Here’s an interesting pair of stories that illustrate how “anti-discrimination” rules originally based on claims that a distinction is utterly irrational can change fundamental standards that determine the ability of an institution to perform its core mission:
- Female petty officer wins sex bias claim. The Brits wouldn’t let her work part time after having a baby, because the military has to be ready 24/7/365. She took her case before an employment discrimination tribunal and won.
- No Punishment Set for Soldier Mom. The Army told her to go back to Iraq and she said no. It seems that there was custody dispute involving the children of her husband and his ex-wife. Her husband was otherwise engaged, so she wanted to stay to handle it.
This kind of thing pops up every time “anti-discrimination” rules materially change the way an institution operates. I suppose it’s part of what’s behind the change in the rhetoric of the anti-discrimination movement from “we’re all the same” to “let’s celebrate and include our diversity.” Rationally speaking it’s unclear why “diversity” is so important that it trumps all other possible considerations, military preparedness and competence for example, but this is one issue on which rational discussion is routinely ruled out of order.