So, I watched the movie Crooked Arrows Sunday night after the Super Bowl. If you like lacrosse or want to know just what the heck lacrosse is, I’d encourage you to see it. Otherwise, you’ve already seen this movie done better. (It was called Hoosiers.)
At the beginning of the movie, the lacrosse team from the Native American school is playing in a game when one of the players gets injured. As is not uncommon when there are no women’s lacrosse teams, girls play on the boys team. The girl who replaces the injured boy almost immediately gets clobbered and breaks her ankle.
I played lacrosse my senior year of high school at Helix High School in La Mesa, Calif. It was the first year our school had a lacrosse team and we had just enough players at some points during the season to just field a team. We also had a girl on the team and we weren’t the only team in the county with one.
It was generally understood by the boys playing that unless the girl was charging towards the goal, you go easy on her. The hits that you’d gladly lay on another guy, you don’t if it’s a girl.
One week against Serra High School, one of their defensemen didn’t seem to respect the unspoken rule and he laid a pretty big (and illegal) hit on our girl near midfield. In lacrosse, you must have four people on the defensive side of the field at all times and three on the offensive side. The remaining three can cross at will. I was a defenseman, so I couldn’t go across the field and return the favor. Instead, every time the ref’s attention was on the other side of the field I was taking cheap shots on the attackman I was covering.
That was 1990 and chivalry was still a thing.
Two weeks ago, the Obama administration announced that all combat positions within the military would be open to women.
The ways this is stupid are almost too numerous to count, but Walter Williams has a pretty good list of them.
“USMC Women in the Service Restrictions Review” found that women, on average, have 20 percent lower aerobic power, 40 percent lower muscle strength, 47 percent less lifting strength and 26 percent slower marching speed than men.
William Gregor, professor of social sciences at the Army’s Command and General Staff College, reports that in tests of aerobic capacity, the records show, only 74 of 8,385 Reserve Officers’ Training Corps women attained the level of the lowest 16 percent of men. The “fight load” — the gear an infantryman carries on patrol — is 35 percent of the average man’s body weight but 50 percent of the average Army woman’s weight. In his examination of physical fitness test results from the ROTC, dating back to 1992, and 74,000 records of male and female commissioned officers, only 2.9 percent of women were able to attain the men’s average pushup ability and time in the two-mile run.
As Rush Limbaugh likes to say: The military’s job is to kill people and break things. But according to a Defense Department official explaining the policy change last week, the military’s goal now is “to provide a level, gender-neutral playing field.”
The first moves toward this end were made more than two decades ago when some fighter pilot positions were opened to women. I can still remember during the weekly meeting of the staff of the Mustang Daily at Cal Poly I snidely opined that I was fine with women in the then-limited combat positions (I wasn’t really, but I wanted to make a different point), I just encouraged the women in the class to visit the Post Office to pick up a Selective Service registration card.
“What’s that?” asked one of the editors who, last I checked, was teaching journalism at a JC in Washington State. “Why, that’s the draft,” I replied.
“There is no draft.”
“I know, but every 18-year-old man has to register, you want equal rights? Sign up.”
“Yes, I want equal rights, but women shouldn’t have to do it if they don’t want to.”
“You want special rights.”
This is what’s happening today. Women may now be pressured into combat roles if they want advancement. While they may deny it now, don’t be surprised in coming years if the fitness requirements are eased for women so that more can enter these elite units. Who’s waging a war on women now?
There needs to be a national discussion on this subject. Not simply an announcement by an outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and an inexorable move to implement it.
Once upon a time, American society tried to instill a chivalric attitude in its men. It was women and children first when the Titanic went down.
No good will come of this.