Friday, March 10, 2006

Notes from the Bizarro World

You would think that a state that regularly elects a man who killed a woman, after drunkenly driving her into the water while dragging himself to shore and then going to sleep, would have no qualms about sexist discrimination or male/female differences. Not so. Ted Kennedy may have been able to get a pass from the voters and political leaders of Massachusetts for killing Mary Jo Kopechne, but what really creates a ruckus around these parts is something so vile, so heinous, so utterly contemptible that I have struggled and wrestled for several hours over whether I should share it with the rest of the world, though I hardly see how keeping it local will be possible considering the horrendous nature of this injustice. Below I have pasted the first three paragraphs of the news story in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette:

[CAUTION: ONLY GO ON IF YOU ARE A ROBUST PERSON OF GOOD HEALTH AND STRONG CONSTITUTION, WHAT YOU ARE ABOUT TO READ COULD BE INCREDIBLY DISTURBING AND UNSETTLING]

Female police cadets have failed a state-required physical test at a much higher rate than men, triggering concerns among Boston and Worcester police leaders. They have called for a review of parts of the exam, saying it could be discriminatory. The statistics come at a time when police chiefs across the state are pushing for greater female representation in their departments, and some have questioned whether the design of an obstacle course as part of the physical exam indirectly discriminates against women. Boston Police Commissioner Kathleen M. O'Toole has expressed concern, and Worcester Police Chief Gary J. Gemme said the test has excluded candidates who otherwise are well-qualified to be police officers.


Clearly, the situation here is dire. That females would generally perform behind men on a police obstacle course could only shock and disturb a selection of humanity that has been so blind to reality for such an extended period of time that the term "bizarro world" is scarcely adequate to describe it. Normally, I would include some sort of explanation of rational and irrational discrimination, i.e. discriminating against a qualified person based on ethnicity is irrational as it does not pertain at all to performance, whereas discriminating against those unable to pass a physical test for an extremely demanding physical job would seem to make eminent sense, but such an explanation hardly seems worth my while.

1 comment:

Brian Most said...

Some time back, I read an interview with a feminist who insisted that females were underrepresented in firefighting, and were males' equals in every respect. The interviewer pointed out that few females could carry unconscious persons out of a burning building, and the feminist said people could be dragged. Of the resulting head trauma from being dragged down stairs, the feminist posited that the head trauma could be no worse than the damage caused by carrying them higher up - you know - where all the dirty smoke is.

Unrelated Q: How many feminists does it take to change a light bulb?

A: That's not funny.