It’s just that in China, some job recruiters are turning away potential hires if they were born under Virgo (August 23 ““ September 22). And I want to make sure that if you’re looking for employment in the land of the Red Dragon, you won’t get discriminated against.
I, for one, am a Taurus, so I’m in the clear … at least for now. If you believe in the stargazing system, it also means that I have a warm heart, a courageous spirit, and am endowed with the physical attributes of a bull (all the physical attributes of a bull).
The Chinese treat the Western zodiac, among other superstitious programs, with great respect and veneration. To many, the personality traits attributed to the 12 different astrological signs are received as factual and good predictors of future behavior. In fact, some companies even favor certain signs they believe will benefit their work environment like Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius.
Discrimination based on age, skin color, and religion is nothing new in China, and neither is the bias against Virgos. They’ve actually been turned away for some time because of their “perfectionist” and “overly-critical” attitude, which can stifle workplace productivity. In China, this unlucky lot is the most underemployed of all the signs. But only in the past month have Virgos started retaliating against the absurd convention. They’ve taken to the Chinese microblogging site Weibo to reclaim their birthright as practical and diligent peoples. We’ll see if they have something to say about their sign promoting life-long virginity ““ doubtful a popular badge of pride, at least for men.
The United States is a different story. America is very vigilant (or at least it tries to be) when it comes to cracking down on workplace discrimination. The Equal Employment Opportunities Commission very strictly enforces the civil laws that prohibit discrimination against what are known as “protected classes.” The protected classes currently recognized by law are untouchable by discrimination based on age, disability, equal pay/compensation, genetic information, harassment, national origin, pregnancy, race/color, religion, retaliation, or sex/gender.
If you’re a perfectionist Virgo who read that list five times waiting to see “Astrological Sign” somewhere on it, quit while you’re ahead. It’s not there.
But could, in theory, American employers discriminate based on the zodiac? On the surface, it’s technically not racism, sexism, classism, differently-ableism, or even ageism (because it doesn’t take into account birth year, only month).
The zodiac transcends earthly constructs like race, genetic makeup, nationality, and sex. It occupies some other cosmic concept that we haven’t necessarily labeled or dealt with here on Earth in a political sense. In other words, as far as I can tell, discriminating against someone based on their zodiac sign is in no way politically incorrect. Does that mean American recruiters can rip up your resume if they don’t like your birth month?
There’s an employment lawyer named Neil Klingshirn in Ohio who’s written extensively on civil liberties on his website. Wouldn’t you know he has asked almost the same exact question? And this is what he has to say about the matter:
“Until other classes of people are protected, biases that operate to deny them equal opportunities are not unlawful. For example, an employer could refuse to hire an applicant who was born under the sign of Aquarius without breaking the law. Why? Because astrological sign discrimination is not so prevalent as to require governmental intervention in private employment. In other words, governments have had no reason to pass laws to protect Aquarians from the denial of equal employment opportunities.” (bolding mine.)
Hold the phone, Neil, are you telling me that as we speak, people all around this great nation who might have been born under a bad sign are at risk of being denied jobs?
Mr. Klingshirn does say that, at this time, governments have no reason to pass laws to protect certain Astrological signs from discrimination, which is a good thing. But if one day more and more Virgos or Aquariuses were unfairly turned away from a job, would they have a case?
Well, since the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has refused to answer my repeated phone calls on the matter (they’re probably too busy advocating for women’s rights or something important like that), I’m going to have to speculate here.
The two areas that astrological discrimination could potentially fall under, if this case were to get picked up by the Justices, are Disability Discrimination and Religious Discrimination. And here’s why:
If a recruiter legitimately believes that a Virgo has a defect of personality (i.e. mental disability) related to their birth, and that the defect won’t be going away any time soon (unless they smudge their birth certificates), and then that recruiter doesn’t hire that applicant ““ this is an instance of Disability Discrimination. In the US, it is illegal to hire and fire someone, with some exceptions, because of a mental or physical disability. A crockpot truly serious about superstitions would treat star signs with as much integrity as they would a physician’s examination. And you can’t turn someone away for testing positive for anything.
China, I just whooped you upside the head with the gavel of Yankee Justice. Bam! Now here comes the back swing, so I suggest you duck:
Many religions (including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) condemn the worship of the stars and heavenly bodies (a practice known as astrolatry). If a recruiter doesn’t hire someone whose theistic belief prohibits them from buying into the idea that the celestial bodies are magical, they could be committing an act of Religious Discrimination. This as we know is a big no-no. However, the jury is still out on Atheists ““ the traditionalist government still doesn’t know how to handle the growing number of these guys.
In conclusion, if China’s small-minded hiring policies happened to creep their way over to the United States, they would be struck down as discriminatory, if my estimations are correct. Unless of course they actually proved advantageous to Chinese companies… in which case America might start adopting them in order to maintain its global dominance.