…I Can Do Better!
I remember my first real theatrical experience like it was yesterday. Ten cent pillows, crickets during intermission, and the smell of an old wooden barn turned neighborhood playhouse. It was summer in the ’70s, feminine power was on the rise, and I sat mesmerized watching Annie Oakley (with a gun no less!) confirm what I secretly hoped to be true – I could do anything a boy could do, and probably better.
Fast forward through childhood into adulthood, and turns out, I pretty much feel the same way about the female gender (ask my husband, poor guy). But with adulthood, I’ve also learned that sometimes harsh realities will never change no matter how much wishful thinking we bestow upon them. In this new age of ‘equality and justice for all,’ we seem unable to accept the reality that men and women really ARE different, even if just from a physical standpoint.
I Can do Anything Better Than You.
So when President Obama and his military staff recently lifted the ban on women in combat positions, I could only think back to the article I wrote on the repeal of DADT and how sexuality within a group could ultimately affect unit cohesiveness and the life expectancy of a soldier on the battlefield. And more importantly to me: my husband’s life. The article [DADT = Army Strong. Are you sure?] created a firestorm of welcome comments from my readers, and I am happy to report that almost two years to the day, I am unable to cite one example of where homosexuality has caused a serious conflict for a unit. Except for one recent case of alleged discrimination against a lesbian spouse due to outdated membership rules for a local military wives’ club. But that was solved fairly quickly with a change of rules and now that same gay spouse has even been nominated as a contender for the Army’s military spouse of the year. So for all you misogynist finger pointers, your fears of backlash discrimination by us dumb military folk can be put to rest.
Interestingly enough, I will note that nobody I have spoken with currently serving in a combat unit has experienced a fellow soldier ‘coming out.’ My conclusion: either there are no gay men serving in combat units OR combat soldiers – gay or straight – will always choose the team over the individual.
No You Can’t. Yes, I Can!
Re-reading my own past article, I had actually used women as a prime example of why I was against injecting change into the tried and true structure of a combat unit, especially while our men were smack in the middle of ongoing urban warfare. My two main points of contention with the idea; a women’s physicality and her sexuality.
It’s just an irrefutable fact; a woman’s build is weaker than a man’s. (yes of course there are exceptions, see photo above) But, have you ever heard of a woman fighting off a rapist or a home intruder with just her physical strength? Remember, kicking someone in the nuts doesn’t count. The regular Army already has different physical standards in place for females to pass basic training, just try and make that fly in a combat unit. The commander of U.S. special operations says changing the standards is not an option for elite units.
Last October as an experiment, the Marines let two women volunteer to take their grueling infantry officer course – a course so physically challenging half of male soldiers drop out. Both women failed within the first few weeks of the 10 week course and one of them couldn’t even complete the introductory endurance test. So can someone please tell me how a female soldier- after donning a 60 lb rucksack and another minimum 30 lbs of body armor and equipment – is going to carry my husband’s unconscious body off the battlefield? Fact is – she’s not.
No You Can’t. Yes, I Can.
Did you know women are required by Army regulations to come in from the field every three days to shower? And when she’s on base gets to stay in female-only barracks? How is that going to work when you’re forward deployed for weeks on end? How about when six other of her fellow soldiers are in a Humvee for hours, can’t get out, and they have no choice but to whip it out and urinate in a bottle inches from her face? Will she cry sexual harassment? You may not think so, but a recent survey of over fifty thousand Marines listed being falsely accused of sexual harassment as their top concern.
Then of course there is the fact that sex changes everything. I mean, if 60 year old four star Gen. David Petraeus can’t keep it in his pants, how do you expect a group of coed twenty somethings forced to cohabitate for weeks on end out in the field to? Hard fact, pun intended, you can’t. Have we not learned anything from MTV Road Rules? How about the fact that 30% of all high ranking military officers wind up getting fired because of sex related offenses, including adultery and inappropriate relationships? I knew a female soldier who was in charge of a troop, she said relationships between soldiers went on all the time, no matter how many times she would warn them or it was frowned upon.
Ironically, she married a fellow soldier. Imagine a husband and wife on the same combat team? I don’t even want to touch that one. – can you say “criminal?”
All this talk about inappropriate relationships leads to another top concern- pregnancy. “Have you not heard of birth control?” the snarky feminist exclaims out-loud Yes I have, but that certainly did not stop two female troops, one American and one British from giving birth while on an actual deployment in Afghanistan in the fall. Frighteningly they did not know they were even pregnant. A new study that analyzed Department of Defense stats showed that unplanned pregnancies among military women were on the rise. 10.5% of military women to be exact, 50% higher than the average population. What a way to get out of a deployment and leave your unit in the dust. One doctors reasoning, not enough access to birth control. Are you kidding me? First off you can buy condoms in any gas station in the country and second it’s a federal health care plan dummy, just like Obamacare. Where is that Sandra Fluck when you need her?
Uhm… Sorry Sweetie But, Really YOU CAN’T.
Speaking of those Ivy League females who love to spout off about our rights, what about that draft card? Girls are you ready to sign on the dotted line? Because you can’t have it both ways and it is a distinct possibility that Selective Service is not only being weighed by the Defense Secretary, but based on the Supreme Court’s history of past rulings on the issue [Rostker v. Goldberg], it will likely be enacted. This week President Barack Obama said he “would have no hesitation ordering women into combat.” Really? Does that include his daughters? Doubt it.
In the end, Roughly 20% of the Marines (females included) in the study also said they would most likely leave the service if combat positions are open to women. Even more said they would leave if the women were assigned involuntarily. As for my husband and his brothers in arms, again, how come it’s always the soldiers life that people are always willing to take chances on, but nor their own?
Let the exodus begin.
NOTE: Military leaders will be allowed to seek special exceptions to close specific combat positions to women based on studies/experiments such as the two women taking the Marine infantry course. Two more female Marines will attempt the course this fall. Commanders will have until January 2016 to finalize their decisions.