After a three hour drive, I am sitting at a desk on the eighth floor of a hotel in San Jose. The valet has my keys: I don't like going about without my keys. The water tastes funny. The view from the window is nice, overlooking the eastern half of the Santa Clara Valley. Everything around here looks like a million dollars. Tomorrow, I hit the pavement in search of dentists. There are 561 dentists within a five-mile radius of the hotel. That's some population density for you.
Back home, there are only three dentists in the nearest town which boasts a population of 7,000 souls. The entire county is approximately the size of Rhode Island, but with a population of only 28,000. The water from our well tastes great. The view is a postcard of purple mountains and green pastures. We don't lock the doors when we leave home. The road we live on gets very little traffic: several hours might pass before you see a moving vehicle. My place of business has no alarm or security system. A little graffiti competition is a crime wave.
The county fits many stereotypes of rural areas. A recent report stated that 46% of housing in our small town is "substandard". Many folks can't afford to maintain their homes by the standards of whomever decides such things. Unemployment is high, there is a dysfunctional underclass with drug and alcohol problems, education levels are low, and many young people leave the county permanently for better opportunities elsewhere.
Settled by Scotch-Irish cattlemen, Portuguese dairymen, Italian olive growers, and now Mexican farm workers and managers, the region has always been a bastion of patriarchy. But alas, radical feminism has finally reached us. It seems that our all-male city council, on the advice of an all-male selection committee made up of law enforcement professionals, just hired a female police chief from outside the county - the first female chief the department has ever had. This, on the heels of the department hiring a female officer. The paper is making much of this "historic first" for our community. I view this as nothing short of a catastrophe.
I doubt that my neighbors are worked up much about it. The county is staunchly Republican. Most of them would make Sarah Palin the Commander-in-Chief if they had their way. But it is highly doubtful that a woman who seeks to be the chief of police is anything but a radical feminist. This isn't just any job: the essence of police work is violence and coercion. The employment of violence and coercion by women - in a way that is habitual or defining for them - turns them into something beastly. A female police chief is uniquely perverse because those whom she will be leading (police officers) and those whom she will be coercing (criminals) are predominantly male. Her position is one of wielding power and authority specifically over men. Tell me, is it healthy for any woman to aspire to this? Does it not indicate some deep spiritual and psychological problems?
Certain kinds of work, too, require male cohesiveness to be effective. This is especially true of physically or mentally intense work in which the stakes are very high. The presence of a woman changes the whole dynamic. The psychological and sexual tensions of a mixed group are entirely counterproductive in such circumstances.
Men also respond much, much better to male authority. As do women, for that matter. Even those who give lip service to feminism bristle under female authority when it is actually exercised. And because it is so unnatural, women in authority often feel like they have something to prove, thus distorting their judgments. A chief of police needs the respect of his officers and the men of the community. A female chief - despite the “gender neutral” attitudes most men will express when asked – just isn’t going to get it.