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Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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143 Responses

  1. TomSims
    TomSims January 24, 2013 at 3:14 pm |

    I saw this on the News today about Panetta’s decision to allow women in combat but only if they volunteer for combat. I have no idea if it can work today, but I had female VC shooting at me in The Nam.

  2. JBL55
    JBL55 January 24, 2013 at 3:24 pm |

    Sheesh. All this does is make it official.

    I’m sorry Mr. Smith is such a delicate flower. Perhaps he should consider another way to serve his country.

  3. JBL55
    JBL55 January 24, 2013 at 3:27 pm |

    I missed his remark about “unit cohesion” or else I would have also pointed out that is the same specious (and debunked) argument used to justify the discriminatory policies of the now-defunct DADT.

  4. Kasabian
    Kasabian January 24, 2013 at 3:29 pm |

    I dunno, I’d be more concerned with the horrific rape statistics then pooping in a box.

    1. karak
      karak January 24, 2013 at 3:32 pm |

      You’re just trying to distract us from the important thing: how men feel. Stop talking about women and the violence against them, it’s not nearly as important as a man fee-fees.

      1. Kasabian
        Kasabian January 24, 2013 at 3:45 pm |

        Lol, sorry. I forgot what’s really at stake here; manly feely-feels about icky girls and their icky, ICKY cooties.

  5. Andie
    Andie January 24, 2013 at 3:42 pm |

    Despite the professionalism of Marines, it would be distracting and potentially traumatizing to be forced to be naked in front of the opposite sex, particularly when your body has been ravaged by lack of hygiene. In the reverse, it would be painful to witness a member of the opposite sex in such an uncomfortable and awkward position.

    I would think such a scenario would be one hell of an equalizer. The only reason this might be “distracting” or “potentially traumatizing” is that it might tear down someones deeply held belief that all women are delicate flowers who never fart or poop or get dirty or bleed.

    1. Kasabian
      Kasabian January 24, 2013 at 3:46 pm |

      This part reminded me of the shower / bathroom scenes in “Starship Troopers” or “Battlestar Galactica”. Anyone else?

      1. karak
        karak January 24, 2013 at 4:14 pm |

        You beat me to the punch!

        1. Alexandra
          Alexandra January 25, 2013 at 2:21 am |

          I loved the shower scenes in Starship Troopers. heck, I loved that whole movie. I would totally sign up to be part of a Military composed entirely of babes and Malibu boytoys who get together for a game of football in between destroying Arachnids with high-powered weaponry.

  6. lawtalkinggirl
    lawtalkinggirl January 24, 2013 at 3:50 pm |

    This is complete bunk. If the human body and its functions are so disturbing to you that you would be traumatized to poop in front of another person, then there are many avenues in life you should never attempt to undertake, such as a career in health care, receiving health care, any climbing or mountaineering expedition, sailing, parenthood, giving birth, long road trips, etc. Better just stay home and watch life on TV.

    Any high altitude mountaineer or climber (even just the dabblers…) will tell you that bodily functions are commonly taken care of in full view of climbing partners of all genders. If you are roped up to your partner for days on end, or trapped in a snow cave for 3 weeks, you do what you have to do, including lining your helmet with a plastic bag and dropping trou inches from your partner’s face. There is no shame and no trauma. Climbers joke about it all the time – yes, even men and women – because in the end, poop is funny!!! Then they make videos about it: http://dangerousminds.net/comments/boogie_til_you_poop_a_horrific_and_hilarious_climbing_experience.

    And what about medical care? I can tell you I was traumatized not one bit after I was forced to be naked in front of male doctors and nurses when my body was ravaged by an infectious disease several years ago. I am sure it was hardly painful or awkward for those guys to see me naked either.

    1. chava
      chava January 24, 2013 at 4:09 pm |

      Oh, so true (re: video).

      Honestly, if there is a person with the energy and perk to wander off to a totally secluded spot to poop after a day of climbing, I would like to meet them, so I can steal their legs.

      1. tigtog
        tigtog January 24, 2013 at 5:38 pm | *

        I grew up bushwalking in Australia, and the convention for relieving oneself was to find a nearby shrub or rock that gave at least a pretence of a barrier at the buttcheeks level and then rely on the rest of the group to just look elsewhere, and then to cover it with soil/leaves when finished so that nobody else would get a nasty surprise on their boots later.

        People in close quarters develop etiquette for these situations. Soldiers in combat will do it too, because making sure that there’s an etiquette for people to follow so that uncertainties don’t lead to squick factor distractions makes even more sense in combat, FFS.

    2. AK
      AK January 24, 2013 at 5:14 pm |

      Haha, that’s exactly what I thought when I read that bit. I was like, I’m a woman who does backcountry expeditions and mountaineering with mostly men just because I enjoy it, and there’s no privacy at all there! Somehow in spite of this horrifying state of affairs, we manage to achieve group cohesiveness, and we don’t even have the motivation of being shot at.

      Bodily functions and nudity also don’t have to be humiliating. Plenty of men have seen me poop or seen me naked in non-sexual situations, and I’ve never felt humiliated by it. Awkward at first, sure, but you get over it quickly once you realize you’re all on the same footing. Then as you said, it becomes something to laugh about.

      I think this guy must not have a very high opinion of our servicemen and -women if he thinks they’ll be traumatized by simply being seen naked by someone of a different gender in a non-sexual situation.

  7. chava
    chava January 24, 2013 at 4:05 pm |

    that….is total crap. I’ve never been in a war, but even in the dramatically less traumatizing scenario of extended climbing trips, you do not give one tiny little fuck about who you poop or piss in a Nalgene in front of after about two weeks. Really. You just don’t care, or at least, I’ve never met anyone who did.

    The “societal norms” thing….ahhhh, come on now. If you were obeying civvie norms, maybe you wouldn’t be following orders and shooting at people, eh?

    And here I thought that having allowed that gay people exist in the armed forces, we would have nullified the “but I might want to fuck someone in my unit! or they might want to fuck ME! Icky!” portion of our argument.

    1. speedbudget
      speedbudget January 25, 2013 at 10:07 am |

      Two whole weeks? My group got over it in a couple days.

  8. anna
    anna January 24, 2013 at 4:07 pm |

    I’ll just be glad to see an end to MRAs saying “But it’s fair for women to have a lower status because only men die in wars!” Which was never true anyway. Female civilians have been killed in wars since wars began, but people have this idea that only our brave boys are risking anything.

    I would also note that black people being integrated into the U.S. military preceded the civil rights movement by only a few years. Maybe this will spark a resurgence in feminism. After all, one of the main points against the Equal Rights Amendment was that women can’t (and/or would never agree to) serve in combat.

    Has anyone heard what they’re going to do about Selective Service and (if there ever is one again) the draft?

    1. Kasabian
      Kasabian January 24, 2013 at 4:11 pm |

      Quick point of clarification, Selective Service still exists and all men are required to register with it in order to get federal college grants. I imagine that they’ll go ahead and extend this to women as well.

    2. catfood
      catfood January 25, 2013 at 7:00 am |

      My thoughts exactly.

      It’s also just fun to see MRAs lose what they thought was their rhetorical trump card. I think they really really thought that women in combat would be a big hangup for feminists.

    3. ginmar
      ginmar January 29, 2013 at 4:09 am |

      Yeah, I was in combat years ago. Didn’t stop MRAs, though. Their go-to response when confronted with something that screws up their world view is: “You’re lying,” or they just ignore you.

      They used to send troops to Qatar for some R&R for a few days, all from widely-scattered units. Every single woman in the bay had stories to tell. “My first IED…my first firefight….my first battle….my first dead body….:” All that. Years ago.

      Don’t underestimate MRA hatred for women.They’ll find a way to ignore this. Plus, how many MRAs are even in the military?

    4. David
      David February 11, 2013 at 4:37 pm |

      I agree, I think that this recognises a fundamental change in our societies’ attitude towards women. I also think that this is a very good thing, but the consequences may be unexpected.

      Soldiers are by definition powerful, violent and expendable. This is the patriarchy’s view of men, and it causes a lot of shit for us. Our society might start to see women as powerful, violent and expendable. It is very hard to predict what effect that will have.

      There is some historical precedent for unexpected outcomes of advancing women’s rights. The second shift was caused by women gaining access to the workplace, but society not changing it’s views of men and how men should act in the home. (I think that men should be encouraged to look after children, and that this is not un-manly) Another one is work / life balance, men have always had issues with this.

      To be clear it is better to struggle with work life balance and who does the housework, than to be denied employment opportunities and have no economic freedom.

      I think that a lot of the things that MRAs “moan” about are going to become “women’s problems” very soon.

  9. MikeV
    MikeV January 24, 2013 at 4:15 pm |

    Given how many soldiers get PTSD and for what reasons, I find it a little flippant and totally fucking incomprehensible to say that having to poop in a bag near someone “of the opposite sex” would be “traumatizing.”

    Hell, given any sense of the word trauma–hell of war or not–that sounds melodramatic.

    And like Jill said, LOL at the idea that shitting in a bag inches from another person’s face is socially acceptable as long as they’re same-gender.

  10. lawtalkinggirl
    lawtalkinggirl January 24, 2013 at 5:14 pm |

    Astronauts also have to deal with pooping in close quarters. Does this guy think astronauts are “traumatized” by that???

    http://lsda.jsc.nasa.gov/books/apollo/s6ch2.htm

    1. SophiaBlue
      SophiaBlue January 24, 2013 at 5:36 pm |

      Anyone who wants to argue that there’s no Republican war on women can just shut the fuck up at this point, as far as I’m concerned.

      1. Kasabian
        Kasabian January 24, 2013 at 5:57 pm |

        Yup, it’s about time to pack that shit in, I’d say. What the ever loving fuck!?

    2. Caperton
      Caperton January 24, 2013 at 7:07 pm | *

      Brown has released a statement saying that the intent of the bill was to keep people who have committed rape or incest from facilitating an abortion in an effort to destroy the “evidence” — so a rapist would be charged for procuring or coercing an abortion, but a rape victim wouldn’t be charged for getting one. She says she’ll be submitting a substitute draft of the bill that makes that clear, which is good, because the original sure as hell left an opening to prosecute rape victims.

      Which isn’t to say, of course, that the new draft won’t just be a new and excitingly screwed up version of the old one — just that it will be vaguely different.

      1. jennygadget
        jennygadget January 25, 2013 at 5:10 am |

        Now I’m mostly just confused – was there an epidemic of rapists forcing their victims to get abortions in New Mexico? I know it happens, but…enough that it needs it’s own special law?

        Or, MORE TO THE POINT wouldn’t this be better covered under sensible laws that also acknowledge that abusers sabotage birth control as well as pregnancies? Also, ones that demonstrate that their author is at least vaguely aware that rapists and abusers also to try to end pregnancies through physical violence directed at the victim, not merely through pressure to get an abortion?

  11. Tenya
    Tenya January 24, 2013 at 5:34 pm |

    Someone already touched on it, but sorry, if you’re injured you better believe women nurses, medics, physicians etc. are going to be watching your bodily functions and your “hygiene deprived” nudity. Since when is that just something uncomfortable but necessary and something to get over but when you’re perfectly healthy it is unbearable? Not to mention there are already women seeing combat (as defined by “shooting at and being shot at”) probably taking a poop or watching their comrades do so, they’re just not considered “in combat” and therefore not getting paid/recognized for it. Somehow nobody has melted because of this.

    1. Kasabian
      Kasabian January 24, 2013 at 5:56 pm |

      Yeah, the distinction between “in combat” and “not in combat, but still getting shot at” has always been a strange and tenuous one, at least in my perspective.

      1. ginmar
        ginmar January 29, 2013 at 4:17 am |

        I find that as more and more women have been in combat, there’s certain types of guys who really want to split hairs and argue about angels on pins. Didn’t care when it was just men, but now that there are women actually doing this most sacred of male jobs, suddenly, it’s got to be quantified and measured and calibrated and everything.

        Combat is where the enemy shoots at you and you shoot back at them. It’s kind of refreshing in view of all the bullshit dickspeak you get on womens’ issues in the civilian world. It’s honest. They don’t pretend they care about you. They want to kill you and vice versa. That’s that. That some men in your own military can cling to their hatred of women in those circumstances is what really troubles me. Even the insurgents might not hate you because you’re a woman; it might just be because you’re an invader.

        I’m surprised nobody’s whipped out the, “But we have to protect those silly ladies for their own good,” argument yet. You know, where they just have to protect you from earning respect and prestige and promotions, (while being totally uninterested in protecting you from your fellow soldiers.)

        They’re not afraid for women. They’re afraid that what’s going to happen is not that men and women won’t get along, but that they will and their whole world view will be revealed as a sham. The idea that men and women can do shitty jobs but most importantly survive exposure to each other’s naked bodies without having orgies is very very scary to certain population segments.

        1. tigtog
          tigtog January 29, 2013 at 6:19 am | *

          Combat is where the enemy shoots at you and you shoot back at them.

          Yes, I’m intrigued by how suddenly only “regular infantry” engage in combat situations now, according to people who are very much not spokespeople for the Department of Defense.

    2. Bagelsan
      Bagelsan January 24, 2013 at 6:50 pm |

      Those nurses may be doing a lot more than just watching you poop. They will be tracking its frequency, measuring it, collecting it, discussing it, trying to make it happen more or less often, trying to alter the consistency of it, wiping it off of you…

      …remind me why I wanna be a nurse again?

    3. SlipperyWombat
      SlipperyWombat January 24, 2013 at 10:00 pm |

      Not to mention there are already women seeing combat (as defined by “shooting at and being shot at”) probably taking a poop or watching their comrades do so, they’re just not considered “in combat” and therefore not getting paid/recognized for it.

      As a male soldier serving in an EOD unit with female soldiers I can tell you that this statement is utter bullshit. The female EOD techs, MP’s, etc. who see action and have for years get the exact same pay and awards as the male soldiers in their units. And every soldier who deploys to an active war zone – even the fobbits who never leave the wire – gets the exact same imminent danger/hazardous duty pays.

      The only argument touching on compensation applies to officers in that infantry service is highly regarded in determining officer promotions and disallowing women from serving in infantry units effectively lowered their promotion rate.

      To the larger argument of women in combat, I support the policy change and think it has been too long in coming. I also don’t think it will make much of a difference – outside of officers who want that infantry stint for promotions – there are a tiny subset of women who both meet the qualifications and have any desire whatsoever to be infantry. And infantry patrols already frequently roll with female medics, EOD techs, etc. so the whole “omg, there will be women among us” thing is just bullshit.

      I focus on the infantry because much of combat arms – which are the designated MOS’s denied to women prior to this change – don’t see any action anyway. I have a female soldier in my platoon who I would wager has been under fire more than any ADA (air defense artillery) soldier in these current wars.

      And as far as the Smith guy:

      Despite the professionalism of Marines

      Lolz, just lolz.

  12. PeggyLuWho
    PeggyLuWho January 24, 2013 at 6:19 pm |

    Also, women have already been in combat. They just haven’t been officially in combat. The only difference is that now it’s included in their credentials when they come up for promotion.

    And farts are hilarious.

    1. Marksman2000
      Marksman2000 January 24, 2013 at 11:39 pm |

      Also, women have already been in combat. They just haven’t been officially in combat.

      Most of the statements here pertain to the role of women in combat insofar as the U.S. is concerned, but what about other countries in the world, what about their past and current conflicts? I thought Israel has had women as combat-ready troops for some time. And the U.S.S.R.? Didn’t they pull out every stop when it came to defending Stalingrad in WWII?

      I’m sure there are numerous examples; one could write volumes on the subject. But in my mind, insofar as the argument goes as to whether women can or can’t perform as well as men in combat, that question has already been answered. It’s almost like asking whether gay and lesbian people should be allowed in the military, or whether they could perform as well in combat as their heterosexual counterparts. Well, they’ve already been doing it, since…the beginning of warfare.

      The important question, I believe, is not whether women can get the job done–that’s almost a given–it’s whether men can accept the fact that women can now train and fight alongside them and be just as courageous, ruthless, severe, indomitable, and effective as they are while in pitched battle.

      1. LC
        LC January 26, 2013 at 2:36 pm |

        Canada put women as official combat troops in 89? 90? Something like that.
        They looked through the physical requirements based on modern weaponry and needs and made decisions based on that.

        The result is something like 10-15% female combat troops, I think? (Something in that range last time I talked to my friend in the military about it.)

        There was a lot of hand wringing for a few years. Then everyone got over it, near as I can tell.

  13. Henry
    Henry January 24, 2013 at 6:56 pm |

    The history of discrimination and integration in the military is very interesting:

    1. Race – segregated units/full integration (males draft eligible)
    2. Gender – volunteer segregated units/volunteer limited duties/volunteer near full integration (not draft eligible)
    3. Sexual Orientation – may not volunteer/may volunteer quietly/may volunteer openly – (males draft eligible)

    1. Henry
      Henry January 24, 2013 at 6:58 pm |

      2. Should read Gender – Cis-Female
      3. Sexual Orientation – Not Straight

  14. Angie unduplicated
    Angie unduplicated January 24, 2013 at 10:25 pm |

    Cross-dressed women have volunteered for combat in every war in which America has participated, with the possible exception of Vietnam. The poor Marine who alleges he is ever so traumatized by eliminating in the company of his peers should be far more traumatized by his public performance as a douchebag.

  15. Foxy
    Foxy January 25, 2013 at 5:29 am |

    I really hope they demand same standards from every one

    1. Li
      Li January 25, 2013 at 5:32 am |

      Was expecting comment about drones. Am v. disappointed.

    2. Alara Rogers
      Alara Rogers January 25, 2013 at 12:30 pm |

      To a certain extent, yes, they should demand the same standards of everyone.

      But there’s also room for specialized skills. While deserts rarely call for the skill “can fit better into tight quarters and can get through small narrow passages better than others”, this *was* considered a sufficiently valuable skill in Vietnam that they had squads of short skinny men who served that particular function (I believe they called them “Tunnel Rats.”) If you have a situation where things such as small size, low weight, or high body fat to mass ratio are valuable (caves, tree climbing, swimming/extreme cold conditions would be respective examples of such situations), you might want to undervalue traits like “can carry a lot of weight” to put a priority on body traits that tend to *not* associate with “can carry a lot of weight” if those body traits are themselves valuable.

      In other words, yes, for generic combat, make everyone meet the same minimum standards. But if what you’re looking for are specialized body types that will more likely occur among women or small men, lower your strength standards, because you’re looking for people who meet a higher standard than normal in a dimension you’re not normally looking for.

      Arguments have been made that if fighter planes were designed with a little bit more mechanical assistance in the operation of the controls, women would make better pilots than men. We have less weight to get slammed by g’s (and burn fuel), we have on average more endurance, male reproductive functions are harmed by high g (it tends to kill sperm) whereas ours are not (well, I wouldn’t subject a pregnant woman to high g, but it doesn’t damage our eggs any), and we are somewhat more likely to be able to work together in a group even when we’ve been selected from a pool of thrill-seekers and hot dogs (fighter pilots, obviously, being overrepresented by those personality types, and I wouldn’t expect female fighter pilots to be *less* likely to be adrenaline junkies or hotshots… just that female adrenaline junkies and hotshots are still socialized better to work in groups than their male counterparts.) The Air Force is still dominated by male pilots. So is the sport of horse racing, despite a. horses are primarily controlled by their emotional bond with their rider and the rider’s skill, not by brute strength b. lower weight is better in a jockey c. smaller size is better in a jockey even if the weight is the same and d. approximately 90% of all little girls are obsessed with horses.

      Somehow, when the traits women are more likely to have than men are at stake, we’re much more likely to give men a free pass and relax the standards so more men can have the opportunity… but when it’s traits men have more often than women, suddenly “all men” are better than “all women” to the point where frail little women can’t possibly hope to succeed. If the standard is one that the average healthy adult male can meet, then the majority of healthy adult females will meet it too; you don’t need to lower standards for women as long as the standards didn’t already exclude most men.

      1. bleh
        bleh January 26, 2013 at 3:47 pm |

        Thanks for this comment. I just love the analysis you employ!

    3. Henry
      Henry January 25, 2013 at 2:20 pm |

      Pentagon has already stated standards for jobs will not change. What more can you want? If you can get the job done no one should care about your gender, skin color etc.

      I call bullshit on better socialized to work in groups then men though. That’s utter nonsense. The army’s worked more than fine in an almost all male combat capacity and I do not expect improvements due to the inclusion of female combat soldiers.

      I also do not expect degradation of quality either, unlike the linked article about having to pee or some nonsense. If I’m getting shot at and need to take a leak or poop I’m doing it however I can, even if a foxhole full of nuns is watching while I use a cheap porno magazine as toilet paper.

      1. karak
        karak January 26, 2013 at 12:52 am |

        Women are very, very strongly encouraged to work better in groups. I firmly deny that this is a inbred/evolutionary trait, but it is very emphatically pushed in our society that women should damn well know how to get along with others, and many studies have supported the notion that women are more likely to be self-effacing, refer to others, demand consensus before action, and the like.

        I doubt it will have any profound effect on how the military operates, especially because part of the act of joining is to be broken down and re-socialized. It would be nice to see some of the Toxic Masculinity shit drain out of the military thought process, but I don’t really think having women in combat will do that, that will take pressure from the top-down.

        1. tigtog
          tigtog January 26, 2013 at 1:24 am | *

          Agreed. This is an absolutely HUGE cultural expectation for women, and any women who whether by choice or incapacity do not “get along well with others” (aka take it upon themselves to do the background wheel-greasing involved in smooth group functioning) are heavily penalised for nonconformity to feminine stereotypes.

        2. David
          David February 11, 2013 at 4:50 pm |

          “Getting on well with others” is not the same as being effective in a group.

          I didn’t realise that there was a gendered difference in ability to work as a team. Do you have a reference?

          You could equally make the case “boys are encouraged to play competitive team sports, therefore they are better at teamwork”

          Personally I think that both arguments are a load of tosh, and I would be surprised if there was a real difference between the genders.

    4. ginmar
      ginmar January 29, 2013 at 3:10 pm |

      And yet, nobody talks about how fifty-year-old master sergeants aren’t required to outrun the eighteen-year-old boys.

    5. Fat Steve
      Fat Steve January 29, 2013 at 3:12 pm |

      I really hope they demand same standards from every one

      They always have, it’s just that now those standards don’t include a pair of testicles.

  16. NotAVet
    NotAVet January 25, 2013 at 12:24 pm |

    Couple of observations from talking to vets:

    1) Despite rhetoric the military is not super professional. It’s a bunch of 18-24 year olds with raging hormones. A huge number of women in the military end up getting pregnant (even when they are married) because of the psychological isolation and close proximity to tons of males. The result is tension, love triangles, and the woman leaving. Nearly every marine I know tells me this same story. And yes, it takes two to tango, but there is much more demand than supply.

    2) women already have lowered PT requirements. Slate published something a while back showing that not a single woman was able to pass the Marine’s PT. If the new policy results in lowered standards, it will get somebody killed. Saying that not all men can do it either is beside the point.

    3) It’s not true women hav already served in combat. A transport convoy getting ambushed, or having a heli shot down is not the “combat” of which the military speaks. It’s not a discredit to female bravery, but a fact. No woman has carried around 100 pounds of gear while on infantry duty, shooting it out with insurgents.

    4) There is no shortage of men to fill combat roles. The analogies to the Viet Cong and USSR are therefore misplaced. They acted out of necessity. This is purely for social/fairness reasons

    All this said: keep the PT standards the same and have women serve in separate units. But causing all the unit cohesion problems described above, to accommodate the 1% of interested women who could actually qualify, is bad policy. It’s not worth it.

    1. EG
      EG January 25, 2013 at 12:47 pm |

      Funny, I wonder how the Israeli military has managed to deal with all these terrible consequences. You write as though no army has had women in combat positions ever before.

      1. NotAVet
        NotAVet January 25, 2013 at 1:02 pm |

        I acknowledged that other nations have done this.

        However, the Israel example is misplaced. There is only one mixed-gender infantry battalion in Israel. It is 60% female (avoiding the unit cohesion problems outlined above). This battalion serves on the quiet borders with Jordan and Egypt.

        1. EG
          EG January 25, 2013 at 1:15 pm |

          According to sources who are not you, women in combat positions are more widespread:

          “In 1999 the Caracal company was formed, as a non segregated infantry company. In 2000 it was expanded into a Battalion (called The 33rd, for the 33 women killed in combat during the War of Independence) since then, further combat positions have opened to women, including Artillery, Field Intelligence, Search and Rescue, NBC, Border Patrol, K-9 Unit and anti-aircraft warfare.”

          “But in the Soviet Union women fought in larger numbers in front line roles. Over 800,000 women served in the Soviet armed forces in World War II; nearly 200,000 of them were decorated and 89 of them eventually received the Soviet Union’s highest award, the Hero of the Soviet Union. They served as pilots, snipers, machine gunners, tank crew members and partisans, as well as in auxiliary roles.[1]”

          Clearly women in combat roles are fatal to unit cohesion. That’s why the USSR lost WW2. And the ineffectiveness of Israeli Artillery, Field Intelligence, Search and Rescue, NBC, Border Patrol, K-9 Unit and anti-aircraft warfare personnel is legendary.

          But sure, it was just because they were desperate–desperate enough to ignore patriarchal conditioning. That’s what desperation does. Look at what Orwell had to say about male attitudes toward their female colleagues during the Spanish Civil war–they were comrades when needed but jeered at during periods of safety. What that shows is that when push comes to shove, men are able to recognize that women can fight well. Patriarchy is a luxury.

        2. Henry
          Henry January 25, 2013 at 2:39 pm |

          My cousin trained female officers for the Israeli Army. No one there was worried about their qualifications for combat. If you want to find out I suggest you try and get one to prove how well she can use an M16.

          It is true there is less placement on the front lines for women today in Israel, a result of gender discrimination there or because fewer women want to serve in combat units due to socialization (again a form of discrimination) or they just don’t want to, but it has nothing to do with the abilities of those who choose to enter a combat unit and can find a spot.

      2. Sillyme
        Sillyme January 26, 2013 at 2:15 pm |

        The Israeli military has clearly defined roles for men and women in the military. Just look up newsreels of the Israeli military deploying to go into gaza or something along those lines. In a military which is close to gender parity you hardly see women in combat units, none at all really. So its the same like it was in the us except there is a draft.

        1. EG
          EG January 29, 2013 at 9:36 am |

          I refer you to the link regarding the Israeli military that I put in above.

        2. Sillyme
          Sillyme January 31, 2013 at 11:18 am |

          I saw the link. I also saw the news. What israel says and what israel seems to be doing seem to be 2 pair of shoes. Or how do you explain that whenever you see new regarding the Israeli military in combat you do not see any women?

        3. EG
          EG January 31, 2013 at 12:11 pm |

          Or how do you explain that whenever you see new regarding the Israeli military in combat you do not see any women?

          Well, I’m aware that the news footage that we see is a rather carefully constructed form of performance and propaganda, so I don’t assume that what I see is all there is. I often take into account the fact that things happen even when I can’t see them doing so. Or, you know, as I like to put it, I have half a brain.

        4. Henry
          Henry January 31, 2013 at 1:36 pm |

          Sillyme about 5 years ago I personally obeserved at least one female soldier crossing the “Good Fence” gate at Metula to do border patrol with her unit along the blue line border between Lebanon and Israel. A border with Hezbollah flags flying not 100 yards away from the final border fence and that has see rather routine violence in the past decade.

        5. tigtog
          tigtog January 31, 2013 at 5:21 pm | *

          Sillyme, I’m wondering exactly how you determine (eta from TV footage) which soldiers are men and which are women in units where everybody is wearing body armour/backpacks/weapons/combat boots/combat helmets?

    2. Past my expiration date
      Past my expiration date January 25, 2013 at 12:54 pm |

      I am not a vet. I am also not NotAVet. If I were NotAVet, I would be quiet and let the vets speak for themselves, rather than speaking for them.

      1. NotAVet
        NotAVet January 25, 2013 at 1:04 pm |

        Drawing on second-hand experience is superior to abstract theorizing in my view.

        1. EG
          EG January 25, 2013 at 1:19 pm |

          I agree.

          Also, I agree.

          Now, I should care about what you say because…?

    3. ginmar
      ginmar January 29, 2013 at 3:18 pm |

      You’re not in the Army. Good. I just retired from twenty years and I’m a woman.

      1. It’s funny how men want to talk only about certain women. We had a woman in my AIT company who was kind of sad—she’d been exploited pretty much all her life and many of the guys were eager to continue that proud tradition. She got called a slut; nobody talked about them at all. She got pregnant and got out. Two of the other girls also got pregnant at the same time. They didn’t tell anybody, did PT the same as ever, including ruck marches, and were only discovered when they grew out of their regular uniforms. After delivery, they were back before the recovery period, doing PT and ruckmarches yet again.

      Nobody talked about them.

      After we had a reunion, at least fifteen guys mentioned the first woman. Nobody talked about the other two. It gave the impression that there were fifteen girls getting pregnant, apparently from osmosis, because this was seemingly accomplished without any male contributions.

      2. Yeah, I keep hearing this. And yet I keep seeing women beating some of the guys. But you’re not in the military so that means you’re hearing this second hand. Those standards need to be re-examined. They often serve as a way of keeping women out, rather than reflecting what’s necessary to the job.

      3. Bullshit. I myself was in combat. The enemy shot at us, we shot back, etc., etc., You’re full of shit.

      4. Good soldiers are never too plentiful. The fact is, losers like to make much of women not being in combat, when they make combat the sole method of attaining promotion and respect.

  17. Andie
    Andie January 25, 2013 at 1:17 pm |

    A huge number of women in the military end up getting pregnant (even when they are married) because of the psychological isolation and close proximity to tons of males. The result is tension, love triangles, and the woman leaving. Nearly every marine I know tells me this same story. And yes, it takes two to tango, but there is much more demand than supply.

    Or.. could it be.. the huge number of rapes that occur in the military? How many of these marines you talked to were women? How do you know they ‘left’ because of love triangles rather than being forced out in order to hush up sexual assault allegations?

    1. Andie
      Andie January 25, 2013 at 1:18 pm |

      Dammit. This was supposed to be in response to NotAVet.

    2. EG
      EG January 25, 2013 at 1:21 pm |

      I like how it’s a huge number of women who “end up” getting pregnant rather than, oh, a huge number of men who knock up their colleagues, or even a significant amount of fraternizing resulting in pregnancies. Nope, it’s all those wicked, wicked women.

      But hey, if it’s all consensual, distribute condoms. Require birth control. Make vasectomies and abortions available at military hospitals.

      1. karak
        karak January 26, 2013 at 1:00 am |

        You know, the military has, in the past, distributed condoms to soldiers, usually because they knew the soldiers would visit brothels and prostitutes and they wanted to keep the number on STDs low.

        People can be stupid, and sex is the #1 thing to be stupid about. There’s nothing wrong with the army saying, “Look, we got a bunch of young people here, and people have sex when they’re under stress. Let’s think of progressive ways to deal with these facts”.

        There is something wrong with the army saying, “OH GAWD BABBY” and acting like human reproduction is a terrifying insurmountable problem.

        1. TomSims
          TomSims January 31, 2013 at 3:58 pm |

          “You know, the military has, in the past, distributed condoms to soldiers, usually because they knew the soldiers would visit brothels and prostitutes and they wanted to keep the number on STDs low.”

          I used to put one over the business end of my M16 to keep it clean and free from jamming. We called them rubbers in those days.

      2. ginmar
        ginmar January 29, 2013 at 3:20 pm |

        Yeah, if getting pregnant is a crime, then the guy ought to get tossed out as well.

        Watch the MRAs flip their shit when they hear that one.

  18. Natalie
    Natalie January 25, 2013 at 1:38 pm |

    all i got out of this article was erhmegerd pooop!

  19. Tigger
    Tigger January 25, 2013 at 2:15 pm |

    As a currently serving infantryman, allow me to say this much, it does not matter. The SecDef said it, the CiC approved it, now we are going to do it. The only thing I care about is performance. I don’t now, and will never tolerate quitting, whining, sandbagging, or crying from any troop under my supervision. I have seen women fight,die and come to their comrade’s aid under fire. I have also seen them quit, cower and shirk their duties. I have also seen men do all of the above. In the end it comes down to training, motivation, and leadership. Come to my squad fresh off the block, and I will make you killing machine that Patton would be proud of or send you back home. Because at the end of the day that is what we are here for, to seek out, locate, and destroy the enemy by means of fire and. manouvre. Personally I find it offensives that chickenhawks feel the need to tell the world how it is I feel about the subject, and to deny those willing to put themselves in harms the oppurtunity to do so. We all know that life in the infantry is hell on your body Psyche and family, but at the end of the you have the honour of saying you did. it, you were there, you get to belong to something bigger than. yourself. To me that sacrifice is worth it. So if Suzy-Q is willing to earn it then I fall in beside Billy-Bob

    1. Henry
      Henry January 25, 2013 at 5:58 pm |

      This. Thank you.

    2. ginmar
      ginmar January 29, 2013 at 3:25 pm |

      You, sir, sound like what the military is all about. When the CMD SGT MGR of the Marines stood up and said, that who were they to deny someone the opportunity to serve, to take integration of gays as a challenge worthy of Marines—that’s what the military can do.

  20. Tigger
    Tigger January 25, 2013 at 2:22 pm |

    “Then I say fall in beside Billy-Bob.”

    1. ginmar
      ginmar January 30, 2013 at 3:05 am |

      Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand this is what civilian bosses never ever offer.

  21. Junaid
    Junaid January 25, 2013 at 9:57 pm |

    While I agree that combat positions should be open to women (provided they are held to the same physical standards as men), the comments in response to Smith are disgraceful. Whatever a person’s opinions are on any issue, a veteran who defended your right to free speech must be given respect. Otherwise, you should feel free to move to Iran.

    1. EG
      EG January 25, 2013 at 10:12 pm |

      Whatever a person’s opinions are on any issue, a veteran who defended your right to free speech must be given respect.

      No. I’ll respect his willingness to put himself at risk. That doesn’t mean that I have to respect every thought that comes out of his mouth.

      1. Junaid
        Junaid January 27, 2013 at 4:40 pm |

        It’s not just “putting himself at risk” (it’s about putting himself at risk to protect US), nor did I ever suggest you have to agree with him. This is a matter of patriotism, and people should adopt a different vernacular when speaking of veterans regardless of their politics.

        1. EG
          EG January 28, 2013 at 3:57 pm |

          Well, I disagree with that. I don’t think I was in danger from Iraq, for example, or Viet Nam.

          I would never describe myself as a patriot, and I see no reason to speak respectfully regarding opinions that are not worthy of respect. If doing that is the price of admission to “patriotism,” then you have put your finger precisely on why I don’t describe myself as one, and have no wish to.

          There are many honorable people and occupations. I have infinite respect for, oh, Stokely Carmichael/Kwame Ture, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to speak respectfully regarding his quip that “the only position for women in the movement is prone,” because it was a shitty thing to say.

        2. Andie
          Andie January 28, 2013 at 4:14 pm |

          This is B.S.

          Vets who say shitty things should be called out for saying shitty things. If need be, I will prefix that calling-out with an “With all due respect” if it so pleases.

        3. Sheelzebub
          Sheelzebub January 29, 2013 at 10:10 am |

          No. He is being insulting and misogynist, and I’m not going to censor myself for his comfort. He does not have special rights in that regard. Dish it out, learn to take it.

          And BTW, our invasions and occupations over the past 40 years have not been done in the name of protecting US. We have committed troops to invade and occupy and fight wars to make grabs for resources or to unseat a politician we didn’t like. But none of those countries were ever near the capability of invading us. I don’t blame individual soldiers for US policy BS but I certainly do not buy the lie that these wars were fought to protect my rights.

    2. karak
      karak January 26, 2013 at 1:03 am |

      Well, I’d respect an Iranian veteran who spoke out against policy a lot more, because that person would be putting their freedom and life on the line to do what they think is right.

      Someone writing a stupid editorial in one of the most opinion-friendly nations in the world isn’t someone who needs a ton of asspats. He said in public, and is going to incur the opinions of the public he specifically addressed. No one needs to be telling him to kill himself or anything, but telling him his opinions are stupid and he might be too is just turnabout being fair play.

    3. Fat Steve
      Fat Steve January 28, 2013 at 3:46 pm |

      Whatever a person’s opinions are on any issue, a veteran who defended your right to free speech must be given respect. Otherwise, you should feel free to move to Iran.

      I would think that if forcing respect on people is your type of thing, then Iran would be exactly your kind of place.

      1. Sheelzebub
        Sheelzebub January 29, 2013 at 9:56 am |

        +1

      2. ginmar
        ginmar January 29, 2013 at 3:29 pm |

        This whole blanket respect thing makes it easier for civilians to dismiss what soldiers do, as well. It’s a tough job, but it’s tough in ways that the ‘rah rah rah support the troops’ slap-a-yellow-ribbon-made-in-China-on-it never get. Anybody can do the job, really, with the right training, but some people don’t want to see that. It’s far better for them to say that they could never do the job—that way they’ll never get asked to.

    4. Sheelzebub
      Sheelzebub January 29, 2013 at 10:06 am |

      Veterans don’t deserve special rights. Respect for putting their lives on the line, yes. But that doesn’t mean that one doesn’t have the right to object–and to do so vigorously–to what they say. If you feel someone is being insulting to Smith, too bad. I think he’s been incredibly insulting, and you seem to think that being a vet gives you the right to be insulting and nasty while everyone else must lay flowers at the insulter’s feet. Freedom of speech? Even includes the right of me to express my opinion in opposition to a veteran. “Don’t express your opinion or do so in ways that I don’t like, and if you do you should move to a totalitarian state” is a common refrain but it makes no sense. The point of freedom is to use it. If it makes you uncomfortable, perhaps you are the one who should move.

      And you know? We haven’t exactly been invaded. I’m getting bloody well tired of the trope that the army is protecting my freedoms, therefore I should voluntarily censor myself (calling Orwell!). Soldiers have been sent to put themselves at risk and die in invasions and occupations that had fuck-all to do with protecting the freedoms of the American people. So cut that out.

  22. spongleflipper
    spongleflipper January 25, 2013 at 11:43 pm |

    Considering soldiers would have to deal with blood and gore, not to mention being shot at, I don’t think they would mind seeing someone of the opposite sex poop.

    1. PrettyAmiable
      PrettyAmiable January 26, 2013 at 5:06 pm |

      I had to read your comment three times to convince myself that “sex poop” wasn’t one idea.

      1. PeggyLuWho
        PeggyLuWho January 30, 2013 at 3:53 am |

        hawt

  23. Sillyme
    Sillyme January 26, 2013 at 1:12 pm |

    Its a non issue. There have been women allowed in combat roles in the military across the world. Very few women signed up and sign up for it. All the debate for one in 5.000 soldiers is just not worth the effort. America wont win or lose because a tiny fraction of soldiers in a combat unit are female.

    1. LC
      LC January 26, 2013 at 2:46 pm |

      Actually, it seems the places that opened the military up to women end up with about 2% in infantry or other close-combat positions, and 10-20% overall female representation.

      Not sure how much that might shift in time, but that seems to be where the numbers have shaken out in places where it has been done. So… a bit more than 1 in 5,000.

      1. Sillyme
        Sillyme January 26, 2013 at 3:59 pm |

        Okay fine, so its 2 in 100. How many of those 2 will get actually deployed? And even if all 2% will get deployed, america wont win or lose a war because 2 out of 100 soldiers are female.

        Now military rape and such is still an issue of course.

        1. Briznecko
          Briznecko January 28, 2013 at 2:19 pm |

          So…don’t allow women in the combat roles which will:

          1.) Give them greater opportunities to be promoted to higher ranks.

          2.) Women involved in those higher ranks will potentially disassemble the über-masculine culture that perpetuates the rape culture in the military.

        2. Sillyme
          Sillyme January 28, 2013 at 7:28 pm |

          Whom said anything about not allowing women into combat roles? The reasoning was, even if combat positions are opened to women, not that many want combat positions to begin with, so you might as well let them.

        3. ginmar
          ginmar January 29, 2013 at 3:46 pm |

          What are you talking about? First off, the notion that only 11Bs are in combat is bull; second, there are no front or rear lines these days. Everybody is in combat.

          Funny how some people want to have a really really strict definition of combat that redefines what female soldiers have been doing for years as ‘not-combat’ even if they’re exchanging fire with the enemy, which is everybody’s definition of combat.

        4. Sillyme
          Sillyme January 29, 2013 at 6:19 pm |

          So what, you are against opening spots in combat units to women?

        5. ginmar
          ginmar January 30, 2013 at 3:08 am |

          Your statistics aren’t accurate at all. Some companies are fifty/fifty male/female, while others are even more skewed toward women. Then, you apparently know zilch about insurgencies. Every time you leave the base, there’s the chance of combat. And often that’s exactly what happens.

  24. Welcome to Monday (or Tuesday) ~ 29 January 2013 | feminaust ~ for australian feminism

    [...] Jill at feministe writes about women in combat. [...]

  25. Some Guy
    Some Guy January 29, 2013 at 3:38 pm |

    As a Marine currently in Afghanistan I don’t see why women shouldn’t be permitted to serve in combat in the United States Armed forces. Or be eligible for the draft or equal pay or anything else that men experience.

    1. ginmar
      ginmar January 29, 2013 at 3:47 pm |

      You’re a Marine and yet you’ve never seen that women are in fact in combat and have been for at least ten years now?

      1. Sillyme
        Sillyme January 29, 2013 at 6:27 pm |

        I dont think you quite understand what a combat unit does. A combat unit is deployed where it can expect contact with an enemy such as a fob in Korengal valley, or actively seeks out combat with the enemy, such as assaulting an area held by enemy.

        The units open to women only see combat when they are ambushed or any such or resupply a combat unit that is in the middle of a fight.

        Also casualities have been really really low. There have been like 3000 American deads in 10 years. A similiar figure has been reached only on the first day of fighting in Normandy. So it is very well possible that you end up going through a tour not only without seeing women fighting, but without being in a fight yourself. Insurgents much rather prefer to place IEDs than to confront ISAF in a firefight. In fact IEDs have been the biggest killer for years now, not bullets out of a rifle.

        1. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune January 29, 2013 at 7:15 pm |

          Sillyme, I know you don’t read for shit, but ginmar’s a fucking VETERAN. So how about you shut the fuck up and give her some credit for knowing her own goddamn former career, hm?

        2. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune January 29, 2013 at 7:22 pm |

          deads

          Also, hoshit, I have my issues with the US military, but I’ve never called them DEADS. Talk about fucking disrespect.

        3. EG
          EG January 29, 2013 at 11:24 pm |

          Personally, I’m looking forward to Junaid showing up here to admonish SillyMe for not speaking to ginmar with the proper respect. Or does that rule apply only to male veterans?

        4. ginmar
          ginmar January 30, 2013 at 3:10 am |

          Let me point out a few things to you, champ:

          1. I am a woman.
          2. I am a veteran.
          3. I have been in combat.

          Adjust your attitude.

        5. ginmar
          ginmar January 30, 2013 at 3:16 am |

          I was in combat within thirty days of arriving in Iraq. The first day our boots hit the ground, the Marines in the next hooch had three casualties. A week later, we had our first death, and one soldier was permanently disabled.

          We were not a combat unit. In theory, I had a desk job. In reality, I did hundreds of convoys as turret gunner.You fill the jobs that need filling, regardless of gender. And the enemy does not check your gender or MOS before they open up on you.

          I don’t know where you’re getting your ‘information’ from, but it sure as shit isn’t from reality.

          To whoever commented on the use of the word ‘deads’ this sounds to me like a literal translation from another language, where the addition of the word ‘persons’ would be unnecessary, because the adjective would be both descriptor and noun both. If that makes sense. I don’t know what the correct term for that is.

        6. Sillyme
          Sillyme January 30, 2013 at 8:03 am |

          If there are whole units closed to women and some branches like the airforce have a higher percentage of women than others, then no shit you will find units with gender parity despite women comprising roughly 15% of the military. Thats because they only have so many places to go in the us military.

          Also I kept saying I am in favor of opening all positions to women, so I dont quite see what all the arguing is about.

        7. ginmar
          ginmar January 30, 2013 at 8:26 am |

          You keep saying if and pulling “figures” and “percentages” out of your ass. Protesting that you’re not against it, in view of how skeptical you are, is not fooling anybody.

        8. Sillyme
          Sillyme January 30, 2013 at 10:06 am |

          How am I being skeptical? All I did was say that the us is not gonna lose a war because a few of the troops in combat units are female. And I also reiterated that other military s around the world lifted all bans some time ago and it did not have any measurable negative impact on them.

        9. Fat Steve
          Fat Steve January 30, 2013 at 1:37 pm |

          To whoever commented on the use of the word ‘deads’ this sounds to me like a literal translation from another language, where the addition of the word ‘persons’ would be unnecessary, because the adjective would be both descriptor and noun both. If that makes sense. I don’t know what the correct term for that is.

          Yeah, I think she meant to say ‘Americans dead’, rather than ‘American deads’

    2. Henry
      Henry January 29, 2013 at 10:52 pm |

      I’m sure Some Guy meant “combat units”. Way to trash a supporter of equal right guys :)

  26. ginmar
    ginmar January 30, 2013 at 7:01 am |

    Bull. Mentionin the draft is a dead giveaway of bad faith.

    1. Henry
      Henry January 31, 2013 at 1:46 pm |

      Please provide a counterargument for why selective service registration (so long as it exists) should not apply to women. The only ones I can think of are sexist, like staying at home to make babies, 50% of whom will have to fill out that card at the post office when they reach 18.

      Registration for a draft should be done away with or every 18 yr old fill out a card regardless of who they are. That would be a true showing of equality – when the government believes everyone is truly equal as opposed to women can volunteer to join the “boy’s club” if they like to.

      1. ginmar
        ginmar January 31, 2013 at 1:54 pm |

        That’s not even close to what I said. Only MRAs have an obsession with the “draft”.

        1. Henry
          Henry January 31, 2013 at 2:10 pm |

          Then why bag on Some Guy for “bad faith”? – I do not find anything of what he said objectionable. Sorry I just do not understand.

        2. EG
          EG January 31, 2013 at 2:16 pm |

          She means that only MRAs think the draft is some kind of trump card, or evidence that our society discriminates against men, or that feminists think that the draft should be for men only or blah blah blah, so bringing it up as though any of those things are true strongly suggests that the person doing so is an MRA and not interested in actually engaging with feminists.

      2. ginmar
        ginmar January 31, 2013 at 2:52 pm |

        Precisely. Funny how the most obvious question was not addressed except by another feminist.

    2. Sillyme
      Sillyme February 1, 2013 at 9:46 am |

      Women will only be assigned to combat units if they volunteer. Nobody is seriously considering drafting women for military service.

  27. John
    John January 31, 2013 at 3:32 pm |

    I’m a navy vet. A lot of what has been writen here is about ground combat. I must state that on a warship there isn’t any non-combat roles. Everyone is in a combat position reguardless if they are running a radar in CIC or putting shells in guns. Besides missiles and shells could care less if you are male or female when they hit the ship and kill you! And yes I did see service on the ground. Six years in the special boat unit did that. My point of view is that as long as they do not lower standards I have no problem with mixed race/sex/gender units. However, unlike war before now, we have videos coming out almost as soon as they are made, so what happens when we get some female taken prisoner and the gangraped then placed on the internet while it is happening? Most of our troops would be “lets find these people and kill them and then piss on their graves!”, but our leaders and the people back home? What then? Raping a guy doesn’t have the same point. But, a woman? That becomes a political statement! Could you see what would have happen if 10% of our force had been women in the Death March? None would have made it. They all would have been pulled from it before starting, gangraped and those that lived through that killed.

    1. ginmar
      ginmar January 31, 2013 at 4:21 pm |

      Gee, John, your faux concern is so very, very….not convincing.

      Funny how you ignored the many, many, MANY women who are being raped right now—-by their fellow service members.

      Where’s your cocern for that?

      1. shfree
        shfree January 31, 2013 at 4:53 pm |

        And women don’t even have to be soldiers to be gang raped during a war. There doesn’t even need to be a war on for women to be gang raped. The problem isn’t the presence of women, it’s the presence of rapists.

        1. TomSims
          TomSims February 1, 2013 at 11:57 am |

          “And women don’t even have to be soldiers to be gang raped during a war. There doesn’t even need to be a war on for women to be gang raped. The problem isn’t the presence of women, it’s the presence of rapists.”

          Spot on. I’ve seen stats like a woman is raped every 2 minutes in the USA. One third of women in the military are raped.

          http://newsjunkiepost.com/2010/01/26/13rd-of-women-in-us-military-raped/

      2. Sillyme
        Sillyme February 1, 2013 at 9:47 am |

        Were you raped during your service?

        1. ginmar
          ginmar February 1, 2013 at 10:30 am |

          Oh, no, diddums. You haven’t addressed anything anybody’s said, but now you want to take the floor?

          ….Aside from which, it’s impossibly creepy for somebody lIe you to demand an answer to THAT question in the middle of THIS discussion.

          Also, our caring sub jockey never showed up again. Gee.

        2. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune February 1, 2013 at 10:43 am |

          Fuck, shut up, would you? That was so creepy I can’t believe you haven’t been banned for it.

        3. Donna L
          Donna L February 2, 2013 at 2:37 pm |

          Thank you.

    2. Bagelsan
      Bagelsan January 31, 2013 at 6:42 pm |

      Those brown men are just insatiable when it comes to raping!

    3. Fat Steve
      Fat Steve February 1, 2013 at 12:30 pm |

      However, unlike war before now, we have videos coming out almost as soon as they are made, so what happens when we get some female taken prisoner and the gangraped then placed on the internet while it is happening? Most of our troops would be “lets find these people and kill them and then piss on their graves!”, but our leaders and the people back home? What then? Raping a guy doesn’t have the same point. But, a woman? That becomes a political statement!

      Video of a man being gang-raped doesn’t have the same shock value as video of a woman in the same scenario? I would think it would be far far more shocking to the general public, as male on female rape is constantly depicted in films and other art forms, whereas male on male rape is very rarely depicted. Plus, the obvious right wing revulsion at anything homosexual also factors in. This is the most ludicrous point I have ever read.

      If two men got raped I guarantee there would be far far more of an uproar than twenty women.

  28. Sam
    Sam January 31, 2013 at 5:05 pm |

    Women in “non-combat” roles now are still in the middle of a war zone and at risk for capture and rape or other forms of abuse. From people with experience, it sounds like the combat/non-combat deal is a distinction without much of a difference. If I were a women in a war zone, I think I’d rather be armed and trained to fight back, anyway.

    1. ginmar
      ginmar February 2, 2013 at 11:38 am |

      It’s hard to tell the actual enemy from your fellow soldiers in some environments. And the fact that women do get raped by superior officers or NCOs in the military ought to put to rest any cries that guns would solve any sexual assault problem at all. We don’t listen to rape victims now. Nobody could argue with a straight face that they’re concerned about military women being raped by enemy soldiers without being nailed for ignoring all the rapes committed against them by their own fellow service members.

      You get judged—if you’re a victim—by a bunch of people who may be buddies with the rapist, and if you’re not vindicated, you can get charged with insubordination and other crimes. Which often happens. I remember one case where the rapists were given immunity over the rape victim that they raped by the prosecution because when there’s a situation like this, pursuing the victim for whatever is as much or more of a priority as it is to get the rapists. Rapists don’t rock the boat with sexist men.

      Women do.

      We had a guy in an old unit of mine who got disciplined but never busted down for harassing women—sneaking around, taking their pictures while we were overseas and in civilian clothes, stuff like that—-and creeping around on topless or nudge beaches.

      He got tapped to do the ‘sexual harassment briefing’. This was a guy who said once to me, “Oh, black women don’t get raped. They’re too ugly. Who’d want to rape them?!

      I’m sure the other guys knew what he was like. Nobody said anything.

      The problem here is not female behavior or presence, but what men tolerate from other men when they say or do horrible things about or to women. They do this shit around other men the way racist whites say racist shit around other white people, expecting that the cost of rocking the boat is worse than the benefit of sticking one’s self out.

      Instead of pursuing rape victims for drinking while underage or whatever, the military could make a lot of arrests by pursuing guys for blatantly violating standards. It’s all about mens’ comfort, is what it comes down to. It’s all about catering to them, because gee, who else will join the military?

      It comes down to men not just tolerating this shit, but participating in it themselves.

  29. John
    John February 5, 2013 at 12:02 pm |

    First of all I want to say a couple of things. 1. My wife is a sexual assault Trainer/Educator/Speaker with over 18 years in the field so Yes I’ve been trained in it by her. 2. I spent over two years of my navy time as a navy cop and still hang out with cops and yes I did handle several rape cases and in all of them I just wanted to take care of the rapist on the scene with a quick pistol shot to the head. My wife will still not let me talk to her leftest friends/co-workers on my views of rape!

    I made two points. The first is that as long as they do not lower the standards I have no problem with women in a combat unit. Just like when I had a female partner as a cop or when I had females on my gun crews. Either they hung in there and did the job or they found somewhere else to work and yes I held the same standards to the guys who worked for me. Yes I replaced both on a as needed basis! However, most women will not serve in them just like most men do not serve in them. Second is that most if not all of the people that we will face in combat will use rape of any women of our forces, both Civ and Military, that they get their hands on as a polical statement! Just as they used the killing of Mr. Pearl who tried to get a news story as a polical statement. That means that we have to be ready to see someone taken and then raped and used as a polical statment in the worse possible way! Are you ready to see that?

    1. PrettyAmiable
      PrettyAmiable February 5, 2013 at 12:15 pm |

      Are you ready to see that?

      Am I ready to see women treated with the base level of respect required to trust that they know the risks of something they face disproportionately better than you and decide for themselves whether they choose to take that risk?

      Yes, I’m ready to see you treating women like people. Maybe you should start.

      1. john
        john February 7, 2013 at 11:57 pm |

        Right now I think you guys are funny! I work around all races, sex’s and gendres! I treat people as people and as well as I can. My wife is going to laugh her butt off about this! I just wonder how many of you have spent time in the military? In combat units? In those units you carry your share of the load or you get out fast. And about me talking to my wifes leftest friends and co-workers, its mostly so that I don’t piss them off and make her job harder! I would rather help those who need help and take care of those who just need to be burried! I don’t wear rose colored glasses and I see the world as it is, not as people wish it was. If you really think so highly of your views, sign on the dotted line, go to boot camp, then go to AIT and then put your body armour on, put your LBE on and pick up your weapon and do a few patrols, then you will be able to say your side with the fact of being there and doing that, not just talking the talk and not doing the walk! Go ahead! I dare you!

        1. PrettyAmiable
          PrettyAmiable February 8, 2013 at 12:44 am |

          One: your wife is an idiot if she can’t spot your misogyny. Sucks to be her.

          Two: Have you read any of ginmar’s posts? No? Doesn’t sound like it, because you’re a self-involved twit. :(

          Three: I don’t want to be in the military because I’m not really interested in murdering civilians and getting involved in conflicts that we can’t help (see: nearly every country we’ve occupied in the last two decades). I also don’t want to smoke cigarettes, work in a government job, or bungee jump – but I’m not pathetic enough to think I need to have the experience in order to determine whether people (including, dipshit, women) should exercise their right to make their own choices about their lives.

          To sum: you’re both a misogynist and stupid. If your wife doesn’t see through your misogynistic bullshit, she’s stupid too.

        2. john
          john February 8, 2013 at 11:24 pm |

          Like I said you make me laugh! Have I anything bad about your special other person? No! However, my wife has her masters (3.9 gpa) from a Jeusit College by the way and we have been married going on 26 years so I think that she is not an idiot nor is she dumb. She knows me very well and will laugh her buns off over this! If you look at my posts I only started reading this blog a week or so ago and I don’t remember reading ginmar’s maybe when I’m home I’ll be able to read them. Right now I’m working on a USMC PrePo Ship supporting our troops. You state you don’t want to go into the military and kill Civ’s! And here I thought that our military’s job was to protect our Civ’s and get between our Civ’s and the people who want to hurt them. And yes I did place my body between some nameless Civ and someone who wanted to hurt them, more then once. And it wasn’t even a US Civ either! Does it happen that some civ get hurt in combat. Yes. Do we mean to? No. However, it happens and has happen since time began and it will happen until time stops. Espeically when the other side uses women and kids as shields! Getting back to the blog. like I said, don’t lower the standards and be ready for when a woman is grapped and taken away and then gangraped on video and then that video is downloaded on the internet. Because it will happen. and remember that I respect your views and I would like that you respect my views! I at least stood up for your views.

        3. PrettyAmiable
          PrettyAmiable February 13, 2013 at 7:47 pm |

          And here I thought that our military’s job was to protect our Civ’s and get between our Civ’s and the people who want to hurt them.

          You guys have been doing a bang-up job.

          and remember that I respect your views and I would like that you respect my views!

          I don’t respect sexist drivel. I don’t care what you want.

        4. John
          John February 15, 2013 at 5:35 am |

          Ah! You want to have me respect your viewpoint, but you do not want to respect mine! Nice! Like I said before, as long as the standards are not lowered and that everyone is ready to see US Military Females clearly gangraped on video then killed then I have no problem with it. I do not wear rose colored glasses and since I’m a retired navy vet with lots of time outside of the US and have seen places that are not at all nice! I can say that it will happen. Nothing to down play the roll our military females are doing right now, but they are not going out day in and day out on patrols looking for the bad guys. Most of the females we have out there can and would hang in there with the men on patrol. But, this is getting somewhat off your post. That is that you want me to respect your view and YOU DO NOT Want to respect mine! Thanks! I still respect your views and I have hope that you will respect mine sometime soon!

    2. Li
      Li February 5, 2013 at 12:22 pm |

      2. I spent over two years of my navy time as a navy cop and still hang out with cops and yes I did handle several rape cases and in all of them I just wanted to take care of the rapist on the scene with a quick pistol shot to the head. My wife will still not let me talk to her leftest friends/co-workers on my views of rape!

      Perhaps she similarly won’t let her leftest friends talk to you on their views of police violence.

    3. Bagelsan
      Bagelsan February 5, 2013 at 12:25 pm |

      That means that we have to be ready to see someone taken and then raped and used as a polical statment in the worse possible way! Are you ready to see that?

      You don’t listen so good, do you? That already happens. That can already happen. It happens at home, it happens in a box, it happens in Nome, it happens with a fox. Rape is already a thing. A thing for both women and men, military or not.

  30. Dan Millpointer
    Dan Millpointer February 8, 2013 at 7:24 am |

    Anyone that knows the horror of war and expects women to perform like men in combat is reality challenged . Just shows how far our representatives will go for a vote. There are many positions that they can ,and have, do in the past. I’m OK- your Ok. we are all equal. No I can have babies and physically, both my mind and body are different.Completely. I am in total agreement with anything else. Same work ,same pay, same standards They don’t have the same standards , but they have the same mission.Hygiene and the big one- sexual tension and mens innate protective behavior towards women will cost lives. Of course pregnancy is their flag out. Some can do it, but why? The thought of my daughter in combat is a bad dream. And all things being egual …If we have a draft again…men and women will have to be eligable. My Son is a Soldier and i’m proud of it. My Dad was a Navy combat pilot and I was a Navy enlisted man on a destroyer. Thank you congress for being a bunch of vote getting phonies (not all). So if you think all is ok, think again. My daughter will never be in a position to be shooting and possibly raped, killed(after tortured) and sent home in a box. Congress was lied to when they first allowed women in combat positions (that is a fact) . And the wizards that bumped it up a notch put my son at greater risk. My feelings are the tip of the iceberg and I am amazed at how many people think it’s neato and head to the couch to watch TV. It’s immoral – that’s a word that use to mean something. Women can do many things better than men and vice versa. War is inevitable and men need to fight wars, otherwise they would be designed for it. They don’t even think the same. It was never meant to be. And now we’ve added another risk to the game. Our country is coming unglued.

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