Thursday, May 19, 2005

Girl Talk

See, I don't understand why there is any political involvement in issues like this.

I am a perpetual feminist. Probably because I am a woman. And because I have long been discriminated against for having the wrong genitalia. And personally? I find that wrong.

I am a woman who excelled at "boy" subjects. I was decent in writing and literature, typical "girl" subjects, but I loved math and science and always did well.

My high school guidance counselor asked me what I was going to do with the rest of my life. I told her I wanted to study math.

She said, "Oh, you want to be a teacher."

I said, "No. I don't want to teach. I just love math and science."

She said, "Oh, you want to be a nurse."

I said, "No. I don't want to be a nurse. I just love math and science."

She ignored my comments and said, "You really should lose some weight if you want to be taken seriously in the medical field. No one will want an overweight nurse."

I listened and nodded and said nothing more. When she was done, I went to the bathroom and cried.

If a boy were in her office, would she have suggested that nursing and teaching were the only professions available? Would she have told a boy in the top 5% of the class that he should take better care of his figure? I doubt it.

The military is obviously a different situation, but I don't see a major distinction. Why would a woman be excluded from combat simply because she happens to house a uterus?

Is it because of their size? Women are too "small" and "weak" to be in a combat situation? Surely there are large framed women out there who are bigger than some men. A male friend was in the marine reserves, and he weighed about 110 pounds soaking wet. Should he have been allowed in combat? Why isn't the rule that only people over X feet tall or weighing over X pounds can be in combat? That would exclude the small, weak men who shouldn't be there too.

Or is it because women are "too emotional" and "can't make quick decisions"? I can't stand that stereotype. I believe there are women out there who can make excellent leaders, just as there are men who do not make excellent leaders. Why should their gender matter?

It bothers me that the government is making an across the board statement with this bill. No one wants to go into combat, male or female. But shouldn't it be up to the individual branches of the military, to the leaders themselves, to make the decision about who is best for the job? How dare they decide that no woman - EVER - in the present and future of the military - can be useful in combat??

Make the rule make sense. That's all I'm asking. If it is about size and muscle, make it about size and muscle. Not about breasts. Give a REASON for this decision. Other than the fact that big burly men can't stand to think of a GIRL out there fighting next to them, any more than they want to think about a gay man fighting with them. Because they would feel threatened.

But that's just me getting all fired up. You know how us girls can be.

1 comment:

small bus to hell said...

and don't forget that those awesome guidance counselors also told Fran she should work at a department store the rest of her life when she told them she wanted to be a doctor. they were completely useless on every level.