19 October 2007

Favoritism, Preferential Treatment and Double Standards

This blog is going to probably get me into a lot of trouble… and I am going to probably come off as a sexist pig… but, free speech and all…

Pre-World War II Era, women were not allowed to serve in the US Navy. Things change, and today, almost half of the US Navy strength is complimented with females serving the land of the free. With women serving come a whole lot of issues that can be construed as mostly headache. Since the Women’s Rights Movement, women have fought for equality amongst their male counterparts. Don’t get me wrong… I am all about equality. But to truly be equal, there should be no exceptions or what I like to call the “Because I’m a woman” clause.

I am a firm believer that if a woman wants to be treated as an equal, that she should be entitled to that right. However… in the same breath, she shouldn’t be exempt from things that may be a little more physically demanding for her just because she’s a woman. For instance… if the job requires you to lift 100 pound objects and move them from point A to point B, then the woman should have to move that said object. The excuse of “It’s too heavy” should not apply… how can you expect to be treated as an equal if you are not able to perform a tasking as an equal? It’s a double standard and it needs to stop.

The Navy has a Semi-Annual Physical Fitness Assessment, where there are skewed numbers to better accommodate a female. Take for instance a Male age 17-19. He is required to perform a minimum of 46 push-ups and run 1.5 miles in 12 minutes and 15 seconds. Take a female from the same age group and she has to do a minimum of 20 Push-ups and gets 14 minutes and 45 seconds to run that same 1.5 miles. Why is it that a woman is required to do 26 less push-ups and receive a 2 and a half minute grace period on her 1.5 mile run? How can they honestly ask for and complain about not being treated as an equal when they have such allowances? Personally, I think it’s ridiculous.

Women also tend to get preferential treatment as well. If the job is dirty and difficult, usually a guy will get stuck doing it while the female does an easy administrative type job. (This is NOT always the case as there are some women in the Navy that work just as hard, if not harder than some of the men.)

They also get preferential treatment when it comes to qualifications… a man is usually quick to sign off on a female qualification or to give training than he is to a guy… I know, because I am guilty of doing just that.

Another example is qualifying as an Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist. There is a person who is leaving my ship for school who has been onboard for about a year now who procrastinated to get their ESWS Pin, and now, one of their mentors is pushing for them to get a qualification board today before they detach from the command. This board will end up being easier than a normal board, and they will probably be handed their pin without much effort. This undermines the efforts of people who actually went through the song and dance to EARN their qualification. I was quizzing them today and realized that this person didn’t know very much. As an ESWS Board member I already know that their knowledge isn’t sufficient to qualify, but they will; one because of reasons I won't get into, and two because their mentor happens to have a lot of pull within the command; yet another prime example of favoritism and preferential treatment. If tghe situation were different, the person would have left for school without the qualification since the person obviously didn’t put forth the effort to obtain it.

I wish something could be done to remedy the whole double standard thing. But a man will still find himself in a pickle if he tells a female in service to do physical labor, or to do a task that might get her dirty. And the guys that do try and treat females as equals end up looking like uncompassionate a-holes because they aren’t looking out for a females best interest. I like to go with the phrase: “Chivalry is dead, you are in the US Navy a branch of the Armed Forces of the United States. You ask for equal opportunity, so I will treat you as an equal.” I look uncompassionate and heartless, but at least I am allowing females in service the courtesy of Equal Opportunity. I look even worse when a female questions me about my heartlessness. It’s even worse when a female wants to get froggy with me and tries to intimidate me or talk down to me. Since I am all for equal opportunity, I interact with them the same way that I do with men… if a man were to act inappropriately with me, I will explain to them in the simplest of terms that they should stand down or be decimated. Women will often will say something like: “You wouldn’t do that, I’m a woman.” To which I reply: “You want to be treated as an equal… if you are going to come at me like a man, I will end you the way I would a man.” That conversation never ends on a positive note; but again, at least I am consistent and never coddle people.

Maybe one day there will truly be equality in the Service. But as long as there are double standards, there can not, and will not ever be. I apologize for offending anyone with this blog. I’m sure there are quite a few women out there who this blog may not apply to. But again, this is just my own twisted perspective and opinion, and there are a great deal of men who agree with me (but for the sake of your precious feelings, will never come out and out right agree.) Take it for what you will; but if ever you find yourself on my medical table, know that I will afford you the same respect that I afford everyone, regardless of age, gender, race, or rank.


elay said...

hi. if i weren't that open-minded, i would call this disturbing. because i'm a girl. but you are entitled to your opinion so it is not.
and s**t like this do happen.

as far as physical fitness tests go, there is a difference mainly because physically, men and women do not have the same body builts and attributes.
(face that fact already!) some forms of exercises have to be modified, otherwise it can be destructive.

i'm sorry to hear that you have observed preferential treatments in your workplace..indeed your female co-worker must have used her being in the minority, opposite sex to get ahead of everyone..but don't you think your superiors, who i would assume are not women, had something to do with that too?
they allowed it to happen in the first place.

another thing about 'pulling strings', sometimes some men do that too, but often they don't get noticed because there's just too
many of them around..however if a woman does that once in her lifetime, everyone would know about it.

but i am glad that you are being consistent with the way you treat everyone,especially your subodinates - regardless of gender.
you're right, one day equality
would be there, and it has to start somewhere..

keep posting. you got a nice blog. i'll be dropping by every now and then..c'yah!


Anonymous said...

Study hard and become an IDC on a submarine. I was in the Navy for 2 years before I even relized they let women serve. Being a submariner is awsome. Its one of the only places in the Navy where even the Navy agrees women arent equel.