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Carol Platt Liebau - Columnist
Platt Liebau is editorial director and a senior member of tOR and CRO editorial
boards. She is an attorney, political analyst and commentator
based in San Marino, CA, and has appeared on the Fox News
Channel, MSNBC, CNN, Orange County News Channel, Cox Cable
and a variety of radio programs throughout the United States.
A graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School,
Carol Platt Liebau also served as the first female managing
editor of the Harvard Law Review. Her web log can be found
[go to Liebau index]
Power” Goes Bad
The Deadly Danger of Mindless Political Correctness...
Platt Liebau] 3/14/05
are capable of doing anything that men are capable of doing.”
It’s such an empowering sentiment – when it’s
true. But it rang false last week, when Fulton (Ga.) District
Attorney Paul Howard invoked it, responding to a query about
whether an unaccompanied female deputy sheriff should have been
escorting brawny accused rapist Brian Nichols from detention
to the courtroom.
Please forgive the loved ones of Rowland Barnes,
Julie Brandau, Hoyt Teasley and David Wilhelm if they don’t necessarily
agree with D.A. Howard’s affirmation of “girl power.” After
all, Barnes (a Superior Court judge), Brandau (a court reporter),
Teasley (a sheriff’s deputy) and Wilhelm (a federal immigration
and customs agent) were murdered by Brian Nichols.
Nichols’ rampage began when he overpowered Deputy Sheriff
Cynthia Hall, beat her, and stole her gun. At 6’1, weighing
200 pounds, he’s hardly a lightweight. Interestingly, however,
no reports have been released revealing Deputy Hall’s height
and weight. Perhaps that’s because such details don’t
matter if we just know that “women are capable of doing
anything that men are capable of doing.”
Recently, Harvard President Lawrence Summers
learned, to his sorrow, the very public and humiliating consequences
even to the possibility of innate differences between the genders.
And so it appears that the fact – yes, the fact – that
on average, most men are stronger than most women is destined
to remain unmentioned in polite company. If it costs four lives
to maintain the fiction that, in the physical arena, “women
are capable of doing anything that men are capable of doing,” well,
that seems to be a price that many are willing to pay. The cause
of gender equality – defined not as equal opportunity,
but as absolute sameness – apparently must go on.
In such a climate, the wisdom of allowing a woman,
alone, to escort a burly accused criminal – who had been discovered
the day before to be hiding homemade knives in his shoes – is
deemed unworthy of discussion. So is the fact that many police
departments have instituted different physical standards for
women than for men.
Deputy Hall was badly beaten by Nichols, and
left with a bruised brain, facial fractures and a gash in her
forehead. She deserves
our sympathy. But at least she chose to put herself in harm’s
way last Friday morning – Judge Barnes, Court Reporter
Brandau, Deputy Teasley and Customs Officer Wilhelm didn’t.
When, oh when, will feminists and other proponents
of political correctness learn that there’s no shame in the fact that
most women are physically weaker than most men? Certainly, women
deserve the opportunity to hold any job for which they’re
qualified. But the standards for them must be identical to those
for men – and those standards must remain rigorous, in
order to keep everyone as safe as possible.
Make no mistake – political correctness didn’t kill
Barnes, Brandau, Teasley and Wilhelm. Brian Nichols did. But
we had assumed that Nichols was dangerous – he was an accused
criminal. How many more Americans in local courthouses (or anywhere
else) must die, before we learn to assume that mindless political
correctness can be dangerous, too? tOR
Carol Platt Liebau is a political analyst, commentator and
theOneRepublic / CaliforniaRepublic.org editorial
director based in San Marino, CA. Ms. Liebau also served
as the first female managing editor of the Harvard Law Review.
Her web log can be found at CarolLiebau.blogspot.com