Brave new army

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.

4 thoughts on “Brave new army”

  1. I wonder if Mr. Kalb has a
    I wonder if Mr. Kalb has a dramatic example of a clear consequence of the new slogan, diversity, even though it is a recent change and there hasn’t been much time to think about it. I know his dramatic example of the consequence of the slogan “we are all equal”: family is meaningless.

    Today’s quotations from over at VFR might be helpful: “Equality of intellect stabilizes mediocrity. Equality of wealth makes all men poor. Equality of religion destroys all creeds. Equality of energy renders all men sluggards. Equality of virtue suspends all men without the gates of Heaven. Equality of love stultifies every manly passion, destroys every family altar.”

  2. It seems the
    It seems the anti-discrimination people are giving ground. They are seeing that there is no substative equality so they are falling back on procedural equality. So maybe this is good news.

  3. I’m not sure just what Mr.
    I’m not sure just what Mr. Murgos is looking for. Certainly one result of “diversity” is that there is no concept of relative excellence, which is rather a problem for academic life.

  4. Thanks to Mr. Kalb for
    Thanks to Mr. Kalb for answering my question. Academia though is not a dramatic example because it is just one small (but significant) part of society. Academia will still have many bright people working in it even if academia puts quotas on some superior intellects. It would in any event have competition once the excluded intellects began informal associations.

    After more thought, I see my question was unnecessary, though, if one views the slogan diversity as just a smokescreen for the abandoned slogan “we’re all the same.” We can still see diversity threatens the family, or can we Mr. Kalb?


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