So, a thoughtful young lady posted a comment on my previous post regarding the foolish decision by the Obama administration to open up combat positions in the military to women. The worst part about this whole issue is that there hasn’t been nearly the serious discussion of this issue in the media and society as a whole that it deserves.
As we have this discussion, let’s not forget that the purpose of the military is to kill people and break things.
Before I get to Laura’s main argument, I want to point out a few things she doesn’t address.
First, War is Hell.
Second, men and women are different, both physically and psychologically. I understand men just fine. Women are completely nuts. To focus on the physical differences between the sexes is important, but it’s not the totality of the situation. Many men have a hard time with post-traumatic stress disorder and men are by their very nature more aggressive, have a heightened “fight” tendency when it comes to “flight or fight,” etc.
Now, to Laura:
But they should still be given the same chance as men. Open the horizons for them, and then see who rises up and takes the challenge. And as for changing the fitness requirements for women, you said yourself that the body types and capabilities are different, so why should biology stop a woman from succeeding? If she is willing to put in the work and can logically achieve success as well, why not make an ‘equivalent’ fitness requirement for women that takes their biology into account and makes it the ‘same’ standard as for men?
I would encourage Laura to start by reading this column by Maggie Gallagher for starters and reflect briefly on Marine Capt. Katie Petronio’s experience in what is technically a non-combat role.
Now I’d like to point out that an “equivalent” fitness requirement isn’t the “same” even if you put quotes around the words. If a man has to be able to run two miles in 15:54 and a woman in 18:54, then the standards aren’t the same. And in combat those two numbers—and many others—can mean the difference between life and death for not just the individual, but an entire squad. Is a Taliban fighter going to give a female infantryman a 3 minute head start?
Take a long hard look at what Vietnam POWs such as John McCain endured during captivity. Are we willing, as a society, to allow women to endure that—and far, far worse—in the name of opening “horizons” for them?
My answer would be “no.”
But that’s probably just because I’m a Neanderthal who believes in chivalry.