"Whether physical fitness standards discriminate based on sex, therefore, depends on whether they require men and women to demonstrate different levels of fitness.... [T]he numbers of push-ups men and women must complete are not the same, but... the fundamental issue [is] whether those normalized requirements treat men in a different manner than women.... [A]n employer does not contravene Title VII when it utilizes physical fitness standards that distinguish between the sexes on the basis of their physiological differences but impose an equal burden of compliance on both men and women, requiring the same level of physical fitness of each."
Said the Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in Bauer v. Lynch, decided January 11, 2016, dealing a loss to a man the FBI rejected because he couldn't do the required 30 pushups. He could do 29. If he'd been a woman, 14 would have been enough. But if he'd been a woman, he wouldn't have been able to do 29 pushups, now, would he? What's harder, for a man to do 30 pushups or a woman to do 14? The FBI is trying to set a standard that makes the 2 tasks equally hard. That's equality enough for Title VII purposes.
Isn't it odd that he could do 29 but not 30, when 30 was the requirement? How does that happen? Such perfect facts for the argument he ended up making. A losing argument, it turned out.
What do you think of these "gender-normed" standards?