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Thread: Why is there opposition to women in combat roles?

  1. #51
    Mojibake Array sprinkles's Avatar
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    Jul 2012


    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    There should be two sets of standards, but not in the way you mean. The first set is designed to ensure the overall health and physical fitness of each military member. These will necessarily be different for men and women because the sexes differ on body composition, hormones, etc, even internal organs (e.g. men don't need pap tests). The second set of standards pertains to the specific job function to be done. These should be the same for men and women, and whoever meets them is eligible for the job.

    I wonder, though, especially after reading some of the recent commentary on this issue in the press, to what degree job requirements have been influenced by the fact that the job (so far) has always been done by men? In other words, it is not simply what is necessary to perform a particular task, but what is necessary for a man to perform that task.

    To clarify: imagine for the sake of discussion a situation in which the military consisted entirely of women. We would still need artillery, armor, infantry, special forces, plus all the usual support functions. How would women get the same jobs done? The weight of necessary equipment is often raised as an issue, and here improved technology is helping, e.g. fuel cells that last longer and weigh less than current batteries and can be abandoned in the field after producing useable water as a by-product.

    More broadly, though, there is usually more than one way to do a job, even something as straightforward as lugging equipment across the desert. If we assume everyone who does the job will be a 200 lb football player, we won't even try to look for smarter, more creative ways to do it. If we do, the results will benefit whomever is in that position, male or female. If we are going to insist not only that a woman can do the job, but that she will do it the same way a man would, we may be overconstraining the solution.
    Weight is an issue but I think it's exaggerated to some extent as well. Weight supported by webbing or worn around your body is very different from dead weight or pack weight, for example. It's kind of like the myth that knight armor weighed a bajillion pounds.

    Women can and do use the M249 and other heavy weapons. Sling and bipod makes a big difference there.

    Personally I'm small and I own a hiking pack with a support frame and can carry a shitton of stuff in it while wearing it because it settles to different areas of my body rather than being a dead load. That same weight in my hand or in a regular pack or gym bag for example would be a huge strain on me and incredibly hard to lug around.

  2. #52
    lurking Array Rasofy's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
    5w6 sp/sx



    Good arguments. I believe a considerably higher proportion of women would offset most (projected) objections.

    On second thought, the real reasons might be much less elaborated than I envisioned. "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity" might apply here.

    I remember that Stalin didn't seem to mind war rapes:

    "Does Djilas, who is himself a writer, not know what human suffering and the human heart are? Can't he understand it if a soldier who has crossed thousands of kilometers through blood and fire and death has fun with a woman or takes some trifle?"

    In response to complaints about the rapes and looting commited by the Red Army during the Second World War, as quoted in Conversations with Stalin (1963) by Milovan Djilas, p. 95

    Hystorically speaking, rapes seem to be fairly common in war zones.

    And the practice seems to remain fairly common:

    A man builds. A parasite asks 'Where is my share?'
    A man creates. A parasite says, 'What will the neighbors think?'
    A man invents. A parasite says, 'Watch out, or you might tread on the toes of God... '


  3. #53
    He pronks, too! Array Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
    One sx/sp


    Oh, well, if Stalin thought it was okay...
    Go to sleep, iguana.

    INTP. Type 1>6>5. sx/sp.
    Live and let live will just amount to might makes right

  4. #54
    Senior Member Array INTP's Avatar
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    Jul 2009
    5w4 sx


    i think women shouldnt fight, i think that only men should fight and kill each others so that i can have all the women just for myself
    "Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling."
    — C.G. Jung


  5. #55
    Cheeseburgers Array freeeekyyy's Avatar
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    Feb 2010
    5w4 sx/sp
    ILI Te


    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I dont understand why there is opposition to women in combat roles, if they are serving at all they are likely to be killed or to have to defend themselves and kill others doing so.
    I don't know. Women should be able to serve in whatever combat role they want, so long as they can meet the requirements of the job.
    You lose.


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  6. #56


    As we're presently moving towards drone warfare, with all of it's horrific implications, women as combatants will fade as an issue. But for now - sure, why not?
    “Some people will tell you that slow is good – but I’m here to tell you that fast is better. I’ve always believed this, in spite of the trouble it’s caused me. Being shot out of a cannon will always be better than being squeezed out of a tube. That is why God made fast motorcycles, Bubba…”

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