The difference

David Gelerntner asks:
Why do we insist on women in combat but not in the NFL? Because we take football seriously. That’s no joke; it’s the sad truth.


Eric Blair said...

That, and there's money involved.

Grim said...

I think that's shockingly profound.

raven said...

Who is this "we", David? Don't try to lay that crap on us-
I see an ultra radical minority dictating policy for the other 99% of the country. All our objections have been met with derision and ignored-"we won", so f- you", is their attitude.
And if the fraud factor of the CCC (clinton criminal conspiracy) gets it elected, we can look forward to more of the same.
They keep this up and they won't get a Romney, (first iteration) or a tea party (second iteration), or a Trump (third iteration). They are likely to end up with a non elected fourth iteration-like a Pinochet or Franco.

jaed said...

That last is what I'm most afraid of. If the polite "Ahem..." doesn't get their attention, try the loud shouting. If the loud shouting fails to get their attention, escalation is likely.

Eventually it will be "Maybe the nukes will finally get their attention."

Elise said...

Mr. Gerlenter may have a point - he usually does. But I think there are a few other reasons for "the difference". First, the NFL is a private undertaking (at least on paper). So it's easier to argue that women should be full participants in an organization paid for by taxpayers than in one not paid for by taxpayers. (No, equal employment should not be the purpose of the military but those arguing for women in combat do not or will not see that perhaps because they do not quite know why we need a military anyhow.)

Second, it is possible to argue that there are combat positions that do not depend on vastly superior strength; whether this is true is another issue. It is more difficult to argue that with regard to football players (except perhaps for kickers). I have noticed an increase in the number of women on the sidelines in support positions like physicians and trainers and perhaps those who argue for women in combat positions envision similar avenues of opportunity.

Third, the people arguing for women in combat probably do not think well of professional football. For them to argue that women should be included would be like them arguing that women should be included in fracking or hunting whales or clubbing baby seals.

That's football, of course. Baseball is more interesting (in this regard as in most others). As Hank Aaron put it, baseball "is not a game of strength. The game needs a special kind of talent, thinking and timing. Some women, as well as some men, qualify. There's no logical reason women shouldn't be playing baseball." (Six-four, 215 pound shortstops make me wonder if this is still true - but Jose Altuve gives me hope. :+)

Elise said...

I need to modify my previous comment. My comments on my first case above were pretty ugly. Yes, I think there are people who have no idea why we have a military and are pushing to include women in combat positions for ideological reasons or to curry favor or whatever.

However, I believe there are also women who understand perfectly what the purpose of a military is; are deeply patriotic; want very much to serve their country; and believe they should face serious danger just as men do. I have great admiration and respect for these women and do not want to include them in those I dismiss as clueless.

And this is why I am no longer blogging and probably should be no longer commenting.

Grim said...

Your comments didn't strike me as especially ugly, and especially not towards the women who actually seek combat positions (as opposed to those who advocate for mandating that women be in combat positions, without seeking those positions themselves).

I said much the same thing as you here. That young lady made it through Boot Camp and is now headed to be an aircraft mechanic in Okinawa, by the way. Presumably she'll do her best to provide good service in spite of her size and relative strength, and certainly honorable service. The wisdom of the position that she is the one we ought to send to war, however, eludes me in spite of my respect for her willingness to go.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

As for baseball and women, there's throwing. That's upper-body strength, advantage male. Or speed in getting to a ball, fast-twitch muscle fibers, advantage male. Hitting a ball, whether with speed or power, advantage male.

Catchers crouching, calling a game, framing a pitch, calming a pitcher - females might do as well or better. But you'd still have to throw out a runner or block the plate. I can intujit the combat equivalents of such things. Ther may be some where women are equal or better. Yet I don't think that is the experiment that is actually being run.

Texan99 said...

I've made it clear in the past that I think we often overlook the degree to which some roles even in an enterprise like the armed services are largely independent of physical size and strength, and that we can easily get lost in job standards that are slanted toward men for no particularly good reason. What attracts me about Gelerntner's quip is that, in the football context, we're totally serious about having a team that wins. We may mouth platitudes about inclusiveness or racial purity, but all that falls away when we learn who really needs to be on the team so it will win, so yes, we'll have black players now, and no, women aren't star fullbacks. In the case of the armed services, many of the people pushing the role of women are more interested in social justice for women than in the effectiveness of the army, so they'll put up with all kinds of crazy results for the sake of political correctness.

What I would like to see is attention to the job that really needs to be done, and to the people available to do it, without all this diversion into social engineering toward the aims of either the right or the left. Can Woman A do military job B? Let's answer that question without worrying about whether we'd prefer to see her nursing a baby or whether we think it's unfair that a high-status military career is unlikely for her.

Elise said...

The reason I considered my comment ugly is because to me it read as if I were attributing bad motives to women who seek combat positions out of a sense of patriotism and duty as well as to those who are attempting to put women in combat positions for ideological, political, or generally weird reasons. That was wrong of me and reflected my own political crankiness.

I agree with T99 that the only issue should be whether someone can do the job. I believe this from both sides: no one should be shoehorned into a job s/he cannot do and no one should be kept out of a job s/he can do simply because of sex. (I recently read Dorothy Sayer’s “Are Women Human?” which contains 2 essays that look at this issue very engagingly. I highly recommend it.)

As for baseball, I’ve always thought that the first woman in MLB would be a left-handed pitcher who threw junk: nasty stuff with not a lot of velocity. Tammy John, if you will. As for hitting, if she could bunt she’d be miles ahead of most other pitchers in either league. (Apparently Hank Aaron believed that when a woman made it to the majors, she would probably be a second baseman.)

Elise said...

More generally, as I've said before, the problem is that too often description becomes prescription:
- On average, women have less upper body strength than men. Therefore, no woman should place baseball.
- On average, women don't do as well at/aren't as interested in math/computer science/engineering/theoretical physics as men. Therefore, no woman should go into those fields.
- On average, women are more interested in staying home with their children than men. Therefore, all women should stay home with their children (and no men should do so).

This is the antithesis of the idea that people are individuals, not members of an identity group.

Grim said...

I think that's quite fair, although we've reached a kind of antithetical extreme: on average, women are not as inclined to math/physics/engineering, so we must achieve a situation in which they are actually the majority of those fields in order to feel that we've addressed this disparity. Women on average are far less strong, especially in upper body strength, so we must eliminate any military standards that disadvantage them on that basis from being in any job they want. (Did you see that the USMC is now being told by the Army that it's infantry officer course is simply unrealistic in its standards? That's odd, given the shining success of Marine infantry officers of attaining victory in these last several years of regular combat.)

Elise said...

Yes, we seem to swing from one extreme to the other instead of pursuing a rational, moderate course. I would say "thesis, antithesis, synthesis" but we never quite seem to hit synthesis. :+)

douglas said...

Elise, I think the fact that we've never seen a 'Tammy John' in MLB or the minors so far as I know, nor a kicker in the NFL (or CFL or major college ball), or a goalie in the NHL (Manon Rheaume for a time was playing in professional minor hockey and very briefly had a contract during preseason with the Tampa Bay Lightning in the NHL but that was it- so that's pretty high level, but she didn't make it) indicates to me that you're not going to see a woman in pro sports for a while if ever. I was curious while watching the last Olympics, and found out that the world record for women's pole vault is lower than the high school record. It's not just that the average woman is weaker, I'd think the difference is only exacerbated when you get to the top fraction of one percent of the population that makes the pros. I think also, despite the women that excel and are way above the average guy, they aren't competing against the average guy. I'm all for 'girl power' and I would have loved for my daughter to play roller hockey like my son does- but she didn't want to- and as kids they can do that- but once they mature, there's just no contest. The gap is larger than perhaps we'd like to admit.

douglas said...

Oh, and I distracted myself- the point I was trying to get to was that if there was a woman who could make it she'd get signed to a huge contract and be an instant star- so I don't think there's any real pressure to keep women out- the fact that sports is ultimately merit based is what makes it a great measure of reality in many ways.

douglas said...

One more thing- if you think that a 'junk' pitcher like a Tommy John isn't throwing hard, take some guy who's a good hitter but never played above high school, and drop him in the 80 mph cage at the local batting cages. He'll be working hard just to make contact. Or watch the pitching radar gun booth at the local fair- big strong guys walking up who are sure they can rip it tossing 60-70 mph throwing as hard as they can (and very few of those, even). 70mph+ 'slow' pitches is really a misnomer- it's the relative speed difference that makes them slow, not the absolute sense of speed or the strength required to throw that fast.

Ymar Sakar said...

That's odd, given the shining success of Marine infantry officers of attaining victory in these last several years of regular combat.)

Lucifer has plans, and the US Marines being "victorious" over Islam isn't one of them.

Remember when I said what Hussein Obola's Regime was like years ago? Same methodology.

Elise said...

Eighty miles an hour is quite fast enough for me. My point was that a woman might be able to pitch at that speed and be effective even if she couldn't hit the hundred mph speeds that the big guys can.

In 1952, baseball banned teams from signing women to minor or major league contracts. I do not know if that ban still holds.

I don't know if we'll see women in MLB. But this story about a time when we saw women play professional ball is a nice one:No league of their own

Ymar Sakar said...

Women would do better to learn to throw knuckleballs and not try to contest in speed/strength against men who are usually going to be naturally more gifted in those areas.

Of course, a pitcher and battery's strength is not purely in their signature pitches or their fastest straight. It's in how they read the opposing batter's body language, how they use psychological warfare, and how well they work together. In those areas, women can be as strong as any other.

douglas said...

Knuckle balls may be 'slow', but that doesn't mean they don't require a good amount of strength to throw. It's an incredibly awkward grip that almost completely removed your wrist from the propulsion equation, and the hand strength required to get that no-spin release is something else.

Even in matters of finesse, strength matters. The closer you are to your strength threshold, the less control you're going to have.