The Washington Times has a story that has the issue of Lifting the ban on women in combat units and evidently, this has now climbed out of the rabbit hole of political correctness and right back up onto the stage. Appearances are that the illiberal liberal caucus in Congress and the Progressives/Feminists felt like they have the wind at their back with the DADT decision.
In the wake of two wars in which women have exchanged fire with the enemy, the Pentagon is being pressed to scrap the ban on women serving below the brigade level in units whose main mission is direct ground combat.
OK, I will stipulate to the fact that exchanging gunfire with an enemy force while in a war zone can be loosely defined as "direct ground combat," but being involved in direct ground combat and being assigned or detailed to a unit that does it day after long, arduous, bloody day are as comparable as apples and coconuts; sure, they both grow on trees, but they have zero relation to one another.
I am growing weary of this subject, so I am going to stretch my fingers and get another cup of joe and we are going to get into this, hopefully for the last damn time, after the jump...
Alright, now that I am stretched and refreshed, let's get it on...
The Service Chiefs have the following options that I am going to list in order of what I prefer:
- Leave the Combat Policy in place
- Open some roles in battalions but maintain the ban on special operations and spots where physical requirements would prevent a vast majority of women from qualifying
- Open all ground combat slots to women, including special operations
So first up is Robert Maginnis who may know a wee spot of information about this subject, being a retired Army Officer and all.
"Pretending women are identical to men puts them in danger, especially in the combat arms,” said Robert Maginnis, a retired Army officer and analyst at the Family Research Council.
“It is incredibly naive and wrongheaded to suggest the average woman can run as fast and carry the same load as the average man. Denying the biological facts to advance a policy change for women in ground combat may please feminists with no clue about military culture, but it is dangerous for our security.
and this is of course countered by the illiberal argument.
The push to put women in ground combat units has come mostly from liberals in Congress and outside groups. They argue that women have proved their mettle in Iraq and Afghanistan by serving in police units and security details that exchanged fire with the enemy in wars that had no front lines.
A couple of gunfights does not an infantryman make. Just because you have been in a gunfight, doesn't mean you are a gunfighter. I would argue that they have proved their effectiveness as capable war-fighters by flying Apache helicopters and dropping bombs and missiles on our enemies, and in this war, they are serving in ways that could not be imagined 20 years ago. They have been detailed everywhere in the media, including this blog; and their contributions have been noted and honored. They have not, by and large, proved their "mettle" to me as the person I want standing beside me when we are about to clear a compound or pick up and move that mortar base-plate, because facts, as Thomas Jefferson pointed out, are stubborn things:
On average, males are physically stronger than females. The difference is due to females, on average, having less total muscle mass than males, and also having lower muscle mass in comparison to total body mass. While individual muscle fibers have similar strength, males have more fibers due to their greater total muscle mass. The greater muscle mass of males is in turn due to a greater capacity for muscular hypertrophy as a result of men's higher levels of testosterone. Males remain stronger than females, when adjusting for differences in total body mass. This is due to the higher male muscle-mass to body-mass ratio.
As a result, gross measures of body strength suggest an average 40-50% difference in upper body strength between the sexes as a result of this difference, and a 20-30% difference in lower body strength. This is supported by another study that found females are about 52-66 percent as strong as males in the upper body (34-48% difference), and about 70-80 percent as strong in the lower body (20-30% difference). One study of muscle strength in the elbows and knees—in 45 and older males and females—found the strength of females to range from 42 to 63% of male strength.
Males, on average, have denser, stronger bones, tendons, and ligaments.
Male skulls and head bones have a different shape than female skulls. One difference is in the roundness of the eye cavities, another is the male's bony brow, and a third difference is the shape of the jaw.
Male and female pelvises are shaped differently. The female pelvis features a wider pelvic cavity, which is necessary when giving birth. The female pelvis has evolved to its maximum width for childbirth — an even wider pelvis would make women unable to walk. In contrast, human male pelves did not evolve to give birth and are therefore slightly more optimized for walking. The female pelvis is larger and broader than the male pelvis which is taller, narrower, and more compact. The female inlet is larger and oval in shape, while the male inlet is more heart-shaped.
Males typically have larger tracheae and branching bronchi, with about 56 percent greater lung volume per body mass. They also have larger hearts, 10 percent higher red blood cell count, higher haemoglobin, hence greater oxygen-carrying capacity. They also have higher circulating clotting factors (vitamin K, prothrombin and platelets). These differences lead to faster healing of wounds and higher peripheral pain tolerance.
Females have more pain receptors in the skin. That may contribute to the lower pain tolerance of women.
So let's review, in every category necessary for the endurance of direct ground combat, women are behind men. They rank behind men in every category by large margins except in lower body strength, where they are the least behind.
Now, I could literally crash the blog by putting in every Google reference to every medical study that continues to reaffirm these facts, despite the fact that the Feminists and the Illiberals seem to think that men were the ones who designed it this way and that somehow we robbed women of their natural right to be included in the top tier of the special operations community, instead of nature or God building us differently and for different purposes. And we have not dove into any arguments regarding reproductive differences or the needs that women have regarding that, nor have we delved into what introducing 18 to 24 year old women into a Rifle Battalion would do to a unit full of testosterone filled, type A++, motivated, steely eyed killers, who are also 18 to 24 years old.
But let's put that marker down on the table right now; I say virtually everyone of them pregnant at some point during the unit deployment life cycle, higher rates of reports of sexual assault, sexual harrassment, constant reassignment to other sections and units of boyfriends and girlfriends, more sensitivity training (instead of machine gun training), and pretty much overall unit ineffectiveness based on the fact that the 18 to 24 year olds would rather be " justa he'in and a she'in" instead of doing their job.
Feminists need to understand, but it is very unlikely, that college is the place for this kind of experimentation, not in the nation's military. Combat involves physical strength, proper mindset, physical skills, aerobic capability, sharp vision and a killer instinct. It does not require fashion sense, ability to coordinate accessories, and a sense of empathy. The nation's wars against our enemies, who don't have these issues in their armies, are not going to wait for us to sort this issue out. In fact, I bet they are falling out of their chairs right now laughing hysterically. I personally just want the Feminists to agree that they value women as much as they say they do, because putting them in places that they are even more likely to be violently killed, subject to capture, torture, rape by our enemies, or mostly for not thinking that women are above the day to day drudgery of life not only in an infantry unit in extended ground combat, but the drudgery of the job while not deployed seems to me to be a bit in conflict with the idea of honoring them and their abilities. The idea that women belong in units in the military that participate in direct ground combat makes about as much sense as allowing me into the Feminist Studies Program at Bryn Mawr.
But this for me is what it all comes down to, the comments section that is attached to this story:
"OK, Liberals, just dont start sniveling if these women get KIA.....but it isnt possible for you Libs to not snivel about everything is it? Idiots."
"The last paragraph is the best. But it does open the door for that woman who is the exception. the problem of course is if you give radical feminists and homosexuals an inch and they want a foot based on little more than fabrication and false statistics. I forgive their confusion, they think hollywood's version of military reality, "G.I. Jane" is based on a true story and the facts."
"I agree with you. My husband is an infantryman in the USMC and I couldn't imagine all the negative outcomes that would come with a woman being allowed in combat. What about menstruation when you can't take a shower for over a month ? What about rape allegations when that would distract from combat operations? What about the instinct that men should protect women comes into play and they become distracted in order to constantly watch out for their female counterpart - leaving the rest in the dust ? All I ask is do some research on what combat really entails and think about it."
"Why does such moves always come about from one party in DC and a handful of female officers who will not bear the actual burden of being in the ranks of the ground forces if such an idea is passed?
This idea has been bandied about for decades and just like the closing paragraph clearly states-the biological reasons of why the majority of women can't function in the field with combat arms personnel. I used to watch many women airborne troops unable to jump rucks (unless they were downloaded) because of the weight involved when I was a paratrooper. Hell many men can't do the job in combat arms.
Unlike those pushing this idea, I've been there from recruiter to drill to platoon sgt in a line company. Canada tried this great idea and it failed miserably in a test program too.
Stop playing games with the services, our Joes have a hard enough job without yet another social plan from the wunderkids in DC"
So please, Service Chiefs, this is the last damn time I am going to scream this from the cheap seats: value the women of our great nation and value the sacrifices of the men of our nation and for the sake of every Grunt, Redleg, Treadhead and Snake-Eater; and for the sake of every Sig-O, Nurse, Medic, Supply Sgt and Helo pilot; value the women of our nation and leave the policy as it is.