Tag Archives: combat

It’s not the same, no matter how you cut it.

While sitting in the airport recently, I was listening to the endless repetition of HLN (anyone notice that CNN Headline News changed their name?) the anchor woman asked the following poll question: should women be allowed to serve in combat roles?  Now, I am not that old, but have we not debated this point ad nauseum?  Why is it being brought up again now?

The women of America have come a long way over the years.  From housewives and mothers of old, the typical woman today has many more life choices than their predecessors.  The women’s lib movement gave women the right to vote, and during WWII, many women moved into male dominated jobs when the men went to serve in the military.  Women now serve in senior leadership roles in every major corporation in the country.  They even have professional sport teams in basketball and football.  They have come a long way, baby.

Not far enough, evidently, for some.  There are loud voices still clamoring for the NFL to allow women to play on the same teams as men.  There are still cries of pay inequality in corporate America, and—from what I gathered this morning—still loud voices wanting women to serve in combat roles in the military.  My question is why.

Why do women feel the need to compete on a physical level with men?   Women have proven they are quite intelligent and in many standardized tests they score higher on average.  Ok, good for them.  They can solve problems and make tough decisions.  Well, this is why they have gotten as far as they have in jobs and rights.  Women have equal rights as men, that is not in question.  What is in question is ‘are they the same?’

I am not a chauvinist, but women are not equal to men in one very basic way.  Biology.  Women are put together differently.  It is a simple biological fact and one that cannot be ignored.  The average human female is smaller in stature than the average human male (and the key word is average—please don’t offer specific examples of Amazonian-class women who can beat me up).  Between that same average male and female, the male will be stronger with a more defined musculature.  I don’t care how you cut it, if you take the average woman and the average man and put them into the exact same exercise regime and diet, the male will remain bigger and stronger than the woman.

Because of this, women cannot compete on the same playing field as men when it comes to intense physical games like basketball and football.  Sure you can look at tennis and golf and cite the fantastic female players in those sports who can even beat the male players, but really—apples and oranges.  Jack Nicholas would get creamed by William Perry and Tiger Woods couldn’t stand up to Warren Sap, so why would anyone think a woman would fare any better?  I mean, I am sure there are women who could beat me in football, but that’s not saying much.  Football and basketball are too physically intense for a woman to play a man on a professional level.

The same goes for combat.  In the trenches, combat is a physically intense activity.  Few women can pass the male standards for the APFT (at least that was the case in my day); which is why the Army has a different set of standards for females.  Also, on the battlefield, combat can often come down to man-to-man, hand-to-hand fighting and while I know there are some women who can beat some men, they are still at a distinct disadvantage when you average it all together.  Besides, there are so many combat support roles that women can fill that are integral to any war effort.  Why insist on picking up a rifle and shooting at the enemy when the risks involve capture?  Women who get captured may have to endure a whole different captivity than their male counterparts.  This problem is not only with the enemy either.  Our own male troops may be tempted to exploit the proximity of women is an unpleasant way.

The problem comes from those who are not particularly interested in the specific case of women in combat for the sake of national security.  They want women in combat so that the government has to say women are the same as men.  Essentially, they want society to no longer see any difference between the sexes.  The only way to do that is to put blinders on and dispense with intelligence altogether, which does seem to fit into the Liberal agenda anyway.

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