wombat_socho (wombat_socho) wrote,

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Women in combat

Call me an old-fashioned paternalistic troglodyte, but I don't agree with Professor Reynolds about the McHugh bill, which would get women out of combat support units in combat zones. At the root of it, this would force the Army to do what it has claimed to be doing all along, which is keeping women out of combat zones. Quite possibly, it would end the schizophrenic policies that slot women who are physically incapable of doing the work into MOS and duty positions that require them to do heavy physical work. I used to see this in the Reserves, and I understand from my classmates that it was even worse in division support units that used tracked vehicles.

I agree with Professor Reynolds that women have done well in combat, but the decision not to put them in combat units was a political one, and one that has forced the Army into a position where it has to lie with a straight face about what women can and cannot do and where they will and will not be assigned. The late Colonel Hackworth nailed this issue by saying that the politicians want women in the military in the name of equality, but the military isn't about equality. It's about killing people and breaking things while getting as few of your own people killed as possible.

I'm not going to go into a long discussion about the massive hypocrisy involved in having women in the Army; entire books have been written about that, and this is just a short LJ post. What I will say is that I've never had a problem with women in the Army that pulled their weight, passed the PT test by doing the same push-ups, sit-ups and run times as men, and did all the other things by the numbers. I have always had a problem with the women who only passed the PT test because the womens' test was normed differently so they could pass while doing fewer situps, pushups and running slower than a fatbody like me. I have always had a problem with women who stayed in the Army after becoming pregnant and took up slots while being completely incapable of doing their jobs. Unfortunately, I don't think the politicians or the generals have the stones to do anything about either one of those, so I don't think the McHugh bill is going to really change things.
All it's going to do is let the Pentagon know that some Congressmen are paying attention to the issue, and they're not okay with having their constituents' daughters and wives come back with missing limbs, or worse yet in body bags.
Tags: culture & politics
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