Racism is OK when you’re white

A story came out on Wednesday about how the Defence Department union wants more women on emergency response units, because “a group of female workers were stripped naked and scrubbed down by an all-male team responding to an anthrax scare.”

I looked for it, but I couldn’t find any commentary from the blogosphere, the PQ or others calling sexism here and saying that emergency response workers should not be discriminated against because of their gender.

This is odd, because a lot of people make a fuss about the idea that only male police officers should address Hassidic Jews, or that only female doctors should see Muslim women as patients.

What’s the difference in these reasonable accommodations?

10 thoughts on “Racism is OK when you’re white

  1. Philippe-A.

    It must have been a really erotic moments for those guys. All the panic, the possible anthrax threat, the x-files radioactive suits, the hosing and furious scrubing. I’m sure all they were thinking was ‘Yo, did you see those fine titties man? What a great job we have!’

  2. DAVE ID

    The difference:

    Men can’t always be trusted to be “gentlemen” with women. Fact of life. Women’s rights.

    Religious accommodations in Quebec: That’s asking one culture to bend over and take it in the…. for the other culture. These aren’t rights but privileges. Oh I’m sorry but you will have to leave the Sugar Shack while these Muslims pray to Allah (in a restaurant that worships pig meat). And yeah, no ham, no bacon and no Christ’s ears. WHAT? I’d love to see the look on their faces if I walked into a mosque in some sandpit in the middle-east and I refused to remove my shoes or wash my feet and say I wanted to be accommodated because of my culture. Somehow I think I’d be accommodated with the edge of a blade to my neck.

    I think the vast majority of people who come here understand this. But the vocal minority – and it’s always a minority with a capacity to yell long enough to achieve what they want who get what they want in the world – who ask for these insane privileges that go against everything a free society stands for are the ones giving a bad name to their community and makes the really red-necky side of Quebec’s culture – another minority – come out of the woodwork and everything’s gotten ugly.

  3. Fagstein Post author

    I’d read this piece on the myths and realities of the reasonable accommodation debate before going off on sugar shack demands.

    And with the new charter provision that puts freedom from gender discrimination above all other rights, wouldn’t asking to be strip-searched by someone of the same gender be illegal?

  4. DAVE ID

    Steve, the man who denounced this disagrees with this and reports something different entirely. I couldn’t find the article though. But it’s pretty much asking to forgoe a culture, because a sugar shack isn’t just a restaurant, it’s a cultural and historical tradition in Québec where one of the major foods served is called Oreille de Christ (Christ’s Ear) which is fried bacon (yummy) and then you have bacon, ham and pork and beans (with bacon again) and if you take all that out, you no longer have a Cabane a Sucre feast dude, you have eggs, bland beans and pea soup.

    I wouldn’t go to a Kosher restaurant and demand bacon or pork chops, would you? Because I’d respect that this is the menu they serve, that Jewish people don’t eat pork, tradition, etc.

    All these incidents aside. It is impossible to accommodate for any religious kookery and shouldn’t be attempted. Give religion an inch, it’ll take a mile. Ask any old timer who remembers the pre-revolution-tranquille Catholic Theocracy Québec.

  5. Anonymous

    I don’t really see what the big deal is here. It was a potentially dangerous situation. I mean, if someone’s in a car accident and they need treatment, can they demand a paramedic or doctor of the same sex? Would anyone really do that in an emergency anyways?

  6. DAVE ID

    “A wise man adapts himself to circumstances, as water shapes itself to the vessel that contains it.”

    For one, the logic of going to a Cabane a Sucre and not eating pig, is like ordering a Cheeseburger, hold the cheese. Makes no sense!?! But that’s just me. So be it.

    Secondly, religion as a whole is nutters and the demands of the religious should not be taken to seriously. As Pat Condell once noted, is god wanted women to cover their faces, he would have provided them with skin flaps. But again I could be biased by my atheism – though come on, GOD? Please.

    The Shack may have said OK. According to the denouncer, the festivities had to stop for everyone, music and everything so that some people could stop and pray. Wait what? Take religion out of the equation. Take Accommodations out of the equation. Take the Bouchard-Taylor fiasco out of the equation. When a group of people in a free society wants to do something, they do it but they do not impose it on another group. That’s how freedom and cohabitation works. So when this group comes along and pushes the festivities asside to pray, they are imposing their will on others. That my friend is unethical and displays a lack of humility (Humility is a staple of all the desert religions). This goes in the same logic of “not playing your electric bass guitar at 10pm in an quadruplex” Both walk the line of freedom of expression and respect of others. The line that divides it is the answer to the question “Will I be selfish?” And a whole group can ask itself that question. That’s why I care. They could be any group of people of any ethnic background or religion, it doesn’t matter to me. What I can’t tolerate is having other’s will imposed on me and mines or another group. Personnaly I never would have dared asked anyone for anykind of special treatment so I could pray, meditate or whatever. I would have adapted my routine to the underlying circumstances.

    It’s all good and wonderful to welcome diversity, I love it. But I won’t let tolerance render me passive either.

    PS The article Failed to mention the Kirpan myth… or maybe that was a convenient omission on the journalist’s part?


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