Volume 93, Issue 23

Thursday, October 7, 1999


Last word on heated debate

Headline was degrading in nature

Honey bronzed reputation

Get off the path, get on the bus

Red and embarassed by expenses

Course has its head in the stars

Homecoming homophobia

Last word on heated debate

Re: "Clubs week lacks colour" Sept. 23

To the Editor:

I am writing in response to the numerous letters addressing the issue of discrimination that have appeared in The Gazette over the last couple of weeks.

Jeff Sewell incited a lengthy and heated debate with his letter on Sept. 23. Sewell, upset with the apparent absence of clubs for white males, wrote "Reverse discrimination against me and others like me is rampant and even openly advocated in our society."

A similar argument appeared a week earlier in the editorial "Gender equality or superiority?" (Sept. 15). The editorial discussed the decision made by administration at Wilfrid Laurier University to advertise a job opening in the psychology department for women only. The editorial read, "Even in today's advanced society, discrimination seems to be running rampant – only we've managed to disguise it as equality."

I find the use of the term "reverse discrimination" upsetting. It appears to be employed in an attempt to suggest sinister motives behind any initiative whose only intent is to remove barriers to equality.

Please be clear – I am not saying it is fair to discriminate against white males by virtue of the fact that, as a group, they have historically possessed all the power and privilege in our society.

I don't advocate discrimination against any group, regardless of their situation in life. In an ideal world discrimination would not exist. But we do not live in an ideal world.

Despite the great advances we have made, many still suffer from the insidious effects of discrimination. Equality does not magically appear after we decide discrimination will no longer be tolerated.

Often it is necessary to actively promote measures which will further the realization of equality. This is why Jeff Sewell found such a variety of clubs exclusively for minorities and groups who are often overlooked by our society.

And this is why Wilfrid Laurier thought it was necessary to ask only women to apply in order to decrease the large gender gap in their psychology department. It is not enough to want equality in our society – we must undertake the responsibility earnestly and be willing to make some concessions to achieve it.

This involves evaluating our policies on equality by looking at the actual results, not the intentions.

Johanna Weidner
MA Candidate, Journalism

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Copyright The Gazette 1999