On Women In Combat

Posted: May 15, 2012 by ShortTimer in hot chicks, Marine Corps, political correctness, Progressives and Left, US Military

NoOneOfAnyImport reblogged and commented on a post from a little while back about female Marines going to Infantry Officer School:

I found an interesting development and good analysis over at The Patriot Perspective. Saying that women don’t belong isn’t too popular a stance nowadays.  Still, it needs saying sometimes.  It doesn’t mean women should have their opportunities limited because their gender is inferior.  It just means the constraints of reality can limit women’s opportunities whether we like to admit it or not. Have a great weekend, everyone!

First off, thanks!  Second, what you’re noting is the difference between equality of opportunity and equality of results.

There’s something worthwhile to note here that is rarely mentioned, because the military is public sector and not private sector: Bona fide occupational qualifications.

It’s why the term garbageman isn’t “garbageperson”, and why Hooters Girls aren’t Hooterspeople.

But Bikini’s sports bars actually have good food in addition to eye candy.  Too bad there isn’t one for 150 miles.

Being a garbageman most places requires a lot of physical strength to pick up and throw trash that can’t simply be mechanically moved into a truck.  Being a Hooters Girl requires a pleasant appearance and in general, physical attributes that men don’t have.

War is also a profession.

It’s been a men’s profession since slightly after the first women’s profession was created.  It’s not a pleasant profession, and until modern developments and technologies made it so women could be adept is some modern aspects of war, the actual combat aspects of it have been almost exclusively male.  Today, the pointy end of the spear still is male – and there’s a reason for it.

Before I go further, I’ll note that both myself and JBH are Marine combat vets.  Neither of us are pogues or REMFs.  Combat arms MOSes are not easy.  Putting women in combat arms MOSes will not end well.  Putting women in military professions they didn’t belong in before didn’t end well, either.

Kara Hultgreen was killed by social engineers.  She was the first female naval aviator on a carrier.  She may have become a fantastic pilot, but she was pushed into a job she shouldn’t have been in that was above her skill level.

As I noted a while back:

Forcing women into military positions they didn’t belong in killed Kara Hultgreen.  She wasn’t ready for flying on carriers, but she was promoted into it so some cocktail party Ruling Class general could brag about how progressive he was to congressmen and senators he hobnobs with.  When she plunged into the water and died, she did so because someone had to make her into something she wasn’t supposed to be yet.

She might’ve been a fantastic carrier-based pilot, but the political rush to make her The First killed her.  A good pilot was killed due to some political general and politician’s ambition.

The ocean and a pitching carrier deck and crosswinds don’t care what you have between your legs, they don’t care how you’re “the first”, or what a great stride forward you are for some cocktail-party general or admiral who can brag to political cronies.  She died because someone put her where she shouldn’t have been – and that was in a job that, had she not been forced into it as “the first” she may have lived to excel at.  She probably would’ve made a great pilot, instead of a dead one.  Technology allowed her to overcome physical differences that made her weaker, and would have allowed her to exploit physical differences that made her stronger.

Even that cannot be said for putting women in combat arms MOSes.  There is no fly-by-wire to compensate for natural physiology differences.  There is having to lift roadwheels, break track, carry shells, and do the kinds of manual labor you’d see on a construction site, but often with field-expedient tools.  There are still the requirements of being a rifleman if your gear goes down.  There are plenty of men who can’t do the jobs.  Putting women into the jobs simply doesn’t work.  Men and women are different.   Especially because in this case it’s about social engineering and equality of results, it cannot work.  No amount of lofty academic ideals can change reality.  People in positions of power – academic social engineering progressives seeking to create the “New Man” – have been doing this to the tune of 94  million dead.  The same mindset that fought against economic laws, wheat harvests, and those who didn’t sign up for the big new idea – is the same mindset that fights here against physical and physiological ones.

Equality of results means there will be quotas.  They’re already talking about “gender neutral” PT tests, which means you’ll have women and weaker men making it through – who shouldn’t be.  This is about politics, plain and simple.  This is about equality of results in order to prove how wonderful and enlightened we’ve become as a nation that we can reject reality.

Adam Savage from Mythbusters says it well:

There are two big functions in the military:  Troop welfare and mission accomplishment.  Ultimately mission accomplishment comes first, but the close second (and often part of the mission) is troop welfare.  Troop welfare means having troops ready and able to accomplish missions.  Putting weak men and women into positions where they cannot accomplish missions with the same certainty, where they endanger all other elements of a movement, assault, or action, ultimately threatens entire operations and strategies.  It undermines the US’s ability to project force, and ultimately the US military’s ability to keep the US safe, as well as maintain our commitments to allies.

Commenter Keith DeHavelle quoted retired Brig. Gen. Rhonda Cornum concerning being a POW.  In the same story he linked, she went on:

Cornum scoffed at the theory that women lack the animal instinct required to kill. “War is not a hormonal event. It is a profession with discipline. We’re not people who club and bludgeon people to death any more. No one objects now to women flying fighters, bombers, and attack helicopters. They seem to object to hand-to-hand combat. Personally, I’ve never met a woman who wanted to be in the infantry. But if they’re big and strong and tall, and they want to do it, they’ll end up there. Gender should not be a discriminator in combat roles.”

Yeah, actually we do still club and bludgeon people.  War is applied force.  For those who’ve read the book Starship Troopers, you’ll recognize this as when Sgt Zim explains that you learn to fight with sticks and knives and your fists because that may be all the force you need to apply to get the enemy to comply: “War is not violence and killing, pure and simple; war is controlled violence, for a purpose. The purpose of war is to support your government’s decisions by force. The purpose is never to kill the enemy just to be killing him…but to make him do what you want to do. Not killing…but controlled and purposeful violence. But it’s not your business or mine to decide the purpose of the control. It’s never a soldier’s business to decide when or where or how — or why — he fights; that belongs to the statesmen and the generals. The statesmen decide why and how much; the generals take it from there and tell us where and when and how. We supply the violence; other people — ‘older and wiser heads,’ as they say — supply the control.

You also do still have to drag wounded friendlies.  You do still have to hump a 90-pound pack.  You do still have to lift a tow bar – for those unfamiliar with tanks and AAVs, it a pair of bars that connect two vehicles to tow, and weighs roughly eleventy-billion pounds.  You do still have to be able to lift and carry a 155mm shell.

If you’re a 90 pound woman or a 98 pound man let in under “gender neutral” PT standards, you don’t have physical controls to use when the military is doing police actions.  You don’t have those tools to use.  But I’m sure Cornum is right – after all, we haven’t done a police action for the last eleven years or anything with a substantial ground force in two different nations.  And we’re not talking about women in the infantry, we’re just talking about women in combat arms MOSes, and then it’ll be the infantry.

It’s called the slippery slope; for the side pushing it, it’s the Overton window.  The old insanity is the new sanity.  Note the Cornum story is from 2003.

Some more from the Cornum story:

Weighing just 110 pounds on a 5-foot-6 frame, with both of her arms broken and a bullet in her back, she couldn’t fight. If she bit her assailant, she worried he’d hit her and break even more bones. She vowed not to scream, but every time he knocked her broken arms, she couldn’t stop a scream of pain. Her main worry wasn’t rape, she says, but rather that the shackled Dunlap might get himself shot trying to defend her. “Other than that, it didn’t make a big impression on me,” she says, shrugging. “You’re supposed to look at this as a fate worse than death. Having faced both, I can tell you it’s not. Getting molested was not the biggest deal of my life.”

See that new dynamic there?  That another new thing that you’re introducing to ground force elements.  You’re introducing a physically weaker person that others will naturally be protective of, especially due to gender.  Like it or not, chivalry still exists, especially in the kinds of men who put their lives on the line for their country.  That doesn’t help mission accomplishment or troop welfare.  That introduces another dynamic that will make mission accomplishment more difficult, and troop welfare more elusive.

The dynamic between genders exists for a reason, it’s one of the wonders of the human condition.  Women have strengths and weaknesses, men have strengths and weaknesses.  Womens weaknesses make them ill-suited to war, and some men’s strengths make them well-suited to war.  None of it helps troop welfare or mission accomplishment.  Also, as noted last time:

A group of 18-25 year olds in the same environment with mixed genders (and orientations, thanks to politicians) is going to end up with pregnancies and relationship squabbles moreso than an all male unit.  There are a myriad of reasons why this doesn’t work, none of which are being listened to by the politicians and political generals.

Soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines in mixed-gender units see this all the time.  There’s office drama, there’s field drama, there’s hygeine issues (this is a whole other can of worms), there are pregnancies that prevent deployments – which means a fully staffed unit will lose troops of it’s TO&E, going from full to reduced strength because a woman chooses an easy way to dodge war.  While men also do similar things – like going home and getting high with their buddies on pre-deployment leave, there’s stigma attached.  The man is a coward, and pulled a coward move.  A woman getting pregnant doesn’t face the same criticism, because she’s not expected to face physical danger, and she’s hiding behind a baby to get out of deployment.  It’s unpleasant to discuss, but those who see it and have to deal with it do acknowledge it.  (Being in an all-male unit, I saw the male cowardice.  The female equivalent is well noted.)

There are other factors to consider as well.  Realistically, “On Women In Combat” could be the title of a book.  To look at one last phenomena – ask why we fight.  We fight to protect our home and hearth – we fight to protect security, liberty for ourselves and our families, friends and neighbors.  Humans as a species have fought for their noncombatants.  They’ve fought for their children, for their wives and their homes.  Men, biologically speaking, are expendible.  Men, biologically speaking, aren’t as necessary for raising children (and not in the lefty Murphy Brown sense, either).  Men are there to protect and preserve, women are there to nurture and create.  Thousands of years of human history have led us on this same path.  When we look at all our traditional reasons to fight, never does someone say “send the women and children first”.  That’s backwards.  Thousands of years have agreed.

Morally, a nation that sends its women to fight by choice is one that is rejecting nature.  Women who fight because they must (like WWII Soviet women’s units) are something else (though it’s worth noting what the level of concern for Soviet leaders about their citizens was).  Politicians wanting to put women in harms way to make them “equal” flies in the face of pretty much the whole history of humankind.

(Note that none of this questions the virtues of a person or their spirit as a human being, but once again, that there are certain differences between gender.  Doesn’t change their value as a human being, or the virtue of their spirit.  But gender can be a limiting factor in certain aspects of life – for both women and men.)

  1. […] Timer has been kind enough to elaborate on the issue, and it’s worth sharing.  Beyond the basic question of “is she physically strong enough,” he details a […]

  2. […] thepatriotperspective.wordpress.com/2012/05/15/on-… #TCOT 3 days ago […]

  3. gammy914 says:

    I don’t think I know how I feel about this issue yet. I certainly don’t think that the standards ought to be lowered for men so that women can keep up. But I’m sure that there are a select number of women who are up to the physical challenges of combat units that you outline here. If they really want the opportunity to go into a combat unit, and show that they are on par with the men, then I think an able-bodied soldier is an able-bodied soldier. What do you think?

  4. […] points in general are the same ones hit on here in previous posts here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part […]

  5. […] already explained how women in combat MOSes is a bad idea, in Parts One, Two, Three, Four, Five, and Six.  One of the biggest consistent arguments, not just from me, but […]

  6. […] something I’ve been saying for a long, long, long, long, long, long, long time.  It’s something combat veterans and male Marines […]

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