If you haven’t read this tweet chain by Delaney King yet, you really should.
Go ahead, I’ll wait.
No serious, it’s not like this blog is going to go away or anything.
Anyway, while I’m sure the trolls of twitter are crying out random hate speech and outrage over this intersex artist speaking the truth about gender discrimination, I’m here to talk about why discrimination is tricky.
While I’m definitely not defending the jackass that turned down Delaney saying “You probably wouldn’t be happy here,” but to be honest that person is probably not someone who says “Oh, women are inferior to men, we’re the best, great.”
Realistically, that person is probably like “Oh, we’ve had a lot of women quit, so women probably won’t be happy with our work culture.” I would argue that this person probably doesn’t question whether or not that it might be the culture that needs to change, rather than their hiring practices.
So while I’ll continue to rail against discrimination in all forms, we need to remember that most of it is not the typical nazi-saluting “I hate X people” that we think of racism, or sexism, as. It’s a lot of unconscious biases working against people.
It’s the biases of wanting to work with other people like you. It’s the biases of wanting to hang out with people who share the same believes. It’s not being exposed to diversity or other ways people live their lives that aren’t your own.
It’s the media using “thug” as an extra description to Black Americans who have been suspected of a crime.
It’s your male co-worker who feels the need to talk about how sexy his female co-workers are when they’re not around.
It’s having Asian main characters being played by white actors in American remakes of Asian films and casting all other supporting roles with actors of Asian descent.
It’s not having gender-neutral bathrooms in your restaurant.
It’s saying “Hey you guys,” “Don’t be a bitch,” or “That’s retarded.”
Sure, it may take extra effort to do things that don’t offend other people. I get it, it’s hard to break habits, especially if they’ve been reinforced for decades.
But the world is becoming ever more diverse. So even if you don’t want to put in the effort because it’s the morally right thing to do, recognize that the more discriminatory you are, the more and more you’ll be eventually punished for it. It might take some time, but at the very least recognize that the culture is shifting, and if you’re a calculating capitalist recognize that it pays to be better than the rest. That means in your culture as well as your product offering.