Equal opportunities?

#1
As a long time lurker and virgin poster on ARRSE I am looking for a serious answer to a serious question (opinions and humourous comments would also be appreciated). I am fully aware that this will start the usual "Journo witchhunt" however I can assure you that I am a serving soldier (JNCO) and am turning to ARRSE for an answer as my unit EO officer would not appreciate being asked a difficult question such as this. (suspense built up sufficiently yet?)

My question is regarding the Army's equal opportunites policy. I support this policy however feel that it is not being implemented thouroughly in regard to fitness standards. In several of the army's Fitness assesments/tests there is a gap in the requirements for male and female results, surely if they are expected to do the same job for the same rate of pay then they should be expected to meet the same standards in all tests/assesments pertinent to that job.

By this point many people will be viewing this as a gripe and making various predictions as to why I should care, to address your possible questions I will give further information:
- I am male
- I am not a sexist/male shauvnist(sp?)
- I personaly have no trouble in meeting any of the fitness requirements expected of me
- I have not been passed over for promotion or choice of posting in favour of a female
- I have no personal reason to be bitter about this inequality

The reason is easily explained by a hyopthetical situation:

Patrol ambushed, 'soldier x' is injured (unable to self extract) the only person in a realistic position to extract 'x' from the killing area is a female soldier (who has since phase one has passed but scraped through all fitness tests). She is unable to extract 'x' due to a lack of upper body strength and necessary CV fitness, as a result soldier x dies of their injuries. This female got the job in the unit over a male who consistently beat her in physical tests however failed to reach the required standard for males. This situation is unlikey however in curent conflicts where there is no FEBA and Echelons are notional it is not implausible. Who would like to explain to soldier x's family that their boy/girl is dead and it is possible that they would be alive if the best person for the job was chosen rather than the person who met an EO quota?

Thankyou for taking the time to read this post and hopefully somebody will be able to give a sensible answer to the question:

Why are females not required to meet the same physical standards as males doing the same job?
 
#2
Because a fair percentage of them wouldn't meet the criteria and the army would be seen as the only employer not to accept that women are built differently to men. Truth is i agree with you. However ask yourself how many blokes you have who couldn't do the same thing?

Better still get your boys and girls out on the football field and carry out a cas extract exercise. You will be discusted at the results!
 
#3
Not nearly as dramatic as this but my unit has a fairly high number of female soldiers, most of which are every bit of capable as their male colleagues.

What bugs me though is when a female soldier is struggling carrying a water jerry can (for example) and the 'gentleman' soldier helps her out thus perpetuating this cycle of, albeit well intended, sexism.

Its not too long before some female soldier (the minority thankfully) soon begin to play on this and attempt to flirt their way out of any bone jobs.
 
#4
Again. I see some of our young male pups struggle in the same task. Its revolting.

I imagine with the corps ch1cks get away with alot of sh1t. Shame really because i've met som good switched on birds in the army. Their only fault is wanting to live closer to "penis plenty"
 
#5
This argument has been going on for my entire time in the Army. And im guessing ever since females were allowed in the Army. In my opinion females should not have to be up to the same upper body standard as men because they are built differently but as for CV fitness there should be absolutely no difference between sexes. I mean I bet Paula Radcliffe could kick my arrse on the BPFA.

Come to think of it Lisa Riley could prolly kick my arrse on the BPFA...

Chicks need to stay out of the NAAFI and don't tell them where the local drinking establishments are when they turn up to your unit slim and reasonably attractive because as soon as they find out where Burger King is you may as well march them down to the stores for their initial G10 arrse issue.

Think that made sense, im off to bed.
 
#6
Think the point has been missed slightly here, I have heard all of the above before however the main point has not been addressed, that is:

If people are doing the same job for the same pay why should there be a difference in standards required?
 
#7
Just a thought, but where is it exactly that women do get the same pay? I know in my job I get paid less as I am 'attached' to the infantry (lower commitment apparently). Oh yes and I am a woman, TA and and have a different cap badge. ;)

I have to do the same CFT as every bugger else who has my cap badge.

Sure same job, same pay. But whilst we're at it, why don't we worry about why the older folks have less to worry about on their BPFA? Surely they should all be up to the same standards. It is after all an bi-annual test and not something that you have to worry about on a daily basis.

Don't you worry your pretty little head about us ladies, we should be able to look after ourselves (and apparently if we can't we can just manipulate you into doing the work for us)!
 
#8
You appear to be over sensitive and have misunderstood my point.

For example, male and female join the REME as a VM, both will recieve the same rate of pay for doing the same job (they will however be expected to meet different standards of fitness). I think that your personal circumstances are different to this as you do a different job for different pay (and as you are none infantry i think you will find you are expected carry less weight than infantry on a CFT). You appear to be confused over your role. You are a medic/clerk/chef (or something along those lines) and are paid as such and are promoted as such.

I did not suggest that ALL females were not as fit as their male counterparts. The point I raised was that the system allows females to have lower standards thus creating inequality.
 
#9
call_me_jack said:
You appear to be over sensitive
Sorry, time of the month.....

call_me_jack said:
For example, male and female join the REME as a VM, both will recieve the same rate of pay for doing the same job (they will however be expected to meet different standards of fitness). I think that your personal circumstances are different to this as you do a different job for different pay (and as you are none infantry i think you will find you are expected carry less weight than infantry on a CFT). You appear to be confused over your role. You are a medic/clerk/chef (or something along those lines) and are paid as such and are promoted as such.

I did not suggest that ALL females were not as fit as their male counterparts. The point I raised was that the system allows females to have lower standards thus creating inequality.
My bold, no not confused over my role thanks, I do realise that! I know I am not an infantry soldier. But let us not cloud the water with that- women aren't allowed to be in an infantry role for all sorts of reasons that I do understand (which is an entirely different topic).

But as you have just said, in the case you point out, they are doing the same job for the same pay. Isn't that how it is supposed to work? If anyone is not up to scratch they are supposed to be found out and hence won't get promoted etc (I said supposed), whether they be male or female.

Do you not think that the CFT (which is the same for men or women) is a better test of fitness than the BPFA? I have to admit that it is strange that there are differences in the BPFA scores and not the CFT. However, the military has decided it is thus.

Bear in mind that women are built differently- it is the Lords way! I am pretty sure that I know of no women that can do 50 press-ups in 2 minutes- not even Paula. Maybe we should change the way the BPFA is assessed. Any ideas?
 
#10
I agree with your points about the BPFA not being a very good measure of combat fitness, the CFT is much better. I appear to have misunderstood your point over CFT standards, you are correct in stating that the standards are the same for males and females (weight depends on capbadge not sex). The point still remains that if an assesment is in place then everybody should reach a standard based on their job (not their sex).

You say "if anyone is not up to scratch..." but there is a problem when what is classed as 'up to scratch' is determined by differing standards.
 
#11
Going back to the original question...

This is an age-old topic, much discussed in Messes around the world and a favourite topic of discussion at things like CLM. There are a number of facets to the true answer, some of which are distasteful to some but all of which, ultimately, contribute to the overall efficiency of our organization.

The principle fitness tests (under the new MATTs regime) are the CFT and the PFT. The CFT tests all soldiers under the same circumstances: same weight, same kit, same route, same time. It is, in that respect, entirely "fair". Indeed, it is designed to represent the minimum standard of physical fitness that a soldier is expected to possess in order to effectively perform his or her battlefield role and, in that respect, it is entirely proper that the same test should be imposed on all personnel (please, no one mention the TA).

The PFT, meanwhile, is "gender fair" (a hideous expression that makes me wince every time I see it) and thus is the one that raises all of the complaints. However, bear in mind that, unlike the CFT, it is not related to ones employability. The PFT is designed to ensure that soldiers are undertaking a personal fitness regime adequate to supporting general overall fitness. This level of fitness is important in terms of climatic adaptation, personal discipline, alertness under pressure and other issues wherein personal fitness is important in an individual rather than corporate context. The result of this is that the standards that must be met will vary from individual to individual according to variables including age and sex.

Age? Yes, don't forget that the standards are not only different between women and men but also between those of different ages. This doesn't, however, conflict with the new age-discrimination legislation for the reasons I described above.

In other words, whether I can run 2.5km more or less quickly than you is less important than whether I can run it quickly enough to show that I am - in the context of my age and sex - "fit".

Occasionally, it is suggested that this should change and one standard should apply across the Service. But what would the standard be? The highest standard? The result would be that we would be forced to relinquish the services of hundreds of otherwise effective soldiers and officers without improving the effectiveness of the Army. And if we were to set the standard to the lowest common denominator? Then the overall standard of fitness of the Army would drop, as younger, fitter soldiers would have less motivation to maintain standards in accordance with their capability.

I realize that this can all be a bit abstract and may not make sense on a first reading. Feel free to poke holes in my argument or ask questions if any part is not clear. But I hope that it might go some way to reassuring you that the system itself is neither unfair nor discriminatory.

Regards,

IF
 
#12
Thanks IF that makes a lot of sense I had never looked at it in that context (or had it explained to me that way). Thats the sort of sensible response I was looking for as opposed to all the usual information that doesnt answer the question. Much appreciated!
 
#13
Age/Gender irrespective the standards should be the same, for exactly the reason stated in Jack's original post.

This is why, after all, even dental techs are taught to shoot.
 
#14
FieldDiscipline said:
Age/Gender irrespective the standards should be the same, for exactly the reason stated in Jack's original post.

This is why, after all, even dental techs are taught to shoot.
And Dental Nurses
 
#17
call_me_jack said:
You appear to be over sensitive and have misunderstood my point.

For example, male and female join the REME as a VM, both will recieve the same rate of pay for doing the same job (they will however be expected to meet different standards of fitness). I think that your personal circumstances are different to this as you do a different job for different pay (and as you are none infantry i think you will find you are expected carry less weight than infantry on a CFT). You appear to be confused over your role. You are a medic/clerk/chef (or something along those lines) and are paid as such and are promoted as such.

I did not suggest that ALL females were not as fit as their male counterparts. The point I raised was that the system allows females to have lower standards thus creating inequality.
I think perhaps you are over emphasising the fitness test as a measure of a persons utility in certain circunstances. The fitness test was really introduced to combat obesity in the forces rather than as a measure of combat readiness.

Personaly I am ex navy rather than a brown job, but there were times in my service carreer when having the odd petite females around would have made my ability to get the job done much easier. As a for example I once lined the duty watch up on the jetty to find the smallest person on board to get into a very tight space to reteive a can of WD40, which if it had stayed where it was would have very very seriously impaired our operational effectiveness. Small can be good sometimes just as at others big can be good.

I suspect the fitness test levels are set at some statistical point for men and the equivalent point on their scale is used for women and in the eyes of many that would be equality.

For your scenario for many I suspect that success would be as much do with technique as upper body capacity. Perhaps you need to re-assess your training programme.
 
#18
i am 100% behind IF on this and that is the reason that they are differant standards, FD the point you raise is covered by the CFT, personally i think that there should be a annual / biannual firemans lift and body drag test to make sure that all soldiers are able to extract fallen soldiers. especially one as heavy as me :)

my question is why are less built soldiers given the same food as bigger built soldiers like me? :)


I_G
 
#19
No relation to the Jack which wrote:

Re: Bitch schools teach Bitchology
Posted: Sat Nov 18, 2006 2:52 am

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I thought it came naturally to women (it does to British birds) . Snakes with t1ts the lot of them

Just wondering
 
#20
ifrits_ghost said:
my question is why are less built soldiers given the same food as bigger built soldiers like me? :)


I_G
BY the same argument why are you only paid the same as those smaller, you clearly need more bear to fill your larger body.

Peter
 
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