Globe and Mail

A woman's world

Monday, August 9, 1999
The Globe and Mail

Wilfrid Laurier University is looking for a psychology professor. There is one catch: The successful applicant has to be female. That's right. The university believes that any woman candidate will be better than all men, regardless of teaching ability, scholarship or experience.

Instead of accusing the university's administration of gender discrimination, the Ontario Human Rights Commission actually helped it write the job ad. It says: "The department is attempting to address a gender imbalance, and therefore will hire a woman for this position." And we thought the OHRC was set up to fight discrimination, not encourage it.

The commission considers that all women are disadvantaged on the basis of their gender, and sometimes doubly or triply so because they are disabled or belong to a visible minority. To make this crazy assertion stick, employment-equity advocates jig the numbers so that instead of comparing the number of women hired with the number in the applicant pool, they compare them with the number of women in the general population. This is not only offensive but absurd.

When was the last time you heard of the OHRC encouraging a university library to offer jobs only to men to redress a male gender imbalance among librarians? Never, we wager.

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