A House Built On Sand

Is it problematic when your argument is based on falsehoods?

Blog neighbor David Schraub and I have gone around before on the “Jesperson dilemma”, but there is a problem. He poses her “dilemma” as a proposition that women’s grooming and makeup is so much substantially more expensive than that it is for men. His argument bases itself on the idea that this is a merely a matter of expense. It is not. Lipstick, blush, and so on can be expensive, but that is a matter of choice. Men might buy and pass on that argument, but if you glance at prices of such items in your local Target or Wal-Mart, you can actually purchase women’s grooming products remarkably inexpensively. The problem for those pressing the “cost” as a crux of the issue is that that “extra” cost so incurred amounts to about 4 bits a week. Gosh, what a burden.

The real problem is apparently, Ms Jesperson didn’t want to wear makeup, but was as a matter of company policy required to do so. We expect, as a matter of course, that NFL players must wear appropriate garb. We expect that actors dress their part. In fact, McDonalds can (reasonably) expect its employees to wear company uniform, just as every other company has a reasonable expectation (especially in retail) of being able make standards regarding the appearance of their employees. Harrah’s, where Ms Jesperson worked, is a casino. Casinos have, quite often, a particular stylish “look” they wish their employees to maintain as it encourages their patrons to be looser with their money if they harken to a “high class” style of look. Mr Schraub and his entitlement notions notwithstanding, we live in a free society. The problem is we are not entitled to employment. Employers amost universally set behavior and appearance standards especially when they interact with the public. It is not the “responsibility” of the employer to conform their standards to every whim and conceipt of their employees. It is more properly the responsibility of a employee to find a job he or she finds acceptable regarding job requirements.

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