I’ve been thinking for a little while about a few instances of where political correctness seems to be doing direct battle with something…natural. I say natural, and not “right” because I’m not convinced that these things are necessarily morally correct, only that they are quite natural given human biology and culture. The question is whether or not this equates, in our culture’s view, to being acceptable.
- Hooters, as a general rule, doesn’t hire guys to be waiters. This is pretty much universally accepted and few people freak out about it. It’s common sense based on the type of organization it is. Its main draw is attractive women. Fair enough, but what happens when a guy wants to work there and isn’t considered because of his gender? Do we have a legal issue or a stupidity issue (on his part)?.
- High-class casinos in Vegas require women to wear high heels and heavy makeup. There are many women complaining that the demand is too strict, isn’t applied to men, and is simply unfair. The first argument comes to mind is that, yes…it is unfair. But the more important point is that the argument seems to fly in the face of human nature and common culture. I don’t know of a culture where the women weren’t paraded around in entertainment venues, and to think that this would somehow different today, in Vegas no less, is naiive at best.
So if we agree that it’s natural, common, and accepted for these things to be expected by male patrons (and therefore hiring managers), where do we draw the line? Do we permit them to refuse to hire unattractive women? What if their breasts are too small? What if men prefer one type of woman more than another. Blondes vs. Brunettes, Latina vs. Black girls, etc. Can a manager really use the “popular demand” defense to justify an entire staff of big-breasted blonde women?
I think it’s an interesting question. I think it’s a binary decision for us as a society, and we should face the underlying truths revealed by our choice. If we deem it acceptable to judge based on the desire of patrons who gets hired, and the rules of “equal chance” are set aside using this power, then I think it being taken to the extreme should be not only permitted but expected. Yes or no, but not “a little bit”.
Anything in between is a failure to fully acknowledge the implications of allowing this sort of “acceptable discrimination”, and it keeps society in an unhealthy state. As usual, we as a society choose to
skirt avoid uncomfortable topics. We prefer to pretend there is no issue until someone gets a lawyer involved. It’s quite sad, and proof that we’re not very far along as a civilization.