Farcical differences in the training of male and female army cadets

In producing Men’s Matters Radio episodes I sometimes try to bring focus on the “little guy” – the one with no voice. It means engaging with otherwise obscure and forgotten people and putting them in front of a microphone so that they can tell their story.
Just like in triage, I have found that it is often the silent ones who are suffering the most or are the ones with the greatest needs.
One of the challenges in fighting misandry and prejudice against males is in getting men and boys to come forward and to speak out. It doesn’t seem to come naturally to them. That may be partly due to males being conditioned from birth to not whinge; to “Man Up” when things go against them and just get on with it whilst internalizing any feelings of injustice they may experience. But, it’s also due to the conditioning of women and their reaction to men’s and boys’ problems. What is clear is the prevalence of a general myopia about anti-male prejudice.
See a man suffering – “not my business” or “Ha! Ha! Isn’t that funny?” and, if something goes wrong, find a man to blame.
A few days ago I crossed a road at the same time as a woman. As we crossed, a male driver, speeding around a corner, was forced to slow due to the woman impeding his path but, although she was nearer to him and I was well clear, he chose to scream at me and ignore her.
Feminization of the military
The argument about female involvement in military type activities, particularly in traditional male roles associated with combat, is not a new topic. I don’t see it as a matter of courage. There are certainly many very brave women on planet Earth.
What is of concern to me is that when combatants find themselves in extremely demanding circumstances, which may take them beyond normal conditions, are they (men or women) capable of not just surviving, but in making a difference? Can they turn disaster into success? When the chips are down, will women be a burden or an asset? Will lowering physical training standards, not only weaken a combat unit, but also put comrades and the women themselves into jeopardy?
Whether women have any qualms about killing, I have no doubt. They can and do kill and can be just as deadly as men. Some of them even relish the thought especially if it means killing men. We have seen their lethality in civilian life and Robert St. Estephe’s catalogue of female murderers provides extensive evidence of this and hammers home yet another nail in feminist mythology about the non-violent nature of women.
British Army Cadets
According to the British Army Cadets website, there are about 46,000 army cadets (aged 12 to 18) assigned to 1,700 locations all over the UK. This makes it one of the country’s largest voluntary youth organizations with over 8,000 enthusiastic adult volunteers helping to make it happen.
Undoubtedly, such an organization is going to have a lasting impact on a large number of young people by the way they are treated, trained and the real life challenges they face. However, in terms of gender equality, does the difference in the way boys and girls are handled have a negative or positive impact on their attitudes on gender issues? Without a properly conducted sociological study, who can tell?
This episode of Men’s Matters Radio was produced thanks to a 16 year old boy, Jordan, who had the courage to come forward. He explained his experiences in the British Army Cadets; the difference in the way boy and girl cadets were treated; and why he left. There were two other boy ex-cadets who were similarly affected in his unit – one could not be contacted and the other agreed with Jordan, but declined to be interviewed. Nevertheless, I hope you will find Jordan’s story revealing enough.
In spite of delaying production of this article to allow time for an official response, to date there has been no reply provided by the British Army Cadets. Perhaps they are currently undergoing a thorough investigation of their policies and actions regarding the treatment of boys and girls?
Physical Differences
Both females and males who join a military organization are expected to undertake essential training to get them up to a basic level of fitness and preparedness. It may be stating the ‘bleeding obvious’ but men and women are not biologically and physically the same. Bone and muscle density is higher in males and leaner body design gives males a distinct physical advantage. Males of the same stature will consequently tend to be heavier.
According to the American Journal of Sports Medicine injuries are common amongst army recruits and other vigorously active populations. However, in the face of certain ideologues who insist there are no differences between male and female because ‘Patriarchy’ or whatever, it is necessary that empirical research is carried out to prove to the brain dead what everybody else knows through common sense.
The Journal reports on a study of 391 US army trainees (124 men and 186 women) undertaking 8 weeks of basic training. It was found that women had a significantly higher incidence of time-loss injuries than men, 44.6% compared with 29.0%. Its conclusions were that female gender and low aerobic fitness measured by run times are risk factors for training injuries, and that other factors such as prior activity levels and stature may affect men and women differently.
Women are much more prone to knee injuries and stress fractures of the vertebrae, pelvis, and hip and pelvic floor dysfunction which, in a combat zone is a big minus.
To conclude, the blind insistence on equality in all spheres is not only foolhardy, but dangerous. There is no place for political correctness in a battle zone. Lowering physical fitness levels to “empower women” is and will put lives at risk, but I am sure that the Taliban won’t mind that.

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