Monday, 10 October 2011

The South Pole question

Al Fin looks at the story of the female manager of the South Pole Station who is yammering to be air lifted from the base for medical reasons while officials back home point out that it's too dangerous to risk sending a plane in the Antarctic winter.   This serves as the starting off point to question modern Feminism's insistence on giving women every opportunity available for men while still allowing easy opt outs when the going gets tough.

In regard to the manager of SPS, I don't know if her being a woman is as great a factor as her being unsuited to command an Antarctic installation.  This "Damn the aircrews, I've got an aneurysm!" attitude hardly has the Admiral Byrd spirit to it and she should clearly never have been given a position of such responsibility.  However, I do think that Al Fin has it right about our blindly shoving women into hazard without any thought beyond placating doctrine Feminists.  The point about female soldiers being sent home pregnant as routinely as letters is a real scandal and I can't imagine the furore if a group of men in the armed forces was able to demob themselves at will and did so to the tune of 19 percent of their numbers, which is what the Royal Navy suffers.

But I think the most telling point he has is about not women qua women, but modern women, who are clearly not the stuff their great grandmothers were.  Neither are the men the stuff their great grandmothers were either–never mind their grandfathers, but that's another matter.  I am always gobsmacked when I read proposals for Mars missions that assume that the crew will be made up entirely of delicate snowflakes unable to withstand any a hardships–and then advocates putting this load of Walter the Softies into a ship that's one system failure away from certain death.

I am forever reading hand-wringing reports about isolation and being out of communication that would have made a 1950s BAS crew, 19th century seamen, round the world yacht racers, lighthouse keepers, and any soldier billeted anywhere previous to 1990 screw up their eyes with complete incomprehension.  Isolation, boredom and danger are manageable.  What it requires is discipline (as in military or profound self); the ability to admit the difference between a solider, an explorer, a pioneer and a colonist; acknowledging that men and women are unique and different; and having the sanity of not mixing powder kegs and matches in the same hull.


eon said...

As someone who survived a stroke at age 12 (don't ask), I can assure the individual in question that if she hasn't had the classic aneurysm symptoms by now (constant buzzing in the ears, dizziness, weakness, faintness, etc.), she doesn't have one. (Yes, the purely physical symptoms are very like those of an anxiety attack.)

As for Mr. Niiler, I'm wondering how somebody who apparently flunked English Composition ended up as a reporter. I may have read an article with more grammatical errors and misspellings somewhere, sometime, but if I have, I don't remember it. He makes me look like the Bard of Avon.



Sergej said...

I would point out that if the woman suffered a stroke a month ago, there probably isn't much to be gained by evacuating her immediately.

As for journalism dude, eon, maybe that's why they sent him away to the South Pole.

jayessell said...

This is where real Thunderbirds would come in handy.

I'm guessing a vehicle like the "Battleship Tanks" prophesied in the pulps of the 1920s.

David said...

Definitely Thunderbirds, though the regular authorities have to make one futile rescue attempt first.