A Few Good (Wo)men

Posted: Thursday, January 31, 2013 at 1:07 pm
By: Doug Lund
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What man hasn’t heard a woman say this?

“You guys have no idea how lucky you are to never undergo the trauma and pain of childbirth.”

Our comeback?

“Well, you’ve never had to fight in a war.”

women in combat

I guess that argument doesn’t hold water anymore since all the big wigs with big stars on their big shoulders in the defense department have decided to give the official okay for ladies to grab a rifle and serve right alongside the men on the front lines in combat. Of course, women have been serving..and dying..in combat zones for years but generally in support positions not actually assigned to be the van guard sharing a fox hole with their male compadres. Hmmmm do they even dig fox holes anymore?

I think it’s a bad idea on so many levels; not the least of which my being a male chauvinist pig. Actually, that’s not true, I’m all for women not being inhibited by their gender in any and all aspects of life..except this.

Every motivational speaker from Norman Vincent Peale to that tall goober Tony Robbins has said there is nothing you can’t do if you put you’re mind to it so set your goals high, think positive, work hard and nothing is impossible.

What a load of horse hockey.

Of course there are limitations to our aspirations; physical and mental. For example I will never..ever..be invited to join MENSA no matter how hard I would have studied algebra and chemistry in high school. My IQ is what it is and there’s nothing I can do to make it high enough to qualify for that snooty group of smarty pants.

By the same token..surprise surprise..women are built different than men (or is it differently than men? See why I’m a MENSA reject) and are physically limited when it comes to fulfilling the military fitness and strength requirements for down in the dirt..hand to hand..fighting.

Okay..before some of you blow a gasket and start citing examples of exceptions..let me ask why in the world would women WANT to serve in combat anyway?  To prove a patriotic point; to raise a flag for feminine equality? 

I just don’t get it. Has there really been a public outcry by women to make their mark on the battlefield or is this just the pot being stirred by a few who feel they’ve been slighted on the scale of military advancement because they’ve been denied an equal right to die with the boys? I decided to find out how my grandson, the Marine, recently back from several months of bloody combat in Afghanistan, felt about the issue.  He summed up his feelings by citing an essay from a fellow Marine who writes under the pseudonym of “Sentry.”  It’s a bit long but worth the read, I think.

I’m a female veteran. I deployed to Anbar Province, Iraq. When I was active duty, I was 5’6, 130 pounds, and scored nearly perfect on my PFTs. I naturally have a lot more upper body strength than the average woman: not only can I do pull-ups, I can meet the male standard. I would love to have been in the infantry. And I still think it will be an unmitigated disaster to incorporate women into combat roles. I am not interested in risking men’s lives so I can live my selfish dream.

We’re not just talking about watering down the standards to include the politically correct number of women into the unit. This isn’t an issue of “if a woman can meet the male standard, she should be able to go into combat.” The number of women that can meet the male standard will be miniscule–I’d have a decent shot according to my PFTs, but dragging a 190-pound man in full gear for 100 yards would DESTROY me–and that miniscule number that can physically make the grade AND has the desire to go into combat will be facing an impossible situation that will ruin the combat effectiveness of the unit. First, the close quarters of combat units make for a complete lack of privacy and EVERYTHING is exposed, to include intimate details of bodily functions. Second, until we succeed in completely reprogramming every man in the military to treat women just like men, those men are going to protect a woman at the expense of the mission. Third, women have physical limitations that no amount of training or conditioning can overcome. Fourth, until the media in this country is ready to treat a captured/raped/tortured/mutilated female soldier just like a man, women will be targeted by the enemy without fail and without mercy.

Without pharmaceutical help, women just do not carry the muscle mass men do. That muscle mass is also a shock absorber. Whether it’s the concussion of a grenade going off, an IED, or just a punch in the face, a woman is more likely to go down because she can’t absorb the concussion as well as a man can. And I don’t care how the PC forces try to slice it, in hand-to-hand combat the average man is going to destroy the average woman because the average woman is smaller, period. Muscle equals force in any kind of strike you care to perform. That’s why we don’t let female boxers face male boxers.

Lastly, this country and our military are NOT prepared to see what the enemy will do to female POWs. The Taliban, AQ, insurgents, jihadis, whatever you want to call them, they don’t abide by the Geneva Conventions and treat women worse than livestock. Google Thomas Tucker and Kristian Menchaca if you want to see what they do to our men (and don’t google it unless you have a strong stomach) and then imagine a woman in their hands.

I say again, I would have loved to be in the infantry. I think I could have done it physically, I could’ve met almost all the male standards (jumping aside), and I think I’m mentally tough enough to handle whatever came. But I would never do that to the men. I would never sacrifice the mission for my own desires. And I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if someone died because of me.- Sentry

Agree..disagree?

I’m anxious to hear your reasoned comments.

6 Comments

  1. DANIEL JOHNSON says:

    SENTRY SAID IT ALL . A REINFORCING VIEW CAN BE FOUND IN AN ARTICLE BY KATHLEEN PARKER IN THE JAQN 27TH EDITION OF THE ARGUS LEADER.

  2. Dave says:

    Doug, only one comment so far and I don’t think it’s because nobody can navigate the web page. Don’t know if the new decision is right or wrong but the fact of the matter is women have been serving on the front line (the definition of which has changed in modern warfare) for years now. The only change is that it is being acknowledged. Not all brave souls are male, a fact that will undoubtedly will be brought to your attention soon. Wake up, it’s now 2013. I know you respect the time machine our friend Dave activated 5 days a week for years.

  3. Jim says:

    This is all about political correctness. Can anyone dispute/refute “sentry’s” comments?

    How do we reconcile “allowing” women in combat (they get to choose) versus when a man enters the military and ends up as an infantryman and would not be “allowed” to decide that combat was not for him without severe consequences.

    Doug, you are spot on.

  4. jaycee says:

    I agree with Sentry…enough said…

  5. JeniW says:

    I won’t pretend to know all the ins and outs of women serving in the military and being in a combat area, but don’t we have women who are law enforcement officers and fire fighters who are at times in the situation similar to “kill or be killed” situation as those in the military?

    Whether women in the military should be involved in combat, is a decision that should be made by her and her commanding officer. Women who go into combat know the risks that are involved, including being a POW, or an MIAand the ugliness that goes with it. It is a tough decision, that I would not want to be the judge of the person making the decision.

    For now, being in the military is a choice. Hopefully, the draft will never be used again. But if the draft is implemented, men and women will most likely encounter the same decisions as the draftees during the Vietnam war.

    What I am really hoping for is more focus on getting out of Afghanistan.

  6. Sweeps says:

    “…why in the world would women WANT to serve in combat anyway? To prove a patriotic point; to raise a flag for feminine equality?”

    Because equal rights has always meant equal responsibility, that’s why! This is not about political correctness. We are living in an age when roles are constantly evolving, and attitudes about gender roles must evolve, too. I’m not content to be part of the barefoot and pregnant generation, and I applaud the women who let nothing stand in their way of defending our country … I allowed that to happen to me, and I’ll regret that to my dying day.

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