3/25/2010

Gender Bias


I've never been the type that has gotten into political correctness. I'll still call a dog "Man's best friend" instead of a "person's best friend." I will still say "salesman" instead of "salesperson." I just don't care what people think about what I say or do. Always been that way, always will be that way. I have always been skeptical about whenever people start screaming "bias." I have found in my life that when someone says that, it is usually true about half the time. If there is clear bias against someone, then that gets my "dander up." I don't like it and don't give a damn who knows it.

This past Saturday, I took my little 4 year old niece to the park. There were all kinds of things going on, Ferris wheels, bumper cars, and all kinds of contests for kids 5 and under. One contest was to see how far the 5 and under class could hit a whiffle ball set on a "T" (think of T-Ball and you get the picture). So, I asked my niece if she would like to compete. She said she had never swung a bat before. They had an area where you could let the kids practice hitting before the contest. So, we went there and I taught her as best I could. The bats were hard plastic and kids were hitting the ball off the T. After about 15 minutes, she got enough agility to where I felt she would be able to be decent at swinging the bat. So, I went to register her and to pay the $5.00 fee to enter. Before I paid, I asked what were the prizes. This big, heavyset guy said First Prize for the boys was 4 foot tall teddy bear. 2nd and 3rd place prizes got certificates at their choice of three different fast food restaurants. I thought the fast food prizes were a problem. But, decided to ignore it.

I then asked what the girls got. "First place prize is 5 mini-frisbees, 2nd and 3rd place prize the same fast food restaurants." I couldn't understand why the boys got such a nice prize and the girls didn't. I told the guy it wasn't fair that the girls got such a piss-poor first place prize and the boys got such a nice one. Well, some pretty harsh words were exchanged then. I won't go into all that. But, pretty soon, I found myself surrounded by women who also gave this oaf a piece of their mind about the disparity in prizes. Next thing you know, some park organizers got their collective heads together and were trying to head off a mini-riot that I somehow had created. I was just taking up for my niece and all the other little girls there.

Next thing I knew, they decided that the first place prize winner among the girls would win a 4 foot bear also. I got some stares that would have melted steel from the park organizers. I am not a real confrontational type of person. But, I will raise hell when I think I see an injustice taking place. It wasn't fair to the girls, and in an indirect way, it wasn't fair to the boys. I'm sure those boys had some sisters who were also indignant about the whole thing. As it turns out, my little niece failed to place in the top three. But, it was a good experience for her. It was a different kind of experience for me, the reluctant troublemaker.





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