A recent article in the Daily Mail addressed changes in the works for requirements regarding certain roles in the British Army. Discussed primarily was the intended re-writing of standards for certain roles in the military to accommodate women’s physical capabilities. Independent of whether or not women should be allowed in combat roles, which is another discussion entirely, this is worrying.
While the intent to “‘drive down’ the number of women injured” is honorable, and the “‘standards will be related to the required role”, it is troublesome that the standard of a combat role is being lowered at all.
Hiring anyone who can’t meet the requirements of a job is foolish, doing so for a combat role is imbecilic. Being in warfare is arguably one of the riskiest jobs on the planet; the lives of soldiers and their teams are dependent on their ability to perform under fire, and, on a broader level, so are the nations they serve.
It is unquestionable that there are women who can and do meet or exceed the requirements as written, and that is not the question for debate here. What is being argued is that standards should not be lowered for a job where the price for failure is often and literally death. Such behavior does not liberate anyone in any meaningful sense, nor does it benefit those who can do the job. Indeed in this case, lowering the bar would make the achievements of those women who do make the cut less significant.
Reduction of these requirements will also drive down the effectiveness of the units to which the newly qualifying individuals are posted, as the standard would have to be lowered for men as well. We are talking about equality after all. What purpose then, does it serve if the end result of making us ‘more equal’ on paper manifests as the equality we all find in the grave?