Acceptable Discrimination

I noticed something at our first OBGYN visit.  This particular OBGYN’s office was called “Associated Women’s Healthcare”.  After going, though, it should be called “Healthcare Administered by Associated Women.”

We arrived and all of the front desk people were women.  We went back and both nurses we saw were women.  The phlebotomist was a woman.  The sonographer was a woman.  The billing and insurance person was a woman.  Last but not least, the doctor was a woman.  There wasn’t a single man in the entire office, except the fathers-to-be.

There were women of all sizes, shapes, ethnicity, and background, but there was not a single man to be found.

I hesitate to believe that there just wasn’t a single qualified male doctor, nurse, phlebotomist, sonographer, or administrative assistant out there…

So why is it OK for this office to clearly discriminate against men in their hiring practices?

One of my favorite programs is NPR’s Planet Money.  They have a twice weekly podcast as well as a blog they keep up.  They regularly do stories for one of my other favorite programs, This American Life.  They have this incredible way of making economics relevant and interesting to people who aren’t economists.  It’s an incredible feat.

Here’s the deal though… just check out the names:

  • Adam Davidson, Correspondent
  • David Kestenbaum, Correspondent
  • Chana Joffe-Walt. Correspondent
  • Jacob Goldstein, Correspondent
  • Alex Blumberg, Contributing Editor

This is a list of some of the most Jewish names I’ve ever encountered. Now, certainly they have scores of staffers and interns who don’t have Jewish heritage, but it appears you have to have a very pronounced Jewish heritage to be an on-air personality for this show.

Look, I don’t have anything against women or Jews. I’m just saying, can you really so blatantly get away with stacking the cards with one class of individual without incurring the wrath of the government? Or do those anti-discrimination laws only apply to workplaces that are white, upper-middle-class, and male-dominated?

Just wondering…

4 thoughts on “Acceptable Discrimination”

  1. If you ask my husband about the female dominant OB office, he would say of course…no man wants to work in that field.:) Our ward here is predominantly med students and it is so funny to hear them talk about dreading the OB rotation. I think they are all a little bit scared of it to be honest! But you are right, the only men you will see will be the dads to be and possible a male physician here or there…But if yoiu were to look at an orthopedic practice the gender roles would be switched a bit. I guess there is something more glamorous about repairing an ACL than delivering a baby. 🙂

  2. Out of curiosity, how long did that first appointment take at your female dominated office? With my first baby, I went to an all female office and each appointment would take two hours. Two hours to take my vitals, hear the baby’s heartbeat and measure my tummy. For my second baby I switched insurance and switched doctors. This time I saw a man. Gasp. That first appointment–the one where you fill out all the paper work, have labs, an ultrasound, have your privacy invaded, etc–took 45 minutes. Seriously? Each visit after that was under a 1/2 hour. Not only were the appointments short, but he almost always ran right on time. I attribute all this to the fact that ladies I saw just wanted to chat my ear off about everything and anything. And an all female office has all sorts of potential for drama, no matter how professional things seem to the patient and that is going to slow things down (believe me, I worked with Dr. Drama and Nurse Drama all through high school at an almost all female office). This new doctor got down to business, but still had a better bedside manner than my female doctor.

    And to add, my favorite nurse in the hospital after I delivered was a man. Shocker.

  3. I have always been discriminated against being born a white, middle class, blonde hair, blue eyed, male.

  4. You’re so analytical sometimes…glad you got a post out of those mostly useless visits though.

    My past 2 OBGYN’s have been men, by the way.

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