Lt. Santangello has a similarly feminist angle on why she was powerless to supplement her own training to prepare for the OIC: “Women aren’t encouraged to establish the same mental toughness as men — rather, they’re told that they can’t compete. Men, meanwhile, are encouraged to perceive women as weak.” It’s the male-dominated culture, stupid.
Why does a strong young college hockey player with the guts to join the Marines and the ability to become an officer suddenly wilt at negativity from anyone? Is that the attitude that got her through Officer Candidate’s School? Why would such a tough cookie listen to anyone who told her she couldn’t compete? Why wouldn’t she use it, as so many athletes do, to fuel her ambition to prove them wrong? Herein lies the usual riddle of feminist dogma: Women are as strong as men, but women are victims of men. It’s garbage. Advocates for women in combat are desperate to explain away the natural ability differences between the sexes.
I only served a four-year term in the Marines; but in that time (2004-2008), no one ever told me I couldn’t compete because I was a woman. Nor are men encouraged to perceive women as weak. If anything, they’re encouraged, at peril of losing their careers, to make themselves believe the lie that women are their physical equals. Today, we all are. Point out the obvious, and you’re charged with waging the “war on women.”
They can’t afford to even think the truth
In my experience, feminism is so prevalent in the military that men trip over themselves trying to ensure that they don’t offend. They can’t afford to even think the truth.
Women are not as strong and athletic as strong, athletic men. That is why women, even very athletic women, are failing OIC. That is why women aren’t competing with men in professional football, wrestling, or mixed martial arts. It doesn’t mean women are inferior human souls, nor does it mean there is no place for women in the military. It means it makes total logical sense for many MOSs, especially the combat units, to remain closed to women.
Equal training standards would indeed put women in better stead. It’s hard to take pride in the hollow affirmations that we’re doing everything that men are when we know we’re held to a lower standard. It would be better for us as women serving, better for the men with whom we serve, and above all better for a winning military.
However, women’s failure to make these kinds of standards is not just for a lack of training. For example, the women going through Marine Corps boot camp throughout 2013 were being trained to achieve the men’s minimum of three pull-ups. They were trained to pass the test, yet 55% of them couldn’t make that minimum. 99% of male recruits can, whether or not they were particularly athletic before shipping off.
When I decided to join the Marines, I already worked out regularly. I had been jogging and hitting the gym since my teens; my sport was martial arts. To prepare for the Marines, I worked out harder and more often. No one had to tell me to–I knew my own weaknesses. If I made it to graduation, I didn’t want to let down the Marines to my left and my right.
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