CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Women in Combat

Apr 12, 2011

In a move which only can be described as jumping out of the pan into the fire, the Australian government has come up with this brilliant idea: in order to deal with sexual abuse issues and the poor treatment of women in the military, we need to now integrate women fully into the military, including in frontline combat.

Yep, that should keep women more safe and secure. That should solve the problems of abuse, mistreatment and male aggression. Put them on the front lines and talk about ‘women’s career opportunities and advancement’ and so on. Put them in a hormonally charged environment where the pressure to find sexual release is even stronger than normal, and see just how much problems of sexual abuse are lessened.

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But there is a clear reason for this madness. Feminists have long argued for not just the right but the necessity of having women in combat roles. This is part of their vain attempt to push for androgyny and a gender-neutral society. It is part of their attempt to dismantle the idea that men and women are different. ‘Anything men can do, women can do’ is the catchcry of these feminists.

It is all part of their “goal of defeminising women so as to make them androgynous male equivalents” as one woman writer puts it. Carolyn Graglia continues, “Even if only relatively few women could meet the physical requirements of combat service, denying women exemption from that service serves feminism’s need to confute any perception of females as soft, yielding, potential mothers. Society must concede, say feminists, that the potentiality of motherhood is no reason for viewing a young woman’s remains in a body bag with any more horror than a young man’s.”

The male role of protector is under attack by the feminist movement. One of the strongest male instincts is to protect females, and all this is being undermined here. As David Horowitz notes, the feminists have “enlisted the military in a program to brainwash men so they won’t care what happens to women.”

And the feminists are trying to convince us that any woman can perform any combat task that a man can. Of course the only way this can happen is to dumb down all the various traditional military requirements – physical and otherwise – to allow women to be seen as co-equal.

This leads to one of the most important issues in this debate: just what in the world is the military there for? I used to think that it had something to do with the defence of a nation, fighting wars, and securing the peace. Now it seems to be all about pushing radical social engineering agendas and the like.

But once a nation turns its military into nothing more than a hothouse of political correctness and gender-bending social transformation, then that nation is doomed. Let the radical social activists attack other institutions, but leave the military alone. National defence is far too important to allow it to become another playground for the radicals to remake in their own image.

As Phyllis Schlafly rightly states, “The purpose of the armed services is to defend the United States of America – not to create a tax-funded haven for sexually active young men and women, nor is it to serve as a giant social welfare institution.”

And the truth is – shock, horror – men and women are different. As George Gilder remarks, “The hard evidence is overwhelming that men are more aggressive, competitive, risk-taking – indeed more combative – than women.” Even some feminist scholars have admitted as much.

Plenty of research has provided conclusive evidence of these basic truths. I and others have sought to summarise some of the research material about gender differences here for example: www.gendermatters.org.au/Home.html

One obvious difference, among many, is that women get pregnant, while men do not. Tight confined spaces (whether in a barracks, a submarine, or a battlefield) will only increase sexual friction and tension, and pregnancy will be a common result.

So what happens in that case? “Er, sorry guys, but can you hold my rifle while I take off for nine months, and then a few more, to have my baby? I will then dump him or her in the nearest day care centre, and join you back in battle in a year or so.”

This is not exactly how wars are won. Indeed, the field of combat is already difficult enough without having these sorts of concerns to contend with. One woman combat soldier who served in Iraq put it this way: “It’s like this: I’m a woman and a mother before I am a soldier. Out here I think more about my family than my job, and, yes, that could affect my performance if things get intense here.”

Thankfully this soldier could not renounce her deep-down maternal instincts. No woman should be forced to do so. But her proper concern for her family meant she was far less effective as a soldier, and could potentially put her on-field comrades at real risk.

And of course any babies born will be greatly disadvantaged as well. Unless the military is willing to allow a female soldier a lengthy period of time off, the baby will just grow up looked after by strangers, while mum seeks to do her national duty.

War is hell, and men are far more equipped for this – psychologically, physically, mentally, and emotionally – than are women. Women should not be placed in such circumstances. One soldier puts it this way:

“I have personally participated in hand-to-hand combat and have seen men fight and die on the battlefield. The combat environment is an ugly one. For the ground soldier it is characterized by loneliness and terrible desolation, weary marches, at times relentless heat, bitter cold, torrential rains, filth, pestilence, disease, the slime of dripping dugouts, and the stench of human carnage, all coupled with feelings of depression which stem from fear, uncertainty, and long separation from loved ones. It calls for an antic toughness that women do not normally possess. The soldier’s feelings fluctuate from despair to extreme hate and bitterness, and these emotions tend to bring forth his most animalistic instincts.”

And the truth is, there is no advantage to having female combat troops. As Schlafly reminds us, “There is no evidence in all history for the proposition that the assignment of women to military combat jobs is the way to promote national security, improve combat readiness, or win wars. Indeed, the entire experience of recorded history teaches us that battles are not won by coed armies or coed navies. Even Hitler and the Japanese, when they ran short of manpower, found it more efficient to use underage and overage men in combat than to use female troops.”

It is one thing to allow women to hold support roles in the military, but quite another to place them in the actual field of combat. This is unfair to women, unfair to men, and unfair to the nation which has deployed them. Trendy social experiments should never be allowed to overcome the rationale and purpose of the military. All we are doing in this case is asking for – and getting – trouble.

For those who wish to take this further, several good book-length treatments of this topic are available:

Browne, Kingsley, Co-ed Combat: The New Evidence That Women Shouldn’t Fight the Nation’s Wars. Sentinel, 2007.
Gutmann, Stephanie, The Kinder, Gentler Military: How Political Correctness Affects Our Ability to Win Wars. Encounter Books, 2001.
Mitchell, Brian, Women in the Military: Flirting With Disaster (an update of Weak Link). Regnery, 1997.
Mitchell, Brian, Weak Link: The Feminization of the American Military. Regnery, 1989.

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45 Responses to Women in Combat

  • Right on the money Bill. The opportunism of the ALP in maneuvering their PC fantasies in order to take advantage of this situation makes me sick.
    Francis Kesina

  • Excellent article, Bill. As a woman who has worked in a war zone I find the idea of women in combat (except as a last resort during an invasion) utterly ludicrous. It is a telling symptom of the perversion our society has undergone in the last century that this is even thinkable.
    Mishka Gora

  • Ridiculous Bill, but a bit of a smoke screen to escape the heat? But— then did you see the woman in full combat mode against the Mufti in Pakistan today, posted on Bolta’s blog? Did a fantastic job in my opinion! What did you think? And when the Mufti fired right up she just changed up a gear and completely shredded him.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=pMnAmRa4NYw
    Rob Withall

  • The disingenuous local media journalists are so predicable in linking combat roles for women with the disrespect of those who publish on social media sexual activity of military cadets.

    The disingenuous who call out for combat roles for women will lead to the degradation of women.

    Politicians who seek approval from anti-discrimination hysteria are doing Australian women a grave disservice.

    Michael Webb

  • As David Horowitz notes, the feminists have “enlisted the military in a program to brainwash men so they won’t care what happens to women.”

    Now there is a telling point.

    And coupled with this article:
    http://www.janegalt.net/blog/archives/005244.html on unintended consequences of radical social change, I venture to suggest that one of the unintended consequences of this attempted feminisation of the military will be to “permit” men to brutalise women, put them down, objectify them etc in civilian life as well.

    John Angelico

  • Tonight on television when I saw Julia Gillard poke her nose into the latest example of radical feminist nonsense -“women in combat”, I thought just one of these days she’ll surprise us all and say something sensible for once in her life. If this unlikely event occurs, I hope I’m sitting down at the time. That is an excellent article of yours Bill, I think you’ll find there’d be major support for your comments. Tonight on Channel Ten, for example, they conducted a phone-in. It was found that 78% of those who called were opposed to the idea of women in combat. A VC recipient from the Vietnam conflict commented that the battlefield would be no place for a woman. They would be a danger not only to themselves but also to all the men in the unit, who would feel obligated to protect them, resulting in a loss of their own lives for a crazy politically correct idea. The fact that some senior army officers have claimed that they support the idiotic idea, simply proves beyond any doubt, that they are scared witless that some boofhead among all the other boofheads in parliament might overlook them for promotion if they were found to have politically incorrect “opinions”. These officers have chosen a wrong calling in their lives.
    Frank Bellet, Petrie Qld

  • Thanks Frank

    Yes you are absolutely right Frank. I too saw a few of these big cheese military boofheads on TV tonight. They are completely and utterly beholden to the feminist brigade and the PC brigade. They are a shame and a disgrace. They are ready to put men, women and nation at risk all because they do not have the guts to stand up for what is right, but would much rather bow down to the radical fems. Appalling really.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Remember the tax payer-funded ads from a few years ago “To violence against women, Australia says No”…? Just depends who’ll be doing the violence.
    Michael Watts

  • Thanks Michael

    Yes just so. The government’s idea of protecting women and keeping them safe is to put them in the most dangerous place in the world: the front line. All in the name of equal rights of course!

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Yes I also agree with Frank! As a young woman myself I do not think it fair to place women on the front lines. Men have a natural instinct to protect women, and this could compromise a frontline mission as it would be difficult for a man to remove himself from this most natural instinct should he need to choose between following a set plan of attack and protecting a woman. Woman are being silly if they think that having a different role is inferior – it is not! It is just different!
    Jenny Bowden

  • Bill, good article. I can’t add to this other than to quote American talkshow host Michael Savage and say “Liberalism is a Mental Disorder”.
    Carl Strehlow

  • A good addition indeed Carl.
    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Thanks guys

    And all of this is happening quite according to plan. The radical feminists and other social engineers have made clear their goals of destroying America and the West, and they are seeing things moving along very nicely. This is not happening by accident in other words.

    I have written up earlier about an excellent documentary DVD called Agenda which very carefully documents all of this. See here:

    https://billmuehlenberg.com/2011/03/19/how-to-sabotage-a-nation/comment-page-1/#comment-239878

    And here: http://agendadocumentary.com/

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • I sure hope Collingwood adopt this policy when they play Geelong.

    But in all seriousness, if this kind of thing would be considered absurd in the sporting arena, why does it fly when lives are at risk? Once again the capacity for the pc/lefty/fuzzbrained do-gooders to commit gross stupidity with taxpayers money gets extended. I suggest that they can only enact this kooky plan if they are made to bet their entire income on a football team with a forced female quota but no such condition on the opposition. It seems to me that their pay is worth rather less than soldiers lives or indeed the lives of civilians they defend – and they are effectively gambling with – so there should be no problem.

    And I echo Bill’s recommendation of Agenda. It is excellent.

    Mark Rabich

  • Thanks Mark

    Well done on your great insight: that is a terrific thought about women in male sport, and how it applies to this situation.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • I think you have really touched a point there. These stuck up politicians are putting forward politically ‘correct’ ideas that are basically morally, traditionally, culturally and ‘commonsense wise’ wrong. I think the whole idea of making women soldiers really defeats the human notion that women are the source of life, love and warmth. There is no need for women to go to war at all at the first place or even now. There are enough men around to do the killing and rampaging associated with war. This is all very abnormal. The traditional idea of getting boys or men to go to war is because their nature is more in line with the activities of war; i.e. killing, destroying, stealing, plundering and the rotten list goes on. Why then do women have to go to war or to the front line, where all these atrocities are happening? I would be totally appalled to hear that my sister is now on the front line in Afghanistan fighting some suicidal terrorist. We talk about protecting our women from violence, brutality etc. Why this??
    Gregory Cherry

  • The entertainment media has been preparing society for this by portraying woman in combative roles in movies and on TV. Men are getting used to seeing woman carrying weapons while being dressed very sexily.
    Kylie Anderson

  • Feminists are good at belligerence and confrontation. Mostly they reject the caring/nurturing role as being subservient and messy – a job never quite done. I’m sure any woman could fight as Queen Boudica did against the Romans if the situation called for it. When a feminist finds herself with a weak person who needs care there is usually much anger and resentment about the inconvenience to her life – but helping the weak and helpless to grow and thrive is every bit as worthy and noble as taking up cudgels against an adversary. It just requires completely different qualities. While many feminists do take up the cause of the disadvantaged in a “big sisterly” way, in my opinion trying to emulate men is a tactical error.
    Rachel Smith

  • Thanks Bill, nice to actually hear a sensible opinion on this issue for once. The media and politics of this nation is going to drive me mad one of these days!
    Blessings,
    Isaac Overton, ACT

  • How does one purchase the Agenda Documentary? It seems they won’t ship outside of the US. I tried to order it through the website: http://agendadocumentary.com/

    Ewan McDonald, Victoria

  • Thanks Ewan
    I have some copies.
    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Even some feminist scholars have admitted as much. “Feminist Scholars”, now that term would have to be the oxymoron of the century! Either that or the meaning of the word “scholar” has been severely downgraded!
    Steve Davis

  • Dear Bill, A brilliant article but unfortunately I haven’t heard much of your commonsense from the mass media. Not that I expected to from an institution packed to the hilt with the radical feminist left. They even dusted off the cobwebs from that arch feminist Eva Cox to say a few words. As expected the media seemed to be focusing exclusively on this poor young girl and how oppressed she is by her nasty, male colleagues. They should be looking at the bigger picture which is far more important for the nation. To me the whole disgusting affair is a symptom of the breakdown of discipline in the defence force, and all those involved both male and female should be sacked without delay. If these orgies take place on a regular basis they will never make a disciplined force they are just rabble. We must be the laughing stock of the Asian nations. The eventual breakdown in discipline was to be expected of course when the radical feminists set their sights on one of the last bastions of patriarchy in our society in the seventies. I remember the debates then about women in the front line and in the forces. The debate went like this. Those nasty, mean men have to stop oppressing women and the only way to do that is to ’empower’ women and infiltrate every ‘men only’ institution. The insatiable need for power is what drives these women who must feel so inferior and unsure of themselves as women. The sad thing is men have cowed under the decades long attack and we have wimps at the top everywhere not real men. The only sensible comments I have heard in this debate have been from Jim Wallace and one or two old Diggers. If women want to be part of the defence force they should have their own regiments. The competition between men and women in mixed regiments is unhealthy and instead of comradeship which is vital between defence personnel it breeds contempt, disrespect and a breakdown in discipline which is clearly the case amongst these cadets. I don’t really expect any improvement to be honest and Australia will suffer for it in the end.
    Patricia Halligan

  • Bill a great article!

    An old comment is appropriate here:

    Women by nature are life givers – not killers!

    Pat Healy

  • To Pat Healy – Love your comment!
    Steve Davis

  • As Christians we want to honour women and protect them from the horrors of war. As a vet I can say they don’t realise what they are asking of women. Who is to say if we have a real national emergency, that we won’t see women conscripted to the battle. Why can’t we just have separate barracks or academies to minimise these antics?
    Greg Cadman

  • “One obvious difference, among many, is that women get pregnant, while men do not. Tight confined spaces (whether in a barracks, a submarine, or a battlefield) will only increase sexual friction and tension, and pregnancy will be a common result. So what happens in that case? ‘Er, sorry guys, but can you hold my rifle while I take off for nine months, and then a few more, to have my baby? I will then dump him or her in the nearest day care centre, and join you back in battle in a year or so’.”
    Bill, thank you for wanting to give them the benefit of the doubt to think that these pregnancies would be carried full term. No, in these days of contraception and abortion, these pregnancies would either not happen or they would be terminated to stay in line with the brave new world of gender equality and social libertarians notions of “sexual liberation”.
    Ursula Bennett

  • I don’t care what industry we’re talking about, if I’m going for a job I want to get it because I’m the best person for the position, not because the company needs to fill its quota of female employees.
    Christie Ewens

  • Spot on Christie, Affirmative Action is an insidious cancer that gives people jobs that they are not necessarily qualified to do!
    Steve Davis

  • And you think the left are off tap with pushing women in combat…they clearly have plenty of time because they are attacking civilization on several fronts…have a read of this one!! But be warned it’s not nice.

    http://davidthompson.typepad.com/davidthompson/2011/04/because-men-have-abortions-too.html

    Chris Carr

  • I feel somehow that Julia Gillard is thankful for this foray into the world of the ADF – it just might take some of the heat from her re her Carbon Tax, and give Joe Public something else to concentrate on instead of her litany of broken promises. Having said that, the idea of women in frontline combat is just ridiculous – especially considering that the main enemy we are facing these days is extremist Islamists who have no respect for women at all, and in the event of capture, these women would be treated much worse than any man would be.

    Joan Davidson

  • Front line combat positions are NO place for women. Unless the enemy comes to your door; then defend yourself.
    Darilyn Adams

  • Great commentary, Bill. How I wish you would have returned to the States and have been allowed to testify at our congressional hearings on the matter. I swear the JCS Chairman (Admiral Mullen) has no backbone and will not challenge the inclusion of women into combat, and he already supports enlisting gays to serve openly in the military.

    By the way, I’m a Catholic who STILL opposes homosexuality.

    Jeffrey Jircitano, US

  • Good on you Jeffrey.
    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Just on a different tangent to this issue, when the story of ‘Kate’ hit the news (which effectively set this issue of Woman in Compbat in motion), I couldn’t help but notice the gaps in the reporting. While I in NO WAY agree with the male soldier’s actions of fliming and skyping the ‘event’, I certainly have no respect for ‘Kate’ who sleeps with guys, in this case one she ‘thought was a nice guy’ (The Australian 9th April). Girls, if you sleep around, expect to be treated like dirt. This mentality will not change. Men don’t respect this behaviour, but they’ll take what they can get if the offer arises. This young man made the unthinkable, immoral choice to ‘show his mates’. Twenty years ago, he would’ve ‘bragged to his mates’.
    This is not surprising, given the current technologies, where you can ‘show the rest of the world what you are doing every second of the day’, something which the young generation do almost as ‘second nature’. I hope not to offend the many respectful men out there by this generalisation, but that was my take on the episode, and as far as I was concerned, the defence should’ve got rid of both Kate and this guy. Simply put, if you disobey God’s design for sex within marriage, there will be nasty consequences.
    Jane Petridge

  • Yes quite right Jane.
    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Speaking of feminist myths, see Carrie Lukas ‘There is No Male-Female Wage Gap’ in WSJ;

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704415104576250672504707048.html

    Damien Spillane

  • Yes good stuff Damien. See also her earlier book: The Politically Incorrect Guide to Women, Sex, and Feminism (Regnery, 2006).

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Another terrific piece on women in combat by Ted Lapkin, ‘Minister Unleashes His Inner Germaine Greer’

    ‘The rank incoherence of these policies is obvious. If women require special protections against a bit of coarse sexual barrack-room banter, how can they be expected to deal with the unbridled savagery of infantry combat?

    The battlefield is a brutal, physically exacting and unforgiving environment where there’s no Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission to be found.

    Appeals to fair play will do nothing to help an infantry woman against an AK47-wielding jihadi who seeks to thrust a bayonet into her chest.

    There is no place for special dispensations in war. Our enemies couldn’t care less whether our armed forces operate according principles of gender equality.’

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/commentary/minister-unleashes-his-inner-germaine-greer/story-e6frgd0x-1226038720101

    Damien Spillane

  • “The fact that some senior army officers have claimed that they support the idiotic idea…” (Frank Bellet, above). I think that the seniority is the thing. The higher up people are in any organisation (military, police, government, church, and media obviously) the more and more pressured they are to conform to, or support, the latest PC dogmas, eg. feminism, homosexuality (notice how such as the Bishop of Liverpool, England, was forced to get into line) and no doubt many other pieces of PC ideology. The further down you go, in any organisation, the more sanity there is; this is why organisations are busy putting through “staff diversity policies” and the like the force ordinary employees to conform or else get fired/prosecuted. This is how the Soft Stalinism, that we live under, works.
    John Thomas, UK

  • Not so sure this quote is correct: “The hard evidence is overwhelming that men are more aggressive, competitive, risk-taking – indeed more combative – than women.” I have no documented proof but nearly every time I see in the rear view mirror an aggressive driver doing at least 20mph over the limit, it’s a female in her 20’s, or 30’s at best. If I’m still in the lane, they ride my tail until I move over or they rip around into the right hand lane. There’s a new breed out there. Might as well send ’em overseas.
    Randy Schuppan

  • In the US, women are becoming more angry, violent and aggressive from puberty and puberty is beginning sooner. There has been a dramatic increase in violent incidents perpetrated by women in schools, public and homes.

    Whether this anger and aggression is due to the environment (increase of negative attitudes toward women, disrespect/abuse/harrassment or to anger and depression due to promiscuity/abortion, violent and sexual content in media, poor guidance and modeling by parents, teachers and church, broken homes) and/or to chemicals/hormones being added to food, particularly beef and chicken, has not been determined.

    Women have changed, but that still does not make it healthy or safe for them to be treated like men, domiciled with men or in battle with men.

    Sibyl Smith

  • Will you be happy with this discussion if and when Conscription is ever brought back? What are these people really thinking, do they look ahead to see what the affects will be? Since when is it good role modeling for our children for us to say, males & females have the same roles?
    John Archer

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