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17 Responses

  1. TomSims
    TomSims June 4, 2013 at 8:43 am |

    I agree with Captain Oslund and his description of events. After all Joan of Arc and other women of history were involved in combat. Also since we’ve had an all volunteer military for quite some time now, I see no reason for women who volunteer for combat billets to be denied.

  2. JBL55
    JBL55 June 4, 2013 at 9:24 am |

    It’s time to do away with the brass ceiling once and for all.

    My husband (USN aviation 1965-1969) agrees: it’s about the best and the brightest.

    Thank you, Captain Oslund!

  3. Comrade Kevin
    Comrade Kevin June 4, 2013 at 10:56 am |

    I appreciate anyone’s heroic sacrifice, but I also oppose war in any of its many incarnations for religious reasons. But neither do I want to be dismissive of anyone’s toil and bravery. Mostly, I just want the end of all wars and the end of the many byproducts of armed conflict.

    There was a time when people criticized the inherent right of women to be ministers.

    A mere 300 years ago, preaching by women was considered a novelty. A quote of the time said: “A woman’s preaching is like a dog’s walking on his hind legs. It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all.” I think this same quote could be applied to criticisms of servicewomen even today in a slightly different context.

    1. A4
      A4 June 4, 2013 at 11:45 am |

      for religious reasons

      I responded to this appeal to religion on spillover here

    2. foxy
      foxy June 5, 2013 at 1:42 am |

      @comrade kevin.Most wars have little to do with religion.They are about control of economic resources.

  4. ashurredly
    ashurredly June 4, 2013 at 2:29 pm |

    I dislike the way that the inclusion of women in combat is championed as a feminist priority. The US military is a tool used to control other countries, usually with detrimental effects on women. Feminism means liberating all women, not just American women.

    1. A4
      A4 June 4, 2013 at 2:36 pm |

      That logics breaks pretty fast. The US corporate system is built on the exploitation of foreign labor and world pollution. Should we therefore not call for equal pay and consideration for women in the workforce?

      Women currently experience sexual assault in the military at terrifying rates. Should we not work against this because they are part of the US military? Is sexism excusable or to be ignored if it takes place in a system that perpetuates oppression?

      Because I can do this to your statement:
      “I dislike the way that the inclusion of women in business/society/government is championed as a feminist priority. The US business/society/government is a tool used to control other countries, usually with detrimental effects on women.”

      1. Willard
        Willard June 4, 2013 at 3:03 pm |

        No A4, we need to jump straight from where we are to a worldwide pacifist anarcho-communist utopia without passing through any incremental steps or phases of development because anything less than complete and utter overnight revolution is a defeat. We also need to conflate neutral tools and institutions with the guidance and leadership that dictates how and why they are used. For example, because policing in the US tends to disproportionately target POC we shouldn’t think that more diverse representation in police departments is a goal worth pursuing. Dissolve them all and let the revolution begin!

        (This is sarcasm)

        1. A4
          A4 June 4, 2013 at 3:09 pm |

          Sarcasm is a tool used to control other commenters, usually with detrimental effects on women.

        2. Kerandria
          Kerandria June 5, 2013 at 10:09 am |

          Thank you for this, Willard. The reminder that getting where we need to be takes time (and stages) was much-needed this morning.

    2. Alexandra
      Alexandra June 4, 2013 at 3:21 pm |

      Well, that didn’t take long. I sometimes wonder whether the people who make these sorts of comments have any connection to people actually serving in the military. Both of my parents (mother and father) served (my father enlisted in the Army and was in the reserves for a decade, my mother joined the National Guard). I have many friends who have served, or are serving. People’s reasons for joining up are diverse, and many of those reasons intersect with “respectable” social justice concerns like a desire to escape out of poverty, or to get a better education, or to gain citizenship. I have met a few people who have joined the military out of a patriotic fervor, or out of a desire to kill as many people as possible, but they are not the rule.

      In fact, my mother joined the national guard shortly after her wedding so that she could become a US citizen (she is white and Australian by birth). While in the Guard in the mid-80s, she faced constant sexual harassment and threat of sexual assault. Her commanding officer referred to female Guard members as the “traveling bordello.”

      While you are free to criticize people for choosing to try to better themselves by joining the military, an institution which is far from morally neutral, I will ask that you not do so by pretending that American women no longer face sexist oppression when they join the military. (Or non-American women, for that matter; after all, my mother was not a citizen when she joined up).

      1. Alexandra
        Alexandra June 4, 2013 at 5:26 pm |

        I have a Whole Lot of Thoughts about how leftists treat relatively unprivileged people who join the American military under the bus, and I’m taking those thoughts to the Spillover Thread.

  5. jimbeam
    jimbeam June 4, 2013 at 4:30 pm |

    the head of a giraffe against a bright blue sky: its mouth is pursed sideways



  6. victoria
    victoria June 4, 2013 at 5:16 pm |

    [Off topic caveat about my personal opposition to war, militarism]

    If nothing else, I hope that the official recognition of women in combat roles will make it easier for them to receive treatment for PTSD and related trauma. I know that in the recent past women have been denied mental health care coverage for PTSD on the grounds that they weren’t “officially” in a combat role, which is reprehensible.

  7. Alexandra
    Alexandra June 4, 2013 at 8:32 pm |

    This is how it’s always been with the US Military. Official integration comes after years, sometimes decades, of people doing the same work as their peers without the same recognition. When the policies finally get changed, people wring their hands about what integration will do to the “readiness” of the force, or to morale, or what have you, despite the fact that everyone who’s served for any length of time already knows at least someone in the discriminated-against class who’s been doing this same work already.

    Change comes, no one dies.

    Here’s an example: Desegregation of the Armed Forces

    In the Battle of the Bulge, British and U.S. troops were being badly mauled by a ferocious, last-ditch counteroffensive by Hitler’s army. The American army, desperate for replacements, sent out a call to black service divisions, asking them to volunteer as infantrymen. They would fight side by side with white troops on the front lines. It was a matter of the “necessity being the mother of integration.” The response to the call was overwhelming. As Doris Kearns Goodwin states in No Ordinary Time, “Negro soldiers recognized that they were being presented with an opportunity to affirm their competence and courage on the battlefield and to prove that whites and blacks could work together.”2 By the time the German offensive had been stopped, prejudices had broken down among the racially mixed units. When white troops had first heard about the plan for integrated troops, 64 percent admitted they were skeptical; however, after fighting with black soldiers, 77 percent had said their attitude toward integration was “highly favorable.” Furthermore, blacks as combat soldiers had “fared brilliantly.”3 When the victory was won, blacks were returned to their service units. But, as Goodwin writes, “The excellent performance of the integrated platoons demonstrated once again the waste and impracticality of segregation.”

    1. TomSims
      TomSims June 7, 2013 at 10:33 am |

      It was Harry Truman, a WW1 combat vet, that desegregrated the military in 1948.

  8. McMike
    McMike June 14, 2013 at 7:23 pm |

    The more people are excluded from it the better.

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