parusski -> RE: Women In the Infantry (1/24/2013 11:17:06 PM)
It's actually very simple:
Women in the Armed Forces? Absolutely, and a great contribution they make.
Women in the frontline combat zone? No, absolutely not, no way. A womans role is to bring babies into the world, and to nurture children - not to kill and maim and torture*.
Frankly, that job is the most important one in the world - more important than anything men do (although we do provide some assistance [;)]). I have two beautiful, well adjusted, polite little warspites and 80% of the work in bringing them up has been down Mrs W [&o].
* That said, living with my wife can be torture sometimes [:(].
Well, my wife, daughter, mother, grandmother, two aunts and one crazy female gun nut neighbor all think a woman's role is to "make babies"(my wife is VP of her company, but she did not start her career till she was nearly 30-for the kids). Women civilize men. Left to their own devices men kill people and break things. Oh, that's what war is about. I know that I would be very likely to keep the girl "safe" in combat.
Furthermore, as one reader pointed out on WSJ.com:
"My concern is what this policy will contribute to further breaking down the already-troubled relationships of men and women in our society.
Friedrich von Hayek wrote that profound social knowledge is embedded in tradition that has evolved through the millennia of human experience. In "The Fatal Conceit," he taught that a society breaks these traditions just because someone has a "good idea" of what would be fair. When these notions are enacted through legislation and court decisions, there is a very real risk of wasting this profound knowledge".
For the record, I have ordered men to undertake missions where the entire platoon was at risk. During Operation Dewey Canyon in 1969 (the real one, not the incoming secretary of defense's one), I lost all seven of the Marine casualties I had during my tour. One died five feet from me. We moved on. Others died moments before I got to their position. We moved on. After one firefight, we carried a gut-shot Navy corpsman, who knew how much trouble he was in, for miles up a steep hill out of Laos.
How does a man not give special comfort to a wounded woman? My last Marine died in my arms from a wound I thought he would have survived. Could I have held her in my arms without reservation?
I had to decide how to handle the situation where a new squad leader beat a Marine who fell asleep on watch, the latter punishable by death in time of war. The decision process I went through is captured in a speech I gave to the Valley Forge Military Academy almost a year ago.
What kind of a man is it who can send women off to kill and maim? What kind of society does that?
What kind of men sharing a fire-team foxhole with a woman and two other men don't treat the woman more gently?
What kind of society bemoaning that men don't seem to respect women can't see that part of the respect they demand is predicated on the specialness of the other?
Perhaps it is possible in a firefight to distinguish between how one treats women and men, but I doubt that I could do it. And if I am trained to treat men and women the same throughout my career, can this have no significant effect on how I treat women otherwise?
Now that retired soldier makes some excellent points.