From: Monroe, LA, USA
Well, I have to go back to something I asked earlier. How many women will be playing in the NFL games (American pro football) today? How many will be playing in NBA games? How many in the Premier League this week? Why is that? Sexism? Are men preventing qualified and talented women from playing these elite professional sports? Or do you think that if a woman could perform at the elite professional level that professional teams would sign her in a heartbeat for the publicity? And there would be a huge drumbeat from the media to see that woman play. But there aren't any. Only a small group of men can play at that elite level. Now imagine a decree that the NFL will have to accept and play female players....
Relevant. If there are no gender distinctions or differences between men and women, as has been claimed and defended here, then shouldn't we be seeing women in growing numbers playing "men's" professional sports at the highest levels, or even at lower levels? We don't even have women playing football or basketball or baseball at the lowest collegiate levels of American sport, with a very few exceptions, and usually in specialty positions like kickers.
Not relevant. Oh, by the way, http://www.wnba.com/
How many infantrymen weight 290-320lbs, which is the average weight of NFL linemen?
Relevant. Question - Why is there a WNBA? Is it so women can have a league of their own because they cannot compete at the elite level with men? And just how good are the women of the WNBA, the elite female basketball players in comparison to men? Could they beat a good men's college team? An average men's college team? A good high school team? During my Army career I was quite a gym rat and not a bad basketball player, though certainly not college material. I was good enough to not embarrass myself as a role player in the #1 pickup games in the gyms. But I did play a lot against guys who had played in college (I remember one colonel from West Point who had a deadly jumper from the corner.) and women who had played in college in mixed gender pickup games. The women always had great ball skills -- better than mine -- but they were, relatively speaking, compared to the guys, slow and weak. That is not meant to insult them. It was just a fact. You don't want to see the WNBA champions go up against the worst NBA team, or even a good college men's team.
But let's look at a couple of sports where in the US there is a good support system for both boys and girls from a young age, and where physical size and height are less important, baseball and soccer. The support system with youth programs is there from age four or so. Women capable of competing with the boys do, but then at puberty things start changing, and fewer and fewer girls compete with the boys. By the time you get to good high school level (age 15-18) sports, you see virtually no girls competing with the boys. I teach at a large high school. I also take pictures at games. The difference between high school boys soccer and girls soccer is dramatic. Girls who five years earlier competed on basically an equal footing with the guys can no longer do it. The physiology prevents it. They are not as fast and strong. They might be just as technically talented, but they can't compete on the same field, with the exception of a few very elite female athletes who can compete at a marginal level with not quite elite guys. And then by the time we get past high school to college, they physical differences are so great that no women can compete at an elite level in baseball or soccer with men.
Let's look at track and field. I ran track in high school. I was pretty good. But nothing great. My best 400 meter times were between 50 and 51. I never won a big high school meet with those times. But that sets me up well, if I were 18 again, to compete well against the best female track and field athletes in the world. The winning times in the 2015 world championships for women were in the 49s. I would have been right there with them, a step or two behind. And I never really seriously trained, meaning I trained, but only what my coaches had me do. I did not train like an elite athlete. You could take the women's world champions and take them to a good high school track meet, and they would be hard pressed to win most events, because the elite female track athletes are running and jumping at a good high school male athlete pace.
Granted, during my Army career I knew many women who could blow me away on a 5k or 10k run. I was always rather mediocre at anything beyond 400 meters anyway. But put 70 pounds worth of field gear on us, and their advantage in a PT run went away.
There is a physiological barrier that is a real "natural distinction between genders" that simply exists and cannot be wished away. And I think that barrier is exemplified in the fact that women are unable to compete at an elite level in men's athletics in virtually any sport that requires more than primarily technical skill.
And we haven't even talked about the many studies that show injuries among women in highly physical jobs and sports occur at a higher percentage than injuries for men doing the same things.
And I believe that has great relevance in this discussion, since were are talking about the physical abilities needed to be an infantryman.
What we will get in our American experiment is some women who can meet the physical requirements at a marginal level. Will that be good for our combat readiness when they are called upon to perform as infantrymne?