Update 1/13/09: I’m amazed people are still finding and commenting on this. So for the record, I’d like to say I now disagree with this post. While I agree that some women are weaker than men and it has certain disadvantages, I believe women should be given the equal right to be in combat and defend their country, as long as they can pass the same standards as men.
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[The following has been adapted from Robert Bork, Slouching Towards Gomorrah: Modern Liberalism and American Decline, pp. 218-223]
The two main arguments feminists advance for women to be allowed in combat are:
- Putting women in combat is crucial to women’s self-esteem and to men’s respect for women. (That has never been true in the past and it is impossible to see why it should be true now.)
- Combat roles are important to military advancement.
There are also significant arguments against putting women in combat as well—arguments that are far weightier than the above ones. However, in our culture the rights of women are increasingly put above the importance of human life (this can be seen most horribly in abortion). Therefore, feminists may shake off these arguments with their illogic and emotional fury by stating that their right to be in combat outweighs the damage they do to military readiness and fighting strength. However, the arguments must still be put forth:
- The inevitable result is that training standards are lowered, and then the facts are then ferociously denied. This has already resulted in one pilot death (Navy Lieutenant Kara Hultgreen) [I am sure more have resulted, as this book written in 1995]. Also, David Horowitz offers specifics:
- “Gender norming” is now the rule—women are measured against other women, rather than against men who outperform them.
- Even though West Point officially says there have been no negative effects from the admission of women, the sworn courtroom testimony of a West Point official says that women cannot perform nearly as well as men and that the men’s training program has, for that reason, been downgraded. For example, men are no longer required to run carrying heavy weapons because women are unable to do that.
- Even if a man is willing to lead women in combat, even the thought that it might not be suitable is sufficient to end your career. This happened with Lt. Commander Kenneth Carkhuff who was recommended for early promotion due to his “unlimited potential … destined for command and beyond,” but after a private conversation with his superior officer that his religious views made him doubtful about putting women in combat, though those views also required him to lead women into combat if ordered to by his superiors, he was discharged.
- Due to such threats as the above, career officers do not speak about the performance of women in combat positions, because to do so puts them at great risk of discharge—especially if they mention anything regarding women not performing as well as the men. This is an extremely dangerous policy and will result in the loss of lives and possibly wars.
- In physical fitness tests, very few women could do even one pull-up, so the Air Force Academy gave credit for the amount of time they could hang on the bar. Female cadets averaged almost four times as many visits to the medical clinic as male cadets. At West Point, the female cadets’ injury rate in field training was fourteen times that of men, and 61 percent of women failed the complete physical test, compared to 4.8 percent of men. During Army basic training, women broke down in tears, particularly on the rifle range.
- The pregnancy problem. Navy ships have had to be recalled from missions because of the pregnancy of female sailors. A male and a female sailor on the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, both married to others, videotaped themselves having sex in a remote part of the ship. There had been thirty-eight pregnancies since the crew went aboard the Eisenhower, fourteen of them after the ship was deployed. Only someone who has never been with troops could not anticipate this result or fail to realize that it will be a major problem forever. The troops in question are very young, at an age when their hormones are, to put it mildly, fiercely insistent.
- Effects on morale can be particularly adverse. The presence of women among male troops weakens combat readiness. All-male units in the field experience bonding that enhances unit cohesion and effectiveness. When women are introduced, men stop relating to each other and begin trying to attract the women. Men can quickly become on less-than-friendly terms with a mini-war over a woman. Nor can morale be improved when accusations of harassment are always a threat. An accusation of sexual harassment by the woman, even if unproven, would severally damage the man’s service career, and both the man and the woman are acutely aware of the fact.
- The Israelis, Soviets, and Germans, when in desperate need of front-line troops, placed women in combat, but later barred them. Male troops forgot their tactical objectives in order to protect the women from harm of capture, knowing what the enemy would do to the female prisoners of war. This made combat units less effective and exposed the men to even greater risks.Our military seems quite aware of such dangers, but, because of the feminists, it would be politically dangerous to respond as the Israelis did by taking women out of harm’s way. Instead, the American solution is to try to stifle the natural reactions of men. The Air Force, for example, established a mock prisoner of war camp to desensitize male recruits so they won’t react like men when women prisoners scream under torture. There is a considerable anomaly here. The military is training men to be more sensitive to women in order to prevent sexual harassment and also training men to be insensitive to women being raped and sodomized or screaming under torture. It is impossible to believe the both efforts can succeed simultaneously.
Therefore, it is clear that mindless feminist ideology is inflicting enormous damage on the readiness and fighting capability of the armed forces of the United States. Every other career is open to women. There is no reason why access to combat roles, for which they are not suited, has to be open as well. But political intimidation by radical feminists is so powerful that there seems little prospect that the continuing feminization of the U.S. military can be reversed. At least not until some engagements are lost, or won at unacceptably high costs, and women and the men who tried to protect them being coming back in great numbers in body bags.
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Update 2/19/12: Here’s a video from The Daily Show on the contradiction of some saying women shouldn’t be in the military because men want to protect them, and others saying they shouldn’t because men will rape them.
“Female soldiers, gal reporters, lady doctors, teacherettes, aviatrixes — that’s just the way it is when you’re a woman intruding in a man’s world. We expect to be paid slightly less and raped slightly more.”