A few summers ago I remember being in a really busy pub.
The sun was shining outside and the beer garden was full to capacity. Ideally I wouldn’t have stayed there, but from where we were all I could see were more packed bars, so I may as well have stayed at the one I actually liked.
I walked to the bar where I stayed for 28 minutes before I was served. Again, I should have left but I’d been at the front of the queue so long that I was always bound to be next. I am, unfortunately, one of the 44% of Briton’s not to complain too much when someone barges ahead of me in a bar queue – I save that for winter and the queue for a ski lift. Despite waved hands, lots of eye contact and exasperation, I was ignored.
That was until one a woman in the queue realised what was happening. She told me that I’d be served next. She pulled down her already low cut top, folded her arms and leaned on the bar next to get maximum lift and maximum exposure. “Yes please,” said the next available barman.
“You’ve been ignoring this guy for 15 minutes,” she replied.
Basically I’d been discriminated against for not having boobs.
However, a new technology by a company called Datasparq hopes to solve this problem. By “this problem” I mean queuing in bars, not discrimination or my lack of tits. They use facial recognition to thwart those who previously relied on their sharp elbows, good looks or a waved tenner to cut ahead in the line.
The tech notices who was first at the bar and circles their faces on a monitor, along with adding their position in the queue. All images are promptly deleted so privacy concerns aren’t an issue, so it sounds like a great plan.
One issue concerning discrimination based on anatomy isn’t so clear. A woman in Canada is suing several beauty salons for refusing to wax her penis and testicles.
Jessica (previously Jonathan) Yaniv is taking 16 women to court believing that the refusal of the women to give her a Brazilian wax is illegal under the BC Human Rights Code.
Now, it’s obviously quite an interesting case. It is discrimination, let’s be clear about that. But the thing is, every cis-bloke knows that Brazilian waxes aren’t done on our plumbing or, if it is, we’d make sure that the people we asked to do it didn’t mind, or at least offered it. Apparently “all women should receive the same service” but the truth is that not all women have bollocks.
Yaniv forgets that everyone has the right to say no to something that they’re uncomfortable with. No-one is obliged to touch your willy. They wouldn’t be obliged to wax women if they didn’t want to, contractual clauses aside. The right to say no in such a way is one of the pillars of true equality.
It is an interesting test case for all the discussion that involves the transgender community and what a reasonable expectation of their interactions with cis-gendered people are. However, the most interesting part of the story for me is that Yaniv describes the waxing as “gender affirming”. Because obviously nothing screams “I’m a woman” quite like having your manhood waxed.