Hillary Clinton once said that women have always been the primary victims of war. That is appallingly stupid, of course, but the US government seems determined to make it a reality by putting women on the front lines of combat.
Few feminist fads are quite as spectacularly wrongheaded, reality-denying, and downright barbaric as the insistence that women should be put in combat units. It’s worth considering why progressives, the supposed champions of women, are so eager to put them in harm’s way.
(I say “barbaric,” but of course no barbarian worth his lion-skin would treat the womenfolk this way.)
We don’t use the law to force NFL teams to field women players, but we do use the law to force squads of soldiers, sailors, and Marines to field women. Thus, we care more about quarterbacks being blitzed than we care about 18-year-old men being shot in Iraq.
We all know what the progressives are up to. We know they hate and want to tear down the military, that they hate America’s presence in the world and see this as a new front in the war on men and the masculine. But let’s interrogate this ghastly development as though it were sincerely intended, just for the sake of argument.
Let’s consider some obvious facts. Even the strongest women cannot achieve the same physical capacities as men. Muscle mass, which is directly linked to strength, is anywhere between 60 to 30 per cent lower in the average woman than in the average man.
Women’s upper body strength – essential for carrying heavy objects or wounded comrades on the battlefield – is approximately 50 per cent weaker, on average, than men’s. Men also run faster than women, and have stronger grips — indeed, one study found that the difference between grip strength was so wide that 90 per cent of women in the test scored worse than 95 per cent of the men.
And the difference isn’t simply about strength and co-ordination. A study by the Marine Corps last year found that all-male units performed better than mixed units in 69 per cent of tasks.
The bottom line? In order to avoid reprimands from equality-obsessed politicians, the military has to lower standards to allow women to serve in combat roles. This has already had deadly results.
You might be getting mad at me now, for repeating things that appear to be true based on scientific data. I’d say your beef is with math, and statistics, but I’m not sure where you go to picket science. Galileo’s house perhaps? I don’t know.
Some feminists say keeping women out of combat is no different from racists keeping black men out of the military, but that’s nonsense on two counts. Firstly, just try telling a black Marine who bench-presses 400 pounds he’s no different from a woman.
Secondly, black men have done just fine in the Army precisely because the Army worked to make sure they met the usual high standards, rather than lowering standards to meet quotas. You can read all about it in a Greek-American’s classic study: All That We Can Be: Black Leadership And Racial Integration The Army Way.
Some twits think keeping women out of combat equals “workplace discrimination.” But as a friend observes, let’s think about that analogy for a moment. Do bullets fly in your workplace? Do you live (as submariners do) in the same small office with the same people for six months at a time with no one leaving the building, while you and your co-workers sleep stacked three people high in coffin-like bunks?
Do you go weeks without bathing, like infantrymen? If the person next to you at work makes a mistake, do you die?
Alexis de Tocqueville warned that democratic capitalist societies would need to stress la différence between the sexes even more than aristocracies. Otherwise, he said, we’d end up with “weak men and disreputable women.” Well. Just look at Bill and Hillary — or your local gender studies class.
In case you aren’t irritated enough yet, here are some more hate-facts for you. Widely-documented differences in spatial awareness between men and women mean that the latter will be worse at driving vehicles, piloting aircraft, and, yes, shooting. I’ve previously written about femsteering, the horror of the modern roads. Imagine if along with bad steering you had to worry about a 120mm main gun!
There are things that women — and, let’s just say it, maybe homosexuals — have men beat in; they’d probably do a wonderful job decorating a Navy vessel, but I’ll let you insert your own gay seamen joke here.
I haven’t served in the military, but I do know that you don’t get an awful lot of do-overs in a firefight and it’s not just a female soldier’s life at stake, it’s the life of her fellow soldiers. That’s not the time to stage a protest against the patriarchy. War is not a women’s studies course.
There’s no limit to the number of human beings the Left will sacrifice on the altar of ideology. One of the first women to fly a fighter jet off an aircraft carrier was Kara Hultgreen, who died in a horrific crash. Hultgreen made multiple mistakes in training that should have washed her out, before she was sent to a carrier to kill herself.
A man would have been sent home, and would have lived, but Hultgreen had a “right” to die for the sisterhood. She’d likely have been fine flying a cargo jet. But she got a body bag instead of a military pension.
There’s no joke here because it’s not funny. In the service of ideology, a woman is now dead who ought not to be dead. If it weren’t for callous feminists and cowardly politicians, she could still be alive now, serving her country in a myriad of other roles — many of them in the military — better suited to her. Her death was preventable.
Military standards are not arbitrary. Like the standards for fire-fighting and police work, they are designed to mimic things the recruit will need to be able to do in the field. Can’t do a pull up? Can’t pull yourself up. Can’t carry the weight? Can’t pull your buddy to the medic. Can’t get over the wall… well, that one’s easy.
These standards aren’t designed to stop women from doing these jobs. They are designed to stop people who cannot do these jobs from doing these jobs. It just so happens that many of those people are women.
I’m dripping with white male privilege, but with my bad eyesight, no military in the world would let me fly a plane of soldiers into battle — or a mountainside. I’m not complaining about “20:20 privilege.”
Standards also protect women, whose rates of injury when they get into combat zones are way higher than those for men. What did the Army learn when contemplating the madness of women in combat? “Female soldiers suffered double the rate of injuries compared with male colleagues in Army combat training, including jobs in field artillery and repairing the Bradley Fighting Vehicle.”
What did the Marines discover? “Within the research at the Infantry Training Battalion, females undergoing that entry-level training were injured at more than six-times the rate of their male counterparts.”
Even notorious feminist Mizzou professor Melissa Click instinctively understands this. Remember when she was trying to have a reporter thrown off campus for filming student protestors and she yelled for “some muscle!” Do you think she meant a five-foot-six girl who barely benchpresses 50 pounds? I doubt it.
Women in combat makes sense, but only if you want to reduce harm to the enemy and greatly increase harm inflicted on American service members.
Most women in the military, by the way, are well aware of their limitations, and the horrors of combat. In a survey of the nearly 170,000 women who serve in the Army, only 8 per cent said they would like to serve in a combat role.
As always, women are having equality forced upon them by civilian, middle-class politicians on the hunt for feel-good headlines and plaudits from progressive commentators. There are no winners here: just dead soldiers who could have been spared had the top brass not lowered standards to admit more women, in the name of equality and diversity.
And “forced” is the right word, because once a person is eligible for a job in the military, the higher-ups don’t ask her if being shot at will fulfil her dream of self-realization. They just drop her in the fox-hole.
In some cases, there are allegations of string-pulling to get women into elite battalions. Women failed for years to qualify for the U.S. Rangers, an elite division of the Army. Despite being permitted to take the gruelling entrance course, they just couldn’t meet the physical requirements.
In 2015, two women finally graduated the course — but there are allegations that it was a set-up. Sources told People that a General informed subordinates that “a woman will graduate Ranger School,” months before a new “gender integrated assessment” had been introduced.
It’s not just about the physical, either. One crucial objection to allowing women on the front lines – in mixed combat units anyway – is that their presence interferes with the vital process of bonding that occurs between men on the battlefield, brilliantly explained by Leon J. Podles in his 1993 essay Love In The Trenches.
Podles was arguing against gays serving openly in the military, but his points apply just as much, if not more, to the debate on women soldiers. Simply put, allowing women to serve alongside men introduces a sexual tension that interferes with an otherwise non-sexual process of bonding among soldiers, one that is essential for them to function as a fighting unit.
Like the Army women who know they can’t serve on the front lines, many gay men in the military know the problems that open sexuality of any kind can cause. In his essay, Podles recounts the story of Siegfried Sassoon, a gay British poet and hero of World War One who concealed his homosexuality out of concern for his comrades:
Though Sassoon was a homosexual, he was a decorated officer, and a brave man who deeply loved (in a platonic way) his troops, and cared for them more than anything else in the world.
He voluntarily returned to his unit (and to probable maiming or death) from medical leave because he could not continue to live in safety while his comrades were suffering and dying in the trenches. Yet even he realized that he had to conceal his homosexuality because admitting it would have destroyed the comradeship that he cherished.
Then there’s the specter of sexual harassment. It’s even more of an issue with women than it is with gays, where the sexual drives of partners are at least more even. The issue of sexual harassment in the military has become so great that some officers are more worried about sexual harassment complaints than they are of enemy attacks.
Stories abound of male officers being destroyed because of accusations — often spurious — of sexual harassment. There is a parallel here between the military and college campuses, where sex charges are also used as devastating social currency by scorned lovers. And occasionally, I’m told, by lesbians trying to get ahead.
From rampant sexual harassment — real and alleged — to the Navy wasting time and resources developing special regulations for “maternity uniforms,” it should be pretty clear to observers that women on the front lines are more trouble than they’re worth.
Or, in the words of an Iraq veteran, with whom I am loosely acquainted: “In my experience, most women in the military like men either too much or too little.”
As if women weren’t enough of a burden for the combat soldier’s ecosystem to take on, now they will also shoulder the mentally ill in the form of transsexuals. The US Armed Forces just announced it will start accepting transgender soldiers into its ranks. This could make things even worse.
Trannies whinge — a lot. And they are constantly demanding affirmation. Will they expect a Purple Heart every time they pluck hairs from sensitive spots? And let’s face it, the flatulent bureaucrats at the top of the military hierarchy are likely to say ugh, fine and do whatever these poor troubled souls want, to avoid bad publicity.
Inevitably, there will be violence against trannies in the military. Just imagine when a rough and tumble combat trooper gets romantic with a supposedly female squad member only to discover she is packing some serious firepower of her own.
I joke, but trannies will open a whole new world of headaches to the military. What do you do with a Private who identifies as a General? If you don’t salute, you’re a bigot! What about an army soldier that identifies as a sailor? Will the army buy boats to accommodate these brave trans-seafarers?
Of course there are some positive outcomes. Think about the cost savings if the army puts together an entire unit of trannies that identify as Apache attack helicopters. The cost savings over dozens of actual attack helicopters will be enormous.
The only question is whether or not ISIS will agree to pretend they have been blown up by Hellfire missiles, or if they are as bigoted against trans people as Republicans.
I personally worry that tranny soldiers may defect to the other side. The culture of goat-loving and pedophilia certainly will appeal to their delicate and damaged minds, and what better way to “pass” than to wear a full burka?
Now that I think about it, that probably explains Bradley Manning, who this week, after American taxpayers funded his hormone treatment and disfiguring surgery, attempted to commit suicide. But anyway, I’ve said too much… one oppressed underclass at a time.
Defenders of women in the military will point to Israel, where women are eligible for the draft, or, more recently, to Syrian Kurdistan, where female militias are battling the Islamic State, as examples of how women in combat can work. But both arguments fall flat.
It’s a lie that Israel has large numbers of women serving in combat roles — they have to serve, yes, but the closest they get to combat is in two light infantry border units, to which they are restricted. They would never be allowed into the elite regiments.
As for the Kurds, it’s an even feebler argument — they of all people are fighting not because they want to, but because they have no choice. Like the Soviet women who fought in the Red Army during World War Two, it’s a battle for survival.
Israel had a similar battle for survival in its War Of Independence, which it fought against Arab states in 1948. On that occasion, they did send women onto the front lines alongside men. The result? As military historian Edward N. Luttwak explains: “Men moved to protect the women members of the unit instead of carrying out the mission of the unit.”
Here in America, unlike Syria, WWII-era Russia, and postwar Israel, we have a choice. Why in blazes are we choosing to sacrifice women to the false gods of equality?
One reason, of course, is that feminism has gone off the rails. In the first wave of feminism, campaigners had a better notion of the differences between men and women. They wanted the vote, yes, but women’s campaigners of the late-19th and early-20th century also wanted women kept away from dangerous occupations like coal-mining.
Then and now, women haven’t been keen to get into sewers, garbage collecting, commercial fishing, construction or any of the other dangerous jobs they’re not doing their part in. So why the military, and why now?
Men’s rights activists will be grinding their teeth at this point, but on this issue, they too are wrong. It’s certainly true that modern feminism reaches the height of hypocrisy when it ignores the fact that men are the primary losers from gender inequality, suffering the vast majority of workplace deaths, the vast majority of deaths on the battlefield, and the vast majority of low-status occupations.
When someone is shot at work (police, soldier, or security guard) it’s usually a man. When someone dies in a workplace accident, it’s usually a man. When someone loses a limb at work… you can see the pattern. 97 per cent of workplace fatalities are male.
Women talk a big game, and do try to get into the high status positions — or at least beg to be allowed in via affirmative action — but our clean, safe, modern world is lubricated with the blood and sweat of men. Civilization was built with, and upon, male bodies.
What feminists and MRAs both miss, however, is that male sacrifice on behalf of women is one of the noblest legacies of the male gender, and one of the bedrocks of society. It’s understandable that MRAs, who see modern denigration and ingratitude towards masculine sacrifice, now want the practice to end, but I have a more optimistic vision.
I want sex differences to be acknowledged, and for masculine sacrifice – otherwise known as “chivalry” – to be restored to its rightful place in western culture, as the great protector.
Because while the practical arguments against women serving in the military, and the facts about their physical inadequacy compared to men, are too numerous to count, it’s the civilizational imperative that should move us.
Men know, on a gut level, that one of their roles on earth is to protect women. Some take this too far, or get fooled by grievance-mongers — hence the much-derided caricature of the “white knight,” who rushes to defend women from the tiniest annoyance, but at its core the instinct remains a noble one. One of the greatest of the masculine virtues, in fact.
Men tamed the wilds and built cities because they wanted to protect women. Now, a nefarious cabal of smug academics, pundits, and politicians have conspired to undo that achievement. But it’s not too late. The virtue of chivalry can be restored, and it begins with restoring the ban on women in combat roles. The case for doing so, at once both practical and moral, is unanswerable.
That doesn’t mean women can’t serve their country in logistics, civil affairs, intelligence or the medical corps. But just because there are a few noble exceptions in combat units — women who can hold their own against the dudes — doesn’t mean we should allow the progressive Left to destroy the morale and effectiveness of our armed forces.
Not to mention the offence to gallantry, respect and good taste presented by hurling women into trenches. As one Marine veteran has elegantly put it, “A civilization that sends its mothers and daughters into combat is serious about neither civilization nor combat.”