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You Can't Ask Me That

At a recent job interview I was asked how I felt about working in an environment in which most of my colleagues were black. Or was it Chinese.? How is a person supposed to answer a question like that? There's an implication in the question that is very unpleasant. Actually, the working enviroment was going to be heavily populated with women. Does that make the question any less objectional? Or the implication any less vile? Maybe I had a close escape when I didn't get the job. A less welcome escape was when I was refused a roof over my head because I was male. I had just returned to Edmonton and was sleeping on a friend's floor until I could find a place of my own. I found a nice little granny flat in the basement of a house in my old neighbourhood. I met the people who rented the main floor and they were really nice. The landlord's factor was not so nice. She would not lease the place to a male. That might have been understandable if the people on the main floor had an objection to males or a fear of them. But they didn't. It doesn't get much meaner than refusing someone a roof over their head on the grounds of gender, colour, country of birth or sexual orientation. But I just moved on. No human rights case lodged with the courts. No attempt to bully someone, no matter how loathesome they were. So, I didn't have a lot of sympathy when I heard a woman in Saskatchewan had taken a barber to court for refusing to cut her hair. There are far more important battles out there that need fought before we should get around to tackling loony barbers and sexist factors.


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