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Is this really advancing the cause of women?

Women may now be used in combat according to new military rules. http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2013/01/women-combat-process/ Accordingly, there is no job that a woman cannot do in the military as long as she passes the same tests as men are required to pass to be assigned to such work. For some women this is another step on the ladder of equality but I wonder.

I was in basic training for the military in 1962. At that time the barracks next to ours was a female quarters. They participated in many of the activities, except the standards of measurement were different and some of the specialties were not available to them. I can recall that a bunch of young men who had been pent up on the base in a grueling schedule of physical and mental training looked forward to the occasional 3 AM fire drill when the women were required to exit the barracks with whatever they had on. We were in Texas in the middle of July, so the clothing was light, if non-existent. But aside from this experience, I didn't serve with a lot of women in my six year tour of duty. As it was, I was never in combat and any woman could have done my jobs.

As a young man I was taught to respect all women, as nuns were my first encounter with education. I honored my mother and have always treated my wife and daughter with a reverence that exceeds that which I showed my sons. I suppose the code of chivalry run deep in my bones. I have worked with women and for them, as my last boss was female. I never had a problem viewing women as equals, although I felt a deep rooted responsibility to provide and protect the female of the species.

But the thought of women in the throes of combat, attempting to kill or be killed, bothers me a bit. I also shudder to think of what might happen to a woman captured in the field, with the lack of standards that our enemies have exhibited. The prospect is grim. But women have been captured in combat before and survived. It is an assumed risk.

I just question this new found freedom for the women of America to fight their own wars, wallowing in the jungle slime or braving the desert heat to kill America's enemies. I did my part when I was called but don't envy the task.

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Comment by Mandy Muffin on January 27, 2013 at 9:55am

I believe it was Patton who said the mission of a soldier is not to die for our country but to live for it and kill the other guy in the process.  In the name of equality we will have to tolerate greater numbers of women coming home in body bags and some atrocities committed against captives.  Get used to it.  The world has changed.

I also agree that no compromise can be made to a realistic standard of performance to quality.  Artificially high standards need to be challenged.  We have women firefighters who are expected to carry 250 lbs people to safety if trapped in a fire.  So what's different about a female soldier or marine?

Comment by exedir on January 27, 2013 at 8:44am

First and always for the military is the mission.  And the mission of a military is to break things and hurt people on behalf of whatever the government's objective is as to the use of the military.  In this event the military is being used as the objective, equality, in this case gender equality not the mission to meet the enemy in the best way to defeat the enemy.

The problem is that with women now considered members of the military(not the auxiliary of the WACS, WAVES and WAAF) and as such are soldiers, sailors, airman and marines.  However, women were not members of combat units of infantry, armor, cavalry  or artillery the point of the spear.  Women were and have been  pilots and have served as fighter/bomber crews for some time.

The issue is that without the direct involvement in combat units(not necessarily combat) women could and would not advance in the military command hierarchy and rightly so, due to the lack of experience in actual battle.

The question is does policy trump the capabilities and capacities of what is necessary for a high performing unit to do its mission, and if not, how to compensate for a policy of a need to engage and use a lower capacity and capability in the field.  Example if to place a woman as equal standing is there a need to give the woman soldier a handicap, say, she is to carry 2/3's of what is required of a man in order to be made equal as an issue of gender.  Or that a woman soldier in combat would have to take birth control and other gender specific measures in order to take the field and perform under combat conditions.

This is a brave new world, a world that is attempting to give opportunity, to make things equal when the equation has to be rigged with some sort of compensation not otherwise required to do the job and do the job successfully as to the mission of defeating the enemy with as few losses and causalities as possible and to remove unnecessary risks to accomplishing the mission.

Comment by Mandy Muffin on January 26, 2013 at 3:10pm

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

Comment by darroll on January 26, 2013 at 2:03pm

They (women) can handle any problem.

Just scorn one and you will find out.

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