Saturday, October 3, 2015

Laci Green, The Obese is NOT a Protected Class

Sadly I have to make this blog post yet again finding myself at odds with a good friend Laci Green host of a online MTV program called Braless.   Although the show claims to be about Pop Culture just about every video entry is about Feminisim and regurgitation of long ago disputed claims.  While I am so happy for Laci on her YouTube success and branching out to include things such as MTV and the lecture circuit, I am dismayed at her willingness to repeat claims that have long been disputed.  Today's entry is no different it is about weight and should it be legal to discriminate.

Let's clarify a few things, despite Laci's claim that this was NOT hooters the waitresses are known as Borgata Babes and a quick Google search disputes that claim.  Essentially to be a Borgata Babe you have to be a 9 or a 10.  They even put out a yearly calendar featuring their waitresses.

From The Examaner:  Borgata Babes calendar launch party

Borgata Babes credit Brian Branch-Price

Now upon further investigation into the story, the weight policy was put in effect after the women were hired. The poliicy was put into place in 2005 and the policy was if you gained more than 7 percent from the time you were hired you were suspended and put into a mandated weight loss program.  In 2009 it was revised again to allow the waitstaff to keep working while they got their weight under control.  In addition to the weight policy each employee male and female had to adhere to personal grooming standards and appear clean, happy, and comfortable.  Needless to say I wouldn't even make it in the door.  

Although the policy was put into place after the 22 waitresses were hired, all signed the agreement.  No doubt they signed it as they did not want to get let go.  However, the Borgata casino hires young attractive women as their servers.  They are a casino, pretty girls get bigger tips.  Mythbusters even confirmed that bigger boobs get better tips.  

You can call it sexist all you want but the Borgata casino knows that a distracted gambler is a poor gambler and the attractive women not only get good tips for themselves but also earn a lot of money for the Casino. Do women gamble?  Sure.  And any smart casino will provide them with eye candy as well, if not then that is their decision.  You don't see too many men working at Hooters and try as they might, nobody has made a commercial success out of Wangers.  Sure there is Chippendales, but they are not a restaurant and they are far out numbered by the nudie bars.

The one thing I do fault the casino on is it's alleged advice to women not to take medication that has weight gain as a side effect.  However such side effects can be negated by talking to their doctor.

Judge Nelson Johnson got it spot on when he ruled, 

“The Borgata Babe program has a sufficient level of trapping and adornments to render its participants akin to ‘sex objects’ to the Borgata’s patrons. Nevertheless, for the individual labeled a babe to become a sex object requires that person’s participation.” Johnson wrote. “Plaintiffs cannot shed the label babe; they embraced it when they went to work for the Borgata.”

 So let's get into the other claims Laci Green made in her video.

At 1:13 she said 90% of female waitresses were sexually harassed by customers.  That's right CUSTOMERS.  You can find the source of this statistic HERE but with funding from the Ms Foundation and support from organizations such as Hollaback (That ridiculous street harassment video) and National Organization for Women you know you are in for some unbiassed reporting.  LOL

The research paper primarily blames the tipping system for women facing discrimination and I have to agree. I don't like tipping, working at fast food is twice as hard as carrying a few plates to a table, so why I am I expected to contribute to the worker's salary for carrying food essentially 10 or 20 feet?  Charge me for the meal and price it accordingly so your workers can make a decent living.  When the minimum wage goes up so does the cost of a hamburger.  Several years ago Burger King charged 99 cents for a whopper, now it is almost $3.00.  The minimum wage went up as did the cost of fuel so their costs were passed along to the consumer.  They are doing just fine.  Get rid of tipping, problem solved.

The report also cites managers suggesting that women dress sexier, again see the Mythbusters video embedded above, this is in the waitresses best interest.  Flirt with the customer, get bigger tips.  The report cites things as asking a waitress out on a date as harassment.  I am not making this up.

Finally why do women report harassment more than men?  Because men suck it up.  Is there harassment from horny customers?  Do co-workers and managers make inappropriate comments?  Yes and yes. However, men are taught from an early age not to snitch, and to suck it up and show no emotion.  Is it a double standard?  Of course, but this is life, and life is cruel.  Make the best of it.  If you don't want to work in a job where you depend on tips from horny harassers, then make something of yourself and get a better job.  A waitress position is not meant to be a career.  It is entry level, learn how to cook or how to be a manager, or find another field of work.

At 1:22 of the video Laci contradicts herself.  She states that "beauty standards" were only applied to women, but says that male workers at the Borgata had to sign a personal appearance standard agreement. The Borgata Babes was and is an exclusively female job however upon further research it appears men worked as Babes.  0_o  Sorry but my common sense buzzer is going off.  I find it hard to believe a man worked as a Borgata Babe, more than likely they worked as part of the waitstaff, perhaps as eye candy for female gamblers.  Of course these "beauty standards were only applied to women aka the Borgata Babes

Men worked other jobs but had to maintain a clean appearance.  Obviously I would not make the cut.  She says there is no record of men being disciplined for violating this rule.  Perhaps the men just kept themselves neat and clean and there was no need.  Or perhaps no such reports made the news.

Here is a dirty little secret.  Men often have to alter their appearance and maintain physical fitness for their job.  Military comes to mind.  Young men have their heads and beards shaved off while the women simply get a haircut above the shoulders.  Men must maintain much less body fat compared to women.  The Army for example Men age 17-20 must have 20% or lower body fat while females only have to get under 30% for the same age range.  Most food service workers are prohibited against having beards and this is pretty much aimed at men.  Bearded ladies can work at the carnival or on Spaceball-1

I'm the Bearded Lady!  Who are you?  One of the freaks?

At 1:49 Laci asks shouldn't weight be a protected class like disability rights?  She says this after mentioning that weight gain is a side effect of some medications.  You can't help being disabled, you can't help being born a certain race, you don't chose your sexual orientation.  Being overweight is a lifestyle decision.  If a medication is causing weightloss, then these people should speak to their doctor.  There are tons of medications out there.  The fact that these women gained the weight, got fired, and sued does not make them a protected class.  Their medication had adverse side affects and they chose not to speak to their doctor. They work in a job where being pretty and thin is in the job description.  If you are no longer pretty and thin, then you don't get to keep working there.  The customers of the Borgata expect the Borgata Babes these women could no longer do the job they were hired to do, simple as that.

1:59 Laci says that male bodies are less scrutinized than female bodies.  This is true.  This is true for the Borgata Babes where it is their job to look pretty and thin and it is true for society as a whole.  Just as a man's worth is based on his income or what kind of car he drives.  Rich guys always get the 9 and 10s and poor schlubs get the left overs.  If you want to attract a better class of female, take steps to improve yourself financially.  This can take years of schooling or job training.  Women, need only to eat right and exercise. Yes the standards are different for each sex.  It is simple biology.  Men like pretty women and women like men who earn a decent living.  

2:19 one in four women experience sexual harassment at work?  Really?  I've worked in jobs that had female employees, perhaps I am just working at the wrong places.  The source for this claim which you can read HERE also says one in four men fear being falsely accused of sexual harassment.  Also noted in the report sexual harassment (at least the reporting of it) is down significantly over the past several years.  So this is good news.  We live in such as hyper-sexualized culture where men are afraid to even speak to a woman out of fear of being reported.  The solution of course is for men to find work that women simply won't do. The skilled trades for example or pretty much any job that is labor intensive, outdoors, and high risk are filled almost exclusively by men.  This is where men can be men without fear of being reprimanded.  

2:29 Laci says that large women earn less 19,000 less than average size women and that the thin earn even more.  So problem solved.  Nobody is forcing these women to be fat, they just need to have self control and their income will go up.  People need to stop complaining and wanting the world to solve their problems and simply pull up their bootstraps and do the hard work.  Hard work gets results and rewards.

2:49 women are 16 times more likely to report weight discrimination.  Again, men don't report they just suck it up.  Again the problem is simple, take the fork out of your mouth and go for a walk.   Being fat is a CHOICE not a disability that needs protection.  Fat people are a burden to society and to their employer as they need more medical care than the healthy employees.  If you are being discriminated for being overweight nobody is to blame except yourself.  

Finally, the judge made the right call.  The Borgata Babes were employed to look thin and pretty, if they no longer look thin and pretty they need to find work elsewhere.  Being overweight is not a disability.

For more blog posts responding to LaciGreen check these links out below

Response to her video on beer advertising

My response to her video on being a feminist

about her views on shaming teen pregnancy

and a blog post post defending LaciGreen against unfair criticism

and a blog of encouragement to LaciGreen about the time she took down her GoGreen18 videos