Saturday, October 30, 2010

Shocker for me…

I was catching up on DVR programs the other night.  One of them, as I’ve said before, is The View.  I was watching hot topics of one of this week’s shows where they were discussing the governor’s race in Oklahoma (I think).  Apparently one of the candidates said she would make a better governor because she has six kids and a husband and her opponent has never been married or had kids.  They were bickering about it and Elizabeth (who I never agree with) came out with a statement that surprised me.  Did I mention I never agree with her?  Well she said this should not be used in the race because if they use motherhood etc as an argument for being a good candidate for governor (or anything else for that matter) then they can also use it as an argument for being a bad candidate for governor (or anything else). 

I completely agree.  If you are applying for a job and they ask – are you married?  Do you have children?  - that is discrimination.  Marital and parental status has little bearing on how well someone is going to do in a job.  Plus why are women being held to this standard (which Joy brought up).  No one asks a man – well what type of husband / father are you? 

Sherry made a point which annoyed me.  She said that parents are more compassionate.  The example she used was that people who become annoyed with noisy children in an airport / airplane are typically not parents.  I have to disagree with her completely.  I’m a parent and noisy kids annoy the heck out of me.  Now I understand that there are times when you have to discipline your kid and also when they are fussy.  But I’ve seen parents do the dumbest things when it comes to their kids.  They either cave in and give them what they want when they shouldn’t or they ignore the bad behavior and wonder why everyone else is annoyed with their kid.  They are annoyed because you aren’t doing your job. 

Kids cry and fuss.  That goes without saying.  How a parent handles it determines whether I’m annoyed or not.  If the parent is ignoring the behavior and the kid is misbehaving then it annoys me.  If the parent is making every attempt to distract and maintain discipline with a child then I’m not annoyed because you can see they are attempting to parent. 

There was one other issue which annoyed me.  Apparently some woman put up an ad in a church for a roommate.  She advertised for a Christian roommate.  Well this is discrimination.  All the women on the view said she should not have gotten in trouble for it.  I think she should because she was discriminating.

First she put it up in a church so most likely she is going to get someone from that targeted group.  Second all she had to do was say while interviewing that I’m a Christian and this is an integral part of my life.  Then she could have asked if that would bother or interfere with the relationship of roommates.  She really only had to put in there that she wanted a like minded roommate and then she wouldn’t have been in trouble at all.

If we let even individuals discriminate then we are allowing it everywhere because it isn’t groups that discriminate willy nilly.  It is individuals within the group who set the policies.  So if this woman were on a committee for a homeless shelter would she be willing to allow Muslims, Buddhists, Atheists, etc in to the shelter?  Or would she require that everyone within the shelter be Christian? 

One more and then I promise I’m done ranting about The View.  They had a discussion about an article on the Marie Claire website concerning fat people.  I didn’t read the article or go to the website – I just know what was discussed on the View.  Apparently this author had issues with fat people in general but specifically about fat people on TV.  She objected to the Mike and Molly show (I think that is the name of it) which features two overweight individuals.  I’ve not seen this show either.  The author was very disparaging and critical.  It is obvious she has body issues of her own from the quotes I heard.  Fat people are the one acceptable discrimination left in our society.  It is okay to tell fat jokes, to look down on overweight people, to disparage and denigrate them.  This is also discrimination.  Apparently the writer got blasted because she did write an apology.  The question is did she write the apology because she rethought her point of view or because she was getting so much flack about her opinions.  One other question I have is where the hell was the editor that they allowed this to go on the website with such discriminatory wording and opinions?  Why didn’t the editor take a step back and say – hey wait a minute.  Maybe because at Marie Claire (being a fashion magazine which probably perpetuates the need for women to be size 0) doesn’t think about how those women of any size would feel about such an offensive piece. 

5 comments:

  1. Wow - you said a lot! I don't have much time but I'll try to address each point you made. :)

    First, using family status as a reason to hire or not hire someone is illegal. While it's not illegal for an employer to ask if you have kids, it IS illegal to use that for/against you in a hiring decision. The thing is, you have to have proof it was the reason you were or were not hired, and if an employer won't admit it, suing is a waste of time. Remember, in court it's not what you know it's what you can prove.

    As for unruly/undisciplined kids, I'm with ya. Call me a bitch, I don't care; if your kid is throwing a fit or acting inappropriately in public, I look to the parent to determine if I'm going to be PO-ed. Not all children or situations can be handled so as to stop the undesired behavior, but to see a parent not even try inflames me. Now, I know not all children can be quieted or calmed (say, a child with special needs), which we don't always know, but for a parent to not even try is inexcusable.

    Now, with respect to the woman looking for a Christian roommate, I have to disagree with you. Unless she is a landlord, she's absolutely within her rights to look for a person with similar beliefs/lifestyle to share her dwelling. As a tenant looking for a roommate, I have the right to say I don't want a roommate who smokes, has kids, drinks, has a criminal history, is gay, or who has a pet; a landlord cannot. Within MY 4 walls and locked door, NO ONE is going to tell me I have to live with someone whose beliefs or lifestyle is contrary to mine, offensive, or just plain disliked...and the law supports me on this issue. However, if a LANDLORD (not home-owner, but a landlord who rents) discriminates in this way, it is illegal, just as it is when an employer does...and even then, unless it's the ONLY reason someone is denied and there is no real proof, the landlord/employer won't get into any trouble.

    Discrimination like this happens ALL THE TIME, to people of color, single mothers, older adults, people who are overweight or deemed unattractive or odd, and persons with disabilities. People are discriminated against because of the clothes they wear, music they listen to, and who they associate with. People discriminate, however unconsciously or covertly; it seems to be part of human nature. And, while I agree that it's not fair to judge someone based on something that may be completely irrelevant, A) not all forms of discrimination are illegal, and B) proving it most of the time is nearly impossible...

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  2. Oh...before I'm called a homophobe...I totally would NOT deny a roommate based on sexual preference; I was just using that as an example! I would, however, turn someone down based on most everything else I listed. I don't care to live with a smoker if I don't have to - I'm still in recovery!

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  3. Unfortunately the woman looking for a Christian roommate crossed a line legally. The thing is she really didn't have to say it the way she did. She posted the listing in a church and all she had to say was "like-minded individual". I agree you have the right to say who you allow within your own four walls. However, in the eyes of the law you have to be careful how you word it. All she had to do while interviewing people is make a statement that she was a devout Christian and was looking for someone who would share in that point of view. People will talk. Plus you have to trust your instincts when doing this. If someone on paper was exactly who you wanted but when you met them they had an odd vibe would you still rent to them? I wouldn't...

    Discrimination is a difficult thing to deal with - because we have become such a politically correct society. It is also hard to prove and harder to irradicate. Suing is not always the answer... sometimes we have to take the high road and show the person who is being prejudice that their judgements are uncalled for. That is the most difficult thing I think....

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  4. From what I understand, the charges were dismissed. Even so, it sounds to me that what you're saying is it's okay to discriminate if you're covert about it?

    Perhaps, from a legal standpoint, it would make for a more difficult case if she had said she was seeking a "like-minded" roommate, but if the true meaning and ultimate goal is to filter out people who aren't Christian, it's still discrimination - well, if you think this is discrimination. I don't. Not in this case, anyway. If a LANDLORD said "Christians Preferred", that would be very different, but a tenant looking for a roommate should have the right to select that roommate based, on or excluding, anything. What if she said she was looking for a female roommate, or a single person (no kids)? A landlord can't legally show preferences for sex/gender or family status, but a roommate can.

    A personal life begins at home - and in some cases, that's where it ends. To say a person can't legally state a preference in what kind of person he/she is willing to bring into their home...well, that's just going to far. Sorry, we'll have to agree to disagree on this one. :)

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  5. I'm not saying it should be covert - I'm saying if she wanted to cover her ass she could have reworded it.

    Covert discrimination happens all the time. You know this just as much as I do.

    If she puts it in writing then she has to not discriminate. If she only wants a Christian then she should go to her pastor or members of her church and ask for suggestions.

    I agree that in your own home you get to choose who you invite in but that is the weeding out process not the advertising process.

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