Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Should The Rockettes Be Required to Perform at Trump's Inauguration?

If you've been following the presidential news lately, you may have read that the Radio City Rockettes will be performing as President Elect Trump is sworn into office. Not all Rockettes were thrilled about this, and one was very vocal that she shouldn't be forced to perform for someone she doesn't support. While news has come out that the women will not be forced to perform, this caused quite a controversy before that happened.

So, should the Rockettes be required to perform for President Elect Donald Trump? I thought about this today, and I really don't have a definitive opinion. Here's where I stand on both sides of the issue.

Yes, They Should be Required (The Pro Stance)

Back in high school, my class was asked this question: would you work for a company who you don't support? As idealistic teenagers, many of us said yes. I imagined myself working for a cigarette company or something, where even though I don't smoke, I'd be able to fulfill my responsibilities. No problem. But as I've become an adult, I realize it's not that simple. I could never work for a company that treated women unfairly or said negative things about groups that don't deserve them. For example, I believe that women should have access to birth control - I would not be able to work for a company that refused to provide it to employees. With something like this, though, it's a one-time issue, and many of us disagree with some things that our employers choose to do. Especially in a unionized environment, people have to do things that may not line up with their values, but have to as part of their contract.

Whether or not someone supports Trump, he was elected, and we need to accept the outcome. If the hiring organization for The Rockettes agreed to perform at Trump's inauguration, the Rockettes need to go.

I can see the reasons why some Rockettes would not want to perform, but then the question becomes, where do we draw the line? Can a Rockette refuse a Sunday performance for religious reasons, even though she signed on to perform on Sundays? Where do the needs of the employer and employee's personal boundaries meet, without sacrificing the values of either?

No, They Should Not Be Required (The Con Stance)

Donald Trump is as polarizing as they come, and if performing at his inauguration makes someone extremely uncomfortable, they should not be subjected to such a thing. If it would negatively impact someone's mental health or long term job satisfaction, it's their manager's responsibility to work out a solution with them. Nobody should be forced to work in an uncomfortable work environment.

Whether you support Mr. Trump or not, he did make misogynistic comments, and today's modern woman should not be forced to stand for, or support that, if she chooses not to. Rockettes are role models for today's youth, and part of that means standing up for what they believe in. While they are part of a group, they are individuals, and they're entitled to their opinions on this polarizing subject.

There are plenty of Rockettes - it's likely many are willing to perform, and there's no need to force those who do not want to.

A Final Thought

Part of the reason this is so tricky for me is a tweet that went out in response to this controversy. Someone commented that a Rockette shouldn't have to dance for Trump, the same way a baker shouldn't have to make a cake for a gay wedding. Before I read that, I was pro-Rockette - you shouldn't have to perform if you're completely against it. But then I saw that tweet, and I don't think it's fair for a baker to deny a cake for a gay couple. So, that's how I ended up torn on this subject. Sometimes the issue is bigger than we are, and this is one of those cases. I don't think I can truly choose a side without being at least somewhat hypocritical.

What do you think about this?

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