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Inside the System

April 6, 2007 | Page 13

STORIES BELOW:
What's really wrong with McJobs?
At risk for feminism
Heard it through the grapevine

What's really wrong with McJobs?

MCDONALD'S IS McAshamed. The fast food giant is lobbying the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) to eliminate the word "McJob" from the dictionary.

As many as one in every eight workers in the U.S. has spent time behind a McDonald's counter. Low pay, bad hours and little prospect for a stable future lead to high turnover--thus, the coining of the term "McJob."

According to the OED, a McJob is "An unstimulating, low-paid job with few prospects, esp. one created by the expansion of the service sector." The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines McJob as "a low-paying job that requires little skill and provides little opportunity of advancement."

"Dictionaries are supposed to be paragons of accuracy," Walt Riker, a company spokesman complained to the Associated Press. "And it this case, they got it completely wrong. It's a complete disservice and incredibly demeaning to a terrific workforce and a company that's been a jobs and opportunity machine for 50 years."

What Riker and other McDonald's executives ignore, however, is that the term "McJob" isn't a comment on the quality of McDonald's employees, but the lackluster employment opportunities the company provides.

In fact, the OED also has an entry for the entire "Mc" prefix, defining it as a depreciative prefix attached "chiefly to nouns to form nouns with the sense 'something that is of mass appeal, a standardized or bland variety."
--Der Spiegel, March 21, 2007

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At risk for feminism

FEMINISM IS bad for your health--according to the mainstream media, anyway.

Last month, researchers in Sweden released a study that compared data on nine indicators of gender equality in both the private and public sectors, ranging from the proportion of men and women in management jobs to average income, local life expectancy, disability and absence from work due to illness.

"The results showed a strong link between gender equality and levels of sickness and disability for both men and women," reported Britain's Independent. "One of the findings was that equal financial resources between the sexes was associated with higher levels of sickness and disability. For both sexes, gender equality in managerial positions was associated with lower life expectancy.

"The scientists said possible explanations for the correlation is that men's health may be adversely affected by a loss of what had been seen as traditional male privileges. Women's health, meanwhile, could be being damaged by greater opportunities for risky behavior as a result of increased income, along with stress from longer working hours."

Though little additional information was given, RushLimbaugh.com drew the obvious conclusion: "Feminism makes people sick." The liberal British Independent newspaper was more qualified. "Why feminism could be bad for your health," read its headline.

As Guardian columnist Zoe Williams pointed out, "Is equality a prime factor here, or is it simply that people with managerial jobs--male and female--work harder and drink more and go to bed later than people without?"

"Even if gender parity increased your risk of illness by a factor of 100 percent," Williams added, "what do they think would happen--women would all resign our jobs and resume knitting?"
--The Guardian, March 28, 2007

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Heard it through the grapevine

"I feel that radical Muslims who want to control the Middle East and ultimately the world, would love to see 'In God We Trust' stricken from our money and replaced with 'In Muhammad We Trust.'"
--Rep. Virgil Goode (R-Va.)

"I am surprised, frankly, at the amount of distrust that exists in this town. And I'm sorry it's the case, and I'll work hard to try to elevate it."
--George W. Bush

"It's bad in Iraq. Does that help?"
--Bush's response to a reporter's question about Iraq

"We want that lady to have an incentive that makes her stop and think about having an abortion, and that gives her a reason to put her baby up for adoption."
--Texas state Sen. Dan Patrick, on his introduction of a bill to pay women $500 to put a child up for adoption instead of having an abortion

"[W]hen I read the Washington Post report, I was glad to know that those cockroaches were belly up. It suggested to me that at least someone was spraying for them, Mr. Chairman...And, of course, if you leave food around in a motel room or a dorm room at a college, you're going to get some mice show up at some point in time.
--Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.), on conditions at Walter Reed Army Medical Center

"I want to puke when I hear about a woman married to a woman raising children because, frankly, I think that it's child abuse to do that to children without their permission. What does a child know? Ask them when they're 16 whether they want to be raised by two lesbians or two men."
--Radio host Michael Savage

"I never saw a document...We never had a discussion about where things stood."
--U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, denying any involvement in the firing of eight U.S. attorneys

"E-mail messages and other documents released by the Justice Department in recent days suggest that Mr. Gonzales was told of the dismissal plan on at least two occasions, in 2005 when the plan was devised, and again in late 2006 shortly before the firings were carried out."
--New York Times

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