Tag Archives: sexism

My New, Exciting (and Modest) Business Propositions

30 May

With apologies to Jonathan Swift.

I’m very excited that I am finally making progress on one of the two books that has been in my mind for years. The first one to get going is on my great, great-uncle, who owned the Boston Braves when they won the World Series in 1914. He was quite the character, and I am working with both a research specialist and a ghostwriter to finally bring get this book in print. While I originally envisioned a biography, I think it is going to work better as historical fiction.

This book is not the only thing new in my life. I am also investing in a restaurant chain and becoming a minority owner of a baseball team. The restaurants are called “Bat & Balls,” and yes (surprise), they have a sports motif. The specialty is the mozzarella and jumbo shrimp plate. They are fried, but not in a greasy sort of way. They are served, appropriately enough, on a plate that looks like baseball’s home plate.

The servers are all male; they wear tank tops from various teams and speedos. As you might imagine, we have a very high percentage of female patrons, especially for a sports place. Our focus groups reveal that men feel a bit uncomfortable around our servers, as if they don’t “measure up.” Oh, well!

While the restaurant is exciting because it is something I never thought I’d get into, the baseball team is what has me the most energized. It’s a semi-pro team; I sure don’t have the means to own part of a pro team! My team is called the Blackfaces, and our mascot is this hysterical character called Darky. We found a local college student named Freddy Douglas who does a wonderful job entertaining the fans with his “Darky” antics.

Our focus groups showed some were offended at the name of our team, but it is an honorable homage to the vaudeville shows of yesterday. Besides, not everyone is offended, and even if the majority were, this is America – a free country – right? I so believe in the freedom we as Americans are given.

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You probably realize by now that only the first paragraph of this post is true…. I am not a big fan of the term “political correctness” because I view its true definition as, “Opposition to doing away with offensive, prejudicial, or inflammatory language and behaviors that in the past were not necessarily considered offensive, prejudicial, or inflammatory.”

One would hope that a restaurant chain named “Bat & Balls” as I described, or a baseball team named the Blackfaces, would be uniformly condemned, but as current business practices show, this may not be the case. Some seem to think there is a sort of “percentage vote” that determines what is offensive and what is not. The same people are generally the same ones who believe civil liberties and rights in this country should be bestowed by a majority vote.

Just because it is allowable to name restaurants after derogatory terms for female parts and name sports teams with racist terms does not mean I have to financially support them. That’s the true meaning of freedom.

Anything that does not build the kingdom, in effect, tears it down.

Don’t Blame Mike Rice

3 Apr

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, has had its share of unwanted national attention in the past few years. First, the Don Imus scandal in 2007, where the radio personality labeled the women’s basketball team with racist language. (I am not going to repeat his inexcusable phrase here; if you do not know this history, use your favorite search engine.)

Next, in 2010, the tragic suicide of Tyler Clementi, a Rutgers student cyber bullied by his homophobic roommate. Now, 2 months after Rutgers and the Tyler Clementi Foundation announced the creation of the Tyler Clementi Center at Rutgers, we learn of another case of homophobic behavior, this time by the Rutgers men’s basketball coach, Mike Rice.

What may surprise you is that in all 3 instances, while not approving of the behaviors, I do not really blame the perpetrators. The racism, sexism, and homophobia that is institutionalized and permitted to continue in this country are to blame. Every one of us who remains silent when hearing a slur, a supposed joke, an outright case of discrimination, is to blame. If silence is approval, many of us are, in effect, Mike Rice. Continue reading

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