Occasionally, I comment on subjects other than Penn State football and this is one of those times. I am impelled to add my two cents to the now apparently moot debate about the military employing the fairer sex to fulfill combat roles. So, let’s beat that dead horse, shall we?
You’re expecting me to decry this latest hunk of egalitarian crap, aren’t you? If so, I won’t disappoint you. However, I’m not going to walk down the emotional suitability road. I’d get crucified for that. I prefer being drawn and quartered for being what the avant-garde feminists of the 1960s and 1970s coined as a male Chauvinist pig.
“Now look here, Little Missy. Listen up and listen tight!”—John Wayne
This change in policy means that massive accommodations will have to be made, much as they are for handicapped people pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act. The ADA accommodations merely cost American businesses millions, if not billions of dollars for dubious benefits to a small number of people who could find alternate employment suited to their abilities. (See my lengthy rant in the comments to Friday’s Laser Focus article.) In a similar vein, but much worse in its eventual negative impact, the new policy permitting women to serve in combat can and will cost lives — not just the lives of the valiant women who volunteer for combat duty — and overall, it will compromise military effectiveness.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I respect and admire anyone who is willing to take a bullet for me, regardless of gender. I deeply respect anyone brave enough to volunteer for the front lines, as they are well aware of the potential consequences. Merely wanting it, though, does not make it a good idea. I’m sure that there are bad-ass women — probably many of them — who could kick my ass up and down the block, and after I publish this they’ll probably come looking for me. Moreover, I believe that in some combat roles, piloting fighter aircraft for example, women are fully the equivalent of men, if not better at the necessary eye-hand coordination. (Look at the number of female pistol and rifle competition champs for an indication of those superior abilities.) In ground combat, though, as opposed to the glamour of air combat, muscles replace machinery, and conditions are harsher than most of us can imagine. This isn’t Survivor: Fiji.
For those who are interested, I was swayed to my present position by two opinion pieces, one in a blog and one an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal. Originally, I was buying the arguments in favor of the new policy. After reading these, I am not. I encourage you to read them whether you agree with my assessment or not. Being a lazy guy, I could make some of the points they make here, but I’ll now cede that territory to them.
While the blog article, written by avowed anti-feminist Doug Giles, wanders off on a facetious rant, the author reels it in at the conclusion, with some very convincing bullet points (no pun intended). The Wall Street Journal article by Ryan Smith, an admittedly male veteran of combat in Iraq, lacks the facetiousness but presents a very graphic view of how abominable combat conditions are in reality as opposed to the stylized, Hollywoodesque view of them that seem to guide important decisions these days.
I can’t go along with political correctness in most situations, but when it can cause considerable harm on balance, I become exceptionally rancorous in denouncing it.