What is and is not gender discrimination appears to be an ever moving feast. There was a time when making a difference, acting differently or providing so, on the basis of gender was that gender discrimination. Seems reasonable and logical that it should be that way too.
Sure, there are times when making a gender differentiation is important – as PJ O’Rourke put it, it’s vital when making babies – and times when it isn’t – trading bonds. But gender discrimination is discriminating on the basis of gender. Whether it’s justified in the circumstance, that difference between the economists’ taste and rational discrimination, is the secondary question.
Now we’ve an insistence that not discriminating on the basis of gender is discrimination. Seriously, having one gender t-shirts is discrimination:[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]London Marathon under pressure to make T-shirts for women as design branded ‘sexist'[/perfectpullquote]
Whassamatter? They got a couple of little pink daisies on them which are embarrassingly placed? They say “Real Man” on them? Nope:[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””] The London Marathon is facing pressure to make separate ‘finisher T-shirts’ for male and female runners following complaints that their current unisex design is “sexist” to female participants. Equality campaigners have said the fits of the New Balance t-shirts given to all runners who cross the finish line are too big for women as they cater to the size of an average man. Far from leaving female participants with a sense of pride after completing the 26.2 mile event, many discarded the garments or refused to pick them up at last year’s event because they assumed they wouldn’t be the correct shape. [/perfectpullquote]
Leave aside whether it’s sensible or not. That both men and women come in a variety of chest sizes and so on. Just observe how the demand has twisted. Not catering to the differences of women is now sexist and gender discriminatory.
I have a certain suspicion that the definition will be variable. Where and when it suits “campaigners” will insist that to distinguish is to be sexist, and where and when it suits not to do so will be labelled as such. To which we’ve got only the one rational response. Ladies, please, can you make up your minds so that society can get on with more important things like abolishing poverty, solving species extinction and all that? Should we discriminate on the basis of gender or not?