G.I. Jane

January 27, 2011 at 1:09 pm 17 comments

Joan of Arc

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One of the arguments that are frequently cited by misogynists some men for why there will never be equal rights, they say, is because women don’t put themselves on the line in times of war. They say that because we aren’t willing to risk our lives for our country that we don’t have the rights to equal status.

And I say, “Who told you that I’m not willing to die for my country? When were we invaded? Where’s my rifle? Sign me up. I’ll go.” Maybe not all women feel that way, but a lot of women do. There’s no reason why women can’t be great warriors or even battle leaders, such as Joan of Arc, for example. Read Judges 5 for the account of Deborah and Jael.

Women have had a military presence for at least the last 4000 years, and I bet that if you could walk back to caveman times you might easily see a woman or two throwing a spear or a rock. Why? Out of necessity. All human beings are motivated by the survival instinct. Their motivation: fight or flee. Same reaction, whether man or woman.

Feminists, and many other women who wouldn’t identify themselves as being such, have been working for years to get women equal combat status in the military. Why has it not happened?

Well, the laws in this country would have to change. And who makes the laws? In a country where many men and women, too, claim that women have arrived, the United States Congress, where laws are written and passed, contained only 17% female representation in the year 2009. As of the latest elections I believe that proportion has decreased.

If the silly tea partiers can protest about Obama being born in Kenya or whatever other shit they’ve made up, then why can’t women claim taxation without representation? The United States female population is over 50% of the people, but they make up only 17% of lawmakers. This percentage should embarrass us. I know it embarrasses me. This country is such a great country and at the same time such a backward nation. Even Brazil, one of the worst cultural offenders in terms of objectifying women and treating them as sexual objects, just elected a female President. We have yet to see a female Vice President.

There’s absolutely no reason why women can’t be drafted and no reason why they can’t serve in the military right alongside of men in every capacity. Israel requires compulsory military service for both men and women. If women defer to men who say that they want to exclude us in order to protect us, then we rightly deserve to have privileges withheld from us. We’ve given them that power by appointing men as our protectors while we cower in the corner and bite our fingernails, like some simpering love interest in a Hollywood action movie marketed to men, written by, directed by, produced by, and starring men. It’s time we got all Lara Croft on their asses.

Entry filed under: Human Rights, Politics, Social Commentary, Women's Rights. Tags: , , , , , , , .

The Knitting Club In-N-Out

17 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Dying to be treated like one of the guys. | Dalrock  |  February 15, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    […] blogger Gooseberry Bush writes in her post G.I. Jane (emphasis mine): There’s absolutely no reason why women can’t be drafted and no reason why they […]

    Reply
  • 2. Mirco Romanato  |  February 16, 2011 at 12:39 am

    The argument some men, like me, is that women MUST be able to do the same as men to be regarded as men in the field.

    If you look at the Dalrok post, you can see that female US Marines have different Combat Fitness Test requirements. The less demanding requirement for the older men is more difficult (much more for the Ammo Can Lift) than the more demanding requirement for the yougest women..

    Do you want be considered equal?
    Start asking equal requirements for both men and women without asking to lower the requirement.
    I assure you any female able to do as a male on the battlefield will be regarded and respected as a male by other males.

    The point about about the 17% female in the Congress is disingenuous. Females have the right to vote for who they like, male or female. If they prefer to vote for a male over a female don’t make them less represented. Are you asking for a Congress where women vote to elect their representatives and men vote to elect theirs? Why not have blacks voting for theirs, whites for theirs and so on? Where would you stick transgender, gays, lesbos?

    To me yours is only a “I want the same rights but I want more privileges and less responsabilities” rant.

    Reply
    • 3. Author  |  February 16, 2011 at 12:52 am

      I don’t know where you got that I want more privileges and less responsibilities from my post.

      Combat Fitness Test requirements should be based on what’s required in order to do combat. If physical fitness tests are automatically excluding women from the military, then they should be modified for everyone. Women can and do serve in the military, and they do a good job. They deserve our respect just as much as any man does. Men and women generally have different physical abilities. For instance, you probably have greater upper body strength than I do, but my ability to bench press is not going to help me in the field anymore than it will you. My ability to scale a wall and lift my own body weight, now that’s a different story. We should both be able to scale that wall if we’re in the military.

      If the tests are purposely designed to be biased towards one gender, then it can be effectively argued that they are meant to be exclusionary. We do the same thing with standardized knowledge or intelligence tests. We correct for possible prejudicial outcomes. As a for instance, years ago a standardized test asked for the definition of an orange, and many inner city (minority) children got the answer wrong, not because they were any less smart than their suburban white peers but because they came from families who didn’t have the means to purchase fresh fruit. They thought orange was a color, and it is. But the fact that the word had the article “an” proceeding it was meant to be a clue to the children that fruit was the answer.

      When tests are inherently structured and designed to cause some to fail, that’s a failure of the test and not the person taking the test.

      Reply
      • 4. Melissa  |  February 16, 2011 at 2:41 am

        Well, can you provide some evidence of physical fitness tests biased against women? As far as I know, most are biased towards women because they have lower standards.

        Women are probably equally capable of working many military jobs, but if physical tests had relevant and equal standards, I very much doubt many (if any) women could qualify for ground combat positions. There are plenty of positions that are awesome that women would qualify for piloting, sniping, and intelligence.

        The real reason women aren’t joining the military is not because we are cowering in a corner. My cousin Marsha joined the Navy as a nuclear engineer and died because of it. I think more women are going to be rational about the outcome of joining the military whereas men might join out of bravado… maybe that’s the same reason women aren’t in politics. When I look at politics I just see a lot of corruption and very little chance for improvement.

        Either way, I’d love to see women take up the gauntlet and stop complaining and instead start lifting weights and learning computer programming. Most feminists I know don’t even know calculus and can’t do a pull up. We need to ask: what can we do to show we are capable? And then we need to do it.

      • 5. Author  |  February 16, 2011 at 2:56 am

        The manosphere’s argument against women in combat positions is that women can’t handle combat. It’s true that men are generally physically stronger than women. There’s nothing we can do about that despite, like you said, doing pushups and lifting weights and becoming the strongest women we can be, if our goal is to be combat military. The standards for physical fitness were originally biased against women; the changes were made to include women.

        I think there are many positions that women can qualify for in the military, including combat. Just because most men are stronger than most women doesn’t mean that we can’t still inflict damage, the same as a weaker man can. A smart man will not generally engage in combat, war or no, with another man who is obviously stronger than him, unless circumstances force him to do so, as a survival tactic.

        Also, I agree that the same standards should exist for men and women in the military. My point is that women are capable. especially in this day and age, when most of “combat” does not involve hand to hand combat, of serving in the military just as proudly as men. Make the standards “realistic” standards and then apply them equally to both men and women. If a woman can serve in the military with those “lesser” standards, then so can a man. It’s absolutely true that the same standard should apply for both sexes.

        I agree with you about women taking up the gauntlet. Do what needs to be done. I learned calculus. If I were inclined to be in the military, then I’d apply that same discipline to learning how to serve in the military.

      • 6. painlord2k  |  February 16, 2011 at 4:16 pm

        Combat Fitness Test requirements should be based on what’s required in order to do combat. If physical fitness tests are automatically excluding women from the military, then they should be modified for everyone.

        If you look at the CFT requirements you can see that males MUST lift double or triple (45-43) than female (20-15) to be declared fit to combat. And the other requirements are always higher for men than for women.

        Now, do you think that raising the requirements for women to the (higher) level of the requirements for men is discriminating?

        Is it discrimination to ask a woman to run as fast as a man for the same time, with the same burden?

      • 7. painlord2k  |  February 16, 2011 at 5:02 pm

        What you point writing about the standardized test show the obsession with disparate effects present in the US.
        This is because you are dumbing down tests until all are allowed to pass. But life give a shit about disparate effects.
        An intelligent person would have understood that the right answer would be the “an orange” even if they didn’t know what an orange was. Usually, with multiple answers questions it is easier to tell what is the wrong than what is the right.
        Anyway, a wrong answer rarely affect the outcome of a good test, where tens of questions are asked.

        For instance, you probably have greater upper body strength than I do, but my ability to bench press is not going to help me in the field anymore than it will you.
        Apart when an enemy is fighting with you hand-to-hand, grappling you on the floor. He probably will be able to pin your both hands with a hand and cut your throat with the knife in the other, or simply smashing your head on the floor in few seconds.

        I’m a psychiatric nurse and, during a night shift, I was forced to stay half an hour on the floor, with a body lock on a patient, holding his arm, legs and head (the doctor graciously held the other arm) and I was under the patient body. By the time the security and the police showed up to help we (me, the doctor and two female nurses) had already medicated and restrained the patient to the bed.

        My upper body strength let be breathe that night and let me hold the patient. And I’m not big or particularly strong. Do you think the other two female nurses would be able to do what I did?

        You upper body strength in battle is useful, because you are not jogging with some fancy panties in the park. You are running with 10 or more (usually more) kg of weapons and equipment on your back. If you fall, you stay on the ground if you are not strong enough to raise yourself.


        How Much wait do you carry while on road marches at marine boot camp?

        By the end of boot camp you will be in almost full battle rattle and a 50-60 pound pack and the pace is pretty quick and you will probably cover 15 miles.

      • 8. Author  |  February 17, 2011 at 3:19 am

        I think I’ve proven with my example, if you actually read it, that an intelligent person could easily have chosen the wrong answer. If you don’t even know what an orange is, from experience, then how are you supposed to imagine this and somehow be deemed “intelligent.” It’s ridiculous.

        I am all for having the same physical standards for men and women where those physical standards are actually required in order to do the job. The problem is that women are barred from the ability to apply for certain jobs, even if they can meet those requirements. And the second problem is: are the standards actually real requirements for doing the work, or are they purposely exclusionary towards women?

        As for the different standards for men and women: Dalrock readily published them but didn’t bother to publish the acutal RESULTS of the physical tests. How often do women in the military actually exceed the requirements? How often do they actually meet or exceed the requirements for men? That would actually interest me.

  • 9. painlord2k  |  February 16, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    Also, I agree that the same standards should exist for men and women in the military. My point is that women are capable. especially in this day and age, when most of “combat” does not involve hand to hand combat, of serving in the military just as proudly as men. Make the standards “realistic” standards and then apply them equally to both men and women. If a woman can serve in the military with those “lesser” standards, then so can a man. It’s absolutely true that the same standard should apply for both sexes.

    The point I think you miss is that sometimes things can not be learned or trained enough to overcome all disadvantages.

    The “realistic” standards I would accept are the standard that allow the best individuals to become soldiers. If the Marine force require 100.000 individuals, the standard must be set so the best 100.000 individuals will be selected for the job. Male, female, don’t matter. If the job require upper body strength (to carry 40 kg of equipment around) and this disadvantage the women, I don’t mind.

    There are a few combat positions where a small body is useful: Tunnel Rats for example. But I don’t think many females would like to voluteer for this.

    Reply
    • 10. Author  |  February 17, 2011 at 3:12 am

      Not all women have a small body; not all men have a large body. I think that realistic standards should be applied equally to both men and women in all jobs in the military. My problem is that we automatically exclude women from combat positions without allowing them the chance to qualify based on the standards that men qualify. That is nothing but WRONG and inherently SEXIST. Some women are bodybuilders. They would be able to lift more weight than the majority of men can. But if one of these women wanted to be combat military, then she would be disqualified strictly on the basis of her vagina.

      Reply
  • 11. Bike Bubba  |  February 16, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    “Author,” reality is here that life and death on the battle field often relies on the ability to carry a wounded comrade out of the line of fire (160-200 lbs), the ability to set up Ma Deuce (127 lbs) with ammo (another 50-100 lbs), and the ability to grapple with an enemy soldier.

    The current men’s standards are set up well for this; those for women, not so much. Loosen physical fitness standards, and you endanger the lives of both the fit and the weak because Corporal Potbelly threw his back up setting up the M60 while his squadmates were getting strafed.

    There are places for equal opportunity regardless of physical ability. Combat just doesn’t happen to be one of them.

    Reply
  • 12. Dalrock  |  February 16, 2011 at 11:47 pm

    Also, I agree that the same standards should exist for men and women in the military.

    So should they lower the standards for men, or should they kick out the women who can’t hack it?

    Reply
  • 14. Dalrock  |  February 16, 2011 at 11:54 pm

    when most of “combat” does not involve hand to hand combat

    I addressed this fallacy in my post. Where did you come up with this theory?

    Reply
    • 15. Author  |  February 17, 2011 at 1:02 am

      Hi, Dalrock. My answer to your piece is a new blog post I just published. Feel free to read.

      Reply
      • 16. Solomon II  |  February 17, 2011 at 9:42 pm

        I say any taxpayer who wants to get shot should have the right to get shot. However, any taxpayer who wants to risk someone else getting shot because they’re weaker, slower, etc. should be identified as the selfish children they are.

        Nothing to do with gender at all. If you can pass the strength and endurance tests, and can throw a 215lb Marine over your shoulder and carry him or her to safety, then by all means, do the honorable thing and defend your country.

        If you can’t, please shut up and go away. It’s tiresome, really.

  • 17. Paul  |  February 22, 2011 at 6:36 am

    A couple notes on the male-female standards discrepancy in the Army.
    1) They are socially engineered to compensate for physiological differences between the sexes. A great solution can be found here.

    2) I am a former Army officer who served in the Infantry and Intelligence branches. I worked in all-male units and mixed-sex units. I attended West Point, a mixed-sex military school, and have had ample opportunity to see various types of units in operations. In that capacity, I will note that having women in the Army is a detriment in the sense that it opens up a whole range of disciplinary and personnel problems and/or requirements that have to be addressed to maintain a semblance of effectiveness. See MG Cucolo’s policy in Iraq regarding pregnancies in a combat zone for a quick example of how male/female integration saps military readiness. That said:

    3) Removing women from the Armed Forces is not the answer. Having that other 50% of our population available in some capacity to add to military capability is a good thing. But per the earlier blog post policy solution, women should have to meet ALL requirements for a given position, and women should not be in ground combat units such as Infantry and Special Forces for reasons in addition to the physical constraints of the majority of females’ physiology. If you’ve ever had to deal with females on a mostly-male base, (as I have on small bases in Afghanistan) well–it is a huge distraction and expenditure of time and effort in facilities, policy, and disciplinary energy that could better be used elsewhere.

    Beat Navy!

    Reply

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