Women in the upper 25 percentile among women in size, strength and fitness are the target group for firefighters. But, with physical conditioning 50% of females qualify essentially equally with 50% of males. The U.S. military just completed a component of a huge research project related to physical conditioning in females and found that with physical conditioning / training, women meet the same standards as do the same percentage of males. Many private enterprises are cashing in right now on providing highly successful female conditioning programs for occupations including firefighting and military service. I'm invested in one.
Back in the 1950's, widespread changes occured within firefighting related to intelligence and ability to read among male firefighters. Over 50% of exisitng firefighters failed to meet the new standards. But, with catch-up programs similar to physical conditioning programs today for women, over 78% of firefighters were able to meet the new standards. There was a tremendous outcry, though, against the new standards. Firefighters were convinced that knowing how to read at a certain level was not necessary to be a firefighter. They had an outdated notion of the definition of "firefighting". The roles, responsibilities, equipment and challenges facing firefighters were rapidly changing and new standards were thus imposed.
In the military, roles, responsibilities and equipment have rapidly been changing, too, and military research into the size / strength / fitness requirements for each task is changing the definition of many occupations and redefining what standards are actually important for either males or females. For example, the average women could not pull the ejection switch in a jet. Research learned that, first, the problem is easily remedied by positioning the switch a few inches higher for leverage. And, THEN, a real brainiac came along and said, "Hey! Why are we still using that piece of worthless crap designed in 1940 when there's an easier way to trigger the ejection process?" Duh.
But, you'll still hear people using that "criteria" of a trigger switch that women "fail" to be able to pull, thus, women are not "qualified" to be pilots. And, despite radical advances in firefighting techniques and equipment and the job diversification occuring in this field, the public still has outdated notions of what makes a good firefighter.
Here is an example of one of those new private businesses providing well-researched physical conditioning catch up training for females. Feminism needs to address why females are not as physically fit as they clearly CAN be:
· 1 decade ago