

Rainbow Umbrella / Waterfall


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you. The only thing more exclusive than an inclusive group is a group that excludes itself exclusively 🙃


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