Be it slavery of the Jews in Rome, and the native Blacks in Africa or the modern day accepted practice of unnecessary portrayal of men/women in advertisements for a product targeted for the opposite sex. (ex: An all women and no man advertisement for selling a product for men, like undergarments, etc. and the man himself is missing in the advt. keeps one guessing for whom it is!).
Although the perception of discrimination varies individually as widely as the individual characteristics themselves, the idea of a prejudiced or unfair treatment itself indicates a lack of understanding of the needs and desires of an individual. It even indicates a selfish and indifferent behavior of some. And just as one can find people of different kinds, forms, ethnicity, habits, gender, age, religion, etc. so are there as many grounds for discrimination for those who afford to discriminate.
But, every problem brings with it a solution and hence the issue of discriminating also can be combated by making the necessary regulations for conduct by one and all. And also, care should be taken as not to encroach upon an individual's rights, as humanly as possible. These regulations in general are to be formulated and implemented strictly by the governing authorities, to bring about a change by a little coercion.
One such revolutionary regulation that paved the way for women cadets in the Citadel is in the case of Shannon Faulkner who aspired to wear the Citadel ring (Genovese, 2). While Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 states that 'employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin is prohibited' (Unlawful Employment Practices, par.1), Miss Faulkner's aspirations to join the Citadel were curbed by her exclusion from among the cadets. This was with complete indifference to the rights of Miss Faulkner.
Her qualification for enrolling into the Citadel as an able and competent individual was not considered judiciously by the authorities concerned. While 'conservatives believed that the biological differences between men and women justify the exclusion of women from male enclaves' (Genovese, 1), the radical democrats vehemently defended her rights.
Mrs.Genovese observes that 'public feeling for Shannon Faulkner had run high and presumably every American believed that young women cannot be denied educational and occupational opportunities on account of their sex' (2). Hence, the Citadel was forced to take an affirmative action to stop employment discrimination.
A move in this direction was the Affirmative Action Plan or the Entity Plan undertaken by the Citadel. It put forth a basic outline of the positive steps to employ and advance in employment qualified minorities, women, disabled veterans, veterans of the Vietnam era, and persons with disabilities (Affirmative Action Plan, par. 1). The South Carolina Human Affairs Commission was also sought to co-operate in reviewing the job qualifications for the eligible persons and adopt new procedures as and when formulated.
Some of the procedures adopted to ensure an affirmative action are-
1. To make available to all members of the Citadel and to the local community the affirmative action plan clearly by way of copies of the plan, statements by its administrative officer's, brochures, manuals, campus publications, etc.