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Thread: Help with being objective.

  1. #1
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Help with being objective.

    I was reading this story on M&G covering a talk by Trevor Manuel. Essentially, Trevor covers two issues that are getting a lot of coverage in South Africa, BBBEE and gender equality.

    What struck me (after some consideration) was the difference in my personal reaction to the two underlying issues - racial redress and gender redress.

    When it comes to BEE, I have said before that I think it should be based on socio-economic criteria, rather than race criteria. So naturally I have a mildly allergic reaction to any EE with B's in it. At least as currently applied, where the elite are taking the lion's share of the opportunities at the expense of the genuinely needy.

    By contrast, I also feel that woman have been getting a rough deal in general, and particularly when it comes to securing senior posts in companies. This is not a solely South African problem. It is possibly a global issue.

    So, I found myself being critical of the BBBEE comment, but supportive of the gender equality comment. Which means my view was subjective as opposed to objective - or was it?

    Tracking the positions back, I'm thinking there is no such thing as fair racial discrimination, but fair gender discrimination is OK?

    Is there a key difference here that I am missing that makes these two apparently conflicting positions OK whilst still being totally objective, or is objectivity truly that difficult and rare?
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    At first glance I'd say there is some disparity in your thinking, but I don't know your reasonsing behind each stand point.

    How about estabilishing some criteria? What, in your opinion, are the reasons you feel women have had a rough deal?

    After we've got those, then let's put the race issue on the table and see what happens if we apply those exact same criteria.
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    I think I've come to grips with this. A sharp reminder of how we might think that we are being objective, when in fact we are being subjective.

    What struck me was the difference between my "reaction" to the racial equity drive mentioned as opposed to the gender equity drive.

    At the end of the day, I have no argument that there is a need to address past wrongs on both issues. It's the way government is going about it that drives me nuts.

    I believe attitude is the underlying secret to everything. This means that to solve our societal prejudices I believe we should be looking at how we can change the underlying attitudes.

    Our goverment relies on legislating the solution without equiping society at the fundamental attitude level. They also expect results down to the smallest sample, wheras we really should be taking a far more holistic view.

    I view this process of legislating without equiping as a rather unhealthy way to go about the business of solving society's ails. So it was something of a surprise to myself that I did not take offence to the legislative solution of government to the gender issue as I do to their racial equity solution.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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