One Couple's Stumblings Through Parenthood and Marriage

Thursday, November 17, 2005

My Protected Backgrounds

I have been having to endure ... I mean, attend harassment prevention training at work. It has been a real joy. My thinking is that since it has now become clear to me that no one will tolerate my rampant bigotry, then I am going to lay down some rules of my own. My new harassment prevention guide identifies 9 'protected backgrounds.' It is unlawful to harass individuals based upon these backgrounds. Therefore, I am now demanding the following:

1) Race or Color: Race: I am Caucasian. Though I have never been to the Caucasus - the mountainous region between the Black and Caspian seas (think Russia, Chechniya, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbeidzjan) - I am fiercely proud that some of my ancestors supposedly came from there. Color: I am 'white' - actually I am pasty white where the sun doesn't shine and more of a tanny/beigey/pinkish (formerly known as 'flesh' in the Crayola crayon spectrum) everywhere else. All of this means that I will no longer tolerate being called 'honkey' 'whitey' 'yahoo' 'cracker' 'whitebread', etc. Previously I have encouraged the use of such terms - but no longer.

2) Religious Creed: I am Mormon. Come on, the jokes here are too easy and old. Come up with something new. But even then, I won't tolerate it.

3) National Origin or Ancestry: Nationality: I am from the U.S.A. You may no longer call me Yankee or Gorby or harass me for being an 'American dog.' Ancestry: If I were a dog I would be a mutt. If I were meal, I would be a buffet: some English fish & chips, a large spoonful of German sauerkraut, a hefty lump of Scottish haggis, some Irish potato, a very small side of French crepe and some leftover Cherokee corn. Please refer to background # 1 for what I won't tolerate.

4) Physical Disability, Mental Disability, Medical Condition: Aside from being healthy as a bull and physically stunning, I have a torn meniscus in my right knee. So, no more calling me 'Ol' Torn Meniscus' or 'Wounded Knee' - also, stop picking me last for the softball team because I 'don't run so good.'

5) Marital or Pregnancy Status: I am married (five years now, thank you). So, ladies, stop hitting on me. Men, no more comments about the old ball-and-chain. Also, last time I checked, I am not pregnant. So, I guess you can exclude me from your pregnancy support meetings.

6) Sex or Gender: Which one do you mean? Are these meant to be synonyms? I cannot help that I was born with a y chromosome. I now demand entry into the Women's PGA and the WNBA.

7) Age: Alas, I am under 40, so I am not protected. You are permitted to harass me for being a youngin'.

8) Sexual Orientation: I was born with certain parts, so at least physically I have an unequivocal sexual orientation. I also like the female-types, so that makes me heterosexual. You can no longer refer to me as 'that straight guy' or say things like "Gee, he sure is not gay."

9) Opposition to Unlawful Harassment: Let it be known that I officially will not tolerate unlawful harassment. Therefore, I will not tolerate you being intolerant of my intolerance.

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