Type "Japan" into the Cracked article search bar and hit "enter," and you'll find that we've probably written more about it than Batman and Tesla combined. Their weird approach to just about every aspect of day to day life helps us put bread on the table. The last thing we want is to come off as racist in an article about discrimination, so let's acknowledge that it is probably just our narrow Western sensibilities that make us think Japanese culture is ridiculous. That said, you can guess that if the Japanese are going to do workplace discrimination, they're going to do it their own way.
The is how they do sex.
Bura-Hara is the Japanese practice of discrimination by blood-type. It's based on the myth that your blood-type determines your personality, proving again that people will spare no expense thinking up new ways to groundlessly wedge large tracts of society into a tiny box. Folks with type-O, they say, are more likely to be energetic and social, while type-B are just selfish, whiny jerks. Just like most of the new-age gibberish that passes through Oprah's book club, the appeal is in how scientific it sounds to the layperson.
"They got charts!"
While most people may only consider blood-type profiling to be just another horoscope novelty, it is becoming an increasingly popular way to discriminate against others. Even politicians, including the former prime minister, feel the need to state their type. Additionally, kindergartens are being split up based on blood-type, as are dating services. Perhaps worse, job seekers are now being asked their blood-type during their interviews. If you want to get a job in Japan, you really don't want to have type-B blood.
"This guy's blood looks an especially douchey shade of red to you?
Of course, the whole thing's deeply rooted in Nazi ideology. When Hitler started trying to breed a master race, his allies absorbed some of the Nazis' extremely feeble grasp of science. The notion that blood-types determined personalities died out after the war... until the 1970s, when it was brought back into vogue by some absolute nobody who everyone decided to listen to for some reason. We're guessing he was type-B.
Quick, think of every role Danny DeVito has ever played. Greedy, unpleasant used-car salesman; greedy, unpleasant con-man; greedy, unpleasant penguin mutant. It's not just because DeVito really is a creepy little dwarven bastard--though that may also be true. Remember all the times he played the foil to Schwarzenegger's tall, handsome, nice guy? It's because we subconsciously hate short people. No, really.
Hate, and fear.
It's so bad that, for some reason, we imagine nasty people like Napoleon to have been really short, even though that's totally not true. And as some studies have already found, taller people are approximately 73 percent more likely to land a job when they're up against a shorter, but similarly qualified, applicant. This may also help explain why shorter people tend to earn less than taller people. It's estimated that shorter people earn around $800 less per inch per year.
We guess having a whole ton of short kids would work out alright, fiscally.
As Volvo found, heightism and sexism can be rolled into one big discrimination extravaganza. A Volvo factory applied a minimum height requirement of 163 centimeters for all their workers. Not only did this get rid of all those pesky short people, but because this knocks out only one percent of the male population but a whopping 25 percent of the female population, it gets rid of all those pesky women too.
Also, in China, it's fairly common procedure to set height requirements for ordinary jobs. Also, they have a midget theme park there. So, there's that.
It's not often we're stunned into speechlessness. Way to go, China.
For a pseudo-science that's only survived because editors feel a need to fill the last page of the newspaper with more than just comics, it should go without saying that astrology is an utterly useless way of hiring people. But of course, that's such a Pisces thing to say.
Stupid Pisces. Always migrating upstream.
India, for example, is crazy about it. The Indian Council of Astrological "Sciences" reports a growing trend in employers hiring astrology consultants to help them decide who to employ and who to fire. The best thing about this job is that you get to reap a fabulous paycheck for writing a bunch of gibberish like "If Mars is in the third house suspected by Moon and Mercury, one has a tendency to betray those who believe in him." Who is going to dispute that? Are you going to argue with science?
"Yes John, I'm afraid you're going to gun down half the office in a drunken rage next Thursday. Don't blame me, it's Jupiter's fault."
Austria goes a step further. Just last year, an Austrian company decided to hire people born under only five certain astrology signs. According to a spokesperson, it's not like they're a bunch of superstitious nuts; they're just using "the same scientific methodology for making their choices that medical researchers and sociologists routinely use all the time without any dispute or controversy whatsoever." There's that magic word again: science. It makes the most outlandish claims seem suddenly reasonable.
And how did the government react? They shrugged their shoulders and decided it's all above board. It's only a little bit of discrimination, after all, and besides, it's not like they've ever let someone's own crazy prejudices get out of control before. Wait, was it Hitler or Charlie Chaplin who was born in Austria?
See more from Robin at gunaxin.com
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