And it's not because "they are women" and "we are men." It's because that in a truly gender-blind military, EVERYONE would have to meet the same standards in EVERYTHING. As I write this right now, there are around at least 15,000 women in the military who are pregnant: and pregnant means you're non-deployable... plus it means hundreds of millions of dollars of waste to pay for servicemembers who cannot do the job we are paying them for... and that someone ELSE has to take their place TO do. "Non-deployable," particularly for a voluntarily assumed condition, means "non-equal," because a male voluntarily putting himself into a non-deployable medical condition means punitive action of some sort. But for women?
Well, guess what. It AIN'T "different." It's one of many signs of institutional inequality, where women are treated "differently" because of their plumbing.
At the end of the day, for example, everything else failing, every member of the US Army, like every member of the Marines, is supposed to be a rifleman.
So, to that end, I have problems with the concept of women in the military because, while they are SUPPOSED to be considered "equal," they do not have to pass the PT test at the same levels as men.
"Equality" is kind of a black and white word... with a black and white meaning. There are no shades of grey in that word... much like pregnancy, one is, or one isn't.
Same with equality. One has it, or one doesn't.
As long as there are institutional mind sets, as illustrated below, there will never be equality in the military.
It is the subtle bigotry of lowered expectations.
I want women to have absolute equality. But "absolute" means just that: "Absolute."
You want in my military? Then meet the same standards. Run as fast, do as many pushups, etc, etc.
Make sure you do not make yourself non-deployable like I had to make sure I never made myself non-deployable.
Which brings us to the latest bigotry by a Major General, this time, the guy in charge of developing the PT Test, Richard Longo. Here's the background on one part of the test... push-ups.
• Pushups for one minute. This event was nearly replaced with dead-hang pullups, which are a better measure of functional upper body strength. Pullups were included in more than 1,000 pilot tests conducted at Fort Bliss, Texas. The scoring discrepancy between men and women was so great that different events would have been required to keep it fair. For example, Marines test men with dead-hangs and women with a flex-arm hang.
Army officials are adamant that the new test remain gender-neutral. That means identical events with different scoring standards for men and women.So, on one hand, the Army demands that the test be "gender neutral."
And IN THE VERY NEXT BREATH, THEY IMPLEMENT "DIFFERENT SCORING STANDARDS FOR MEN AND WOMEN."
An Army which can close with, and destroy most enemies with some relative ease is too goddamned dumb to understand that "different scoring standards for men and women" is NOT "gender neutral."
“If we did the pullups, it would disadvantage the female soldiers, and I’m just not comfortable with that,” Longo saidYou're not "comfortable" with that?
If they can't do it, then, well, THEY CAN'T DO IT.
This event was nearly replaced with dead-hang pullups, which are a better measure of functional upper body strength.God.
We HAVE a "better measure of functional upper body strength" AND WE DON'T USE IT????
Because we've got to keep it... "fair."
Well, guess what?
A bullet don't care.
"Gender equality in the military?"
Not in my life time.