“Truth is often hard to swallow, so we rest in comfortable lies and delusions.” – Dorothy Anne Seese
Equality or strength? Which do we choose if and when those two qualities are mutually exclusive? I suppose it depends on the situation. How about I raise the stakes? Choosing equality may kill you, while choosing strength may save your life. That’s much easier, or so it seems. But what if society is pushing one over the other? That’s exactly what’s happening in our military today.
According to the Associated Press:
“More than half of female Marines in boot camp can’t do three pull-ups, the minimum standard that was supposed to take effect with the new year, prompting the Marine Corps to delay the requirement…”
Now that women are being allowed to enter combat situations, there has been great debate regarding restructuring strength requirements. The minimum for women was to be three pull-ups, but that seems to have been scrapped for the moment. The minimum for men is three as well, but they must do twenty in order to get a perfect score.
“…part of the process of equalizing physical standards to integrate women into combat jobs…The Marines had hoped to institute the pull-ups on the belief that pull-ups require the muscular strength necessary to perform common military tasks…”
The debate isn’t so much about women so much as it is about strength requirements. Another possible option, now that the pull-up has been scratched, is a flexed arm hang. However, some in the Marines aren’t happy with the flexed hang, as it does not build strength like pull-ups do.
If women must be “equalized” in terms of physical strength, what does that mean? As I see it, the current thought behind equalization is to lower the strength bar for female recruits simply because they don’t have the strength possessed by their male counterparts. But what does that say, not only about our military, but about the lives that could be put in harms way if a soldier doesn’t have the strength to complete a task in the heat of battle?
I want an open military in which women can perform the same jobs as men, but only if those women can perform at the same level as their male counterparts. If we lower the minimum requirement for women, we are putting lives at risk. Not only the lives of the female soldiers, but of their partners, and civilians.
Let’s face it, women don’t often have the physical strength possessed by men. News flash! Women and men are different. This seems to have become a battle of women’s rights at this point, and it makes me feel uncomfortable, because that’s not the correct viewpoint. This entire debate is being viewed through a feminist lens, when the truth of the situation is much more simple, and infinitely more powerful.
This fight for equality isn’t about equality at all, it’s about life. When it comes down to it, when the situation is stripped down to bare bones, is a women cannot hold her own with her male partners in battle, lives could be lost. This situation is simple, and its consequences profound.
Sometimes, the truth is hard to swallow, so we spit it out.