|Are women in the military a good idea?|
I can already hear the loud sneers about the title of this post from the more militant feminists. But this fact should be obvious to any rational person. Men and women are different in not only biological ways but in psychological ways as well. Ways that should impact on egalitarian ideals. And yet those differences are treated as though they were nonexistent. I mention this in light of a recent Mishpacha oped by Jonathan Rosenblum (available at his website Jewish Media Resources) that makes eminent sense to me.
It is clearly politically incorrect to say that women are the weaker sex. But what about that? Is it so unreasonable to consider gender differences as a factor in certain jobs? This is not to say that there can’t be individual differences between women where in some cases they may be as good or even superior to men in tasks that are traditionally male. But is it wise to ignore gender altogether?
Let us take a look at Jonathan’s military example. In theory we might just set parameters of service and let both men and women apply. It is almost certain that most women will not be able to complete those tasks that men – with their greater upper body strength – will be able to perform. Should we therefore open the gates to the few that can perform those tasks equally with men?
As mentioned - this sound good in theory. But experience has shown that this would not satisfy some feminists. That’s because it would still make the composition of the military lopsided in favor of men. Egalitarianism would demand that the tests be revised so that more women would pass. The claim being that the lower standards would not significantly reduce the effectiveness of the military.
The military will be forced to accede to that egalitarian political correctness. Referencing Stephanie Gutmann’s 2001 work on gender integration in the U.S. military, The Kinder, Gentler Military: Can America's Gender-Neutral Fighting Force Still Win Wars? – Jonathan makes the following observations:
The average woman is five inches shorter, has half the upper body strength, and 37% less muscle mass than her male counterpart. The only way to integrate women into combat units is to dramatically lower standards and the intensity of training. Gutmann reports how "women were allowed to come into basic training at dramatically lower fitness levels and then to climb lower walls, throw [grenades] shorter distances, and carry lighter packs when they got there." "Teamwork" is stressed to cover for women who can't perform standard tasks; "ability groups" accommodate those who can't keep up the pace, and training "time-outs" provide for those who are overtired or overstressed.
The differentials between men and women affect not only training standards, but have real world consequences on the battlefield. In the first Gulf War, men took over taking down tents and loading boxes because most women were incapable of the heavy-lifting required. Few women can carry a male colleague on their backs. Yet the ability to do so can be the difference between life and death for a wounded soldier.
Is Egalitarianism worth the increased risk of harm under combat conditions that could very likely happen?
This doesn’t even take into consideration the religious and moral problem of young men and women working together in close proximity where the power of the sex drive will surely be a factor. Here are some sobering statistics to ponder - quoted in Wikipedia:
A 2011 report found that women in the U.S. military are more likely to be raped by fellow soldiers than they are to be killed in combat. At least 25% of U.S. military women have been sexually assaulted, and up to 80% have been sexually harassed. A 2012 Pentagon survey found that approximately 26,000 women and men were sexually assaulted. Of those, only 3,374 cases were reported.
Feminists will cry that men will just have to learn to better control themselves. But that doesn’t always work as all too many women in the military have unfortunately found out. Sexual harassment is far more likely to happen in the military. With all the scandals (e.g. Tailhook, and more recently Marines United) coming out about this - that should not surprise anyone. Is it a mere coincidence that this is happening now that we have a more gender integrated military? How much intelligence does it take to realize that the command structure of the military leaves women vulnerable to the sexual advances of their superior officers?
Feminists will counter that women should not be denied opportunity because of this. And that with proper oversight and strong sanctions this problem will be eliminated. I have to question the wisdom of that claim.
There are other example of problems created by women serving equally with men in the military. Like this fact quoted by Jonathan:
During the first Gulf War, for instance, 31% of the female sailors on two U.S. aircraft carriers had to be evacuated from ship because they were pregnant.
Then there are the psychological differences between men and women. Gender based psychological differences clearly exist but it is politically incorrect to even mention them.
As I’ve said many times. I consider myself a feminist in the original sense of the word. Equal pay for equal work. And equal respect between men and women. Men and women are both human beings and should treat each other with equal dignity. But modern day feminism has evolved into a complete negation of the any real differences between men and women. Biological differences are seen as irrelevant and psychological differences as non existent. And that has a negative impact on us all.