One of the worst statistical arguments I’ve seen was used by our government to settle this case. Don’t miss it below.
So this Jay J. Bauer wanted to soar in the ranks of America’s Police Squad, a.k.a. the FBI, but couldn’t manage to do a measly 30 (not a typo) push-ups, which the Bureau said were a necessary benchmark. Bauer the pussy cat, who is in his early 40s, could only squeeze out 29.
I haven’t any idea of the proportion of men in their prime who cannot do 30 push-ups, though it’s obviously not zero. The key is that most of these weakly men, knowing their limitation, do not seek to become FBI agents (or soldiers or firemen or etc.). Bauer knew the requirements—he already worked at the Bureau—and presumably knew his frame wasn’t up to the task, but he tried anyway. And failed. Trying and failing is better than not trying, usually.
Now this story would have gone nowhere except that Bauer noticed that women only have to manage 14 push-ups. For readers who aren’t as mathematically inclined as Yours Truly, I’ll note that this is less than half of what men are required to do.
This is rock-solid proof, as promised in the title, that standards are lowered under equality. If women seeking to be agents, and their feminist sympathizers, wanted true equality, they should insist women do the equal work of men. Equal Work For Equal Pay! should be their cry. Instead, we get crying. In this case, from Bauer the pussy cat.
See, Bauer noticed that women FBI agents are not as good as men, which is another way of saying they are worse, in the physical fitness department. Equality demands we turn a blind eye to this manifest inequality and declare, against all evidence, that men and women are equal. And this is what Bauer tried to do, too, by saying he ought to be able to perform at the same level as a woman. Fair’s fair. Or something.
Bauer sued, claiming the FBI’s standards “discriminated on the basis of sex, violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.” It was here the story becomes interesting. According to the ruling of Bauer’s suit (he lost; pp. 6-7):
As a part of the statistical standardization, the FBI sought to normalize testing standards between men and women in order to account for their innate physiological differences. The FBI reasoned that, due to such distinctions, equally fit men and women would perform differently in the same events. Accordingly, the FBI determined that male and female Trainees would be required to complete the four PFT events, but that different minimum standards would be established for each sex. The FBI concluded that use of such a gender-normed framework would have the complementary benefits of allowing the measurement of equivalent fitness levels between men and women while also mitigating the negative impact that would otherwise result from requiring female Trainees to satisfy the male-oriented standards.
That “innate physiological differences” is an admission, if such were needed, that men and women are different essentially. Only a modern court would think it necessary to state such an obvious fact. Skip that and ask is it the case that women who perform less than half of what is required for men are “equally” physically fit? Perhaps in terms of, say, heartbeats or respirations per minute they could be. But then that means that less than half the physical labor in women causes the same heartbeat or respiration rate as in men.
Get it? No? Suppose the agent had to chase down a bad guy. The female agent “equally physically fit” to the male agent would either run half as far or half as fast, or whatever combination it turns out to be, to be equally winded. Meaning the bad guy has a better chance of getting away from the female agent.
In other words, this “statistical standardization” is gibberish; it’s nothing more than a measure of how much weaker women are than men, which is thus also an admission of the same. In push-ups, women are about half as able as men (at the agent level, anyway). In running and for other activities, it’s something else, but always lower. Meaning, as was always obvious, that men and women aren’t in the same physical class. But this, naturally, does not imply that some women won’t be found who can compete at the minimum (sex-neutral) required levels.
Here is the key statistical argument.
If you’re still lost, think of it this way. Suppose we’re comparing men from the Detroit Tigers pitching staff against little girls from Kindergarten. All right: now, within each group measure capabilities in push-ups, running, whatever, and then perform a “statistical standardization” such that a group picked from the joint pool of individuals results in a 50/50 split of men and kids. Are the kids suddenly equal to the men, even though they are, by design, “statistically equally fit”? If you said yes, you’re an egalitarian.
The FBI, satisfied with this statistical legerdemain, did an internal study after letting women get away with less. Report (pp 8-9):
More specifically, by the seventh week of the 2004 classes, 90.2% of male Trainees and 89.5% of female Trainees passed the PFT. Like the marginal difference in passage rates in the Pilot Study, the FBI deemed the slight discrepancy in the Follow-up Study to be statistically insignificant.
Slight discrepancy. Egalitarians see any deviation from perfect equality as a “discrepancy”, which is more proof of my contention.
Bauer’s argument was that (pp 11-12) “the FBI’s use of the gender-normed PFT standards contravened two of Title VII’s provisions…[one] which prohibits sex discrimination by federal employers, [and another] which prohibits the use of different cutoff scores on employment tests on the basis of sex.” Any plain reading supports Bauer’s contention: men are discriminated against by being required to do more than women, and men have different cutoff scores on employment tests.
A bunch of legal rigmarole followed, with one court saying this and another that, with our esteemed authorities finally ruling (p. 17):
…that because the PFT assesses an overall level of physical fitness, and equally fit men and women possess innate physiological differences that lead to different performance outcomes, the PFT’s gender-normed standards actually require the same level of fitness for all Trainees. In that way, the Attorney General contends, the PFT standards do not treat the sexes differently and therefore do not contravene Title VII.
This is nonsensical, as proved above, and a long-winded excuse to call what isn’t equal, equal. Of course, in this case no sane person would be rooting for Bauer, either. So we all lose.