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Equal Opportunity

Heroes Remember

The arguments are all, can all be dispelled because no arguments about women in general, we're talking about combat, but it applies to anything that women want to do that's nontraditional. The arguments are, are mythical, they're mythical, they're based on myths and stereotypes about what women can and cannot do. And of course the biggest argument that was put forth at that time, was that women lacked the upper body strength to be in combat. Well, you know, what is combat? Nobody ever defined it, they just said, "Oh they can't be in combat." What's combat? Combat is not just out there slugging in the infantry in the mud, that's one type only of combat. Combat is also flying CF 18's. Combat is being on a battleship. Combat is anywhere where you're facing an enemy. And they, but, the media and a lot of the, even the Veterans were screaming and hollering about, you know, thinking that combat was out there like doing what the infantry do during war. And we've always said, and we still say you put the standards for a job on the job, you don't put it on the individual. You decide what's needed for each job, and each job is different, and the infantry does require a great deal of upper body strength, it requires certain very high physical standards. Some of the other combat jobs do not. But you put the standards on the job, it doesn't matter who comes forth to apply. Gender is totally irrelevant, colour is irrelevant, religion is irrelevant, ethnicity is irrelevant, it has to do with who can do the job, period. It's as simple as that. Now how is it so difficult do get that through to people? Simply because they throw all this other stuff, this preconceived ideas about, about what people's roles in society are. Well, you know, I'm one of the people that says there are no roles in society, it's whatever you want to do with your life, that is your decision and if you can do it, then who says you can't?

Mrs. Robinson describes why jobs should be open to both men and women.

Shirley Robinson

Shirley Robinson was born in Bruce County Ontario on April 22, 1932. She found the idea of joining the military to be very exciting. She had a successful career which saw her move through many positions in both the operational and administrative side of the forces. Upon her retirement, Shirley Robinson was actively involved in initiatives to further the cause of women’s rights.

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Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Shirley Robinson
Air Force
Nursing Officer

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