Does not ability matter any more?

@suspenseful (40314)
Canada
January 11, 2009 6:28pm CST
When I watched tv shows and movies years ago, the one who became the leader rose up through the ranks and was just as much a common Joe as the others. He came from the same background, and had you put on overalls, he would look like them. He was chosen because of his experience and his ability to do the job. Now you can tell the leader right away, because either she is a woman, or he is of a different ethnic group then the rest. So when is race and gender more important than ability or experience? Is it getting to the point where a man will say "I am not going to apply for the position of manager because I am of the wrong color?" I remember years ago where if you were a woman, you were limited to being either a steno or secretary, teacher, or a nurse. Now is the same limitations going to apply to men, but based on color or ethnic group? When will they go back to ability and experience?
5 people like this
8 responses
@Lakota12 (42681)
• United States
12 Jan 09
they should have never left!
2 people like this
• Canada
12 Jan 09
who should have never left from where?
2 people like this
@Lakota12 (42681)
• United States
12 Jan 09
Linda experience and ability!
2 people like this
@suspenseful (40314)
• Canada
12 Jan 09
That is what i say. If you do not have experience, you have the ability and that should show in your work ethic and your desire to apply yourself not whether you have blond hair, dark skin. And if you complain you are considered a racist. Why if I got in charge of labor and said that preferential treatment should be given to people of German, English, Austrian, and Welsh ancestry, they would cry "racist and bigot!"
@GardenGerty (115100)
• United States
12 Jan 09
Television does not necessarily mirror real life. Ability, and experience does seem to count in the areas I am exposed to. I do not know of people who are getting promoted because of gender or because of race. Yes, there are still limits on all of us, most of them are limits in our own minds, how we view ourselves, how we educate ourselves and how we present ourselves. Do not be fooled by entertainment.
@suspenseful (40314)
• Canada
12 Jan 09
I wonder whether in the future, since a lot of children are influenced by television, that they get a wrong idea and feel that they cannot try for a position because of their race or some get the idea that they can just go into a company and demand to be a manager or the boss because of their race. I know that there were a lot of women who thought why get an education because when I was young, the idea was you did not need a university degree to be a housewife and there were lots of men who paid for their sons to go to college, but would not do the same for their daughters and I still remember my mother not trying because she had to have higher marks to go to college then her brother and he went and she could not.
2 people like this
@GardenGerty (115100)
• United States
12 Jan 09
I am about ten years younger than you, I think, and there were strange things about college then as well. I was raised being told I was going to college, but not really why. I did not want to teach, work in an office or be a nurse. I went for two years. I read somewhere that the philosophy of educating women of my time was to steer them all into Liberal Arts degrees, because when they drop out to get married they will not have lost much. Funny, I have taught, worked in an office and done nursing work, and social services. All I really wanted to do was have a home, and family, and I did that too. My biggest obstacle is that I am too easily distracted.
3 people like this
@suspenseful (40314)
• Canada
12 Jan 09
I was very bad at chemistry and terrible at math, and was more interested in being a housewife, but for some reason, I was also very curious and loved science -good science not the junk science of today. I knew why things happened, and reasons for things, and could figure out the cause and effect, but that does no good if you get the symbols mixed up.
1 person likes this
@Lindalinda (4112)
• Canada
12 Jan 09
Are you serious? I think you must have a very bad day to post a discussion like this. You are making a point though that in the past people who became managers rose through the ranks and yes, he the one that got the job came from the same background, namely white and male. Women no matter how educated and able they were did not rise and neither did men from minorities. Well, guess what, the fabric of society has changed, there are parts of Toronto for instance where the visible minorities are now the visible majorities. Canada is no longer a white middle class country. Much to your incredible shock you will see women supervising men and men from various ethnic groups supervising men and women. Furthermore, in many instances experience and ability are no longer good enough unless they are supplemented by current up to date education. We live in the post industrial world and in a knowledge based society. Knowledge becomes obsolete more and more quickly and unless people in certain fields update continuously they will be left behind. That is why you see young men and women being brought in as managers. It is true they have to get the experience and hopefully they have the ability as well as the knowledge, but I am afraid the clock is not going to be turned back. Just an example from my own relatives. One of my cousins lost his job last year. He is the "right" colour and had excellent training when he was in his 20ties. He is extremely talented and was highly valued by his company. He is now in his 40ties and all that training and education that he had is obsolete. He has been out of work for over a year because his company closed shop. He does not get "it". The Government of Ontario has a "second career program" for which he is elligible. That program would pay him up to $ 28 000 over two years to retrain for another profession in which he could get a job. But he does not get it. He is bitter and unemployed. What is next? His unemployment insurance has run out...
@suspenseful (40314)
• Canada
12 Jan 09
It is what is portrayed on Tv. Do you remember when experienced black or aboriginal people were mad when they could not get positions of power? Well now it has reversed. What I want is that color and religion should not matter. So the one who has the ability and experience or potential gets the position, not the one who is of the right shade - whether it was blond blue eyed Nordic looking or black haired, almond shaped Japanese or Chinese, or black very curly haired, dark brown skin, dark brown eyes African American, or Native American or Native Canadian. Whenever I watch Tv shows, and they call to see the commander or the chief of police or the boss walks in, and most of the time (except in that show about those crooked cops) I say not again? I wonder why I do not see someone come out and say"Lieutenant Commmander Jose Alvarez, I did know the corporal," or someone introduce himself as "James Wong, I am the owner and chief CEO of this company, you have to talk to me," but no (unless you are counting that short period when they had bosses who were Japanese Americans or Canadians.) And as for your cousin, did those shows where people who were the right color help him? That is what I am getting at. He thought I am the right color, it works on Tv, I should get the job, but he did not. So Tv does not mirror reality. I can see maybe a few people of color getting positions on top, but not as much as the Tv shows portray.
@stephcjh (32327)
• United States
12 Jan 09
I'm not sure. It is all weird and changed these days. I'm not sure what happened to the old wys of doing things. Nothing seems fair anymore.
2 people like this
@suspenseful (40314)
• Canada
12 Jan 09
It seems that we have changed things so that color and gender matters more than ability. And what happens if that the tv shows think that all we need to do is to make sure the bosses or the ones in charge are of a certain ethnic group or 'race' and everything will be all right. And it gives the wrong impression that everyone of that 'race' or 'gender' has exceptional ability and moral incite and that if you are not of that 'race' then you are morally backrupt, greedy, hedonistic, etc. and cannot be trusted.
@anniepa (27280)
• United States
13 Jan 09
I'm really wondering what TV shows and movies you're watching! True, there are more women and other minorities in high positions in fiction than there are in real life but that's because up until fairly recently they weren't portrayed at all on TV or in movies other than in stereotypical roles. Women were always nurses, secretaries or teachers if they weren't homemakers and African Americans or other ethnic groups other than white were often domestic workers or other "lowly" jobs. Some people understandably and justifiably complained so now people are portrayed differently on some shows. However, if you looked at all the top TV shows and popular movies you'll see most things are still run by white men just like in "real life". I feel sorry for you because for some reason your own prejudices go so deep that I doubt you'd ever give anyone who isn't a white male credit for getting wherever and whatever they've gotten by working hard and due to their abilities. I think it's because of people with attitudes such as yours that we do still need some affirmative action because otherwise many capable people would never have a chance to make something of themselves. You actually seem to be writing with nostalgia about the days when women didn't feel they needed to go to college or when they were limited to being stenographers and the like. I dream of a world when every child can grow up knowing that he or SHE can be whatever they desire. Annie
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40314)
• Canada
13 Jan 09
NCIS, it seems that when Jethro and the group go and ask a Marine or Navy captain about something, he is usually African American, the Unit's Boss is African American, and that new show Flashpoint, when they had the boss come, guess what? Now there are other shows that give everyone a chance, The Law and Order Series where they have a mixture,all the CSIs is not that bad, neither is Without a Trace, they have a variety. But it seemed for a while that many of the tv shows the police chief is always black, and I often wondered why there was not an American Indian, or a Japanese or Chinese American just as qualified, especially if the show was either in the middle states or in someplace near Seattle or it was in San Francisco. I am not demanding that all the bosses be white, but there was only a small period of time when they had Japanese American bosses looking after an American company. But the reason is with this focus on tv dramas to give race a chance, it seems to have more importance than ability. You see you do not need affirmative action, you need to get the children better educated (more money for the better books, better teachers) so that when they become adults, there will not be any of the "blacks can get into college with less then 4 points then whites," or whatever system they use. (sorry I am Canadian, and we have the Canadian natives - that is the Cree, Assinboine, etc. who get privileges the rest of the Canadians do not get and that includes Chinese=Canadians, Japanese-Canadians, Ukrainian-Canadians, Jewish-Canadians, etc. But I guess you want race to be a factor in getting to be top dog and that is not fair because you see, that makes people suspicious of any one of that ethnic group rising to the top through his own efforts. They believe he may have been given the position through affirmative action and that is not right. Oh and I am not going to tell me that I have friends of ---whatever ethnic group you think I hate, all I can tell you is that I live in a neighborhood who is rather ethnically mixed.
1 person likes this
@anniepa (27280)
• United States
13 Jan 09
"NCIS, it seems that when Jethro and the group go and ask a Marine or Navy captain about something, he is usually African American, the Unit's Boss is African American, and that new show Flashpoint, when they had the boss come, guess what? Now there are other shows that give everyone a chance, The Law and Order Series where they have a mixture,all the CSIs is not that bad, neither is Without a Trace, they have a variety." I don't watch NCIS, The Unit or Flashpoint; I'm not saying they're not good shows, they likely are, but I've just never gotten into the habit of watching them because either I'm doing something else or watching something else when they're on. The other shows you listed as well as Cold Case I do watch and they all have a white man as the one "in charge". I agree there aren't nearly as many people of other ethnic groups in high positions on TV as there are African Americans. I think they're trying to reflect the general population, as in there are more whites than any other groups, then comes African Americans, then Hispanics, etc. I'm not saying I agree with their reasoning but it might explain it. I hope as much as you do that eventually there will be no need for any kind of affirmative action but I'm afraid we're not there yet. I definitely agree totally that it's all about better education for everyone and I believe as today's children become adults the prejudices that have existed forever will dissipate greatly. I'm sorry to say that I know people in my own area who are in the position to hire people who will admit straight out if they know there's nobody listening who will get them into trouble for discrimination that they won't hire a minority even if they are the most qualified if they can possibly get away with it. These people are generally good people but they have this prejudice that's been drilled into them all their lives that won't go away and it's sad. THAT'S why some form of protection is needed for minorities. I'm not sure if it's working well as it is right now, it likely could use some "fixing" but even people such as Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell and Clarence Thomas have benefited from affirmative action. They probably shouldn't have needed it but unfortunately in our society they did. I do NOT want race or gender to be a factor in getting to be "top dog"! I'd love to live in a totally color-blind and gender-blind society and I have some hope from talking to kids like my grandkids and their friends that we'll get there one day soon. I'm sorry if I gave you the impression I think you "hate" anyone because I didn't mean it that way. I had suspected you hadn't been exposed to many other ethnic groups and therefore had some kind of a fear or distrust of them. PLEASE forgive me if I'm not choosing the right words here! I fully understand there are some of our generation who have not been around many minorities or people from different cultures or ethnic groups. Annie But
1 person likes this
@cher913 (25865)
• Canada
12 Jan 09
nope. my hubby was looking for s job in his field and most companies seem to want people to have a college degree. it doesnt matter what sort of job you are looking for, it doesnt matter what type of experience you have, you have to have a degree!
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40314)
• Canada
13 Jan 09
That is what it should be, but it seems that on Tv dramas, that is the ones I watch, police and investigation types, there is a tendency to make race matter more. I mean NCIS just went from a woman director to a black director, the character who admitted that he pressure to get that job. It does give a wrong impression about race and that is what I do not like. I can talk to everybody, but I am sure there are some people who might be rather nervous.
@cdparazo (5768)
• Philippines
13 Jan 09
I don't think so and I am sure most people agree with me. I believe that most of the time it is based on ability and experience. It just so happens that it is portrayed by people with color in SOME of the movies.
@peavey (16906)
• United States
13 Jan 09
I think I know what you mean. Often, a job goes to a "minority" or a woman because employees are required by law to hire a certain percentage of them regardless of whether they qualify. This is shown on TV as the right way to do things, whether it makes sense or not, and even if it's "Just on TV," people tend to believe what they see, so that it becomes even more entrenched in our culture.