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Surprise! Pentagon to end ban on women in front-line combat. I knew about the lawsuit back in November and got the sense that things were kind of moving on this front, but I didn't expect this one. Happy inauguration present, I guess?

Having never served in the military, I can only really speak to how it's looked from the outside. Like it's seemed really ridiculous to continue to keep women out of combat assignments when female soldiers have gotten wounded fairly often in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, considering the way combat in those wars hasn't stayed nice and neat on a battlefield. And I've heard over and over that combat assignments are the better path to promotion (is this true?) which would make keeping women out of those assignments beyond shitty.

That, and I think it's an intense pile of bullshit to keep women out of a job so long as we're physically capable of doing it. And what I mean by that is that I totally understand why in, say, firefighting you want someone to be able to drag at least a 150 lb person to safety when you might be depending on them to save your ass one of these days. And if a woman can do said dragging? There's no excuse to keep her out.

Thoughts from actual military type people? I'd like to hear.

If you'd like to laugh yourself sick or potentially cause brain trauma from too much headdesking, read some of the comments on the CNN article. Apparently this is a bad decision because women have periods (if this is even potentially a problem, there is birth control that actually prevents this by the way), it's a scientific fact that men use logic and women use emotion (my emotions say LOL), and women are meant only to create and nurture life and we are disrupting the order of the universe (if that's the order of the universe it could use some more disruption thanks).

I cannot even make this shit up.


Jan. 24th, 2013 08:12 am (UTC)
I've heard over and over that combat assignments are the better path to promotion (is this true?)


I have no problem with the change. There are no doubt many women who are better shots than I am, who can march longer with a heavy load than I can, who can handle extremes of heat and cold and thirst and hunger better than I can, and probably a fair number who can do all three. Those are the three basic skills of the infantry soldier (can't just say "infantryman" any more). Which is to say, those are the basic skills of the soldier, since every fighter pilot and submarine navigator and tank gunner and medic is ultimately there for one purpose: to support the scared, tired, dirty nineteen-year-old with the pack and the rifle.

My guess is that there will be more men than women in the infantry for a long time to come, maybe forever--as in so many other ways, Aliens is probably a good source of prophecy here. (Check out the Colonial Marines' gear, which looked science-fictional as hell in 1986, and compare to standard field equipment for Afghanistan ...) Figure a ratio comparable to present-day police and firefighters. But based on what I remember from Ft. Benning, most healthy teenagers of either sex can make it through, if they want to. There's certainly no shortage of athletic young women who could handle 11B OSUT just fine.

Our grandchildren will come across this in history class and wonder what the fuss was about.

Edited at 2013-01-24 08:12 am (UTC)

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