Ohio College Stops Construction Work Due To Use Of “Men Working” Sign

Grimco w211ra22_imgSinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio has forced a construction crew to stop working after workers put up a warning sign reading “Men Working.” According to the report below, the college declared that the sign was “sexist and non-inclusive” and had to be removed before any further work resumed.

A female college employee complained that she found the sign offensive. Sinclair’s director of public information Adam Murka explained that the college takes “quite seriously” its “deep commitment to diversity. I am not sure that this particular battle reinforces the serious nature of that commitment. I do think that the construction company should go with gender neutral signs like “Construction Zone” but the necessity of stopping such work over such a sign seems rather over the top to me. The concern may be that “construction zone” does not remind drivers of the presence of workers and “workers working” is a bit awkward.

What do you think?

Source: Daily Mail

94 thoughts on “Ohio College Stops Construction Work Due To Use Of “Men Working” Sign

  1. Our highway department has signs that say “Workers Ahead” and also that speeding fines are doubled when workers are present.

  2. Stopping work for a sign is a little excessive. I used to work constriction to help pay my way though school and if they think the sign is offensive, then they shouldn’t go near the workers. What comes out of their mouths is WAAAAY worse. Myself included. When in Rome…

  3. They should cover the sign now….. And put on it “NO ONE WORKING”……. Or move it to Mexico…..

    This is really good PC….. Hmmmmm……

  4. “A female college employee complained that she found the sign offensive. ”

    So what?!

    Were there no men working there? Was the crew all female? If only men were working then the sign was totally descriptive. Why didn’t she just pull out a magic marker and put a “Wo” in front of “Men”?

    Honestly … people are just plain nuts!

  5. Speaking of politically incorrect signs. There is a pickup truck driving around town with a bumper sticker that says,

    “I go into the woods with my gun,
    Hunt down animals and kill them,
    Eat their flesh and wear their skins.”

    Needless to say, PETA is not a strong presence in our area or the truck would probably have been vandalized already.

  6. OS,

    One of the comments in the newspaper about this incident mentions seeing a “Men Working” sign as a child but the words “in bed” had been sprayed painted on the sign … he was young and didn’t understand the meaning.

  7. was the sign inaccurate? if not, then i dont see how anyone can be offended. i understand the need to be includisve, but if the sign was accurate, what is the problem? i am a man and would not be offended to see a sign that said “women working” if, in fact, women were working on the road ahead.

  8. The obvious question is:
    How many women were working on the construction?

    How about:
    “People of various sexes and sexual orientations working”?
    We have to be inclusive of gay, bi and trans-gendered people and particularly those who are part way through the trans process.

    What if the people are all on a lunch break?
    So how about:
    “If there are any people working here, they are of various sexes and sexual orientations”.

  9. If women were working in the area, then the signs should not just say men working. It is unsafe for the women workers. Change usually begins with the students so protesting and stopping the work sounds like a plan.

  10. I agree with you Blouise. This is nuts. And it really doesn’t help the “cause” when someone takes “offense” to this extreme.

    “Workers Ahead” is what I have seen in several jurisdictions, but I am not offended in the least if I see a “Men Working” sign, even if there happen to be women working on the crew as well.

  11. You know, I think “MEN WORKING” is dated, is sexist, and doesn’t matter much. Don’t print up any new “MEN WORKING” signs but don’t throw away the old ones; who has money to throw away? Male and female taxpayers?

  12. given the story its difficult to tell if there was much more than a complaint to which they over reacted. It makes for a nice sensational headline grabber and makes us all feel better than those darn feminazis.

    Fix the signage & move on

  13. Hopefully the construction company billed the college for the shutdown. The sign was probably one pulled out of a shed sometime just before work began. There was no conspiracy to subjugate anyone. I can guarantee that no worker on the project thought this prior to the griping of that employee.

    She needs to get a life and stop her crusade to clense the world of all things she considers to be bad and to stop grandstanding at the same time. I agree with Blouise on if there were all men working on the construction project, the sign would be entirely accurate. If a woman was present so what! What’s the practical implication, would a driver run over the woman because the sign did not accurately warn to be wary of female construction workers?

    Just use the old sign until it wears out and buy another one that reads “Workers Present” (or does the word “Worker” subjugate the underclass by tying it to the perjorative “working class”?)

  14. Catering to frivolous complaints does nothing to promote diversity. If anything, it makes it harder to get people to acknowledge serious issues. We need to stop allowing the craziest person in the room to run things.

  15. Blouise contributed:
    “Why didn’t she just pull out a magic marker and put a “Wo” in front of “Men”?”
    She probably gave up because she couldn’t erase the “e” and make it a “y” as in Womyn

  16. Thing is, “men Working” is usually inaccurate anyway, and should probably be “Persons sometimes working/often just standing around with hands in pockets”

  17. More than likely only one person is actually working…..then it should be at that point changed to accurately reflect the situation….. “MAN” working…… You see if you women there and they are working while the men stood around you’d have a gender bias lawsuit or and EEOC claim….. You’ve opened the door now Darren….

  18. This is pc college culture on full display. I’m heartened by the number of folks here who reject it. The only quality really needed to see the absurdity is good ol’ fashioned common sense.

  19. –ism’s are insidious and damn hard, if not impossible, to root out because they are constantly being reinforced in subtle ways. This one little incident with the sign is next to meaningless — but it happens hundreds of times to each person each day but almost never noticed.

    Yeah, the university’s action “makes for a nice sensational headline grabber,” which is the sort of thing an institution devoted to not the mere education of its student but their edification should be about: exploit a teachable moment.

    The value of the act is its spotlight on the near invisibility of cultural reinforcement of –ism’s.

  20. Nick,

    You’re gonna get it soon I’m sure…. But you’re a protagonist at heart…. Some like other forms of pleasure…. But hey…. What floats your boat…. Or ….

  21. orolee, “The value of the act is its spotlight on the near invisibility of cultural reinforcement of –ism’s”. ……Excellent

    The young see things new, and lacking years of acceptance, submission, compliance, they notice imbalance. Kudos to young minds and perceptions.

    Anyone see an imbalance if all the signs were changed to Women Working.

    Workers Ahead, Work Zone, Slow Down. Absolutely fine with me.

  22. AY, In Texas along the state roads it could say, “Inmate Working.” When I worked in Leavenworth I could alway tell the inmates from Texas because they called me, “Boss Man.” Now, a lot of southern inmates call a guard, “Boss”, but only Texans used “Boss Man.”

  23. orolee, you’re right or course. The construction industry’s a tough nut to crack. Over time, women have striven to enter it’s domain, quite often only to be relegated to tokens and, on road projects, usually flaggers. I suspect that when they actually got construction jobs the pay was not comparable. I also suspect that those women who eventually cracked into the field would not be about to complain about the sexist nature of signs very loudly. Some might. Truth is that it is perhaps easier to see the daily “reinforcement” you allude to in a blatant sign for a road crew than in the subtle ways of the white collar world. I don’t really know. It’s insidious anywhere it exists

  24. Nick,

    I’m unsure if they still use prison labor…. The counties use inmates….. But I was referring to the ginormous road construction projects….

    I’ve a friend that owns a place called “Three City Blocks” in Alabama….they tried to use the prison labor but had two inmates pass out the first day…. She said that how much the states immigration policy has effectively curtailed the running of the property…..and they wish it’d be reversed….. Btw…. It’s over 30k acres….. Thought the name was funny….

  25. Hey, dredd and nick…. You better apologize for your inappropriate statements…. Your not being PC today……

  26. Personkind should get books like the Bible rewritten to take the sex out of God.

    If She made personkind in Her own image, where did the man bits come from?
    Or is She hismaphrodite?

  27. AY, Nobody has expressed being offended yet. I think this case is just too blatantly stupid for the usual suspects to express outrage..yet anyway! It’s still early.

  28. I really didn’t think anybody would defend this nonsense, even here. But leave it to Swarthmore Mom to agree with this mindless “outrage.” Unfortunately I wasn’t too surprised to see that.

    Good grief.

  29. In many jurisdictions, signage must comply with the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. Even if not mandatory, it is usually wise as it is likely to be used as a standard in lawsuits alleging inadequate or improper signage. I don’t believe the Manual contains a Workers Ahead sign. I think a dialogue as to whether the standard signage is appropriate, but causing economic loss due to the use of such standard signage over something like this is counter productive.

  30. On the way to the office, there was a huge diamond shaped orange sign that said “Utility work ahead.” Impossible to miss. They have been repaving the street, and I think the water and sewer department is replacing manhole covers. OOPS! I said “manhole.”

    My bad.

  31. “Men Working” doesn’t work for me. First of all, there are usually 4 or 5 non-working “supervisors” for each worker. But the bigger message is “no women need apply”. The message is subtle but it’s there.

    “People Working” works for me. So does “Work Zone”

    Kudos to the person complaining and to the college for taking it seriously.

  32. I propose “Caution – Fleshy Headed Mutants In Roadway!” or “Don’t run anyone over, you speeding jackass! While you’re at it, slow down!”

    What they lack in brevity they make up for in precision.

  33. Come to the biggest inhabited area in the world without traffic signs with text.

    Sign language (pun?) works here, except in France.

    Yes, yes…..the IQs are so low so only signs can be comprehended.
    I knew that would come.

  34. itchinBayDog says that my use of vernacular and scientific is improper. The sign should read: Six dongs and a twat straiight ahead. Slow the f down.

    They dont need no roads around that college.

  35. itchinBayDog says that it is unfair that WordPress, which is the censor for JT on this blog, will not let her print her name on the blog without the pig latin yet they will print the word twat.

  36. Is it true that there are not men working while they itchBay about some sign language. What are they? Deaf? College kids always get hung up on sign language.

  37. junctionshamus,

    The really funny part of that video you posted is that the band Men At Work got sued about that song and lost.

  38. Sounds to me like some Ohio college employees have FAR too much time on their hands. Get a life, people. Find a cause to support that actually DOES some good rather than some silly PC whining.

  39. Anonymously Yours 1, December 4, 2012 at 11:24 am

    Hey, dredd and nick…. You better apologize for your inappropriate statements…. Your not being PC today……
    Resistance is futile.

    Scientific classifications are PC.

  40. Nick,

    Why would you think someone would be upset….. Nah…. Everybody gets along here…..

    I was just talking to my daughter about this…. Apparently she’s been looking… She’s 18…. She thinks this is funny…..

  41. BarkinDog, methinks you are having WAY too much fun with this topic!!!

    I can’t STAND it when people get all PC all the time, it’s one of the things that annoys the snot out of me!

    Chick SERIOUSLY needs to get a life! But what is way worse, is that the college LISTENED to her! People are truly insane and need to get a grip!

    Can you imagine what it would really be like to be living inside a person that could get that worked up with a word on a sign? Makes me shudder to think about it!

  42. Why is the sign so generic? These folks aren’t practicing law, they’re digging or jack hammering and such. Men at work sounds so innocuous. Better to say something like Avoid death, go around. And changing words on a sign won’t do Jack to affect diversity in the crew that’s working.

  43. Gene wrote”

    I propose “Caution – Fleshy Headed Mutants In Roadway!”
    Beware, radiation has made them an enemy of civilization. Take off Eh?

  44. The term “man” at one time was inclusive unless specifically meaning “a man”. Mankind, “works of man”, etc., meant all. I do understand the bias and the application of that bias, but the term was still inclusive.

    Stopping construction work because “Men at Work” is offensive is ludicrous. Giving worth to hypersensitivity is not a good road to go down to reach a destination, as it never ends. At least she didn’t swoon (that’s a reference to IQs, pools, and higher Math and Physics).

    Change the signs over time to “Workers”.

  45. “They hate our Freeways”

    No, wealthy Islamic countries have a lot of Freeways. Ever seen the signs regarding Mecca and Medina in SA with the “non-muslims” need to exit before? Ever seen the Freeways? They have really low gas prices too.

    You can make light of it, but there is a big difference between what Islamic countries think of as “freedom” and the Western Industrialized Nations, which includes Asia as it isn’t just Europe and it’s colonies.

    Blasphemy laws are big in the Islamic world today, want to do a buy-in on that? They have a different idea on “freedom” or “liberty” than we do because Islam is different in structure and history than Christianity. We gave up blasphemy laws; they still call for them and issue “Fatwas”, with monetary reward, to justify killing the blasphemers. Christians at their worst today do not go so far.

    As an aside, the Islamic world fought ending slavery into the 1960’s. It should give you pause…

    Yet, my children’s endocrinologist is a Syrian Muslim. He can’t say anything positive about the Islamic Arabic world other than we need to keep it in a third-world perspective. He is a member of an American Muslim group with emphasis on understanding Islam through American political values.

    A humorous moment with him was when we had to face we had two children with Type I diabetes (my third child can’t store glycogen in her liver so she fights hypoglycemia). After the diagnosis he said he would be unavailable for two to three weeks and my wife immediately worried and asked how we could contact him if there was a problem. I did the “leave him alone he has to been on vacation sometime” to my wife. He responded “I’ll be in Mecca”, I said “so Hajj?”. And he gave this great American Muslim response: ” you know Hajj? [yes] It isn’t a vacation, I’m going to be circling Mecca with 3 million other men. I’d rather be home with my wife and children.” You had to hear the tone in his voice to get the full meaning.

  46. Ariel,

    I can see the guy circling Mecca in the 3 million crowd.
    The guy beside him says “Wow! You just came from America? It sounds awful. I just read this: http://jonathanturley.org/2012/01/15/10-reasons-the-u-s-is-no-longer-the-land-of-the-free/

    The idea of some tribesman in a PAK mountain valley “hating our freedoms” is quite frankly ridiculous.
    That is unless they call the drones “Freedoms”.

    “Hate our freedoms” is simply something made up to deflect the credulous from wondering why anyone would take it into their to attack the US.

    The US has ‘blasphemy'(s) but under different names.
    A politician discovered to have had an extra-marital affair has done something like it.
    A construction company that puts up a “Men at Work” sign has done something like it.

    When was the last time that you walked into a Mormon temple? (( assuming you’re not a Mormon ))
    Should a Mormon be upset at not being allowed into Mecca?

    People are the same the world over and through history. Civilisation-du-jour is a thin veneer.
    It’s not really all that long since some US citizens had to sit in the back of the bus or could not get served in some establishments – in the US – and it was supported by law.

    If a US citizen were abducted and tortured by a Muslim organisation there would be uproar and retaliation from the US Gov.
    If the US do that to somebody, it’s not really a big deal apparently.

    Have you seen the photos from Abu Ghraib?
    Have you heard about the CIA black prisons?
    Have you watched the slaughter of civilians in the Collateral Murder video?
    How do you feel about drones attacking houses and funerals on the basis that an AQ leader might be present in the crowd of men, women and children?
    How do you feel about drones returning to attack the same target a short while later in order to get the rescuers?
    The ‘civilised’ West is just as capable of organised savagery as is the Mid-East.

    Deep down, we are all the same overall in large groupings. We just wear different veneers.

    Is there something less than uplifing about http://jonathanturley.org/2012/12/05/new-york-subway-killing-raises-new-questions-concerning-the-no-duty-to-rescue-rule/ ?

  47. SlingTrebuchet, (I duck to your moniker)

    “The idea of some tribesman in a PAK mountain valley “hating our freedoms” is quite frankly ridiculous.” Have to agree, which is why I wrote they don’t hate our freedoms and have never used that phrase. I didn’t before your post and won’t now. Frankly, it’s stupid.

    They have a different concept of what is freedom. Just as we did, for example, when Cleland and Joyce were banned, and Miller got you charged with obscenity by mail. You really have to wrap your mind around both a different culture and religion, both having different antecedents to European culture and religion.

    European Christianity, which co-opted the cultural paganism, is what was left when Islam went on the march. I do believe the warring nature of Europe gave Christianity its flavor but also gave it a willingness to except science in all areas, while fighting it at the same time. Islam imported medical technology and military technology from Europe from roughly the 15th Century on even though Europe was second-world at best compared to the Islamic countries. Europe was a back-water for most of it’s history. The Roman Empire wasn’t as far reaching as the Islamic. Look at a map for that period and after 700 CE.

    All that aside….

    “The US has ‘blasphemy’(s) but under different names.” No, because you’ll find all that you wrote everywhere. Blasphemy is specific.

    All that you listed after that could be from any Western country, even more so out of that sphere. Within that sphere, you could find abuses from Sweden to the UK depending on the subject. Any country, or culture or religion, judged in a vacuum, will not stand up well. They’re all bad, equally so, if judged adolescently.

    BTW, I was raised Mormon, if only and solely because my mother forced it on me during summer visits. I can step onto the property, even enter the Temple, but can’t go into the depths. That’s a far cry from where a State bans all other religions from whole cities. Even Utah doesn’t do that; it allows Hindu Temples and Islamic Mosques in Salt Lake City. I don’t understand how people can make equivalence when there is none. The Mormon prejudice I do understand, just like “A Gentleman’s Agreement”. It never ends…

    Check the Arab countries, there’s no comparison.

    Perspective is so damn important to overcome insularity. Shaw, Caesar and Cleopatra, thus Britannius.

  48. Peace :)

    “That’s a far cry from where a State bans all other religions from whole cities. ”

    A Holy Temple can be just a large Depths
    A Holy City can be just a large Holy Temple.
    It’s the same principle. There isn’t a ‘square miles’ rule I think.

    Blasphemy by different names..
    What I meant was some action (not directly related to God/Religion) that called down some retribution from society around. For whatever reason, it offends some standard that society in general sets.
    If a politician/official loses their position because of an affair, it doesn’t much matter if the retribution comes direct from a religious source or from a more general public (?)current fashion(?). They haven’t broken any law, but they are punished.

  49. ” The construction industry’s a tough nut to crack. ”

    Because most women don’t want to crack it. A lot of men don’t either. I did construction before going into the military and during college. Digging ditches, clearing heavy debris, forming concrete, doing roofs with asphalt, doing roads with asphalt, doing the really back-breaking work of construction (I’ll ignore mining) isn’t something most women want to do. Some yes, and they should get the opportunity, but the pool of women willing to do the work is so much less than pool of the men willing to do the work that it can’t be ascribed solely to sex bias.

    Go to a mall and see who’s doing the retail work in most cases (I neglect men’s suits, though at Nordstrom’s a woman did the fitting for me), and it isn’t because men are turned away in droves through sexism.

    There is a sex bias. Sometimes it’s actually by choice.

  50. Sling Trebuchet,

    “Blasphemy by different names..” I understood your point, but using blasphemy so broadly destroys the meaning of the word. Find other words or you are left with all is blasphemy by my estimation of your words.

    Back to a related point: My wife bought a cross in Vatican City. She isn’t a Catholic, yet she could go into Vatican City without issue. Barging into the Holy See or the quarters of the Pope might have led to an escort out. So…

    Yeah, there is a square miles issue. A whole city where all religions are banned but one is a square miles issue. It just isn’t equivalent to some inner sanctum restricted to believers only. To carry your argument to the absurd, if all religions but one where banned from an entire continent that would be equivalent to not letting non-Mormons into specific areas of a Mormon Temple.

    “What I meant was some action (not directly related to God/Religion) that called down some retribution from society around. For whatever reason, it offends some standard that society in general sets.” You have just addressed all laws. If you mean offending some standard not enforced by laws, a standard that leads only to some shaming or ostracism by society in general, fine. Even that is usually only done by a segment. And that’s done by and in all societies. It still isn’t blasphemy.

    Blasphemy in the context of Islam, or even Christianity a hundred years ago, carries the weight of law and punishment accordingly, as well the shaming and ostracism of the society.

  51. Absolutely, all sings like this with short explicit (sexist) messages should be changed.
    Here is a possible rewrite…
    “Some unknown quantity of People (some possibly men, some possibly women, some possibly gay, some possibly straight) Working (well not always working, sometimes they are on lunch break or asleep at night, or perhaps its a day off) Ahead.
    That should be easy to read while driving at 60 MPH or walking by.

  52. Jeez, two who can discuss, and meaningfully too.

    Just to have something to add:
    “For whatever reason, it offends some standard that society in general sets.” You have just addressed all laws. If you mean offending some standard not enforced by laws, a standard that leads only to some shaming or ostracism by society in general, fine. Even that is usually only done by a segment. And that’s done by and in all societies. It still isn’t blasphemy.”

    No, but it still kills freedom of speech when you do what Lindsey Stone did, and I defended. I want the ultimate. such as one of the pioneers of the internet counseled. “If something offends or is wrong, don’t try to right it, Just ignore it.” Let a thousand tongues speak.
    Killing people for behaviour of thought deviation is not the ideal society.

    BTW, have seen the signs outside of Mecca, but went up to Taif anyway which was permitted.

    Perspective and knowledge are such precious things. I have little but treasure that I have. To enter a mosque in Cordoba, and see in the column arches the palm tree fronds of Mhhds first preaching place in Medina repeated here in the mosque..

    CAIR is a good source for American muslim problems addressed with Ameican ideas and justice tools by the group.

  53. I explain poorly. The massed retribution in fact and in threat which certain segments of society inflicted or threatened Lindsey Stone with does detain others from protesting, in general and specifically as she did.

    Conformism is not new. And some would say that it is assisted all too well by the support of those who would use it for their purposes, such as worship of the military, which restricts critcism of it and our wars.

    That is one reason that I despise religions—-all of them. And they also inflict not only mind death but the stultification of the society which they influence heavily, such as all the sorts of “fundamentalism” that dominate thought in America.

  54. The Neanderthal dna is alive and well and ignorant of subtle messages of oppression.


    “Comparisons with DNA from modern humans show that some Neanderthal DNA has survived to the present. Moreover, by analyzing ancient DNA alongside modern samples, the team was able to identify a handful of genetic changes that evolved in modern humans sometime after their ancestors and Neanderthals diverged, 440,000 to 270,000 years ago.”

    I like the European approach of using pictures which are independent of language.

  55. As a woman, I have no issues with “Men at Work” or “Men Working” signs. I am all for equality, but this is like saying that “peace for all man kind” should be changed to “peace for all human kind” because it excludes women. And if you have ever studied foreign languages, if there is a mixed sex group, you use the male form of the group word. Is this also sexist??? If this is all this person has to complain about in life, than she should be thankful.

  56. “The Neanderthal dna is alive and well and ignorant of subtle messages of oppression.”

    You so brand an entire human species of incapable of understanding subtle messages of oppression. The telling point: “they mingled and mated with Neanderthals, possibly in the Middle East or North Africa as much as 80,000 years ago”. That the mating was possible and the DNA passed on indicates they were within the “human species” (horse-donkey-mule). What next? Africans are child-like? Culture is racial?

    Don’t put the Neanderthal down, if anything we need another checkbox for the next census. “Caucasion-Neanderthal”, I’d go for it if only to give them their due.

    (My tongue so irritates my cheek, I hope it so irritates you)

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