God of the Achievement Gaps
Pity poor General Jerry Boykin, who cites crippling pee-shame as a reason why women should not be allowed to take on combat roles in the U.S. military (never mind that women have been on the front lines of U.S. military engagements since the days of “Molly Pitcher” (for a stirring tale of heroism in the early days of the American Revolution, one can’t beat the “better than fiction” tale of sixteen-year-old Sibyl Ludington).
Boykin’s ridiculous assertion that shame about one’s dirty business would undermine morale in a gender-equal military reminds me of the “God of the Gaps” argument used by Creationists and other religious apologists, which posits that divine causes are necessary to account for lacunae in scientific knowledge. As science progresses, the gaps shrink, there’s less room for God, and the apologists move their goalposts and find another “gap” to defend. In the case of those arguing that women should not have equal opportunity, male supremacist apologists claim that women are unable to perform certain tasks. As women demonstrate that they have the ability to excel in traditionally male-dominated fields, the arguments of the sexists become more ludicrous, the goalposts move to the extent that assholes like Boykin are reduced to citing their, uh, assholes as a reason to deny equal opportunity to women- the “God of the Achievement Gaps” gets smaller and smaller.
Cross-posted at my eponymous blog.