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Women in Combat

Posted Nov 21, '13 at 10:10pm

Sonatavarius

Sonatavarius

1,344 posts

Here is an article that I thought was somewhat interesting.  I was curious of the other opinions that might be floating around out there.  I feel that men and women should be afforded the same opportunities, but I DO NOT approve of equal representation just for the sake of having equal representation.  I feel that if equal numbers of men and women attempted to sign up for the military or the nfl that due to the very nature of what they're signing up for that the men would and should (at this point in time due to where we're at on the evolutionary playing field) vastly outnumber the women on these particular fields (and similar ones).

 

Posted Nov 21, '13 at 11:57pm

Freakenstein

Freakenstein

8,197 posts

Moderator

I'm not sure what you're getting at here, Sonata. This is the Atomic age where combat consists of long-range weaponry, aerial attacks, strategics close to home, and (if it comes down to it) unlocking of the silos. This isn't a matter of physical strength, but physical endurance, where stamina is the key player in combat situations. This is why Boot Camp is essential for building your tolerance level and increasing your cardiovascular fitness.

 

Posted Nov 22, '13 at 1:28am

Sonatavarius

Sonatavarius

1,344 posts

I'm going to type multiple wall-o-texts at the same time as ideas pop up, so be prepared for random scattered ADD incoherent rambling post :)

My goal was mostly to ramble and see where the wind may take me.  In general I've heard a lot of people in the past complain about bias against the female persuasion in things like football and the military.  "They won't let me try out for the football team. That's so SEXIST!!!" -90lb girl from high school-

If there are 100 random men and 100 random women that all want to participate in combat, then do you see all of them doing so?  yes yes… we gotta evaluate each individually… but lets be honest, unless we're fielding a bunch of amazons or the situation explicitly calls for specially trained females for whatever reason there will be a disproportionate amount of men that make it over women.  Is that a form of discrimination?  If it is… then is it a justifiably good or bad form of discrimination?  Lets use our own definitions of those words and just see what we get to bite. 

(originally my first paragraph) yar… but strength, endurance, and cv fitness need to go hand and hand.  If you're going to carry 250+ lbs of comrade + their/your gear for any length of time you'd better have all 3.  Even tho both types of human are in fact human, biologically from a sex standpoint we have things that as a whole make us different biologically, biomechanically, etc.  Men on average have a higher hematocrit (makes a difference), different anatomical mechanics of the pelvic girdle due to joint angles, muscle mass ratio compared to our BMI, bone density differences on average are different, women are typically smaller in height (which lends itself to being smaller in size too!), a hormone profile that lends itself to greater athletic performance and gain from working out, and we are typically heavier…which all puts women at an inherent disadvantage when it comes to stat for stat differences to their male counterparts. 

I'm not really going into all the psychosocial stuff. If we were to be deciding on who should go out on the field of battle would you let an obese person go without first having that obese person prove they're as good as a fit person?  Surely less obese people would make the cut b/c they're inherently different than fit people.  Surely some would make it because they can perform on the level of fit people and still be obese… but is it safe to scrutinize the obese potential soldiers moreso just because they're obese and obesity is known to make them inferior in general to the typical soldier that is the physically fit young male? 

Is it ok to acknowledge inherent gender, social, ethnic differences in general when it comes to fielding a team and ending up without equal representation of all involved/interested parties?  Is it acceptable to have someone at an inherent disadvantage jump more hurdles in order to get to the same level than their counterpart?  (the following consists of arbitrary numbers for the sake of a shoddy example) If a 250lb man only has to be able to carry half his weight to make the cut, then a 125lb woman should only have to be able to carry half her weight as well, right?…. well the gear she has to shoulder and the potential comrade she'd have to lug around would more than double her body weight.  Just by holding them to the same standards as men we're holding them to a proportionally different standard. I'm sure there are plenty that can do it, but even then for most of them the wear and tear on their bodies is potentially significantly more due to the inherent differences.   These people also run the potential of being separated and running out of ammo… and yea they can be taught hand to hand take down stuff, but lets be honest… everyone is taught that stuff.  In an over generalized scenario, in physics it's easier for a larger more dense body to overtake a smaller one.

I don't guess my real intention really had all that much to do with actual battle… as much as it does about asking the question: Can you acknowledge inherent differences and disallow someone something based solely off of those differences?  A better example might be… a 100lb male and a 100lb female want to try out for the football team for non-kicker positions.  The male is allowed, but the female isn't.  Could you justify saying that you have assessed the applicant without needing to see her try out and it'd almost be a suable offense to let her get hit by the guys on the football team?    Can you say that "No, she's not getting on the team because she's a girl"… or could you just say "no, just no… she's too small and it'd be a liability to have her on the team in more than one way?"… and leave out the direct "she's a girl" justification? 

Is saying "You're inherently a liability for the team that you want to join due to inherent personal qualities that you were born with, so therefore you've got a much larger mountain to climb if you want to prove otherwise" a sexist, racist, discriminatorial practice?  ….or is it an observation of a potential truth and therefore none of the aforementioned undesirable practices?  I tend to think a comment/observation has to unjustifiable before qualifying as any of those, but maybe that's just me (or at least qualifying as the connotative stigma that is the social construct of those words if the literal definition differs from what I'm trying to express.)

YAY RAMBLES!!!

 

Posted Nov 22, '13 at 12:14pm

danielo

danielo

1,396 posts

I wobt say much, but here ib Israel we do have female fighters. And they are not "amazons" at all.
Plus, in 1948 women participetad in the fights everywher. Defending there homes and escorting convoys to the besiged Jerusalem. Only when the army gor organized, female soliders became less common.

The only diffrunce is cultural. Thats it. Im sure any women who practice befor the recruit in motivation to be fighter, will become one. And thats what quitely happen.

 

Posted Nov 23, '13 at 10:28pm

pHacon

pHacon

1,313 posts

Honestly, the first thing that came to mind when I considered this topic was how the mention of drafting females during the conflict in Vietnam is some of what killed the Equal Rights Amendment. Tangentially related to how it's up to Congress to allow that kind of business, since they're the ones the Constitution gives it to to actually raise and maintain military forces.

Anyway.

Being in the Navy, I honestly can't speak much for combat, nor would I be able to do so as well as Miss Eden did in the article Matt linked in the OP, but I can toss a few cents around.

It's not the skills you need for combat, least of all skill in shooting. I know plenty of females who are excellent shots. On an anecdote, I was the only male in my boot division to qualify expert in pistol marksmanship while there were at least half a dozen females who did so. It's not particularly saying much, but the females in my division were so tiny you'd hardly think they could hold their weapons steady long enough to take a shot. And speaking of strength, a lot were close to failing the physical readiness test to leave, even with a minute head start on top of more lenient times.

It really hurts me to say it, but women generally just aren't as physically capable as men. A soldier in combat's kit isn't supposed to exceed 48lbm, or about a third of their equivalent body weight. For just going on a nature hike, it can grow to around 70lbm. I know several who could easily manage -- there's even an Ensign around here who does similar feats daily -- but for the most part, that's not going to be easy to manage.

I'm in no position to discuss on what kind of toll it would take mentally. All I know is that there are marked differences in how the average male and female cope and deal with stresses. Moving on.

Assignments other than combat... Well, over here, you do see a lot more female twidgets and wire-biters than knuckle-draggers, but that's hardly saying anything. One thing, though. Submarines. Females disallowed, and for good reason. Yep. A long metal tube filled with men, smelling like Satan's farts and burnt toast. The conditions on them are hardly appropriate for other men, let alone any kind of integrated crew. At the moment, the only ones that can even accommodate female officers are boomers (though guided missile boats are being talked about), just because there's slightly more space. They still have to continuously reconvert the heads, though. Having heard stories about how guys get while and after an underway, I'd be a bit worried.

If I double posted, I apologize. The Internet connection here isn't always reliable.

 

Posted Nov 23, '13 at 10:47pm

pangtongshu

pangtongshu

8,704 posts

Reading through this..and disagreeing with essentially none of the points, I can't help but be curious as to how the radical feminists (or Tumblr feminists, as well) would react to such statements/facts?

 

Posted Nov 25, '13 at 1:46am

Minotaur55

Minotaur55

1,259 posts

Knight

It is proven that men posses certain abilities that are much more suited for combat then women, I agree. But to an extent. Some of the points brought up in this article are correct and others are not actually as correct. For instance, a quote from the article:

No one wants to talk about the fact that in the days before a woman’s cycle, she loses half her strength, to say nothing of the emotional ups and downs that affect judgment.

It is scientifically proven a women does lose some strength during a cycle but affecting judgement is not correct. As a soldier you job is to do as you are told to do on the field of battle, the execution of this however can throw that plan off. But it will not affect judgement. And in the military there is no room for an unjust judgement because you learn to work as a team - you are trained to do this. I doubt years or even months of training in the military would be overlooked do to one feeling uneasy. If you're the type of person who isn't "hardened" enough to overlook your pain for the greater purpose of what you are doing the military will chew you up and spit you out.

Regarding those who have sex while in the military I do think it is a problem. True, humans naturally gravitate towards what they are attracted towards (in this case the opposite sex having an interest in one another) but it is still something that either needs to be trained out of soldiers (which I think is almost impossible and in a way inhumane) or just fixed by moving men and women away from each other in certain case. In the Army or Marines, I think men and women could be combat partners and not have as many issues. Navy? Probably not a good idea considering you'd have to dock the ship every time a woman becomes pregnant.

Regarding vendetta... I believe this article is giving the male and female partnership a bad rap. In the military, in any military branch, I do not think there should be room for an emotional reaction such as "painting a woman easy" or "destroying a man’s career with a false accusation". This is completely irresponsible. Among those who are younger? Understandable yet not excusable. And in the military I think it's even worse. And in the bigger picture I'd think people would say that it isn't right to destroy a team simply because you don't like who you fight with. The bigger picture is to do what you are told and to achieve the mission flawlessly and with dedication and focus, not for the sake of a personal vendetta.

Leaving children behind and going to the military, I believe, is wrong. If the father is present their may be an exception (I'm saying father because in the article the mother was deployed). But to leave, for instance, a autistic child behind? A single parent raising a autistic child is alone a herculean task, but if given the option, I think should be a two parent job. And considering this is a child you birthed you are responsible for it's actions and with an autistic child that may never be able to fully take care of themselves (depending on the level of autism i.e if it were mild or severe).

However we can't leave out the fact that men do this as well. So having children yet still being in the military I don't think is a good decision. 

Regarding other things such as molesting and motherly duties... it really depends. We can't say off the bat it is right or wrong because situations vary. Certain things I agree on, others I do not. I have mixed feelings about women in the military.

I can't help but be curious as to how the radical feminists (or Tumblr feminists, as well) would react to such statements/facts?

OH MY GOD WILL YOU STOP WITH THE FEMINISM REFERENCES! I WILL SLAP THE WORD PATRIARCHY OUT OF YOU MAN. >_>

 

Posted Nov 25, '13 at 2:20am

pangtongshu

pangtongshu

8,704 posts

OH MY GOD WILL YOU STOP WITH THE FEMINISM REFERENCES! I WILL SLAP THE WORD PATRIARCHY OUT OF YOU MAN. >_>

I was actually legitimately wondering. One of the big parts of feminism, all around, is the idea of equality in work force, including the army..well, especially in the army, given the history of being exclusively male or dominantly male.

Yet..as the woman who wrote the article mentioned, the point of an army is for combat, defense, etc. And all the stuff mentioned had backings for them to make the case...so I'd wonder if even the more radical feminists would rest at the idea of "if you are good enough to make it in, you make it in" or would they push for more, despite what negative outcomes that produces?

I have two thoughts..

1) Would the idea of the patriarchy/patriarchal society be thrown out to try and discredit such claims? And if so, what merit would they hold? I mean, most things mentioned have evolutionary backing (i.e. men being stronger, generally).

2) It could be a great thought experiment for what they value more...a society in which their safety and defense is in the best hands (not saying all males, but the idea of "if you are good enough to make it in, you make it in), or a society that prefers even the safety and defensive measures to have a more 'equality' (as mentioned by the writer, usually through egalitarian means)?

 

Posted Nov 25, '13 at 2:54am

Kasic

Kasic

5,590 posts

It is proven that men posses certain abilities that are much more suited for combat then women, I agree.

'Bout this. Let's just suppose we have a way to quantify, on average, the physical differences. Does that difference, exist or not, MATTER? Is it so different that it's worse to have a woman actually there, fighting, than not? I somehow don't think so. A woman with a gun, trained to use it, is one more person with a gun, trained to use it. So she can only carry, say, 20 pounds less than the guy standing next to her. Well, she's still holding the gun, right? Is the total combat potential a gain, or loss?

so I'd wonder if even the more radical feminists would rest at the idea of "if you are good enough to make it in, you make it in" or would they push for more, despite what negative outcomes that produces?

From my experience with radical feminists (who I refer to as simply feminists, because everyone else is either egalitarian or for some similar equal rights) they would manage delude themselves into making a whole bunch of exceptions and privileges based on recompense/prevention of rape/discrimination/etc.

Everyone else who I've ever met that believes in equal rights is under the notion, "if they want to and can, let them." The standards are what the standards are. If you can't meet them, male or female, you can't get in. If it's hard for females to get in because of physiological differences, well, that's just one difference between males and females and it's not anyone's fault or problem.

 

Posted Nov 25, '13 at 3:13am

danielo

danielo

1,396 posts

 
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