Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Women in the Combat Infantry

We cannot pinpoint the moment when the American people came to their senses and recognized that political correctness was ruining the country. At one time it had all seemed like an innocent game. Let’s pretend that men and women are the same, that the difference between the sexes was a patriarchal plot, a social construct.

It became less innocent when the thought police started tyrannizing everyone’s mind, forcing them to use made-up pronouns and never to say the least disparaging thing about any member of the distaff sex. Since most of us prefer not to say disparaging things about anyone, it seemed acceptable.

But then, political correctness might have reached a tipping point when the courts decided that a he who thought he was a she had to be allowed into the girls’ locker room in high school. Or was it the moment when the politically correct ideologically driven Obama Defense Department decided to ignore all the relevant science and to integrate women into military combat infantry units?

Travis Scott argues against this policy in The Federalist:

Irrationally, government officials in the Obama administration have opted to ignore all available scientific data to forward their own politically correct agenda. This suggests they didn’t care what the science said to begin with. It means they are willing to degrade the quality of the military’s effectiveness to artificially advance women who can’t compete by the same standards, and by doing this they are knowingly putting our soldiers at greater risk for injury and death. For this, their actions are condemnable before God and all the men of their country.

Of course, we did have the word of doddering Joe Biden that more women in the military would make the armed forces stronger. Biden said it at this year’s West Point commencement ceremony, but seriously, how stupid do you have to be to believe such a thing? Do you honestly believe that nations the world over have, from the beginning of time, been sending, whenever possible, all male armies into the field because they are afraid of the awesome power of women warriors?

When it comes to the combat infantry the question becomes: do you want to bet your life and the life of your family on a dumb idea? Do you want to risk everything you have in order to spare some ideological zealot a bout of hurt feelings?

Scott argues the point:

Many people who would oppose these moves have difficulties voicing their views or thoughts about the subject, because it’s not possible to do so without receiving hellish backlash from media outlets or political pressure. This orchestrated effort of political correctness is so influential now that even grown professionals have a hard time relaying facts to the public, because offending someone can cost your career. This is being done even at the potential cost of Americans’ lives, and it is no longer sufficient to stand idly by and let it happen.

In some way, it comes down to biology. Yes, I know that the forces of political correctness have pounded our brains with the notion that men and women are the same. Their willful ignorance of reality is not a reason to start losing wars or to start having our opponents take us less seriously.

You see, Darwinian scientists understand full well that women are constitutionally weaker than men. It is settled science. Women are less aggressive than men. Women do not react to trauma and threats the same way men do. The list goes on, and Scott details all of the arguments, but, at the end of the day, size matters, muscle mass matters, testosterone levels matter, bone density matters, aggressiveness matters.

And, of course, science matters. Those who pretend that the Democratic Party is the party of science should hide their heads in shame for ignoring the science that tells us unambiguously that men and women are not equally suited to military combat.

In Scott’s words:

If women have higher injury rates than males; are less effective combatants; or their presence might distract male soldiers from being as effective as they would be in an all-male environment; or a woman being injured and killed in combat has a more dramatic effect on soldiers’ morale, then putting women into combat is a bad idea. Simply put, implementing bad ideas into military policies will ruin the effectiveness of that military. It could get more people hurt and killed, and jeopardize the nation’s safety. People who knowingly implement bad policies that put people’s lives at risk and our nation’s security in jeopardy should be held accountable.

If you like, Darwinian theory offers an explanation. Scott does not say that this argument comes from Darwin, and should count as science, but it does and it should:

It has long been tradition that women never enter combat because having women slaughtered is a sure way to endanger the entire society, since low ratios of women inhibit the creation of the next generation more than low ratios of men. Also, putting women on the battlefield changes the psychology of every male soldier for the worse, period.

As for the biological differences between the sexes, Scott summarizes some of them:

The differences between the sexes affect all kinds of major and minor components about our bodies. Men have stronger bones than women, as well as stronger tendons and ligaments. Males have more muscle fibers, and because of this have greater muscle mass. Men have about 40 percent more muscle mass than women. Things like calorie intake also affects the sexes differently: men tend to convert extra calories into muscle and energy reserves. Females tend to convert them into fat deposits.

And naturally, as some women have pointed out, the female body suffers far more problems from extended aggressive behavior than does the male body:

Women who physically exert themselves too much over extended periods of time will be subject to muscular atrophy and other biological complications. This is why we should not throw them into activities their bodies were not made to accommodate. Even if you had a female miraculously pass a male Marine physical fitness test, or complete a special school in the military, this would be a temporary, even eccentric victory.

And also:

If extreme physical activity is sustained for long periods of time, a woman’s body will eventually deteriorate in ways in which the bodies of her male companions would not. This alone, even ignoring injury rates and other physical shortcomings of women, would put a mixed-sex military unit at a severe disadvantage in the battlefield, risking the lives of everyone involved, as well as possibly compromising mission objectives.

Obviously, we see something similar in the world of athletic competition:

… if low-grade danger zones like sports arenas have not deemed women capable of competing well against male opponents, why have we decided to allow them into combat zones, which are drastically more hazardous and complex? If you don’t expect a woman to be allowed to receive tackles from a 200-pound man on an open field, there is little reason to place women on an infantry squad.

Strangely enough, our current national conversation about sexual abuse and rape culture shows that women need special protections to keep them safe from stronger males. One doubts that the national conversation is the best way to ensure women’s safety, but how can putting women in the combat infantry  be a step toward keeping them safe from aggressive males? The cognitive dissonance is blaring.

In Scott’s words:

Where once it was a reprehensible act to even slap a woman, now we are now lining up our daughters to cross overseas to be beaten, raped, and killed by jihadis.

He adds:

If our moral tendencies dictate that women should be universally exempt from violence in the civil world for biological reasons, what grounds do we have for sending females out to fight overseas?

Many people have argued that in some parts of the world women have fought alongside of men. Yet, they have never excelled at warfare. A nation that sends women into battle has reached the limit of its desperation. Most nations prefer to send boys ahead of women.

Scott continues:

Yes, historians have shown that there are instances and parts of the world where women may have had the opportunity to be trained to fight in warfare alongside men. Yet women have never excelled at fighting and warfare compared to men.

But, you will be asking, what about Israel? John Luddy wrote the following for the Heritage Foundation:

For example, it is a common misperception that Israel allows women in combat units. In fact, women have been barred from combat in Israel since 1950, when a review of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War showed how harmful their presence could be. The study revealed that men tried to protect and assist women rather than continue their attack. As a result, they not only put their own lives in greater danger, but also jeopardized the survival of the entire unit. The study further revealed that unit morale was damaged when men saw women killed and maimed on the battlefield… Few serious armies use women in combat roles. Israel, which drafts most of its young women and uses them in all kinds of military work, has learned from experience to take them out of combat zones. Tests show that few women have the upper-body strength required for combat tasks.... 


Trigger Warning said...

Schneiderman, you cite Darwinian arguments, but, despite near-idolatry of Darwin among Proglodytes for religious reasons, Darwin has never loomed large in their political calculations (with the sole exception of eugenics).

Consider the simple and glaringly obvious fact that homosexuality and transsexuality, the Issue Of The Day, is a Darwinian and neo-Darwinian cul-de-sac.

Or that, if current psychometrics are to be believed, for every million abortions performed, 1000 individuals with IQs ≥145 are destroyed.

So, no, I don't think one can expect any rational rethinking based on science. Unless, of course, it's social "science" data collected from WEIRD (i.e., enculturated in Western Educated Industrialized Rich Democratic nations) college undergraduates and "analyzed" with canned statistics by in-numerate academics.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

The problem is that people like Scott are trying to answer these ideological lunatics with rational arguments. There is nothing whatsoever rational about allowing women in combat occupations in the United States military. None whatsoever.

That is, save EQUALITY... yes, that 8-letter word that causes ideological lunatics to lose their marbles. Just because something is possible does not mean that it is necessary, or even sensible. One's wants and desires needn't drive a duty on others.

Scott's talk of injury rates, morale and distraction are not proper arguments to have with ideological lunatics. In fact, these things that you and I might find proper don't even enter the equation. They don't think that way. They reflexively emote and make "non-negotiable demands" of other people. And if they don't get it, they act out. They're entitled little children, and it is a learned behavior.


These disconnected Leftists only understand power: the word "NO." Or, more eloquently, "No, we are not going to have reproductively healthy women designated for combat roles. Period." This is the military, for goodness sake. It's not the woman's choice. It's not the ideological lunatic's choice. It's about the national welfare. Having reproductively healthy females on the home front (ideally) or in the military in a support capacity is a sensible policy, for the good of the country.

I know, I know... what I'm saying is heresy. But that's the point: it's heresy. Heresy is belief or opinion that is contrary to religious doctrine. My "Because I say so" counteracts their "Because I say so." So there. That's where we are. That's why our politics is so divided, and that's why political opponents don't listen to each other. We want two entirely different Americas. What is there to compromise with?

This equality-at-all-costs-regardless-of-sensibility has to stop. Transgender restrooms, recommended (or mandated) for less than 0.3% of the population that FEELS like they are a gender they are not? Are you serious? That kind of thinking is how you get this nuttiness. It's license to eliminate emotional boundaries and impose a duty on another person or group based on how someone FEELS. So a woman can say "I FEEL like I want to be a Navy SEAL," so the Navy has to change their training to accommodate her and de facto compromise the integrity of the testing or evaluation process, which may reduce standards, which will endanger our SEALs in the field?

I say NO. Reverse the policy.

Trigger Warning said...

Women in Combat...


Vegetarian short-legged burrowers, sharp claws, ill-humored. Can be vicious ankle-biters.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

While drafting or greenlighting women for combat roles as a category is stupid, it sometimes is necessary in isolation to serve a cause... freely chosen.

"Star Wars: Rogue One" opens this weekend. The lead character is a woman, fighting in a rebel cause lacking materiel, resources and manpower, fighting a galactic empire. They need all the courageous and intrepid people they can find. She looks to be one of them.

In a continuance of the Trump effect, it appears the New York Times, New Yorker and New Republic have panned this new movie.

Sounds like a great endorsement, so I'll be changing some plans and going to the theaters this weekend.

Love Big Media's hate.

Trigger Warning said...

IAC, I've noticed that all the big action movies now require a female bada** heroine capable of disassembling a dozen trained men simultaneously to save the day/President/world/etc, or a black scientific genius whose brilliant deductions are dismissed by generals/businessmen until the environment/nation/planet/etc is on the threshold of complete destruction.

Even the alleged "historical" films about individuals like Alan Turing, a movie I was excited to see, are grotesquely and pointlessly politico-fictionalized to fit The Narrative.

It's frankly disrespectful to women, blacks, and true historical giants. Alan Turing needed no help from hack Hollywood producers and screenwriters to burnish his brilliant legacy.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

TW, I agree completely. It is patronizing and silly.

You go from actresses many times limited as a gratuitous, silly, peripheral love interest sidebar to today's new chic of the anti-stereotype woman: vengeful, hyperfocused combat warrior princess who seemingly enjoys killing. It's simply a substitute for a man, devoid of any truth of woman... her true power, opportunity and possibility. Even Sheryl Sandberg would be miscast leaning into a role like that. It doesn't capture our imagination... it feels forced.

It probably gives the screenwriter/producer/director cache when pitching to a Hollywood production/funding politburo. And they wonder why their movies flop so horribly at the box office. Once the audience knows the formula, they grow dull. Audiences want to be surprised, inspired, hopeful, terrified or weeping. They don't want to listen to a lecture or watch actors ill-cast to fight society's ills on an ideological level rather than a human level.

There are certainly women who fight for God and country to avenge injustice -- Joan of Arc comes to mind -- but they are the exception, not the rule. Women are normative and fulfill their desires through relationships and connection. Men stand out for their exceptional abilities, and use them courageously to exploit opportunity and subdue the wild (or evil). THAT is Alex Turing's real story, not the politics of his homosexuality and his tragic demise... films which the ending seems more important than what Turing actually accomplished in turning the tide of war. We all have roles to play. Turing may not have killed any Germans eye-to-eye, with his own hands, but he certainly gave birth to a technology that killed a lot Germans and saved a lot of Allied lives. That's heroism as true as anything on the battlefield.

Am I steroeotyping man and woman? Certainly. But we generalize and stereotype because they hold true the majority of the time. We are trying to make sense of our world and our place in it. Contrast that with "G.I. Jane" which came out in 1997. Did it achieve its ideological goal 19 years later? Perhaps. But let's look at reality... did little girls everywhere say "I want to be a Navy SEAL, I want to be a warrior like Jane?" By the looks of it (and the numbers), the answer is no. Yes, it may be possible, but it's neither sensible nor necessary. Scott makes sense, but the audience he needs to persuade wants nothing to do with it. They want equality. End of discussion... more "non-negotiable demands." And now women may not have a choice, as liberal legislators want to sign them up to Selective Service. All advanced by the "pro-choice" party that stands for women's health and reproductive rights. You can't be healthy or reproductive when you're dead on a battlefield. Ideas have consequences. Especially bad ones.

Theater characters are vehicles for truths about humanity, not ideological avatars with an agenda. Well, they can be, but there are consequences like box office receipts that fall way short of budget. Who wants to watch or listen to insufferable people except for insufferable activists?

I will wait to see how Felicity Jones' character Jyn Erso turns out in "Rogue One." I am hopeful because the New York Times, New Yorker and New Republic (the "News," I suppose) don't like it. I have certainly found out this year that we have, er, different tastes.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Having said all that, I am sure Ares Olympus aspires to be a warrior princess.

BobJustBob said...

Like single sex marriage, women in combat is simply a tool(a hammer)used by the Left to destroy the institution in question.

All the shouting, about what ostensibly is about equality, is simply boob bait for the rubes.

It really is that simple.

Anonymous said...

The discussion about women in combat usually turns toward very practical, but high-level, issues. This is all well and good, but here’s a story with a much more basic and personal angle. When my daughter finished college she found that her liberal arts field wasn’t exactly a merchantable commodity so she joined the Army. While she’s never been a hard-core Lib-Fem, she had been raised with the modern idea that every door was open to her.

After basic training she returned home on leave so I took the opportunity to pick the scab of women-in-combat just to see what her reaction would be. She recited the usual long list of approved platitudes such as, “You don’t have to be strong to pull a trigger” and “Brains are more important than brawn”, etc. but then she hesitated for a moment and said, “But…” so I waited for it.

“But” she continued, “if I ever get a tight spot in combat I don’t want to see a bunch of girls coming to help me; I want to see a whole platoon of great, big Rangers or Marines.”

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Anonymous @December 14, 2016 at 7:37 AM:

Exactly. I'm not opposed to women in the military, so long as they perform and advance on merit. I'm all for women in support roles. And I understand that women may find themselves in combat if their support function comes under fire. What I am against is women in a combat infantry MOS or the like. It just does not make sense, for the "very practical, high-level, issues" we all understand.

As I've said before, people may rah-rah about a female achieving infantry or Ranger status (a wombat), but there aren't many people who are ready for a female prisoner of war. That's a different kettle of fish, for obvious reasons.

And I get what your daughter was saying. One stereotype of female desire is security. If you get in a tight spot in combat, there's nothing more secure than seeing "a whole platoon of great, big Rangers or Marines."

Ares Olympus said...

It should be clear to all that we shouldn't lower standards just to be more inclusive to women who are on average physically weaker. However we should question why certain standards exist, and in part I imagine supply and demand is involved, so probably even the men's standards will be lowered when voluntary recruitment fails to find sufficient men to meet them.

I tend to value the potential for diversity, and that means there are many important skills, and different individuals will have different potentials. So if you allow a wide range of individuals, you will end up finding different skill sets, and the structure of the military itself will change based on the qualities available in the recruits. So whatever unique skills women hold over men, on average, jobs that use those skills will tend to expand. And given the nature of specialization, many jobs may evolve so that 99% of men won't be able to meet them, and 90% of women won't either, but if you need that job, and don't have enough men for it, you're better of having women available to do them.

Perhaps physical combat itself benefits so much by male advantage in temperament and skills, that 99% of women would be excluded, and 90% of men, and you've got plenty of men to fill the roles needed, and some higher costs to mixing genders, so such jobs should be exclusively assigned to males. But again, if recruitment is low, then the extra costs of including women would make a difference, rather than defecting to lower quality males over higher quality females.

Overall, I think experiments are good, and although failure in war has a high cost, if there are women who want to step forward, and honest standards that are acually needed, and women can meet them, let them try, and observe what works better and what works worse, and then we can reassess.

Trigger Warning said...

"Overall, I think experiments are good, and although failure in war has a high cost [..., we] observe what works better and what works worse, and then we can reassess."

Well, the dead people won't be around to participate in the reassessment, but that's OK, right? Experimental collateral damage.

I dare not ask where you acquired your research ethics, but I doubt it was anywhere influenced by Western Civilization.

Trigger Warning said...

IAC: "Who wants to watch or listen to insufferable people except for insufferable activists?"

Indeed, Sir. Indeed. Which is why "Miss Sloane" is a box office basket case.

When I pay for a movie, I want to be entertained, not lectured to.

The number of people who casually quote movie lines to support historical, "scientific", and moral arguments is astonishing to me, as if Hollywood screenwriters had intellectual gravitas.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Ares: "I tend to value the potential for diversity"

Good for you.