Re: @ Trevor
"If you had the choice of losing your job or being raped what would you choose?"
Honestly? I'd chose the rape, though only by the narrowest of margins and only if the job loss was "career loss" class as exemplified by the "a job without computers" portion of the comment. I don't remotely expect that everyone will feel the same, and I think the specific circumstances matter a hell of a lot in making that call.
To be honest, I feel that just by asking that question is such a blatantly black-and-white fashion you are trivializing both rape and career loss without giving any real consideration to the effects of either.
Both are traumatic events that are horrible, but I will heal from the rape. Lose my job and I might never be able to return to a position where you make a similar income, have the same opportunities for advancement, etc. I might lose your house, I might lose everything.
"Rape and losing your job are in two very different categories that cannot be compared to each other."
Oh no? Why not? Rape comes in two parts: violence - or the threat thereof - enacted against the individual is the first part, and the easiest to overcome.
The second part - the damning and damaging part - is a lifelong feeling of a loss of control. You feel like you don't have value. That you don't have worth. You feel that maybe you deserved it, that something about is fundamentally wrong. Some days are better than others, granted...but it never leaves you. It haunts you. It underpins your personality and serves as a subconscious, silent reminder that - underneath it all - you're just an object, a toy, a disposable thing.
There is nothing trivial about rape; not because of the violence of the event - and remember many rapes aren't violent in any way - but because of the legacy it leaves, imprinted on the mind of the victim...often for a lifetime.
Losing one's job comes in two parts. The initial loss of income and it's immediate fallout, and the long term effects, should this result in a major quantitative negative change in quality of life.
Loosing one's job - especially in cases where an individual cannot return to the level of income or possibility of career advancement they had previously - can lead to feelings of loss of control, powerlessness and hopelessness. The fewer your options for new employment, the more you feel like a worthless "thing". A toy, to be discarded. There can be massively negative social implications; humiliation, ostracisation, even the disintegration of that individual's family.
The loss of a job - especially one that is of such a dramatic change that one is "working without computers" - can be hugely traumatic. Going from $100,000+ a year to digging ditches has absolutely proven to make people suicidal, amongst other things.
Being perfectly honest, I fear the concept of that level of job loss - especially against my will and over something so trivial as expressing a preference for a given UI! - even more than I do rape. At least people understand rape. There are trauma centers and counseling and an entire constellation of support mechanisms to help people cope with the psychological trauma that comes form that.
But the long term psychological trauma of having one's life turned upside down due to career-ending-class job loss? As a society, we won't even touch it. We will cheerfully let people kill themselves off rather than face up to the fact that this is problem.
When I think about the sort of job loss discussed here - massive career change to the point of "not working with computers - I picture the issues of reintegration of soldiers, or the problems faced by an aging population who lose their jobs but can't get a new one. I've seen instances of that being every bit as horrible - and as frightening to me - as rape.
But there are pitifully few social institutions to help those who have lost their job. There is a massive amount of social animosity towards them - "get a job, ya bum!" - and fuck all in terms of sympathy if they've gotten a job, (or two, or three or four) but so far below what they were making previously that they sink into a massively long term clinical depression...or commit suicide.
We mock, disparage, disrespect and discourage those who lose their jobs, especially if the individuals "falls so low" as to go from a well paying job to "one without computers involved."
I can see in both cases a loss of power. I can see in both cases feeling like an object, a "disposable person". I can see in both cases feeling as though I had no value, and never could have value in the eyes of others.
But only in one case do I see that society would be ready and willing to try and help me fight my way back to feeling human again.
Before you fly off the handle of political correctness, I strongly encourage you to spend some time with people who have honestly tried to rebuild their lives after losing a good paying job, but failed. Those who have put years into it, who have worked the minimum wage jobs, lost their houses, or been told time and time again they're "too old".
Please try to take the time to understand that rape isn't alone in being a life-changing negative event. Trivializing job loss - especially career loss - is every bit as asinine as trivializing rape.
There are those who feel that in this thread I have trivialized rape. I honestly don't believe I have. I believe, instead, that the people who decry my comparison are trivializing the long term emotional damage that forced career loss can - and does - have on many people in our society.
I also believe that such comparisons must be made, if we are ever to force ourselves - and our society as a whole - to confront the problem and find solutions that preserve the dignity of those affected. Hate me if you want to; that is what - to me - this thread has been about.