By John Bufton MEP
"Discrimination is a topic that the EU just does not get. In one instance they are doing their utmost to erase it, yet they are also the greatest perpetrators of discriminatory acts."
Sex discrimination. It seems to have had a bit of a resurgence in recent months. There was the Sian Massey comments which landed Andy Gray and Richard Keys with the sack from Sky (as well as a plethora of other rather less than erudite off camera statements made towards female co-presenters).
There is also an undercurrent of backlash against the increasingly sexualised images of females, especially in pop videos. Perhaps what we are seeing is the natural elasticity of public opinion and prudency through the ages. At any rate the Georgian era was a famously free period sexually in British history and was succeeded by the strict and prudish Victorian era. Perhaps the lengths of social freedoms are stretched to the max, causing an inevitable retraction when it is deemed things have gone too far.
Today's attitude towards sex and gender is an interesting one. It has gone too far, but across the spectrum. One thing that drives me mad is anti-discrimination legislation that serves only to put constraints on society or adversely favour one set of people over another. Positive discrimination can be, in my opinion, no better than negative discrimination.
But there are also times when an effort to level off the differences between the sexes, narrow the advantages enjoyed by either sex or create laws to completely remove any form of gender partiality actually becomes pure folly.
You may remember back in March 2009 the EU supposedly banned the use of a number of supposedly discriminating words
. In a bid to achieve full blown gender neutrality, EU speak outlawed words such as Mr and Mrs, Frau, Senorita, Monsieur or Madam. They banned MEPs from saying sportsmen and statesmen, instead pressing for the use of the words athletes and polticians.
Man-made became taboo (replaced by artificial or synthetic) as did firemen, air hostesses, headmasters, policemen and so forth.
Most recently whacky EU gender discrimination law has now stated insurance companies cannot change rates based upon the sex of the person either
[and more recently
]. So whereas women once enjoyed cheaper car insurance or smaller life insurance pay outs, everything will now have to be evened out. But insurance premiums are based upon probability, and surely it is down to calculations based on collated data that young men DO have more accidents, and women DO tend to live longer. To expect Mrs Adams, young mother and sensible driver dropping her kids off at school, to pay the same as Shane from the corner of the street with his lowered sump and new alloys is surely madness.
Discrimination is a topic that the EU just does not get. In one instance they are doing their utmost to erase it, yet they are also the greatest perpetrators of discriminatory acts. In one breath the term "Islamic Terrorism" has been banned, but the persecution of Christians across the middle east and North Africa has not been officially recognised
, only that certain minorities have been victimised, no mention of the religion, please.
Christianity has also become the invisible religion in school diaries commissioned by the EU
. The new books, which mark key dates for all other religions, including Sikhism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinudism, Chinese religions and Judaism do not even mention Easter and Christmas. Why?
As I said earlier in the article. Discrimination is discrimination, whether "positive" or otherwise.
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