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Sun Jan 27, 2013, 11:34 AM

Kathleen Parker thinks women are at a disadvantage in ground combat

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/parker-military-is-putting-women-at-unique-risk/2013/01/25/33d9eca6-6723-11e2-9e1b-07db1d2ccd5b_story.html

(The) 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.

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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.



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Arrow 20 replies Author Time Post
Reply Kathleen Parker thinks women are at a disadvantage in ground combat (Original post)
pscot Jan 2013 OP
SWTORFanatic Jan 2013 #1
MadrasT Jan 2013 #2
Posteritatis Jan 2013 #16
TwilightGardener Jan 2013 #3
Buzz Clik Jan 2013 #4
TwilightGardener Jan 2013 #5
Buzz Clik Jan 2013 #6
pinboy3niner Jan 2013 #7
pscot Jan 2013 #8
Riftaxe Jan 2013 #11
TwilightGardener Jan 2013 #12
Nikia Jan 2013 #14
wercal Jan 2013 #19
TwilightGardener Jan 2013 #20
Nikia Jan 2013 #9
Riftaxe Jan 2013 #13
Nikia Jan 2013 #17
actslikeacarrot Jan 2013 #10
Lex Jan 2013 #15
pscot Jan 2013 #18

Response to pscot (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 11:38 AM

1. Judge the individual, not the group. n/t

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Response to SWTORFanatic (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 11:42 AM

2. ^^^ says it all ^^^ n/t

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Response to SWTORFanatic (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 01:04 PM

16. Seriously. Floors me that this point is somehow as opaque as people make it. (nt)

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Response to pscot (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 11:46 AM

3. Whenever anyone says we should "celebrate" a difference that supposedly shuts the door

on any particular group of people, it's so fucking patronizing.

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Response to pscot (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 12:04 PM

4. The concept that women absolutely are not at a disadvantage in ground combat begs the question:

I am not begging for a flame fest. I figure if women in the military collectively want to be in ground combat, it should happen.

However, to say they have no physical disadvantage seems totally out of touch. If we are simply talking aiming and firing a weapon, no problem. I don't want anyone shooting at me, and I have no doubt that women would be at least as good at taking out enemies. Ditto tactical. But, hand to hand?

Maybe I'm missing the point.

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Response to Buzz Clik (Reply #4)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 12:08 PM

5. If a woman meets all qualifications, including lifting ability and hand to hand combat training,

then there is no reason not to let her into combat. Likely not very many women will, without some serious physical training--but there are female bodybuilders, boxers and weightlifters. There are larger women who can outperform smaller men, physically.

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #5)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 12:11 PM

6. Agreed totally. If there is a consistent, rational filter in place for both genders.

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #5)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 12:13 PM

7. +100

People who meet the standards should be allowed to serve in the job, regardless of gender.

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #5)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 12:15 PM

8. It seems to me that the relevant question is

will the women in a ground combat unit die first. It's a question that can only be answered after the fact, but we all have our own opinion.

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #5)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 12:39 PM

11. For equality should not women be forced

into combat positions?

As I understand it now, they are only being given an option that men will not receive.

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Response to Riftaxe (Reply #11)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 12:45 PM

12. If they meet the physical requirements and wouldn't lessen the capability of the unit,

I don't have a problem with it.

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Response to Riftaxe (Reply #11)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 01:01 PM

14. Are men being "forced" into combat positions?

My little brother flunked out of the Air Force's air traffic control program and received a discharge as a result. Wanting to still be involved in serving (and receiving military opportunities), he joined the National Guard and was given a transportation occupation which is what he wanted. He served in Afganistan driving large trucks. My cousin served in the Army in a health care field and eventually became a nurse in civilian life. A friend was in military police, a field that he chose.
Is it true that there are men who sign up with the military and are told that they will be training for a non combat position and are assigned to a combat occupation with no option for a discharge? If those men were below average in physical abilities would they be assigned to those occupations or given a discharge?

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #5)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 02:10 PM

19. Let me relate two anectdotal experiences

1. Prior to jumping out of an airplane, a 'Jumpmaster' inspects your parachute and other equipment...to include the routing of the harness under the crotch. The Jumpmaster literally runs his hands along them. Guess what? Once when I had a female jumpmaster, no such inspection happened. She could not 'meet all the standards'. Not because of strength; but, because of social norms - there's over a hundred guys entering the plane; and, she didn't want to touch them all.

2. Airborne School: It takes strength to steer the particular parachute we used (T10C). Therefore, if you were to visit Fort Benning' Airborne School, you would see pull up bars outside the mess halls...10 pull ups being the price of admission to eat. But, you will also see bars around 3 feet off of the ground. The women were allowed to lay on their backs, and essentially do an arm assisted sit-up. I never understood why, if the inability to steer was so extroadinarily dangerous for you and others, it wasn't equally important to both genders. But, clearly, the women could not meet that physical standard.

These examples are from over 20 years ago. To me, it proves that given enough political pressure, the military will allow standards to slip and/or be changed. And quite frankly nobody can explain it away - I witnessed with my own two eyes the military's inability to maintain its standards, when under pressure to open up positions to both genders.

Men and women are different. This is why the Olympics have mens and womens events. Its just a fact of life.

Now, the vast majority of positions in the military are open to both genders, to include many combat (aviation especially) roles. But some really aren't in the cards.

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Response to wercal (Reply #19)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 03:05 PM

20. To answer your points:

One female jumpmaster's inability to do her job correctly because she didn't want to touch men's junk does not speak for other females' abilities in the same role. Same as some men's incompetence in a particular job does not mean all men are similiarly incompetent.


Second point--I only support females serving in these roles if standards are not lowered. Whatever the military may or may not do in that regard is up to the military.

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Response to pscot (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 12:21 PM

9. Women that are more aggressive and physically stronger than average,

will be the ones choosing combat occupations. This probably won't be a field with a high percentage of women, but a person who is capable of the work shouldn't be excluded just because she is a woman.

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Response to Nikia (Reply #9)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 12:46 PM

13. The fact that regardless of recruiting Officers promises

once their foot hits the ground off the bus, they will have an option is rather unique

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Response to Riftaxe (Reply #13)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 01:12 PM

17. My family and friends have had good luck with getting their promised occupations

Before reaching the point of no return.
I take it though that switching someone into a combat occupation isn't that unusual. Still, I wouldn't think that they would assign someone (male or female) that was marginal physically or emotionally but I could be wrong.
Incidentally, my coworker's daughter is a high school senior and is going into the Army for military police. She actually wants to have a combat position. Her mother, my coworker, isn't happy that she now has that option.

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Response to pscot (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 12:26 PM

10. Some of these people against this...

...are not understanding what this could do for the infantry. It gives the infantry a wider pool to draw from, so some of the men that BARELY pass the standards could potentially be replaced with women that exceed the standards. Every unit I have ever been in has had it's share of dudes that should just not be there, but put out just enough effort to avoid getting admin sepped.

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Response to pscot (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 01:03 PM

15. "18-year-old males have the advantage of being gassed up on testosterone"

Not always an advantage, actually.

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Response to Lex (Reply #15)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 01:24 PM

18. Reds are gender neutral

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