Thursday, January 24, 2013

Women in Combat

Many commentators suggest that women in the military should be allowed to join the combat infantry if they can do the same military training as men.

The problem is, they cannot. If I recall correctly, they do not even undergo the same basic training.

A reader of Andrew Sullivan’s blog offered that men and women in the military are judged by different fitness standards and that this breeds resentment in men.

The reader writes:

In the military, men and women are scored on different scales for their branch's particular physical training test, and their scores greatly impact their job evaluation. The tests also serve as a sort of pass/fail barrier to entry to some elite military schools like Ranger School in the Army, seen as the 'must-do' for all junior Infantry officers wishing to make it past captain. In the Maneuver world, where leaders are expected to score above the 90th percentile on these physical tests, you're going to see fierce resistance from male soldiers and Marines who dislike their female competition being graded on a different (easier) scale. I wouldn't be surprised if they make the women who try to get into these units meet male physical standards.

These courses are incredibly physically demanding, and most men fail. It sounds bad to say it, but it might be a long time before we see a woman graduate wither from Ranger School or the Marine Corps Infantry Officers Course. The women who were handpicked by the Army and Marine Corps over the past few years to test the waters by going through those schools all failed, and failed badly. 

What exactly is the point of opening combat positions to women when they will never qualify?

Heather MacDonald and others are surely correct to say that the military will inevitably be forced to lower its standards.


JP said...

The physiological differences between men and women cause problems that have nothing do to with the fact that they are opposite sex and are naturally going to want to sleep with each other.

Meaning that the women on the front line are going to be in a world of hurt and degenerative conditions after they get out.

Women are smaller and weaker than men.

I read an article or saw a show on this recently.

It's kind of obvious when you think about it terms of actual biological reality.

*However*, it's not really going to lead to decline in military effectiveness right now because in the types of small actions in which we are currently involved.

It is much more likely to cause a problem in any kind of General War where you need millions of boots on the ground.

Anyway, that's my thinking.

Anonymous said...

What these fools aren't capable of dealing with are the basic, biological realities that differentiate men and women, even to the extent that when a woman does a push-up, she pushes up a smaller percentage of her body weight than a man.
I am an adult male. I am 6'2" and 225lbs. If I get into push-up position with my hands on a scale, it reads out around 175-180lbs. This is roughly 75% of my body-weight. Since I am male, my shoulders and chest are big, so my center of gravity is higher, which makes it so that I have to push-up more weight when my center of gravity is higher.
A 5'7" female who weighs 120lbs will probably only push up 60% of her body weight, because her center of gravity is lower, since her shoulders and chest are smaller (large breasts aren't THAT heavy to make a significant difference). This means she'll being pushing an effective weight of 75lbs.
Now, the fact that military physical standards are lower for a females, meaning they have to do fewer push-ups period. So, not only do their push-ups significantly less strength to perform, but they have to do fewer of them according to current standards. Even if they were to normalize numeric standards, females would STILL be significantly weaker than their male counterparts due to pushing less weight.
This doesn't even begin to touch on the aspect of shoulder strength for exercises like pull-ups, which 95% of fit women can't even perform.
It just doesn't work, and these meddlers refuse to ignore it.

Sam L. said...

Can you say 'affirmative action', boys and girls? Yes, I thought you could.

Anonymous said...

I am absolutely disgusted. This is the most blatant form of blind ignorance I've ever seen. It's preposterous. It is dangerous.

Can we please put aside the obvious differences in physical strength for one moment and consider more fundamental issues of women in combat? They're really not very funny, once we begin to look at the consequences of war.

How many marauding warriors have sacked villages and cities looking for the prize of... men?

Think about how many male soldiers are going to expose their position and sacrifice themselves in order to prevent a fellow female soldier from being taken prisoner? (and, better yet, ask yourself why are they going to go the extra mile to do so)

History has been most unkind to women acting as defenseless civilians. Read some stuff about what happened to German civilian women (of all ages) when the Red Army came into eastern Germany at the close of World War II... and please make sure you have a vomit bag nearby.

What will the fate of our female soldiers be like once they are actively participating as combatants, shooting at the enemy, with purpose? If our homeland is ever invaded, how do you suppose female civilians will be treated when the armies have encountered female combat soldiers?

Female prisoners captured in combat as active belligerents will be subjected to the most unimaginable things... and that'll be before they get to the prison camp. If they make it there.
Is the American public prepared to deal with the devastating trauma suffered by female prisoners of war? Who will look after them? The Red Cross? Are you mad???

This is a terrifying social experiment, and our society is not ready for the consequences. If male-female differences do not seem real, I can guarantee you our enemies will make them real. If we ever get them back.

These social abstractions are becoming more and more preposterous. If men and women are so similar, why is women in combat news? Is it because the subject is novel, beyond the realm of the human imagination? I think not. It's news because it's another embarrassingly stupid idea.

We seek to offer our civilization as a shining city on a hill, and hope that Islamic women of the world will see the opportunities Western women enjoy, and demand them for themselves. I think we just fell back a few pegs with this one. All so a few female military careerists can move up in the world...

I don't know what more I can say or offer. I am incredulous. This is the most stupid policy decision I have ever considered. Yes, I think it is that bad.


n.n said...

We no longer fight wars to win. We rarely, if ever, even make declarations of war.

That said, the consequences of lowering standards to accommodate women, who on average are physiologically less capable then men, will be effectively equivalent to policy, including intrusive ROE, which interfere with carrying out duty and preserving a soldier's life.

The consequences will be exactly the same as policies addressing disparate impact (i.e. symptoms) rather than causes.

They are quite selective in their understanding of science and, more generally, reality.

Well, it remains to be seen how exactly they will distribute responsibilities. They claim this initiative is primarily to equalize opportunities for men and women to advance in the military. They have made similar claims before with progressively counterproductive outcomes, up to and including normalizing behaviors which constitute evolutionary dysfunction and progressive devaluation of human life.

Ari said...

In this time of endless debt, nobody's discussing one other important aspect of this patently stupid experiment: this is going to be expensive.

Expensive is not necessarily bad. sometimes we need expensive things. But to get something we can't have at a price we can't afford is simply insane.

Dennis said...

One of the "dirty little secrets" in the military is the number of women who magically get pregnant whenever something happens that may mean having to face the possibility of hostilities. Once secession of hostilities ceases the number of abortions goes way up.
Add to that that pregnancies, and other female problems, will occur which puts added responsibility on the male members of any military organization and one has a problem with unit cohesiveness. One of the things that make an effective fighting force is that cohesiveness, the ability to know that its members can be counted upon to be there no matter what, and the "espirite de corps" that flows from that unit identification.
Here I am not including things like yeast infections, and other maladies, that would be exacerbated by combat conditions that are, let me say, less than pristine. Add to that one of the most powerful forces of Earth, sexuality, and one has the means to create tensions that would truly affect unit cohesiveness where people know they might die in the next moment. Just an aside here, one of the women in the military was captured, along with her paramour, by the Iraqis because they were out finding a place for their tryst to be consummated.
One has to ask how many men will die needlessly trying to protect females and do we really want to create a condition where we try to remove that desire to protect from men?

Stuart Schneiderman said...

I don't remember how many women got pregnant in the time leading up to the first Gulf War, but I believe that the number was significant.

Many of the issues you raise, along with the issue that was raised in the comments on my post about the NFL, namely what happens to women soldiers once they are captured, has been covered up.

I did post about JP's point-- namely the degenerative conditions that women suffer for having been in combat.

Here's a link:

Dennis said...

The Navy is thinking about putting women on attack submarines where one has things like very tight space utilization, "hot bunking," et al. Now what does one get for the cost of retrofitting, not an insignificant bit of money, a submarine just to make it female friendly? This is not even to consider periods and the extra items needed to be stocked. What is the benefit to be gained?
It would seem that one is making policy for the happiness of 5 percent, and my wife, who worked in the submarine area as an analyst, tells me I am way to high on that figure, at the expense of the 95 percent.
What NCO or officer wants to have to worry that every order the he makes in a combat situation can be looked at through the lens of sexual harassment? How many decisions that need to be made will not be made and cost the lives of people under their command? NOTE: A woman pilot was killed landing on a aircraft carrier because she was not prepared, even though her flight instructor stated she was not capable, but those above him over ruled him. Combat is NOT a game nor should it be used as a way to make political constituencies happy.
NOTE: I am one who thinks that women add to the military's capabilities and should serve. I have daughters who have served and am proud of them. But as a retired Senior NCO I have had to deal with being called a racist, which I had to ensure this individual paid for because I could not have the loss of respect that would come from allowing it, and have had women try to use the fact that they are women in order to get out of work. Only tried once!
Do the citizens need and effective defense or do they need political expediency? I do not think both are possible nor in the country's best interest.

Dennis said...

Just a look at the amount of abortions performed each year ought to demonstrate how powerful sexual need is in this country and the inability of people to take responsibility for their actions. NOTE: Just watched a very good film called "October Baby" which touches on abortion.
Take into consideration That General Dempsey is already talking about lowering standards. This because the Marine Corps, et al have tried women volunteers in their combat oriented courses and all have failed. Lower standards mean more battlefield deaths. How many unnecessary deaths have to happen in order to please feminists who will never put themselves in danger as exhibited by their lack of protesting where real danger might happen.

DeNihilist said...

Interesting story of the US generals asking a Canadian female major who commanded a unit in Afghanistan.