[I’m especially very grateful to have an inventory of strong Comments of the Day—two more to post after this!–since I woke up today with painful stiff neck that makes everything from walking to chewing painful, and looking down at a keyboard ridiculously difficult.]
In response to fair, reasonable, liberal commenter and mother who had just written that when it came to looking out for her daughters, extreme caution was the rule, meaning that heterosexual men were regarded as inherent potential threats if the were strangers…even the fathers of her daughter’s friends (maybe even—this is my thought, not hers–a Vice President!).reader Chris Bentley raised several interesting points. As with many Comments of the Day, this one was not strictly on topic; workplace sexual harassment and discrimination was the subject of the post, except on the broad issue of the different genetic wiring of man and women,
Here is CB’s Comment of the Day on “The Tangled Ethics Of Men, Women, Sexual Harassment,Sexual Discrimination, Romance, Common Sense, And “Vive La différence!”:
Having said that, why is it OK to profile, stereotype, to pass judgement on someone, solely because of their gender, and the statistical likelihood that someone, due to their gender, would cause harm to your daughters, if that specific person has given you no reason to see them a a threat?
Everyone stereotypes, especially when A) the stakes are too high to be wrong; and B) it’s unlikely the “recipient” of our stereotyping will ever know what we’re thinking..and if they do, refer back to A. But we all still do it.
I get that the percentage of people who are pedophiles is disproportionately in favor of men, and any good parent isn’t going to play fast and loose with the safety of their kids, just to appear to be “fair” to a stranger. And it’s okay for women to take precautions when out jogging alone, and they come across a man who, regardless of what they’re doing, make them feel uncomfortable, because, again, disproportionate percentages. In these situations, how you feel when safety is involved legitimately trumps any other possible facts in the situation, of the feelings of the other people involved, because the stakes are too high to be wrong.
But, then, why is it not okayto do this to other demographics, when there is a genuine, sincere fear that the stakes are too high to be wrong? I know that men aren’t a protected class, but so what? I have previously been a preschool director; my job was literally to convince parents to entrust their children to me, and I was damn good at it. I have proven to be more trustworthy with children then ~80-90% of the adult population…but if someone didn’t know me, they’d be justified (which I understand) in not trusting their child around me, because I’m a male who’s a stranger? But not justified in their distrust of me, if it was because I was black and a stranger?
Even if they sincerely believed that the disproportionate statistics of blacks and violent crime gave them good reason to be distrustful?