Reverse discrimination: when a store in Brno discriminates against men

In Economy on July 30, 2009 by Petr Bokuvka Tagged: , , ,

Wanted: a skilled and experienced female clerk (shop assistant). That’s what this ad says. Found it today in the very heart of Brno:

(c) Petr Bokuvka

(c) Petr Bokuvka

The store discriminates against male applicants. Publishing ads that discriminate due to age, sex or marital status, to name a few issues, is very frequent in this country.

The gender issue is usually based on the “language problems” and stereotypes, i.e. how we associate certain professions either with men or women. And the problem is that most Czech nouns carry information on the gender of the person referred to. For example:

prodavac = male shop assistant
prodavacka = female shop assistant

ucitel = male teacher
ucitelka = female teacher


In other words, most of these ads are published or printed and hanged out by people who live in stereotypes. A guy would not want to work in a store that sells clothes, they might think.

Another two most frequent forms of discrimination in “wanted” ads are: We offer work in a young team – which translates as  “if you are over 35, do not bother applying”, or We request flexibility beyond usual working hours – which translates as “women with children should not attempt to reply”.

I understand discrimination is a bad thing, but on the other hand “it is my company so I can hire whoever I want” is an element of democracy and free market economy that should not be forgotten either. Firms that seek new employees are therefore recommended to use slashes in their ads, like this: prodavac/prodavacka, i.e. in order to refer to both sexes in their ads. On the other hand, the fact that HR specialists ask undesirable questions (Do you want to have children? Are you pregnant now? Do you have grandparents to take care of your children in case you are sick?) is an altogether different thing that is hard to prove and battle with.


4 Responses to “Reverse discrimination: when a store in Brno discriminates against men”

  1. […] Discrimination and political incorrectness used to be huge in the Czech Republic. I have not lived there for a while so I don’t know the situation from the first hand but from what I have heard from my Czech friends (and family) who still live there the situation has gotten much better; not great, but better. This means that it is still fairly normal if a construction worker whistles at you as you are passing by. The Czech Daily Word points out yet another way of discriminating, this time in the city of Brno (read the whole article here). […]

  2. I miss pani ucitelku from ZS Hercikova 19!

  3. “The store discriminates male applicants.”

    Just a correction. In English you don’t “discriminate people”; you discriminate AGAINST people. So you should have said:

    “The store discriminates against male applicants.”
    I’m sure this one must be in “English or Czenglish?” somewhere.

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