A little story about my Dad’s fight against Intersectional Feminism in his career.
The Competition for the Corner Office
My father worked for the same company for 45 years. During that time, he had several promotions, and he was also passed over for several promotions as well. As it happened, many times the management chose to give out promotions based on affirmative action, and not because of ability, which predictably resulted in the position being given to many single moms, gay blacks, and other minorities with poor language and social skills.
Every time my father was passed over for someone of lesser ability, he argued with the management about why he was a better choice. In response, the management pleaded with him to ‘play ball’, and to be more considerate to those in need. In other words, they gave out promotions based on who needed the dignity and extra income the most, and not on how much more professionalism or profit that person might bring to the company. Surprisingly, this company grew to be the leading company in its field during my Dad’s career.
The discrimination that Dad experienced wasn’t just because of the middle management. No, this discrimination was institutionalized. The company my father worked for is one of 107 major employers that are signatories on Human Rights Campaign’s Business Coalition for the Equality Act. It is also one of 609 major businesses (spanning nearly every industry and geographic location) that earned a top score of 100 percent and the distinction of “Best Places to Work for QTBGL Equality”.
But my dad could never claim to be a victim of discrimination, because he was an intelligent, white, protestant, middle-class, married man with a family – all the wrong types of intersectional lowerarchy.
The Hypocrisy of Intersectional Hierarchy
As you well know, most companies brandish a similar version of the following disclaimer somewhere on their websites, claiming that they do not tolerate discrimination.
“The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.”
These companies say that they do not discriminate on age, sex, race, gender orientation, etc., but in fact, they do! The discrimination takes the form of favoring those people who belong to the same ‘intersectional hierarchy’ proscribed by Fourth Wave Feminism, and rejecting those who are white, married, qualified, and professional. I am sure this is not the first time you’ve seen this pointed out.
Obviously, my Dad’s company prides itself for ‘equality’ and ‘diversity’, but there is still a lot of discrimination. The discrimination is against competent, white, protestant males.
But this hypocritical ‘equality’ and ‘diversity’ trope only applies to the masses. It doesn’t apply to the executive board and top-tier management. At that level, the old merit system (and cronyism) is still in effect. This brings me to the next topic.
Promoted to a Position of Incompetence
My father had another observation about how promotions are handled. He noticed that people would get promotion after promotion, until they attained a position which was obviously above their capability, such that they were unable to perform well, nor feel confident about their work. Then, they would stay in that position indefinitely, because they were unable to impress their managers that they were able to handle any more responsibility. In addition to the losses incurred through their mismanagement, those employees under their management also suffered as a result of their poor performance.
So here is where the merit system kicks in – when the person is so obviously incompetent for the job, that, if not for the ‘non-discrimination’ policies in place, that person would face a dismissal.
My father’s proposed solution to this phenomenon was practical, clear and obvious – once a person has been promoted to a position of incompetence, and it becomes clear that they are unable to perform at a higher level, then they should be demoted to their previous position of competence, but should remain at the higher pay level. After this, an equivalent ‘promotion’ should be awarded by regular salary increases, instead of moving them up to a totally different kind of job.
But you know, as wise as my Dad was, no one ever listened to his ideas. Most people wanted my Dad out of the picture. When he retired, he had to go six rungs up the management ladder, well into the upper levels of administration, and then ‘go ballistic’ before he found a manager who would agree to grant him the pension benefits outlined in his contract – what he signed on for when he joined the company in 1965.
You would think that after so many years of service to this company, his life’s career, that he would be treated better. But even though Dad’s employment contract didn’t change, the American social contract did. There isn’t any social contract between corporations and employees anymore. This happened to my Dad, who is a late member of the Silent Generation. The Boomer Generation is going to discover this same absence of a social contract very soon (and social security too), and on a much larger scale.
- Sigma Frame: It’s Tough to be White (January 22, 2015)