[dropcap]O[/dropcap]ver the summer this year during a week of scorching hot days, I was doing some inventory in my files and putzing around the house doing some of those ‘put off menial tasks’ that one never seems to catch up on. I happened to have had an unexpected day off because not only did I have a minor accident at work; breaking a couple of fingers and spraining my ankle, my next job in the queue for the travellift was halted by mechanics that had not yet completed their end of the work. I had a boat in limbo, and was very grateful for circumstances that would normally piss me off.

Aside from the air conditioner and the faint sounds of landscapers working down the block, the house was very quiet. I was a very happy human, until suddenly fire whistles and trucks started blaring away. The announcement of a fire nearby had me peeking out windows to see where it was coming from. I did not have to wait very long to find out, because about six fire trucks came down my short block…and then stopped. They blocked my driveway, practically on my front lawn. An army of firemen came off their trucks and started running down the block that connects to mine on the other side of the corner. This had me running out of my house as well.

It turns out, that a house two houses over from the corner facing the connecting street to mine, had smoke coming from the upstairs porch. Structurally, the porch was not a free-floating veranda. It was right on top of the first floor of the house, facing the street. They immediately started ripping up the floor, which led me to believe a ceiling fan or something else electrical had gone awry in the ceiling below it, but was not visible from inside the home.

Also racing to the scene were women with their camera phones out in front of them, like they were going to catch a charred body being dragged out of the home and sell it to Channel 2 News or something. I thought that was pretty pathetic, but not what caught my eye.

On the other corner across the street from mine, was a woman about my size, 5’2″ and maybe 125 lbs., in full firefighter gear; hat, coat, boots, and air tank, none of which looked like it was made for someone her size. She looked like a five year old that put on all of her daddy’s work gear in a game of playing ‘dress-up.’ She was trying to pull the hose to the hydrant, and was struggling. It was twisting as she unfurled it, and no one was paying attention to her. (She kept looking down the other block at the rest of the men already on the scene) She then attempted to get the cap off the fire hydrant.

By this time, because it was almost a hundred degrees outside- and even though I was wearing a tank top and thin cotton summer pants, I was hot, and wanted my air conditioning. So I went back into my house.  I watched from a window, like a typical ‘nosy neighbor.’

She was frantic. Sweat was pouring off of her, and she kept turning around to see if she was being watched. I almost felt sorry for her. But I could not help thinking, that if my house was on fire and she was in charge of the water to put it out, I’d be royally fucked; probably burned to a crisp.

It turns out that the men down the other street had already hooked up their hoses to other hydrants in short order, and were minute-man ready for an expeditious need for it. This woman was ‘a probie’ and this was her first time out of ‘the house’ which was right down the block from me. Another tid-bit of all of this is; the smoking house having the problems belonged to one of their brothers. (a fireman that happened to be out of town, but because his street was sealed off when he finally arrived- actually did park on my fucking lawn…and is how I got the info on the girl later, because he knocked on my door to apologize)

I asked him about the girl. I asked him if she was going to pass muster. He said “Not a chance, but to be politically correct for a gender quota, we have to have a woman in our house.”

They left her there to unhook and roll up the hose with two guys and her truck. They did not help her. She finished up an hour after all of the other trucks were gone. I am sure I saw tears.

Some jobs were just not made for women. I would not want this woman pulling me out of a burning building. But feminist governance says that she is equally qualified, and demands that she be there through politically enforced blackmail. Since I have personally been in a house fire when I was a young girl, I have witnessed the brawn and brains it takes to do this job.

I wish that the asshole that said this woman had to be hired, had this woman answer the call to their own house on fire…with their children’s lives in her hands. Maybe then, the right man for the job would actually get the fucking job; gender quota be damned. Feminists that put lives in danger for their own self-serving agenda be damned.

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