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Combat puts women at unique risk

Posted by on Jan. 29, 2013 at 5:54 PM
  • 36 Replies

A different perspective...thoughts?


Combat puts women at unique risk

By Kathleen Parker | It must be true what they say about women — that they are smarter, stronger, wiser and wilier than your average Joe.

How else could one explain the magical thinking that apparently has prompted Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to abandon all reason and lift the ban on women in direct combat?

Methinks the boys have been outmaneuvered.

This is a terrible idea for reasons too numerous to list in this space, which forces me to recommend my 2008 book, “Save the Males,” in which I devote a chapter to the issue. The most salient point happens to be a feminist argument: Women, because of their inferior physical capacities and greater vulnerabilities upon capture, have a diminished opportunity for survival.

More on this, but first let’s be clear. Arguments against women in direct combat have nothing to do with courage, skill, patriotism or dedication. Most women are equal to most men in all these categories and are superior to men in many other areas, as our educational graduation rates at every level indicate. Women also tend to excel as sharpshooters and pilots.

But ground combat is one area in which women, through quirks of biology and human nature, are not equal to men — a difference that should be celebrated rather than rationalized as incorrect.

Remember, we’re not talking about female officers of a certain age pacing the hallways of the Pentagon when we speak of placing women in combat, though perhaps we should be. My favorite bumper sticker remains: “I’m out of estrogen and I have a gun.”

We’re potentially talking about 18-year-old girls, notwithstanding their “adult” designation under the law. (Parents know better.) At least 18-year-old males have the advantage of being gassed up on testosterone, the hormone that fuels not just sexual libido but, more to the point, aggression. To those suffering a sudden onset of the vapors, ignore hormones at your peril.

Now, hold the image of your 18-year-old daughter, neighbor, sister or girlfriend as you follow these facts, which somehow have been ignored in the advancement of a fallacy. The fallacy is that because men and women are equal under the law, they are equal in all endeavors and should have all access to the same opportunities. This is true except when the opportunity requires certain characteristics. Fact: Females have only half the upper-body strength as males — no small point in the field.

Further to the fallacy is the operating assumption that military service is just another job. The rules of civil society do not apply to the military, which is a top-down organization in which the rules are created to maximize efficiency in killing enemies. It is not just another job that can be managed with the human resources department’s Manual on Diversity and Sensitivity.

The argument that women’s performance on de facto front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan has proved concerns about combat roles unwarranted is false logic. Just because women in forward support companies can return fire when necessary — or die — doesn’t necessarily mean they are equal to men in combat.

Unbeknown perhaps to many civilians, combat has a very specific meaning in the military. It has nothing to do with stepping on an IED or suffering the consequences of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. It means aggressively engaging and attacking the enemy with deliberate offensive action, with a high probability of face-to-face contact.

If the enemy is all around you — and you need every available person — that is one set of circumstances. To ask women to engage vicious men and risk capture under any other is beyond understanding. This is not a movie or a game. Every objective study has argued against women in direct combat for reasons that haven’t changed.

The threat to unit cohesion should require no elaboration. But let’s leave that obvious point to pedants and cross into enemy territory where somebody’s 18-year-old daughter has been captured. No one wants to imagine a son in these circumstances either, obviously, but women face special tortures. And, no, the rape of men has never held comparable appeal.

We can train our men to ignore the screams of their female comrades, but is this the society we want to create? And though some female veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have endured remarkable suffering, their ability to withstand or survive violent circumstances is no rational argument for putting American girls and women in the hands of enemy men.

It will kill us in the end.

 Sexy If its unladylike, fattening or fun, I'm in!

by on Jan. 29, 2013 at 5:54 PM
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by Platinum Member on Jan. 29, 2013 at 5:58 PM

wait, so it's rape? and that is "unique"?   how, exactly? 

by Silver Member on Jan. 29, 2013 at 6:07 PM
I don't get her point. How exactly is it going to kill us to let women into combat units and combat roles? What does estrogen have to do with it?
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by Bronze Member on Jan. 29, 2013 at 6:12 PM
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women are already in combat situations since the truth is that in today's war there is NO FRONT LINE anyways.  And why should someone who WANTS to be on the front line and can hold their own be held back.

Most is NOT ALL and EVERYONE is at a unique risk in a war situation.


by Member on Jan. 29, 2013 at 6:19 PM

Silly article just like this picture.....

by Jes on Jan. 29, 2013 at 6:47 PM
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Well there are 2 females in my Husband's shop and both can fireman carry my husband... They also shoot "sharpshooter" and are great at their MOS...

I trust them with my husband's life more than I do some of the men in his shop...
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by Bronze Member on Jan. 29, 2013 at 7:05 PM
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"The rape of men has never held comparable appeal"? What does that even mean?
by Platinum Member on Jan. 29, 2013 at 7:21 PM
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Someone needs to be assured that we won't be killing off all the women. Adrenaline is a good alternative to excess testosterone. Women are already in positions that can lead to capture. Rape is not about sex, and neither male or female rape is "appealing." There are women who can out-perform some men physically, and since we aren't drafting every Tam, Jane and Mary into combat positions, as long as some women can physically handle the requirements of combat, they should be allowed to. Don't ban all women from combat because they are statistically weaker. That is why there are tests, because they know that even with men, you have to check first, despite the statistics of male strength. And, because it is bound to be brought up, IF the physical standards are lowered, it won't be solely to give women a chance; there are well-educated officers who can do science to determine the physical strength, on average, required to do a good job in combat and the physical requirements will always reflect that.
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by on Jan. 29, 2013 at 7:22 PM
Somehow I knew that was going to be the angle when I read the title. Yes rape is horror me but women in the military face hat threat all the time. And unfortunately sometimes it's from their fellow service members. Rape is a tool used against all POWs - not just women and it's just as horrible regardless of the victim.
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by Platinum Member on Jan. 29, 2013 at 7:37 PM
Boy...did the mysognists really come out of the woodwork or what?
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by Silver Member on Jan. 29, 2013 at 7:42 PM
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Umm would care about my son being captured and tortured just as much as I would my daughter that is INSANE. Women in units are no more a threat to unit cohesion than homosexuals are. In today's mondern world women are already there.

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