Should police/fire departments lower their physical requirements for female recruits?
Debate Rounds (4)
There have been many cases of departments lowering their standards for women in order to push more thru, due to quotas or outside interference from political or women's groups. There have also been scandals like in Los Angeles, where women were found to be pushed thru and recruited to the force after failing physical parts or scoring very low in recruit training. Thus, this brings me to my arguement. My argument will not be that women shouldn't be cops or firefighters, but that men and women should be held to the same physical standards as the job entails life or death situations that even in this day of technology and manpower still require brute strength and endurance. The average female recruit and her inferiority in strength should not be compensated for. Fulfilling gender quotas and giving women a better shot is not worth sacrificing potential lives and causing hardships among civilians and fellow officers and firefighters.
Waiting for contender.
I await my opponents opening arguments.
1) The jobs still requires strength, endurance, stamina and agility.
In firefighting, a firefighter still needs to be able to hold a ladder. They still need to be able to carry a person out of a burning building. They still need to be able to respond to certain situations in which their fitness tests would of accurately defined their ability to do so. How can a person who scored as good as the worst men on the exams, as most women end up scoring...possibly be wanted by me or any person saving them over a more physically qualified man. Departments compensate for female officers by having more manpower at scenes, but that is a potential waste of resources. Women can't carry as much heavy weight so in some circumstances the men would have to do double the work. Women recieve the same combat training and equal training in all other fields, but my argument is that men and women are different physically and we need to accept that if women want these roles then they need to work even harder, not LESS. Though there is more to the job then being strong and fit, women on the streets and answering calls need to be up to the same physical standards as men so they can be prepared and ready to face any challenge that may await them. These tests are based on Job Task Analysis and always consist of things relevant to the job. Our taxpayer dollars need to be distributed to the people who are the most efficient at handling the job, and selling short the aspect of fitness and strength is a mistake.
2) These jobs are dangerous and require life or death situations.
Female officers are more likely to get knocked out by perps due to smaller stature. They try to evade and stay out of reach of suspects..never really engaging in combat. They try to manage the situation to avoid fighting as much as possible which is what all good cops should do, but sometimes circumstances arise where it necessary to keep the peace by force. A lot of female cops end up as fodder on Youtube and such when they try to get physical with male perps... even getting randomly knocked out when pulling over suspects. If you can't hold your own male or female, you shouodnt be allowed in this field. Therefore, having the required strength and fitness may help save not just civilian lives but your very own. Therefore, it is even more important that a female recruit be held to high standards on examinations. Sure, people say women make up for it with common sense, communication skills and intelligence..but who says all women indeed have these qualities? And, who says all of the males don't? And sure any person can get beaten up, but with a female cop she is less likely to be able to hold her own against a man of menacing size. Therefore, you need a good balance of skills, but fitness, strength, and size is one of the most important when you're out there.
Any time you give a job to someone less qualified based on gender or race, it isn't fair. There are also plenty of women who can pass the tests fine, expecting and accepting less of anyone is wrong.
THEBOMB forfeited this round.
C1. The tier system
The minimum standard may be lower for women than it is for men but, most major cities (New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Houston, Dallas, San Fransisco, etc) have adopted a policy the military uses called a tier system. In this system, there are 4 physical levels. Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3, and sometimes there is a Tier 4. Each tier has an equal requirement (varying from city to city) for men and women and has corresponding job(s) for the tier they place into. You must keep up your physical strength in order to stay in the corresponding tier. Tier 1 jobs are mo physically demanding (going into a burning building, etc.) then tier 4 jobs (clerical work, etc.). This means that if a women cannot make the required tier 1 level she will not do the job(s) associated with that tier. There is no getting around it.
C2. Strength does not equal fighting ability
The most revered martial arts experts are not the strongest, nor are they the biggest but, they are the most intelligent. When forced into a fight a person's biggest asset is a cool head, and intelligence. Police Academies teach Hapkido, aikido, and judo. Do you know what they all have in common? They all teach that the LEAST important thing need is brute strength. The most important things are a cool head, and intelligence in order to find your opponents weak points and exploit them (a hasty punch, weak leg, over egotistic, for a guy their testicles, etc.) My opponent stated that women "make up for [their lack of strength] with common sense, communication skills, and intelligence". Intelligence is what is most needed in a fight. Sure anyone can get knocked out, knocked down, or killed, by a lucky blow women are not alone with this point.
2) Having fighting skills as a cop is not that important. Being strong enough to carry a man to safey or out of a burning building is more imoortant. Being strong enough to withstand a devastating punch to the face is more important. Being able to carry a ladder, to break down a door, or to lift something off of someone is more important. Plus, women are more likely to get knocked out and even if female recruits had equal fighting skills as men it still wouldn't make them as valuable. Also, you're basically implying that all female cops have great intelligence and that is unprovable and negligable. The point is that the physical standards women are tested on are not high enough to be able to do everything the job asks for. Paying physically underachieving women equally to all other cops who can do more is not fair to the people who are risking their lives more so often.
1) The tier system is in place to provide a bastion of equality in the system which you pointed out is unfair. It makes it so that the entire question is irrelevant. It makes it such that police officers and firefighters must be able to first pass the minimum standards set such that it makes up for a womens lack of natural strength. Then it forces the same people to take another test which is set at these tier levels in order to recieve an exact job. This means that the female, and male, police officers who cannot get to the tier required for say going into the burning building or patrolling a dangerous section of a city will be assigned different jobs down to clerical work (typing, copying, etc.) It provides a second test which has the same requirements whether male or female. There is no point in reforming the whole system. Besides you are not training recruits to do different things even without a tier system they are all trained generally to do the same things (police officers still learn self-defense, how to correctly arrest someone, deadly force, etc.) But, physical tests testing a persons strength, agility, and endurance tell what their exact job will be. Then, from there, it is basically just gaining experince on the field.
2) I am not implying that female officers are always smarter than male officers. I am merely making a generalization which you yourself brought up in the debate. If generally they are more intelligent and have better common sense then generally they will be better at the martial arts I listed. The physical tests for the exact job are equal and that is all that matters in the context of this debate. My opponent lists carrying a ladder, breaking down a door, and lifting things. Why can't women do these just as equally as men? Women can be just as strong as men.
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