Wednesday, April 20, 2016
What's wrong with a female-staffed business that caters only to females (and male children up to age 13)? Well, lots of things. To make it easy to see the problem, simply switch the genders. What about a ride sharing service that employees [sic] only men? Or that says, "white people are more comfortable riding with white people, so we only hire white people and only give rides to white people and children of any race under age 13"? Yeah, the problem is pretty obvious.Whatever one might think of such segregated businesses, the kinds of laws that will probably kill off this company shouldn't even be on the books because they violate freedom of contract. Although I would boycott any racially-segregated taxi service that would have me as a customer and (along the lines suggested by Lucas) question the need for a female-only service, I think it is morally wrong (and contrary to the proper purpose of government) to prevent such a business from operating.
There are some jobs where gender is actually a valid hiring requirement. It's called a Bona Fide Occupational Qualification (BFOQ) and it's not handed out to make people feel more comfortable. For instance, customer preferences aren't a valid reason for limiting your hiring pool by race, gender, religion, or other characteristic. [links in original]
Anyone who has, in the past, supported laws violating freedom of contract should reconsider such support, whether the laws prevent someone (e.g., a non-govenment employer) from acting based on discrimination or force one to discriminate (e.g., through hiring quotas). When thinking about such laws, a good maxim might be: "Never advocate political power for your friends that you would fear in the hands of your worst enemy." While the situation for Chariot might not exactly correspond to that hypothetical situation, it is close enough to be illustrative, given that many women mistakenly support laws that prohibit sex-based discrimination.