Discrimination against white heterosexual males in academia (etc.) in Australia

I posted the text below in an old thread many months ago, and expected a torrent of scathing remarks, but also a few enlightening responses from suitably experienced people. I suspect that unfortunately no one much saw the text though, because the original thread I posted it in was essentially long 'dead and buried' by that point. So I'm posting it here, as a 'new topic', in the hope that it will attract some comments—preferably from peeps with relevant experience, not just simplistic 'gut feelings' and 'knee-jerk reactions' from naive idealists. Here's what I posted:

"… thatguyfromthatplace (refreshingly/commendably) had the stones to state candidly, clearly and concisely what any white heterosexual male who has been employed in any vaguely 'academic' field for the last 30 years will tell you. We have been actively discriminated against for decades in Australia, when it comes to employment/promotion into higher-paying/upper-level positions, in favour of so-called 'minority groups'. Often—completely erroneously—even simply being a woman qualifies as being a member of a 'minority group'; even though there are more women in Australia than there are men!

There are numerous examples of this now long-institutionalised practice, which is officially dubbed 'positive discrimination', actually written into enforceable employment policy in Australia in many diverse contexts. There is simply no argument about whether it goes on in Australia … quite the opposite, active discrimination against NON-minority groups (i.e., white heterosexual males; any deviation from that 'trifecta' generally qualifies any individual as a member of a 'minority group') is actually mandated in numerous employment contexts. Some of the obvious ones are universities and numerous government work-places, but there are many more.

It's bizarre to me, and many other white heterosexual males that the answer to perceived historical discrimination against 'minority groups' (including 'all women', utterly erroneously) has been deemed to be, for the last few decades, to 'swing the pendulum back the other way and severely, actively, and officially institutionalise/sanction (and in many cases, worse; actually mandate) discrimination against white heterosexual males."

Comments

      • +1

        The need for equality is underpinned by the notion that there have been privileged people in society who have been elevated to their position not on merit but on the basis of who they are rather than what they bring. Conversely, there are people who are equally or even more so worthy, but are left behind due to factors relating to who they are. This is what the idea of equality is, to give those who have been disadvantaged a leg up

        You make no reference to or acknowledge to that discrimination or provide any solution to that issue, only to protest the discrimination that seems to impact those like yourself as if the status quo was completely fine.

        You seem to think this discrimination against minority groups does not exist?

        perceived historical discrimination against 'minority groups' (including 'all women', utterly erroneously)

        • -1

          I guess you misunderstood what I meant re that quote you have inserted there Kan-man. What I meant by " … 'minority groups' (including 'all women', utterly erroneously)" was that in the Australian population there are in fact significantly more women than men; therefore, by definition women are not in fact 'a minority' at all, and to refer to them as such is completely erroneous.

          • @GnarlyKnuckles: Sure, but either way you haven't even bothered to acknowledge the difficulty or the challenges faced by minority groups even now, in professional progression, let alone begin to discuss a solution. The issue isn't around minority status, it's about disadvantage and discrimination.

            The way I see it such systems around quotas exist to ensure that merit is focused on and that people who feel like their 'minority status' disadvantages them are encouraged to apply, however I do understand and see why there can be instances where white heterosexual males are disadvantaged by this in a situation where merit is not the focus.

            The manner in which you speak around generalising this issue seems to suggest you think that in every instance white heterosexual males are overrall and in most instances disadvantaged by this, where I have not seen you provide any proof to this.

            In theory merit is the pre-condition that makes you suitable for a role and gets your foot in the door, but your identity as a disadvantaged or minority is what gets you through the door.

            • @kanmen: Re:

              'The way I see it such systems around quotas exist to ensure that merit is focused on …'

              Hmmm … The way I see it, 'systems structured around quotas' and 'hiring based on merit' are mutually exclusive. This seems so simple and obvious that to attempt to argue otherwise is (to my mind at least) ludicrous. I urge you to refer to the numerous posts of 'real world' accounts from peeps in Australia, above (and the links to large empirical studies, actual wording of Australian legislation, legal precedents, etc. I have posted).

  • +2

    Everyone should be able to access higher education and job opportunities and stuff. If you've been disadvantaged by the random postcode of your birth or color of your skin, then we should be trying to erase those disadvantages wherever possible. It's a very Australian thing to do. You give the kid with the weak arms three times as long with the sauce bottle, if that's just what it takes for them to get their sauce. If you the white hetero male with perfectly healthy arms is angry at having to wait a bit longer for your turn with the sauce bottle, then you can probably go suck eggs instead of going to university at all.

    • -1

      Sigh … if you take the time to actually read even a bit of the dialogue above A-bags, you will realise that you have posted a completely irrelevant statement about something that is far removed from the actual topic being discussed. I respectfully invite you to actually read some of the posts above, then contribute a relevant opinion.

      Peace out.

    • +4

      False equivalence if you are trying to also hold the notion that women are as capable as men.

      • +2

        How do you mean, with regards to workplace and institutions? Obviously we aren’t talking pro sports here, or comparing the ability to produce milk when looking at a persons utility in the workplace. Professional sports or fireman strongman competitions is a discussion I don’t think is what OP was going for.

        • +1

          You are conceptualising women as disabled "men with no arms".

          I believe some of those women would be very disappointed at that characterisation and would besmirch your otherwise fine character with insults like "man".

          • @ozbjunkie: I never mentioned women in this thread.

            • @AustriaBargain: That's true, but given that you're responding to the OPs most which was about discrimination against young white men, your comment may understandably be read that way, while extending the comments to people of colour, who might not want to be characterised as disabled either.

  • +4

    Reading the post and your comments it comes across like your issue is about the principles rather than the reality of current situation and outcomes.

    To help us understand your thoughts and concerns, can you point us to (provide some links) examples of

    'actually written into enforceable employment policy’?

    and the specifics of the

    ‘numerous examples’

    you refer to

    • +5

      I can confirm that in government we have to report on senior executive and board member gender balance across all entities with each appointment. Of course this means recruitment is based on gender first to meet the quota, then assessed on merit second.

      • +3

        I’m a government employee too. Are you state or federal? do you have a specific policy you’re referring to? The reason I ask is that OP is representing these policies as discriminatory to white men at that this isn’t a good thing. I think some of this might be his filter and interpretation of the policies, so I’d like to see the policies to inform the discussion. For example my employer makes statements like “women are encouraged to apply” but it doesn’t stop men applying or impact the recruitment outcome in any way.

        I do think board recruitment is a little different to just regular employment. Boards (particularly gov ones) are meant to be representative of a range of views and groups in society. However in terms of how it is practiced wouldn’t you advertise and recruit on merit first and if you get adequate representation through that process you can stop there, if you don’t then recruit for the gaps as a second process?

        At my workplace they were recruiting clinicians for our clinical council made up of drs, nurses and allied health, at one point there was already enough allied health so they were only recruiting drs and nurses - seems reasonable and could also be apply to gender or ethnicity where relevant. This might be more relevant where it’s an important group that is effected by the work of the board but are a small percentage of the population, e.g. Aboriginal people.

      • +7

        recruitment is based on gender first to meet the quota, then assessed on merit second.

        Can confirm this.

        Recently applied for a role with Transport NSW and was told up front that I most likely would not get the position based on female/indigenous quotas and would only get the position if there were not enough applicants to fill the pool.

        • +1

          It’s pretty unprofessional that they told you that.

          I can see why they might want to have a more gender balanced work place (if it isn’t already)

          I also think strategies to get more indigenous people into the workforce is a good idea given the higher levels of unemployment https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/australias-welfare/indigenou...

          Ideally though you’d hope they look at all the applicants and their merits as well as considering the quotas.

          • +3

            @morse: I don't think it is unprofessional, to tell job applicants the selection criteria. To waste applicants time, money preparing for interview, to psychologically offer false hope, and to then provide BS feedback why they didn't get the job would be dishonest and inherently unprofessional.

            • +1

              @core101: Yep for sure, if it’s part of the selection criteria, in which case it would be written in the job advertisement and in the position description. Some jobs are advertised in this way as ‘designated’ positions. This sounds like it was advertised as open merit to everyone and he was told about quotas later when he spoke to them. It sounds like the process hasn’t been well thought out. Definitely if there’s something impacting the selection process it should be transparent.

              • @morse:

                This sounds like it was advertised as open merit to everyone and he was told about quotas later

                This is correct. It was an open position and no mention in the application advertisment of any criteria or preferences.

                Although, when I was doing the application form, I knew something wasn't going to go my way when there were a lot of questions pertaining to being female, indigenous/minority or disabled. Anything that was not on their selection criteria list was "if *out of selection criteria group*, please go to Question XX". Anything about being male, white and/or able bodied was basically glossed over.

                • @pegaxs: It’s pretty standard for all gov jobs to ask about those things. They keep data on the demographic info of everyone, and definitely do try and promote diversity in the workforce. Those questions aren’t meant to influence the selection process though. The statement on their job ads is interesting.
                  ‘Our Commitment to Diversity
                  Great people come from all walks of life. We are committed to creating a diverse, inclusive and flexible workforce which reflects the community and the customers we serve. We actively promote gender diversity in our workplaces, the employment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and the employment of people with a disability. We welcome and encourage applications from all people regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, cultural background, or sexual orientation. If you need an adjustment in the recruitment process, please call/text or email the contact person for this role.’
                  Does ‘actively promote’ mean quotas? I actually thought enforced quotas were unusual - I wonder if there are any HR ozbargainers who can comment.

              • @morse: Aaah morse …

                Re:

                '… if it’s part of the selection criteria, in which case it would be written in the job advertisement and in the position description.'

                Are you honestly claiming that you believe that all of the selection criteria are always 'written in' (included in) the job advertisement? If so, I regretfully inform you that that is an extremely naive (utterly false) belief. Take these V-Line jobs I've provided much evidence about as a poignant example. In the initial advertisements seeking applications, there was no mention whatsoever that women would be afforded any sort of preferential consideration. This was only 'suddenly' included in the published ads after the V-Cat decision alluded to in the links provided. Imagine how many poor blokes wasted hours of their time, got their hopes up, etc., before the fact that blatant and legally sanctioned gender discrimination was candidly admitted. It's shocking, and callous.

            • @core101: Yes morsers, absolutely this. You seem to be failing to realise (or unwilling to admit?) the obvious fact that the phrase 'women are encouraged to apply' is code for "if any woman applies for this job, she will most likely get the job over any man irrespective of anyone's qualifications" (because … quotas/gender targets).

              Similarly, core101 is absolutely correct that if blokes are going to be actively and blatantly discriminated against in the job application process, it is actually the least a prospective employer can do to inform them of that at the earliest possible opportunity; because it saves everyone involved from wasting a lot of time.

              • @GnarlyKnuckles: all government jobs state women, people with disabilities and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander are encouraged to apply, or something to that effect. it’s a default thing on the template. Heaps of men work for government and continue to be hired. I’ve literally run recruitments in government and hired men. I’m in health and being a woman does not give you an advantage. There are a few Aboriginal specific positions eg Aboriginal health workers and my organisation has a disability employment program too. But that generic statement in the general job description has no bearing on outcome at all. Lots of men around, my last three bosses have been men.

    • Morse:

      Kindly refer to my extensive post below, in which I discuss (with links) the inclusion in numerous Australian Law Acts (for more than a decade) of what is known as 'special measures’ (which is loose code for 'positive discrimination'). These are clauses that are written directly into numerous actual law Acts, including (somewhat ironically) the Racial Discrimination Act! This is not some abstract concept that may or may not exist. It's right there, written into law. Note the above highly personal/detailed/informative post by pegaxs. Not the post below by djones, in which he states that his employer—a large insurance company—has a standing 'target' of hiring 15% 'mature aged employees'. Active discrimination is going on all the time in Australia, and it is sanctioned by law.

  • +2

    Hold my broom…

  • Hyperbole

  • +18

    The problem with Australia now is that you can't even bring up topics like this for discussion because you'll get jumped all over, accused of being various things and have assumptions made about your motives. This thread is a good example. It's clear that the use of quotas and identified roles means that opportunities are given to those meeting those rules rather than those assessed as having the highest level of merit. Using diversity as a form of merit may be valid in some circumstances to assist underrepresented groups - but where merit is entirely eliminated from the equation, don't be surprised when those who lose out raise the issue. This is a genuine concern for many.

    • -1

      This thread is literally bringing up this topic. Not agreeing, or even just raising alternative perspectives isn’t jumping all over - it’s just what to expect when raising a controversial topic, a discussion. If a woman posted about how she thought there should be more quotas, I’m sure a whole lot of people would disagree. People are talking about these issues all the time with various view points, in fact it’s been a topic discussed by our last three white male prime ministers
      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/mar/08/scott-morrison...
      https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/mar/09/far-t...
      https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/may/01/tony-...

    • Thanks for your contribution Cusacka.

      I must say, that with only a few exceptions (idiots chiming in accusing me of ludicrous stuff like 'white supremecy' etc.), most of the peeps in this thread who clearly disagree with my premise or don't agree/know that such discrimination is in fact rife in Australia, have been level-headed and civil in their responses. I've been pleasantly surprised by that. It's good to know that OzB is still a place where people with wildly opposing opinions can generally still conduct a constructive dialogue about them!

      It's also great to hear some personal experiences from people who have experienced the exact type of discrimination I have raised here, first hand. The one above kindly provided by pegaxs is particularly informative, and extensively described in detail. It matches closely with other experiences some of my friends and colleagues (or their husbands) have recounted to me in recent years. All the posts here 'bagging me out' personally are just water off a ducks back. I genuinely thank all the rest of you (regardless of which side of the 'fence' you are on) for your thoughtful contributions.

      • I'm glad to see that this thread has become a better debate - largely due to your perceverance Gnarly. When this post started it seemed to be just the usual ill-considered attacks without genuine debate.

  • +15

    I'm a member of several minority groups, my life has been pretty tough and I haven't had a lot of opportunities, and I still agree with you. Straight White Male Men have become the new other, the new boogie man; it's gross. Human beings just repeat themselves over and over and over again.

  • +9

    OP, you seem to get infuriated when you think people dont understand your point. I think people understand it perfectly, they just dont agree with you.
    White middle class males have ruled the roost across many professions, even today these old boy networks exist, maybe not so much in academia but they are alive and kicking.
    Within them is a historic bias to only accept and promote men like themselves. Discrimination towards women, ethnic minority groups and LGBTIQA+ communities still exists today.
    White heterosexual males have been given the opportunity for decades to change this culture but have been unable to function in an inclusive way.
    Thats the reason policies have been invoked, to dissolve that white male middle class power and create systems that are more representative of society or provide all of society with representation.
    A white middle class male may have a better class of degree, a stronger employment background and in your eyes the best candidate for a job but they cant do one thing thats imperative to creating an inclusive society. They cant represent minority groups. Therefore there is one major quality that means they do not always meet the criteria for a role.
    This is about moving towards creating equality in society, promoting acceptance and diversity and recognising that in the past this has not occurred. Its arguably more important in the education sector than anywhere else because its the only system every single person is enrolled in from a young age.
    You need to move with the times. Its no longer about who is the best person for the job soley based on qualifications, experience and ability. These are now just as important as having the ability to represent and promote diversity.

    • +1

      Excellent summary of the debate. In my field it's also a known that being a certain minority will streamline your career progression. But the very fact that the so called 'better qualified' precisely were able to receive better education, networks, familial support and guidance means any attempt to break the status quo needs to start somewhere leading to the perceived injustices OP sums up so well. 'Merit based' is not just about picking the best man (or woman) for the job, it's to create a level playing field where all persons have equal opportunities to attain such positions

    • -3

      Meho:

      Re:

      'OP, you seem to get infuriated …'

      Erm… really? May I respectfully ask you to point to anything I have posted in this entire threat that indicates that I am 'infuriated'? In fact I am an extremely calm and happy person, and I cannot even remember the last time I was 'infuriated' (it was probably when I was a child, and was being teased by an older sibling!).

      Re:

      'I think people understand it perfectly, they just dont agree with you.'

      It is clear from the posts and votes above that plenty of peeps in this thread in fact do agree with me. You may find it interesting to note that not all of them are white males, either.

      Re:

      'A white middle class male … cant represent minority groups.'

      I suggest that that is an inherently flawed assumption. Do you realise that in saying this, you are blatantly declaring that 'all white middle class males are the same'? That is certainly not the case, I can assure you.

      Re:

      'You need to move with the times.'

      Thank you for your, erm 'advice' in this regard, but perhaps unsurprisingly, I personally think that it is you who needs to 'move with the times'. You seem to be somewhat 'trapped' in an outdated ideology that revolves around 'embracing minorities and diversity' at absolutely all costs; including the severe compromisation of basic social/human rights. This is indicated in the following statement that you make.

      Re:

      'Its no longer about who is the best person for the job soley based on qualifications, experience and ability.'

      I suggest that these are exactly the three things that it 'should be about' (assuming that what you mean by 'about' is 'who gets the job').

  • +10

    The mischaracterisation of people against "positive discrimination" as people that are against "equal representation" is the most intellectually dishonest part of the whole discussion.

    OPs point was about the means (ie the process) not the ends (desired state).

    If merit leads to an equal distribution, great, if it leads to an unequal distribution, fine.

    The distribution is presently unequal, research on the difference in basic abilities across gender finds very few, but that doesn't equate to prejudice unless you also argue that interests are the same.

    Interests are not the same.

    Then you get into a debate about whether that is nature or nurture. And predictably, research says it's both.

    But the fact remains, the process of "positive discrimination" must by definition involve "discrimination". And OP thinks that's quite unfortunate and even unfair for young males.

    I agree.

    And rebuttals mostly fail to address these issues, and instead usually go for the "sexist racist anti gay" ad hominem arguments.

    Can't we at least talk about it baby?

    • -5

      "If merit leads to an equal distribution, great, if it leads to an unequal distribution, fine."

      …… this is the problem, who evaluates the merit? who makes the decision? these are not written exams - decisions on merit are done by people …… one white male or 3 white males! …… or if really fortunate, 3 white males, 1 minority and one woman! outcome is the same….. White male will make the decision and so the cycle starts over again.

      Start to think outside of your advantaged world and you might start to understand (I am an advantaged white male BTW).

      • +6

        Who evaluates the merit? The people with the power to decide who gets in and why.

        Educators: decide based on marks, and other things
        Employers: decide based on past performance, experience, and other things.

        I find your statements above to essentially make the claim that white men in positions of power are unable to make trustworthy hiring decisions. This is possibly racist, possibly racist, and almost certainly an absurd generalisation.

        You can, and have, started with the ad hominem arguments in suggesting that I am too privileged to see the truth, but really, you should be able to argue in response to my statements, or at least build your own argument, in order to be convincing.

        And to be a little cheeky and a little snarky about it: the only thing I think you are certainly privileged for is your acceptance and parroting of politically correct statements which are increasingly demanded of all people by a vocal and often annoying minority. Privileged in the sense of being advantaged by echoing those views, and thankfully not punished for caring to hold any other views.

  • OP, you are in the "Entitled" group, you are not discriminated against at all….. as the benefactor of the random chance of being born a white male you have lived your life with advantages that women, other races etc etc do not have in Australia - wake up and understand that your opinion is coming from a place of privilege and when you don't see that privilege - you are complaining that you should have more?

    Why do we need diversity? because women, minority races, etc etc should be represented proportionately in education, in the judiciary and all services, why because we are all together in this journey called life.

    I am a white male too and I am smart enough to know that I have a position in Australian society that is not completely earned by my hard work (some of it is) but simply because I am a white man in a country that seems to accept and celebrate white male privilege. Am I unhappy about what I have? no of course not, I was lucky by birth, maybe one day you should try and think from the perspective of your wife, your daughter, your minority friends and realise how lucky you are!

    A wise woman once said to me, you can not imagine what it is like to be a minority unless you are one….. think about that for a moment

    • +1

      melbrookes

      The glaring indication in your post that you have completely missed the point/misunderstood my post is this:

      '… you are complaining that you should have more?'

      I certainly never said anything even remotely like that. I suggest that you 'scroll up' and read the things that I (and others) actually have said; rather than projecting your own preconceived notions onto me.

  • +4

    Just look at our national and state parliaments and you can see how white male heterosexuals are discriminated against … all those leftists gay females of colour lined up on the front bench, setting the agenda, writing the law. But it’s okay, Trump, the Proud Boys and all those men’s rights dropkicks are there for you, mate. #knuckledraggers

    • +3

      BigBird

      I'll assume that this initial post is some sort of misguided attempt at a tongue-in-cheek joke. I eagerly await a meaningful post/opinion from you in which you actually say something meaningful, if you are capable of providing anything more than populist sarcasm.

  • Less competent people are trying to transfer resources and privileges from you to them. Nothing new about that.

  • +4

    White Heterosexual Men's Careers Matter

    WHMCM

    Clearly OP is so privileged that he now has to make up issues to be grumpy about. What an envious position to be in.

    • +1

      May I respectfully ask PaperDog, what issue are you suggesting I have 'made up'?

  • +3

    Most depressing thing is how they refuse to help males in the health sector, it stops a lot of smart young males joining (11% of nurses are males as a example, even then most work in admin).
    Yet endless money to females to join STEM.

    https://melbourne-cshe.unimelb.edu.au/lh-martin-institute/in... Has some good charts

    • +2

      Nursing was historically female dominated because no man wanted to do it, and that has carried over into today.

    • +3

      Most depressing thing is how they refuse to help males in the health sector

      Same for teaching. I work part time at a school and I am one of 5 males on the whole staff, including cleaners, grounds keepers, office staff, teachers, etc. There are some 45+ staff on site and only 5 males, only 3 of them are teachers.

  • +2

    Its all about political juice…

    Putting the organisations resources and staff to help out some random normal white guy to success, HOW OUTDATED AND 1950s OF YOU.

    However putting it behind some non-white or non-traditional, asians, gays, blacks etc, HOW PROGRESSIVE AND HIGH CLASS YOUR INSTITUTION IS.

    Normally also a sign the place is a total joke/waste of time if they do this stuff too

  • Discrimination against white heterosexual males

    Poor thing…. How long have heterosexual males been discriminating against other people for?

    • +7

      Presuming that an individual young male in academia should be materially disadvantaged because he is a member of a certain race or gender is so obviously against principles you quite likely stand for.

      And this error is repeated by so many young thinkers. No matter, we elders will respond with gentle yet pointed criticism.

      • should be materially disadvantaged because he is a member of a certain race or gender

        Has been happening since the dawn of time…… With white heterosexual males being the main group doing the discriminating, so yeah I kinda think its funny as soon as the tables are turned, they are first to scream and play the discrimination card!

        Do I support discrimination? No, but I can see the irony here of a white heterosexual male complaining.

        • +4

          I don't see the irony. I see that since it is entirely valid for a person of colour or a woman to call out discrimination where they see it, then it is similarly laudable when a white man calls out discrimination they see.

          What a wonderful world of different and not always entirely compatible viewpoints.

          Try not to slice the world into gay straight black white male and female though, people don't react well to bring hacked at.

          • @ozbjunkie:

            I see that since it is entirely valid for a person of colour or a woman to call out discrimination where they see it

            and how long have they been calling this out for? How long ago was it resolved? Oh its not resolved?

            then it is similarly laudable when a white man calls out discrimination they see.

            As I said I kinda think its funny as soon as the tables are turned, they are first to scream and play the discrimination card! How about we address the long running discrimination issues against people of colour and women before we address the white hetro male ego issue. I mean longest standing issue should be address first ;)

            I don't see the irony

            Clearly as you have never been on the discrimination side of it. Hetero white males wouldn't understand what its like to go through life being discriminated against and the first day they are, they cry the discrimination card, which is the irony part.

            • +3

              @JimmyF: Ahh the old "you are white so you don't know what discrimination is" argument.

              Pretty sure there are other white people in this thread who might disagree with the OP - do they also not know what discrimination is because they are white?

              Is this the same argument that "I couldn't understand because I'm a man"

              How bout we try these ones

              "You can't understand because you're a woman"

              "You'd never understand, you're black"

              Gets dark pretty quickly.

              • @ozbjunkie:

                Ahh the old "you are white so you don't know what discrimination is" argument.

                Not what I said, I said clearly as you have never been on the discrimination side of it.

                Have you ever suffered discrimination?

                Gets dark pretty quickly.

                But as the OP is a white hetro male, we have to all jump and correct this injustice right now, while we turn a blind eye to the ongoing discrimination.

                • +2

                  @JimmyF: "hetero white males wouldn't understand discrimination"

                  What else am I supposed to take from that YAWN

                  • @ozbjunkie:

                    "hetero white males wouldn't understand discrimination"
                    What else am I supposed to take from that YAWN

                    Well that is what the OP is claiming to be is it not?

                    See the full stop after my first sentence? That means we are starting a NEW sentence. The first one was directed at you, the second one is talking about the OP irony of claiming the discrimination card.

                    • +2

                      @JimmyF: I see the full stop.

                      You're saying white males can't understand discrimination.

                      I think that's idiotic.

                      • @ozbjunkie:

                        I think that's idiotic.

                        Thanks for proving my point.

                        • +1

                          @JimmyF: It's a strange and unfortunate thing when people who ostensibly are "against prejudice and discrimination" mock people, ignore people, or minimise people's issues and experiences just because those people are white.

                          It reflects a startling lack of circumspect thinking.

                          I think I'll just gave to give up on this one if you can't see the obvious point I'm making.

                          • @ozbjunkie:

                            when people who ostensibly are "against prejudice and discrimination" mock people, ignore people, or minimise people's issues and experiences just because those people are white.

                            I'm sorry that I'm not outraged when a white heterosexual male isn't getting their way.

                            There are much larger prejudice and discrimination issues going on in the word than the OP issue at the moment.

                            Sure the OPs issue should be addressed, but it doesn't jump to the top of the list.

                            I think I'll just gave to give up on this one if you can't see the obvious point I'm making.

                            That goes both ways. Why is the OP issue the most important thing to be solved today?

                            • +1

                              @JimmyF: You don't have to be outraged. I'm not looking for the impotent response of an emotional snowflake. I'm looking for a relatively circumspect, relaxed, and even friendly intellectual exchange on some matter.

                              The idea that we need to linearly rank issues and only deal with (or dare discuss) those which are not at the top of the list once we have solved the ones at the top… It's just too obvious.

                              How could we ever address the needs of anybody in the West while we have starving children to immunise. Women CEOs? While deforestation is a global catastrophe?

                              No no, we can discuss two issues, our minds are capable of managing that. Are they not?

    • +3

      Jimmsy:

      I urge you to read above, carefully. Note that I am not denying (or even commenting on) anything historical. My 'issue' is about legislated/legally sanctioned discrimination that is occurring right now. Is your view that peeps living today should be actively and legally discriminated against, to 'make up for' historical discrimination that has occurred in decades gone by? If that is indeed your view, I suggest that it is short-sighted, and misguided.

      • If that is indeed your view, I suggest that it is short-sighted, and misguided.

        Do I support discrimination? No, but I can see the irony here of a white heterosexual male complaining and then complaining again when everyone isn't outraged to support to the white heterosexual male who is wanting to instantly change the 'rules' so the white heterosexual male gets what they want.

  • let's ignore all the discrimination which actually targets these non white male wasps and consign many from 1977 onward to discrimination and lost careers. happened to a firend of a friend of mine. nimby. impossible to prove then and now. this victimhood of white old boys is convenient but statistics show a diferent inconvenient, objective truth and reality of wite old boys in power across society. but of course academia is diferent.
    a friend of a friend, was in academia and passed over many times in and out of academic from the 1970s, but it was never something which would ever happenin our own backyard. c'est la vie.

  • +8

    OP, I hear you. I've worked in academia and seen how it works. It's lefty mania in there.

    Another example, the fire brigade in NSW has actively been recruiting minorities for years. In fact they have targets of 50:50 gender balance.

    To become a fire fighter, there's a training course which culminates in both written and physical exams. Females have a different (easier) physical exam to try and get more to pass. But this isn't all, they will go back to females who failed either exam and put them through anyway just to meet their gender quotas.

    Oh and if you identify as any kind of minority, forget the exams - you're hired!

    In my opinion, it should be based on merit, not what's between your legs, the colour of your skin, which way you swing, or where you're from.

    • +2

      Interesting that so many of the complaints about gender imbalanced roles are in higher income and lower risk jobs. Or is that unsurprising really?

      If all the claims of gender discrimination in hiring were centred around high risk society serving jobs like emergency services I'd be a bit more sympathetic to the cause even if I disbelieved the reasons given for gender imbalance.

  • +1

    I don't know about academia but in the general business work place if this was the case for 30 years boards would be dominated by those minorities by now which is not the case. Most still male white hetro dominated from what I have read.

    At a lower level of hiring the only time I leant to balance to more females or diversity was where the two best candidates were deemed equal in our hiring process. In this case if we had more males than females in the team for example we would give the role to the female applicant to try and balance the team out more…. However this absolutely worked in reverse as well. E. G. 2 equal candidates but a team dominated by females we would select the male candidate to help balance the team a bit.

  • +7

    I think OP made the post to suck all the neg votes from people for a day.

    • +1

      They got all 5 of mine for today… (Not directly to OP, but the whole thread in particular…)

  • +2

    As a Fmr Academic, I can categorically vouch that such discriminative practices exist.

    It is deemed here in Australia, that those with a European name, and accent, are more "educated" than the "convict" white Ozzie.

    This comes from the notion that personalities such as Freud, Einstein, &c, are the penultimate in their particular fields.

    They are a drawcard, that placed the standing of the Institution above all others.

    The mad scientist, the neurotic artist, the absent minded professor, the rambling Dean, and such, are not common folk, like "the rest of us" so must be above us in some odd way, and form, and certainly not approachable. We common folk just can't understand them, so they must be good - right?

    It is all a marketing game, a discriminative one at that.

  • +3

    It's a touchy and controversial topic, and a very complex one as it goes to the core of the values of our modern day society. Whilst debate is good it's clear from the responses that OP's intent was not to invite constructive discussion from the way OP ridicules and trivialises dissenting opinions without providing any factual counter-arguments of substance. Good luck to you and perhaps a learning point to all those seeking to persuade and make changes this approach will only push people away, just like how othering trump supporters only made them stronger.

    • +4

      No dissenting arguments that I have read address OPs point that for young males the experience of "positive discrimination" may be unpleasant and even unfair.

      Most arguments here support the ends and ignore the means, or employ some form of whataboutery.

      • +1

        My response was specifically addressing this issue, in response I just got a series of personal attacks from the OP. If affirmative action is done to the exact degree required to achieve the natural state without barriers, how is this unfair? Yes, it disadvantages males relative to the status quo, but not relative to a situation of true equality of opportunity free from cultural privileges.

        In many cases I'm sure it’s gone too far, and I am worried about a class of less privileged white males who are being left behind by society. It's a difficult issue, but I don't think the OP wants a genuine discussion.

        • +2

          affirmative action

          achieve the natural state

          Does not compute

        • Christoff:

          Re:

          '… in response I just got a series of personal attacks from the OP.'

          Really? I think that if you 'scroll up' and have another look at what I actually said to you with a 'fresh pair of eyes', you may well conclude that it was not 'a series of personal attacks' at all. I asked about your qualifications, and I questioned your conclusions, but that would be considered 'par for the course' in any standard discussion (even one conducted in person), ordinarily. If you genuinely do believe that you were the 'victim' of 'a series of personal attacks' from me, then I regret that; and I advise you to 'brace yourself' if you plan to continue engaging in more OzB forums/threads such as this one in the future. Believe me, when you actually are the victim of 'a series of personal attacks', you will know about it.

    • d-who:

      Re:

      '… the way OP ridicules and trivialises dissenting opinions without providing any factual counter-arguments of substance.'

      I have attempted to respectfully respond to all posts that have asked me to, I don't believe I have trivialised anything, I have provided a wealth of objective evidence to back up by assertions (links to actual legislation/lay-explanations thereof, actual publicised cases of publicised discrimination against males), etc.

      Your above statement suggesting the contrary is thus utterly and demonstrably unfounded. May I respectfully ask why you waste your time making such demonstrably false assertions?

  • +1

    Your discussion would be better served in a place like this instead of OzBargain https://www.reddit.com/r/changemyview/

    • The commenting system there makes it a worse place for discussion.

    • Thanks for the suggestion jimmy … but the fact is that I like it here. I like the fact that it is not 'overly moderated' here. Generally, unless someone really oversteps the mark, most comments remain accessible for all to see, and comment on. This is what is known as an 'open dialogue'.

  • OP did this happen to you in Australia or did you get charged 3 price for something bcoz they felt white = rich haha. As far as careers go (maybe my anecdotal experience) but quite a lot of the company higher level executives are white males than any other category even in a female and migrant dominated industries.

  • +8

    officially dubbed 'positive discrimination'

    The key word here is discrimination

    They are hiring people, not based on their merits or qualifications, but based on their gender, colour or sexual orientation. They are all hypocrites

    I go out of my way not to use these companies for products and services as much as possible, as ultimately, they are not hiring the best people for the job, so it makes sense to go with their competitors who don't have these policies…

    • +6

      This is like when I hear the term "reverse racism" or "positive racism" when someone talks about how a white person was the victim of a racist incident… No, it's not "reverse" or "positive", it's just racism.

      And the other one I hate is running this under the banner of "equality" when what they are applying is "equity". Equality would be giving everyone, regardless of anything, the same opportunity to apply for the same position, and getting the best candidate based on ability, qualifications and experience.

      What we have now, is a system of equity, where by someone who is not as skilled, or not as experienced, is getting the job or promotion based on some other factor that has nothing to do with their experience, education or ability to perform the job.

      • +2

        There's an added dimension to your last line though where you have 2 equal skilled and appropriate candidates for a particular role and 9 out of 10 times, the 'minority' person gets picked instead of the 'white' person(*) because it's perceived to be better choice for the business' diversity values.

        This is very very common in the Engineering industry and can be clearly evidenced by an overview of the last year's recruits. Difficult to prove it's an active conscious selection though.

        (*) This does not apply to senior management roles. Just every level below.

        • Hybroid:

          Re:

          'Difficult to prove it's an active conscious selection though.'

          To me all that would need to be proven is that it's actually occurring; as a result of 'active conscious selection' or not. Based on what you've said, the stats would speak for themselves in this regard. Note this (huge 'n') study, clearly indicating that positive discrimination favouring women and non-white races is definitely occurring in the Australian Public Service, possibly (though I suspect intentionally) at a 'subconscious' level:

          https://www.themandarin.com.au/80790-positive-discrimination...

          "Blind recruiting is effective in eliminating discrimination, but the main bias in Australian Public Service recruitment is in favour of women and minorities, according to an experimental trial by the PM’s nudge unit.

          There is discrimination in Australian Public Service recruitment, but it appears to generally favour women and candidates from minority groups, according to an experimental trial of blind recruiting with 2100 participants from 14 federal agencies."

  • OP, do you have any data to back up your assertion? Gender, age, race or sexuality statistics on permanent appointments?
    I too am a WHM and while in the last few years there appears to have been an increase in females getting promotions where I worked, there is still a massive imbalance, and different racial backgrounds and sexualities are hugely under represented.
    While I admit I sometimes felt uncomfortable with some appointments, I put it down to being a WHM that the process is not stacked towards quite so much any more. A more inclusive workforce is better in so many ways the change is worth it even if we ignore the moral aspects of the equality argument.

    • May I ask what exactly you mean by '… a massive imbalance'? Do you mean that the numbers of each race and/or sexual orientation are not 'equal'? Or alternatively, do you mean that the numbers of each race and/or sexual orientation do not 'match' the proportions that exist in the Australian population? These are two totally different things.

      • In the engineering/science organisation that I worked for women had very low representation in managerial roles compared to workforce numbers. Multiple races of origin in general workforce, zero in management. There was a clear bias against women as they were expected to compromise work outcomes at the expense of family. There was a clear bias against anyone with English as a second language. There were clear biases against people with a disability. Male managers who attempted to share parenting eg by coming in late a few mornings a week were put under pressure.
        In the last few years things started to change. More women and other ethnicities getting managerial jobs they probably deserved for years.
        White males like me under pressure for promotions compared to the ‘status quo’.
        That’s why I asked you for actual numbers to back your assertions, to which you responded by asking me for a different set of statistics.
        Sometimes mature white males like me lack empathy, leadership skills etc which is where others win out. If you are in academia you may be losing out to others with less publications but are a better teacher. You know, the sort of person that answers a question rather than responds with another……..

        • Thank you for your considered contribution. Re this though:

          ' … I asked you for actual numbers to back your assertions, to which you responded by asking me for a different set of statistics.'

          Did you miss the part above, where I outlined and provided links to:

          1. A huge controlled study (n = 2100) conducted in the Australian Public Service.

          2. Some of the wording of some actual Australian legislation that makes the type of discrimination I am alluding to legal/sanctions it.

          3. An example of an individual legal case in which the bloke unsuccessfully challenged the law/argued that it was not right that he had been discriminated against simply because he was a male.

          4. A recent legal/'VCAT' ruling sanctioning blatant 'across the board' discrimination against hundreds of men, the results (i.e. precedent) of which will go on to affect many thousands more in future.

          So, thousands tested/empirically studied in the Australian Public Service example, hundreds directly affected in the V-line legal ruling and many thousands more indirectly no doubt will be affected (via precedent) in the future. Those are 'actual numbers to back [my] assertions' (in fact they are objective observations/facts, not 'assertions'). Are these not the types of 'actual numbers' you were talking about, or did you simply ignore them because they did not conform to what you would 'hope was' the case (or something like that), or did you simply not see them/have not read above?

          • @GnarlyKnuckles: “Did you miss the part above, where I outlined and provided links to:”
            Yes, because you posted it on the 14th, the day after I asked the question….

            You also focus on the results of the study, but fail to report the context- the clear lack of women and other ethnic groups at the senior levels of the APS. And APS are not alone there.

            The context of your post is recruitment into higher positions.

            So I would say to you that if you are, as you originally posted, a bit [email protected]@ed off losing out to non WHMs for senior positions, recognise that there is some positive bias going on, or at least the old “reasons” for rejecting women and different ethnicities won’t cut it any more. You have competition. Your old networks won’t pull the promotions. (And please don’t try the ‘ it’s all been really fair ‘ line with me, I’ve been there, I know).

            You can rail to the masses here on OZB, but the ones that really care are probably on a creepy FB page. Don’t let it define you as a person. If you want to compete, show that you are better AND have working empathy for non WHMs.

            I am a WHM with a very conservative background, similar to many. In recent years have been thrown into different ethnicities, first Australians, feminists, different gender identification. It has been challenging but a breath of fresh air. It is where we are heading as a Nation and it is better than now. Some aspects such as your issues aren’t fun, but it’s not terrible for you. You have a secure job with good conditions, you can adapt.

            And if it’s all too hard someone here may be able to direct you to one of the weird FB pages… 😁

            Hope things work out for you. 👍

  • +2

    This is spot on, females and males make different choices in life with a plethora of reasons, yet the naive just assume everything is related to some form of systemic discrimination. They complain when males dominate engineering and the sciences, but don't have a problem with women dominating medicine. It's unbelievably idiotic from the start. Hierarchies are intrinsic yet somehow its used to put blame on some people for problems which do not exist.

    Nothing makes sense in this world, most of what we fight for is just lies on top of BS.

  • Can anyone show me a document that is stating they are to hire minority groups or one that shows they have some quota to meet based on such?
    Ive seen alot of comments saying there are such policies and such, but my understanding was its illegal to discriminate on such things.
    And all the people who were told that they probably wont get the job because they are white, did any of you actually make any sort of complaint?
    Just wondering what the legal side on all this is.

    • +2

      Yo Pezwix, re '… my understanding was its illegal to discriminate on such things.', that is not so, because of insertions/inclusions in legal acts that refer (vaguely/ambiguously) to 'special measures'.

      Here's few sources I found in a couple of minutes, but there are many many more out there. I few hapless white guys have launched legal action in Australia in the past essentially stating (quite correctly) that they were discriminated against specifically because they were not a member of any minority group, and were not a woman (which in Australia, is in fact a majority group). None have ever been successful, and what is always cited to excuse the fact that they were demonstrably and irrefutably discriminated against based on their race, or their gender, or both, are these things built into Australian law called 'special measures'.

      https://www.workplacelaw.com.au/posts/positive-discriminatio...

      "In Australia, most Federal and State anti-discrimination laws provide exemptions for those who implement “special measures” to rectify previous disadvantage to a particular group and promote substantive equality.

      For instance, the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth) states that “special measures” taken to redress a historical disadvantage experienced by minority racial groups (which would ordinarily amount to discrimination) will not be considered unlawful under that Act."

      "In a recent case before the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal (Macca v Australian Capital Territory represented by Emergency Services Agency (Discrimination) [2017] ACAT 101), the Tribunal heard a complaint from an unsuccessful job candidate that the ACT Fire and Rescue was unlawfully discriminating against men by setting a target of offering 50 per cent of available roles to women.

      In finding that this strategy was a “special measure” under the Discrimination Act 1991 (ACT) and therefore not unlawful, the Tribunal senior member commented that the purpose of that Act was to promote substantive equality and remove or redress disadvantages or barriers in recruitment."

      (etc.)

      https://humanrights.gov.au/quick-guide/12082

      "In addition, the [Racial Discrimination] Act allows for ‘special measures’. This is a form of positive discrimination that aims to foster greater racial equality by supporting groups of people who face, or have faced, entrenched discrimination so they can have similar access to opportunities as others in the community."

      [I added the bold font to the 'or have faced' above, to highlight the fact that such measures clearly include punishing people now/in this generation, for historical 'misdeeds'/discrimination that these current victims of 'positive discrimination' had nothing to do with.]

      Then there's the positive discrimination that clearly operates and can be irrefutably statistically proven in rigorously controlled studies, but would be very hard for a single individual to prove had occurred in their particular case. Somewhat bizarrely, the 'report' below concludes that this positive discrimination is definitely rife in the Australian Public Service, but because it's happening in the direction they evidently like, it should be fostered/maintained/perpetuated by ensuring that application forms retain the mention of the applicants gender (and race?)! I.e. to facilitate white blokes being actively discriminated against. LOL:

      https://www.themandarin.com.au/80790-positive-discrimination...

      "Blind recruiting is effective in eliminating discrimination, but the main bias in Australian Public Service recruitment is in favour of women and minorities, according to an experimental trial by the PM’s nudge unit.

      There is discrimination in Australian Public Service recruitment, but it appears to generally favour women and candidates from minority groups, according to an experimental trial of blind recruiting with 2100 participants from 14 federal agencies."

      • +1

        who implement “special measures” to rectify previous disadvantage to a particular group

        and in doing so, discriminate on particular groups now and in the future…

        • Precisely jv. The term 'viscous circle' springs to mind …

      • +2

        This is *@$&% disgusting.
        As Ive said I feel its fine for a person to be allowed to pick a person based on minority over another person if they have equal skills and be open about it, but this goes further than that. This is saying its ok to say were going to have at least %50 of minorities and then exclude some one purely on their race regardless of any other factor. This is horrible.
        As others have said this allows company execs to legally create quotas and I have a serious problem with the idea of quotas in general. This means that the person below the exec that actually has to hire person now HAS to employ a minority. So even if the only minority is less qualified than the others they get it. This isnt only unfair to the people that didnt get it but to the other people that have to work with them and anyone who has to rely on the persons work. This could seriously result in people getting more racist views towards that persons minority.
        Its also creating a clear line between Us and Them. Anyone who is affected by this could develop racist views towards minorities and feel justified for it…."If its ok for them to be racist towards me for their gain, then why isnt ok for me to be racist? I now feel like the minority who is being unfairly treated based on nothing but my race." And anyone who is trying to convert someone to racism would love this.
        It also doesnt take into the case that some white males are in just a bad place as the minority. Some people are in an unfair position due to their youth, financial position, looks and what not, how are they going to feel.
        The whole thing is just going to increase resentment towards minorities….even tho the anger really should be directed at the government.

        Thanks for taking the time to write that and collect the links. Plus Ive just appreciated the discussion. I still believe its a good thing to actively increase minorities in work, but not like this.

    • +1

      actually most companies have women in senior management quotas

      I know my company has 50 percent, disclosed to the market

      we are a top insurer too
      all the big 4 banks have it

      we have 15 percent mature aged employees too target

      • Thank you very kindly for you valuable input dj. It would be great if more peeps in this thread who have actual factual knowledge like this to contribute would do so.

        I hope at least some of the peeps above who seem to be blissfully ignorant/in denial about the fact that such targets even exist at all read your post. You have it straight from the horse's mouth people. They most certainly do.

        • So it's not possible to hire a minority who has the skills for the position?

          I've encountered many useless WHM who did not deserve the job.

          • +1

            @Ughhh: So it's not possible to hire a WHM who has the skills for the position?

            I've encountered many useless minorities who did not deserve the job.

            Works both ways, but if you have a target for 1 of them, then it would be more likely you would hire an incompetent minority as there are incentives other than the best person for the job.