Friday, January 08, 2010

Birds of A Feather

So last night I was hanging out with my dearest of dearest friends and we were talking about Jackie Chan's new movie. Blah blah blah next door neighbour is a ninja blah blah blah he's now gonna babysit his neighbour's young kids blah blah blah with the kids help he defeats the bad guys that can't swear because this movie is PG. Loads of crap, I'm sure. It was the conversation that followed that made me realize my brain is wired differently from my friends. NOT better. NOT worse. Simply differently.

Anyways, I made the point, while inebriated, that I don't think I would ever allow a middle-aged single male (regardless of race) to babysit my young kids. The scenario I put out there was imagine placing an ad around your neighbourhood looking for a babysitter, after interviewing a bunch of teenagers looking to make a couple bucks, you hear the doorbell ring and when you answer you see a single male, 30ish, inquiring about the ad. I know it sounds terrible but RED FLAGS WITH BUILT-IN ALARMS just go off for me about that situation. Yes, yes, sexism, blah blah blah discrimination blah blah blah but whatever! My hypothetical kids, my hypothetical decisions. Most of my friends kind of agreed that yes perhaps a red flag or two would be raised should that happen but where we differed in opinion was would we still interview the guy or not. I said no, no matter what. Most of my friends said yes if he had some shining references. Fair enough. I fully understand my flaw in thinking and the fact that should hypothetical man have excellent references he should have a fair chance, just like everyone else, and at least get an interview. But still...just seems too strange to me. I think because everyone was a little inebriated, my friends didn't hear me when I said I didn't care what the race of the hypothetical guy was (meaning one race wouldn't gain my favour over another) but that he was 30ish, single, and male that weirded me out.

After I gave my spiel, a darling friend of mine asked "Would you let a black woman babysit your kids?" and I hesitated. Now, let's all pick up our jaws from the floor and allow me to explain WHAT WAS GOING THROUGH MY MIND WHEN THE QUESTION WAS ASKED. Understand my friends, all of my friends, come from diverse backgrounds, different religions, different cultural upbringings and no, I am not saying the equivalent of "Hey man, it's cool, I have black friends".

My friend asked me, "Would you let a black woman babysit your kids?"
How I heard the question was, "Would you let a black woman babysit your kids?".

Keeping in mind not 10 seconds prior we were just dicussing about how I was judging an applicant by his sex, I thought my friend was asking me to think of my scenario with everything the same except instead of me opening my door to a 30ish, single male applying for a babysitting job I would find a 30ish, single female standing there asking if she could be interviewed for the babysitting position. The fact that my friend made hypothetical person black wasn't what I was thinking about but rather that hypothetical person was female. And after thinking about THAT I said "Yes, I would."

But my response was too late or didn't come quick enough and now I'm considered an inherent racist when in fact I'm an admitted sexist. If my decision for the babysitter came down to two people, but equally qualified, both 30ish and single, one being male (of any race) and one being female (of any race) I would choose the female. Blah blah blah Darek you're sexist blah blah blah I can't believe you're discriminating blah blah blah. Yeah I know I'm horrible for thinking that but 1) I'm being sexist against my own sex, so, who cares? 2) YOUR FACE!

In conclusion your honour, the defense rests!


Big "D" said...

Well I think everyone has the right to choose whom ever they feel most comfortable with, and be allowed to discriminate as much as they please. Be it male, female, or something in between, be it white, black, brown, red, yellow or pink and green.

Call me whatever makes you happy, I don't care. I'm very opinionated and stand behind whatever I say.

One can never have too many enemies in this world..... ;-)

Sonia said...

Came across that post outta nowhere...and I LOVE IT!

Richard said...

Oh! Well the issue to me is neither race nor sex, but age! Babysitting pays notoriously poorly, so when an adult stranger with presumably a well-paying day job is willing to step in for another parent at a rate of compensation that might only tide over a teenager girl for eyeliners and lipsticks, the potential employee has to ask what the real benefit is for the applicant--and whether a Hand That Rocks the Cradle remake is in the works!

Even if this adult wants to babysit for reasons as ostensibly innocent as loving children and genuinely wanting to spend time with them, then babysitting for this person is an unhealthy outlet given that there are far more substantial and gratifying part- and full-time positions out there that have built into them a professional distance between the caregiver and the child(ren). The act of an adult playing house in the den of another set of parents to another child is just too Freudian for me!

My Studio News said...

Happy New Year !!!!


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