Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The Difference Between Your Jeans and Your Genes

A topic was spawned on the radio show “World Have Your Say” a few days ago about discrimination. In Massachusetts they are trying criminalize discrimination against people because of their weight. The same law prohibits height discrimination for reasons of height.

When trying to figure out if an issue is susceptible to discrimination, simply ask if the target attribute is a result of birth, (skin color, sex, race, height, disfigurements, birth date, or mental capacity for example) or of they are a result of choice (sexual orientation, weight, religion, or ignorance as examples)
If it is a result an action without choice, then the person with the attribute must be protected from discrimination.

If it is the result of an action stemming for a choice, then it is up to the individual to defend their choice. And don't give me the "but weight and homosexuality are not choices. They are genetic" speech. Genetically speaking, we are all homicidal, selfish, incestuous, sexually unrestrained apes. It is our ability to choose to restrain our ancestral traits that make us human. There is no such thing as obese in the starving nations like Ethiopia, or Darfur. Are you telling me there that in that entire population nobody has that gene?

First, all things are relative. If you are talking about weight, for instance, and you are talking about employment then you should be able to discriminate. Let’s say you are interviewing for Hooter’s, a strip club, or a health spa. You do not want a fat chick waiting on you at Hooter’s, stripping for you, and it is a bad image at the front desk of a health spa. A Hindu is probably not your best choice for your meat packing factory. I really don’t want a gay guy being my proctologist.

Even attributes that should be protected should have some restraint. Say the Cavs are looking for a forward. They should not be forced to consider a midget just because he is a great free throw shooter. The KKK should not have to consider a Jew because of his impeccable accounting ability.


If you are going to start “protecting” people’s choices then a whole can of worms get opened. I am personally “stylistically challenged”. I refuse to cut my hair. It started as a result of my being the cheapest man on earth. It later became a rebellious thing. Now I am just bucking for a position as a regular extra on the caveman sitcom. I went through a period where finding work was quite difficult. I would nail the interviews. I know all the answers to all the questions. But not get that return phone call. Luckily I stumbled upon a position that required only a phone interview. By the time I even met my boss they had already sunk thousands of dollars into training me. Figured they would give me a chance at that point. Really the only work I am suited for is the positions I was trying to get right out of high school, a pirate or a rock star. In the end it has been my choice, and believe me my choice alone. My wife, father, grandmother, and friends have suggested a haircut many times. I don’t expect my government to pass a law forcing employers to not use my appearance or my B.O. as criteria for not hiring me.

The leading cause of death in this country is Heart disease. One of the biggest complaints is the rising cost of healthcare. If being obese increases the cost on public health and increase the demand on the health industry, then we need to promote not being obese. In this case being a fat ass is actually infringing on my rights.


Here in my area they recently took away my choice to offer people the ability to smoke at my bar. They recently took away other peoples' choice to smoke there. Are smokers not in this case being discriminated against? There is a gene found to have increased your disposition to be addicted to smoking. It is really the same thing.


Look, in this country we are letting the government take away the need for personal responsibility in choice. If you don’t want a baby, make that choice before you have sex. If you don’t want to breathe second hand smoke, make that choice before you walk into the establishment. If you want a job dancing at the Million Dollar VIP club, you have to put down the Ho Ho’s. If you want a job as a mechanical engineer, you will need to cut your hair. These are your choices.

Remember, if they can’t discriminate against weight, that will be true on an Airplane, at a sporting event or concert, or in a hot tub. That is all I have to say about that.

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