Monday, 1 November 2010

clueless

someone seems to have missed the fact that it's 2010:

A Hamilton car dealer who refused to employ a woman in his yard remains defiant that "car selling is a male-dominated thing" and he had a right to do so.

4 Guys Autobarn general manager Monte Wells has paid Hamilton woman Tesa Te Whareturoroa $6500 after she complained to the Human Rights Commission that he discriminated against her based on her gender.


it's been a pretty tough time for car dealers in hamilton in recent years, with several going out of business. so i wouldn't have thought that these kinds of statements would have been considered good for business:

"... statistics from Australia and Canada historically will tell you predominantly it's [the car-selling industry] a male dominated thing. We do require a balance in our sales team.

"We liken it to a person applying for a job in a ladies' lingerie shop."


He said he ran a business turning over $20 million, and had to make sure his staff and their jobs were protected.


"It'd be like 10 60-year-olds applying for a job in a manicurists' shop."

yup, buying a car is exactly the same as buying underwear, you totally have to undress & sometimes get assistance with fittings. it's exactly as personal and private, right? and i can't see the problem with 10 60-year-olds in a manicurists' shop: if they were the best manicurists in town (and i was inclined to spend my money on manicures), then that would be the shop i went to.

really, someone needs to help this guy get a clue, because the only funny thing in this situation is that he sees himself as the victim. wow.

31 comments:

James said...

He still has the right to employ who he wants for whatever reason he wants....hes the owner...thats all the right he needs.A private business is no different to a private house...both are owned and controlled by a person/persons to the exclusion of all others.

That doesn't change no matter how many contradictory,silly,busybody laws the state passes...its still the owners right.

How many Men get employed at Contours Womens gyms etc...? And who would deny the owners of Contours their right to discriminate as they choose...? Same right applies to the car dealer.

Carol said...

James, haven't you tried this private house like a business line before? I answered that. A a private home owner cannot do whatever they like on their property, any more than a business owner can.

And there are ways businesses differ from private homes. So, you want us to go back to slave labour with no accountability by employers? And you want to keep the current gender divides that operate in more in the interests of men? ie Jobs that are traditionally done by men, tend to pay more.

And part of the way this was rationalised was by splitting off the private and public realms, and mapping gender divisions and male supremacy onto that. You seem to want to turn back the clock to the most oppressive practices of the 19th century.

stargazer said...

james, no he doesn't have that right because there are statutes in place called the bill of rights act & the human rights act. this is why this employer paid up, because the law doesn't support his or your view of the world. now, if you have a problem with that, why don't you spend your time lobbying government for a change in the law instead of wasting it here.

as for your example, unless he's running a male-only car buying yard where people undress, jump around etc, then i'm afraid it just doesn't apply.

McFlock said...

Personally' I'd love to know why James thinks the owner has any "rights" whatsoever.

Obviously laws don't bestow "rights" in his worldview, and I hope he has something more impressive than an arbitrarily-chosen holy book or translation thereof.

PM of NZ said...

$6.5k? A cheap way to enforce his rights as the employer. Bet she is still not employed at said car yard!

Paul_Bags said...

What gets me is he could have just not told her why he wasn't hiring her. So why did he?

Anonymous said...

The difference is that patriarchy means that there are situations like a lingerie store or a womans gym where men are not welcome for good reasons.

But there are no good reasons for men to want to exclude women. When men are trying to build men only spaces they are motivated not by a need to emancipate themselves but by hatred and sexism.

This goes for workplaces.

- Acid Queen

notafeminist said...

Acid Queen, I would say that there are indeed some spaces appropriate for men only - such as a men's sexual health clinic. I'm completely uninformed and don't even know if there are specific men's sexual health clinics around, but if there were I would imagine it would be a privacy matter and therefore appropriate to not hire women (even that doesn't sit with me very well). There are a select few places where men can discriminate against women, much like there are a select few places where women can discriminate against men (such as those outlined above). Even then it gets complicated by context.

A car dealership is not one of those select places. Especially when it's quite clearly "My money vs your human rights".

Brett Dale said...

So no posts like
"A tricky balancing act ahead" from the hand mirror???

So let me guess this right, sexism is wrong when its...

Work Related
At School
Religious reasons
TV people
In Public
Family related
etc etc etc


but okay when its...

Culture.

Personally I think its wrong always, but thats just me. I hope this sexist jerk doesnt sell one more car.

Anonymous said...

Sorry notafeminist I don't agree

What are women who work at a men's sexual health clinic going to do? Leer at and mock the sexual potency of their male patients? S exually abuse their male patients? Female medical professionals have no interest in the genitalia of their male clients it might satisfy the egos of men to think that all women are unable to resist the alure of their naked bodies but, sorry boys, you're just not that hot. Men who are worried about such "issues" are exactly as worthy of sympathy as men who worry that gay men are going to abuse them.

On the other hand, such things happen to female patients at the hands of male doctors all the time. The opposite? Not so much.

I would say that the people at a male sexual health clinic who need protection would be female staff from male patients, not vice versa.

notafeminist said...

Hi anon at 7:28,

I'm a little uncomfortable with some of the language you've used - "sorry boys you're just not that hot" - is a similar phrase used to women who complain about being objectified, eg "pfft like I'd even want to do you".

I would agree with you on the grounds that due to the difference in the way the patriarchal structure views sexuality in women vs sexuality in men, men probably feel more justified in leering at women than vice versa (although - is this the sole reason we prefer women's sexual health spaces to be women-only? I'm not too convinced that its only because women are worried about being ogled, which is a legitimate concern). That is, the context in which this is brought up makes the two ideas not equal, because women are subject to different sexual 'standards' than men.

However, it doesn't seem like you're saying that it's a cultural difference, but an inherent one - men inherently wish to look at women in a sexual way and women inherently do not, because "sorry boys you're just not that hot". I'm uncomfortable with anything that declaratively states the opinions and behaviours of men or women. There are lots of men who *wouldn't* ogle women in their relevant spaces, there are women who *might* leer at men in the same position. There is no 'women are like this/men are like that' generic rule.

Men might well be uncomfortable with having women in a space that is very private to them, and not just because they're afraid of being leered at; they might just prefer to not have the opposite gender present. Much like a woman might not go to the gynacologist accompanied by their uncle, but might go accompanied by their aunt - she might well not want her uncle there but not necessarily because she's afraid of being harrassed.

I think I agree with the main point of what you're saying, but the way you've phrased it leaves very little wiggle room for men and women who don't fit your proposed dichotomy. The language you've used to state your point makes me uneasy to say that I agree with you.

Sorry this is way off-topic, I'll stop now.

notafeminist said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
notafeminist said...

Sorry again - (this time I'm trying to keep it on topic!) I really don't want the above post to sound like "WHAT ABOUT MEN WE SUFFER TOOOO!!!" I was trying to say that there are conceivably spaces that men may want to share a male only space, for legitimate reasons like sexual privacy. A car dealership, which seems to amount to "keeping it with the bros" is not a legitimate reason.

I objected mostly to the original sweeping statement - "But there are no good reasons for men to want to exclude women. When men are trying to build men only spaces they are motivated not by a need to emancipate themselves but by hatred and sexism." That kind of declarative-no-exception-sweeping-generalisation stuff is what I'm really not into. I accept that men rarely suffer than kind of statement compared to the shit that gets thrown at women, but once again it seems like you're making a comment on inherent qualities of men and women rather than culturally received qualities.

Sorry my thoughts are so muddled!

Anonymous said...

Notafeminist this has become a derail so how about we just drop it and agree that the car dealer's behaviour is criminal and reprehensible

- Acid Queen

Anonymous said...

Acid Queen and notafeminist, just a couple of brief notes on your asides. I know this is a derail, but I thought you might be interested.

1. There are a couple of services in NZ which are interested in male sexual health, and male reproductive health (the later is called andrology), although the bulk of male sexual health is dealt with by GPs, followed by urologists. Australia has some centres with large andrology clinics, particularly Melbourne.

2. I don't know of any NZ public health services that would guarantee a gender-specific health practitioner, and I don't believe this is an entitlement- legally or ethically; I'm fairly certain there is no explicit provision for this in the HDC code, nor in any of the relevant health practitioners codes of ethics; I would be surprised if there were a legal requirement for this, and struggle to see how it could be justified.

Anonymous said...

Anon, please get a name to comply with comments policy here.

I'm not against medical specialists specialising in care of male health issues. I wish the terminology was better, though. It'd be extremely hurtful for a woman with testicles or a penis to be forced to go to a "man's health centre" or even an "andrology centre" (since it means the same thing) to treat her health issues.

And while there may not be a legal requirement for a women to be allowed to be treated by a female health practicioner, I would say this is just another example of the ways the laws in New Zealand fail women

- Acid Queen

Flynn the Cat said...

This logic-fail is bugging me...

The problem with using male-dominated as an excuse is that it doesn't say anything about WHY it's male-dominatd. Is it because women tend to fail at it, as he implies (either by being bad at it, or because people don't want to buy from a woman)? Or is it because traditionally, men tend to opt for it? Or is it because, like in this case, employers tend to hire men?

Just because the current numbers say one thing doesn't mean that's a case for acting to preserve them.

James said...

Carol: James, haven't you tried this private house like a business line before? I answered that. A a private home owner cannot do whatever they like on their property, any more than a business owner can.

Yes they can...morally and in full accord with the rights to life,liberty,property and pursuit of happiness.If he /she does it with consenting others theres no reason for anyone else to concern themselves with what they do.

Its only because we have a state thats slipped its bonds and involves itself outside of its moral perview that we have laws that violate owners rights.

And there are ways businesses differ from private homes. So, you want us to go back to slave labour with no accountability by employers? And you want to keep the current gender divides that operate in more in the interests of men? ie Jobs that are traditionally done by men, tend to pay more.

Don't be silly...where did I endorse slavery? As a Libertarian I stand for freedom...thats means for all people to seek to do what they choose but also freedom FROM other people whom they don't wish to associate with.By defending this womens "right" to work at this car yard its in fact YOU whos endorsing slavery...of the unwilling owner to the woman via the state.


If Women find that its hard for them to be employed at certain businesses then sorry but tough....no one has a right to demand employment from someone else whos not wanting them.A private business differs morally not a jot from a private house..they are both property that the owner allows others into on HIS/HER terms...not those of the guest/employee.If an employer wanted his staff to work naked he has the right to make that a condition of employment...and evryone else has the right to say no thanks and work elsewhere...thats the balancing effect of individual rights,which is all the protection workers need and have ever needed.

Just how does respecting peoples real rights to liberty and property turn back the clock to oppressive 19th century practices?...it actually does the exact opposite.

Mcflock: Personally' I'd love to know why James thinks the owner has any "rights" whatsoever.

Obviously laws don't bestow "rights" in his worldview, and I hope he has something more impressive than an arbitrarily-chosen holy book or translation thereof.


We cannot get rights from law...thats obvious to anyone who thinks.What the law usually does give is priviliages...and thats very bad.Good law is objective and blind to all unimportant factors like race,gender,sexuality,political views,religious views etc...the only relavant matter the state should consider is...has person A had their rights violated by person B?

We get rights from our nature as species man and the objective fact that our survival system is one based on reason and conceptual thought.Rights create the framework for civilisation...without them its dog eat dog violence and primativism.

James said...

stargazer:james, no he doesn't have that right because there are statutes in place called the bill of rights act & the human rights act. this is why this employer paid up, because the law doesn't support his or your view of the world.

By your rational then laws that kept Women as second class citizens who couldn't vote etc were perfectly ok as that was the law as written.History shows that many laws were just plain wrong and imoral rubbish...and they violated the real real rights of many people.South African Apartheid,Jim Crow in the US South,anti Jewish regulations in Nazi Germany etc etc...it was the law of the time and place...but would you defend them as right and proper?

We don't have rights because of law...rights pre-exist man made law.We have law because we have rights first and foremost from the time we are born as human beings.Law,if valid and non contradictory protects real natural rights...not violates them as this man has found out the hard way.The BOR act and the HR act are poorly made nonsense and are contradictory...the main failure of false "rights".The UN's own declaration of human rights is a bad joke and falls apart after article 21 into contradictory babble.

No one has a right to a job that someone else has created...such a "right" violates the real rights of others to their liberty and property.That Woman had no right to force herself upon someone who didn't want her....thats a real violation of rights.In this case the owner is the real victim,of bad law..not the woman.Sure..this guy might be aesxist jerk...but he has the RIGHT to be...regardless of what the law or anyone says.The way to deal with him is market censure...not state force.


Now, if you have a problem with that, why don't you spend your time lobbying government for a change in the law instead of wasting it here.

When I see something wrong I act to correct it.

Hugh said...

History shows that many laws were just plain wrong and imoral rubbish...and they violated the real real rights of many people.South African Apartheid,Jim Crow in the US South...

I'm presuming you're only referring to the laws that affected voting in South Africa and the South, given that you're strongly arguing for the rights of white Alabamans or South Africans to keep black people out of their business, the fronts of their buses and their water fountains.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that he has every right to honestly express his view - that is freedom of expression. In fact, I admire his directness and honesty in an increasingly mealy mouthed world. But society has adjudged his acting on this opinion to be an error, and the law has acted thus wth a $6500 fine. Fair enough, that is the world we live in and I agree with that.

But as has been pointed out, his honesty is what has got him into to trouble. He struck me on the telly as a solid man as honest as the day is long, and that he is being punished for a virtue - even when I disagree with his opinion - disturbs me.

I think ideally it would be nice to have a mechanism other than punitive financial punishment to resolve this, but I sadly suppose that is a bit utopian.

James said...

Hugh:I'm presuming you're only referring to the laws that affected voting in South Africa and the South, given that you're strongly arguing for the rights of white Alabamans or South Africans to keep black people out of their business, the fronts of their buses and their water fountains.

Im arguing for the right of ANYONE to discriminate against ANYONE else...or the right to liberty as its more commonly known.Everyone discriminates against others for all sorts of subjective reasons....many of which are stupid,ignorant or whatever...but its still our right as human beings to do so right to do so....we have the right to be wrong.In a free society the only entity NOT allowed to discriminate is the state itself...which should act objectively at all times...when it doesn't we get privilage and real inequality...the dangerous kind.

Those laws were actually imposed by the governments of the times because people tended NOT to discriminate when they could trade with different people and be better off by doing so....left alone people tended to interact more because they personally benefited from doing so....the market was eradicating prejudice long before government lurched in to outlaw it.In those examples the state had to make discrimination offical as people weren't really complying by choice.State backed discrimination is always wrong...just as state backed forcing of some people on others is wrong.

Hugh said...

James, all the arguments you are making actually support the Jim Crow laws and the apartheid laws, which were about encouraging people to discriminate. These laws didn't arise because the government wanted to force behaviour - they arose because people were ejecting blacks from their establishments anyway and wanted the government to have their backs in doing so.

If you were correct the laws would have been highly unpopular. In fact they were quite the opposite - at least, among whites.

A Nonny Moose said...

Anon at 9:12. As it's been said before, get a proper handle as per commentary rules. And the Nice Guy (TM) defence? Riiiight. Nice guys can be douchebags too.

And James, you are so full of hate and righteous indignation that it would be almost impossible to engage you. "Im arguing for the right of ANYONE to discriminate against ANYONE else" You are arguing for the right for INSTITUTIONALIZED HATE.

"Everyone discriminates against others for all sorts of subjective reasons" I don't. And even if I unintentionally screw up, I recognize my privilege and learn from my screw up. I, and many others, would be offended to be included in your "Everyone".

How about you just shut the hell up and let the people discriminated against and living these experiences do the talking yeah? Just what exactly do you have to preserve by making sure people are opressed and discriminated against by law? Your voice should not, and will not, be the loudest in a debate about women's rights. A woman's voice should, and will be.

James said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
stargazer said...

reading comprehension fail, james. not sure what part of "go away" is difficult for you to understand. didn't think it was a particularly difficult message.

James said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tesa Te Whareturoroa said...

There is a lot more to this story than what has been reported in the media. I am the person that actually applied for the vacancy.

Mr Wells had the opportunity to rectify the situation by attending to mediation before it went through to the Human Rights Proceedings. He actually declined. Should he have done this first, then it wouldn't have been an issue further on down the track.

In saying this though, it does appear he has been using the same excuse when another woman applied in 2008, only to be told that they were unsuccessful based on their gender. She now works in the car sales industry in Australia and is quite successful.

Discrimination regardless of what the reasoning is, is a thing of the past especially with how far we have come historically in the last 50 years.

Tesa Te Whareturoroa said...

James, it is ok to have an opinion on an issue but opinion accounts for nothing if you don't have the facts.

This is not an isolated incident with Mr Wells, it has happened more than once, and not solely based on gender either, but also on age. If you researched it, you would have realised this.

A person's suitability for a vacancy should be based on their skills and experience not what race/gender/age they are. If we start to discriminate people across all sectors for the same reason, we would be heading into very dangerous territory.

If we took away all Laws, there would be chaos, so there is a very good and valid reason why they exist. Why do you think the Human Rights Act is in existence if we did not need it to begin with? Think about that!

stargazer said...

tesa, thank you for taking the time to comment here. i'm really glad you took a stand on this & brought this employer's actions to light.

Tesa Te Whareturoroa said...

I have no problem with employers exercising their rights if its validated. I also think that it is important to stand up for your rights if you think that you are being disadvantaged.

What people don't realise about this case is "Mr Wells" was given an opportunity to come to mediation, but declined. If he had agreed to that, there would have been no further issue.

Thank you Stargazer.