It’s about time.
Women have finally been given the right in the U.S. to serve in combat positions in the army: http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Global-Issues/2013/0129/Why-combat-role-for-US-women-could-reverberate-worldwide
Women have been in combat in other parts of the world, and with U.S. forces, too. But this is a formalized recognition of the right women have to perform any job in the forces a man can perform.
I don’t think for a second a woman can’t be trained to kill or become proficient at it. Improvements in technology have also changed the physical requirements of war.
Some critics may have concerns about a woman's ability to do the job.
“But what about frontline infantry? What about special forces? Women aren't big enough or strong enough,” they might say.
In a recent column, Margaret Wente questioned whether women physically measure up: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/commentary/women-in-combat-lets-get-real/article7879189/?service=mobile
But instead of condemning the idea women can do the job, she should condemn the idea women should perform to a different standard than men. Universal requirements need to be established – requirements based on the actual physical demands of the job – and then people who make that standard, regardless of gender, are permitted to do it.
In other words, I’m all for G.I. Jane, but I don’t think she should only be required to do 10 pushups when her male colleagues have to do 20.
So, equal access, not affirmative action to guarantee equal numbers.
I came across this nonsense surfing the headlines this morning: http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/01/29/outrage-grows-over-racist-cowboys-and-indians-party-hosted-at-toronto-bar/
I don’t know if cowboys and Indians parties are racist or not. I can appreciate there are arguments to be made that they potentially demean aboriginal culture, but even that I’m not certain of. It’s a party, and parties mean fun, often humour. If people want to dress up as an ‘indian brave’ wielding a tomahawk, I don’t think we can assume they look down on aboriginal culture, although they may be ignorant of it (they’d still be ignorant without the costume, so I’m not sure that makes any difference). The image of an indian brave in white culture isn’t especially negative either – full of stereotypes, certainly, but predominantly a strong figure.
Here’s what annoys me: even if the costumes demonstrated poor judgment – and maybe they did – the idea politically correct members of the social media community would jump into action, even taking a taxi to the site to protest, just bugs the hell out of me. If you want to speak up, write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper or to the business where the party was held. A birthday party where people are imbibing alcohol isn’t the place for educating others on your version of social justice.
I wonder if the partygoers took off their costumes because the activists calmly made persuasive arguments convincing them they should, or if the “ever-growing number of opponents” were perceived as a physical threat or, at a minimum, would have sidelined the festive occasion for the rest of the evening?
Intimidating revelers is obnoxious. Instead of taking off the costumes, I wish the partiers had told the crashers to get the frick out of their faces and then started laying into the invaders with plastic tomahawks.
The despotism of zealots is a far greater danger to our society than the cultural insensitivity of a few bar patrons.
Big wave surfing is awesome: http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2013/jan/29/surfer-garrett-mcnamara-100ft-wave
I’d like to surf a big wave while wearing the traditional garb of South Pacific islanders.
UPDATE: I can’t believe I forgot to rant about this: http://thechronicleherald.ca/opinion/564696-stephenson-back-to-balance-and-other-ndp-fables
I am utterly disgusted by the cowardice of this provincial government. I know, I know, this newspaper had an editorial endorsing the minister’s moderate approach, and half of you also agreed with it in a poll we had on our web-site.
But I am sick of politicians who lack the stones to make the tough decisions, think voters don’t care about keeping promises, and think they can spend, spend, spend their way to re-election.
Cutting spending is always going to be tough and it will always draw howls. But what we’re doing now is living on fantasy money. Forget lowering the debt – we’re surrendering the possibility of not adding to the debt! This government is saying, “We have eight apples, but we’re going to eat 10 – the extra two will be stolen from our children.”