Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Asians In The NFL & Gender Segregation

So if anyone's read my previous post a few weeks back, you'll know that I've become interested in The MRM. Not enough to join it or anything, but enough to open my eyes on a few issues that I haven't been privy too before. Anyway, I was watching a video not too long ago that raised an interesting topic about Gender Discrimination in various fields and I wanted to address that, so here we go;

The video basically discussed an article about 25,000 apprenticeships were created in Scotland in order to provide people with jobs. HOWEVER the scheme to create those apprenticeships suddenly came under the fire of being biased against women as only 1 in 3 are women, and in fields such as construction, plumbing and engineering, fewer than 5% of the trainees are women. I'll link the original article here for your review. But basically, Alisa McKay says;

“patterns of participation were highly gender-segregated”

Interesting choice of words, "patterns of participation". However Ms. McKay fails to recognize that maybe participation in those fields are so small is possibly because women aren't interested in the fields of construction, plumbing and engineering. I'm not aware of the other fields the apprenticeships provided BUT those were the 3 the article addressed and those are the three I'm sticking with. Proving something is Gender Discriminatory is difficult as it is, so what are Ms. McKay's grounds? Is she going to the women who apply for other fields and asking them why don't they apply to be in the fields of construction, plumbing and engineering?

I've thought about this for a long time and I came to a parallel argument. Why are there so few Asians in The NFL? Sure there ARE Asians in The NFL, but not enough when compared to the numbers of Caucasians and African Americans and Hispanics. Clearly The NFL is Racially discriminating against Asians! Not buying it are you? And why aren't you? Because you understand that there are several factors that contribute to the lack of a strong Asian presence in The NFL. Curious myself, I went and searched for an answer to my allegorical argument that I believes will fit with the article above. One commentor wrote in an article about Asians in The NFL;

"Covering Filipino news and issues, and as a former high school football player and coach myself I must say it is disappointing there are no Asians. And here are the conclusions.

Natural build...Asians are small. You won't see too many 300 pound Asians. Eugene Amano, offensive lineman for the Tennessee Titans is an exception to the stereotype just as Yao Ming and sumo wrestlers can be viewed as annomilies.. 

Asian-Americans continue to be an immigrant population, there is no tackle football in the Philippines, or China, or Korea, or Japan, but we are seeing more Asian Americans as they get settled in to American life are indeed getting into the sport starting at a young age and excelling. So parents who start raising their kids here may not know what football is, and is also caught in the struggles of starting a new life in America. Sports go to the backburner for Asian families.

Traditional Asian Values stop the development of potential stars even before it starts. I coached at a High School with a large Chinese population. Many of the parents hated the fact their son played football. They want their kids to concentrate on career and family. My parents wouldn't let me play football at the local community college, they rather had me go to the University and not play ball.

Genetically we will see more Asians in the NFL. Mixed breeding will produce more Asian athletes...Will Demps and Hines Ward are half Korean. Tedy Bruschi is half Filipino half Italian. But in the end they're all half still. When you mix Asian genes with Black genes, that natural athletic ability can shine. Research has found that blacks tend to have longer more explosive calves than Asians. 

It will be great to see more Asians in pro sports, and the longer Asians are in the U-S the more Americanized they and their ancestors become we will see more Asian athletes. And when Asians do become great players...their countries of origin will give great support. Many Filipinos became Patriot fans when Tedy Bruschi started coming out in Filipino shows and magazines while he was winning SuperBowls. I heard Koreans went Bonkers when Hines Ward won the Superbowl MVP. Back in the 90s Asian athletes idolized Dat Nguyen."

Very interesting answer. If I may share an anecdotal story. I work at a radio station as a sound engineer. There are 17 people at my job, counting me, that makes 18. 12 of my co-workers are female, 3 of my co-workers are male. Out of the 12 females that I work with only 1 of them is a Sound Engineer, but the 3 men, ALL of them are Sound Engineers. We've started a sound board class at my job for employees to familiarize themselves with the equipment, and all of the women expressed trepidation. Which is wasn't the usual, "This is delicate equipment I best be careful with it." trepidation, this was more of a "I'm scared to press the wrong button." kind of trepidation. Granted, one of my male co-workers, when I trained him, expressed the same but once he got the hang of it he was good to go. However, the 1 male co-worker than I trained EXPRESSED an interest to become a sound engineer, however, none of the 12 women I work with did the same...interesting.

Now, you can't argue with me that my job is male dominated as 3 of the main bosses are all women and there is only 1 male supervisor and he's only above my co-workers. So what is it? I don't know, maybe it's just they aren't interested in being a sound engineer the same way Asians aren't too much interested in The NFL, the same way women aren't too much interested in construction, plumbing and engineering. I'd imagine that the fewer than 5% in those fields truly wish to BE in those fields and the ones that aren't, aren't. Simple as that. But instead of asking those women who DIDN'T apply for those fields, Ms. McKay would rather decree that somehow the deck is stacked against women. But notice, the article doesn't specify what fields the majority of women applied for, it doesn't even express the fields of which those apprenticeships would cover. Is Cosmetology one of them? I'm wondering if there would be an outcry if men didn't apply in high numbers in female dominated fields. I wonder if The Scottish Government would feel a need to encourage men to apply to those fields...however I won't be holding my breath.

No, the article merely says that women aren't applying in large numbers in the fields of construction, plumbing and engineering and that those fields need to be more accessible to women, because women have to prove themselves more capable than their male co-workers. Side note, when I got my job I was trained by the ONE female sound engineer, I'll respect that woman to the ends of the Earth, not because she trained me but because she's good at what she does! Naturally in jobs where heavy lifting is common women will generally always fall short, I AM NOT saying women are weak, I'm just saying that generally speaking, Women aren't too keen on doing heavy lifting IF they don't have to...which is why very few women apply to be construction workers, plumbers and engineers. Maybe on the blueprint aspect of things or the business side, but the heavy lifting have always been men and it'll ALWAYS be that way.

In all honesty the fact that there ARE women in those fields shows proves that what's really going on isn't discrimination but generally a lack of interest in those fields. Only so much can be done to get a party of people interested in something they really have no interest in. Continuing with the thread of The NFL, you could wave Superbowl tickets in my face but I honestly wouldn't care, I have no interest in the Superbowl and I'm not going to decree that my lack of interest in the Superbowl means that The Superbowl has to somehow make it's self interesting to me. Therefore I don't think it's right for The Scottish Government to focus on encouraging ONLY women into the fields of science, technology and engineering, I think the Scottish Government should do as they've done, encourage people to apply and let whoever comes come. What are your thoughts? Is this discrimination? 
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