Women in Combat?

4 female Marines are soon to pass infantry training within the Marine Corps.  Though they will not be given a job in the infantry, it is a part of a trial to see if it is possible for women to serve in tip of the spear combat roles, alongside men.  Do you think that this is a good thing AND that women should be allowed in the infantry roles, or not?  Why?

I would advise everyone to remain respectful, on topic, and be informed on the structure of the military and the merits of all involved arguments.  You don't have to be an expert, but showing a reasonable understanding of the system and the consequences of possible changes would be greatly appreciated.

What say you?
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Comments

  • RolloRollo Operative 6081, MiniTrue Airstrip Three, OceaniaPosts: 1,900 ✭✭✭
    Let me preface this by saying that technically, women in modern defence forces are every bit as capable and professional as men. When it comes to their ability, skill and capabilities I can see no reason whatsoever to deny women from doing the same jobs as men.

    Except one: Men.

    The bottom line simply, is that men in the military can not be trusted. 

    TWELVE serving Australian Defence Force officers accused of carrying out or covering up rapes of cadets almost 20 years ago are likely to escape civil prosecution but will instead face dismissal from the force or disciplinary action.
    Dossiers on the officers have been sent to ADF chief General David Hurley, who is considering a range of actions including fines, demotion and dismissal.
    The files were prepared by the Defence Abuse Response Taskforce, which is investigating 2400 complaints of sexual and other abuse in the ADF going back to the 1950s.
    The 12 officers - none of whom is ranked higher than major - are accused of carrying out or covering up rapes of fellow cadets at the Australian Defence Force Academy in the mid-1990s.
    - The Australian, 18th Nov 2013

    One of the jobs that I previously had was working as a court recorder; this also included Military Court Martial cases. Time and time again, I would record cases of military indiscipline which in civilian life would result in gaol time but owing to the way in which the military works sometimes resulted in other disciplinary action.
    For the three years I was in the role, I can't honestly recall seeing a single woman up on serious charges; that makes me wonder.
    Combat roles are such that soldiers carry out things which in normal civilian life, they would not think of doing. It doesn't change the fact that they still are human; with the same misplaced drives as the rest of society. Let these people loose for a period where they're not under the throws of discipline and they have a tendency to behave badly.

    Should women be allowed in the infantry roles? Maybe. Should there be far far better controls on men in the same roles if women are allowed to serve alongside them? Absolutely.
    I don't think that the suitability of women is the issue here but the suitability of men.
    "I speak an infinite deal of nothing and I am not bound to please thee with my answers."

    I've written four books - you might like to buy them: Linky - Doobly Doo
  • Lavache_BeadsmanLavache_Beadsman New YorkPosts: 661 ✭✭✭
    To be honest, this isn't an issue I've spent a lot of time thinking/reading about, but I don't see why they can't. All of the arguments I've heard in opposition are of the "it would mess with the group dynamic" sort, which were used against both African Americans and homosexuals, and that hasn't really been proven true by history, as I understand it. ]

    The only other argument I've heard in opposition falls under what @Rollo talked about. The argument goes something like: "it's too dangerous for women to be in the military because the men might rape them." This is victim blaming, and it is an enablement of men who carry out violence against women. If this is really an issue, then it would seem to me that the solution is to make the punishments for sexual misconduct more severe (which I understand there is an attempt to do on the part of our legislature).
  • McEstebanMcEsteban Posts: 773 ✭✭✭
    I am not sure if I understand your position.  Correct me if I am wrong, but you think that men need greater control over their actions if women can hope to serve alongside them.  Obviously sexual assault is horrible no matter who is doing it, but I am not sure that you understand, based on the way that you phrased you statement, just how different military life is from civilian life.  You also claim that men in the military can not be trusted, I am curious what you mean here.  Is it just on the basis of sexual assault, or is the a broader distrust that you have?
    What further controls on men do you recommend?

    And the whole point is to question the capability of women in combat, not just the social repercussion throughout the unit.  Women are physically weaker as a whole, compared to men.  The weight of gear and the stress of combat is often too much for most men to even handle.  This says nothing about how a woman in a extremely high stress environment, like combat, can change the behavior of men around her.  I am not just talking about rape.  In combat, bonds are formed and emotions run high.  When you stick a young man and a young woman together like this, there will be sexual tension, which will break down unit cohesion.
  • McEstebanMcEsteban Posts: 773 ✭✭✭
    To be honest, this isn't an issue I've spent a lot of time thinking/reading about, but I don't see why they can't. All of the arguments I've heard in opposition are of the "it would mess with the group dynamic" sort, which were used against both African Americans and homosexuals, and that hasn't really been proven true by history, as I understand it. ]
    This is what I have been struggling with.  The group dynamic is a very legitimate argument and must be considered.  Integration of blacks in the military is a no brainer, and I think homosexuality is too.  But combat changes things.  Sexuality, by most young men of the military, is viewed in a very macho, locker room fashion.  You could even call it overly, and overtly, heterosexually cavalier.  This poses a tension and an inherent predisposition against homosexuality, and dominating of women.

    Units are only combat effective when you have total faith and confidence in the man next to you.  Our troops shouldn't distrust anyone based simply on gender, race, or sexual orientation.  It should be, and typically is, based on ability.  This is typically where the argument against blacks and gays in the military can fall apart.  However this is, I think, is the nail in the coffin of sensible implementation of women in combat arms.  Based solely on ability, women are less physically capable than men.  Some people go so far as to say, without being sexist, that in high stress situations, women are emotionally, mentally, or psychosomatically weaker than men.  Regardless of what you think of the second claim, the first claim (by and large) is true.  Physical weakness does not sponsor trust from your fellow soldiers/sailors/airmen/marines.  There will be women that can do the job, but that won't be most of them.

    And of course there is the issue of sex and women's issues.  Young people have sex.  Young men in the military have and think and talk about sex way more than probably anyone should.  And most guys, especially in country during a deployment, will, for lack of a better term, PIZZZAA anything that walks (at least heterosexually speaking).  Ignoring the occurrence of sexual assault, you can not down play the near certainty that men and women will have consensual sex in very close proximity and high stress situations like combat deployments.  That will not help with unit cohesion.

    Discrimination is wrong.  But when given the choice between maintaining combat effectiveness or loosening regulations to fit a gender quota or some bleeding heart liberals idea of equality, I choose the former.  It is literally a situation of life and death.
  • RolloRollo Operative 6081, MiniTrue Airstrip Three, OceaniaPosts: 1,900 ✭✭✭
    The only other argument I've heard in opposition falls under what @Rollo talked about. The argument goes something like: "it's too dangerous for women to be in the military because the men might rape them." This is victim blaming, and it is an enablement of men who carry out violence against women. 
    Victim Blaming is when the victim of a crime is held responsible for the crime or harm which happened to them. This is untenable and should not be accepted. 
    I seriously don't think that men should be allowed to carry out violence against women. I happen to think though, that the opportunity for it to occur should be quelled wherever possible.
    "I speak an infinite deal of nothing and I am not bound to please thee with my answers."

    I've written four books - you might like to buy them: Linky - Doobly Doo
  • Lavache_BeadsmanLavache_Beadsman New YorkPosts: 661 ✭✭✭
    @McEsteban Admitting African-Americans into the military might seem like a no-brainer now, but it wasn't always that way. It wasn't all that long ago when people thought much less of black people, and I'm sure "faith in the man next to you" did come up for a number of soldiers, but ultimately, it was to no detriment of our military, and once it was normalized, only then did it become a "no-brainer." And certainly right now, it may not be your view that homosexuals are less "masculine" than straight men, but it very well is the view of a not-insignificant amount of americans, and I'm sure you'd find a few in our military. Maybe your right, maybe our troops currently active won't be able to work with women, and if that's true, maybe it will decrease the effectiveness, but in terms of this particular argument, history is not on your side.

    As to the physicality of it I think if a woman can pass the same standard basic training and other tests applied to men, then there should be no problem admitting her into the military. I'm sure there's quite a few men who can't handle the physical requirements the military demands (and for what it's worth, I know more than a few women who could probably kick my male ass). There's a standard to be upheld, sure, but if there's no evidence that an individual can't uphold that standard, then she shouldn't be discriminated against.

    I don't see it as a near certainty than men and women will engage in consensual acts while in the military, as long as it's forbidden. I happen to know more than a couple members of the military personally, and they're very dedicated and committed to the code of discipline the army sets out for them.
  • rexcactorumrexcactorum Posts: 4
    I think at this point it's fairly agreed upon that women, in all capacities relating to their own abilities, can and therefore should (if they so choose) to serve in the military as infantry.

    As for the chances of men raping women in the military, that's incredibly depressing and a very real possibility. But then again so is the case of men raping men, or of men raping civilians. When it comes to women serving in an infantry capacity, the notion that the military is a hyper-masculine form of societal patriarchy should not, in an arguably post-patriarchal age, be cited as a source against servicewomen. 

    That being said, I think any woman who signs up is probably aware of this possibility. I would hope that the military itself makes this threat well-known, and I would likewise hope that the military trains its women like its men in subduing an attacker. Really, without empowering women to take up the position and challenge such masculine institutions, those institutions themselves will never change. 

    And that's a notion that's historically supported. Originally, blacks were assigned to race-exclusive units. These units proved their mettle in combat and fought against white supremacy in the military to the point where, nowadays, while racism persists in society, a black soldier can serve alongside a white soldier without threat. The times have changed thanks to the fighting, both in war and in peace, of blacks for their rights. Women have, do, and ought continue to do the same thing. 

    Women in the military will likely continue to be raped and treated as different from men in the same capacity for quite some time. But until women take to the Armed Forces and demonstrate their capability and show men they are comrades, not concubines, that sort of male-dominated mindset probably won't change. And by all means, the institution of the military itself has a responsibility to support women in this capacity. Without confronting and tearing down patriarchal norms, they will continue to exist to the detriment of civilisation. 
  • Miya37Miya37 Posts: 356 ✭✭✭
    As far as I'm concerned, anyone who can pass the requirements to serve in combat should be allowed to do so. I strongly contest the notion that women are emotionally, mentally, and psychosomatically "weaker" than men, whatever the hell that means. There may be different responses to stress that fall roughly along gender lines, but we are also talking about women who had to deal with a huge amount of stress to get to the point where they are qualified to join the Marine Corps infantry. It's not like they're going to fall into hysterics when they have to fire at an enemy target. As far as consensual sex goes, I would be far more concerned with the issue of rape, but that is something that needs to be dealt with in terms of changing the judicial structure of the military, not by punishing women. And @rexcactorum, women have proven for millennia that they are capable soldiers, not "concubines," and frankly the implication that they haven't is insulting. The women are doing fine, it's the men that need to change.
  • McEstebanMcEsteban Posts: 773 ✭✭✭
    Most women are physically less effective than men.  In most other aspects of the military, women fall under a different standard in terms of physical testing an evaluation.  The three women that completed the infantry course this week did it under male requirements, which is a positive sign, but very few can do it.  Day after day in country, going on long range patrols, and living out of FOBs and convoys, I am not sure how many that meet the requirements would be able to keep up the tempo.  There is also a logistical aspect to this too.  Women require supplies that men don't.  And making space for extra supplies likely comes at a detriment to the male Marines or Soldiers who would be expecting more bullets, balogne, and bandaids than they end up getting simply because they have an arguably inferior member of their unit.

    @Lavache_Beadsman  I don't believe I am on the wrong side of history.  While there isn't a real physical difference between blacks or gays as compared to everyone else in service at the time of integration, there is a difference between men and women.  You are going to have a hard time convincing me otherwise.  As for sexual acts, all kinds of things happen that are technically forbidden.  Even by people that have full respect for regulations and code of conduct.  People have sex.  It happens outside of the infantry, and I think along with other prominent current and former members of the military, that it will happen inside the infantry as well.

    @rexcactorum  Agreed upon by who?  Did you ask the Marines whose lives will be effected if this is a good decision that serves everyones best interest and won't hinder combat effectiveness?  I doubt it.  I think a common problem with this issue is that there isn't a demand for change from people that this actually effects.  Men or women included.  There aren't sob stories of women not being able to make infantry and being worse off for it.  I see more people with no combat experience or understanding of combat calling for this change than I see knowledgable people calling for this change.  Perhaps because it doesn't make sense.

    @Miya37  I agree that it is an a great accomplishment by anyone, regardless of gender, to enter the military.  There is a lot of stress and pressure for excellence with the task and it is very demanding.  But if you are going to rest your argument on the fact that just getting there is difficult, so anyone that can get there should be let in, then you don't understand combat.  Unlike other jobs in the military, one MUST be willing to go the extra mile, or 10, or 20 to make sure that they and their men get home safe with the mission accomplished.  You can't just say this person looks good on paper so lets put them in.  That works for other parts of the military, but not here.  Failure is not an option.

    So I have to ask this question.  When someone's father, son, or husband dies because a woman didn't or couldn't due what she was supposed to, is anyone here going to be able to justify this change?  Is it really worth filling a misconceived quota that no one knowledgable is calling for when someone dies directly because of it?
  • Miya37Miya37 Posts: 356 ✭✭✭
    So...women aren't willing to go the extra mile or 10 or 20 to make sure everyone gets home safe? I have no idea what you're trying to say here. Our female soldiers work just as hard as their male counterparts to do their duty and get everyone home. And yes, I'm damn well able to justify the change if a female soldier's mishap causes a PERSON to die (not a father or son or husband, a goddamn person, male or female). It's called a slip-up. It happens to both genders. This makes me think of this xkcd comic - you're blaming an entire gender for the hypothetical failure of one woman, when no one in their right mind would say men shouldn't be allowed to serve because one man messes up and gets a comrade killed. I absolutely agree that women who want to serve should be held to the same standards as men, but if they meet those standards there is no reason on earth why they should not be able to serve.
  • Lavache_BeadsmanLavache_Beadsman New YorkPosts: 661 ✭✭✭
    edited November 2013
    @McEstaban: But if a woman can pass all of the physical tests required of a soldier, than why shouldn't she be allowed in the army? I've already conceded that if somebody, regardless of gender, can't pass the tests, than they shouldn't be allowed to join. As far as the sex thing goes, I think you're underestimating our troops. Sure, there will be some people who break the rules, and they'll be dishonorably discharged or punished accordingly.

    As far as I'm concerned, anybody who is brave enough to serve there country, and capable of doing so, should be allowed to. Not to mention, women have already been effectively in combat for some time. The changes coming to the US military would only make them official and able to help their country more efficiently (see attached link).

    http://www.ibtimes.com/women-combat-now-its-official-they-were-already-fighting-1040702

    by Lavache_Beadsman
  • McEstebanMcEsteban Posts: 773 ✭✭✭
    @Miya37 I am saying you are placing a potentially less capable woman in a position where a man would be plenty capable.  It is a gamble.  It is hard to play the what if game.  But, what if a male soldier placed in the same situation could have succeeded where perhaps a female will fail?  I also wasn't trying to add more value to a person by listing father, son, husband.  A person is a person and has value.  I have to ask you if you are okay with signing up for selective service?

    @Lavache_Beadsman  It is not just about the physical.  There are problem solving aspects and then just matters of constitution.  Can a person perform all necessary, and some unnecessary, duties while under stress.  Just being able to do the run and pull-ups doesn't and shouldn't get you in club.  I am also not underestimating the troops.  At no point in time have I done that.  Just because someone dips, or smokes, or gets drunk in barracks doesn't make them a bad service member.  Just because someone has consensual sex doesn't make them a bad service member.  I think you don't understand the nature of barracks life and combat life.

    There are a few cases of women serving in combat, but that isn't their job.  There aren't any women billeted in the 11 series of army MOSs or 03 side of the Marine Corps, which are the infantry.  There are also not women in special operations.  Perhaps there is a reason for this.  Have women been shot at and shot back, yes.  Is it the norm or is that there job, no.  Anyone can be pressed into service outside of what they were trained for, but that doesn't mean that they necessarily should be.

    At the end of the day, I see that women likely can do many aspects of the job.  I can not say if that will be consistent across a deployment, but then again no one can.  But there are considerations that most people calling for this aren't accounting for.  There is a social aspect that isn't being addressed, there is a logistical aspect that isn't being addressed, and a combat effectiveness aspect that isn't being addressed.  And really, combat effectiveness is the only measure that matters.  You can scream equality all you want but if it lowers combat effectiveness then it ain't happening.
  • Lavache_BeadsmanLavache_Beadsman New YorkPosts: 661 ✭✭✭
    McEsteban said:
    @Lavache_Beadsman  It is not just about the physical.  There are problem solving aspects and then just matters of constitution.  Can a person perform all necessary, and some unnecessary, duties while under stress.  Just being able to do the run and pull-ups doesn't and shouldn't get you in club.  I am also not underestimating the troops.  At no point in time have I done that.  Just because someone dips, or smokes, or gets drunk in barracks doesn't make them a bad service member.  Just because someone has consensual sex doesn't make them a bad service member.  I think you don't understand the nature of barracks life and combat life.
    Are you implying then that women are too emotionally fragile to serve in combat? You're being very vague.

    I think you do underestimate the integrity of our troops by saying many of them would engage in sex despite the rules. I think I know a few members of our military who'd be inclined to agree with me as well.
  • Miya37Miya37 Posts: 356 ✭✭✭
    You seem to have a lot of faith in male soldiers and very little in female soldiers, but for the life of me I can't understand why. Again, they will all have had the same training, passed the same tests, and met the same requirements. At that point you've controlled for all major biological differences. I cannot think of any gendered difference that would guarantee a male's success where a female might fail.
  • McEstebanMcEsteban Posts: 773 ✭✭✭
    @Lavache_Beadsman I wasn't implying anything that I didn't say.  There is more to the job than just meeting physical requirements.  Some women can probably do this job, but I don't think that very many can do it as well as a man or will be more beneficial to have by your side when the PIZZZAA hits the fan.  Again, sacrifice your virgins at the alter of combat effectiveness, not equality.  Not making equality your first priority is not the same thing as discrimination.  The goal is to kill the enemy.  That is the name of the game.  Anything that detracts or distracts from that should not be permitted.  I think that women both distract and detract, though I could be wrong.  You haven't shown me how they don't do either of those.

    @Miya37 Because men are stronger and faster then women.  Because men can carry a 10 pound rifle and 120 pounds of gear for 12 hours a day, 6-12 months at a time, when most women can't period, and even fewer consistently.  You haven't addressed how this will increase or maintain combat effectiveness and how the change in unit cohesion and dynamic is negligible.  The burden of proof is on you here.
  • Luke_Earl_MolleLuke_Earl_Molle Earl of Peace Jefferson, IaPosts: 3,007 ✭✭✭✭
    3 words for anybody who is against girls in war: Joan of Arc. Women have fought in wars for years.
    I am the Duke of Earl, and I also am Earl For To and Of Peace
  • Lavache_BeadsmanLavache_Beadsman New YorkPosts: 661 ✭✭✭
    edited November 2013
    I only said that you were implying something because what you are actually saying begs more explanation. You've said at least twice now that "there is more to the job." What exactly is there beyond the physical, and are you implying that women are too emotionally fragile for the military? Beyond the physical lies the psychological, as far as I can tell.
    by Lavache_Beadsman
  • McEstebanMcEsteban Posts: 773 ✭✭✭
    I only said that you were implying something because what you are actually saying begs more explanation. You've said at least twice now that "there is more to the job." What exactly is there beyond the physical, and are you implying that women are too emotionally fragile for the military? Beyond the physical lies the psychological, as far as I can tell.
    Passing the course requires problem solving, leadership, and team work under great deals of stress.  This is more than physical.  I didn't say that women can't do it because of that, quite evidently they have, but contrary to your belief it isn't just a physical exercise.  Again the burden of proof is on you to show how adding women to the mix will increase or maintain combat effectiveness and will not negatively effect unit cohesion.
  • McEstebanMcEsteban Posts: 773 ✭✭✭
    3 words for anybody who is against girls in war: Joan of Arc. Women have fought in wars for years.
    But should they?  Is that what is best for our military?  Perhaps a nation like Israel has a different reality to cope with than the United States?  Perhaps times are very different between now and when Joan of Arc was around (as in the burden of proof of competency and capability is astronomically higher now)?  Perhaps there is a difference between necessity and preference when it comes to who you press into service for your military?  Perhaps your lame one line quip doesn't actually examine the issue and just demonstrates a lack of understanding or a lack of care when it comes to discussing important matters?  Or maybe even perhaps I am just an asshole?
  • Lavache_BeadsmanLavache_Beadsman New YorkPosts: 661 ✭✭✭
    edited November 2013
    McEsteban said:
    Passing the course requires problem solving, leadership, and team work under great deals of stress.  This is more than physical.  I didn't say that women can't do it because of that, quite evidently they have, but contrary to your belief it isn't just a physical exercise.  Again the burden of proof is on you to show how adding women to the mix will increase or maintain combat effectiveness and will not negatively effect unit cohesion.
    Well if they have, as you acknowledged they have, then the proof is in the pudding. Women can handle stress just as well, if not better than men. I would actually say the burden of proof is on you to show that this would not be a good idea. Besides essentially saying that women are more emotionally fragile then men (and this is essentially what you are saying, when you say that they may not be able to "problem solve, lead, and work as a team under great deals of stress"), nothing you've said convinces me that this would be a bad thing.

    And also, going back to something you said earlier in the thread, I reject this idea that we should just put the constitution on hold where discrimination is concerned lest it effect unit cohesion. I believe your exact words were "you can scream equality all you want, but if it lowers combat effectiveness it ain't happening." Call me a bleeding heart if you must, but I think you're playing a dangerous game when you throw an idea like that out there. Again, I would remind you that this was the argument to keep African-Americans out of the military. "Well, they won't get along, and combat effectiveness will suffer." The onus is on the men to adjust, not on the system to reinforce their prejudice.
    by Lavache_Beadsman
  • McEstebanMcEsteban Posts: 773 ✭✭✭
    Well if they have, as you acknowledged they have, then the proof is in the pudding. Women can handle stress just as well, if not better than men. I would actually say the burden of proof is on you to show that this would not be a good idea. Besides essentially saying that women are more emotionally fragile then men (and this is essentially what you are saying, when you say that they may not be able to "problem solve, lead, and work as a team under great deals of stress"), nothing you've said convinces me that this would be a bad thing.

    And also, going back to something you said earlier in the thread, I reject this idea that we should just put the constitution on hold where discrimination is concerned lest it effect unit cohesion. I believe your exact words were "you can scream equality all you want, but if it lowers combat effectiveness it ain't happening." Call me a bleeding heart if you must, but I think you're playing a dangerous game when you throw an idea like that out there. Again, I would remind you that this was the argument to keep African-Americans out of the military. "Well, they won't get along, and combat effectiveness will suffer." The onus is on the men to adjust, not on the system to reinforce their prejudice.
    You must prove why you deserve or are capable of being in the infantry.  Nobody hands you anything just to say they handed it out.  You must prove why this works, not why it can't.  The stakes are too high to say why not.  You have to justify the why.  It may end up being a great decision, but for the last time, you have to prove it.  Again I haven't said women are more emotionally fragile.  Some have made that argument, there might be some truth there, but that aint me.  No where have I said otherwise so stop trying to divine a greater meaning from my words.

    I never said put the Constitution on hold.  This has already been authorized by the DoD and JCoS.  The question was wether or not this is a good idea.  The military is not the place for social experiments.  If having women in combat does not effect unit cohesion or combat effectiveness then go for it.  I have said that multiple times.  But you haven't shown me how it won't effect it.  Everything I have mentioned is a well reasoned and rational concern (not a rule or demand) and you clinging to the idea of equality no matter what does nothing to address my concerns.  Instead of accusing me of bigotry and likening my position to that of a racist (which is highly offensive and should be below you), maybe you should produce some evidence that this doesn't effect combat effectiveness.
  • Lavache_BeadsmanLavache_Beadsman New YorkPosts: 661 ✭✭✭
    Look, if you want to stick to politically correct semantics, fine, but you should know that most people would gather that when you say women can't lead as well or handle stress as well as men, you are implying that they are more emotionally fragile.

    You never said to put the constitution on hold, but if you were up to you, to hell with discrimination and equality (again, if you prefer your own exact words "you can scream equality all you want"), we've got wars to fight! And having females in combat might somehow impede our ability to kill people!

    When did I call you a bigot? If you're not implying that women aren't emotionally fragile, then I'm not implying that you're a bigot. I'm just saying part of your argument is the same exact argument that kept African-Americans out of the military. Make of that what you will. I'm also just saying that it's probably not good practice to discriminate against an entire gender on the off-chance that they MIGHT not "handle stress" as well as men, who we all know are infallible and never crack under pressure, right? Right.

    Look, this will be my last post on the matter. I've said all I've had to say, and as you pointed out, the point is moot, women will be allowed in combat, and I'm glad that's the case.

  • Luke_Earl_MolleLuke_Earl_Molle Earl of Peace Jefferson, IaPosts: 3,007 ✭✭✭✭
    McEsteban said:
    3 words for anybody who is against girls in war: Joan of Arc. Women have fought in wars for years.
    But should they?  Is that what is best for our military?  Perhaps a nation like Israel has a different reality to cope with than the United States?  Perhaps times are very different between now and when Joan of Arc was around (as in the burden of proof of competency and capability is astronomically higher now)?  Perhaps there is a difference between necessity and preference when it comes to who you press into service for your military?  Perhaps your lame one line quip doesn't actually examine the issue and just demonstrates a lack of understanding or a lack of care when it comes to discussing important matters?  Or maybe even perhaps I am just an asshole?
    You cannot say I lack care or understanding when discussing important stuff. The one line was to show that there have been women in war for a long time. If you really want to get down to it, whats one reason that women shouldn't be in war. I think if you want to protect your country you should be able to no matter your gender. I really think that if you are going to tell somebody they can't fight in a war because they don't have a PIZZZAA, then you are an asshole.
    I am the Duke of Earl, and I also am Earl For To and Of Peace
  • SANTA_ATE_CHICAGOSANTA_ATE_CHICAGO PennsylvaniaPosts: 2,637 ✭✭✭
    If someone is loyal enough to die for a country, they should be allowed to fight for that country (actually they shouldn't because peace is better, but they should if we assume war IS going to happen). Simple as that.
    When is a door not a door? When someone steals the hinges.
  • McEstebanMcEsteban Posts: 773 ✭✭✭
    That is poetic and all but this is about fielding your best and brightest.  There are standards and requirements and unspoken truths.  If a man wants to serve but can't for whatever reason, we should let him in anyway?  Defense of nation is no place for compromise.  If someone, regardless of gender, is capable and has something to add to the unit and can be combat effective, they will serve.  So again, my original question is do women add something to the unit that isn't already there or do they possibly detract from the unit?  Will adding women maintain or increase combat effectiveness.  I still haven't heard an answer.  This is not a question about equality.  This about getting the mission done.  I don't care about any historical precedents or cries of discrimination because that is just noise that ignores the facts of the situation and my disposition about it.
  • BH622BH622 BaltimorePosts: 128 ✭✭
    McEsteban said:
    That is poetic and all but this is about fielding your best and brightest.  There are standards and requirements and unspoken truths.  If a man wants to serve but can't for whatever reason, we should let him in anyway?  Defense of nation is no place for compromise.  If someone, regardless of gender, is capable and has something to add to the unit and can be combat effective, they will serve.  So again, my original question is do women add something to the unit that isn't already there or do they possibly detract from the unit?  Will adding women maintain or increase combat effectiveness.  I still haven't heard an answer.  This is not a question about equality.  This about getting the mission done.  I don't care about any historical precedents or cries of discrimination because that is just noise that ignores the facts of the situation and my disposition about it.
    I'm gonna try to break down you gripe:
    1) Do women add something to the unit that isn't already there?
    Potentially yes. There are few reasons why it could be incredibly beneficial to a squad to consist of both men and women. Biologically speaking, men a bigger and stronger, yes, but women are more dexterous and more resilient to pain. By combining the natural strengths of both genders, there are conceivable scenarios in which that little bit of extra dexterity could be dramatically useful in saving the lives of her squad. And do I really need to justify higher pain tolerance in combat roles? Additionally, with the acceptance of women into combat roles, the pool of potential soldiers increases dramatically, which statistically speaking implies an increase in people more qualified than others. I've studied martial arts for the majority of my life, and all of the best asskickings I've ever received have been by women. There are going to naturally be some female soldiers who are superior to some male soldiers. Denying ourselves access to such an advantage is a mistake. Furthermore, the physical strength and carrying capacity of a soldier is becoming a different issue in the wake of new technology. Logistics in the military is always moving towards improvement, and the physical carrying capacity of a soldier may not be the most important factor as time goes on.

    2)Is it possible they detract from the unit?
    It is. However, it is not necessarily 'because of women'. Yes, having someone you potentially find sexually attractive in your unit could be distracting. However, that argument did not prevent the repeal of DADT and the ability of gay soldiers in the military, so we can assume that it shouldn't be applicable here. There is also the 'evil men are evil' argument and that allowing women is inviting rape. That argument is not about allowing women but an aversion to having to teach male soldiers proper discipline involving female soldiers. That's literally telling someone 'you aren't allowed because I don't feel like teaching my dog not to bite people'. Yes, while adding females to combat has the potential to harm the functionality of the unit, these are symptoms of an improper means of training, instruction, and discipline than the fact the you now have a person with a vagina.

    3) "I don't care about historical precedents"
    That is an incredibly close minded comment. In a question about the efficiency and effectiveness of the proposed actions, refusing to examine what did and did not work when other people tried it is...I don't want to be mean, so I shall use Hank's term and say you're being a Fartbag. The best evidence you can be provided is an observable case in which the proposed hypothesis was tested. That is literally science. Saying 'I want to ignore ____' is not the right way to discuss a problem. More appropriate is to say 'I want to focus on the efficiency of the issue, and leave the ethical aspects for afterwards', which both draws the conversation to your emphasis and acknowledges the fact that there is an ethical side to the debate in a respectful manner.
    “This is how you do it: you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until its done. It's that easy, and that hard.” - Neil Gaiman on writing

    Like martial arts? Like reading blogs about it? Not sure? Check out my brand new blog, A Warrior's Journey.
  • McEstebanMcEsteban Posts: 773 ✭✭✭
    1.  I want to start by saying thank you for actually addressing my question.  I knew about the higher dexterity of women (one of the reasons why they make better rock climbers) but I hadn't factored that in here.  I have heard and seen numerous times in the tactical and shooting communities (civilian and LEO ie non military) that women often out perform men in shooting drills and so forth.  I hadn't factored that in here because of the different environment and demands that each environment offers.  I see your point and like it; I am on board.  However, your last statement is only partially true.  Yes logistics is always getting better and technology is improving the condition of the modern warfighter.  But the military trains to do without all the wiz bang gadgets of the day, because many times those gadgets will fail or you simply won't have them.  Weight is something that is being worked on, but it is going to be awhile before we figure out lighter weight, same strength body armor, lighter radios, and lighter weapons.  I don't want to get political, but those programs for decreasing the load the infantryman must carry would be farther along had a certain someone not slashed the budget and let sequestration take effect.

    2.  I can see the first part of your argument (about DADT) and I understand.  However straight culture is a little more overt and cavalier in the military.  Not saying it is right, but that is the situation.  As for your argument about rape, I didn't go there and that wasn't a reason for my consternation, so...yeah.

    3.  You took this WAY out of context.  I was being called bigoted and placed along the same lines of people denying black integration into the military and attempting to draw moral equivalencies between that situation and this one. Does that seem fair?  Also the question of Joan of Arc came up, and had you factored in my response, you would know that that situation is not equivalent.  Hence the reason why I don't find historical precedent particularly relevant.  The fact that a different military in a different time with different standards got away with it doesn't mean we should implement it here.  We have to work with what we have now.  There is a saying, and I may be paraphrasing here, but "you go to war with the army you have, not the army you want."  We have to examine realistically what our expectations of combat units are and if we still meet those expectations with this change.  I am totally on board with your last statement, but respectfully, this wasn't really being talked about earlier with regards to all aspects and respect to everyone involved (namely me), hence my reaction.
  • BH622BH622 BaltimorePosts: 128 ✭✭
    @McEstaban I included the rape aspect because from reading other responses I thought it was relevant, and as far as straight culture in the military, it's the same idea. It's not a symptom of allowing women into the military, but something that should be addressed to begin with, and its solution would negate many arguments against women in combat roles.

    As for the out of context, I apologize. It was how i interpreted your comment. You are not a fartbag.
    “This is how you do it: you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until its done. It's that easy, and that hard.” - Neil Gaiman on writing

    Like martial arts? Like reading blogs about it? Not sure? Check out my brand new blog, A Warrior's Journey.
  • kodrakodra Posts: 36 ✭✭
    So, I would argue that diversity in almost any organization is going to be a good thing, because without a solid representation of varied backgrounds, you are not going to have sufficient perspective to most effectively solve problems.  I could see the arguement being made that most of the decisions that require solving don't happen at the soldier level, but those decision makers can only get to the point in their career where they are making those calls by starting on the ground.  For this reason, I would argue that it is imperative that we increase gender diversity in the military.
  • McEstebanMcEsteban Posts: 773 ✭✭✭
    Interesting thought, however there isn't a crisis or a demand to add perspective for problem solving.  The military in general, but the Marine Corps especially, pushes responsibility as low as it can go.  You have people that have been in 2,3,4 years making the call and carrying the responsibility.  The officer is not what the institution runs on, it is almost always the JNCO (junior noncommissioned officer).  You can make the argument that a woman brings something new to the table, but I can't think of what that might be.  There really aren't any gender specific backgrounds that aid the military so much as prior life experience.  And even then the military indoctrinates how to solve problems and deal with conflict, so while having added perspective may help, most the military rests on doctrinal ways to solve problems.

    We can use the term "solve problems" but that just beats around the bush.  Woman are already everywhere else so this isn't a general or abstract problem solving, this is about combat.  Combat is about effectively destroying the enemy and completing the mission.  Maybe women might add something there that isn't there already but I don't see how they would.  Again there is still the potential that adding women is more destructive than constructive.

    In my opinion, if you really want to improve the militaries problem solving ability, integrate tactical, operational, and strategic planning and decision making to all levels of operating forces instead of having it segregated by rank like it is now.  Too often people are told that something is above their pay grade.  People at the low end loose sight of the strategic and operational goals.  People at the higher end loose sight of the tactical and sometimes even operational goals.  People at the higher end also have to deal with politics and careerist who like resting on their ego.  By integrating planning and decision making, or at least understanding, at all levels of the operational force you will get more effectiveness and critical thinking out of the military.  Why don't we try maximizing the talent that we have instead of adding potential distractions and dangers to an already distracted organization that deals in danger?
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