Good luck graduates

Good luck graduates

Nathan Stapleton

Good luck graduates

Annie Clarkson

In my class last week, we had a discussion about equality. Nearly everyone agreed that equality in the United States is a myth. But they also agreed that the laws aimed at protecting against discrimination are at least trying to promote equality and that there’s been progress.

I was laid off from a job once because of gender. They kept the two guys. My boss, in his awkwardness of delivering the bad news, actually said, “Well, we have to keep the guys,” even though they were less qualified and hadn’t worked there as long.

The loss was not worth a discrimination lawsuit. If the result of a lawsuit is reinstatement of the job, do you really want it back at that point?

If a person chooses a career that is not traditionally held by a person of their status, they have to know there will be obstacles. As a woman, I can think of hundreds of jobs traditionally held by males that I would never consider.

For example, I think it’s kind of funny to see a female sports reporter in a male locker room. I’m starting to see more women on road crews and construction sites. I don’t want to be president, but I’m glad women can set their sights on that now. I admire all those who break the mold, not just women.

The business world was too tough for me. Men can be mean and nasty to each other in business, as well as in sports, and then just shake hands and smile and go drink a beer together. The code phrase is, “It’s just business.” Not for me.

Somewhere in our push for equality, we lost the tradition of men opening doors, picking up the tab and mowing the lawn. I guess it was a good trade-off. But I’m still not going to change my tire as long as I can get a man to do it.

We’re almost to the point where white males with college degrees think they’re being discriminated against.

In this economy, the point is almost moot anyway. I recently heard, on the national news, about a job opening as a school janitor for which more than 1,000 people applied. Many had college degrees.

Getting jobs is going to be tough for a while, so choose the career path wisely, beef up the résumé, be patient and flexible and shatter the glass ceiling.