Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Inequality for women now! Some more adverts, my neighbour's scare., and the train crash

Apparently women with young children face discrimination at work, they're less likely to be hired then men or <shock horror> the disabled and ethnic minorities. So once again time to battle the symptoms and ignore the causes. Oh fine you've already introduced new rights

"These include extended and better paid maternity leave, new paternity rights and the right to request flexible working."
and after you've demanded all your rights, the company will downsize to pay for it all and hey look it's your job that's been cut.

The simple fact is that for parents with young children it's still perceived that any problems will be handled by the women if both work. For employers this is a hardship, multiple calls of "Oh I can't come in little Francis has mumps", and "The nanny can't make it", or "The day-care centre's closed". You can't get rid of them, you still have to pay them, and then get someone to cover their work; so from the employer's point of view why should they get hired in the first place? By promoting all these 'rights' all the government does is encourage employers to really start discriminating against mothers. Stop looking to business to solve all your woes; to switch problems it's like stating that businesses should be going out and gritting the roads when it snows in order to facilitate their employees travel.

What's the solution? I don't know, better free day-care with provision for those ill perhaps?

So just after I watch the positive discrimination channel up pops an advert for Sunsilk shampoo. Tells all those 'girls' out there exactly which colour (type) of shampoo they should be using. 'Frizzy hair - orange!' screeches the American accented voice-over. Yep that's right we men don't suffer from frizzy/flat/lack-lustre hair we just find the nearest stream and soak our heads; shampoo's for girls. Except of course for dandruff and grey hairs at which point men used to dominate the advertising. Though not any more - obviously we just don't suffer from hair problems anymore (or just don't care).

To emphasize the discrimination there then followed another advert featuring babies, in which all the shoppers are female. The professor studying them is, of course, male.

Not discriminatory just strange, the Costcutters advert. The one that starts with "I wish I had some biscuits" then the Costcutters man appears from under the car with a plate of them. Why strange? Because throughout the advert everyone does the equivalent of 'Damn I've not got a..." and up pops Costcutter man with the item, but the message is that Costcutter aren't just there for the last-minute things; huh? They do great deals on everyday items too, like a six-pack of crisps and Pot Noodles. Okay who are they targeting that treat packs of crisps and Pot Noodles as 'everyday' items. Silly me it's Connor's family of course.

Leaving the house this morning I was stopped by my neighbour "Have you seen my window?" "?" "The back window of my car". She'd parked under a street light elsewhere and the head had fallen off straight through the rear windscreen and down onto the back seats. Fortunately she wasn't in the car, more fortunately neither were any of her children who'd have been sitting there. Completely shaken up her insurance company made her drive her car home as she "didn't have breakdown cover" Lovely people.

So checking the paper last night and the news this morning about the train crash we find, once again, it's the fault of the track; better yet an inspection train went over it not long before. Why wasn't it picked up? Well the train only looks for defects in the metal. Because of this inability a manual visual inspection takes place every week; like the one that apparently didn't happen on the 18th. Looking at the silver lining I was impressed by how well the carriages withstood the crash, it seems at least someone can build and maintain things well. I'm waiting for the company responsible for the rails to try and blame vandals, not doubt youths wearing hoodies.