Have We Come aLong Way, Baby?

by beagooddad on December 18, 2008

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I love news about the world going mad. Especially when I can get offended by the people who are offended.

For example, ladies, can you imagine walking into the store to buy a new cell phone and getting told, “Sorry, toots, we don’t sell phones to broads that stay home watching the brats. Have your sugar daddy come in and maybe he’ll pick you out something nice.

That might ruffle some tail feathers. You’d probably light up your Virginia Slim and tell that shop owner that you’ve come a long way, baby, and you don’t have to put up with this nonsense anymore.

Or you might say something like:

For anyone to suggest that being a mum isn’t a real job is just ridiculous. I thought we’d gone past this sort of outdated way of thinking. Obviously the message hasn’t got through at Vodafone.

Cool. I can dig the annoyance. After all this is a crazy world.

Vodafone is a bit embarrassed by all of this

Vodafone spokesman Greg Spears yesterday confirmed the no-housewives rule and said getting a man to buy the phone instead was the quickest fix.

confirming that it really is still a man’s world.

Unless of course you are a man who is a stay at home dad. In that case you can’t buy the phone but nobody cares. Eva Cox, of the Women’s Electoral Lobby thinks this is a gender issue saying, “the company should be ashamed” and calling “on women to boycott Vodafone until it changed the policy.” Hope she didn’t try to reach those women on their cell phones.

But wait a second. She called on women to boycott. Not men. Does Ms. Cox assume that men won’t have time because they are all plugging away at the office?

This is a database problem. The company is trying to verify that the purchaser of the phone is capable of paying for the phone. Part of that seems to be making the work phone number mandatory. Which makes me wonder what happens for those people who happen to work from home. Whoever set up the database and order entry system failed to notice what would happen in the case of single income families.

This is not a gender problem. The intent of the policy was not to prevent women from buying phones. It is an unfortunate side effect that it prevents stay-at-home-parents from purchasing a phone without the support of the work-away-from-home-spouse.

I do not mind people boycotting or protesting for equality but I think an important part of making that work is to really figure out who the policy is being unfair to and fighting for those rights. In this case, the issue is not really a women’s rights issue but rather a stay-at-home-parent with a work-away-from-home-spouse but that might be a little much to fit on a protest sign.

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