Saturday, April 23, 2005

Cheese with that Whine?

A couple of weeks - perhaps even a month - ago I read a story in the Metro commuter paper about a member of the Ontario Legislature (MPP; Member of Provincial Parliament) by the name of Lorenzo Berardinetti (Lib-Scarborough Southwest) who was all up in arms about an "eye-opening trip to the mall with his wife." It seems that the 40-ish (guessing - I imagine he is in his late thirties to early forties...) Berardinetti was stunned to learn that women pay more than men for such services as haircuts and drycleaning. Awesome. Groundbreaking.
He has even gone so far as to present a bill at Queen's Park to address the issue in law.
Now, I don't want to say anything untoward about "sort-of" lawyers because "sort-of" lawyers are often the most egregiously litigious, but, um, where have you been living all your life? When I first read the story I sort of chuckled and dismissed it, but now it looks like this doggy has legs and I am getting concerned.
Taking Mr. Berardinetti aside at Queen's Park, I might say, "Um, Dude ... that is the way of Things. It is the way It is, the way It has been and, God willing, the way IT shall always be."
My concerns are many. I am the first to admit that I look for the negative side of every situation, but I see nothing positive in this.
First, to the people of Scarborough Southwest (so near the Beach, but not quite...) I ask, "Do you really think that a man who is so out of touch with the fundamental workings of day-to-day life is adequately prepared to properly represent your interests in government?
Second, I wonder how it is that a man can come to graduate from University, work as a lawyer and enter politics with such an incomplete perspective of the world. I might understand if you had come from a humble working-class family and you didn't really have any exposure to drycleaning - but then, you would still have to have been aware of the difference between a barber shop and a salon!
Here's the thing. Traditionally, men's clothes have been easier to clean than women's. Usually a man gets a simpler haircut than a woman. Usually. If a guy wants something fancy he has to go to a stylist. Men have understood this since Fred chowed down on Brontosaurus burgers. Barber shops for guys, stylists for women. No problem.
Until now.
In the interest of fairness, we should pay the same for identical services. That is just common sense. What Berardinetti fails to grasp is that we don't get identical service.
I guess my fear is that rather than seeing women get a better deal on their fancy-schmancy services, I and every other man will just end up paying a lot more for our stuff.
Wealthy Barber indeed.
I was going to go on and on in this vein, but I think I will just end it here. It's a silly effort at legislation. Well-intentioned, perhaps, but foolish.
So foolish that I am sure we will see it pass. Ah, well.
Now I think I want to write about my barber shop experiences in my next entry.


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