As I recently looked at the “disclaimer” at the bottom of listing on the Monster job site, I saw this in the footer of the job posting….
As an AA/EEO employer, “INSERT NAME OF INSTITUTE OF HIGHER LEARNING HERE” recruits, hires, and promotes qualified persons in all job classifications without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, ethnic origin, disability, genetic information, covered veteran status, or any other basis protected by law.
I guess my old-fashion-ness is showing, but the words “orientation”, “expression” and “identity” seem a little hard to nail down. It would seem any questioning of a persons claims associated with these words tagged on as a suffix would make virtually anything a person does part of the norm. This is not denying the world is a crazy place and circumstances have caused crazy thoughts and patterns to occur in people’s lives. Regardless, with all of these qualifiers, it still seems like we are bending so far over backwards to be inclusive that we have forgotten how to be clear.
Since our genes give us a our gender and we are allowed to question our genetics, it would seem unfair to not be able to change our race, age or color by a simple declaration. Something like, “I, [state your name] declare myself to be a 30 year old, Chinese-American.” (I have no desire to change my gender, thank you.) If someone denies me the right to make this proclamation, wouldn’t they be questioning my right to alter my orientation, expression or identity? They may argue, “Genetically and chronologically, you can’t alter your age or race or color.” That seems quite discriminatory. Why can certain things “baked into the baby” be changed when other things not be changed?
I realize I am not a biologist, psychologist, or a geneticist. I don’t have the scientific background, (beyond my 5 senses–or 4, I don’t think tasting helps unless it has something to do with spicy food. Maybe this should be another protected class. Spicy food can offend some people. I officially propose adding “diet” to the list above. The poor peanut allergy people don’t seem to be adequately protected by the disclaimer.) to assess such important things. But, it seems science has been redefined from what it was a few years ago. I guess the problem is the science of the past was repressive and wrong, so it was reevaluated. (Maybe evolution and the big bang could be given the same scrutiny.)
If we are going to go all in with “disclaimers”, might I suggest the following…
- Diet: (see above) Besides nut allergies, spicy food and a strict vegetarian diet can sometimes have detrimental affects on the office environment, too. I know we are all big enough to hold our noses and not mention it, but it should be explicitly protected.
- Heavy sweaters: I have worked with people who fall into this category. They took great strains to not have people made aware of this fact. The person I am referring to worked in retail. He changed his t-shirt multiple times per day. The secondary effect of his sweating was attempting to control the odor. I know this quality might not come out until a person is hired and working. It still seems unfair not to protect them as well.
- Religious expression: If they endorse the behaviors of one religion and not another religion merely for practicing their faith, then it does seem inconsistent. As a Christian, I try to be flexible with what others believe. How far do I let other religions go in this expression? If it is codified in a neat little generic clause like listed above, the doubters can point but the ambiguity can continue.
- This is not really a specific add on, but maybe it would help clarify. Is it really “law” or is it Presidential decree or proclamation? It seems a little bold referring to all of the issues addressed in the disclaimer as “being protected by law”. (I know some of them have been for many years. Some of them are “hitchhikers” where the law is still unclear.) Would this be natural law? If natural law, some of the issues mentioned above would not seem to qualify. (Gender confusion may allow for short term peace and happiness, but it doesn’t do much for continuing the human race.)
Have I offended or bothered you? It was not my goal, but it was an accepted possibility. I believe we have a right to participate in a work environment that is a positive, encouraging place. If all of the things introduced in the disclaimer above are evident in every work place, I believe there will be to much tip-toeing around trying to be inclusive. If the thought police care more about what you think and don’t say then what is done to fulfill your job description, then maybe staying self-employed is a saner option than being obligated to “endorse” all of the above behaviors. God, please help our country!!