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Friday Sober Thread: Women in Combat

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Dcc001, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. Dcc001

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    The U.S. recently announced that they will ease restrictions on women fighting on the front lines of war.

    <a class="postlink" href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/women-have-been-part-of-us-combat-for-years-although-not-on-front-lines/2013/01/24/42e3ff62-6650-11e2-93e1-475791032daf_story.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle ... story.html</a>

    <a class="postlink" href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/01/24/women-in-combat-briefing/1861887/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/worl ... g/1861887/</a>

    <a class="postlink" href="http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2013/01/24/us-army-combat-women-panetta.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2013 ... netta.html</a>

    Focus: Is it a good idea? Is it even relevant, given the level women already serve at? Your thoughts on women in combat.
     
  2. Crown Royal

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    Although I can't relate on the level with this subject, I'm pretty sure that Israel has had serious issue with this. Brave is brave and you can never take that away, but I predict on-camera horrors to come soon if/when this happens.
     
  3. ghettoastronaut

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    I'm on a roll of cynically replying to threads with serious questions, but fuck it. I've only ever shot on a target range. The most dangerous vehicle ride I've ever taken was on a particularly cold and snowy night. I haven't even had a rocket land near me while I was in line at Tim Horton's. But, rest assured, my opinion on this matter is far more valid than yours.
     
  4. iczorro

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    Some of the soldiers I work with were bringing up the old hack joke, "Do you really want a woman on her period with a gun working with you?"

    A. That line of reasoning is dumb.
    2. I've stood watch with female sailors that were ragging and armed, no big deal.
    D. Like there aren't already female service members carrying and bleeding at the same time?

    I have no problem with it. A lot of the same issues that were brought up for openly gay service members serving have been brought up here, and they're just as facetious. "It'll affect the morale of the guys out there by changing their priorities of whether or not to protect someone, etc.." Horseshit. I was on the boarding team with some guys I knew were gay, didn't in any way affect how we did our jobs. I can't imagine women will change it either.

    The only valid point I've ever heard in this particular debate (as far as I know, since this is not an area of expertise for me) is the matter of possible toxic shock syndrome for girls on extended field exercises, or behind enemy lines.
     
  5. toddamus

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    I talked to my friend about this today. He's an active duty marine who has seen combat. He is against it. He has several reasons. One being that women lack the physicality of men, and they lack the emotional stoicism. Another being that if a man sees a woman in distress, say wounded by a sniper, some men will instinctually without second thought risk their life and by consequences others lives to save the woman. A third would be the needless sexual tension. Many wives are already paranoid about their servicemen cheating on them, having women with them only enhances this stress. Stress and anger is obviously contagious and affects performance.

    These are the quick reasons he gave me. Considering his background and him seeing combat I trust his opinion. I'm not inclined to have one myself because I have absolutely no basis for forming an opinion. Anything I might think would be sheer fantasy and baseless. I might as well say Santa Claus would be better off with two wives.
     
  6. Cult

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    Disclaimer - I'm not qualified in any way to have an opinion on this issue. I've just been reading and seen some good points made on this subject and I'll parrot them here.

    Personally, I don't see a problem with women serving in these roles if they can meet the standards that the men are held to. That said, I've seen a quote floating around that sums up the physical issue pretty well - "Congress and SECDEF can issues decrees and pass laws … but nothing they say or proclaim will cause a 140 pound female to do more than sit on a 130 pound rucksack". I'm sure there are some females out there who could train to that physical level and hack it physically, it still doesn't address the issue that they are going to be assimilating into a culture that will probably mostly be against their presence at all and they will be looked down upon for being weak because of their sex even if they make it.

    I've seen the integration issue compared to blacks and gays being discriminated against. The difference is that almost all of the military had no problem with homosexuals serving to begin with (and for those of us in while DADT was in effect we knew who was gay anyways) and there isn't any difference between black people and white people and Hispanics and whatever race other than skin color and though it took a while we finally realized that. Women are very physiologically different (captain obvious here) in a way that puts them at a disadvantage when it comes to the duties that are required of someone in the infantry which may cause a lot more friction than when blacks were allowed to serve along side of whites.

    Also, some people have pointed out that there are no front lines and that in the last two wars we were in women were still subject to get into firefights. A few problems with that. First is that you can't predict what future wars are going to look like. The military has tried and failed time and time again. Second, simply being in combat is not the same thing as being in the infantry. There's a difference than being in a convoy that gets shot at or seeing an IED or two blow up the whole time you're in country than going on dismounted patrols every day to hunt down the people who are trying to kill you.
     
  7. audreymonroe

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    This is what I've always heard/assumed was the biggest reason against this. And the thing is, it's not like every woman in the military is now going to be forced into combat. They're just going to be allowed to do it if they're interested in it and capable. This isn't the arena for quotas or tokenism (not that I think that's appropriate in any job etc). I don't think things should be adjusted to make sure more women can make it in, and from what I've read they won't be. But, if a woman can meet the same requirements that a man can when deciding whether or not he's fit for combat, then she also meets the requirements to be fit for combat. If no women or very few women can meet those standards, then oh well. I wouldn't expect that, and it's not the place to get angry over how few women there are. But the fact that women weren't even able to try always seemed ridiculous to me.

    As for the emotional aspect, again, it's not like now women are going to be forced to be in combat. It's that they now have the option of applying for a position. The weird thing is, that, women are aware of their emotional limits and are aware of what being in combat means. If they don't think they can handle it and aren't interested in that role, then they won't end up in combat. And if they keep breaking down in tears all over the place, then they'd simply be fired or put in a different role, just as if a guy assumes he's capable of the role because he's a Man and then ends up not being able to handle it.

    Yeah, this is just stupid. First, if a guy is concentrating more on how hot that female soldier's ass is rather than, oh, anything else that is of higher importance than that, then that guy should be fired. That's the way to solve that problem, not ban women from being there in the first place. Second, you can apply that to any other field and it would be a lot more blatantly misogynistic. "Women can't be doctors. You don't want sexual tension in the operating room! People's lives are on the line!" Or how is it even really that different to say "Women can't be mechanics due to unnecessary sexual tension," just because the stakes are lower? For example, that woman who was fired recently from being a dental assistant because the dentist found her too sexually irresistible so he was starting to push the boundaries, and his wife was getting jealous. That sounds RIDICULOUS, but for whatever reason I think even people who would agree that the same situation is ridiculous anywhere else somehow thinks it makes sense in the context of the army, and it doesn't. And while I have a lot of sympathy for army wives, their jealousy isn't a good enough reason to ban capable women from doing a job they're interested in.
     
  8. archer

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    I dont think its that stupid, long term deployments to hostile foreign locations are very different to having to spend 8 hours a day with a hot dental nurse... I mean i get what you are saying, but i dont think you can fairly compare a military deployment to a regular 9-5 job where you get to go home and see your family each night.
     
  9. Cult

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    I think the problem with this is right now you have the male culture that is combat arms, and then we're going to let women into combat arms jobs, and then we're going to force the men to change the way they act and punish ones that don't to accommodate women. Also, you can't just fire people in the military, that's a bad idea. The difference between combat arms jobs and things like surgeons or mechanics is that women aren't physiologically at a disadvantage because they are a woman if they want to be a surgeon they are if they want to be in the infantry, like a large disadvantage. Once we started allowing women into positions as fighter pilots or on submarines things went smooth despite initial resistance because people realized despite prejudices they could perform just as well as the men. Maybe the women that can hack it will change the attitude of the men, but I doubt it.
     
  10. ssycko

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    I think this is more of an issue than people seem to think it is. In all those other examples, that's correct, that'd be ridiculous. But when a woman is operating on somebody, her life isn't also at risk. It's not "guys are distracted by ass," it's "if a guy falls in love with a girl there is a good chance he might disobey orders when her life is at risk," and vice versa.

    If you're in a risky situation with your new secret girlfriend during your infatuation period, you're going to act differently, and it's probably not going to be "more level-headed."

    [edit] Also, it's terribly unfair to assume that it's just the guys who would be affected, while the women are stoic pillars, as seems to be the case 100% of the time this comes up.
     
  11. Mantis Toboggan M.D.

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    The "this is just ending more discrimination like the military did when it integrated and ended DADT" argument is bullshit. A black man is still a man. A gay man is still a man. A woman, no matter how much you may wish it to be true, is not a man. Women haven't been barred from the infantry in almost every military in the history of mankind because those militaries have been discriminatory, they've been barred because fucking Mother Nature is discriminatory. Deal with it.

    I'm assuming the women (on here and in general) who are crowing about how great this is are going to be at their local recruiting station first thing tomorrow morning with pen in hand to sign an 11X contract, right?? Because if not, then shut the fuck up. You have no clue what you're talking about. I'm not saying women have no place in the military, because they do. In my job in particular, women can have some very significant advantages (and occasionally just as significant disadvantages, depending on the situation, but all else being equal I'll take a female on my team any day). I've been in combat with women and they've done fine. But this was mostly mounted combat from a vehicle, or at most a foot patrol of a few kilometers through a village with minimal gear (only body armor, ammo, and water) and trucks nearby carrying the rest of our stuff. A fucking two, three, four-week foot patrol with no resupply, carrying everything you need for that time on your back is a different fucking animal. And that's before you get into the psychological/emotional factors at play (which are not bullshit or men being unprofessional neanderthals, again it's fucking Mother Nature). Men and women are not the same, and no amount of feel-good leftie legislation is ever going to change that.

    If this is allowed to go through, it will cost lives. It won't cost the life of the female Colonel who brought that bullshit lawsuit a few months ago (yeah, not being able to go infantry really ruined your career) and it won't cost the lives of feminist academics in Berkeley and Cambridge who haven't known anyone in uniform since the ROTC kid who sat in front of them in their freshman English seminar yet somehow feel qualified to pontificate on what is and is not good for the military. It will cost the life of some 18-year-old girl from rural Pennsylvania who was a tomboy growing up, good high school soccer player, could have played in college but watched fucking GI Jane one too many times growing up and decided that if Demi Moore could become a Navy SEAL then she could certainly cut it in an Army infantry unit, and then was allowed through the pipeline because the politicians set a quota that X number of females MUST make it through the training pipeline by Y date (which they WILL, mark my words). It will cost the lives of many others like her, as well as males next to them who are compromised by having a weak link on their team or squad. Their lives will be sacrificed on the altar of political correctness, and the liberal feminists won't give a fucking shit because Leon Panetta has ended yet another discriminatory military policy (on his way out, fucking coward).

    Panetta and anyone who supports these fucking jackasses will have the blood of that 18-year-old girl from rural Pennsylvania, and her comrades, on their hands.
     
  12. Juice

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    My friend just went through SERE school. He said it was where you get taken prisoner of war for a few weeks as part of your training. Guys in this program get the shit kicked out of them and even sexually assaulted, all on purpose as part of the training. I'm not sure women could handle this in the same way as men.

    Also, why are we still pretending like everyone is equal? Can't we just accept that men do some things better and women do some things better? I don't get why this is a bad thing.

    And if we're going to have real equality, when are women going to have to register for selective service (the draft)? Shouldn't they have to fight for their country too if needed? Guys can't even get a federal school loan unless their registered.
     
  13. iczorro

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    Physicality plays a surprisingly small roll in today's combat. Unless you're grappling one on one, it doesn't matter. If she can shoulder a rifle, she's good. When it does come to 1v1 training, yes, it may be an issue. But that issue is 90% solved by close quarters combat training. I've seen 160 lb dudes manhandle 230 lb dudes with less training.

    I believe I already covered the "We see them a different way, so we'll act a different way" thing in my original post.

    The sexual tension may be a thing, but lemme tell you, it's already there. If you're deployed for a long period and there are any even remotely attractive females present, they become what's known as "deployment hot". I fucked one or two girls on deployment that I wouldn't have looked at twice in a normal setting. This is nothing new.

    I've been in and around the military since 1999, but I musta missed that. I'd say the prevailing anti-gay sentiment in the military was much higher in the gen pop.

    And as I said earlier, this is a non issue, because it's already something we've been dealing with in the military, regardless of combat status. I slept with many a female sailor while I was in, sure as fuck didn't change what I did in my job.

    *fucking 9th edit* Am I the only former military (or at all) guy on this board that doesn't have a problem with this? Like I said, sure, women are not as physically strong as men, but in the wars we're fighting now against insurgents and whatnot, I'd take a 140 lb trained to fight girl over a 220 lb trained to shoot insurgent in hand to hand.

    IMO, this is gonna be another one of those, "Man, everyone was against it, but it didn't actually make much of a difference" things.

    There will be deaths. Like there always were, only some of them will be female now. Infantry always has casualties. Are people saying that seeing female casualties rather than male is going to ruin the country?

    I.. I honestly don't understand. Having been in the military, and thus knowing many women in the military, I believe them fully as capable of combat as us, and I think the whole "too strong an emotional connection to the girls" thing is fucking bullshit.
     
  14. T0m88

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    I see your point about modern warfare not requiring the physicality we've come to expect of combat in many instances, and since you-ve actually served I-m inclined to respect your opinion, but I want to posit a scenario for you that I think you've missed:

    So our female soldier, let's call her Sarah, has made it to the front line at last. She's on foot patrol in Afghanistan with her platoon, when an IED buried under the path explodes up ahead, killing or maiming a dozen men. A split second later, insurgents concealed in a treeline open up with small arms and RPG fire. The soldiers nearest the casualties grab the closest dead or wounded man and haul them to the cover of a nearby berm fifty yards away. Sarah is one of those soldiers. The closest casualty to her is one of the SAW gunners, who's down with shrapnel wounds to both legs and can't walk. He's 6'2'', 240lbs before you even throw in 100lbs of gear and weapon. Sarah, even though she can run as fast and crank out pushups as well as any of the other grunts in her company, is physically incapable of fireman-carrying his big ass out of there. They're stuck.

    That scenario (and other similar ones, which I think you'll agree are eminently possible in today's conflict) is the reason why the idea of females as frontline troops has me worried. Plus, if we accept the truism that the military's always ready to fight the war it just fought rather than the one that's just begun, then such a decision could leave you dangerously lacking in the quality of manpower needed for the next war. Sure, women may be okay to hack it now, as you suggest, but what if the next conflict the US Military's involved in is an ultrakinetic one with no static positions where terrain and climate contribute to make wheeled and rotor transport an infeasible tactical option and they have to resort to extended foot patrols? Do they then just roll back and say "sorry ladies, you ain't good enough for this one"?

    Other considerations:

    - Whatever we may say about our society having reached total equality, the day a woman comes home in a bodybag, her memory will be profaned by any cunt demagogue looking to push an anti-war agenda by using the shock value of a dead woman's corpse- and it'll work.

    - How does a woman deal with a situation in which she and 30 other dudes are stuck inside an abandoned compound where the only toilet facilities are "that corner over there" and she has to piss and shit in front of her comrades, who have to somehow turn themselves into stone and not think "oh hey, that's a woman's vagina", "oh hey, that's a woman pooping" and concentrate on their job when their entire background and upbringing (and possibly PTSD connected to 2girls1cup) tells them "that is not shit you should expect to see"?

    - For the present, and indeed I think it's safe to say for the next couple of decades, much of the US's war effort will be directed against enemies who are militant members of Islam. The day that, God forbid, they capture some more US military personnel (and there's no reason to be able to state with certainty that it won't happen again) and they find that one of the grunts they've caught is a WOMAN who's not only not sitting at home in a burqah acting like a glorified milk cow but is humping a rifle and fighting like a man, what do you think they'll do to her? Quite frankly, I don't want to turn on the news and see some scumstain on Al Jazeera gloatingly declaring they've captured an infidel woman and they're going to slowly rape her to death every day their demands aren't met.

    Ultimately, to me, it's just too big of a risk for too little reward. The military's a service, not a democracy, and you surrender a lot of the rights that you expect in a democracy when you join it. You're also made fully aware of this fact. Equality in the military does not exist, and for very good reasons. I'm 6'5'', 240lbs and my eyes don't work too good; I'll never be a fighter pilot. In fact, as far as the selection criteria are concerned, I'll never be able to join the Special Forces. While this may make me sad because I'll never get to reenact my Top Gun fantasies or wear a sand beret, I'll deal with it. Life's imperfect.
     
  15. iczorro

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    What you're assuming here is that there aren't male soldiers in the same boat. I've known Rangers (maybe not SEALS) that were 160 soaking wet.

    Sorry, got my quotes wrong gimme 5 min to make right...
     
  16. iczorro

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    What you're assuming here is that there aren't male soldiers in the same boat. I've known Rangers (maybe not SEALS) that were 160 soaking wet.

    No, then I go back to, like I said, the only problem I can see with female frontline soldiers on extended patrols is toxic shock syndrome from having tampons in too long, but that is easily solvable. As former military, I know the girls that are in the military. They are strong, capable, hard, and I personally would not have a problem serving with them on any of the duties that I had in the Navy.

    That hasn't happened already? How long was Jessica what'shername held fucking captive after that convoy? Did that alter military policy, or back women away from the front?

    Same way they deal with a gay dude thinking, "Hey that's a bunch of dicks over there, one of them's pissing. Or the way the straight dudes think, hey, that gay dude is pissing". You fucking look away while someone is doing their business.

    We've already seen this. Like I said, Jessica Lynch. Girl was held for weeks after getting captured in an Army convoy, while armed. Why do you think that Al Quaeda is gonna suddenly switch up tactics?

    Now this here is the only argument I've heard that holds any merit at all, and it's still easily dismissible. The risk? Women dying. The reward? Women (who, from my personal experience are tougher than most men I know, military especially) becoming a fully realized part of our fighting force.

    Everyone always looks at the down side. How about a platoon of super pissed off dykes with SAWs and proper support getting after the enemy? Are we going to be MORE sad if they die, rather than dudes? If they want to, if they volunteer, FUCKING LET THEM.

    This early in the game, it's clearly only going to be girls that volunteer that get pushed to front lines. Who are you to deny them that? Wait for results before you judge based on numbers...
     
  17. iczorro

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    What you're assuming here is that there aren't male soldiers in the same boat. I've known Rangers (maybe not SEALS) that were 160 soaking wet.

    No, then I go back to, like I said, the only problem I can see with female frontline soldiers on extended patrols is toxic shock syndrome from having tampons in too long, but that is easily solvable. As former military, I know the girls that are in the military. They are strong, capable, hard, and I personally would not have a problem serving with them on any of the duties that I had in the Navy.

    That hasn't happened already? How long was Jessica what'shername held fucking captive after that convoy? Did that alter military policy, or back women away from the front?

    Same way they deal with a gay dude thinking, "Hey that's a bunch of dicks over there, one of them's pissing. Or the way the straight dudes think, hey, that gay dude is pissing". You fucking look away while someone is doing their business.

    We've already seen this. Like I said, Jessica Lynch. Girl was held for weeks after getting captured in an Army convoy, while armed. Why do you think that Al Quaeda is gonna suddenly switch up tactics?

    Now this here is the only argument I've heard that holds any merit at all, and it's still easily dismissible. The risk? Women dying. The reward? Women (who, from my personal experience are tougher than most men I know, military especially) becoming a fully realized part of our fighting force.

    Everyone always looks at the down side. How about a platoon of super pissed off dykes with SAWs and proper support getting after the enemy? Are we going to be MORE sad if they die, rather than dudes? If they want to, if they volunteer, FUCKING LET THEM.

    This early in the game, it's clearly only going to be girls that volunteer that get pushed to front lines. Who are you to deny them that? Wait for results before you judge based on numbers...

    I'm bringing this up again because I don't think you have any fucking clue about what combat is like. Noone gives a flying fuck if you're pooping or pissing, and I sure as shit wouldn't have cared more if it was a woman. The only thing I gave a fuck about was, "Are you an available gun again, and what area are you covering?"
     
  18. Cult

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    There might be a few soldiers out there who can't move someone of that weight, but it is massively smaller than the amount of women who would be able to do so. Either way, a few men not being able to do it isn't reason to let women who can't do it in, that just means the men who can't do it need to be sought out and either gotten into shape or removed. Sexual dimorphism is a bitch. Women on average have about 50% of the upper body strength of men and 70% of the lower body strength.

    I'm pretty sure another big concern was about just carrying all that gear in general. Women weigh less than men, carrying all that weight is going to be much harder on their bodies than it is for a man just looking at the weight of their gear compared to them, and that isn't even considering that men have a higher bone density and stronger ligaments than women as well.

    Like I said though, I don't see an objective reason against women serving in these roles so long as they can meet the same standard the men have to, but I think this move wasn't well thought out and a lot of people who are in support of it either don't realize how much harder it is going to be for women to succeed than they think or they are in denial about the differences between men and women and what being in the infantry entails.
     
  19. The Village Idiot

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    I have a pretty straightforward take on this. It has nothing to do with 'can women do the job.'

    It comes down to a moral objection. I think it is absolutely barbaric to send women into combat, or have them in the military at all. Contrary to popular belief, the military is not a democracy, nor is it an appropriate place to play out an equal rights argument. The U.S.'s inability to correctly use a military has created this problem.

    If the country is invaded and there are no able bodied men to fight, then I'll change my mind. Until then, while we fight wars on foreign soil, I have a moral objection to women in the military. Call it misogynistic, old fashioned, outdated, or whatever else. Maybe it's my view that women are the creators of life, or something I'm sure many of you find silly. Which is fine.

    In short, no, women in combat, and women in the military in general (and one of the reasons I opposed this originally was because I knew it was a matter of time before the 'equal rights' argument - i.e. women can't advance the same way because they don't see combat action like men, was going to become an issue) is unnecessary and just flat out barbaric.
     
  20. gamecocks

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