The Worthy House: Young Men and Fire (Norman Maclean)

Back in 1949, everyone realized that having women wilderness firefighters is nearly as insane as allowing women anywhere near the military. It is obvious to anyone with two brain cells to rub together that no woman can competently fight wildfires—among many reasons, it is extremely physically grueling, even in normal conditions, as Maclean makes clear. And when the physical requirements escalate to racing a fast-moving fire uphill, the insanity becomes even more obvious. Naturally, therefore, although much propaganda today is pushed about women wilderness firefighters, they remain rare—around ten percent of the total, it appears, and that’s probably padded with administrative positions. We can be certain the previously-required high physical standards have been relaxed or are nonexistent for them, just as in our military, or otherwise it would be zero percent. We can also be certain that they make the overall performance of firefighting worse, by hindering the men in their work.

Source: Young Men and Fire (Norman Maclean) • The Worthy House

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