Peeing and periods — straight talk about women in the front line

Leon Panetta has given the go-ahead to a plan to allow women into combat situations:

Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta is lifting the military’s official ban on women in combat, which will open up hundreds of thousands of additional front-line jobs to them, senior defense officials said Wednesday.


The decision clearly fits into the broad and ambitious liberal agenda, especially around matters of equal opportunity, that President Obama laid out this week in his Inaugural Address. But while it had to have been approved by him, and does not require action by Congress, it appeared Wednesday that it was in large part driven by the military itself. Some midlevel White House staff members were caught by surprise by the decision, indicating that it had not gone through an extensive review there.

This is an appallingly bad idea.


I know that, at least since Boudicca, women have fought in battle.  World War II resistance units relied heavily on women to provide both support and actual fighting skills.  Invariably, though, these women were in the front lines, not because they went to the front lines, but because the front lines came to them.  Necessity forced battle upon them.

If there is no necessity, why in the world would a government decide to put women on the front lines?  Much as Leftists like to try to shape science to their political goals, one simply cannot get away from the fact that women have a different biology than men do.  Aside from being, on average, smaller and weaker, something that I don’t think should stop bigger, stronger women from participating equally with men, they have two other things that men don’t have:  they can’t whip it out to pee and they menstruate.

Ryan Smith, a former Marine, wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal that, while never actually alluding to these biological realities, strongly implies that they will be a problem.  His vivid description of the Marines’ experiences when they entered Iraq in 2003 certainly manages to indicate that, as every toddler quickly figures out, boys and girls are different:

Marines dismounting from an amphibious assault vehicle

We rode into war crammed in the back of amphibious assault vehicles. They are designed to hold roughly 15 Marines snugly; due to maintenance issues, by the end of the invasion we had as many as 25 men stuffed into the back. Marines were forced to sit, in full gear, on each other’s laps and in contorted positions for hours on end. That was the least of our problems.

The invasion was a blitzkrieg. The goal was to move as fast to Baghdad as possible. The column would not stop for a lance corporal, sergeant, lieutenant, or even a company commander to go to the restroom. Sometimes we spent over 48 hours on the move without exiting the vehicles. We were forced to urinate in empty water bottles inches from our comrades.

Many Marines developed dysentery from the complete lack of sanitary conditions. When an uncontrollable urge hit a Marine, he would be forced to stand, as best he could, hold an MRE bag up to his rear, and defecate inches from his seated comrade’s face.

During the invasion, we wore chemical protective suits because of the fear of chemical or biological weapon attack. These are equivalent to a ski jumpsuit and hold in the heat. We also had to wear black rubber boots over our desert boots. On the occasions the column did stop, we would quickly peel off our rubber boots, desert boots and socks to let our feet air out.

Due to the heat and sweat, layers of our skin would peel off our feet. However, we rarely had time to remove our suits or perform even the most basic hygiene. We quickly developed sores on our bodies.

When we did reach Baghdad, we were in shambles. We had not showered in well over a month and our chemical protective suits were covered in a mixture of filth and dried blood. We were told to strip and place our suits in pits to be burned immediately. My unit stood there in a walled-in compound in Baghdad, naked, sores dotted all over our bodies, feet peeling, watching our suits burn. Later, they lined us up naked and washed us off with pressure washers.


Societal norms are a reality, and their maintenance is important to most members of a society. It is humiliating enough to relieve yourself in front of your male comrades; one can only imagine the humiliation of being forced to relieve yourself in front of the opposite sex.

That sounds like a vile experience, entirely separate from the risk the Marines were taking just going into battle.  If any Marines are reading this post, thank you so very much for putting up with, not just bullets, but acute physical discomfort, dysentery, and decomposing skin in order to keep America safe.


Having had a chance to absorb Smith’s vivid description of front line conditions in Iraq, what you need to do now is to factor into that picture an image of women having to strip down to pee (which they have to do even if they buy a cool little gadget that enables them to pee standing up) or of women dealing with a heavy menstrual flow, which might require their attention every two to three hours if they are to avoid bleeding through their clothes.

There’s something else Smith didn’t touch upon in his article, but that needs to be addressed:  rape.  In any war, when an invading force arrives, the local women risk rape.  The Soviet troops who beat the Germans back to Berlin were famous for the savage rapes they inflicted on the German women.  Sadly, this was nothing new.  Throughout history, invading armies have considered rape one of the legitimate spoils of war.  It’s only civilized Judeo-Christian countries that have insisted that rape is not part of a mission or the reward for a mission successfully accomplished, and that have enforced this ban by prosecuting those troops who nevertheless assault local women.

Swedish gang rape victim

In the 21st century existential war that America is fighting, her enemy — fundamentalist Islam — aggressively supports raping any women who do not subscribe to fundamentalist norms (hijabs, burqas, locked rooms, etc.).  In countries such as Sweden and Australia, rape statistics have climbed rapidly, as Muslim immigrants openly boast about and call for the rape of western women.

One doesn’t need any imagination whatever to imagine what will happen to women combat soldiers whom Islamists snatch from front line battle locations.  They will, quite literally, be raped to death.  Aside from being horrible for the women to whom this occurs, it will be devastating for the male troops who fought at their sides and were nevertheless unable to protect them.  Men go into battle accepting that they might die.  It’s doubtful that they go in accepting that the warrior in front of them will be killed by rape, and that this violent murder will probably end up circulating through the Islamist world on a video.

The decision to allow women onto the front lines is not because of military necessity.  It is a purely ideological decision, resulting from liberalism run amok and, more specifically, from the Leftist desire to erase gender demarcations.

Nor do I care that the Obama administration claims that the military came up with this one, “surprising” the administration.  The Pentagon’s top echelons are purely political.  Their decisions are driven, not by the troops, but by the White House, which determines the highest staffing levels in the Pentagon.  (In the same way, when I refer scathingly to the State Department or the CIA, I’m not talking about the people on the ground doing their jobs.  I’m talking about those organizations’ chief executives, all of whom see politics as their most important mission.)

Let me say again:  this is a terrible idea, because it sees ideology trump biology.  Nature is a harsh taskmistress, and many women and men are going to suffer as this ideological experiment goes forward.

Be Sociable, Share!
  • Caped Crusader

    “Ain’t liberalism wonderful?” Elections have consequences. An equal opportunity employer, or should that be destroyer.. Wouldn’t you just love to see the draft reinstated and someone such as Candy Crowley forced to the front lines and listen to their bithchin’ and moaning about it being wrong?

  • Libby

    Excellent post, Book!
    There’s the consequences of fraternizing amongst soldiers: pregnancy. Maternity leave higher turnover in these combat units & effect combat readiness.

  • Charles Martel

    Today on another site where there was robust discussion about women in combat. The arguments from “progressives” followed three strands:
    1. Resisting women in combat is akin to resisting racial integration of the armed forces. The implication is that it’s atavistic, unfair, sexist, and all the other bad things God put liberals on earth to correct.
    2. Women combat soldiers can be compelled to take drugs or undergo procedures that keep them from menstruating.
    3. Women have been in combat situations for years. Variation: The Israelis have been using women as combat soldiers for years. Variation: As mothers, women have seen urination, defecation and flatulence up the yin yang without curling up into sobbing balls of helplessness. 
    The arguments fall apart pretty easily, either from lack of logic (skin color is not determinative of combat capability. Size, bone structure, muscle strength, testosterone replacement rate [for restoring musculature], and hormones are) or fact (no, Israel does not put women in direct combat situations), or cognitive dissonance (having to deny one’s sexuality by becoming sterile as a precondition to combat equality betrays the whole leftist worldview).
    Once we’re out of Afghanistan and Iraq we’re probably not going to see any more wars for a while that require American infantry. This will give the dimwits who are now running the U.S. military cover since the brutal reality of women combat soldiers will not be exposed for some time. When/if it is, they will be safely retired to their affluent gated communities. But it will be too late for many of the men and women they commanded: The once most feared army on earth will be a laughingstock–and a sentence of death for many delusional women.

  • weathtd

    As an Army Drill Sgt I watched as traing was intergrated male/female and the standards were lowered for the men so the women could keep up.  To placate Pat Schroder, the brass kept up the mantra that the program worked and the women were doing great.  I’m all for women having all the opportunities available, however if I’m getting my ass shot off in some hot spot I want my relief to be the one that had to run two miles in 12 minutes not the one that had 18.  

  • Jose

    Ditto on the pregnancy issue. A(n intentional) pregnancy will get her away from the front lines, and if she wishes, a discharge.

  • Ymarsakar

    One reason I’ve heard is that some career military women support Democrat like initiatives for military combat, because they can’t get promoted without combat experience. It’s a career advancement issue for them. Perhaps they see it as an alliance of convenience when congress critters and generals with political clout tell them that if they sign on, they will get a chance to get some combat experience, badges, and etc. Whether this is good for everyone else serving in the military or whether it serves the interests of protecting the US, is much harder to say.
    I think that if people were seriously about getting women into combat, they would create specialized units composed of only women, trained only by women, and with leadership only by women (or maybe men). Same for gays or other special groups.
    But they aren’t serious, and we know it. Casey was worried that Ft. Hood would kill any chance of diversity in the United States military. The fact that 19 people got killed or wounded, didn’t seem to worry those people in DC much.

  • Libby

    Just as it will be harder to stomach the way in which female captives are treated, it will also be hard to see more soldier mom casualties (a feature for some anti-war folks, not a bug).
    And CM’s lefty rebuttal #2 that women can be compelled to take drugs to control their menstruation/fertility is laughable. We’ve been lectured for decades that women are in charge of their “reproductive health” (not even husbands & baby daddies have a say), so why on earth should we believe feminists would tolerate military orders usurping a female soldier’s “reproductive choice”? My body my choice, keep your laws off my body, blah, blah, blah.

  • Ymarsakar

    The Israelis use women for interrogation and other things that women excel at more than men. But they do not utilize women for front line combat duty, if only because they started noticing that Palis wouldn’t surrender when they knew they were fighting Israeli women. Just something too shameful about that. Or maybe they were so crazed at the thought there would be women to rape if they won, that they refused to give up.
    Racial integration was already a reality, when Truman signed whatever he signed. He didn’t force something unnatural on unwilling soldiers. The people at the forefront of integration, had already fought with integrated blacks in WWII. That’s why they were pushing for it, not because they thought it was an ideal world solution, but because they felt they owed it to their battle comrades. Loyalty spoken of love is very different from Leftist delusions of grandeur and robber baron like greed.
    Just realize this. There is a way to get women into combat. But it requires you to get rid of Leftist ‘solutions’. But you can’t get rid of Leftist solutions when they are in power, a tyrannical oppressive occupation army in your nation. Just the way it is.
    There are solutions, but the Left stops people from using them because it would stop their little convenient emergencies.
    Current on the ground practice is pretty much basic. While saving your comrades was always a high priority, these days if you allow an enemy to capture your friend, your friend isn’t going to come back except in pieces. And probably broadcast on video to boot. This means that all front line soldiers, above a certain competency threshold, refuse to be captured alive. That means they either fight to the death, save the last bullet for themselves, or shoot their comrades first, then use their last bullet on themselves. Since everyone knows this, we haven’t had too many do or die sieges (Usually, enemies trying to capture US soldiers alive that refuse to be captured alive, tend to die by the thousands), but war is unpredictable in this sense. Who knows when a Democrat regime lord will tell some troops to go out somewhere and die without proper support. A unit composed of both men and women. Who is going to shoot whom then at the end of it all? Or are they just going to all detonate explosives underneath themselves and take the enemy with em? And do people think they will get “support” from back home like America supported the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, given Leftist behavior with Fast and Furious, Benghazi, the “Spring” in the Middle East?
    They’re not going to support your allies or fellow countrymen. They’re going to shoot you in the back, or let the Islamics have you, calling it “diversity costs”. The Left operates on the model of indenturing. They indenture you, then you somehow become a slave automatically later on. First you owe the “Left” for whatever, some benefit or sugar you got from them. Then you become their goon squad thugs and do as they tell you. Then you somehow wake up and are now a slave.
    One of the things they are probably not releasing to the public are the records of internal rapes in the US armed forces. Even on the front lines, where leaving the base means you are AWOL, women are armed with at least sidearms, but never use them against their fellow soldiers who just happens to be their rapist too. This lack of “training” is solved by the higher ups sending out officers to teach awareness and avoidance in rape situations, every week or so via Power point. Personally, that’s even worse than some of the civilian SD programs I have seen. But that’s a problem that is far more “critical” in my view than whether “women can go into combat and get their badges printed”.

  • Mike Devx

    I have no philosophical nor ideological reasons for denying women any role they wish. including combat.  And I don’t consider men’s psychological conditioning towards women to be a sufficient philosophical or ideological reason.  (Poor sensitive soul! The pretty shopgirl at Macy’s is *not* the fighting comrade next to you, so get over your personal baggage already.  YOUR problem is not her problem.  It’s yours.)
    However, the practical problems and difficulties must be met and resolved, for me to agree with this decision.  At this point, they haven’t been met or resolved to my own satisfaction.  I’ll keep watching.
    Some side comments and questions… If physical standards are to be changed, how does that create a stronger military?  Different physical standards for each soldier within a single platoon seems to me to be to be a very huge problem.  I’ve always thought a particular military job should have exactly one set of standards for performing it, period.  A different standard for women and men is to me as grotesque a travesty as a different standard for people of different skin color or religion… or anything.
    The cultural question would have to be handled as a practicality somehow: Would a team integrated with men and women fight effectively, with the men treating their female comrades with the same military respect and trust?  Would behavior change whether a fellow soldier in danger were a man vs a woman?  
    The question of whether women in combat would actually make a victory in a war, or even just a battle, against an Islamic foe more difficult is an interesting question.  My own answer would be that, in any military struggle, you seize upon *every* strategic or tactical advantage you possibly can.

  • JohnC

    Isn’t the natural progression of this that females will, like every American male, have to register with Selective Service when they turn 18?

  • Danny Lemieux

    “Once we’re out of Afghanistan and Iraq we’re probably not going to see any more wars for a while that require American infantry.”
    Hammer, I wish that I shared your optimism. I fear not. The Obamaworld is getting more dangerous as the U.S. withdrawal leaves behind a terrible vacuum that demands to be filled.
    Re. women in the military. Put young women together with men, both of reproductive ages, in close proximity. Mix in a dose of high stress. You get sex. It’s nature. This is a very bad idea.

  • b.

    The goal of the Left is to end it, not mend it, when it comes to ending the military by mending it by letting women serve in front-line combat.

  • Libby

    Oh, dear, the other shoe has dropped: Mabus – First women .selected for attack subs ( There are virtually no privacy on a submarine, and they can be out to sea for long spells.

    So I guess we’ll be hearing about women being eligible for the Navy SEALs next, and that the famously tough standards have been tweaked to ensure that at least a few women manage to get in.

  • Charles Martel

    Danny, I agree the world neighborhood is much more dangerous now that America has abdicated its role. I just meant that, given Obama’s chickenshit, pro-Muslim nature, what conceivable conflict would have our Metrosexual-in-Chief putting Yankee boots on the ground? 

  • Karl

    Societal norms are a reality, and their maintenance is important to most members of a society. It is humiliating enough to relieve yourself in front of your male comrades; one can only imagine the humiliation of being forced to relieve yourself in front of the opposite sex.
    I am reminded of the “Pie With A Fork” speech in Robert Heinlein’s Space Cadet.

  • Owen Glendower

    And here’s another from Heinlein:

    “All societies are based on rules to protect pregnant women and young children. All else is surplusage, excrescence, adornment, luxury, or folly which can – and must – be dumped in emergency to preserve this prime function. As racial survival is the only universal morality, no other basic is possible. Attempting to formulate a perfect society on any foundation other than Women and children first! is not only witless, it is automatically genocidal. Nevertheless, starry-eyed idealists (all of them male) have tried endlessly – and no doubt will keep on trying.”


  • Earl

    I remember reading that the Israelis tried the gender integration of their fighting force early on, and it was a disaster in a number of ways.  They stopped it because it didn’t work, and the purpose of their fighting force was to win battles and protect the nation.  Can’t tell you where that was, but surely a history of the founding of the nation (at least one written more than a couple of decades ago) would have the story.
    Common sense is a good guide here — does ANYone in “fly-over country” think this is a good idea?  I doubt it – they have too much experience with the real world and its problems.

  • Ymarsakar

    “what conceivable conflict would have our Metrosexual-in-Chief putting Yankee boots on the ground? ”
    When an American city expels the slave masters and liberates the inner city slaves. That will make them call down the thunder.

  • Ymarsakar

    Whether it is a good idea or not isn’t the problem. Preserving the environment for the future is a good idea, but good ideas are especially vulnerable to Leftist propaganda , demagoguery, and hijacking. Some people may agree or disagree about whether it is a good idea. What they should never forget is that when evil takes charge of a plan, don’t expect anything good to come from the results.

  • Kevin_B

    I think you made a very good argument, Bookworm.
    I too think it is an appalingly bad idea to have women in combat situations. I would say it is even debatable whether there is any place for women in the military at all – and certainly, if women should ever be part of any military-related endeavours outside of the ‘home territory’ at all (in the light of the savage areas the US miliitary currently operates in, an interesting question, I’d say).
    I find the idea of women in the frontline rather appaling (and I don’t even hate women ‘fighting’). As I said above, I doubt the role of women in the military in general, and wonder whether the military (certainly in ‘war zones’) shouldn’t be a men’s bastion. IF women are to have any role in the military, my personal belief is that it is to be supportive and preferably on the home turf and not in some Mid-Eastern or other savage hellhole masquerading as a country.
    You rightly alluded to the biological differences between men and women. Let’s be honest, besides the general issue of physical strength, men are (due to, amongst other factors, testosterone) also very often more aggresive then women and more prone to take (big) risks, i.e. to get out of the cave and kill something (or someone), or to get into warfare and conquest. Men are also probably more of the ‘explorer’ sex, and, more importantly, the protector sex as compared to women, who are likely to be more of the nurturing kind. Men and women have (broadly speaking) a different ‘nature’ and different characteristics.
    Men seem not only in a sense much more predestinate to be warriors, conquerors, fighters and protectors, they are also usually more physically able to fulfill that role, while women seem more fit for a different role. These patterns, “gender roles” and differences are neither an accident, neither are they bad or a result of some imagined barbarian “patriarchy” as the radical feminazi nutjobs probably would love to call it. Or ‘inequality’, as the ideologues and demagogues pushing this women in combat thing would probably call it. Their ‘equality’ is the denial of appropriate, natural, beneficial and appreciable differences between men and women; it is the promotion of a ‘unisex sameness’ flying in the face of human biology. Their goal is that and using women as a tool to sell false moral victories based upon false precepts to aim for political and electoral gain. It is not a pro-woman policy or whatever; women are just a pawn in their despicable game.
    Looking from the perspective of menkind in primitive circumstances, or looking at animal species, males are in a sense more “expendable” than females, or that is much more acceptable for males to risk their lives (and lose them in large numbers) in warfare. On the other hand, women (and children) need more protection, and it is much less acceptable to put them at risk. C.S. Lewis said that “battles are ugly when women fight” and I certainly don’t disagree with that. Is it not some sort of barbarism to have women fight wars? Historically, women engaging in warfare have been rather rare, and it something that while perhaps at times tolerated, certainly probably wasn’t much advocated throughout history. Warfare is men’s business, and I do not believe there are good reasons for this -and possibly, for keeping it that way.
    Of course there are also the practical and tactical concerns, which have been expounded upon greatly already. Such concerns may be the most pragmatic, visible or usable arguments, but I don’t think they’re the only ones. The issue of rape of potential female prisoners of war has been mentioned, as well the proclivity of muslim males to brutally (gang)rape any unlucky woman to fall in their hands (and not even only women, sometimes…).  From the tales I’ve read, it seems the picture Bookworm posted of the woman covered with the head covered in blood doesn’t even begin to describe the horror, savagery and brutality of these muslim (gang)rapes. Getting beat in the face and having your scalp lacerated, as bad as that is, seems mild to some of the other examples I’ve come across. On Bare Naked Islam, a woman told the tale of a girl she knew being assaulted, kidnapped, gangraped, abused and mutilated by a gang of muslims in Edmonton, Canada. You can find it in the following link, in a post made by a person named Marlene Wilkins on November 27th, 2012.
    Another example, an attack on a Kurdish girl by Turks in Germany – quite horrific also.
    Muslims are really incredibly savage; I can’t even imagine what they would do to an American service woman. I repeat, muslim males are unimaginable savages who have no scrutiny to commit the most horrific acts. They are incredibly savage. American (service) women shouldn’t, in or out of combat, be sent to muslim countries. Muslim males are worse than animals at times, certainly in their treatment of women.

  • Mike Devx

    If I were a young, fiercely independent, highly capable and intelligent young woman, and I examined a lot of these arguments above concerning why I would not be allowed to freely live my life and make my choices as best I see them…
    The natural home of awesome independent young women ought to be among conservatives.
    But I wonder, in reviewing a lot of these arguments above, what *would* my conclusion about conservatives be?  

  • Earl

    @Mike:  you did say “intelligent”, right? 
    Any “intelligent young woman” would realize that she would not physically be capable of what the young men in the military are required to do as a matter of course.  She would instantly see that while most of the time, a soldier doesn’t need a lot of upper body strength, when that strength is called for, men will die if it’s not available.  She’d see that hundreds of young men who are unable to achieve that upper body strength are washed out of training.  And she would know that the demand that she be allowed into a combat role in the military had nothing to do with her “rights”, and everything to do with a political ideology opposed to the Founders’ vision of America.
    Of course, if we’re talking about an indoctrinated young woman who was unable to resist the constant propagandizing of the government schools, then her conclusions would be somewhat different.

  • Call me Lennie

    Once read a book about house to house fighting in Fallujah.  One of the ickier details of extended stay in this particular war zone was that the general uncleanliness and the presence of decaying jihadi bodies all around inevitably caused all the soldiers to get sick in the GI tract, ie, they got the runs.
    Now a man can tolerate living in his own crapped out drawers for some time, but what about a woman.   Wouldn’t this lead directly to a terrible urinary tract infection, which would cause every woman in this situation to be hospitalized?  I’m not the expert here, Bookie — but I’m assuming it does
    Men sh*t themselves in combat all the time — it frequently occurs with one’s first exposure to being fired on or experiencing an artillery round going off nearby for the first time.  This may be the true Achilles heel of women in combat

  • Spartacus

    What are the main themes of a soap opera?  Let’s see…  People having sex together.  People who have previously had sex together, but now it’s different.  People wanting to have sex, but they are prevented.  One person wanting to have sex, but not the other one.  People sneaking around to have sex.  People becoming murderously jealous of other people having sex.  People secretly having sex with more people than they claim to be having sex with.  People lying awake at night wondering if certain other people are having sex together.  The list goes on, but we all get the idea.
    So, imagine going from commanding a Ranger Battalion on the front lines to commanding a soap opera on the front lines.  There’s always been the issue of managing different personalities, but now you have to command hundreds of people who are operating near their breaking point, surrounded 24/7 by the same members of the opposite sex, and who have plenty of time to develop intense emotions about each other, whether positive or negative.  This is a leadership nightmare.
    PFC Annie may be desperately low on ammo, but CPL Bruce is the ammo runner, and he would charge the gates of Hell for SPC Rebecca, who is also beginning to run very slighly low, so PFC Annie will just have to go hand-to-hand.  1LT Rick really should send 2nd Squad to reinforce the western perimeter, but SGT Heather is in 2nd Squad, and the entire Army would declare a day of mourning if anything were to happen to her.  He’ll send 3rd Squad instead, led by SSG Rob, who coincidentally happens to have caught the eye of SGT Heather; pity if anything happened to him.
    This isn’t about equality.  This is about a bunch of liberals who have always hated the military, hated the high esteem in which the men of combat units are held as prime examples of masculine virtue, and want to destroy both.  If they want to deny that, perhaps they can explain why they are also the ones who always want to slash the military budget down to a fraction of what it is.

  • Mike Devx

    Hi Earl (concerning #22)
    I 100% believe that there should be a physical requirement that EVERY soldier has to meet to do the job, with no exceptions.  And that requirement should apply to all soldiers, with no differentiation for any reason.
    If a soldier meets those minimum requirements to do the job, then the soldier passes that particular requirement. Period.  (On to the other requirements for the job).
    If it is true that no woman can meet those physical requirements, then that’s a practical problem with no solution, and you’re right: The case is closed.
    Assume for a moment that our current standards for the physical requirements are correct.  (I bet even our current requirements are too soft, even for men.)  I have no idea whether it is true that no woman could meet those physical requirements.  I’ve seen plenty of Olympic-trained women across different disciplines.  I’d be surprised if they couldn’t meet those requirements, but I freely admit I could be wrong.
    You’re right that I shouldn’t have included “intelligent” in my imagined heroic female soldier.  It’s just that I admire intelligence and don’t admire stupidity, so I cavalierly just threw that into the mix.  Intelligence is itself irrelevant to the intense desire to *be* a soldier.

  • Earl

    @Mike:  See Spartacus #24.
    And….there are ALREADY “gender-normed” physical standards in at least some branches of the military.  Even if Spartacus is totally wrong (and he’s not – he’s right on the money), the can of worms we open up by pretending that incorporating women into the front-line military serves a military purpose, or represents anything other than a career-oriented ideological attack on our defense establishment, will get a lot of good people killed.

  • Earl

    James Taranto had this in his WSJ column today:
    War on Women
    “U.S. military leaders on Thursday formally lifted the ban on women serving in combat positions, with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta saying women have become an ‘integral part’ of the military and have already demonstrated their willingness to fight during the wars of the last decade,” Fox News reports. It’s the culmination of many incremental steps:

    The groundbreaking move recommended by the Joint Chiefs of Staff overturns a 1994 rule banning women from being assigned to smaller ground combat units. Panetta’s decision gives the military services until January 2016 to seek special exceptions if they believe any positions must remain closed to women.

    He argued that women, who already make up 15 percent of the force, have increasingly found themselves in the “reality of combat” during Iraq and Afghanistan. He said not everyone can meet the qualifications to be a combat soldier but that everyone is entitled the opportunity.

    Reader Kenneth Johnson argues that it’s a bad idea:

    As a Marine Corps veteran of three combat tours, the first as a rifle platoon commander during the Vietnam War, my concern is what this policy will contribute to further breaking down the already-troubled relationships of men and women in our society.

    Friedrich von Hayek wrote that profound social knowledge is embedded in tradition that has evolved through the millennia of human experience. In “The Fatal Conceit,” he taught that a society breaks these traditions just because someone has a “good idea” of what would be fair. When these notions are enacted through legislation and court decisions, there is a very real risk of wasting this profound knowledge.

    In my view, traditions in the military and civil society are severely broken and the embedded wisdom lost forever where women have combat roles. Totally independent of whether women can physically and mentally contribute to American military effectiveness and efficiency, I am concerned about the broader social implications of a civilization that believes that combat is an appropriate role for women.

    For the record, I have ordered men to undertake missions where the entire platoon was at risk. During Operation Dewey Canyon in 1969 (the real one, not the incoming secretary of defense’s one), I lost all seven of the Marine casualties I had during my tour. One died five feet from me. We moved on. Others died moments before I got to their position. We moved on. After one firefight, we carried a gut-shot Navy corpsman, who knew how much trouble he was in, for miles up a steep hill out of Laos.

    How does a man not give special comfort to a wounded woman? My last Marine died in my arms from a wound I thought he would have survived. Could I have held her in my arms without reservation?

    I had to decide how to handle the situation where a new squad leader beat a Marine who fell asleep on watch, the latter punishable by death in time of war. The decision process I went through is captured in a speech I gave to the Valley Forge Military Academy almost a year ago.

    My concerns:

    What kind of a man is it who can send women off to kill and maim? What kind of society does that?

    What kind of men sharing a fire-team foxhole with a woman and two other men don’t treat the woman more gently?

    What kind of society bemoaning that men don’t seem to respect women can’t see that part of the respect they demand is predicated on the specialness of the other?

    Perhaps it is possible in a firefight to distinguish between how one treats women and men, but I doubt that I could do it. And if I am trained to treat men and women the same throughout my career, can this have no significant effect on how I treat women otherwise?

    One way of defining feminism is as the pursuit of the mutually irreconcilable goals of sexual equality and sensitive treatment of women. You’d think that contradiction would be a weakness, but it’s actually a strength: Every advance for equality creates a demand for more measures to promote sensitivity, and vice versa. Feminism’s failures perpetuate feminism, at the expense of other goals such as defending the country.

  • JohnC

    For every one female that deserves a place at the tip of the spear there are probably a couple of thousand who don’t. They will be allowed to slide and when the lead starts flying they will be sacrificed on the altar of Progressiveness. That means there are thousands of little girls growing up right now who are being sentenced to rape, mutilation and death by this line of reasoning. It’s not their fault but because of their genes they don’t stand a snowball’s chance in Hell in combat. Lying about it changes nothing.

    Hug your daughters and granddaughters.

  • JohnC



    Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Thursday that with women now eligible to fill combat roles in the military, commanders must justify why any woman might be excluded – and, if women can’t meet any unit’s standard, the Pentagon will ask: “Does it really have to be that high?”
    Dempsey’s comments came at a Pentagon news conference with Defense Sec. Leon Panetta Thursday, announcing the shift in Defense Department policy opening up all combat positions to women…
    … Dempsey replied: “No, I wouldn’t put it in terms of operations, Jim. What I would say is that, as we look at the requirements for a spectrum of conflict, not just COIN, counterinsurgency, we really need to have standards that apply across all of those.”
    He added: “Importantly, though, if we do decide that a particular standard is so high that a woman couldn’t make it, the burden is now on the service to come back and explain to the secretary, why is it that high? Does it really have to be that high? With the direct combat exclusion provision in place, we never had to have that conversation.”

  • Ymarsakar

    The Left will destroy all that you know, while making you pay for the privilege. It’s not only money that will be required in the payment. Your own family’s blood will also be included in the down payment. Such is the nature of evil and its infinite reach.

  • Pingback: Forum: Is America In Decline? Why Or Why Not? | askmarion()

  • Pingback: Watcher’s Forum! |

  • Pingback: The Weekly Forum Is Up: Is America In Decline? | Right Reason()