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Jan 23, 2013


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So will women now be required to register?

This is going to be a disastrous decision that we will learn the hard way the next time we are involved in combat.

It has nothing to do with discrimination and everything to do with the reality of human nature. Recall what happened to Lara Logan, and she wasn't even a soldier.

Enlightenment indeed.


Maybe if she had been a soldier....


Routine training and combat regularly require foot soldiers to carry 120lb packs plus guns/ammos and their share of squad weaponry for miles and miles. This is beyond the capacity of the vast majority of women. Only a fraction of the strongest amazon types will cut it on an even playing field.


And please explain to me what's wrong with giving them the chance?


Everybody knows that girls are terrible with maces and longbows. This will prove disastrous in the next crusade. Stop, History!


Your political correctness will surely carry the day when the rapes start showing up on YouTube.

Hugh does raise in interesting point that has been addressed to some degree by the Supreme Court in the VMI case. All else being equal (ignoring the previously mentioned policy consideration that most concerns me), I would agree that the opportunity should be available to women. BUT if this is about equality then the standards must also be the same for men and women.

Once you concede that most women might not be able to carry the required weight, then you confront the reality that certain positions may not be inherently suited to women because men and women are not the same and thus can never truly be treated equally in all respects.

As an aside, my concern about rape bears this out. What are the odds that male soldiers would be raped by enemy female soldiers versus female soldiers being raped by enemy male soldiers? For that matter, why are most rapists male? We aren't the same and it is foolish to pretend otherwise in a self-destructive quest for a mythical equality.

But back to Hugh's point. The options are 1) alter the standard for women in which case you are now straying from the very equality argument you argue in favor of; 2) you maintain the current standard (true equality) that will disqualify a lot of women the same way it CURRENTLY disqualifies some men; or 3) you lower the standard overall for everyone which can be a real problem for military effectiveness.

Question whether Mac before the insult made a man out of him would have a right to sue the government for discrimination if he is disqualified from combat because he can't lift the weight required of males, but could lift the weight required of women.

History informs us that liberals will argue for equality and then once they get it, try to establish a different set of rules and standards that are inherently unequal.


Liberals suck. History informs us that once you pantywaists get equality in the military, then you'll say women should be allowed to be small town chicken hawk pseudo-intellectuals. As if.

Dave Dobson

Crazy idea, but maybe we could alter the 120-lb pack in the interest of fairness and civil rights rather than altering our fairness and civil rights in the interest of a 120-lb pack?


Sure, Dave. You go tell Alexander the Great to go conquer Asia when not everyone in his army can do all the same things. Then they'll be having their menses in the Kush, and Ashley and Mr. Darcy won't be there to hold the salts when they need to go to the couches. What then, sir?


'Crazy idea, but maybe we could alter the 120-lb pack in the interest of fairness and civil rights rather than altering our fairness and civil rights in the interest of a 120-lb pack?'

Why stop there? In the interest of fairness we ought to debilitate our armed forces to that of the lowest common denominator among nations.


Good thing women aren't dying in combat now.

And being raped by enemy male soldiers is a real concern.

Gerry Alfano

Yes, there are women who are going to be able to meet the standard. Pretty scary, huh? I am hoping that, as more women go into combat, we will see war for the atrocity it is. I don't want my granddaughter to go into combat, but I am just as concerned about my grandsons.


Will women now have to register for selective service and be subject to the draft when it raises its head again?


Never mind that women are already in combat. Never mind they already carry guns, and kill Taliban. Never mind that what this does is bring the Army and Marines in line with the Navy and Air Force. Never mind that what this really does is remove a glass ceiling for women to advance in rank. Never mind that currently us taxpayers are paying to train and support female soldiers only to have them leave the military to pursue private employment because they literally can not be considered for advancement due to this silly rule. Never mind that this was a recommendation of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and not some liberal ploy. You never mind that Spag and I will never mind that I read your misogynistic screed.

Ed Cone

Specifics have not been issued yet, but what evidence is there that physical standards for given roles will be lowered? Men are eligible for combat roles, but not all men qualify for everything. Why would this be different?


Thomas, the vast majority of those links I checked were women who were killed by IED attacks or indirect fire.
Many of them died from illness or non-enemy related injuries.

The indirect fire and IED deaths were not in front line enemy engagements where those women had to shoulder the same physical burdens as men.

I don't understand the parallel to the rape link. Yes, we have rape in the military, so let's just add to it by putting women in position to be raped if captured by an enemy with a culture where rape is prevalent against infidel women?


Huhg will protect our women who don't know any better from choosing to face those terrible people who don't respect women.


Yeah, those women didn't have to "shoulder the same physical burdens as men". They just, you know, died.


Women in combat = a frightfully bad idea and yet another reason to abhor feminism.


The misogyny angle was predictable as was the lack of any real substantive response from most quarters. It's far easier to say "you hate women and equal rights" than to respond to legitimate points raised in an argument. And liberals think conservatives are stupid...

I wish I was six feet tall and could slam dunk a basketball on a regulation goal. I'm not, and I can't and that's just not fair. So keeping in line with Dave's suggestion (and my prediction), we should lower the height of the rim to accommodate me. Now we will do this for my team only. All of the other teams can continue to play as many giants as they want. Anyone who doesn't support this change obviously hates me and hates people under 6 feet tall.

Going back to war, we could simply call Al Qaeda or any other combatant and make sure they play by the rules: No rapes and they can't use their big soldiers to fight our little soldiers. If Mac (remember him? does he win his lawsuit?) or any of our soldiers (male or female) are carrying less than 120 lbs and run out of ammo, etc as a result, you have to give them a 10 minute time out to resupply.

Do you think our enemies would go for that?

Ed wrote: "Men are eligible for combat roles, but not all men qualify for everything." Exactly. If that reality was maintained, then outside of the rape concern I have no real problem with this change. But if history is any indication, the qualifications WILL be changed and they will NOT be the same for everyone. Mac will not be able to get the same combat role as Maria because Mac can't lift 120 lbs, he can only lift 110. Maria on the other hand is only required to lift 90, so even though Mac can lift more than Maria, he gets the boot. Now HE is the victim of sexual discrimination, right?

Or we lower the qualifications for everyone to increase the number of otherwise ineligible persons. This will make our enemies very happy.

It would be one thing if the rules were written for the purpose of discrimination, but they aren't.

Gerry Alfano

Can you explain to me, Michelle, why you believe women shouldn't have political, economic and social rights equal to those of men?
And guess what, Spag, there are women who are six feet tall or who can lift more weight than you can. And, yes, many rules have been written for the purpose of discrimination. What century are you living in?


The bottom line that is that physically, most men are stronger than most women. Combat requires physical strength, preferably greater than that of the enemy's. Diluting the strength of our warriors will end in disaster.


"I wish I was six feet tall and could slam dunk a basketball on a regulation goal."

Thank jeebus you're fit to fight islamofeminism on the Internets.


Thomas, you cannot be that dense.


So you read my last sentence Spag and have no response to anything else I wrote? Typical. What part of "Women are already fighting on the frontlines." do you not understand? Should I write you a picture book? Women carry guns in the military already. They use them to kill our enemies. This is happening and has been happening for the past 10 years in Afghanistan...but it sounds like you and Hugh want to roll back the clock. Catch up to the present. It's nice here.

foreclosure attorney

Spag's basketball analogy would work if the rules banned anyone who wasn't 6 feet tall and couldn't dunk.


It'd also work if the only dude to win the dunk contest three times wasn't 5'9".

Can you explain to me, Michelle, why you believe women shouldn't have political, economic and social rights equal to those of men?

@Gerry, the short answer to that is that I'm a firm traditionalist about gender roles and I think that women and society were both better off before the feminist agenda began to try turn women into men. A more detailed answer would probably require a long conversation rather than a blog comment thread. I realize that mine is a minority view these days, and I'm fine with that.

Ed Cone

"feminist...try to turn women into men."

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.


In theory, it means someone who advocates the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes. In practice, it means that women = men, and it's resulted in (perhaps?) unintended (negative) consequences.


haha! spag is under 6 feet tall and thinks he should be dunking the "goal."


Ed Cone

The fact that you are willing to publicly argue your POV against my manly male opinion undercuts your position a bit, Michele, no?

Meanwhile, for the Keyboard Kommandos: "The services are not allowed to raise or lower physical standards for gender-specific reasons, a senior defense official said."

So many wasted pixels.


I'm not arguing with you. I just answered your question. I would NEVER argue with you, Ed! ;)

And I've already acknowledged that mine is a minority view. I'm not trying to fight anybody, just give one female's (1950's?) perspective.


"women and society were both better off before the feminist agenda began to try turn women into men."

What feminist "agenda"/movement are you referring to? They've been under way in some form or fashion since the greatest men who ever lived "founded" this great unspoiled paradise.

On another note, does Condi Rice qualify as one of these women who've been turned into men? She's highly educated, professional, unmarried, no kids, and takes care of no man. Is she a victim of "the feminist agenda" or is she a part of the greater problem?

Ed Cone

Now you're confusing me, Michele. Some of the things you mention are more 1850s than 1950s (Seneca Falls was 1848; I realize the 19th Amendment came much later, but still much before the 1950s). And I can't imagine you'd want to make less money for doing a job just as well as I could. So, again, it seems you're taking a very narrow definition of feminism -- let's call it "stuff Michele doesn't like about feminism" -- and using it to write off a lot of other things, including some you probably don't mind so much.

Trust my y chromosome on this one.


I don't think she's a victim at all. She's who she wants to be. This is America. She gets to choose. And I get to have my own viewpoint. As I said, this is a bigger conversation than I can have in a blog thread. And I'm not trying to change anyone's mind.


This too funny!! Michele is off the plantation.

Of course, the plantation that accuses others of conducting a figurative war on women literally throws them to the dogs of war.

I'm sure there is a woman out there who might say, "What difference does it make?"

It's good that not all do.


"And guess what, Spag, there are women who are six feet tall or who can lift more weight than you can. And, yes, many rules have been written for the purpose of discrimination."

Agreed on the first part. I never said that they shouldn't be permitted to do the job if they have the ability. I did say that the job shouldn't be altered if they can't.

My other reservation has nothing to do with equality, etc., rather it is a recognition that female soldiers will be treated differently by enemy forces and I don't think that is a good idea. I suppose a misogynist is a person who is opposed to women's "health issues" such as abortion while at the same time expresses a desire that they not be unduly subjected to physical violence such as rape. If the desire to protect women from a high likelihood of rape and exploitation is misogynistic, then a rapist must be....?

This is classic liberal logic- concern for women is actually hostility towards women. Ergo if you think that women shouldn't be involved in infantry because they are far more likely to be sexually assaulted it's because you really don't like women. Sort of the opposite of common sense. Like I said, and liberals think conservatives are the stupid ones.

On the second part, that is not true in this case. The combat requirements were developed in a system that excluded women so whether women could perform them was irrelevant and not a consideration.

As for Brian's remark, women are not used as ground troops/infantry in combat. This law would change that.


Wait, what? Sam objects to women getting possibly killed or maimed because they might get raped?

Dave Dobson

If the problem is sexual assault, the solution is not to restrict women, the solution is to re-educate or eliminate the sexual assaulters. Classic blame-the-victim thinking, and utter BS. Bad people do bad things, and military personnel accept risks and deal with them all the time.

I am supremely confident that the time a front line soldier is actually hauling around a 120-lb pack is a tiny fraction of their deployment. I am also confident that 120 lbs is a mostly arbitrary figure. I suspect it may even have been adopted specifically to provide people like Spag with talking points and to bolster the restriction of women from combat, because "have a penis" would have been too obvious a requirement to list.

I suspect that most 5'4" female privates could kick my 6'3" ass, and I'm certain that if the 5'4" female private had an M16 and was trained in its use, our relative heights would be extremely unimportant, except that I'd be a much bigger target than she would be.

My laundry stack is always bigger than my wife's, and it's because my clothes are bigger. I consume something like twice the weight of food and drink as does she, and it's because I'm larger. Whatever parts of your 120 lbs are clothing, sized equipment like bedrolls, or provisions, they're going to be smaller for smaller people.


Do all conservatives think that the men who serve on the front lines of combat are vicious beasts who are prone to preying upon or raping a fellow female soldier in the heat of battle? If so, that's sad and sickening, and you folks don't think highly of the integrity of our men in uniform. I mean, have you ever seen a woman in a set of BDUs? They look just like a dude.

Worst person on the internet

I say let em in.

"I am also confident that 120 lbs is a mostly arbitrary figure."

@Dave, the soldier in this video is carrying 138 lbs. That's about 135% of my body weight.


CP you're a bad boy. I think the rape thing is about the enemy. If a female can qualify and serve, what's the problem?


Michele - So you wouldn't qualify. Does that mean no woman should have an opportunity to try?


"If the problem is sexual assault, the solution is not to restrict women, the solution is to re-educate or eliminate the sexual assaulters. Classic blame-the-victim thinking, and utter BS."

What an unbelievable statement, particularly considering that in my post from last night I made it clear that it had everything to do with a male mentality that differs from women. I asked whether men or women were more likely to be victims of rape and why that is. No answer was provided. For Dave to somehow turn that into me blaming women is patently absurd.

The "solution" is equally ridiculous- we need to educate enemy combatants to "be nice" so they won't do bad things to our women. What world are you living in? Domestic laws don't stop "bad people" from doing bad things, what makes you think that a licensed enemy is going to be stopped? We have problems within our own military with female military personnel being raped. What makes you think that "bad people" in a foreign military would be any less deterred? Common sense says that they are more likely to do it and get away with it without risk of retribution. We don't have the luxury of enforcing the military code of justice on our enemies.

"Bad people do bad things, and military personnel accept risks and deal with them all the time."

Absolutely true, but men are more inclined to do "bad things" than women. Men are more inclined to do "bad things" to women than women are to men when it comes to sexual assaults. That is simply an undeniable truth born out by the gender makeup of persons in prison for sexual assaults. Whether that is the product of a lack of enlightenment among a certain number of males or something that is more innate, I cannot say but I do tend towards the latter. Men have more testosterone and are wired to be more aggressive. Combine that with a criminal mindset and a physical ability to overpower a victim and that might very well explain why a female soldier is at a greater risk of sexual assault than a male. Women in general are FAR more likely to be victims of sexual assault than perpetrators of it. I refer you to the Jessica Lynch incident. The men who were with her were killed, not raped. Call me crazy, but I surmise that if she was Jessie James Lynch she would have experienced a different ordeal.

"I am also confident that 120 lbs is a mostly arbitrary figure. I suspect it may even have been adopted specifically to provide people like Spag with talking points and to bolster the restriction of women from combat, because "have a penis" would have been too obvious a requirement to list."

A completely ridiculous statement, wholly unsupported by any facts or analysis that reeks of intentional ignorance. Further evidence of a dogmatic mindset that is so far removed from reality that it only serves to remind me that there really are people who live in a fictional and highly insulated alternative universe where everything is purposely designed to "get" someone else. Taking the argument down to its absurd level and one has to conclude that the gun manufacturers, bullet makers, flashlight companies, and radio makers must also be in on the fix by making sure that their products weigh a certain amount that is more difficult for women to carry because they too are misogynists. After all, there is no other reasonable explanation is there?

Never mind that a male who can't meet the requirements despite having had equal access to combat positions since the days of the Revolution is also disqualified. No, that application of facts doesn't make nearly as much sense as the intentional discrimination against women argument. Surely when the military developed those requirements they did so to keep women out- even though women were already out.

Even Leon Panetta undermines such a ridiculous argument when he said today ""If members of our military can meet the qualifications for a job -- and let me be clear, we are not reducing qualifications -- then they should have the right to serve."

But not in Dave's world. In that imaginary land, if not enough women meet those "qualifications" then the problem must be with the qualifications themselves. So inevitably those qualifications will have to be changed to some truly arbitrary level in the name of "fairness". Otherwise they exist not because they are necessary but instead for the purpose of sexual discrimination. Again, nevermind that Mac was also "discriminated" against.

Prell's comment raises another interesting contradiction. While men are so easily accused of misogyny and the military inherently discriminatory towards women, it is beyond belief that some men in our military and certainly men in other military's might actually be "vicious beasts" who are preying on women. Also overlooked in Prell's comment is that I was referring to men in foreign armies, not American soldiers- although history has shown that female soldiers are more likely to be raped within the U.S. military than a male soldier, just as women in the general population are FAR more likely to be victims of rape than perpetrators.

It is a bizarre world when men who seek to reduce the risk of rape and bodily harm to women are accused of misogyny, while those who advocate a policy that will increase that risk are the ones who are on the side of women. Misogyny is the hatred or dislike of women. A thinking person might conclude that it is the misogynist who would be more likely to put women in greater peril. Not so in liberal la-la land where it's the complete opposite.

A desire to protect women from the evil of men is the exact opposite of misogyny. Call it paternalistic perhaps, but it's not misogyny and it is not the product of ill intentions or ulterior motives.

If some women want to take that risk, then maybe they should be allowed. But I reserve the right to believe that it is a bad idea without being accused of sexism or misogyny. I also think that one has to consider that the equality argument will also ensnare women who have no desire to take that risk at all because if equality is truly in play then women will have to register and could be drafted and assigned to combat. It would be unfair to allow them to opt out if men aren't given the same opportunity.

The result of this change may also be that fewer women enlist when they are exposed to the possibility of being assigned to infantry.

And Michele, I had no idea you had so much self-hatred because unless you agree with this change in policy, there can be no other logical conclusion- at least not around here.

A George Washington University study that came out yesterday confirmed what a Pew study concluded last year- liberals are far less tolerant of opposing views than other groups, especially online. This discussion bears that out.


I'm a lot younger than most of you, and I do believe virtually none of you have served in the military in any capacity. Hugh - I've no clue about - and if I'm leaving anyone else out - I apologize. However, I've taught and am good friends with a good many FEMALES who are serving in Afghanistan at the moment (I know, it's gross isn't it? They carry weapons too, which is really awful and bad for morale.). All could beat the ever living garbage out of you all combined, and all would also be disgusted by some of the comments in this thread. Imagine...they actually had the balls to serve and put their money where their mouths were, as opposed to the armchair generals in this thread - esp. the Napoleonesque one who wears cowboy boots to work. Is that 5'9 before or after the boots, sport?

Worst person on the internet

This is a tough one, and this may not make any logical argument and may be insultingly chauvinistic or sexist, but nonetheless, I am VERY grateful for American women and all of humanity that we did not allow women to serve in active combat in the Pacific theatre in World War II. What would have happened to them would have made imagining the details of what happened at Sandy Hook relatively easy. I have little doubt that such barbarism could occur again from our enemies, but then again, war is hell, right?

Worst person on the internet

BTW, I don't think "re-education" of our wayward enemy offenders would have been too practical over there on all those little islands at the time. Just sayin...

Worst person on the internet

I think what Dave is trying to say is analagous to a slogan from another hot topic right now: somethng like "Penises don't rape people, people do." or "People don't rape people, lack of education does". Anyway give him some credit for crawling out of his hole to discuss something other than Catastrophic Global Warming.

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