Friday, April 13, 2007

Tattoo-ism and Imus

Lost amid the focus on the invectives that Don Imus directed at the Rutgers women's basketball team is the trigger for it all: his initial impression (prejudgement, prejudice) based on the tattoos worn by those young women. College kids entering the job market don't realize that someone in their late 60s, with military service in the 50s, might be of the opinion that the only women who wear tattoos are whores, or "hard women". There are quite a few college students who would not get a job if a liberal like Don Imus was doing the hiring. God only knows what Rush thinks.

Its unclear to me how many people from my generation hold those views. Working on a college campus keeps one younger, since you are around 20+ young people all the time. College students never grow old, and we stay young with them.

In a business like my brother is in, where what you can do matters more than what you look like, my impression is that it would not matter much. When I asked him about the corporate view of a student of mine, who resembles "Pierce" in the comic strip Zits, he told me that one of their last two fresh-from-college hires fit that mold. They could care less how many rings he ahs in his nose as long as he can design a working bit of software.

But if you are a business major, or in a sales area where first impressions are everything, the situation could be different. How many tattoos do you want to see on your doctor?

Note added:
On the job hunt, you can hide lots of tattoos, but you might not be able to hide your myspace or facebook history.

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