Women are the weaker sex. That pointing this out may be considered controversial just goes to show the extent to which well-meaning men have ultimately been doing women a disservice. Chivalry is a virtue, of course, but when it extends to the point where its recipients start to lose touch with reality, then harm is not only done to the women who otherwise benefit from such gentlemanly condescension, but to society as a whole.
We are already seeing the results of the sexual revolution, with the Harvey Weinsteins of the world having a field day with all the sexually available and easily discardable women available to them. And now we are seeing even the armed forces prepared to discard reality and ignore the most basic physical differences between men and women.
It may be cute and adorable to indulge a young boy wearing his Superman costume. But when you next turn around to see that boy about to leap off a great height, such indulgence has to be immediately stopped, the boy needs to be grabbed in time, talked to, and made to realise that he is not the man of steel and must come to accept and acknowledge reality.
The point I realised that things were getting out of hand was back in 2015 when Detective Inspector Mick Hughes was coming under a hail of feminist bullets following the random attack and murder of schoolgirl Masa Vukotic in a park. While the killer remained on the loose, Hughes publicly suggested that women should be careful and avoid being in parks alone. Activists were driven into a tizzy as a result.
What feminism can never run away from is the fact that almost any man can overpower almost any women. This means that feminist claims to being strong, invincible and so forth are a polite fiction, a gentlemanly indulgence they are afforded. Some better-grounded feminists will concede that women are “more vulnerable”, but such semantics does little to avoid the fact that women remain the weaker sex.
Feminists angry at Huges complained that the onus ought not to be on women to exercise care but for men like Vukotic’s killer Sean Price not to threaten them. But crazy people exist. They’re not crazy for lack of appropriate education or sensitivity training during formative years. They’re crazy because they’re crazy. Therefore any woman, no matter how accomplished, when attacked and overpowered by a crazy man, can do little other than scream, which is in itself an admission of her helplessness.
I remember shortly after doing my recruit course with the Army Reserve (incidentally, with the current Member for Higgins, though we were in different platoons) we were doing our Basic Fitness Assessment (BFA). After the run, we were required to do push-ups and sit-ups. I was amused to see a woman doing push-ups from her knees rather than from her feet, which I ascribed to the Army’s antiquarian views. Then I was shocked to find that I was required to do 50 push-ups — something I’d never contemplated in my life. I managed 48 before collapsing.
Later during an annual exercise, a rather butch regular-army sergeant whom we were all scared of liked to boast of being able to do ten proper push-ups, one time actually showing us. I remember wondering at the time why she thought this was so special.
Later transferring to the military police, we were required to be pepper sprayed as part of the course, apparently so that we knew what it was like. So the sergeants training us devised a mini assault course where, after being sprayed, we ran to different points and did such things as attack and kick punching pads, one of which I was holding.
One of the female students was a civilian cop from Western Australia, and she was as blokey as could be, with a foul mouth that would make any sailor blush, confirming in everyone’s mind how tough she was. But when she and the other females came to my punching pad, I was taken aback by how utterly weak they were. When the males ran over, I would have to lean into the punches and kicks to remain upright.
Why was I so surprised? It would seem that the cumulative effect of Hollywood action films, with the female characters able to punch away and kick at men, had their subconscious effect on me. But I subsequently came to learn that women find it very difficult to do even one push-up, hence their requirement to do less on the BFA, and even then from their knees. That female sergeant’s pride at her being able to do 10 proper push-ups now made sense.
Before transferring to the military police I was in a unit that trained officers cadets, my infantry company providing the role of playing enemy. Since all officers are trained as infantry officers, women underwent the same training, even though (at the time) women were ineligible for fighting corps like the infantry upon graduating as officers.
One thing I observed while playing dead as the officer cadets continued their assault past my position, was how noticeably slower the women were in their fire-and-movement drill — getting up to quickly dash three to five steps under the covering fire of colleagues. Individual fitness notwithstanding, the relative lack of upper-body strength revealed itself in that critical moment, where that dangerous bound towards the enemy had to be as quick and brief as possible. The women got up more slowly than the men, exposed themselves for longer than the men, and so would have been easier to shoot than men.
Too much of anything is bad for you — including chivalry. Women have to start being brought down back to earth, for their sake as well as everyone else’s — albeit gently, as befits a gentleman.
Cory Bernardi and Andrew Hastie’s efforts to bring sense back to the Australian Defence Forces is a good start. Failure to tone down chivalry to sensible levels will result not only in generations of hurt and damaged women but now, it would seem, to our national security as well.
Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.