Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Speed Posting, 12/15/15: Recent Good News About Women

Some recent good news about women, some of wider significance than others, but all with some good stuff in them:

-  Saudi women were, for the first time ever, allowed to vote and run for office in local elections, and some women  got elected.  This is important, even if only symbolically.

-  Daniel Holzclaw, the man who used his standing as a police officer in Oklahoma to prey on black women he deemed unlikely to report him,  was found guilty of serial rape.  The good news is that the women he hurt got justice, despite the prior fears that they would not.

-  This story about a young female baseball pitcher in Mexico is good news to me not because she is fantastic (which she is) but because of the support she is getting from the guys (in a macho society, as the story puts it).  The basic idea, after all, is that everyone should be able to develop the talents they have, and that opportunity requires the support of others.

- US Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced in early December that all combat positions in the US military will be opened to women who qualify, based on all existing physical and other tests.  Military women welcome this decision because it stops them from being discriminated against in promotions which depend on combat experiences, because women already end up being in combat situations abroad, whether they are formally allowed to do so or not,  and because of the same reason Carter mentioned:  that assignments should be based on ability, not on gender.

As you might expect, there's lots of resistance.  You can read some letters the NYT received here, both for and against the decision.  Some of the latter are about unit cohesion which means that girls have cooties and that guys can't stop their peckers from making all the choices and so on.  -- This whole topic deserves a much longer post, including the question whether this is good news for those who'd rather have also men removed from all combat positions.  There are several such posta in my archives if I only could find them.