A truly terrible idea.
Listen to the broadcast of You Tell Me on KTBB AM 600, Friday, January 25, 2013.
The Super Bowl is a week from Sunday. It’s the biggest annual event in the country, eclipsing, sad to say, even the Fourth of July. In the run-up to the Big Game, nowhere do you hear any cries from any quarter for women to be allowed to play in the NFL.
The idea is patently absurd. Any woman with the size, speed, muscle mass and strength to compete with men in the NFL would be classified as a freak. All other women playing in the NFL would simply be crushed.
If it’s obvious that women can’t play in the NFL, it should be equally obvious that women shouldn’t serve in combat roles in the military. War is brutish work which is why, since the dawn of time, it has been done by men.
Combat is physically demanding – at times exceeding the capacities of even the best-trained, most physically fit soldiers. As a result, much of the research and development in the defense industry has been dedicated to reducing the weight and bulk of military equipment without sacrificing firepower.
Yet the combat gear carried on backs and shoulders can add 30 to 50 percent to the weight of an average male soldier. That same gear could therefore come close to doubling the weight of an average female soldier. If a man would struggle to move quickly and nimbly in combat conditions carrying a load equal to his own body weight, how would a woman not struggle? And would it then be up to the men in the unit to slow down in order that the women not fall behind? Or take some of the load off of the backs of their female comrades when on the move?
There are other practical considerations. A big one is sex. Combat units don’t spend 100 percent of their time in combat. In fact, one of the biggest factors faced by combat unit commanders is boredom. What do you imagine that young men and young women, when thrust together in close proximity far from home, will do to relieve boredom? What do you do with the inevitable pregnancies? To what degree will manpower and resources come to be diverted to extracting pregnant soldiers from a combat theater?
How much time will be spent court-martialing soldiers that get in fights over the affections of fellow female soldiers? To what extent will such disputes affect unit cohesion?
What about the inevitable sexual assaults? They will happen. To what extent will commanders be faced with investigating and addressing the fallout from those assaults?
Assuming these practical concerns could be overcome, we are left then with the philosophical concerns.
Women, in addition to being the vessels of life, are the mitigating force against male brutishness. It is mothers and wives that attenuate the natural aggressiveness of males. In the march of human history, it is women who have acted as the civilizing agents that brought forth manners, grace and chivalry where once only brute force prevailed.
We thus devolve, rather than evolve, when we all of a sudden want women to be as aggressive and as lethal against fellow humans as men have historically been. With the Pentagon’s change in policy, we will now be encouraging women to become like the very males to whom the horror of war is regularly attributed by anti-war feminists. The irony is almost too rich.
And on the subject of chivalry: at some point in the evolution of the species men came to see their role as protectors of women – even women with whom they have no sexual or procreative relationship. If a woman is captured in battle, are disproportionate efforts to be made to rescue her from the near inevitability of rape? Or is the elevating force of chivalry to be squelched in the name of equality among the troops?
Women in combat roles may be good politics in the looking glass world into which we have apparently stepped. But it’s bad policy in the real world where mankind’s better angels seem to have been silenced by blind political correctness.