Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Tell Me Again About Women in the Military

Vox makes a point. Quoting a news report, he relays this:

The scope of the problem was brought into acute focus for me during a visit to the West Los Angeles VA Healthcare Center, where I met with female veterans and their doctors. My jaw dropped when the doctors told me that 41% of female veterans seen at the clinic say they were victims of sexual assault while in the military, and 29% report being raped during their military service.


This isn't shocking, this is entirely predictable. It was predicted, as it was one of the many reasons that sane individuals have opposed women serving in the military from the very start.

Fact: Women do NOT belong in the military. Sure, some have been heroic--but that's merely playing percentages. After all, some men have been heroic, too.

GK Chesterton wrote something apropos:

SUPPOSE that a great commotion arises in the street about something -- let us say a lamp-post, which many influential persons desire to pull down. A grey-clad monk, who is the spirit of the Middle Ages, is approached on the matter, and begins to say, in the arid manner of the Schoolmen, 'Let us first of all consider, my brethren, the value of Light. If Light be in itself good -- -- -- ' At this point he is somewhat excusably knocked down. All the people make a rush for the lamp-post, the lamppost is down in ten minutes, and they go about congratulating each other on their unmedieval practicality. But as things go on they do not work out so easily. Some people have pulled the lamp-post down because they wanted the electric light; some because they wanted old iron; some because they wanted darkness, because their deeds were evil. Some thought it not enough of a lamp-post, some too much; some acted because they wanted to smash municipal machinery; some because they wanted to smash something. And there is war in the night, no man knowing whom he strikes. So, gradually and inevitably, to-day, to-morrow, or the next day, there comes back the conviction that the monk was right after all, and that all depends on what is the philosophy of Light. Only what we might have discussed under the gas-lamp we must now discuss in the dark.

What was, after all, 'the philosophy' of restraining women's participation in the military?

Think that the Old Values may have been, in the end, more prudent?


Marcus Aurelius said...

A carrier group was in town and a buddy of mine and myself were dining at the Holiday Inn's Steakhouse. Two USN officers were dining at the table next to us and we struck up a conversation (they knew that at least I was not USN due to my long hairy beard). I asked about th is very issue which was new.

One officer toed the line and did not say that anything bad was happening with the women on the carrier. The other said it was not a good situation. I don't recall the conversation exactly but I do remember him saying it was causing problems with many of the young women unable to serve an entire duty due to becoming pregnant.

Jeff Miller said...

As someone who served on the U.S.S. Eisenhower the first carrier to deploy with women I totally concur with you. It was a disaster that the military has to continue to ignore.

It it so stupid that the physical requirements tests are not the same considering that in an emergency either gender will need to do the same level of work. I remember a story when the U.S.S. Stark was hit by a missile and one crewman was able to save the lives of two shipmates by carrying them up a vertical ladder from the compartment one at a time. If this crewman would have been the average women she would have left two shipmates to die. In fire fighting tests during General Quarters the women on our ship were not able to carry a P-250 pump and required assistance from men to do the task. This is just plain dangerous and leads to situations where people will get killed over political correctness. As a Chief I witnessed time and time again when women needed assistance to perform basic tasks such as carrying a toolbox into a cockpit for maintenance and for maintenance supervisors having to select people for a task based on their gender. If the military was serious they would require equal physical requirement testing that was equal to the tasks required in an emergency dealing with Damage Control and fire fighting. Sure there are some male sailors who couldn’t perform either, but this was extremely rare and there was only one women I knew that could do all of these tasks at the same physical level and she was a hell of a Senior Chief to boot. Though she was also the exception.

Than you add in the problems of original sin and having men and women live and work together at sea and anybody with any common sense would realize the problems. And there were problems galore with people having sex onboard, jealousies, pregnancies, etc. There were so many scandals and ill effects that it was a major distraction. It was also amazing how the pregnancy rate went up just before a cruise so we would leave many behind and have to be understaffed at sea.

But the military is forced to play Emperor’s new clothes and ignore and not report the massive problems caused. So I don’t see how we will ever get ourselves out of this situation since it is pure politics.

Phelony Jones said...

First, as a woman, I don't see women in combat as a good thing. Anyone can argue with me on it but there are too many risks and liabilities with wanting to indulge the whims of women who have been told they can do "anything". It puts a lot of people at risk and creates issues where we cannot afford to have issues and frankly, can put lives at stake.

But, where I differ on the above, is that that it is NOT the woman's fault for being raped or sexually assaulted while serving. It's the fault of slimebags who find it in their hearts to victimize a woman instead of looking out for her. And men who are aware of other men that do this and stand by with their junk in their back pockets ought to be ashamed.

jp said...

Have not women served in the military since at least WW11?

Zach W. said...

So dad29, am I to assume you believe women are the problem, not the male soldiers who raped or sexually assaulted them?

Fraley said...

One can argue about the merits of women in the military, but to infer that simply having women around a group of otherwise sex-segregated men will lead to many women being raped demeans and belittles both the women and the men.

G-d has given humans free will.

Rapists aren't 'compelled' to violate women. Rape should be neither predictable nor tolerated.

You may have not intended to be so outrageous and provocative but it's easy to see why a great many people will be shocked and offended by this post.

Dad29 said...

Unhhh...Brian: YOU are "shocked and offended."

Others with more sense are nodding their heads (read the comments, Brian.)

Obviously, I hold rapists accountable for their action(s). But the cited article doesn't go deep enough into the question of consensual activity (also wrong, Brian), nor whether some of the claims are asserted without foundation--IOW, just like on college campuses.

Prior 'women in military' was limited to nursing and clerical jobs, jp.

Nick said...

It's predictable?! So exactly who the hell are these "heroes" who are serving in our military then?

MEN do not rape women. Monsters rape women. To suggest that having women in close quarters with men in any circumstance would lead to a predictable result of rape is disgusting.

If these attitudes are that prevalent in the military, then we have a serious problem, and it's not the women. It's the men, their leadership, and their so called heroism.

If this is so common place as you suggest, then I just lost all respect for anyone who wore a uniform. And THAT is something I have almost as hard a time with as the idea of women being raped, under any circumstance.

Dad29 said...

To suggest that having women in close quarters with men in any circumstance would lead to a predictable result of rape is disgusting.

First off, Nick, I did NOT re-post a number of comments made by VoxDay in his post--because I thought he was a bit over the top.

What I DID post, however, should be indicative of something.

Your comment is a denial of the statistics presented in the original news article.

So are you going to work with reality or some construct that YOU might prefer?

Al said...

What Fraley and Nick said.

I would only like to add, though, that trash like this is the reason we can't have a reasonable discussion about abortion and things like that. I always used to wonder why people thought that pro-life people hated women. Now I know. Because of people like you. I dare say that garbage like this contributes every bit as much to the Culture of Death as Planned Parenthood.

Soldiers who rape other soldiers should be charged with treason, in addition to rape.

sancho said...

"Fact: Women do NOT belong in the military." - FACT, if you believe this you are an idiot.
I've proudly served alongside some outstanding Marines who happen to be Women, do I believe women should be on "the front", I think they already are. This post sounds like your saying that if the women is raped, it's her fault, she shouldn't have joined in the first place, but she did join, so are you also saying she wanted to be raped? I've heard of plenty of reasons for joining, "I've always wanted to be raped" was never one of them. Yes rape and sexual harassment do happen in the military, they also happen down the street. In both cases the offender should be bled out, not handed the excuse "she joined, she wanted it".

Dad29 said...

No, actually, Sancho, the post says what I said: Women do NOT belong in the military.

You can fantasize all you want about other "meanings," if you wish to make it clear that you cannot read.

Thanks for your service. Now learn to think.

Sam Sarver said...

"Thanks for your service. Now learn to think."

Wow. Very respectful there, Dad.

So not only do you think that men in the military can't help but rape women, some of them also can't think. You seem to hold them in extremely low regard.

Or maybe you need to think before posting such utter dreck.

Neo-Con Tastic said...

Is this post that hard to read?

There is no implied blame on women nor is there an acceptance of rape - READ THE POST.

Look at it this way: you can take the women out of the equation and there wouldn't be rape. PERIOD. But by no means does this lay fault on the women because they're in the equation.

Nick: "Predictable" doesn't equal acceptable - you should know better than that.

Al: I love the irony of wanting a "reasonable discussion on abortion" while using names like "trash" and "garbage".

On a final note, I am a huge supporter of our men and women in uniform but I too would prefer to leave women out of physically-daunting (combat) situations.

ΕΡΜΕΣ said...

Fact: NO ONE belongs in the military. Except for murderers. Jackass.

John Foust said...

I wonder if any of this amazing logic can be used to address male-on-male assaults with a sexual component. Think it doesn't happen? Think it's not reported?

Jay Bullock said...

In a conversation with another blogger recently--like, an actual conversation, not email or anything like that--I defended you against charges of being one of the biggest slimes in the Cheddarsphere.

I guess I was wrong.

Oh, and you keep wanting me to read the post. I did. I have. I just did again. I keep reading it in the hopes I can see where I am misreading it. I cannot find my error. You are pretty clear that women do not belong in the military and you offer as evidence, in part, the fact that they are (and were predicted to be) raped.

What's next? James Byrd wouldn't have been dragged to death behind a truck if he'd not been allowed into the white part of town? Matthew Shepherd wouldn't have been beaten and left to die if he would have found a literal closet to stay in instead of going out for a drink?

Dr. King wouldn't have been assissinated if he'd just known his place?

Dad29 said...

You are pretty clear that women do not belong in the military and you offer as evidence, in part, the fact that they are (and were predicted to be) raped

No error in your read of it.

They do not belong in the military, except as allowed pre-Clinton.

The rest of your post is the usual faux-logic-conflation of the Left.

Methinks the vibrations from your vocal cords have shaken loose your cortical-stem-brain connection.

Look around to see if you can find the "logic" part which is missing in action, Jay.

Serves you right for thinking I am a nice guy!

Disgruntled Car Salesman said...

Ignorant people never cease to amaze me.

The content, and point, of your article is as clear as day to me. Those accusing you of "blaming the women" on the other hand are only promoting their biased view points.

IOW, they aren't reading the article.

Having said that, I approached a very liberal colleague of mine who also happens to be a Navy veteran. He agrees that women shouldn't be in the military holding the same positions of men. Interesting how having been there and seen it first hand might change your view points otherwise.

sancho said...

"Fact: Women do NOT belong in the military" and "They do not belong in the military, except as allowed pre-Clinton" don't look like the same argument... I think...

Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

Women most certainly do belong in the Armed Forces. In administrative and non-combat medical roles... that's about it.

We have to remember what the Armed Forces is all about. Once we get past the romance and the poetry, it's all about rotting meat. Carrion. Corpses. Dead f*****g human beings.

It's tough enough on the guys, but we're going to subject our womenfolk to this as well?

You know, if we have to hear about how women are "the natural nurterers" (as they are), why is it so hard to grasp that men are the "natural warriors"?

Besides, you put a gal in an ambush site, and if she's on her period, she'll attract every dog in a 5 mile radius.

That just might screw-up your ambush.

Anyhow, I've posted on this topic before --

Respectfully submitted,
Vir Speluncae Catholicus
MSgt USMC (ret)

Dad29 said...

In the National Defense Authorization Act for the Fiscal Years 1992-1993, Congress rescinded female combat exemption laws and then the Clinton Administration opened a quarter million previously closed combat positions to women (GAO Report, July 1996).

Not exactly, Sancho.

sancho said...

dad29 - misunderstanding, my fault, I meant that the two statements represent two separate arguments.
vsc - true enough. Men and women ARE different, in more than one way, and we can both serve on the same force, albeit sometimes in different roles.

Dad29 said...

Technically, Sancho, your position is correct: women CAN serve in the military. I think that the pre-Clinton roles and assignments were fine (although there are no comparable statistics on rape/assault from that era by which we can determine whether such assignments were prudent.)

The Clinton changes exposed women to dangerous situations, as the article implies.

Without regard for women's actual capabilities, physical or psychological, putting them into 'the wrong place at the wrong time' is simply stupid.

And it is an implicit denial of human nature, to boot. Ironic in the extreme: this was Bill "Spotted Dress" Clinton, after all....

PaulNoonan said...

At least your morally reprehensible position was based on a shitty understanding of statistics, so there's hope for you yet.

Dad29 said...

"Morally reprehensible"?

Compared to what? Placing women in constant danger of assault and rape?

Please--be specific. I can't wait for you to 'splain how prudence is a 'reprehensible' position.

PaulNoonan said...

Sure. I cannot match your vulgarity with analogy, however I can tackle your stupidity.

You propose the functional equivalent of banning every clean player from baseball.

Except in your case, the steroid users are raping the non-steroid users, not just cheating at baseball.

You (as usual) have also failed to account for both opportunity cost and, shockingly, human capital. As the world advances intelligence is at more of a premium compared to strength, even in the military. Women are on average smarter than men. Men live in the troughs of the bell curve, but women dominate the slope.

Anyway, the military is dominated by the middle, and therefore, you essentially cut your human capital in half by not allowing woman. It's bad business in business, and it's bad business in the military.

But hey Dadsly, if you want to go with the good ol' boy policy of just lettin' rapists be rapists, consarnit, then you just stick to your guns until you're faced with being protected either by the world's finest fighting force, or a bunch of asshole fratboys who've just ordered the cute girls at the next booth a few roofie coladas while in on shore leave.

Since you asked...

PaulNoonan said...

"Compared to what?"

What a stupid question for a Catholic to ask. Prudence does not tolerate such behavior in any capacity.

Dad29 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dad29 said...

So YOU maintain that "economics" should govern military assignment. Now THERE'S a 'moral' position, Paul. Somehow, I never imagined that cost/benefit was contained in the Golden Rule, or in the Decalague. Must be my deficient translation.

You also assert that women are "more intelligent" than men as a whole. Certainly applies in your case.

But as usual, it's your inability to read English which is most disappointing. You intimate that I absolved the rapists. Wrong.

But just as you would not drop off your sister on 13th/State and ask her to walk to 16th/Atkinson to meet you in the middle of the night, I suggest that the Clinton Administration's radically imprudent (and totally un-necessary) change in military assignments was imprudent.

Your asinine "economics" rant is identical to the Clinton move--asking women to do what men OUGHT to do and are inclined to do by nature.

You'd rather put women between you and the enemy for "economic" reasons.

And THEN, you'd rather put what you claim to be the "more intelligent" group in danger.

That's a helluva way to fight a war, Paul.

PaulNoonan said...

I'd rather win. Period.

You're the one dabbling in economic pragmatism here, not me. You're the on who wants to move out the ladies to help them out. YOu seem far more concerned with keeping the military an all boys club than with winning.

Even if women are not, on average smarter than men (they are, by the way), you are still punishing yourself by excluding them to the benefit of rapists. I don't care what tradeoff you think you're making, the tradeoff you are making is rapists over women.

Eliminating rapists (or at least bringing their numbers into line with the rest of civilization) is not impossible with the proper amount of punishment and a little less looking the other way.

Basically, it boils down to this. You want to protect a bunch of felons at the expense of 150 million potential troops. I want to expand my talent pool by 150 million troops, and get a bunch of felons out of the military.

My posisiton is morally superior and as an added bonus, also wins on pragmatism.

PaulNoonan said...

Or we could do it your way and not let little boys into church anymore.

Dad29 said...

I shouldn't be surprised that you are obtuse, Paul.

So I'll let your obtuse and half-wit comments stand as is.

PaulNoonan said...

Where logic leads so clearly, half a wit is all that is required.

Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

Men and women ARE different, in more than one way, and we can both serve on the same force, albeit sometimes in different roles.

I've already made it abumdantly clear that women should serve.

WAAAAAAAAY far away from anything even remotly resembling a hot CZ, and in an administative capacity only.

And in general (hopefully to bring this to an end).... why in the hell should women be in combat roles when men are available? What REAL man would sit on his ass, safe and sound and STATE-SIDE while there are gals being deployed overseas?

Yes, I question their manhood.

Proud American said...

FACT: Women are in the military and they are staying. No matter if someone thinks that they shouldn’t be there they are going to stay. So instead of arguing about if women should or shouldn’t be in the military why don’t we be more mature and try to deal with this situation on a higher level of intelligence? Calling each other names isn’t going to get us anywhere. And this situation with women being raped we should think of solutions like make the consequences harsher and have everyone aware of them. That should make men think twice about assaulting women if the punishment is harsh. And to know whose point of view this is coming from is a sixteen year old girl and I am going to join the military and I’m honestly not really looking forward to it but the military is my only ticket out of this hell hole of a town. So you can say I shouldn’t be in the military all you want but I am going to be in there and I going to stay. Yours truly.