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Remember when I asked why Ami James, owner of the "NY Ink" tatoo shop would allow blatant sexism to go on in his shop? Well, my voice was heard! By at least one person at New York Magazine's Vulture blog, who asked him about it. See his response below:
Um, OK. I was willing to give Ami James the benefit of the doubt, considering I was analyzing a few minutes of footage taken for a reality television show, surely edited for utmost drama. I even tried to get in touch with him through Twitter for a comment before publishing this piece. But this response bugs.
Because actually, Ami isn't a "friend." He's the owner of the shop. So how do you discipline a guy that's 36 years old? The same way you'd discipline any other employee. Ami says in the same interview that he wouldn't do a racist tattoo. Would he allow Chris Torres to say something racist to a black or Hispanic employee? Or is it just sexism that's OK?
The offending clip, in case you forgot:
No, a tattoo shop is not a corporate office with an HR department, but I'm pretty sure the laws about discrimination and hostile work environments still apply. And no, Ami isn't Chris Torres' "father," he's his employer, and as such it is in completely within his purview to discipline and/or dismiss an employee who insists on sexually harassing another employee.
Women in tattoo shops have the same right to a safe and discrimination-free work environment as any other women. So while I'm certain Megan is capable of "defending herself," she really shouldn't have to.
I have nothing against the guy personally, but I don't dig the complete evasion of responsibililty for an environment that he created and controls. And then blaming that lack of responsibility on "respect" for his female employee's independence? Ugh.
Maybe it's time for Ami to grow up and realize that he is in charge, and then to use his corner of authority to make a difference in the world. Especially with so many people watching.