Women in Combat: On Suffering for Suffrage

The new decade will dawn with the United States still in two wars in the Middle East. It’s not so different from other times. Since it’s inception, The U.S. has been hard pressed to string together a significant number of years without rolling out the tanks for one reason or another. Some of those conflicts, as the two current ones, have relied on volunteers to do the fighting.

In other engagements, citizens, excuse me, male citizens, were drafted and forced into harms way without any thought of, or concern with, their consent. And even in times of a volunteer army, men are still the cannon fodder of choice, the only ones required to register with Selective Service, not-so-gently encouraged to do so under the threat of imprisonment and stiff fines. Men are the only ones to be allowed into combat units, or forced into them when circumstances dictate such extremes.

It is considered an American’s duty, a uniquely male one, to stand at the ready; for a man to live one induction letter away from putting down the tools of his trade and picking up an assault rifle. The reasons for the wars don’t matter. That our government sees fit to wage them is enough.

In principle it is sound. Nations sometimes require defense, even with all the nightmarish consequences that defense can entail. It is the price of citizenship; the sometimes horrific cost of freedom. And it buys us the right of self determination. It justifies, however meager, our voice with the leaders that we entrust with the weightiest and most solemn of decisions.

One might easily think that it reasonably follows that those who can not be compelled to defend their country, who are indeed exempt from that risk from the moment of birth, should not have a voice in how it is run. If you can’t be forced into an induction center, simply because you are female, then perhaps you shouldn’t be allowed in a voting booth for the same reason.

If your sex exempts you from paying for your freedom, then maybe it should exclude you from having the power to send others to do the same. Therefore, every female elected official from both parties should resign their seats in the federal government and just sit back and enjoy the protected privilege that their birthright has afforded them.

That is, until women have to play by the same rules men do.

It’s simple. No pay, no play. Any society that ignores this cannot be seriously taken as one that embraces equality.

But of course we don’t embrace equality where it comes to women. We hanker only for their privilege, and then look the other way and whistle while the men have to ante up. The net result is a culture that demands women enjoy freedom and security that only men must die to preserve.

So the question becomes, who is responsible for this?

Part of it, of course, is feminists. Since running out of discriminations in the west that don’t work in women’s favor, and being caught regularly at the ones they fabricate, they now spend more time railing about middle eastern ladies wear than much of anything else. It is part of a consistent and now predictable pattern for feminists, our designated “pursuers of equality” to stop short when equality means the short end of the stick.

One might think it is the military itself to blame. The military still bars women from the infantry, special forces, artillery and armor.

And the resultant breakdown of military deaths by gender vividly demonstrates what a difference those exclusions make.

Deaths by gender in the current conflicts (as of February 2009) are as follows:

Operation Iraqi Freedom


Male military deaths- 4,143   97.6%

Female military deaths- 102   2.4%

Operation Enduring Freedom


Male military deaths- 641   97.9%

Female military deaths- 14   2.1%

But the military doesn’t make these rules, they simply follow directions from the Commander-in-Chief. And regardless of who is in office, the CIC is a politician that is prone to calculated moves that he thinks will garner support from the public in general.

And that leads us right back to the mirror, and to the social neurosis that guides our military policies. The culprit is public opinion, which is a slightly kinder way to say that the problem is us and our misandric norms.

Everyone thinks women should be equal. No one wants women in body bags. But, unfortunately, one comes, must come, with the other.

It’s enough to make looking the other way and whistling habitual,  and has. And it leads the more intellectually malleable among us to embrace the most outrageous of fallacies.

Hillary Clinton spoke at the First Ladies Conference on Domestic Violence in San Salvador, El Salvador in 1998, and said the followingwith a straight face.

“Women have always been the primary victims of war. Women lose their husbands, their fathers, their sons in combat.”

In other words, the dead, maimed, crippled, disfigured and psychologically destroyed from combat are secondary. The primary victim is the woman a soldier won’t be providing for once he is disabled or deceased.

These are either the sentiments of the mentally unemployed, or just someone who values male life with the compassion of a vulture circling above a wounded animal.

Sure, Clinton was crazy for saying such a thing. But she was actually parroting the unspoken sentiments of much of the general population. We prefer that men do the dieing, and that women be spared hardship. But we want to be equals. It is the cognitive dissonance of post feminist culture.

And since that dissonance is preferred over necessary change, we are stuck, one foot inextricably lodged in the old paradigm, the other only planted in the new firmly enough to bring women privilege without commensurate responsibility.

And it means the lies we live are covered with the blood of men who pay the price for them. It is just enough “male dominance” to ensure women don’t have to fit the bill for their freedom. And the roughly 98 to 2 disparity of casualties is sufficient to force politicians to carefully acknowledge our “men and women” who serve in harms way, further reinforcing the collective denial.

It’s like acknowledging the “blacks and whites” that were harmed by apartheid in South Africa.

That kind of insanity is where we will remain unless the forces of reason compel us to take action. And that action can only go in one of two directions.

The first option, repealing the 19th Amendment, won’t and shouldn’t happen. So the method of choice to end the free ride on Freedom Train would be women in combat, women in selective service, and women in the draft should we ever need that again.

It wouldn’t be a first in history. The soviets did it in World War II, and by law the women in Israel do their time in uniform as well. There are other examples.

There are some problems, primary among them the complications that women can present on the battlefield.

Those are minimized in much of the current war zone, where the number one mode of transportation is on wheels, and hydration is more of a challenge than navigating the terrain.

It will be much more interesting to see how women in combat perform when they have to manually hack their way through long stretches of jungle in 110 degree heat to reach an objective, or when they have to scale canyon walls with half their body weight in gear strapped to their backs.

Even researchers bent on finding as much evidence as possible to reframe the gender strength gap into a socially caused phenomena concede that women on average have roughly half the upper body strength as men, less aerobic capacity (endurance), 37% less muscle mass and lower bone density that contributes to more fractures and structural injuries than seen in men.

When strength and stamina count, the average woman will hinder the average man. Not just a little, but a lot. And in a war zone that means she will go in an instant from being a soldier, to being deadly baggage; baggage that the other soldiers will have to carry because she will be taking the place of a man that can keep up.

Of course, same sex combat units would solve that and a lot of other problems.

Generally the real physical differences between men and women don’t pose a problem for the dissonant. After all, when it comes to domestic violence, men are the stronger, more physically capable of the sexes and can only be perpetrators. But when something has a pay check attached to it, suddenly that goes out the window and men and women are equals in every way.

But in this case, since we can’t afford to run on delusions,  we may finally find a legitimate rationale for the doctrine of “separate but equal.” Women can and should take responsibility for defending their country. And they needn’t get our men unnecessarily killed in the process. They can do it, on their own, true to the idea that they can do anything without the help of a man.

Or, as President Obama has said, “Women can do anything men can do, and do it better…and do it in heels.”

One would think if that were anything more than a pitch for women’s votes that he would have instructed Robert Gates to issue DoD changes for combat rules the day he assumed the position of Commander-in-Chief.

Or does the president secretly think that women in combat is a bad idea? Has he reduced himself to paying lip service to women’s equality while he quietly believes them to be inferior and inadequate for the task? Does this make him just like most of the rest of John and Jane Public?

Oh, one does have to wonder.

By being all hat and no cattle on women’s equality, the POTUS reflects still more of the stagnancy that results when reality meets PC nonsense and doesn‘t know where to go from there.

There is but one way to go where it concerns women in combat, and that is not to let them in, but to force them in, just like men, and to slam the cage door shut behind them as they enter. It is one of many changes that must come if men and women are to be treated equally under the law, and we are long past any other options that make sense.

And in doing that we will truly see what happens where the rubber meets the road, because the quickest way to see if anyone really desires equality is to give it to them.

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