I know I’m hardly likely to win any sympathy on this one. But since I’ve been shoving my opinions down your throats none too subtly, I might as well continue the trend.
The prime minister has asked the police to reconsider a clause in recruitment conditions which bars applications from people who wear tattoos – see www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20120613/local/tattoos-ban-on-police-recruits-being-reconsidered.424142. I wasn’t even aware that this ban is in place; the knowledge that such petty red-tape found its way in the police regulations just makes me see red.
I realize that this cause is hardly up there on the list of things that need fixing in our lives. Compared to, say, the scourge of racism, the problem of homophobia or even the antics of some of our MPs … the statement is hardly likely to merit the high priority tag.
Still, I find that the fact this regulation exists is, to a certain extent, a reflection of the intolerance of the society we live in. And an obvious manifestation of the facile way many of us do not bother to look beyond the stereotypes we have been fed all our lives.
This idea to ban tattoos is wrong on many levels. If we’re after improving the image of the corps, it’s not body ink that we should be looking into. It’s things like police officers drinking on the job. Or maybe taking cuts on the side. Or even officers with anger management issues. None of these problems require the presence of ink in the body.
When I posted the link to the above report online, some of the reactions shocked me. Someone said that police-officers sporting tattoos look unprofessional. A rather subjective word to use, and I don’t think that I’d like our regulations to be based on a subjective interpretation of the word “professional”. After all, corporate workers and public officials in other European countries are not required to hide tattoos and they tend to look professional enough.
Someone else went to the extreme of likening tattoos to “vandalism”. Right. Because adorning my own body in the way I like is exactly the same as defacing public property.
Of course common sense needs to be exercised. I’d hardly be likely to accept someone with visible tattoos that are offensive/obscene/hatred-inducing in any position, public or otherwise. Then again, the same goes for anyone who sports an offensive/obscene/hatred-inducing tee-shirt. It’s really not that difficult to employ some common sense.
Read more here.