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A girl in a boy's world

Feminists like to talk a lot about how women are exactly equal to men, and should be equal to them in every profession, even the "manly" ones.

Well, AG Clifton from Twelve Pounds of Fury has a perspective on what that's really like that's pretty refreshing:

The LAPD is in the process of training its first female SWAT team member and I am hearing the predictable gnashing of teeth and rending of garments because the selection process has been changed. I agree. Ladies who want to pursue that line of work should be held to the same physical standards as the men. If my house were on fire I would much rather have burly 26-year-old men come put it out. For instance. But in spite of the fact that standards have been altered, (some say lowered, I wouldn't know) resulting in two women becoming part of the newest SWAT class, maybe we could give the ladies the benefit of the doubt until we see what they can do.

For ten years I was a welder and bridge carpenter for the Piledrivers union. That is some serious hard work. A large part of the job consisted of packing lumber. Sixteen-foot-long 2X4s. You were expected to carry at least two at a time, and trot with them. Or singlehandedly lift and carry 4X8 sheets of 3/8 inch plywood. All day. Or 50lb. sacks of grout, or 98lb sacks of cement. You get the picture. There were jackhammers and bottle racks and welding machinery to be operated and moved. Nothing was small and nothing was light. A lot of men couldn't hack it. To be female and do that work you have to be one motivated chimp. And I was. I'm also gigantic, but I still had to prove on every job that I was up to the work.

I preferred the men I worked with to the other women. The guys on my crews were pretty easy to please; they just didn't want to feel like they had to do all their job and half of mine. As soon as I demonstrated I was as strong as they were (or stronger -- heh, heh.) I was all right with them. There were only very few times I may have caused an existential crisis in some caveman. "If she's doing the same work as me, does that mean I'm not actually a man?" No, honey. That's not why. The male engineers were a hoot. We'd swap puns while the tradesmen would glower at us.

Female engineers were ... different. I got the distinct vibe off them that they thought I was low-wattage or I wouldn't be out here getting dirty and beat up. I have an engineer joke: What's the difference between Mechanical engineers and Civil engineers? Mechanical engineers design weapons and Civil engineers design targets. I didn't say it was a great joke. I do the setup with a male engineer and get to the punch OK. I do the same with a female engineer and she very patiently explains to me the difference. Oy. My 'sister' tradesmen were a problem, too. They were very happy with affirmative action and demanded they only be given the easiest work. I would usually get partnered up with them and spend a lyrical eight hours doing all the literal grunt work while getting a full dose of feminist rhetoric. The next time you drive by a construction site and there's a lady flagging traffic she's probably a journeyman carpenter making $35 an hour while a $15 apprentice is busting ass doing her job.


Make sure you read the whole thing, it's really interesting.

What strikes me is how feminists want women to be able to join fire departments and police forces and construction crews, etc., without having to meet the same requirements men do. It's just another form of affirmative action, isn't it?

I'm all for women in men's jobs -- if they can do it. Two big thumbs up to this obviously bad-ass chick for being so tough. So many feminists seem to not realize that there reasons there are certain rules and regulations when it comes to training for physically demanding and dangerous jobs. It isn't to keep women down; it's to ensure the safety of those in that profession! So, if a woman can make it through the same training as any other person wanting to be a welder, or a member of the SWAT team, or a firefighter, or whatever, then more power to her.

If not, back off, lady.


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Comments (4)

Cassy,Thanks for tha... (Below threshold)
tyree:

Cassy,
Thanks for that. Two of my sons went through the local police training academy. After a 6 month admission policy 40% or so still drop out, a few of them after less than a week. My sons will be forever worried about female officers being able to keep up, because most of the women in the academy couldn't, and needed help, coaching and lowered standards in order to graduate. Not a good thing to have a weak link when you life depends on teamwork. I'm not saying women are not equal to men, I am saying that they are not the same.

Cassey-As you can see my hu... (Below threshold)
ArmyReserveWife:

Cassey-As you can see my husband is in the Army. I don't want a woman on the front lines. I have seen what is in the Army and when the chips are down, I don't think a woman has the right to be there(on the frontlines). I don't think unless it is the woman in the story, could pull most men out of harms way. So is it their right to serve vs my husband's right to live? Am I a traditionalist, you bet I am. If they can't prove beyond a shadow of a doubt they can do the job as a good or better, then get them out.

I have a question.... (Below threshold)

I have a question.

Are the physical standards for SWAT due to the requirements of the job or are they standards of fitness set to disqualify slackers?

I ask about SWAT because, frankly, guns are the great equalizer. I'm a small person but tools can make us as effective as those who are physically stronger. My mental picture of SWAT teams are specially trained cops running toward hostile fire instead of hiding behind cars. I don't know how much weight they carry but an ability to function with that sort of stress and still make sharp and accurate judgment would seem more important than strength.... and in training pushing physical limitations is one way to test that ability to deal and to function under stress. So pushing the physical limits of a 6 foot fellow is going to be different than pushing the physical limits of a 5'5" gal. IF pushing the limits is the point of it rather than meeting some physical requirement such as carrying a dead weight from a burning building.

Logically I'd say that regular police who are often just with a partner should have far higher standards of physical strength than would be required of the elite SWAT teams.

First I have never actually... (Below threshold)

First I have never actually seen swat in action but from what I have seen from TV and read about swat it looks like they have to move equipment into weird places like roof tops to get the best vantage points. Now granted not everyone in a swat unit might not need to be a the highest fitness level like the command working from the mobile command center and or support people in that center but the one's in the field do need to be move high amounts of heavy equipment.




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