I never expected to come across “looks like Beirut” when it came to a discussion on gender inequality and discrimination! I must say this is one of the most unusual use of the phrase that I have seen.
Maureen Rush is among the first female police officers to patrol the streets of Philadelphia in the US back in the 1970s during a time when the local police department and government believed that…
…only men were allowed to take the “policeman test,” which offered opportunities for patrol duty and promotions. The handful of women who were on the force at all had taken a distinct “policewoman test,” restricting female officers’ responsibilities. When one of the female officers sued the city for sex discrimination, then-Police Commissioner Joseph O’Neill testified that women were not capable of patrol work “because God, in his wisdom, made them different.”
Maureen describes the discrimination faced as “Beirut”! I kid you not. I know Beirut is infamous for destruction and despair but discrimination?
“It was like Beirut,” Rush said. “The city government, the mayor and the police commissioner were dead set against women being put on street patrol. From the police academy throughout my career on the street, they made everything harder for women.”
It’s true that Lebanon scores high on gender inequality as pointed about by Najib but labeling it Beirut seems completely off. To be fair, Lebanon was over 30 years late, in comparison to Philadelphia, in letting policewomen take on “man-ly roles” but they are sure on their way as this 2012 video shows.
Maureen Rush will be receiving her Looks Like Beirut certificate soon.