So, I found this in the news: The Iranian Women’s Soccer team has been banned from competing in the Olympics for failing to adhere to the dress code set down by FIFA, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association. Or, for us Yanks, the International Federation of Association Football.
Since nobody clicks links on blogs, here’s a quick sum-up: The Iranian Women’s team is required by Iranian law to be covered from hair/neck down to the feet “according to the state’s interpretation of Shiite Islamic tenets,” according to the Washington Post. FIFA has banned anything that goes around the player’s neck (including neck warmers) from being worn during games for safety reasons that I REALLY hope I don’t have to explain to you. (However, in case I do, here you are: Getting yanked backwards by the neck is BAD. If done hard enough, your neck could break. What does that result in? Paralysis or death. these are the exact same reasons you weren’t allowed to wear necklaces in PE as a kid.)
The Iranian women’s team re-designed headscarves for themselves that fit tightly around the head and neck, reducing the chance of them getting caught during a game. However, they still go AROUND the neck. Thus, FIFA said “Sorry, but it’s against regulations. It’s a safety hazard. You can’t play.” Seems simple enough, eh?
Well, apparently not. People are ALL up in arms that it’s religious discrimination, or discrimination against Iranians, that it’s a stupid rule to impose Western ways upon players, etc. No, people, it’s not. It’s safety. NO ONE can wear anything around their neck. Period. It doesn’t matter what religion you are, what country you’re from, or what sex you are, it’s a safety issue, and FIFA wants all the players to not be injured unnecessarily during games. What we have here is a clear case of “BUT I’M SPECIAL,” which crops up all too often in this world of ours.
Religion is not a trump card to any rule, or something to receive special treatment over, people. And while I’m at it, neither is being gay, a minority, having tits, having a disability, or having blonde hair. This is especially true in this case– this is a safety issue. This is not a “this isn’t allowed because I say so” issue.
“But it isn’t fair!”
No, in this case it is. Being fair is applying the same rule to everyone, no matter what, without bias or favoritism. And while we’re on the subject of what’s fair and what isn’t, I’m going to make myself grievously unpopular. Ready?
Affirmative action is not fair. It is bullshit. It is bullshit, hypocrisy, and idiocy all rolled into one.
“But without it, people who might otherwise not be hired because of prejudice wouldn’t be hired!”
You know what? If it’s a private business, that’s their priority. If they only want to hired big breasted Caucasian women with green eyes and red hair, they can do that. If they want to have a penis size requirement, fine. I really don’t give a fuck. If you don’t want to hire me because I’m a woman, that’s fine. I don’t want to work for you anyway. If someone does not want you there, they will find a way to make your life hell, no matter how many laws the government tries to put in place to prevent it. They can force you to quit by cutting your hours, by making your job unnecessarily difficult, you name it. If you can’t somehow prove they did it, they’ll get away with it. That may not be fair, but that’s the way things are. The world is not fair. You know what else isn’t fair?
Expecting to be hired because of your chromosomes instead of your qualifications.
It’s not fair when a straight man is hired simply because he’s straight, and it’s not fair when a gay man is hired simply because he’s gay. In my tiny ideal world, we would all be resumes with no names, just numbers, when we go into the job pool. Then the employers would only see what we’d done, what we could do, and how well we were qualified. We wouldn’t be kicked out of the interviewing process because we have a nose ring, and we wouldn’t be kept in the process because we fit some “requirement” for a percentage of staff that has to have brown hair, regardless if they are qualified or not. Of course, this doesn’t take care of the problem of discrimination once you’re hired, but at least it takes the bullshit out of the hiring process that is supposedly to make things “fair” when it actually just rigs it against certain people, which is supposedly what it was going to fix. Demanding equal treatment and then turning around and demanding special treatment because of some slight against you, real or imagined, is hypocrisy.
It seems what fairness actually is has been skewed in the present society, very possibly due to the attitude I discovered in my “Don’t Yell at Me, I’m Organizationally Disabled” post. Everyone else should be expected to be able to meet the expectations or shut up, but they should be given special pardon from such rigorous standards because they’re ADD when their Playstation is too close by. That sort of thing. It comes from knowing your weaknesses and assuming that no one else has any, or, conversely, knowing your strengths and assuming everyone else is just lazy and/or weak. It also comes from assuming the most evil motivation possible for every single slight against you and/or something you support. That’s how suddenly this ruling by FIFA has nothing to do with safety, it’s all about hating on Islam. It doesn’t matter why the ruling was actually made, the worst way it could be construed is that it was put into place to discriminate against anyone wearing a headscarf. Or a scarf. Or a necklace. Or anything that goes around the neck. It’s all because the people in charge are mean, hateful people that make arbitrary rules. That whole safety thing? Psh. Injuries never happen in sports! They made that up!
Perhaps I’m just a horrible, terrible person that is rationalizing hate. Those that trip across this blog that vehemently oppose the Iranian women’s team being disqualified and support affirmative action may very well think so. Or on the other side, perhaps I’m being far too idealistic, and evil, evil shadows are lurking everywhere waiting to fuck me over for arbitrary reasons, so I should always assume the worst and protect myself accordingly. On one side I have people who think they’re entitled to something because they’re different, and on the other people who think they’re being fucked over because they’re different.
They can have fun fighting over which philosophy is correct. When so much of the world is honestly random chance, there’s not much point, but whatever gets you to sleep at night. However, whatever you do, don’t take your entitlement or paranoia and call catering to either being “fair.”