Thursday, April 14, 2005

The canonization of the norm, the triumph of the uniform

Amazingly, that silly private member's bill at Queen's Park proposing it be made illegal for any product or service (no matter how incomparable) to be priced differently for mens' and womens' version has made it to a second reading: The legislature approved in principle a Canadian first: a bill that would fine merchants up to $5,000 for asking more to trim women's hair than men's or more to dry clean a blouse than a shirt. "It's something that makes common sense, to charge the same price to women or to men for the same good or service," said Lorenzo Berardinetti, a Liberal government backbencher who proposed a private member's bill he says mirrors laws in New York, Miami and California. [...] It would make Ontario's Human Rights Commission the channel for complaints by women who feel they were discriminated against at the cash register. "The commission can actually investigate on its own, and it has a whole process in place for doing that," said Berardinetti. The Opposition Conservatives say the commission has more important issues to deal with than determining if a blouse is the same as a shirt or if a man's short-back-sides is the same as a woman's up-do. But that didn't stop politicians from all stripes debating Thursday how a ban on gender-based pricing would work. Some critics warned that it could result in higher prices for everyone, an idea that Berardinetti rejected. Why is it that some people think enforced equality in the form of penalizing all equally is an accomplishment? This kind of thing always reminds me of the short story Harrison Bergeron, by Kurt Vonnegut. (Read it. You'll see why.) If it's passed, when prices go up across the board - and it's clear Berardinetti is no economist, or he'd realize that there's no reason why they wouldn't, in a yet semi-free market - to comply with the new law, at least we'll know who to tar and feather. Thanks a lot, you ass.


Blogger JessicaN said...

Good grief. I borderline on being a feminazi from time to time, but that bill is just ridiculous. Have fun with that!

4/15/2005 12:43:00 PM  

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