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Women In Combat. Doubling Down On Stupid?

November 28, 2012

As has been said before, elections have consequences, and the results of this most recent one may have more than most.  As reported in the Chicago Tribune, among other media outlets,  the left wing ACLU wasted no time in rounding up four service women as complainants to bring suit against the United States Department of Defense.  The suit alleges that the DoD is engaging in  illegal discriminatory practices based on  its long-standing ban on women being assigned to certain combat roles.  It is no coincidence that the request for an injunction was filed in the Northern District Court of California whose appeals are reviewed by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals which is known for its liberal bias.  Should the case end up coming before them we can only hope that the judges won’t be able to tear themselves away from any taxpayer paid vacation plans they may have made for the relevant time period.

This suit represents the final step in an on-going attempt to place individual hubris above the success of the mission and vividly illustrates the myopic thinking inherent in the actions of progressive groups and individuals.  Once again we see the results of allowing the liberal brain to run wild in pursuit of a goal based on its pre-programmed focus on a limited menu of moral and ethical options.  One has to wonder, but perhaps not for long, on which side of the debate noted social psychologist Jonathan Haidt might be found.

In his book, The Righteous Mind, Dr. Haidt might well provide some insight as he examines how liberals and conservatives approach solving dilemmas involving just the kinds of questions which arise in attempting to address the women in combat controversy.  Although Willian Saletan, ironically as a proud possessor of a liberal mind, did argue against some of Dr. Haidt’s conclusions in his March 2012 book review, he does do a relatively good job of presenting many of Dr. Haidt’s views without excessive commentary.  The first quote is pulled from about the middle of the article where Mr. Saletan reports the following:

These moral systems aren’t ignorant or backward. Haidt argues that they’re common in history and across the globe because they fit human nature.

He goes on to quote Dr. Haidt as concluding:

When it comes to morality, conservatives are more broad-minded than liberals. They serve a more varied diet.

Although the context in the next quote is a concern over the liberal losses during the 2010 election cycle, the over-all narrative remains the same:

Haidt agrees that old ways must sometimes be re-examined and changed. He just wants liberals to proceed with caution and protect the social pillars sustained by tradition.

Perhaps particularly relevant to this discussion:

Another aspect of human nature that conservatives understand better than liberals, according to Haidt, is parochial altruism, the inclination to care more about members of your group — particularly those who have made sacrifices for it

The point in beginning this discussion with a review of Dr. Haidt’s work is that a major problem in attempting to address the issue of women in combat is that the two sides are using two completely different sets of values to support their positions.  In addition, this is another case where both sides are not attempting to reach the same end point, albeit by different means.  The ACLU is not motivated by any sense of altruism or even the well-being of their “clients” but rather by the opportunity to push their agenda forward.  The petitioners, whether or not they support the ACLU’s agenda, are seemingly much more motivated by their misguided views of what is in their self-interest and are certainly not interested in what’s best for the particular branch of service to which they either were, or are, attached.

There are very few reasons for changing the present policy while there are any number of factors arguing against such a change.  The reasons in support of this change can practically be put into one sentence.  I would suggest that these women, and the men who support them, are a product of a culture which seems to put the right to do something above the necessity of being able to perform the task up to an acceptable level.  There is no good reason to lower standards or make politically correct concessions when by doing so it puts the survival of the entire group in jeopardy.

As  Capt Katie Petronio clearly states in the title of her article published in the Marine Corps Gazette, Get Over It! We Are Not All Created Equal.  Anyone wishing to understand the problems associated with revoking the ban on women in combat should not miss reading this article written by a woman who has been there.  After reading the article consider the comments as an integral part of the narrative and read on to see what those who have experienced combat have to say about the topic.  Thoughtful and knowledgeable service people take the time to address topics ranging from inherent biological differences to the additional cost borne by the taxpayer  due to additional injuries, pregnancies, being discharged early, additional training requirements, threats to unit cohesion, and more than I can remember.  At this point, rather than go into them in any more depth,  I’ll simply direct you to their comments.

There is one suggestion which someone may or may not have made, but perhaps the best way to eliminate this controversy is to deploy a unit into combat comprised exclusively of females.  The on-going success of such a unit would go a long way in eliminating any further opposition.

Thanks….comments and other forms of recognition are always appreciated.


From → Liberal Lies

  1. According to a recent radio broadcast, the combat isn’t as relevant to the issue as the discriminatory practice of promotions based on combat tours of duty. Of course a survivor gets promoted while the rest get buried, if there are enough identifiable remains. That said, some feel they are denied promotions based solely on the fact they are female and thus denied combat positions.
    This is changing. The Marine Corps actually has a combat officer program which features female candidates. It is a fully functional program that produces combat ready officers. No women have passed the course yet, but it is only a matter of time. When this happens, we will see female officers in combat. We will change our minds.
    As this article suggest, it would be incorrect to put people of any gender in positions with which they are competently outmatched. It is hopefully a thing of the past, or soon to be history in this country. We shall see, I think at some point we just have to wise up and face reality.

    • Thanks for your perspective. I was wondering where you would fall on the issue. Not to belittle your personal experience, but did you read some of the comments?

      I’m thinking about publishing an article titled something like “The Five Reasons Women Should Not Be Assigned To Combat groups.

      I’ll start with your first point…good place to start??

      Yes, I agree that it has a lot to do with the opportunity to move up. I believe that combat should be a qualifying factor, while still believing women should not be classified as “grunts”.

      Yes, the training program to which you refer was discussed in the one article as well as in the comment section. All agreed that lower standards might be on the way or the pc movement to put women into combat roles will not meet with success. I believe they stated two women tried and failed out in the first two weeks.

      “They” disagree with your suggestion that it does, or will, produce combat ready officers…interestingly, so do you, as you first say it produces combat ready officers and than you admit that none have passed the course as of yet.

      Not sure what you meant by “a thing of the past” as it seems to refer to what you claim to be unfair discrimination based on gender and yet you also agree that “it would be incorrect to put people of any gender in positions which they are competently outmatched”.

      From the article and comments…….

      Muscle mass a problem, no matter how hard the training.

      Brittle bones etc….sick leave much higher.

      Full pack patrols and combat missions impossible.

      I also either read or reported elsewhere that the reaction time and rote response to aggression is noticeably slower men vs women.

      Unit cohesion…obvious problem without question.

      Stamina, whether in relation to a single mission or multiple tours.

      Repeating, to a degree, the woman’s body simply breaks down faster and to a greater degree.

      Women cannot keep up.

      Higher costs associated with female recruits.

      Significant morale and force ready problems.

      Problems associated with sex, consensual or otherwise.

      I’m a bit surprised that as a libertarian you’re taking your position, but as I suggested at the end of the article. Send them out in all female units and see how they do.

      Thanks for your input. I really was wondering. Remember, we are talking about up front and personal combat, not support, not liaisons, not forward base operators, or the like. We are talking about stone cold killers, and I mean that in the nicest sense of the word.

  2. Chloe permalink

    CC, Extremely well-written presentation and premised on the point that you also suggest sums it all up in one sentence (and I am female and agree with this!) :

    ” The reasons in support of this change can practically be put into one sentence. I would suggest that these women, and the men who support them, are a product of a culture which seems to put the right to do something above the necessity of being able to perform the task up to an acceptable level. There is no good reason to lower standards or make politically correct concessions when by doing so it puts the survival of the entire group in jeopardy. ”

    I think along the lines of BD, it is all about the money and promotions for the females (and I thought that before reading my friend, BD, too).

    Women in front-line combat not only does not make sense, it would severely put our troops in harm’s way, as suggested. I recall the first time I thought about this with female police officers and firefighters. Absurd. If a female ff showed up at my residence that was burning down, I would be angry.

    I do have to admit that there was a local report of a female prison officer moving a prisoner to a different location on the grounds, and he somehow was able to put her in an uncompromising position, with her not being able to gain control of the situation, but she was able to keep him stabilized until help arrived…surprising. If that had been a man, the prisoner probably would not have tried it, or would have gained control of the situation instead of ending in a wrestling match.

    I think the other gender-related issues are also of significance.. rape and others.

    Common-sense needs to prevail; some jobs are not fit for a woman, even a muscle-builder woman, even though they look like they could ‘take’ a man. 🙂 We just can’t take the risk that a woman will always have the brawn and strength that a man would, and even if there are women out there that could do the job as well as a fit man and we let her ‘in’, that would mean that we would have to let ‘all’ women in!! We certainly couldn’t prejudice then, now could we?!! ./s

    My best, ..miss you ..C.

    • Thank you for your comment and for providing your point of view.

      Obviously we are in agreement on a great number of the points you made.

      I did slightly change my mind on the “if a woman is as good as a man so be it” argument based on some of the biological differences which were discussed in the comment section of the article referenced. It’s not just a matter of “lady parts” or even a comparison of muscle mass, but there are numerous differences in bone structure, fat content, etc. that significantly affect how the bodies react to stress.


    • I met some pretty dominant women during my military career. The bar shouldn’t be lowered, but when she meets or exceeds expectations, no fidgeting is allowed. Just keep in mind the chain is only as strong as the weakest link.

  3. Chloe permalink

    CC, Thank you for reminding me of the other variables involved in the physiology of the two genders.

    I haven’t researched the impact of bone and fat on stress (stress might remove bone nutrients, and I know that fat, lipids and cholesterol can affect hormones–that could be necessary in combat), but I ‘have’ read this before, and looked for another comment on it (from Medicine Net) :

    ” There may be differences, however, in the way men and women are conditioned to respond to stress. For years, the human stress response has been termed the “flight or fight” reaction, meaning that the surge of hormones released in an acutely stressful situation prepares the body to either deal with (fight) or flee (flight) the stressful situation. Newer research argues that the “flight or fight” theory is based upon research conducted largely in men, and that women may have evolved a different stress response.

    This “new” stress response is referred to as the “tend and befriend” response. Scientists who favor this theory believe that women may have evolved alternative hormonal responses that even downplay the “fight or flight” response. Instead, they argue, women have developed stress responses that provide for the nurturance of offspring, the exhibition of behaviors that protect them from harm (tending), and befriending – or creating and joining social groups for protection. ” ….

    Personally, I would guess a woman seeking the position would never admit that she is likely to have a less aggressive reaction. Also, I do wonder if having had children could make a difference…after pregnancy, it would seem she might be more susceptible to the nurturing response, but I don’t know.

    Whooboy, now there’s another potential discrimination – having had children or not and how the body reacts, accordingly.

    ..Keep the women out of jobs that require the strength and brawn of a man. Period.

    • Yes, I read about the psychological differences between men and women as to how those differences specifically related to combat. Interesting…particularly when you realize that the same people ridiculing those who question evolution turn right around and ignore its results when those results turn out to be inconvenient.


      I question your intellectual honesty, if you so easily dismiss the true scientists in this argument–medical professionals. Both anecdotal and statistical evidence says you are wrong, yet when someone brings that evidence up, you attack their motives. That is disingenuous. Physical therapists and orthopedic surgeons will both tell you the same thing the previous posters have–women break easier, and women who participate in rigorous physical activities (read: sports) for a long period of time break down at a higher rate than men do. That is in spite of their training.

  4. Chloe permalink

    Thank you for linking that! I found it quite interesting.

    Yes on how ‘some’ support a notion, until it doesn’t work for them anymore. I think that thinking can work along political lines, too. Some, at either their stage of life or in their careers, will favor whatever works out best for them financially (ie..someone receiving grants or subsidies, is most likely going to vote Democrat, no matter who the person is). Later, if they have a business, they might switch to voting Republican. It shouldn’t be voting with one’s wallet, but it will probably always be that way.

    I think the physical differences between men and women truly are hormonally bases, and then everything leads from there. It would seem testosterone would give men the physical advantage, why women would seem to “break easier.” Literally! It’s been said that estrogen levels can lead to brittle bones and fractures. Women have a small amount of testosterone available to them, but not enough to be compared with a man. I think this is why nature eventually stops that flow of hormones.

    Thanks, again, for the info and thoughts!

    • You’re quite welcome, and thank you.

      As you pointed out, brittle bones are a great example. Understanding that there are significant gender differences in the physical make up of men and women which are relevant to the ability to perform such duties are as required as a member of a forward team is no more anti-women than acknowledging that the physical characteristics of a two year old are not well suited for combat is anti-baby…..

      Thanks again.

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