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Thread: Positive Discrimination

  1. #21
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    Sep 2008


    Quote Originally Posted by ajblaise View Post
    The goal of positive discrimination is to favor groups of people who have been historically disfavored or disadvantaged. Even if it's suppose to be positive, it's still discrimination, so the case against it is clear. Trying to achieve more equality by increasing opportunity for a certain disadvantaged group is a noble goal. But trying to do this directly requires the larger group to be disadvantaged in way, even if it only causes a small incremental disadvantage.
    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff View Post
    How does one create an "incentive" in a way that doesnt discriminate against men?
    Let me ask you this, in a situation where men are advantaged is it discriminatory to remove that advantage?

  2. #22
    Lallygag Moderator Array Geoff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pippi View Post
    Let me ask you this, in a situation where men are advantaged is it discriminatory to remove that advantage?
    No, that's different.

    "You shall not discriminate in favour of men" is not discrimination.

    "You shall discriminate in favour of women over men" IS discrimination.

    Fairly clear, I'd say.

  3. #23


    You might want to read up on the positive discrimination of the outcasts (which is not the pc term nowdays) in india. I guess that is the largest case of positive discrimination in the world and it actually fosters even more discrimination.

    I was at umich when the quota case went through the supreme court. Their decision was logical. It makes sense to force diversity when you are working with a small group of individiuals who will have large amounts of social interplay.

  4. #24
    Minister of Propagandhi Array ajblaise's Avatar
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    Aug 2008


    Quote Originally Posted by pippi View Post
    Let me ask you this, in a situation where men are advantaged is it discriminatory to remove that advantage?
    We could be talking about a marginally insignificant possible disadvantage for men (for example, a publicly funded scholarship program awarded out to women) or removing the advantage in a larger way (like strict hiring quotas for companies to maintain).

    Though not everything that would aim to remove the advantage would be disadvantageous for men necessarily. Like some women's rights laws. For example, pregnancy discrimination laws that make it illegal for companies to treat them differently/worse than other employees, making time taken off during pregnancy a valid temporary employee disability.

  5. #25
    Senior Member Array matmos's Avatar
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    Mar 2008


    The only justification for positive discrimination I guess be that is rectifies past wrongs...

    By definition it is a temporary measure.

    It's when it becomes a permanent measure that it becomes problematic.

  6. #26
    324B21 Array nonsequitur's Avatar
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    Sep 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by pippi View Post
    It doesn't just look like systematic discrimination, it is. Most people agree that there should be equality, but how do you get true equality in the system you described? Without introducing a positive bias into the system it will not change. Women need equal opportunity and positive discrimination (affirmative action, incentives, social pressure, whatever you want to call it) is a way to balance out the negative discrimination and create that.

    Note that I'm only advocating equal opportunity, not equal numbers.
    By "systematic discrimination" I guess I meant it in terms of stated policy. i.e. It is already illegal to discriminate in the workplace based on sex. But, as I've already said, the discrimination is seldom a simple matter of "she's a woman, and therefore will suck". It's more complex, and there is no way to root out intrinsic, personal prejudices without internal change, i.e. a changing of culture.

    Opportunity is determined by the needs of the employer, and if they need something that they believe men will better be able to provide (a competitive spirit, aggression, forcefulness, stereotyped masculine traits) it is not discrimination based on sex, it is discrimination based on personality/ability (which is how people judge things anyway). The overall effect will be the same, but legally, it is impossible to sue unless the employer actually states "males only". This means that "equal" opportunity is impossible without changing corporate/business/academic/any male dominated workplace.

    That is the reason why I believe that a cultural revolution that promotes a well-rounded, diverse organisation is necessary.

    The flip-side is that for industries/jobs such as kindergarten education and nursing/baby-sitting, the proportion of males in these jobs are astoundingly low. I can bet you that they don't have "equal" opportunity either, because employers will look on with suspicion at males who would want to be in close proximity with young children.

  7. #27
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    Jan 2008


    In an ideal world, candidates will only be hired on the basis of merit. In the real world, social norms result in a subtle bias in favor of irrelevant traits. This creates an strong barrier against entry over time.

    A temporary positive discrimination policy is often necessary to punch through the barrier. The emphasis is on temporary. Otherwise, quality will suffer.

    Because existing biases provide an unfair advantage for the "old guard", positive discrimination only serves to even things out.

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