Michael On Everything Else

Gender Equality And The Myth Of Male Power

As you read the following post, resist the urge label me or the message as chauvinistic until you have read the entire piece. Gender roles are not a modern invention, nor are they a vast male conspiracy.

Feminists decry ‘anachronistic sexism!’ because they weren’t allowed access to combat roles in the US armed services. Yet in other Dirty, Dangerous and Demeaning jobs (DDD) jobs where they are already free to work, they are under-represented.

The news that women are now allowed to serve in combat in U.S. forces got me thinking about all this. What about other jobs that are traditionally dominated by men but are already open to women?

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, fishers have the deadliest job with 131.52 fatalities per 100,000 1. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women represent less than 1% of total people employed in ‘Fishing, hunting, and trapping.’ 2

Loggers have the second-deadliest job and women represent only 3% of loggers.

Aircraft pilots have the third-deadliest job and women represent only 6%3 of pilots.

There seems to be a disconnect in the recent resurgence in feminism and the push for gender equality. The inequality in gender representation in DDD jobs favors women, not men. If feminists really were interested in gender equality in the work force, one would think they’d be pushing for equal representation in all jobs.

But the truth is that the genders aren’t equal and no amount of social re-jiggering is going to change the fact that men and women are built differently. The reason women are so under-represented in these DDD jobs is because they aren’t (in general) built for the work. It isn’t a male conspiracy to supress women by keeping them out of direct combat, for example.

Take another example; women are allowed to play pro football in the American NFL, yet the list of professional women players is extremely short and almost always limited to placekicker or holder positions. Lauren Silberman was the first woman to try out for the NFL and her ambitions were cut short after she injured herself on her second kick attempt. There are no females playing the center position, nor the quarterback position of any pro-football team. Yet they are indeed allowed to play and have in the past attempted to do so.

Isn’t it time we all take a closer look at the recent resurfacing of feminism and what the goal is? Don’t get me wrong (and many already have, including people very close to me); I am all for equal treatment of both sexes but I’m also for rational realism. If you are a feminist can you honestly say you believe an all-female infantry unit is the best choice in, say Syria, against ISIS? We already have documented cases of women POWs being molested.4

If men and women were physically equal, then we could have an all-female NFL team play against an all-male NFL team and have a good match, yet we don’t have even one woman owning a Super Bowl ring.

Gender roles aren’t a vast male conspiracy. I’m also not saying there aren’t chauvinists out there. There are male and female chauvinists galore. But what I am saying is we need to be realistic and rational when we look at social re-jiggering in the name of some “ism”.

1. http://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2015-dangerous-jobs/
2. http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat18.htm
3. https://www.wai.org/resources/waistats.cfm
4. http://www.nytimes.com/1992/06/29/us/female-pow-is-abused-kindling-debate.html