Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Sexual Discrimination

It seems that a certain police test- specifically the assault course part of it- has been deemed to be too difficult for female recruits to pass. The action taken? Well, you might think that they would overhaul the training program. Most of the women either couldn't get over the wall at all, or were so exhausted after scaling it that they couldn't complete the course. It sounds to me that fitter and stronger cadets were what was required. Police work after all can be physically demanding and surely requires some strength and stamina.

This being the PC 21st century it seems that such a change to training wasn't even considered- when female recruits complained about the wall a process was immediately set into action to change the test. It baffles me- it really does; can the decision makers not see that by lowering the requirements they might be putting women officers at risk when they are out on the street and faced by dangerous criminals?

The state review of the test led to a recent change in the wall. It now has two braces providing for foot leverage, making it easier to scale. A spokesman for the state administration said the wall is now a more realistic reflection of actual police work, because it is made more like a fence, something officers are more likely to encounter in their work settings.

Walls being so rare and all. I really am stumped- a wall is considered so difficult to climb by women only that it must be changed so that they can do it- instead of a real obstacle now, the women recruits are faced by the demanding challenge of traversing what's essentially a small ladder.

Boston police even endorsed the test after seeing 68 percent of their female recruits in a recent class pass.

I'm amazed- you make a test so easy that virtually anyone can pass and then pronounce it a success? Are these female police officers up to the same standard as the male ones- evidently not, if they don't possess the same strength that a fairly simple test required.

But, I hear you cry, scaling a wall in an obstacle course isn't easy- what was it, six, eight feet high? No, the wall that was exhausting women on the course so much that they couldn't continue was a mere five feet high; less I'm sure than the recruits themselves. If they aren't fit enough to run, jump, heave and roll over that, then I'm not really confident of their ability to perform their duties. But I guess something like that isn't as important as glossing over the inadequacies of a training program that doesn't prepare cadets to traverse an obstacle that's smaller than they are.

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