It’s not all about qualification. I’m speaking as a female Marine Iraq war vet who did serve in the combat zone doing entry checkpoint duty in Fallujah, and we worked with the grunts daily for that time. All the branches still have different standards for females and males. Why? Because most women wouldn’t even qualify to be in the military if they didn’t have separate standards. Men and women are different, but those pushing women into combat don’t want to admit that truth. They huff and puff about how women can do whatever men can do, but it just ain’t so. We’re built differently, and it doesn’t matter that one particular woman could best one particular man. The best woman is still no match for the best man, and most of the men she’d be fireman-carrying off the battlefield will be at least 100 lbs heavier than her with their gear on.
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Women are often great shooters but can’t run in 50-80 lbs of gear as long, hard, or fast as men. Military training is hard enough on men’s bodies; it’s harder on women’s. And until women stop menstruating, there will always be an uphill battle for staying level and strong at all times. No one wants to talk about the fact that in the days before a woman’s cycle, she loses half her strength, to say nothing of the emotional ups and downs that affect judgment. And how would you like fighting through PMS symptoms while clearing a town or going through a firefight? Then there are the logistics of making all the accommodations for women in the field, from stopping the convoy to pee or because her cycle started to stripping down to get hosed off after having to go into combat with full MOP gear when there’s a biological threat.
This is to say nothing of unit cohesion, which is imperative and paramount, especially in the combat fields. When preparing for battle, the last thing on your mind should be sex; but you put men and women in close quarters together, and human nature is what it is (this is also why the repeal of DADT is so damaging). It doesn’t matter what the rules are. The Navy proved that when they started allowing women on ship. What happened? They were having sex and getting pregnant, ruining unit cohesion (not to mention derailing the operations because they’d have to change course to get them off ship.)
When I deployed, we’d hardly been in the country a few weeks before one of our females had to be sent home because she’d gotten pregnant (nice waste of training, not to mention taxpayer money that paid for it). That’s your military readiness? Our enemies are laughing – “Thanks for giving us another vulnerability, USA!”
Then there are relationships. Whether it’s a consensual relationship, unwanted advances, or sexual assault, they all destroy unit cohesion. No one is talking about the physical and emotional stuff that goes along with men and women together. A good relationship can foment jealousy and the perception of favoritism. A relationship goes sour, and suddenly one loses faith in the very person who may need to drag one off the field of battle. A sexual assault happens, and a woman not only loses faith in her fellows, but may fear them. A vindictive man paints a woman as easy, and she loses the respect of her peers. A vindictive woman wants to destroy a man’s career with a false accusation (yes, folks, this happens too); and it’s poison to the unit. All this happens before the fighting even begins.
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