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  1. #31
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Hmm, its the males who're the really disposable member of the species when you think about it, chauvinism and mysogyny is all propaganda to reassure those who're the real losers of history's working itself out.
    I'm not sure it's quite that simple. The price of being "of value" is that you become commoditized. This involves trading specific value of generalized value, or translated differently, you trade the option of specific power for generalized power - safety and caretaking, in this case. It depends how deep you want to read into it and there are a lot of arguments either way. Chauvinism is as much a female trait as a male trait (I'd contend it could be worse, but I couldn't back it up strongly; consider that women's valuations of male mates tend to have a more binomial distribution). Mysogyny could also be part of the commoditized mindset rather than a separate issue. Ownership and power have weird interactions.

    (It's not that males are disposable, it's that as the species level, selection would prefer top ends to reproduce more and the male top end would be significantly smaller than the female top end. This results in a more distinct strategy for the top ends, while a more "normal" strategy mix for the rest. In any case, low end males are very low value, while high end males are very high value - more so than even high value females. As you scale back into tribal periods, it's well worth losing a fair number of males to capture "female resources", even though it isn't as omnipresent (read: dominant strategy) as we hear.)

    I see us going through an equalization period now, regardless of how true the above is.

  2. #32
    respect the brick C.J.Woolf's Avatar
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    Y'all should listen to kyuuei more. This announcement is only official recognition of present reality.

  3. #33
    Tier 1 Member LunaLuminosity's Avatar
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    Me thinks women are/were put on a pedestal too much...... and while perhaps well-intentioned, is its own special form of inequality.

  4. #34
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasofy View Post
    [*]The rape risk always exists, and that is a politically damaging situation. No, genius, I'm not blaming women for those. What I'm saying is: it's easier to move women out of the situations than convincing rapists that they shouldn't rape.
    As a male, if I sign up with the army, I do so knowing that I could be engulfed in flames, blinded by shrapnel, tortured by captors, etc... When one agrees to this, they are inherently risking agony and unrecoverable loss. Adding rape to the mix just seems like a drop in the bucket. Most female soldiers seem to know this, so why not let them make the decision for themselves?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rasofy View Post
    [*]Many men get less rational around an attractive female, specially when they are scarce.
    The military is a total institution as is accordingly very good at conditioning people. I think they could fix this in time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rasofy View Post
    [*]Small conflicts involving sexual privileges could easily affect the team dynamics in a bad way (see: big brother).
    Small conflicts involving other things don't?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rasofy View Post
    [*]Military rape against civilians is not an uncommon practice. I believe women would be more likely to feel compassion for the victims and denounce the soldiers involved. Result: more political damage.
    I'm not sure if your belief is accurate, but what if it is? I don't think it should be a goal to prevent the uncovering of improper conduct of our soldiers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rasofy View Post
    [*]They have less physical potential, though that's a minor reason.[/LIST]
    Let's suppose that's true, and let's suppose they have no advantages that men don't have, and figure out how that physical disadvantage would be so great as to justify cutting your potential pool of soldiers in half.

    Anyhow, as has been noted, this isn't even really about letting women fight. It's about giving women official recognition and reward for the fighting they are in fact already doing.
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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  5. #35
    Dependable Skeleton Engineer's Avatar
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    I actually wrote my senior thesis on this topic.

    The reasons that women are not currently allowed in combat roles are various, and understandable. To avoid a firestorm of namecalling towards me, let me first say that I am all for qualified individuals of any gender, race, creed, and sexuality serving in my military. This means that if you fit the bill and can do the job, you are more than welcome to do it. I accept you.

    Now that that's out of the way, let me summarize why gender integration is such a sticky topic to the brass: (forgive me if I'm repeating anything)

    1. The majority of women currently cannot meet the male-centric fitness standards that are in place in combat MOSs. THIS IS NOT TO SAY THERE AREN'T ANY. Let's look at it this way: the military attracts fit people because, hell, it only accepts fit people. Most males, biologically speaking, are physiologically much stronger than women in upper body strength, and since the brass figures combat MOSs are the most physically strenuous, they put more emphasis on that component. That way only the most fit of fit males can pass. Given that physiological difference, it's a lot harder for females to qualify. You may have some freakin' badass amazons out there, but the chances that you're going to find a woman who: a) wants to serve in a front-line combat role, b) has the physical fitness necessary to meet current standards, and c) has the mental fortitude to serve alongside the average testosterone-heavy male grunt, is quite rare.

    Some experts question whether or not the assumption that combat requires superb physical fitness is universally true, given the advanced, mechanized nature of warfare these days (in some branches, that is... the ones with all the toys... I'm looking at you, Army...). But honestly, I'd say it's a pretty damn crucial part. Again, I'm all for qualified individuals serving. I just want the best of the best. As it happens, the Marines recently let several women officers onto their infantry officer training course. Only two made it past the initial fitness test. Mind you, several men also washed out at that period, as well... that test is pretty damn rigorous. Those two washed out a couple weeks later due to an injury and some other fitness reason. Been awhile since I read the article. Point is, even the best of the best (currently) can't meet the standards the brass has set. Maybe in the future we can go gender-blind, but this is how it is at the moment.

    We also want to avoid the sense that women are being grandfathered in. There'd be a great deal of backlash if women were allowed in at their current standards, and men were forced to keep hitting theirs. The Marine Corps PFT is notoriously more difficult for men than it is women. Obviously, some sort of neutral system would have to be put into place. Something like fire brigades do.

    2. The military is dominated by mostly-conservative individuals. That's just the way it is. The military attracts a lot of conservatives because of their values, and because of its mostly-conservative mindset. Certainly, DADT was recently repealed, and there wasn't much squabbling about that, but it took a helluva long time to actually do it. With that conservative mindset, you get a lot of related principles, and most men and women who describe themselves as conservative are also against women in combat roles. This is not due to misogyny, as many opponents claim, but for their sort of "classical" or "outdated" (you pick your term based on your viewpoint) perspective that women are to be respected and cherished. Granted, not everyone is like this-- you have some sexists out there for every old-fashioned guy who holds the previous view. These guys think that women are special and deserve to be given a better life than one that is colored by blood, violence, and death. I was raised in conservative territory, I know this view quite well. It also characterizes the broader perspective of the military: opening all MOSs to women would cause a stir amongst the old-school brass, despite the fact that a majority of RAND studies on troops portray a rough majority for an egalitarian military.

    3. There are a lot of related costs and concerns with gender integration. These are more quibbling points than anything else, but again-- military concern. There's the cost of having to make smaller infantry gear, like Kevlars, IPVs, and related combat supplies, the cost of having to retrofit troop transports with women's hygiene facilities, the cost of having to provide either birth control or reliable feminine hygiene products to female combatants... the list goes on. It's a silly argument given how much we spend on our military, but it's still an argument.

    4. Male infantry might not mesh well with women. A lot of talk has been made about women's effects on infantry combat and unit cohesion, and many studies have been done on the subject by both the DoD and the British MoD. The fact is, until we get an actual integrated infantry unit to test out in actual combat situations, there's actually nothing those studies can say about real cohesion. The non-combat units in non-combat situations have proved that there's very little effect that women have on morale and cohesion, and that units led by females are not adversely affected either. Some RAND studies actually proved that having females in a unit made men more likely to be civil in barracks, less likely to haze new recruits, and less likely to turn to self-destructive behaviors to vent personal issues. Those studies actually said that men reported they felt safe talking to women servicemembers about problems that they wouldn't mention to their fellow males. Opponents argue that there is the risk of rape, but the military is already working on cracking down on current problems like that, so a strictly-supervised unit could potentially avoid that risk altogether.

    As for fraternization, again, the military already has a damn lot of regulations forbidding that behavior between seniors and juniors. If the system runs as it's supposed to, this issue of favoritism and special privileges can also be avoided.

    But none of that has any bearing on real infantry combat situations, because, let's face it, none of those trials, tests, or regs were tested on actual infantry sections in any sort of simulated combat or real combat. Until we get a trial unit, there's no predicting anything at all.


    Anyway, that's basically a brief, long-winded summary of the current reasons/arguments against women serving in combat MOSs. Sorry for the wall of text, this is just the first time all my research can be talked about in a socially-acceptable situation.
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  6. #36
    Sweet Ocean Cloud SD45T-2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    Meaning... if women were also given the chance to go through that training, then all the women who could handle the strain would make it to combat, and all the women who couldn't, wouldn't. Right?
    No, but that wouldn't necessarily have anything to do with them being women. No training/selection process is %100 effective at weeding out people who are unfit for a given job, regardless of gender. There are some people who make terrible cops even though they pass the (extremely thorough) background check, give good interviews, test well, shoot well, pass EVOC, meet the fitness requirements, and are given a passing grade by their FTOs.

    I recommend reading Generation Kill by Evan Wright and/or watching the HBO miniseries. Before reading the book I watched the miniseries with my dad (who was in the 7th Special Forces Group) and he said it totally rang true.
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  7. #37
    redundant descriptor netzealot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Engineer View Post
    Only two made it past the initial fitness test. Mind you, several men also washed out at that period, as well... that test is pretty damn rigorous. Those two washed out a couple weeks later due to an injury and some other fitness reason.
    This is exactly what I already said. It's not even my opinion, it's just a fact. Statically speaking a few, even a decent amount, will meet the basic PFT requirements to get in, but just about every one is going to get washed out during rucking in the later phases. (which is where the large percentage of male drop outs happen, by the way). Women in actual training courses (such as Engineer's example) as well as live infantry exercises which allowed women to participate were not able to complete, predominately due to knee and ankle issues, and in a few very rare cases, hygiene problems.

    We're talking about infantry here, mind you, not armor and air combat. As far as I know women already can become pilots... I don't know about armor crew, but I doubt either would (or should) be a point of contention.

  8. #38
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    It's a good question.


    So far as I've been able to gather from my studies, the days of single combat are gone... likely since before the 1800's. I doubt strength has anything to do with anything, in the context of battle (which reminds me, in high-school, for a pullup competition, a female won over both sexes).


    The only thing I would question is their average reaction to stress levels. I presume if a woman desires to enter a combat role, she is already a step ahead of her same-gendered peers.


    Though there are plenty of records showing men do awfully peculiar things in combat.

  9. #39
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasofy View Post
    1. The rape risk always exists, and that is a politically damaging situation. No, genius, I'm not blaming women for those. What I'm saying is: it's easier to move women out of the situations than convincing rapists that they shouldn't rape.
      The women who are able and willing to do combat duty are probably aware of this risk, and quite able to fight that battle, too.

    2. Many men get less rational around an attractive female, specially when they are scarce.
      Then let's reduce the scarcity, and get men used to acting professional around women in yet another situation. (Much of the middle east is organized around this premise - that men are distracted by women, so women must be segregated. Any male distraction is men's problem, though, and one they must learn to address by developing some self-control. )

    3. Small conflicts involving sexual privileges could easily affect the team dynamics in a bad way (see: big brother).
      Seems like similar arguments were used to exclude gays, and before them, blacks. It's about time we put our common humanity first.

    4. Military rape against civilians is not an uncommon practice. I believe women would be more likely to feel compassion for the victims and denounce the soldiers involved. Result: more political damage.
      I bet if we had more women in these military units, there would be less rape. This argument looks like a feeble attempt to depict the more humane behavior of women as a flaw. If our soldiers do not rape civilians, there is no political damage to worry about.

    5. They have less physical potential, though that's a minor reason.
      In 1925, the Army War College issued a study claiming that black soldiers were inherently unfit for combat. Basing much of its “findings” on data collected from intelligence tests the military conducted during World War I, the study claimed blacks "were less intelligent than whites because their cranial cavity was smaller and the brain weighed less." It further asserted that "the Negro lacks initiative, displays little or no leadership, and cannot accept responsibility" and that "the negro is a rank coward." Tests often show just what the designers and implementers want them to show. We won't find what we refuse to see.
    Blacks, gays, and women have been excluded from some or all of the military in large part due to the "dissention in the ranks" that their presence might cause. It sounds like it's the straight white males that have the problem, specifically working and playing well with unlike others. The military should not pander to their sensibilities in how it utilizes the human resources at its disposal.

    Quote Originally Posted by LunaLuminosity View Post
    Me thinks women are/were put on a pedestal too much...... and while perhaps well-intentioned, is its own special form of inequality.
    Yes. A gilded cage is still a cage.
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  10. #40
    Senior Member Evil Otter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I'm really glad that no women were killed in 9/11, wait!
    What does this have to do with women in combat roles?

    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    Who said anything about lower standards? If it so happens that a woman is unable to meet the minimal physical requirements, then she shouldn't be allowed into a combat position.....but she should not be excluded altogether on the basis of her sex.
    As someone currently serving in the military I complete agree that women that can meet the standards/requirements should be allowed to serve in equivalent positions. The problem is when military leaders provide separate standards for females, and they do it a lot. Personally I don't want to serve with women that can barely pass the female standards when maxing them is barely passing male standards. That being said as long as there are no double standards for physical and mental requirements I'm all for it.

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