Battle for the sexes

The debate about women in the military and what capacity they should serve was reignited recently with Tucker Carlson taking [virtual] flak for comments he made on the subject. Speaking two days earlier at a press conference (relevant comments begin at 14:35), President Biden stated that the Defense Department was “creating maternity flight suits” and developing body armor to suit women and their “hairstyles.” The President’s comments might have gone unnoticed, but now that Tucker Carlson has highlighted it, everyone has something to say.

In 2015, Defense Secretary Ash Carter lifted all gender-based restrictions in military services, meaning women could serve in every position in the military, including active combat. D.C. McAllister, who wrote at The Federalist at the time, stated that the ruling meant drafting women into the military was now a possibility. While conservatives applauded President Trump’s ban on transgender people in the armed forces, his administration did not address the issues raised by the presence of women in the armed forces.

It is a strange place we’ve reached as a culture, allowing women on the front lines, yet the modern obsession with equality dictates that it must be so— if men are allowed to fight and women are equal to men, let them fight too. But men and women are not the same. It will not surprise Mad Monday readers to hear that the US Army is considering changing physical testing requirements, as many women can’t keep up. “Gender-neutral” tests are seen as unfair, because results are a factor in advancement meaning men get all the promotions.

Apart from the waffling on physical standards to integrate women into military ranks, a report sponsored by the Marines a few years ago found that men act differently when there are women around. They could have saved the money and tuned in to Rev. Fisk for that insight! Heather McDonald, writing for the WSJ in 2019, says that when women were first admitted to a Marine base in Afghanistan, things changed very quickly:

“Until that point, rigorous discipline had been the norm. But when four women—three service members and a translator—arrived, the post’s atmosphere changed overnight from a “stern, businesslike place to that of an eighth-grade dance.” The officer walked into a common room one day to find the women clustered in the center. They were surrounded by eager male Marines, one of whom was doing a handstand.” McDonald also highlights that “a co-ed military [is] a sexually active one.” In 1988, then-Navy Secretary Jim Webb reported that of the unmarried enlisted Navy and Air Force women stationed in Iceland, half were pregnant.

Rod Dreher sees another problem with the recent dust-up between Tucker Carlson and the Pentagon. He observed that the military, one of the last institutions trusted by Americans, has dispensed with nonpartisanship to go after a US citizen. The military’s top brass took to social media to attack Carlson and assure Americans that women are just as welcome in the military as men. And anyway, what does a cable news show host know, since he’s served “zero days” in the army

In her article, Heather McDonald quotes Tocqueville who wrote of the quest for equality between the sexes in his day. He said of his fellow Europeans, “They would give to both the same functions, impose on both the same duties, and grant to both the same rights; they would mix them in all things–their occupations, their pleasures, their business. It may readily be conceived that by thus attempting to make one sex equal to the other, both are degraded, and from so preposterous a medley of the works of nature nothing could ever result but weak men and disorderly women.” Hear, hear!

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