Ethically speaking, there is no difference between denying someone tenure because she is a woman and doing the same because she is a mother and might spend less time on her work responsibilities. The two both spell discrimination based on stereotyping and are not ethical things to do. There are specific jobs that require males and they are usually jobs that will be physically laborious in nature. But even with these jobs in mind, women are not to be barred from wanting to apply.
In the given case, it was not ethical for the two superiors to not want to give tenure to a female married employee who is as well a mother of growing kids and who can at any time have her next baby. Denying someone tenure should be based on the concerned employees’ lack of competence and capability to deliver the required output efficiently. One should not take against an aspiring employee her being a wife and mother and should not use such circumstances for gauging her performance and future prospects in the organization.
It is unethical to allow stereotyping to affect employment decisions because it results to industrious and efficient people being denied what they deserve and aspire for – whether it is a new job or a promotion – just because of preconceived notions, wrong assumptions and worse, discrimination. Stereotyping means having generalized or standardized conceptions or ideas for an entire group of people, such that each member of the group is presumed to be like all the rest. Stereotyping is often based on limited awareness or knowledge about groups – types or castes – of people.
A stereotyping person is so short-sighted and narrow minded that he will believe he knows what another person is like and what he can do basing on a classification or a group he belongs to. Stereotyping, then, deprives people of being known and appreciated for what they really are. Other than stereotyping women who are wives and mothers as well, some people stereotype all Asians as unfriendly but intelligent people, the Jewish people as scheming merchants who are greedy for money, the Muslims as religious fanatics who would die for their faith, and the African-Americans as generally athletic, musical, loud and dirty.
While stereotyping can mean perceiving somebody in a positive or negative light, discrimination specifically involves rejecting people as being undesirable on such grounds as race, religion, or financial status. Just like stereotyping, discrimination makes a person reject another in an outright manner – without just and substantial basis. One famous case in which a private sector employee claims discrimination or wrongful discharge based on stereotyping is that of Andrew Beckett, whose story was told in the movie “Philadelphia”.
Andrew Beckett was a talented lawyer working for a reputable law firm based in Philadelphia. He was a homosexual who contracted AIDS and was fired by the firm’s senior partner when the latter saw lesions associated with AIDS on Andrew’s face. Andrew fought the firm in court on the grounds of discrimination. He was clearly a valued lawyer in the firm, having been tasked to handle the case of the firm’s most important client. Not wanting to admit that Andrew was fired because he had AIDS, the firm tried in vain to justify that their move was based on Andrew’s inefficiency.
They went as far as manipulating facts through rehearsed lines of witnesses to prove that Andrew, especially during his last days with the firm, had deteriorated in terms of skills and ability. In the end, the truth prevailed and Andrew won his case. He died shortly after the verdict was given. The law firm was charged with discrimination and was made liable to pay damages. The Back case demonstrates that the family is an institution that remains to be the solid priority of most people even during these times when so much has changed compared to the years of long ago; this case, therefore, supports Dowd’s claim.
Jobs, business opportunities, relationships with friends, future plans – all these are important things in life that somehow have to be synchronized with one’s role in his or her own family. The perfect balance therefore is attained when one can attend to his or her role in his family – whether as father or mother, brother or sister, or son or daughter – and also have sufficient time for a thriving career, selected real friends and maybe, a meaningful cause to be involved in. The Goodridge case, on the other hand, is an example that demonstrates “culture subverting the legal definition of family.
”The idea of gays getting married is so totally against the conventional and conservative way of viewing marriage as the onset of the making of a family. Such case changes the traditional meaning of marriage by arguing that procreation is not its only purpose. While such argument is true, gay marriages have been allowed by laws. In the end, it is up to the two gays to make their relationship – and their marriage – work. Meanwhile, their marriage gives them rights enjoyed by people only through the bonds of legal marriage.