Friday, January 25, 2013

1127 Sorority Equality Fraternity

1127 Sorority Equality Fraternity

French motto makers will be rolling in their graves over that one.  But this is the 21st century and now, the Pentagon has knocked down one of the last bastions of male exclusivity, the battlefield.  Can the New York Friar’s club be far behind?

All of a sudden, it’s okay.  A day or two ago, it wasn’t.  What changed?  Times? The whim of the Department of Defense?  The number of women who can carry a 60 pound backpack while performing a timed run of between 1 and a half and three miles?  

(The various service branches have different specifics in basic training, another point of inequality, but the services have different needs.)

The Secretary of Defense says the physical requirements will be the same for men and women.  Certainly they will be at the beginning.  And certainly there is no scarcity of women with those qualifications.

Can any woman qualify for the Navy SEALS or the Army Special Forces?  Hard to tell.  The best guess is probably not.  At least not now.  But who knows what the future will bring?

Combat readiness and experience certainly will be helpful in post-military civilian life.  Guy knows the woman he’s about to attack has this training will think twice before he tries anything funny and will get the surprise of his life if he doesn’t know but tries anyway.

But that’s a side issue, though a decent one.

The public eventually will get used to this.  Many of you can remember when a woman firefighter, cop, letter carrier, railroad engineer or doctor was either non-existent or rare.

Now, it’s normal and no one seems to give it a second thought.  How long did that take?  Not long.  There are continuing objectors, but they’re the same cranky types who object to women doing anything but baking pies and popping out litters of children.  (The objectors’ club isn’t all male.)


--Women in combat are not the only potential “new equals.”  The people who give out the Hollywood awards are thinking about dropping gender requirements for actor, actress, and so on.  Great if it happens because the presentation TV shows will shorten enough to fit in their time slots.

--When the Republican Party calms down and returns to normal, it probably will become the source of the first woman President of the United States.  But not until the Palins and Bachmanns and Coulters and their male counterparts are shifted back to the margins from which they came.

--A friend suggests that men should be allowed to work as nannies and he’s right.   Not that they’re barred from those jobs by anything but the unwillingness of people to hire male help of that kind or the agencies’ apparent reluctance to list them.  And given the antics of many of the women who do those jobs, giving some men those jobs sounds better all the time.

I’m Wes Richards.  My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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© WJR 2013

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