What’s your opinion? Just because women have been discriminated against, it doesn’t give women the right to do it back…
Marissa Mayer, Yahoo’s current CEO, is under fire for supposedly discriminating against her male employees. She has received two lawsuits, actually. One from Scott Ard, who was fired in 2015, and one from Gregory Anderson, who was fired the year before. It remains unknown as of the writing of this article if these allegations are true. True or not, Refinery29 asked an interesting question about the topic that struck me.
“If Silicon Valley firms are being challenged to hire more women, can it be classified as discrimination if men are passed over for jobs in favor of women with the same qualifications? Or are suits like this merely growing pains, and to be expected as men realize what it’s been like to be a woman for the past 50 years?”
These questions are loaded and suggest a few different things. First and foremost, it suggests that maybe you can’t discriminate against men based on their sex. To me, the truth is clear. If your actions against a person are due to their sex — yes, it’s a form of sexism. Another concern suggests that men have no idea what it’s like to be discriminated against and that all women know what it’s like. Again, this just is not the case.
Janet Bloomfield, a writer from thoughtcatalog.com, wrote an article about five ways men are discriminated against in the U.S. She also sites sources for her reasoning. You can read it here. As much as we don’t like to hear about these things, it’s an unfortunate reality.
Am I to ignore the fact that there have been men who have discriminated against women? No, of course not. However, I also will not ignore the fact that women have the same ability to be just as demeaning to a man.
I’m not going to sit here and pretend that I know that Mayer was sexist — I haven’t a clue. However, I know she has the ability to be sexist. We all do. Unfortunately, we have the capacity to judge, harm and be cruel to others. We also justify in our minds that it’s okay to do this based on sex, skin color, or whatever ridiculous reason we can find. And just because one group of people may have been more discriminated against, it doesn’t mean that group can’t discriminate.
The bottom line is that, male or female, we ought to treat people the way we want to be treated. We don’t want to be judged by something we cannot control, so we shouldn’t do it to others. Let’s not act on our capability to hurt people. There is, of course, absolutely no reason to.
Let’s hope that Marissa Mayer didn’t encourage the firing of male employees on the sole basis that they were male. However, let’s also recognize that she surely could have.