Sunday, March 20, 2011

News of the morning

Some tree loving, right wing, bunny hugger has gotten herself shot in the face protesting at a duck shoot in Victoria.  Luckily for the sane people of society, it looks like it was entirely her fault - she was in the water in a duck landing zone 40 minutes before she was allowed to be, so basically tough shit, hippie.

ICANN has finally bowed to the inevitable and released a .xxx TLD for the internet.  Why this took so long I have no idea, probably some bunch of old prudes who can't quite cope with the face that the internet is for porn.  On balance I think I have to disgree with the proposal to release a .gay TLD though.  While it would actually be quite nice to get all the gay crap on the net grouped together like that (it would then be really easy to filter the lot and make sure you never, ever have to see it), I think there's a danger there in further legitimising what it a disgusting and deviant practice that shouldn't be portrayed as anything other than that.

It's quite refreshing to see some common sense being applied to a subject that is traditionally one of the strictest preserves of tiptoeing around and idiotic political correctness.  I have a very solid sympathy with employers concerned over maternity leave laws; how is it reasonable that a business should be expected to hold a position open for 12 months for someone to make a lifestyle choice?  The business has to hire and train someone else for that period, then what do they do with them when the woman decides they want to come back to work now - a time which they can vary at their discretion?  (And yes, I've been the employer on the end of this, and it's a totally unworkable disaster.)

By refusing to confront reality on this issue, what happens is that, to quote Barnaby Joyce (and this is probably the first time I have ever agreed with the bastard) "it was best just to assume women would want a child" and therefore question whether you want to employ the woman in the first place.  Of course you can't say that without getting sued to within an inch of your life, so "while your application was of a high quality, on this occasion there was another candidate whose skills and experience were more closely aligned with the position, so your application has regrettfully been unsuccessful".  Which is, of course, the boilerplate and totally legal way of saying you're not getting the job, you're not being told why, and you have no way of finding out either.

Of course, here comes the all-guns-blazing rabid pro brigade.

NSW Shadow Minister for Women Pru Goward said it was blatant sex discrimination.  "Where does it stop? Do you ask a woman whether she has a boyfriend? Why don't we ask men whether they have had affairs in the office? There are a lot of personal things that would be useful for employers to know but it doesn't achieve anything and it is offensive."

Actually, Pru m'dear, as usual for your ilk, you deliberately miss the point entirely.  I don't think employers would give a damn one way or the other if a female applicant had a boyfriend (they'd be more worried if she had a girlfriend).  I also don't think anyone gives a flying rat's arse if someone has knocked off the photocopy girl (although pictures would be good).  However, yes it bloody well means a lot to our poor employer to know if one of their staff might be choosing to take a 12 month lifestyle choice sabbatical and thus knock a huge hole in their staffing roster and budget, and personally I don't care less if you find that offensive.  I actually find it offensive that you can't see anything other than your own narrow agenda, which like all your kind, you seem to think transcends all other considerations.

Falling back on the excuse that it's legally discrimination is also about the weakest argument going.  Yes, it's discrimination.  The whole point being made is that the current law on the matter is incorrect, irrelevant, and doesn't address all the facets of the situation.  So, until the day you drag yourself kicking and screaming towards some sort of a common sense compromise that suits all parties - not just our own self interest - business will continue to discriminate legally, as it's the one way their can protect themselves.   If you think that you're acheiving anything by changing the wording that goes on the letter of rejection, then I suggest you're living in a dream world.

Oh yeah, Pru - just before you go, have you read this?  Want to comment on why that might be happing?  Any chance it's because employers are too scared by draconian legislation and possible costs to hire women?

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