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Re: Carpal tunnel and serials work (2 messages) Birdie MacLennan 15 Feb 1996 17:15 UTC

2 messages, 73 lines:

Date:         Thu, 15 Feb 1996 09:49:49 -0500
From:         Craig Fairley <fairley@TAP.NET>
Subject:      Carpal Tunnel and serials work

In reply to Kathleen Thorne's reply to hire male students:

I'm astounded!  ALL people must be protected from such injury, and males are
just as succeptible as females.
Craig Fairley
Information Dynamics
2165 Margot Street
Oakville, Ontario
L6H 3M5
(905) 842-1406

"Services in Information and Process Management"

Date:         Thu, 15 Feb 1996 09:05:07 -0500
From:         Steve Savage <stsavage@LIBOFMICH.LIB.MI.US>
Subject:      Re: Carpal tunnel and serials work (5 messages)

> What about hiring a MALE workstudy student to do the shelving?

I can answer this general question:  males get carpal tunnel syndrome,
too.  I know from experience.  And I think I can safely assume that all
males would rather avoid carpal tunnel sydnrome, too.  Males may be
statistically less likely to develop this problem from shelving than
females, but that's a generalization that won't matter to a person who
has the problem.  And imagine how many females - particularly ones
applying for such a job - would respond, very justifiably, if they
perceived a supervisor hired only males for shelving working.

A more precise way of putting the point I think this person was
intending  would be:   try to hire people for shelving who are not
noticeably frail or less-strong in the back, shoulders, arms, wrists and
hands.  Or, at least when talking with prospective hires for this work,
be  sure to raise this issue with them.  I've known plenty of females
who  were much better physically suited for this sort of heavy, tiring
work than a lot of males.  Raising the issue in the terms mentioned
above  would also prevent any possibility of sexism entering the hiring
decision, by concentrating on the work to be done and the physical
requirements needed for it, without making a generalization based on
gender, which should have nothing to do with the hiring decision.

I'm sure the person who originally offered the question above didn't
intend any sexism, but this is a good example of how subtle and pervasive
are the biases (not just one of the more extreme forms, prejudice) we
teach each other in this society, whether it's bias based on gender,
race, age, sexual orientation, weight, appearance, height, national or
ethnic background, religion, physical abilities, marital status, etc.
This was also an example that virtually everyone in our society learns
these biases, both the "perpetrators" and the "victims."  Within the
lesbian and gay community, the "victims" version of this is called
internalized homophobia.  From lots of people and situations I've known
over the years, that concept is paralleled with virtually every type of bias.

Anyway, I hope my message doesn't offend the person who asked the
original question.  That question has offered a good context for making
possible discussion of important issues, and I'd like to thank the
person for asking the question so the issue could be addressed.
Silence, or lack of response to opportunities like this, just perpetuates
situations that cause some people to silently suffer.

Steve Savage
Michigan Newspaper Project
Library of Michigan