I am having a minor little brainwave about something that hasn’t had a chance to fully develop, but I’m going to say it anyway.
Read this article on Slate about the New Haven firefighters reverse discrimination case. What I’m about to say has nothing to do with race or discrimination.
Callum and I have been watching The Wire season one for the last few days. I love the show, and it’s brilliantly written, and it’s really got me thinking. There are a lot of useless fucking cops on that show. Tons of them. White and black. And they hate to work. Not to stereotype anybody, but the show was written by a former cop, and I can well imagine that most major city police departments (and possibly fire departments) work like this.
I’m reminded of my good old Marxist feminist days (not that I was one, but that I studied it). I once bought Adela a ‘better dead than red’ shirt and helped her berate a guy in a hammer and sickle shirt, so obviously I’m no Marxist. But these ladies have a point: men were paid a living wage to look after their families so women could stay home and that’s foolish. This doesn’t really make much sense to me. I mean, I know that’s how life operated for over a hundred years, but to me, I agree with the Marxist feminists, it seems like a stupid idea.
So, maybe these systems (and other bureacracies) were set up to create redundancies on purpose. As Emily Bazelon points out in the article, a lot of these guys are firefighters because their dads and grandpas were. Their dads and grandpas were likely supporting their whole families with these paychecks. The new guys likely aren’t. So maybe these guys have working wives, and maybe these wives are also contributing to 401k’s and RRSP’s, etc. I guess what I’m trying to get at here is: are the days of these bloated-jobs-with-hardcore-awesome-pensions-that-are-mostly-given-to-(white) men soon to be a thing of the past? (God I hope so).
And if they are, will this open these kinds of jobs up to more women and minorities?
This could very well make NO sense whatsoever, and I’ll try to clarify my thoughts on it some more.