Kathleen Parker: Women On The Front Lines Is A Bad Idea


Surprisingly, Kathleen Parker makes some salient points

(Washington Post) It must be true what they say about women – that they are smarter, stronger, wiser and wilier than your average Joe.

How else could one explain the magical thinking that apparently has prompted Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to abandon all reason and lift the ban on women in direct combat?

This is a terrible idea for reasons too numerous to list in this space, which forces me to recommend my 2008 book, “Save the Males,” in which I devote a chapter to the issue. The most salient point happens to be a feminist argument: Women, because of their inferior physical capacities and greater vulnerabilities upon capture, have a diminished opportunity for survival.

Kathleen points out that the arguments against women in front line combat roles has “nothing to do with courage, skill, patriotism or dedication.”

We’re potentially talking about 18-year-old girls, notwithstanding their “adult” designation under the law. (Parents know better.) At least 18-year-old males have the advantage of being gassed up on testosterone, the hormone that fuels not just sexual libido but, more to the point, aggression. To those suffering a sudden onset of the vapors, ignore hormones at your peril.

Now, hold the image of your 18-year-old daughter, neighbor, sister or girlfriend as you follow these facts, which somehow have been ignored in the advancement of a fallacy. The fallacy is that because men and women are equal under the law, they are equal in all endeavors and should have all access to the same opportunities. This is true except when the opportunity requires certain characteristics. Fact: Females have only half the upper-body strength as males – no small point in the field.

You’re also placing women and men in situations that could be very uncomfortable and cause issues with field unit cohesion. There is a difference in the biology of men and women (something that often has to be made clear to liberals). Of course, we do have to wait and see what the plan is for combat unit inclusion for women. We’ll surely see female inclusion in air units, particularly those flying over the field of combat (women typically can take more g forces than men, a benefit in a fighter jet) and in units such as artillery. But, what people like Parker and others are discussing is women in field combat units where they’re carrying a gun and assaulting the enemy directly. It can be simple things like being out on patrol and nature calling.

If the enemy is all around you – and you need every available person – that is one set of circumstances. To ask women to engage vicious men and risk capture under any other is beyond understanding. This is not a movie or a game. Every objective study has argued against women in direct combat for reasons that haven’t changed.

And the military should not be a setting to test social programs for political expediency and points.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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