Once upon a time “equality” meant treating everyone equally. When did judging someone by the content of their character become passé? Why has society become so content with mediocrity? Why are some groups given a pass while others are not?
Recently the Government of Ontario started a project to open up promotions to current staff, but for black women only. Sorry, that should have been “to those who self-identify as a black woman”. Now, I have no issue in the reason why the project was done. Apparently black women are underrepresented in higher-up positions. Having a program that discriminates FOR one group is inexcusable. Having supervisors, managers, etc., look into staff that have the qualification for the positions, but haven’t applied is something that should be looked in to, or those staff who have the qualities but not the qualifications should be encouraged to go to school to get them. Qualifications, rather than fitting into a specific demographic, should be the priority. To do otherwise promotes mediocrity and makes it harder for those who are qualified to be seen as qualified; rather rather it often appears they got the job because they were a black woman.
Then there have been instances where “religious” beliefs have taken precedence over “gender” equality. At a dojo in Halifax, Nova Scotia, a student who was Muslim requested that his religious beliefs forbid him from touching women. So instead of finding a men’s class, the sensei accommodated the student and allowed him to not have to engage the women in the class. When a female student complained, she was told “to get used to it, it was going to happen more”.
A York University professor who had denied a student’s request to not have to complete an assignment with women (which male student accepted the decision) had the Dean inform the professor that it was unacceptable, and that he MUST make the religious accommodation even if it means discriminating against women.
Which religion one follows is a person’s choice; gender, etc. is not. Religious beliefs should never trump gender, etc. if other options are available. The student at the dojo could have started his own with other Muslim men or found a dojo that had a men’s-only class. The student who doesn’t want to have complete assignments could find a totally-online degree plan. The thing that doesn’t exactly surprise me is the silence by women’s groups on this issue. Where are they, and where is the outcry on this type of discrimination? Silent as ever when these type of things happen. They should be ashamed.
For futher watching/reading: