Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Kill Bill 9

"The tireless struggle to liberate workers from the private sector and make them dependent on social services continues -- hasta la presupuesto creciente! Our tool of choice is the human rights commission, whose very name fogs the minds of all who contemplate its decisions. Take heart my friends! For we meet this day with a common vision and a common pension plan. Let every roadblock in the path of an entrepreneur be a building block for the vanguard!"

-- From "Child Care Comics Vol. 1", Ruiticus T. Bloch, c. 1980

Bill 9 is back in the news. You may not have realized it, but your hairdresser may be a human rights violator.
4. (1) A person who believes that the right of the person to be free from gender-based pricing has been infringed may file a complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Commission.
The right (of the person no less) to be free from gender-based pricing. Look at the bizarrely specific new right we might get as Ontarians! "Marie Curie" Berardinetti may have discovered a new atom to add to the Periodic Table Of Human Rights! Let's call it Mussolinium in honour of the heritage Berardinetti is apparently celebrating, and see how it reacts with other elements such as homophobium, bigotry, and alumisogynum.

As I recall, Berardinetti's wife was brought to tears when she noticed the price of her hairdo as the chauffeur paid for it, compared with the far lower price some ordinary slob worker guy paid to get a trim. This lese majeste on the part of a mere tradesman, combined with Mrs Berardinetti's dizziest misapprehensions of the price system, brought us Bill 9.

I suppose the kindhearted would see the Berardinettis not as the victims of genderbasedpricingism, but as having themselves wasted a business opportunity. If the Berardinettis had only stopped to think, they could have made money off of the evil barber's sexually discriminatory ways by opening up a competing business offering a fair price for "essentially the same goods and services". Why would anyone shop at a store that is 1) more expensive 2) non-humorously sexist? Berardinetti's Bawlery would eat Sexist Sam's lunch. Or, more likely we'd discover that the Berardinettis know quite a bit less about how to run businesses than the people who actually do run them. That's one way to look at it.

But on the other hand maybe they do know how to run a different kind of business and expand its market share.

New public sector union members will be needed to adjudicate the "essential" qualities of a $12 haircut versus a $20 haircut versus whatever comes with the outrageous prices women are willing to pay to get their hair done -- and that's just to begin with! Everywhere there is GBPD, complaints must be processed and phones must be answered; databases must be kept, bus shelter ads and promotional brochures designed, and domain experts retained in all the various fields where GBPD rears its deceptively normal-looking head. Cha-ching!
Lavalife and Quest, two Toronto-based firms, have hired Hill and Knowlton vice-president Bob Lopinski, a former adviser to Premier Dalton McGuinty, to kill Bill 9, a private member's bill by Liberal Lorenzo Berardinetti that would bar retailers from charging men or women different prices for essentially the same goods and services.

The dating services charge men for their phone service, while women get it for free.
Good riddance to these serial human rights abusers -- Lavalife's default form setting and graphic presumes that heterosexuality is the norm, while Quest considers men to be the "default" in their interface.

1 Comment:

basil said...

"I was a little bit surprised by that, because I really didn't think the issue was really about Lavalife (or online dating)," he said.

"I thought the issue was about fairness and about gender-based pricing when it comes to areas like haircuts and dry-cleaning and alterations to suits and so on."

This guy is so unbelievably pussy-whipped it is shameful; his view of the world is obviously limited to his wife's daily domestic complaints. I suspect he's in line for the Education portfolio if Kennedy leaps to the feds.