Saturday, July 18, 2015

Hypermasculinity and the Marine Corps

We all await official confirmation, but for now ABC is reporting that the Marine Corps has told its recruiters not to wear their uniforms at work.

One assumes that the appearance of the uniform was too provocative for certain members of certain religions. Next thing you know, they’ll be banning the American flag.

The rationale for this order resembles the one behind the idea that rape victims should stop dressing so provocatively.  This notion has reached its reductio ad absurdum in Norway and Sweden where Muslim men who rape Scandinavian women are treated leniently because their culture needs to be respected. As you know, Sweden today is the rape capital of the world.

The New York Times, bless its leftist heart, has chosen to run an article about how the Marines are suffering from a culture of “hypermasculinity,” and how this culture is unfairly discriminating against women.

Author Elliot Ackerman is a former marine, but he has apparently caught the political correctness bug.

In any event, examine his arguments:

From the top down, the corps’ leadership has framed the issue of gender integration as one of physical ability, relying on elaborate studies that address issues like the density of women’s hipbones, the toll of rigorous physical activity on their fertility, and that women’s hearts are proportionally smaller than men’s.

This does not feel like an irrational consideration. Conscientious commanders should certainly consider the damage that combat can do on the female body. After all, why are there no women in the NFL? Is it because the culture is hypermasculine or because the psychic benefit that would accrue to feminists is not worth the damage that would be done to more vulnerable female bodies? Of course, if one team has an equal number of male and female players, you would have something like equity. But, can you imagine what would happen if one team decides unilaterally to "disarm" by seeking to have gender equity, on the playing field and in the locker room?

Ackerman starts asking questions:

How would a minority of women fare in the infantry’s atmosphere if their integration were mandated? Would it hurt morale? Most important, if gender integration is mandated before real cultural reform, would it result in an increase in sexual assault and workplace harassment, and thus undermine the “trust and confidence” generations of Marines have earned through their service to the American public?

And if the presence of women in the Marines would hurt morale, diminish the fighting readiness and increase sexual assaults and workplace harassment, what is the point?

This makes it feel like a lose/lose proposition.

Ackerman says that he understands the value of the all-male culture:

For eight years, I served as an officer in infantry and Special Operations units. The infantry is the soul of the corps. Marine pilots, tankers and artillerymen all exist to support the infantry and the infantry is all-male. I experienced how this all-male culture nurtures an intense brotherhood, an alchemical bond I’ve seen inspire incredible courage in the deserts of Anbar Province and the choked valleys of the Hindu Kush. The real reason many Marines don’t want women in the infantry is that it will forever change that culture.

Now, exactly why does Ackerman want to sacrifice that “alchemical bond” on the altar of political correctness? (For the record, he has obviously misused the word “alchemical.”)

It makes sense that the Marine culture should be uniquely devoted to winning battles and wars. If the presence of women in the Marines would damage that culture, cause more casualties, to say nothing of more sexual abuse, why change it?

Ackerman has something that resembles an answer:

Even so, our military must represent the values of those it serves. Other integrated branches of the military effectively foster camaraderie without relying on a culture of hypermasculinity. With gender integration a distinct possibility, the Marine infantry must honestly imagine a similar path.

What’s this: “represent the values of those it serves?” Do we really want the Marines to get out of the business of winning wars in order to look like America and to represent the values of the politically correct left?

As for the camaraderie in the other branches of the military, it is more likely that it has been forced on soldiers. And, how many soldiers, to say nothing of high-ranking officers have lost their jobs because they have “fraternized” with women under their command?

Do we really want the Marines and even the rest of the military to be a battleground in the culture wars? Don’t the reports of the sexual abuse of female soldiers diminish public support for the military and help elect presidents who reject the military’s masculine culture? And besides, if people are more hesitant about sending women into battle, won’t the presence of more women in the combat infantry cause people to avoid military engagement beyond drone flights.

For his part Ackerman is drooling at the possibility that America is about to have a female president. When he notes, correctly, that gender integration has been mandated, he adds that he looks forward to the day when the Marines will have coed dorms:

This is why I hope it expands its current analyses of hipbone densities and cardiovascular capacities, to ones that include issues like gender integrated command structures, coed living conditions….

Obviously, coed living conditions will put an end to sexual harassment and fraternization. Besides what would be better for a young Marine than a bath in female hormones and pheromones?

Unfortunately, Ackerman’s thinking is perfectly acceptable to many Americans. Apparently, the notion that the military exists to win (and to prevent) wars has been lost in the cultural din. 


Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

I think we'll all feel safer in the world once the United States Marine Corps is fully integrated.

priss rules said...

For most of history, men did all the dying and getting maimed in the battle field.

One could argue that it's time for women to pay their dues while male bodies are spared and protected.

So, maybe men ought to tell the ladies, 'load up and head off to the frontlines.'

Kaiser Derden (aka TDL) said...

by his logic Americans 1) love paying taxes and 2) love to overpay for excess health insurance ...

the fact that we are legally mandated to do both never comes into the discussion ...

David Foster said...

"For most of history, men did all the dying and getting maimed in the battle field"

To be fair, for most of this history the deathrate in childbirth was very a rough kind of equivalence of risk existed.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Why are our military men and women being told to effectively hide from terrorists in our own country? This goes back a ways, as the October 2014 article from the Washington Times shows:

This is crazy. If we've been doing it for the past 9 months, it doesn't seem to be working.

Dennis said...

David Foster,

I would disagree with you here. This may have been true, but as we moved from WWI, WW2, Korean police action, Viet Nam War, et al, the death rate from childbirth dropped precipitously. Those of us who came back from the Viet Nam War found that while many of us were dying women were applying for the available jobs. A lot of these women ensured that these veterans did not fit back into American society and many painted us as defective human beings undeserving of the country's thanks. I witnessed this! So in many ways "priss rules" is correct though in artfully stated.
An interesting thing happened when a significant number of 60's generation men who avoided military service moved up into positions of authority they began to realize they could use women to keep any real competition from other men from happening. This also aided them in punishing the men who served their country with whom they disagreed, felt some insecurity and hated as individuals. Women became the perfect pawn in what was a political war agains't all things military. The same thing still exists today on the Left. Feminism and many men on the Left have done their best to destroy any hint of masculinity even to the point of redefining it. Too many of use experienced the reality to not give it the attention it deserves.