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Fri Jan 25, 2013, 12:00 PM

Wall Street Journal: Women Shouldn’t Be In Combat Because Men Poop


By Zack Beauchamp on Jan 24, 2013 at 11:12 am

An opinion piece published in one of America’s most prestigious newspapers made a curious assertion this morning: women shouldn’t serve in combat because “social norms” would make it “humiliating” for men.

After Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s surprise announcement on Wednesday that women would be free to serve in most or all combat roles by 2016, the Wall Street Journal published an op-ed by former Marine infantryman Ryan Smith. Smith argued that since soldiers had to “defecate inches from his seated comrade’s face” during his tour in Iraq, women could not be permitted in combat because it would “humiliate” men:

Societal norms are a reality, and their maintenance is important to most members of a society. It is humiliating enough to relieve yourself in front of your male comrades; one can only imagine the humiliation of being forced to relieve yourself in front of the opposite sex.

Despite the professionalism of Marines, it would be distracting and potentially traumatizing to be forced to be naked in front of the opposite sex, particularly when your body has been ravaged by lack of hygiene. In the reverse, it would be painful to witness a member of the opposite sex in such an uncomfortable and awkward position. Combat effectiveness is based in large part on unit cohesion. The relationships among members of a unit can be irreparably harmed by forcing them to violate societal norms.


Smith’s scatological suppositions don’t stand up to scrutiny. As most know, irregular warfare against insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan blurred the lines between “combat” and “non-combat” roles, meaning that female soldiers have been fighting in combat in practice for roughly a decade. 292,000 American women served in combat zones during in these two wars, 152 of whom were killed in action. There is no evidence that these women’s bravery damaged “unit cohesion” or in any other fashion worsened the ability of soldiers to do their jobs.

-snip-

http://thinkprogress.org/security/2013/01/24/1490151/wall-street-journal-op-ed-women-cant-be-in-combat-because-men-poop/

16 replies, 1331 views

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 12:05 PM

1. Ryan Smith seems to have issues

i wonder how he was potty trained.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 12:08 PM

2. Violate societal norms?

Like killing? Good grief, they train for that.... maybe they could add co-ed pooping to their training.

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Response to Morning Dew (Reply #2)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 12:34 PM

5. My first thought as well.

Killing is a societal norm? Guess it is anymore.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 12:19 PM

3. Oh, I thought he was referring to women getting "infections in ditches" a la Newt Gingrich...

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #3)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 12:50 PM

9. Newt Was Speaking From Personal Experience!

 

As he ditched so many of his former wives.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 12:19 PM

4. Oh, the most important thing in combat is who poops with whom!

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 12:43 PM

6. who are these delicate flowers who can handle getting shot, crapping inches from a comrade's face

killing, living on MREs, going for days without bathing, etc....

but can't handle being being near someone who has a vjj?


"dude, i gotta crap. can't hold it. gotta do it right here next to your face!"
"go ahead, man, do what you gotta do, this is war!"
"you got a penis, right? you wouldn't lie to me about that, right?"
"not sure how my equipment factors in to your crapping next to my face, but sure, i got a penis."
"ok, ... damn, thanks, dude, i feel so much better!"
"i lied, i don't have a penis."
"ahhrrgg! i'm so humiliated!"
"dude, you just crapped next to my face, and YOU'RE complaining???"

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 12:45 PM

7. Ryan Smith seems to have a valid argument. He was telling about taking a dump while crammed in an

 

armored amphibian troop carrier. Standing next to his fellow marines and dumping into a MRE bag.

And doing so when required to wear the rubber anti-chemical and biological warfare suits.

You should read what he says about it. I think it was disturbing for him and I am sure that he thinks that it would have been worse for a woman who was placed in a similar situation.

Here is a link to his letter:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323539804578260132111473150.html?mod=hp_opinion#printMode

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Response to Jumping John (Reply #7)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 12:48 PM

8. war is hell

People in war have been doing humiliating things for centuries not to mention killing people. The military use to give the same kind of arguments about gay men serving. All these claims came to be irrelevant in the end and will so this time as well.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #8)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 12:53 PM

12. So you seem to be taking a "Who Cares that war is hell" attitude? So send in the women?

 

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Response to Jumping John (Reply #12)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 01:00 PM

14. for those women who want the freedom to go to war? Yes.

Just because I disagree with war doesn't mean I have the right to prevent someone who wants to serve from serving. Freedom is freedom.

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Response to Jumping John (Reply #7)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 01:04 PM

16. He may think that but the letter reads as though the men would be humiliated.

That these "professionals" would be traumatized by shitting on front of women is just malarkey.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 12:50 PM

10. Hmm, I have put many a man on a bedpan and cleaned him up.

I had no idea how many male patients I have psychologically scarred just by dealing with their bowel movements.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 12:51 PM

11. In that case, men shouldn't get married, either.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 12:56 PM

13. lets be honest here

women have more experience and interaction with poop, piss and blood than men...everywhere across the entire planet.
Not just their own bodily flows but also the output of their children, their parents, their siblings, their spouses and their patients.
Right from the beginning girls are trained to clean-up and diaper their brothers and sisters.
And care for elderly parents falls disproportionately on the female of the species.
And nursing care both within the household and in medical facilities is likewise primarily performed by women.

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Response to Fresh_Start (Reply #13)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 01:01 PM

15. THANK YOU!!!!!



I can't tell you the amount of poop and puke and piss I have cleaned up in my 20 years of being a wife and mother. And what about all the nurses who clean up these soldiers when they are injured and cannot control their bodily functions? Are they saying that it is okay for a female nurse to clean up an injured soldier but it is not okay for her to watch an able bodied soldier take a crap?

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