News today of Ann Dunwoody, who has become a four-star US general, the first four-star female general in the US military.
Sparrow Chat is a champion of equality between all human beings of either sex, and all points in between, but I found the story of Ann Dunwoody vaguely disturbing.
It’s not the first time I’ve experienced that feeling while living in America.
If sexual equality means women doing men’s work, then America is way ahead of Europe. I still experience qualms whenever I approach roadworks to find a heavily clad, hard-hatted, and often quite pretty young woman holding the “STOP/GO” pole and directing traffic. I’m not sure why I find it disturbing, just that I do. I’d probably feel the same way if I walked into a corporate office and discovered the CEO’s secretary was a boy.
When I took up driving a school bus to do my bit for society, I could never quite come to terms with the mechanic who tore out half the engine to repair a serious oil leak. Her name was Cindy.
I’m not suggesting there are no female road workers in Europe, or lady bus mechanics. It’s just that if there are, they’re very rare. I have never seen any.
To me, equality has nothing to do with women doing men’s work, or vice versa. To allow a woman to work on the roads, or in a bus service depot, is presumably acceptable provided they’re paid the same wages and benefits as a man.
Personally, it’s not something I would encourage. Having had the youthful experience of working on the roads with a group of somewhat crass, foul-mouthed, illiterate males, it would be a career I’d strongly dissuade my own daughter from considering.
While many jobs are suited to either sex, there are a few that of their nature should preclude both sexes from applying. In my opinion, the military is one such career. While there are some woman who seem to consider equality as the right to turn themselves into males in all but the physical attributes, the idea of women soldiers shouldering guns and engaging the enemy is anathema to me. It’s a personal viewpoint, but one I strongly adhere to.
Why do I feel this way?
For millenia, the male of the species has fought and butchered and slaughtered, and been slaughtered in return. As we gradually became more ‘civilized’ the grossness of warfare had to be made more acceptable, so we created honor, and heroism, and eventually video games. It was all achieved by males for the purpose of glorifying and legitimizing war.
Generally, the female of the species remained subservient to the males’ demand for blood, but the expectation was always that one day the subservience would disappear, women would demand an end to this barbaric male pastime, and the world would become a place of peace, if not ruled by women then certainly influenced strongly by them.
Today, on behalf of women everywhere, four-star general Ann Dunwoody, shattered that expectation.
 “Woman reaches US army’s top rank” BBC, November 14th 2008
Filed under: Female warriors