Atlanta trip ethics musings…
1. Air Travel Ethics #1: Ethics Alarms has noted the ridiculous trend of air travelers imposing on their fellow passengers by exploiting the overly-permissive airlines polices of permitting emotional support animals on flights, resulting in innocent passengers having to share as aisle with emotional support toucans, sloths, goats and lizards. Finally, one airline has declared an end to the madness, or close to it. American Airlines updated its emotional support and service animal policies this week, and new “emotional support” companion policies go into effect on April 1.
After that date, service animals will be limited to dogs, cats, and …all right, this is still nuts..,miniature horses. Only one emotional support animal per passenger will be allowed, and animals under the age of four months cannot fly.
2. Air Travel Ethics #2. This one is a bit more complicated ethically. Britain’s Virgin Atlantic airlines has eliminated the requirement that female flight attendants wear makeup, joining other major carriers that have loosened their dress and grooming standards after complaints about turning female employees into sex objects.
Virgin Atlantic announced this week that female cabin crew members can skip the makeup if they choose, and also can wear pants instead of Virgin’s familiar red skirts.
“Not only do the new guidelines offer an increased level of comfort, they also provide our team with more choice on how they want to express themselves at work,” Virgin Atlantic Executive Vice President Mark Anderson said in a statement.
This has always been a strange area. There is nothing wrong, and a lot right, with any employer in a service industry requiring employees who deal with the public to meet reasonable standards of professionalism in their appearance. Are attractive, well groomed, neatly dressed employees a legitimate service enhancement? I believe so; on the other hand, what level of discrimination against the older, heavier and not so cute is acceptable? None? Some? The fact that women in the workplace wear make-up and men do not is automatically a cultural anomaly, but nonetheless, if all of the female attendants are wearing make-up and one isn’t, and looks like she just rolled out of bed, threw on some slacks and said, “The hell with it,” I’m not sure I trust that flight attendant.
The sex appeal aspect of flight attendants has always been one way, however, as if the only business flyers were still male, and National Air Lines was still using “I’m Cheryl! Fly me!” as a slogan. There is obviously no effort whatsoever to make male attendants attractive to female flyers: I estimate that more than half of all young male attendants are openly gay.
3. Worst analogy of the month. Rachel McKinnon is the trans female male who placed first in a women’s cycling world championship in October, setting off a new round of debates over the fairness of allowing individuals who went through puberty as males to compete in sports competition against women athletes. McKinnon, who is a philosophy professor at the College of Charleston in South Carolina, has been in a running feud with feminist tennis legend Martina Navratilova, calling her “transphobic” after she penned an op-ed saying that transgender women competing against biological women is “insane and cheating“…which is a fair, if inflammatory, description. Navratilova booted from an LGBTQ advocacy group over her comments.
Next on McKinnon’s hit list was former Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies, who won an Olympic silver medal for Great Britain in 1980.Davies opined that “those with a male sex advantage” shouldn’t be allowed to compete in women’s sports.She is also right. The trans lobby simply does not want to acknowledge biological reality and basic sportsmanship. Here’s the latest from McKinnon:
Not only shouldn’t McKinnon be allowed to compete against women, she shouldn’t be allowed to teach college students. Anyone capable of making such a flawed and obviously invalid analogy is too intellectually handicapped or dishonest to be trusted as an instructor.
4. Sentencing ethics and Manafort. What’s going on here? Nobody is sure.Judge T.S. Ellis III, in his sentencing of epic scofflaw (and one-time Trump campaign chair) Paul Manafort, noted that the defendant had refused to apologize for “very serious crimes” worth millions and showed no contrition. The judge then rejected the the 19-24 year sentence requested by the Mueller prosecution team, and instead gave Manafort 47 months in prison with nine months subtracted for time served. Now he will serve just 38 months for eight serious felonies, with three years of supervised release, and must pay a $50,000 fine and $24 million in restitution.
“Manafort was convicted by a jury in August of eight criminal charges — five counts of filing false tax returns, two counts of bank fraud and one count of failing to report foreign bank accounts. There were premeditated and long-standing criminal acts worth millions. Some kid in Chicago who robs a 7-11 can get 10 years easily, but Manafort can commit felonies for millions and walk after less than 4 years.”
It’s hard to disagree with his disgust.
5. Rickie Gervais and “The Hader Gotcha.” Comedian/actor Rickie Gervais issued a wise and needed quote regarding the Hader Gotcha and its ilk, the unethical practices of tracking down old tweets and social media posts to embarrass and attack public figures. Commenting on Keven Hart, the comic who was forced to withdraw from hosting the Oscars after some old tweets surfaced that expressed negative attitudes about homosexuality, Gervais said,
“I think it’s ridiculous that people now are looking back at historic tweets. Just because they’ve seen it for the first time they want someone punished and they want them to apologize for something they did 10 years ago. Kevin Hart is one thing, but he apologized. Does he have to apologize every day, every time someone brings it up? If you keep punishing someone for something they don’t do anymore, it’s like you’re saying there’s no value in being better.”