Remember how we were told that when women joined the military there was no danger of lowering standards to accommodate them? Letting them join was a question of “fairness”, which we saw yesterday was a theory of egalitarianism.
But do you also recall that realists predicted that because women are vastly less physically capable than men that standards will have to be lowered else few to no women would succeed? Egalitarians agreed about the importance of standards and swore the standards would never be abandoned.
There are recent reports about the lowering of standards in the military. Before those, I remind the reader that physical requirements for women have long been set lower.
I was in the basic training in the early 80s and the women had PT next to the men. I am a witness that women had it much easier. For example, the women were allowed to do push-ups from their knees (try it) and they had to do fewer of them than the men. And a strange sort of blindness overcame the instructors when assessing marginal women, who despite their inabilities somehow passed. Now when I bring this up as a for-example to an egalitarian, the first thing I hear is “Would ya look at the time?”
The more intelligent realize the paradox and resolve it thusly: “You know, those old standards weren’t really necessary. We’re better off having equality and allowing women greater opportunity.”
This argument is viciously circular and thus fallacious because simply stating the standards “were necessary”—standards that up until yesterday in the absence of egalitarianism worked just fine—without offering any reasons why fails. And the conclusion is merely a restatement of egalitarianism, which is what we wanted to prove.
Fast forward to today. Here’s a headline “The Marines are dropping a fitness test meant to level the playing field for women because more than half of female Marines have failed it.” Saepe fideles, boys?
Now what can “level the playing field” mean? The field was the test and it was already the same for all, men and women alike. What could be more “level” than having the exact same test for everybody? Is that not already egalitarian? Is that not true equality?
Of course not. Egalitarianism is not a theory about “level playing fields”. It is a theory about the equality of people. Because people are not equal, and everybody knows this, the field has to be made unlevel so that equality of outcome is a result. The field can be made unlevel by either making the men work harder, a tactic which is rarely adopted, or allowing the women to have it easier, which is eagerly embraced.
Thus a “level playing field” means the precise opposite of its plain English definition.
Isn’t that right, Mr Egalitarian?
“Would ya look at the time?”
And then this from the progressive Washington Post: “Opinion: It’s time to reevaluate standards for women in the military“. Having Marines be, well, Marines, elite physically robust unstoppable soldiers, “does not help the military win wars” says the Post, without offering proof (except to claim other egalitarian armies contain a few women). Besides, it is a myth that manly “farting, burping, and swapping sex stories invaluably promote infantry unit cohesion”.
It isn’t just the military. Firemen, too, are no longer all firemen. Earlier this week: “Woman to become NY firefighter despite failing crucial fitness test.”
Rebecca Wax, 33, is set to graduate Tuesday from the Fire Academy without passing the Functional Skills Training test, a grueling obstacle course of job-related tasks performed in full gear with a limited air supply, an insider has revealed…
Some FDNY members are angry.
“We’re being asked to go into a fire with someone who isn’t 100 percent qualified,” the source said. “Our job is a team effort. If there’s a weak link in the chain, either civilians or our members can die.”
This is a seemingly unanswerable argument. But it is easily rebutted by an egalitarian, for, do you see, “Only 44 of the FDNY’s 10,500 firefighters are female.” This is a “disparity”, an “inequality”, and is thus, given egalitarianism, automatically “unfair”. Inequalities must be eliminated.
And since women are, as everybody knows, not even close to being equal to men physically, the standards must be, and are being, lowered. Right now the responses are still of the “Would ya look at the time?” stripe. But in time the New York Times will offer an editorial which says something like, “Most fires are easy to put out.”
It is worth pointing out that the lowering of physical standards has already taken root in all police departments. And last week I saw a commercial which asked, “Where will you be when the first woman pitches in the majors?”
Right here in my chair, well pleased with myself for having predicted the leveling effects of egalitarianism.
Update Perhaps the most pertinent quotation from the linked article:
“In terms of physical capability, the upper five percent of women are at the level of the male median. The average 20-to-30 year-old woman has the same aerobic capacity as a 50 year-old man.”
See also the table.
Update Yawrate below reminds that I stupidly forgot to emphasize that egalitarianism means equality of outcome and not (strictly) equality of opportunity. We already have in the entrance exams equality of opportunity, but it is, as we see, not enough.