Phalluses, Phalanxes, and Fallacies

The Department of Defense announced on Thursday that it has begun a review of some 230,000 combat rates, specialties, and positions that women are currently not allowed to serve in, and that by September of 2015 any service that wishes to retain all male combat units will be required to submit a request to be approved by the Secretary of Defense.

The announcement came shortly before Se…

  1. PsychLynne

    *If you are among the members who knows enough Latin to know that the proper plural of phallus is not phalluses, gold star, good for you. But, really, don’t write about it in the comments….

    I didn’t know that, but I LOVE alliterative titles!

  2. BrentB67

    Great post, although you are an early nominee for 2013′s War and Peace award.

    Questions to address the post:

    1. Is the mission of the U.S. Military to be the most efficient fighting force in the world or is the first priority to serve as an institution dedicated to equal rights regardless of gender?

    2. Depending on the answer to #1 does the inclusion of women in the military in any role with emphasis on ‘combat’ roles improve or detract from war fighting efficiency?
    3. Does the U.S. Military currently have a shortage of qualified men that are willing to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces?

    Full disclosure: I served in the first U.S. Navy F-14 squadron with women and deployed to Operation Southern Watch in Iraq.

    I think yours is a phenomenal post, but like most things in our nation we have lost the courage to ask the relevant questions and start the debate from its logical starting point.

  3. Lucy Pevensie

    Thanks. I was hoping to hear from some of you military folks about this. It sounds like a terrible thing to me.

  4. Simon Templar

    Full disclosure:  I am a retired USMC Infantry Officer Mustang (that is prior enlisted -  so got to go to boot camp twice, Paris Island & Quantico).  Also did one tour of duty with Blackwater in Afghanistan.  Most Blackwater patriotic mercenaries were former Marines (recon/grunts), SEALs, and Green Berets. 

    Apparently the ovary does not do well in front line units – so at the end of the day this may not be about the penis.  If you think we need women in all career fields (MOS) then please link to this article written by a Marine Captain describing what her deployment to Afghanistan did to her body – one change is that she is now infertile.  I could just maybe understand women in the infantry if all male U.S. citizens were dead.

    http://www.mca-marines.org/gazette/article/get-over-it-we-are-not-all-created-equal

    As mentioned in the post, USMC experimented by allowing two female LTs to attend Infantry Officers Course.  One did not finish the first day and the other was dropped because she could not complete two required training events “due to medical reasons.”  See no national security advantage by this social engineering. 

    Semper Fi

  5. Crow
    BrentB67: Great post, although you are an early nominee for 2013′s War and Peace award.

    Guilty as charged on that count–I violated my own ~700 word rule on this one post. I won’t make it a habit.

  6. Crow
    Simon Templar: then please link to this article written by a Marine Captain describing what her deployment to Afghanistan did to her body – one change is that she is now infertile.  I could just maybe understand women in the infantry if all male U.S. citizens were dead.

    http://www.mca-marines.org/gazette/article/get-over-it-we-are-not-all-created-equal

    Having heard stories like this myself, I merely alluded to them in the piece above (it was long enough already), but I know that this can be a factor for some women.

  7. The King Prawn

    I can’t find a picture of a missile tube access door on a Trident submarine, but let me describe it for you. It’s a hole about 20 inches in diameter. Just inside the hole, about an arm’s length up is where one of the missile electronics packages is mounted in the missile. This particular package is required to be removed when not at a higher state of readiness. Because of safety and security reasons, any time a technician does work inside a missile another must watch everything he does. Of course, the watcher must be watched as well, and to verify he isn’t doing anything he’s not supposed to, his hands are physically on the person he’s watching perform the work. The guy doing the work is laying on his back working overhead. The guy watching is laying on top of him (both sticking torso into this 20 in. hole) with his hands usually in the chest or shoulders of the worker. As men (some even homophobic) it takes all our professionalism to do this. I can’t imagine doing this job with women.

  8. Devereaux

    Unfortunately, this is purely political. There is not a shred of evidence that women can endure the tribulations of infantry action. It isn’t the movies.

    Which, unfortunately, taint reality all over the place, with almost every one having some “courageous woman” as part of the unit, fighting for truth and justice. The real world is simply not like that.

    Physical difficulties are addressed elsewhere. But there is a psychological one also. Killing isn’t a “fun” thing. Most men have to have special training to be capable of the kind of killing an infantry unit is required to do. Women can perform the more impersonal killing (Apache, F-18, cannons, tanks); that doesn’t require the personal, individual involvement in killing a human. Infantry does. This is not an easily described issue, but terribly important. Women bring life into the world; men don’t. Taking life is more difficult for women’s psyche than man’s.

    This is not a SD issue. Women often defend their young, loved ones, etc. far more vehemently than men – another “protective” psych issue. But that’s not infantry.

    I am terribly afraid women (and men) will again die on the altar of feminism.

  9. Britanicus
    Crow’s Nest

    BrentB67: Great post, although you are an early nominee for 2013′s War and Peace award.

    Guilty as charged on that count–I violated my own ~700 word rule on this one post. I won’t make it a habit. · 1 hour ago

    Nothing wrong with a longer post if it’s written in such a way to make it easy to read, entertaining, and informative. I’d say that this post is all three.

    The King Prawn:  I can’t imagine doing this job with women. · 10 minutes ago

    Sounds like a good time!

  10. Britanicus
    Devereaux: Unfortunately, this is purely political. There is not a shred of evidence that women can endure the tribulations of infantry action. It isn’t the movies.

    Funny you should mention that. I’m in the process of watching Battlestar Galatica again (so say we all!) and when I read the initial post I thought about Starbuck (who I guess was a guy in the original series?) who is a strong female fighter pilot in the show. Females can take any military role that a man can.

    However, the females are all addressed as “sir”. Make of that what you will.

  11. Fred Cole
    BrentB67: Great post, although you are an early nominee for 2013′s War and Peace award.

    I didn’t even notice the length.  I sometimes skim longer posts, but I actually read it all the way through.

  12. Devereaux
    Britanicus

    Devereaux: Unfortunately, this is purely political. There is not a shred of evidence that women can endure the tribulations of infantry action. It isn’t the movies.

    Funny you should mention that. I’m in the process of watching Battlestar Galatica again (so say we all!) and when I read the initial post I thought about Starbuck (who I guess was a guy in the original series?) who is a strong female fighter pilot in the show. Females can take any military role that a man can.

    However, the females are all addressed as “sir”. Make of that what you will. · 1 minute ago

    Mostly what I make of that is that it’s a movie. That’s what “special effects” are all about – to create things that can’t be done in real life.

    And in Castle the female captain demands to be called “Sir” also. But that, too, is film.

  13. Crow
    Britanicus

    Funny you should mention that. I’m in the process of watching Battlestar Galatica again (so say we all!) and when I read the initial post I thought about Starbuck (who I guess was a guy in the original series?) who is a strong female fighter pilot in the show. Females can take any military role that a man can.

    I like BSG for a number of reasons, not least of which is because a lot of the jargon they use is pretty accurate to how the real thing sounds. Somebody got some good advice there.

    There are some female fighter pilots now, so I don’t have an issue with this aspect of Starbuck’s character, or with them serving in our military.

    But, as a side note to the main topic, what always drove me nuts re:BSG and Starbuck was that she’s not just a great pilot, somehow she’s also a commando (same with Apollo et al.) storming enemy ships because she’s the fleet’s best sniper who can’t be left behind…..I know, I know, its a television show…..

  14. Aaron Miller

    If women are to be in combat, let them do it their own way. Let them serve separately and in accordance with their own capacities. Many have called for equal standards. It makes more sense to me to have all-female units of women who fight like women.

  15. Fred Cole

    May I take a contrarian view?

    The seems to have two aspects: the physical, the social and the political.

    Human females are, on average, smaller than human males.  You see this in other species too (any biologist is welcome to name the word for this which escapes me at the moment). For example, I have two cats, a male and a female, and the full grown male is just larger than the full grown female.

    However, there’s a huge diversity in the size and shapes of humans, especially in America where our population is so genetically diverse.

    My understanding is that the US military has height and weight standards, and that certain military occupations have even higher standards.  For example, the special forces schools are more physically demanding.  Not every man meets those standards.

    However, as a function of statistics in a nation with 300+ million people, there are going to be women who are physically able to meet those high standards.  

    If the standards remain the same as they are now, which are high for a reason, and overcoming all other barriers, shouldn’t a woman be allowed to serve in a combat unit?

  16. Crow
    Fred Cole

    I didn’t even notice the length.  I sometimes skim longer posts, but I actually read it all the way through. · 12 minutes ago

    Thanks, but this is long for me–I do tend to be long-winded when I write, yes, but I also try to cut it way down for Ricochet. I cut a couple of times and then had to run off to accomplish some other tasks today.

    Fred Cole: May I take a contrarian view?

    Of course, that’s why we’re here! But I’m not going to hog up the comment thread, so I think one our other members can address your questions re: the physical standards. If no one does in a while, I’ll come back and offer some more on that.

  17. Rob W

    Must admit this is a very effective means of disrupting and debilitating our military effectiveness, and I believe that is the objective.

  18. Fred Cole

    The social aspect I understand, and it seems to have two aspects to itself: fraternization and professionalism.

    As far as fraternization goes, that train left the station a long time ago.  There are women around and people will do what they’re gonna do.  Frankly, I’m always surprised there isn’t more of it.

    And if you think that if you put a group of men a long ways from home with no women around and no sexual activity is going on ever, then you’re fooling yourself.

    With regards to professionalism, I have enough trust in the professionalism of the United States military’s discipline to not worry about it.  There were concerns before racial integration that there’d be a problem, and those same concerns happened before DADT was repealed.  There’ll always be incidents, but that’s why military discipline exists.

  19. Pseudodionysius

    If women are to be in combat, let them do it their own way. Let them serve separately and in accordance with their own capacities. Many have called for equal standards. It makes more sense to me to have all-female units of women who fight like women.

    Chrissy: You know, if women ran the world there’d be none of these stupid wars!

    Janet Wood Dawson: Yeah! 

    Stanley Roper: Yeah, all the countries would nag each other to death!

  20. Pseudodionysius

    Jack Tripper: Larry, haven’t you ever thought of telling a girl the truth?

    Larry: Well, I figure, anyone who gets up an hour early to put on eyeliner, fake eyelashes, and plastic nails isn’t someone who wants to hear the truth.

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