Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Ignoring Gender in combat, but not in sports? Showing where we are realistic and where we are not.

Recently I posted an item on the current administration's decision to have a gender ignorant armed forces. That post was this one:

Lex Anteinternet: Killing people and breaking things. . . and women in the Service

 The Women's Mounted Emergency Corps.  "A mounted emergency corps of women has been organized as an auxiliary to the Second Field Artillery, of Brooklyn. The women wear a military uniform and are trained in giving aid. They learn to mount and dismount quickly, to help a wounded soldier who needs first aid, and to assist one who Is not totally disabled into the saddle. There is no plan yet for taking women to France in any but nursing capacity but it may be that the Women s Emergency Corps will get to the fighting line before the war is over."  The Oregonian, 1917.

Recently, a dear cousin of mine "liked" a photo that appears in Stars and Stripes of a collection of female soldiers all feeding their babies in the traditional, i.e., the original, way.  She posted something along the lines of "how beautiful".
And it is
But its not a good thing for our Army, which touches on something I've avoided, but given as I'm getting older by the day, and shy away less from controversial topics more and more, I'll go ahead and post on it. . . .
Since that time there's been additional stories on this, including the Marine Corps reluctance to go along with it (one female Marine veteran expressed her hope to me that the new policy would not take) and the Army and the Marine Corps struggle to have new physical standards that accommodate women while not simultaneously making those standards a joke.  

And then there's sports.

Recently I haven't been able not to notice that in the most dangerous and physically demanding job the United States has to offer, combat soldier, we're ready to pretend that there's no difference between men and women, but when it comes to the national obsessions, we don't blind ourselves.

A scene we will not be seeing.

Nope, with sports, and particularly football and baseball, we aren't going to be pushing for the incorporation of women.  No way, no how.  Indeed, the idea would be regarded as completely absurd, and for obvious reasons.

Now, I suppose, there's probably no legal bar to a woman walking on to an NFL tryout, and no doubt sooner or later some unusually stout woman shall do so, probably as a place kicker, but it won't become common, and nobody is so deluded as to think it will be.

And not only at the professional level, but at the collegiate level as well. Indeed, we're completely comfortable with separate sports for women.  People would regard it as abhorrent, for example, if men demanded to be on the college volleyball team, or if a university wiped out the separate women's basketball teams because, after all, they could just try out for the men's teams.

So, in the one occupation in the US that's super physically demanding, combat soldier, we're going to turn a blind eye to the same issues that cause us to have completely separate sports teams for women, which we're perfectly okay with.

That's dim.

Now, of course, as noted women could tryout for the Broncos if they wished.  What really keeps that from happening is that its just physically too much. And we keep separate female collegiate teams as if we only had one for all, women would be aced out of collegiate sports.  Maybe that's the lesson here.  If the current physical and traditional abusive training remains, not too many women would be in those roles, or even in the service in general.

But my prediction is that won't occur. No, the standards will be softened.

Which, if we're going to do that, lets do it for the NFL, NBA and baseball leagues.  After all, fair is fair, right?

Or maybe that's not realistic, eh?

Maybe we should learn  a lesson from that, in a profession that not only kills, but gets people killed.

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