Work-Life Strategies & Solutions

On the Evolution of Work Systems in the Digital Economy

Why I’m Not a “Social Justice” Warrior: What About Non-Drinkers’ and Short Peoples’ Pay and Representation in the Workforce?

Previously, I mentioned declining to post certain third-party submitted content at this blog. I’m sure it raises eyebrows whenever I reject content promoting, say, women in the workplace. So I thought it best to explain why I’m not making noise about race and gender instead of leaving this open to speculation.

Instances of racism and sexism exist, however there are plenty of other biases and experiences of “oppression” that never seem to occur  to most people just because they’re riled up, fixated, and obsessed about two issues when it comes to the work realm (and it’s two because there isn’t much talk about LGBT pay and representation comparatively speaking). Did you know that differences in earnings, claims of bias and discrimination, and/or experiences of “oppression” exist when it comes to:

(1.) tall vs. short people,

THERE’S A NEW TYPE OF PAY GAP: THE HEIGHT AND WEIGHT GAP

Height discrimination

Short Men and Overweight Women Make Less Money Than Their Taller, Thinner Peers

The Financial Perks of Being Tall: An extra inch correlates with an estimated $800 in increased annual earnings

Taller People Earn More Money

Why short people suffer the height of prejudice

How The Discrimination Against Short Men Is Perpetuated By Women

And why does the taller presidential candidate tend to win the election anyway?

(2.) moderate drinkers vs. non-drinkers,

Alcohol and Earnings: Does Drinking Yield a Wage Premium?

No Booze? You May Lose: Why Drinkers Earn More Money Than Nondrinkers (excerpt below):

We hypothesize that drinking leads to higher earnings by increasing social capital. If drinkers have larger social networks, their earnings should increase. Examining the General Social Survey, we find that self-reported drinkers earn 10-14 percent more than abstainers, which replicates results from other data sets. We then attempt to differentiate between social and nonsocial drinking by comparing the earnings of those who frequent bars at least once per month and those who do not. We find that males who frequent bars at least once per month earn an additional 7 percent on top of the 10 percent drinkers’ premium. These results suggest that social drinking leads to increased social capital.

The above is, from my own experience, true. Even if you attend those after-work bar excursions as a non-drinker, it’s not fun to listen to buzzed people talk louder and louder when the only way to enjoy that level of noise, based on what drinkers say, is to get buzzed in the first place. Nice Catch-22. Meanwhile, those who’re self-conscious about their drinking push and try to harass you into drinking. And everywhere you turn, as an urban professional, someone is always trying to get you to drink. It’s maddening being a non-drinker in a heavy drinking culture as the U.S. Finally, you hear drinkers invoke the cultural platitude to “Never trust a non-drinker.” Nice, huh?

I need to ask. Are non-drinkers well-represented among corporate leadership?

(3.) right-handed vs. left-handed people,

Why Lefties Make Less: They’ve been subtly discriminated against since biblical times, but modern data suggests a significant gap in earnings

Study: Left-handed people earn 10 percent less than righties

A Harvard Study Has Very Bad News for Left-Handed People

(4.) extroverted vs. introverted people,

Why extroverts earn more money than introverts

Is there a bias against introverts in the workplace?

I’m Sick Of Our Culture’s Bias Against Introverts — And I’m Ashamed To Admit I Share In It

If You’re an Introvert, You’re Probably Getting Screwed at Work: Although introverts make up 50 percent of the population, they only account for two percent of senior executives

(5.) thin vs. overweight people, and

Short Men and Overweight Women Make Less Money Than Their Taller, Thinner Peers

The price of obesity: How your salary depends on your weight

The following are a reversal to the first article above:

Why Do Obese Women Earn Less Than Thin Women (and Obese Men)?

STUDY: Skinny Women And Overweight Men Earn The Most

Forget about race. Hollywood hasn’t created enough roles for more heavyset people.

(6.) conventionally attractive vs. conventionally unattractive people?

Some mixed findings (buy hey, it might be fun to fight over this one!):

“Very unattractive” workers can out-earn pretty people, study finds

Income Inequality: Is There a Grooming Gap?

Scientists Identify 3 Reasons Why Attractive People Make More Money

On the Job, Beauty Is More Than Skin-Deep

Very Unattractive People Earn Significantly More Money, Study Says

There are probably even more than that. Is it really fair for two issues to hoover up all the attention? And, again, I believe instances of all these forms of bias and discrimination exist and think allegations of institutionalized or systemic bias and discrimination are difficult to prove.

I realize that racism and sexism gets a lot of traction in popular media and discussions due to issues involving interpersonal violence and slavery. However, if you’re concerned about unfairness and ONLY addressing income and representation in the workforce (as much of the noise is relegated to, rather than other contexts) then those committed to “social justice” aren’t fair. The U.S. has devoted so much energy, attention, and resources to “fixing” two issues. Meanwhile, the discussion’s tenor, the outrage, is over and beyond the concern that even disabled and older workers receive. I’ve ALWAYS been aware of people dealing with genuine struggles that have nothing to do with racism and sexism, but with similar, comparable magnitude, because I’m one of them.

I believe many people are stuck on two issues because they can’t realistically focus their attention on, and effectively advocate for, more than a handful of causes in their already busy lives – certainly not for several dozens of causes. However, when you notice more of them,  it becomes apparent that it isn’t possible to manage all conceivable issues in a top-down manner while not leaving countless others unfairly in the cold as the social justice movement has done for decades. This realization is why I’ve never desired to gin up collective support for those who struggle professionally for the reasons that I do (as an ALDH2-deficient non-drinker).

Finally, with an expanded scope of concern, you might suspect that trying to address all conceivable ills in a top-down manner (by instituting and running all kinds of programs to eliminate bias, sort people into roles based on all these extraneous characteristics instead of merit alone, and ensure adequate “representation” in every way) would prove too costly. We only need a justice system that works for individuals to take legitimate grievances to, whatever they may be.

By the way, do you know what witnessing this frenzy over two issues reminds me of? It reminds me of how people fixate on, and obsess about, sharks as THE threat in the ocean when there are a multitude of dangers. Swallowing a teaspoonful of contaminated sea water is enough to quickly mess you up. However, there isn’t a television series whose subject is, “Contaminated Sea Water Week.” Just as the fear and obsession over sharks as a threat is many magnitudes above and beyond what it needs to be, so is the over-the-top fixation over racism and sexism (though, like sharks, they do exist).

And if you think the reason you didn’t get that promotion or raise boils down to just racism or sexism, I’ll share a story that illustrates how people often attribute the cause for their problem according to what they are most sensitive about.

There was a time, when I was in college, when I visited my slightly older (Asian) cousin. While talking and catching up, she told me about a man who tried to get a date with her. She’d rejected him which made him angry enough to write a letter to her alleging that she was racist for not dating a black man. She didn’t intend to reply but told me that she didn’t reject him because of race but, rather, because he was a 40-something year old man trying to woo her, a 20-something year old woman.

Moral of the story: You don’t really know why someone disliked or discriminated against you unless you know that person.

With that said, perhaps I just added another obstacle to my own professional networking and advancement opportunities by daring to speak out against SJWs.

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2 responses to “Why I’m Not a “Social Justice” Warrior: What About Non-Drinkers’ and Short Peoples’ Pay and Representation in the Workforce?

  1. Loquitur Veritatem August 20, 2018 at 11:52 pm

    You have put the “big two” issues in perspective. I especially like your analogy about “Shark Week”.

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