Monday, April 09, 2007

We Can Do It!

Kathleen Parker made an appearance on N.P.R. this morning, presumably taking a brief respite from standing around barefoot in the kitchen.

Ms. Parker is just horrified at the very thought that a delicate flower woman would get sent into combat, where she might die or even worse gasp get raped.

Too bad these seventy-nine women didn't get that memo about how safe non-combat duty is.

Since I have no desire to serve in the military myself, I don't really have a vested interest in the argument either way. Well, besides a more general vested interest in being treated equally and a hair-trigger temper when it comes to the gross misuse of biological facts to further a political agenda.

Namely, the invocation of manly spermtacular manjuice testosterone as the source of all things masculine.

Every time I hear or read somebody making the argument men are naturally stronger/hornier/smarter because of higher testosterone levels, I want to smack them upside the head with my endocrinology textbooks.

And then scream "nuances dumbass, nuances" in their face. Rises in testosterone are not the same thing as consistently higher titers.

Also, S.T.F.U. about how women are physically too weak to be in the military.

First of all, Lyudmila Pavlichenko killed 309 people as a sniper. You don't need to be strong to kill people because news flash: clubbing people to death has kind of fallen out of vogue for use in warfare.

But that's neither here nor there, since "on average, women are weaker than men" is still a ridiculous argument. Plot out strength values for a female sampling and a male sampling.

See that sizable area of overlap in the middle? That's the "why it's ridiculous to exclude based on sex when you're trying to select for strength" area.

For the love of all that is holy, you want strong people in the military? Make rules for enlisting based on physically abilities, not presence/absence of a penis.

Seriously, get Ms. Parker a Venn diagram - stat!

(cross-posted at Cnidarians)

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