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Two people who could kick Bryan Fischer's ass in 10 seconds flat.
Victorian-era mountebanks are agreed: Allowing the womenfolk to engage in military combat is just so … so gauche:
Retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, executive vice president of the Family Research Council, said in a statement Wednesday that lifting the military's ban on women serving in combat positions is a "social experiment" that is not worth the additional burdens it places on the military's leadership.
I had somehow forgotten that Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin had invested himself with the Family Research Council. I am sad now because this has forced me to remember that. Anyway, he says America's women can't handle being in combat positions because of, I Shit You Not, "personal hygiene" reasons.
"The people making this decision are doing so as part of another social experiment, and they have never lived nor fought with an infantry or Special Forces unit. These units have the mission of closing with and destroying the enemy, sometimes in close hand-to-hand combat. They are often in sustained operations for extended periods, during which they have no base of operations nor facilities. Their living conditions are primal in many situations with no privacy for personal hygiene or normal functions."
Also opposing: America's dumbest ex-congressman Allen West, who himself was drummed out of the military for all that stuff he did:
“GI Jane was a movie and should not be the basis for a policy shift. I … have known women who are Apache and Cobra helicopter pilots … but being on the ground and having to go mano y [sic] mano in close combat is a completely different environment.”
That's pretty dumb, all right. Anyone else want to join in? Let's look at some other conservative competitors below the fold.

The administration boasts about sending women to the front lines on the same day Democrats push the Violence  Against Women Act.
@TuckerCarlson via Twitter for iPhone
Feminism's latest victory: the right to get your limbs blown off in war. Congratulations.
@TuckerCarlson via Twitter for iPhone
Women in combat will not work. God did not design the female frame with the necessary strength and stamina.
@BryanJFischer via Twitter for iPad

Classic stuff. But I think "potential challenger" to Sen Al Franken and Concerned Vet for America (conservatives are always so concerned about things) Pete Hegseth may win the prize:
“This is about, the job of the infantry, the job of our war fighter, is to close with and destroy the enemy,” Hegseth told Fox News Channel’s Megyn Kelly. “How does this move advance that ball down the field?”

Kelly, a trained lawyer who can hold her own in an exchange of ideas, pressed Hegseth on how it would change anything if women were required to meet the same physical standards as men.

“You know how these things work when integration happens,” said Hegseth, who briefly put his hat in the GOP ring last year to challenge U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (who has endorsed outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s plan). “If it doesn’t happen fast enough, what do you do? You start to lower the bar, or you start to impose quotas.”

Opposing all "integration" because it "lowers the bar", eh? I see.
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Comment Preferences

  •  I don't see how this can work (28+ / 0-)

    I mean, between the tampons, mood swings and need to carry the Lifetime Channel in trenches and FOBs, this is simply going to put too great a burden on our logistics and lines of supply...


    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 03:18:45 PM PST

  •  I'm probably gonna get in trouble for this but... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sue B, LNK, chicating

    I don't see this as a huge win. Just because conservatives lost, what did women win? The wonderful opportunity to be in the thick of all of the 1%'s wars. I know one could argue they're already doing it, so they should get the credit and pay and all that, and the chance for promotions, but if some huge epic political battle is going to be fought, I'd rather it have been put into this country being more careful about what wars in which anyone gets put into combat.

    Using my free speech while I still have it.

    by ebgill on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 03:21:01 PM PST

    •  They also gain the career advancement (21+ / 0-)

      opportunities within the military that offical combat operation experience brings.  And while I have several issues with the military as an organization as well as the philosophy with which the decision to deploy them is based lately - I think that the increase in diversity among the command chain that this will eventually bring about will be a net positive.

      "If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people." -Tony Benn (-6.38,-6.36)

      by The Rational Hatter on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 03:26:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You might find this piece interesting (7+ / 0-)

        A woman in her 90s is seeking a promotion to Captain that she was denied because she was pregnant at the time of certification. (Note: the woman was my piano teacher for 3 years, from 4th through 6th grades; my brother sent me the link since he and her late son were best friends for years.)

        There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

        by Cali Scribe on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 03:34:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Not true (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Sorry but this is just untrue.  There is NOTHING in the current policy that prevents women from getting combat experience.  It is happening every day.

        Every day women receive combat awards
        Every day their records are annotated to reflect combat tours

        There are lots of reasons to change to policy, this is not one of them.

        It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

        by ksuwildkat on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 03:34:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  What they win (20+ / 0-)

      is the chance to be treated equally, especially in pay.

      Women are already in combat zones -- Tammy Duckworth lost her legs flying a helicopter mission in combat -- but because they're not considered eligible for combat, they're not entitled to the extra pay for serving in battle zones (or that's what I understand).

      I would not choose to serve in the military, much less serve in a combat role...but I would not deny anyone the chance at the job if it's their choice, be they man or woman, straight or gay or transgender.

      And maybe if it's not just our sons but our daughters who are at risk, maybe we'll think twice the next time we consider going into war without exhausting all available methods to avoid it. (Maybe...but I doubt it...)

      There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

      by Cali Scribe on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 03:28:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  What the heck? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cali Scribe, radarlady

        You can accuse the military of a lot of things but we are absolutely equal in pay.  There is ONE pay chart.  period.  EVERYONE gets the exact same pay.

        It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

        by ksuwildkat on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 03:36:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  From what I understand, (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Maple Jenny, La Gitane, radarlady

          there are bonuses that come with being combat eligible, specifically Special Forces -- I think that's especially what this is about. Think of the Navy SEALS who went in to take out bin Laden; they were probably getting some sort of hazard pay. If a woman can do the same job as well (or better) than a man, why shouldn't she be given that opportunity?

          There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

          by Cali Scribe on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 03:43:27 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not quite true (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Each of the services pays bonuses for certain skills that they need to be able to retain.  Since the pay chart is "skill neutral" - same pay at the same rank and years - the services use bonus and special skills pay to retain those skills.  One of the skills that currently gets special pay in the Army and Navy (cant speak for AF or MC) is Special Operations.  But doctors get it too.  So do dentists, vets, lawyers and some computer geeks.  Combat has nothing to do with it.  

            It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

            by ksuwildkat on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 04:07:43 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Is there "Imminent hazard pay"? (0+ / 0-)

          Or "Hostile fire pay"?

          •  Hostile Fire Pay is EO (0+ / 0-)

            If you are in a hostile fire zone, you get paid.  Thousands of women will receive hostile fire pay this month.

            It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

            by ksuwildkat on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 04:02:45 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Some promotions require "time in combat"... (0+ / 0-) well.

    •  They also gain recognition and equal opportunities (11+ / 0-)

      to medals that count towards career advancement.  Women have already ben serving in combat roles overseas. Who do you think searches the female suspects on combat patrols? They instead of being officially part of the unit, they were "attached" to that unit as a supply person etc.   They still faced the same dangers, but if that unit is awarded a unit award, they don't receive it since they aren't part of the unit.   Those awards bring with them points toward promotion.

      •  Total BS (0+ / 0-)

        Do you just make this up or is there some website with this.

        Unit awards are given LONG after the period of service.  Sometimes DECADES after.  Look at the lat set of unit awards orders.  You will find units form WWII and Vietnam.

        Personnel attached are awarded the same unit award as those assigned.  I have a unit award from when I was attached so dont tell me it doesnt happen.

        Since you dont know any facts, why not just shut up.

        It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

        by ksuwildkat on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 12:42:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  two points (14+ / 0-)

      1. Don't underestimate what this does for promotion opportunities for women, and how important that is for reshaping our military.

      2. There is no political battle being fought here.  The political ramifications of this are to yet again remind people how far off the reservation the right wing is.  

      •  Combat Action Badge carries with it points toward (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cali Scribe, grover, cpresley, irishwitch

        promotion.  From the Army Times:

        Promotion points are available to enlisted soldiers of the active and reserve components who are awarded the Combat Action Badge, the new decoration for soldiers who come under fire in a combat zone.
        Under changes to enlisted personnel regulations announced July 1, Regular Army and Army Reserve soldiers earn 15 promotion points for the CAB, and National Guard members earn 10 points.
        From the Army website on requirements for the Combat Action Badge:
        The requirements for award of the CAB are Branch and MOS immaterial. Assignment to a Combat Arms unit or a unit organized to conduct close or offensive combat operations, or performing offensive combat operations is not required to qualify for the CAB. However, it is not intended to award all soldiers who serve in a combat zone or imminent danger area.
        •  Second quote was the wrong one (5+ / 0-)
          Specific Eligibility Requirements:
          - May be awarded to any soldier.
          - Soldier must be performing assigned duties in an area where hostile fire pay or imminent danger pay is authorized.
          - Soldier must be personally present and actively engaging or being engaged by the enemy, and performing satisfactorily in accordance with the prescribed rules of engagement.
          - Soldier must not be assigned/attached to a unit that would qualify the soldier for the CIB/CMB.
          - May be awarded to members from the other U.S. Armed Forces and foreign soldiers assigned to a U.S. Army unit, provided they meet the above criteria
          The regulation have been used in the past to deny women the awards.  This affects promotion in the long run.  Regardless, these women, who are often already serving in combat roles, should be given recognition for that service, and not held back from recognition or advancement or any type of benefit based entirely on their gender.
        •  correct (0+ / 0-)

          and women can be awarded the Combat Action Badge.

          LOTS of women have been awarded the CAB.

          Beyond that, there is a limit to how many promotion points you can receive for awards.  Most soldiers max out in their first 5 years.  Lat means for the remaining 15 years of a normal career awards dont mean a thing toward promotion.

          good god quit embarrassing yourself.

          It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

          by ksuwildkat on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 12:45:41 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  What does it do? (0+ / 0-)

        Please explain to me how this will change promotions for women on single bit.

        Facts.  Not just some idea that it will make things better but facts.

        Fact is that EVERY promotion board is review in depth for both gender and race.  Every one.  If there is even a HINT that someone was held back by anything other than performance.

        It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

        by ksuwildkat on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 03:41:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  When I was in the military (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          promotion boards and full reviews were only done for senior enlisted promotions (E-7 through E-9) and Officers.   The lower enlisted ranks were done by points toward promotion.  They took into account performance reports, points from medals and awards, and then promotion test scores.

          •  Correct (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Performance being the key.  You will not see combat as a criteria on any board.

            It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

            by ksuwildkat on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 04:09:03 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Points are awarded for combat duty and for duty in (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              grover, irishwitch

              an assigned role stationed in a combat area.  Even though females have been walking the same patrols, because they are assigned 'combat duties' and aren't officially members of the assigned unit in the assigned area they don't receive the same points towards promotion.  Plus, not being directly members of the unit, who does their evals and recommendations? Since they don't qualify for any unit medals and their evaluator ranks the members of the team higher - because they are the team - they can lose out there as well.

              Good Sense is Seldom Common

              •  wrong (0+ / 0-)

                "Points for combat experience will be awarded to all Soldiers that serve in a combat zone each month of service will be worth 2 points and a maximum of 30 points for promotion to Sergeant and 60 points for Staff Sergeant. Changes to the current promotion start to take effect on 5 April 2011 as this will be the last day to validate promotion points and get promoted under the current Semi-Centralized Promotion system."

                What you do in the combat zone has NO BEARING on the number of promotion points received.

                This is the kind of stupidity that puts Liberals on the wrong side of these arguments.  GET THE FACTS.  Dont let someone refute your VERY VALID argument because you assumed something that was not true.

                It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

                by ksuwildkat on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 05:27:51 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  As I understand it: (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          This might not be FACTS, but this is how I generally understand workplace promotions working:

          Increased opportunity allows for increased promotion.  If a man has 5 jobs available to him and a woman has 2, than the man has more opportunity to demonstrate his performance in the best environment (i.e. one closest to his ideal).

          So, even if women aren't discriminated against in promotions, AND even if combat experience is somehow not a factor for promotion (despite, I'm guessing, being the best way to get recognition through awards/medals - let's pretend those don't influence promotion) then women are still held back through lack of opportunity.  

          •  and again (0+ / 0-)

            you are not dealing with facts.

            My last assignment cycle we had 12 people to fill 27 jobs.

            There is no shortage of opportunity.

            You do realize that between 1975 and 2001 there was exactly 10 DAYS of "combat" for the US military.  

            Since 2001 with the exception of a TINY number of jobs in Infantry, Armor and Artillery women have had the EXACT same opportunities to be in combat as men.  And when you consider out "tooth to tail" ratio is 10-1 (ie it takes 10 support troops to sustain 1 soldier in combat) an argument could be made that women have actually had MORE opportunity on a percentage basis.  

            Again, facts.  And if you dont know what you are talking about, based on fact, STFU.

            It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

            by ksuwildkat on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 11:28:04 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't get it (0+ / 0-)

              you seem really angry about this, but by your own logic it does nothing and makes no difference.  

              Maybe you're angry about the perception that women had less opportunity than men for promotion prior to this change; but I still say that's a factually true statement.  You just seem to be arguing that this difference was miniscule.  

              So I guess, a change was made that didn't change anything, except that it did change the FACT that there were some jobs in the military which were not open to women, regardless of qualifications.  Now those jobs are open to women.  So it did change something.  Just not enough for it to count as a FACT in your book.  

              •  Again, you lack facts (0+ / 0-)

                You stated that this somehow increased opportunity and therefore increased promotions.  That is simply factually wrong.  While I admit that I have not surveyed 100% of the entire Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps in my frequent - read daily - discussions with peers there are far more assignment choices than people to fill assignments.  I hear complaints about being forced to take an assignment because it is a priority fill while lower priority ones that are "nicer" go unfilled.  I have yet to hear any of my peers - male or female - say they really wanted a different/better assignment but they all got taken by men first.

                There is no shortage of combat assignments and we fill them with women every day.  In fact when we were in both Iraq and Afghanistan the vast majority of the Army was on a one in one out rotation - one year in, one year out.  In order to go to graduate school for 18 months I had to deploy for 20...and then redeploy for 14 months immediately after graduating.  These are facts.

                In the 26 years between 1975 and 2001 the US military was engaged in combat for a total of less than two weeks.  LOTS of women deployed for Operation Desert Storm and the all came back with combat patches and annotations on their records for combat tours.  No woman was disadvantaged because they were "excluded" from combat during that time.  Since 2001 even more women have deployed and like the ones in 1990 have received the exact same combat tour credit as men have.

                Where you become disadvantaged in the military is if everyone else is deploying and you don't.  If you are in a job where everyone is deploying and you don't, its an issue.  During my last tour in Afghanistan three of the guys I deployed with were going for the first time.  Two were relatively junior infantry soldiers so it was expected.  One was a mid grade Armor Captain.  All were rightfully concerned that if they did not deploy soon they would be disadvantaged.  Why?  Because just about everyone of their peers had deployed.  Now we are talking about three males in jobs that until yesterday were limited to males.  But here is they thing, they will never "take" a job from a deserving female because they don't compete for the same jobs.  For that matter, they dont compete with me.

                Without going into a huge explanation of military personnel management here is the bottom line - you only compete for promotions and commands with a very small slice of people who are in your career field and your year group.  For me personally that is about 40 people.  Now if we had a policy that said "only the men can deploy" in that group of 40, it would be a disadvantage and wrong.  But we don't.  Some of the men in my peer group have deployed more than me, some less.  Some of the women have deployed more than me, some less.  But no one was held back because of gender.  And you dont compete for jobs with people who are significantly senior to you or significantly junior to you.  So no woman who enters infantry tomorrow will be disadvantaged because she didnt deploy in 2001..or even 2012.  It only matters that you "look" like the people within your year group.

                It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

                by ksuwildkat on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 12:19:13 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  good to know (0+ / 0-)

                  that the discrimination has been in name and not in effect.  

                  The promotion opportunities have been there, then this change appears to be mostly formality.  It sounds like this is what Panetta, and others, were/are saying about this.  Women are already fighting, so let's just do this and it doesn't actually change much.  

                  It is nice to learn that it hasn't been holding women back who want certain opportunities.  

    •  It's just an opportunity.. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bear83, irishwitch

      That's all. They still have to prove they can do it, and by-and-large it's going to be more difficult for women simply because of biology. But, they have the opportunity. And that's what's important.

      Freedom isn't free. So quit whining and pay your taxes.

      by walk2live on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 03:40:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  No epic political battle is involved. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BentLiberal, irishwitch

      It's done.  People can bitch about it but it's done by order of the Sec. of Defense on the advice of the Joint Chiefs. They just made the regulation match the reality.

      Where are we going and what am I doing in this handbasket?

      by gelfling545 on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 03:49:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Women service members have been seen as (5+ / 0-)

      opportunists. We get the wear the uniform, etc., but we do it by taking up all the cushy desk jobs, the shore duty, the type III sea duty, etc.,

      So when it comes time for long time members who are also male, to think about our contributions, it's often been that the powers that be, contrived to make us a thorn in our male counterpart's side, rather than being equals, peers, etc.,

      This did affect our promotion. Women were unable to serve in combat, were not seen as qualified for certain positions. And there was no way for us to get those qualifications, and the only way to get some positions was through a quota. And a Quota would never piss other people off, who cannot mark the box next to Female.

      You go into the service, you are doing so with the understanding that you could be sent to war, that you could deal with live fire, with combat, with living in primitive camps.

      And if that's what a woman wants to do, and she can qualify for the positions physically and mentally, then why not? Why hold her back for no other reason than the fear of her gender?

      The more women who voluntarily serve, the less likely we will need a draft, and that means men, who don't want to serve, and women too, don't have to.

      Because when both genders, and now Homosexuals, are allowed to openly serve in any position they can qualify for, then that means fewer shortages on [hu]Manpower.

      •  um.... (0+ / 0-)

        you are describing a Navy career.

        The only Navy jobs women are excluded from are SEALS.  

        Thats less then 1/2 of 1% of all Navy jobs.

        It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

        by ksuwildkat on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 12:48:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The whole women in combat and what job they get (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          has been going on longer than just the 2000s. There were also gays in the military before the 2000s. And no not just NAVY SEALS were closed to women in the Navy. There was a time when we could not serve on Subs, we could not be on anything out to sea but tenders, floating hospitals, etc.,

          This has been a long long row to hoe, and some of us got the shit end of the stick because of it. Myself being one of those women who served way back when.

          •  and thank you (0+ / 0-)

            I know full well how long a road it has been but we are talking about the present and far to many people here think that what you described is the way things are right now.  Heck we even had a front page diary that said there were only 14K women in the military.  There are that many in Army Intelligence alone.

            I know its been a long fight.  I know it has taken brave women like you to fight that fight.  But please, assume your audience has no idea what things are like now because they have no idea.

            It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

            by ksuwildkat on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 06:49:57 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't even know how to respond to your post (0+ / 0-)

              I am supposed to shut up now, because you claim the audience is ignorant of history and past policy?

              That makes perfect sense.

              •  no, please speak (0+ / 0-)

                But be sure to identify past and present.  As I said far tom many discussing this are siting this as an achievement to fix wrongs that do not need to be fixed.

                We have women in combat now.

                Women receive combat awards now.

                There are women in leadership positions from the 4 Star level to the most junior NCO now.

                Women in the Navy and Air Force can be in any job save special operations now.

                Yes, this creates new opportunities in the handful of jobs in the Army and Marine Corps that excluded women.  

                Yes, things were different in the past.  But that past is over a decade old.

                It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

                by ksuwildkat on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 10:42:16 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  I think it's about (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      giving credit for something that's already true. But I absolutely see your point.

      "I'm takes a lot to get over my top." --Alan Grayson

      by chicating on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 04:56:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I said I got the arguments, but (0+ / 0-)

      the right to be in battle is not one I'd clamor for. I'd rather work on the right not to be in battle for men and women.

      Using my free speech while I still have it.

      by ebgill on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 06:37:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Need to make war more of a last resort (7+ / 0-)

    Troops deserve the ultimate respect of not being sent out in harm's way frivolously, not matter what their sex, gender or preference is.

    Self-described political "centrists" believe the best policy is halfway between right and wrong. — @RBReich via web

    by BentLiberal on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 03:21:26 PM PST

  •  Reminds me of (8+ / 0-)

    Newt Gingrich and his talk of women's "infections."

  •  i say go for it. until there aint no more/war (5+ / 0-)

    clime parches on. terms: ocean rise, weather re-patterning, storm pathology, drout-famine, acceptance of nature.

    by renzo capetti on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 03:24:39 PM PST

  •  Fortunately, my lady ears just shut down when (15+ / 0-)

    they're assaulted by this kind of sexist bullshit.

  •  The bars for the physical and or psychological (6+ / 0-)

    testing were never set to keep women out so I don't see them being lowered.  If a female can meet the current requirements they should be able to serve in those positions.  It's fair, it's right and it's time.

    Guns don't kill people...people with GUNS kill people.

    by thestructureguy on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 03:26:09 PM PST

    •  Yeah. The bell curve for men (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ten canvassers, cpresley, irishwitch

      will qualify more average men for military service than average women.

      But just as with firefighters, there are strong, tough women who can meet all the requirements.    It'll be harder to be a combat infantryperson than a combat pilot because of the different physical demands, and the % of women who wash out of special forces training for physical reasons (rather than psychological reasons, or inflexible thinking, or lack of stamina or mental toughness) will likely be higher than men.  

      Some will pass though.  Some will qualify and be damn good at what they do.  Now we'll have access to that ability.

    •  I wonder how this will effect the phys. standards. (0+ / 0-)

      The US Army Physical Fitness Test standards differ significantly for male and female soldiers.

      Male soldiers aged 57 - 61 are expected to complete a minimum of eighteen push-ups; female soldiers aged 22 - 26 are only expected to complete a minimum of seventeen.

      Similarly, male soldiers over the age of 62 are expected to complete a two mile run in under twenty minutes; whereas female soldiers aged 27 - 31 are expected to complete the same run in twenty minutes and thirty seconds.

      I wonder if the long overdue lifting of the restriction on female soldiers serving in combat roles will, in turn, lead to the adoption of unisex physical fitness standards. Only time will tell...

      •  I think one could argue the physical fitness (0+ / 0-)

        tests for females were not mandated to test for combat positions but for minimum physical conditions.   If the test for the 57-61 was based on combat condition then I would think the females would have to meet that standard.  Some how I don't think they were though.  The bigger issue will be if the bar is set to high for females in elite combat roles, will the bar be lowered.  My argument would be no since the bar was not set to eliminate females but weed out the physically and psychologically weak.

        Guns don't kill people...people with GUNS kill people.

        by thestructureguy on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 10:54:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's a good point. (0+ / 0-)

          An argument could be made that the physical fitness standards exist in the first place because there is a physical component to soldiering; and that the difference in standards is a reflection of restriction on women serving in combat roles.

          On the other hand, a counter-argument could be made that the physical component of soldiering is being over-emphasized; and that there is a difference between maintaining minimum physical standards in general, and minimum physical standards necessary for serving in combat.

          Either way, it appears that a unisex standard ought to be the way forward; the only question is whether the male standards are to be brought down, the female standards brought up, or a compromise sought in the middle.

          Interestingly, I believe there have been several lawsuits now in which it was alleged that the physical fitness standards employed by various police organizations favored male over female applicants, and were therefore discriminatory. I have to wonder if perhaps we will see a similar situation come up in relation to the armed forces in the near future.

  •  killing is a moral failure nt (5+ / 0-)

    war is immoral. both parties are now fully complicit in the wars. bring everyone home. get to work.

    by just want to comment on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 03:26:23 PM PST

  •  But it was OK when Barbie was the GI Jane (12+ / 0-)

    poster child for Bush?   I appreciate her service but the media played her up as the leader in Terminator.  
    I have an answer to solve all of this bickering of women in combat.   Send in a chickenhawk.   Every conservative that has a gripe... tell him to save the damsel in distress and go kick ass to save her.  Watch em run like scalded dogs.   First of all these people don't give a ratt's ass about women.

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 03:26:44 PM PST

  •  Year-round Pill (9+ / 0-)

    If you don't take the sugar pills at the end of the Pill cycle, you mostly bypass having a period. It would be funny if taxpayers have to pay for women soldiers to not get pregnant. I mean, the Pill is an abortifacient*, right?

    So you could have women killing enemies to protect men at the same time they are disabling babies from settling in for a nine-month mission.

    *I know, this is a lie.

    The hygiene aspect is an oldy from Newt Gingrich. His experience with so many wives has taught him the dangers of trench-vagina.

    •  Yes, many women are doing that these days (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      irishwitch, Overseas

      They just don't have periods. It solves all kinds of health problems, from anemia to cramps, from endometriosis to pregnancy. Migraine headaches often cease without the cycling, and all kinds of other things just don't exist when women don't cycle.

      That's not to mention the freaking mess that a period causes. It's one of the many perks of going past menopause!

      Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

      by splashy on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 03:43:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm interested in the long-term (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I don't know how it will affect women in later years. I would guess that by having less periods, women might lower their breast cancer risk in some cases. For younger girls who enter puberty earlier than is common (<11 or 12,) I would think it also offers advantages.

        •  That sounds plausible (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          irishwitch, wenchacha

          After all, girls/women are really not supposed to cycle all the time. Stopping it by fooling the body into thinking it's pregnant is likely a healthy thing to do, without the perils and responsibilities of pregnancy and birthing.

          Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

          by splashy on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 05:08:37 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Physical activity and stress also kills periods (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I actually skipped a month due to strenuous activity once.

    •  I know he likes to blame things on vagina, but (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      irishwitch, wenchacha

      we all know it's because he has hoof and mouth disease.

      Trench Esophagus. When he learned to reflex his gag reflex and swallow the Southern Strategy, there was no telling what could fall down that hole.

    •  Hygiene. Sigh. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      antirove, irishwitch, wenchacha, elfling

      Ladies don't sweat. We don't get dirty. Our hair doesn't get messed up; and god forbid our dark (or gray) roots show.

      These republicans need to lift their soft butts off their expensive ergonomic chairs and hike the Appalachian Trail1 for several months. It might surprise them how well women and men co-exist even when they're both unhygienic.

      1 No, seriously! I mean actually hike the Appalachan Trail.

      © grover

      So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

      by grover on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 06:01:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Republicans are really trying to reach out (7+ / 0-)

    to the women folk this week!  First they attack Hillary's testimony as "emotional," and now they attack the idea of women getting equal recognition for a job they were already doing in many cases.  

  •  Fiddle dee dee...we women folk get the vapors! (5+ / 0-)

    Vapors, hygiene whatever you want to call's ridiculous to think it is a barrier to combat.  These men folk are worried about their last area of superiority...where's the problem with giving women an equal chance?  I hate war, hate combat to begin with but if we go, let's go together.

  •  I think it's great (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cali Scribe, Desert Rose

    What could be a more deadly force than a well-armed woman soldier with PMS?   Give me Mr. Macho Man any time.

  •  Allen West= Newtie (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cali Scribe, irishwitch

    The right is perpetually in a lather against any and all policies made by politicians with a "D" after their name. Had W or Mittens, Heaven Forbid, done this, they would have touted it as "brilliant," and "pioneering." And hey, if you want to quote unhinged ex-GOP Rep. Allen West, he's not even original. His crack about  women going "mano a mano" in combat in a "completely different environment" reminds me of Newtie's "gem" that women can't go into combat because they'll get "female infections"  in a ditch, etc. West and Newtie echo loony Bryan Fisher's view on how anatomically different men and women are. The Todd Akin, Richard Mourdock, crowd, I guess. Some of these folks will next find Galileo a "closet" Dem and will push for going back to the geocentric theory! For more on the latest in GOP lunacy, and Obama's awesome 2nd inaugural, read   this  

  •  Although I've got a "divided breast" (7+ / 0-)

    over this issue, there may be this angle: Just as female cops have been judged to be better defusers of conflict in the city, perhaps more female fighters can contribute that
    special female approach to make subtle changes in our approach to war. Don't ask me how, though. It's an extremely vague, undeveloped notion to me yet. Call it an intuition.

    "They come, they come To build a wall between us We know they won't win."--Crowded House, "Don't Dream It's Over."

    by Wildthumb on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 03:31:37 PM PST

    •  And female fire fighters (7+ / 0-)

      can protect their communities.

      There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

      by Cali Scribe on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 03:37:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  There was a brouhaha over potential female (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        irishwitch, Overseas

        firefighters in L.A. a couple of decades ago, give or take. I remember that. It was about them "pulling their own weight"
        and not "endangering the men." Same thing.

        "They come, they come To build a wall between us We know they won't win."--Crowded House, "Don't Dream It's Over."

        by Wildthumb on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 04:06:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  There is a more normal socialization (5+ / 0-)

      when you normal have mixes of genders instead of one or the other.   (this is also true with normal mixes of openly gay people, or mixing of races/cultures/etc openly)

      This leads to a lot of subtle effects.   But to pick just one, it is harder to be a typical thuggish soldier who harasses (or abuses/rapes) female civilians if one of your comrades in arms is a woman.

      Or to pick another...I know a Sgt major from the Vietnam era, raised in the south and who has most of the usual prejudices against hispanics, gays and women in the military that you'd expect from someone who moved from typical military republican to tea partier in the last decade.

      But black people?  He really does have black friends and thinks that racism to black people is stupid.  Why this anomaly?  Because he served with black soldiers and they had his back.  That left a deeper mark in him than his programming as a kid, or an entire lifetime of steriotypes.

      I'm hoping his equivalents from the current generation of soldiers will feel the same way about gays and women.  That it is just stupid to assume they aren't as good as anyone else...because they'll all have a story about the time a gay or a woman (or gay woman) had their back.

    •  Like, don't have them? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      If women were in charge, we wouldn't have these wars, neither Afghanistan nor Iraq.  

  •  Kind of ironic (5+ / 0-)

    that he goes on Fox to talk about lowering the bar.

  •  Alexis de Tocqueville warned.... (4+ / 0-)

    that in a democracy there might be the temptation to have too many wars and to prolong wars because it's a way for ordinary folks to gain recognition, get promotions, make money, gain glory, etc.

    And nowadays it makes me sad how many young people I know who joined the military for the potential educational benefits.

    In Ye Olden Days only aristocrats could afford the horses, the weapons, the training, etc. to be illustrious warriors.

    And for a very long time in America the idea of having a standing Army was akin to tyranny. See Jill Lepore's article:

  •  Maw Goodnuss Grayshush (4+ / 0-)

    We wimmin folk need ah privacy and ah hygiene!!!  We need to be all sweet smellin ah we ain't propah laydees.  Fiddle-dee-dee.  This is the biggest load of bullcrap I've read about women in combat.  Don't these guys have mothers, sisters, who could kick their asses??

  •  I have a solution! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cali Scribe, antirove

    Just put all the lady-soldiers with the gay soldiers and voila!  /snark

  •  Nice response on Twitter: (29+ / 0-)

    There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

    by Cali Scribe on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 03:37:32 PM PST

  •  And "24" was a TV show but that didn't stop the (4+ / 0-)

    wingers from using that as a basis for interrogation policy, did it?

    Fox News: "Fare Unbalanced."

    by here4tehbeer on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 03:37:51 PM PST

  •  Sure douchebag (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    splashy, wenchacha, Sophie Amrain
    but being on the ground and having to go mano y [sic] mano in close combat is a completely different environment.”
    He doesn't even know that the trainer pilots for dog fights were women does he? Didn't he receive an education?

    "Til you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules" John Lennon - Working Class Hero

    by Horace Boothroyd III on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 03:38:31 PM PST

  •  What these idiots don't understand (4+ / 0-)

    is that in 21st Century warfare, there are no "front lines".

    Hundreds of female soldiers have died and thousands more wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan despite being barred from "combat". If they are going to take those risks, they might as well be rewarded with the benefit of making their own career choices that can lead to better pay and more advancement.

    Filibuster reform now. No more Gentleman's agreements.

    by bear83 on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 03:40:28 PM PST

  •  “You know how these things work" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    splashy, wenchacha, happymisanthropy
    “You know how these things work when integration happens,” said Hegseth, who briefly put his hat in the GOP ring last year to challenge U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (who has endorsed outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s plan). “If it doesn’t happen fast enough, what do you do? You start to lower the bar, or you start to impose quotas.”
    Wow.  The GOP challenger to Al Franken is a guy who is implicitly making the argument to go back to Jim Crow, and back to women in the kitchen instead of the workforce?

    This is just as bad as Trent Lott's infamous comment about how much better off the U.S. would be if diehard segregationist Strom Thurmond had been elected president ("We wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years").


    Please help to fight hunger with a donation to Feeding America.

    by MJB on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 03:40:28 PM PST

  •  World War II in Europe (17+ / 0-)

    Some of the bravest and most dangerous missions of the WWII era were carried out by women in the French, Dutch, and Soviet underground forces.  Their capture meant certain torture and death.  These were the true unsung heroes of those struggles.

    Everyone is crying out for peace; no one's crying out for justice...

    by mojave mike on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 03:41:10 PM PST

    •  IIRC the German Army feared the Russian Women (5+ / 0-)

      "Night Witches" is the English translation of Nachthexen, a World War II German nickname (Russian Ночные ведьмы), for the female military aviators of the 588th Night Bomber Regiment, known later as the 46th "Taman" Guards Night Bomber Aviation Regiment, of the Soviet Air Forces. The regiment was formed by Colonel Marina Raskova and led by Major Yevdokia Bershanskaya.

      I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

      by JML9999 on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 03:51:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Aviators, not combat branches (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The issue is service in the Infantry, Armor, Artillery, and Combat Engineers.  A tiny minority of women could do it as well as men because these soldiers have to regularly work with or carry loads of 100lbs.    

        It would be great if everyone would just refuse to be cannon fodder.  

        •  Semantics? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SeekCa, antirove, barbwires

          Land forces

          The Soviet Union deployed women snipers extensively, and to great effect, including Nina Alexeyevna Lobkovskaya and Ukrainian Lyudmila Pavlichenko (who killed over 300 German soldiers). The Soviets found that sniper duties fit women well, since good snipers are patient, deliberate, have a high level of aerobic conditioning, and normally avoid hand-to-hand combat.

          Women served as machine gunners, tank drivers, medics, communication personnel and political officers. Manshuk Mametova was a machine gunner from Kazakhstan and was the first Soviet Asian woman to receive the Hero of the Soviet Union for acts of bravery. Mariya_Oktyabrskaya was tank commander and Hero of the Soviet Union.

          Women crewed the majority of the anti-aircraft batteries employed in Stalingrad. Some batteries, including the 1077th Anti-Aircraft Regiment, also engaged in ground combat.

          In response to the high casualties suffered by male soldiers, Stalin allowed planning which would replace men with women in second lines of defense, such as anti-aircraft guns and medical aid. These provided gateways through which women could gradually become involved in combat, and demonstrate their capabilities. For example, women comprised 43% of physicians, who were often required to carry rifles as they retrieved men from firing zones. Through small opportunities like this, women gradually gained credibility on the battlefield, eventually numbering 500,000 at any given time toward the end of the war.

          I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

          by JML9999 on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 06:06:58 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  My mom was furious (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      when one of her friends in the Army was denied membership in the VFW when she came home from overseas--she had only been a field nurse during the Battle of Britain.

      Democrats give you the Bill of Rights; Republicans sell you a bill of goods!

      by barbwires on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 08:05:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  You may have also forgotten his statement: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LucyandByron, happymisanthropy

    "I knew that my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol."

    "Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed." General Buck Turgidson

    by muledriver on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 03:41:39 PM PST

  •  look I know quite a few women that could (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    kick their husbands asses. Seriously. And people, no matter their gender, get scared in combat. To place women aside from defending their country only highlights our inequality. We can fight just as vigorously as men. I'd wager some of us can fight even dirtier.

    Earth: Mostly harmless ~ The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (revised entry)

    by yawnimawke on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 03:42:09 PM PST

    •  I also know tough women. :) (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      My mother is one of those tough women. It pisses me off to ends whenever I hear other men whining about women breaking the supposed "traditional roles".

       What these people need to understand it that what matters ultimately is who we are, not what we are. People hide behind an assortment of social identities and convoluted public images and at the end the day they have no clue who they are because they've focused too much on what everyone else wants them to be.

       Sorry for that I just had to get it out of my system! I really hate how conservatives have reduced individualism into a shallow, materialistic, and predatory ideology that has nothing to do with being yourself.

    •  Lt. General's comments on women being too delicate (6+ / 0-)

      Reminded me of what Sojourner Truth had to say about something like that:

      That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain't I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain't I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man - when I could get it - and bear the lash as well! And ain't I a woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother's grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain't I a woman?
      His ideas are from 1851.
      •  if everyone was honest, guys wouldn't be (0+ / 0-)

        able to handle a monthly period chock full of cramps and bleeding. And lest they kid themselves, child birth would kill them. So those men that think we are too dainty to survive combat, I'd rather take 100 women with PMS into combat than 1000 men. There is at least one time a year when I'm thankful I don't own a gun, for a damn good reason.

        Earth: Mostly harmless ~ The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (revised entry)

        by yawnimawke on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 08:20:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  They fought giving Rita a riveter at one time too. (4+ / 0-)

      Change scares them.

    Father Time remains undefeated.

    by jwinIL14 on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 03:43:52 PM PST

  •  I'm okay with this. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    splashy, Sophie Amrain, Overseas

    Not because I'm pro-war or pro-military, but that women have equality in their career choices.

     Israel, New Zealand and Norway let women participate in combat roles, why can't we do the same?

     We need to move beyond this stone age that mentality that women are "handicapped" because men say so.

  •  Only if our wars were worth fighting (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gjetost, DSPS owl

    But they aren't.

    The larger question is why any American, male or female, is fighting the wars we have been engaged in for a century and more. Of course, defeating fascism in world war II was essential but Iraq? Afghanistan? Viet Nam? Korea? World War I? The Spanish American War? Not to mention the endless smaller expeditons from the Phillipine Insurrection to Grenada and wherever covert wars are now being waged.

    Women have been proven fighters in many worthy battles, from the Partisan and Maquis fighters in World War II to those who rode with Zapata. That has never been a question. Yes, they can fight and fight well. But our sisters should no more be sacrificed in vain than our brothers.

    If my soldiers were to begin to think, not one would remain in the ranks. -Frederick the Great

    by Valatius on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 03:45:48 PM PST

    •  Hard to tell ahead of time. (0+ / 0-)

      Korea was a war to support a dictatorship against a dictatorship but the results were worth lives. South Korea didn't lose millions in a preventable famine and grew a vigorous democracy. Contrast to the North.

      •  Of course, hindight is 20/20 (0+ / 0-)

        but if you contrast Viet Nam, where we were defeated, and North Korea which we fought to a draw, it is clear that the people in Viet Nam are better off today. The only remaining Stalinist states are Cuba and Korea where we took steps that guaranteed their isolation. Except for the second world war, it is hard to find a case in which US military intervention produced undeniably positive results.

        If my soldiers were to begin to think, not one would remain in the ranks. -Frederick the Great

        by Valatius on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 06:45:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  What about Joan of Arc and for that matter, (0+ / 0-)

    Xena the Warrior Princess?

    RW nutcases seem to like them fine!

  •  Allen West really needs to be slapped silly (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy, Overseas

    by Demi Moore

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 03:47:21 PM PST

  •  Personal Hygiene wouldn't be an issue if women (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Progressif, happymisanthropy

    didn't have to worry about being raped by dirtbags in the same military.

    Boykin--pushing more dominionist bs in the ranks. Is it any wonder why we have had the problems that we do with religious freedom, and rape in the service?

    •  Too many male bigot rapists in the military (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Hopefully with a gender normed military, all this gung ho bullshit macho stuff that goes on with infantry units will be toned down.

      Such aggressive behaviour has no place Ina modern sensible society.

  •  General Boykin i is full of shit (3+ / 0-)

    I  am a gay, disabled Vietnam veteran who serverd honorably.  I will not go into all of my rationale for disagreeing with Boykin,  but my experience serving alongside NATO troops who were openly gay way back in the day, and having known Israeli women who served in combat years  ago, I would tell General Boykin he is ful of shit.  It is that simple.  He is homophobic, sexist and he is a misogynist.  No more of this insanity.  We, as a nation cannot allow this continuing bullshit to make policy for us.  No more.  No fucking longer will we allow the homophobes and bigots to set policy.  Boykin needs to be ignored.

  •  Hmm, Mano y Mano (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    A little slip there?  Is there something about former Congressman West that he has been hiding?  

  •  Combat in schools? Fine. Combat in war? Not. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Heart n Mind

    As I read the conservative response, I can't help but wonder:  Why are you willing to arm teachers (still a predominantly female profession) and train them to engage in combat with assault-rifle-wielding school shooters, but not allow women to engage in the same sort of combat on foreign shores?

  •  If these men had their way, Girl Scouts (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Forest Deva, happymisanthropy

    wouldn't be allowed to go camping.  

    My Karma just ran over your Dogma

    by FoundingFatherDAR on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 03:59:41 PM PST

  •  How about some FACTS in this discussion (0+ / 0-)

    Im sorry but this entire thing has been really devoid of facts.

    The often quoted "fact" that this is opening over 200K jobs to women is sketchy at best.  It is true in the sense that if women filled every singe position in Armor, Infantry and Artillery (Army and their equivalent in the Marine Corps).  That of course is not going to happen.  Given the services routinely fail to achieve their current recruiting goals for women at the 15-20% level, the idea that they are going to get 200K to become infantry is silly.

    As far as the two female Navy and Air Force officers I spoke to 30 seconds ago know, the ONLY jobs they are excluded form are in Special Operations.  The Navy currently restricts enlisted positions for women on Submarines but allows officers.  That's half the military that wont get changed one single bit by the current policy.

    Women are  not being denied the chance to serve in Afghanistan or before that Iraq.  they are there, they were there.

    Women receive combat awards just like men.  

    Women receive credit for combat tours just like men.

    Women have not been disadvantaged for promotion because they have deployed just like their male peers.  In fact in my own Branch, military intelligence, they have been ADVANTAGED because of it.  While I was off being an adviser - a position male coded due to CULTURAL reasons - my female peers were in more "career enhancing" positions.  

    Personally I have no issue with the change mostly because I dont think its going to change anything.  The number of women desiring to go into the infantry is tiny and the ones who can actually make it through is smaller.  I do worry what impact it will have on small group dynamics at the squad and platoon level but that is a bridge that we have crossed before.  What angers me right now is this idea that the military has kept women down and excluded them form the ability to die.  We haven't.  This isnt WWII.  There are not front lines.    

    It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

    by ksuwildkat on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 04:00:37 PM PST

    •  It's not about the Navy and Air Force n/t (0+ / 0-)
      •  ORLY? (0+ / 0-)

        So the evil military is discriminating.  Except half doesn't.  And of the remaining half, less than 20% (closer to 10%) of the jobs are unavailable to women.

        So one half of the evil military is only allowing women in 80% of the jobs.  

        We are talking about between 8% and 10% of ALL positions in the military are currently male coded.  And yet somehow we are repressing women.

        Never mind that we are the ONLY large institution in this country where women routinely supervise men.

        Never mined that we are the ONLY large institution in this country with 100% pay equality - no one cent of gap between men and women in pay.  

        Never mind that we have generous maternity leave, generous child care provisions and some of the best health care available.

        Yeah, that darn military is full of evil.

        It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

        by ksuwildkat on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 11:34:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  'close combat' (0+ / 0-)

    I remember when I served being told "If you're in a position where you are fighting hand-to-hand, you've already failed".

    The meaning here is that with rifles, grenades, machine guns, mortars, air strikes, concertina wire and the like you have no excuse for the enemy to get that close.

    I was also told that women statistically were better shooters.

    •  Naive (0+ / 0-)

      Marksmanship is unimportant in modern warfare.  It is sustained rate of fire.

      Soldiers operating in urban areas are in the worst kind of unavoidable close-quarter combat.  George Bush is a war criminal for screwing up 100,000s of young men and women by putting them in traumatic urban guerrilla warfare.

      •  Oh shut up (0+ / 0-)

        Its far more important now.  We are not fighting in open areas where everyone is a combatant.  We fight wherever we are.  Marksmanship is critical in an urban environment.

        It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

        by ksuwildkat on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 12:52:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I was a field medic (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    in the Army, early 80s and spent lots of time in the field for months at a time and never once, were there any issues of hygiene I experienced, that was different than any of the menfolk. You learn right quick how to take a helmet bath and make it worthwhile, when you have an escort in case of sexual assualt.

    Don't watch it dad, you will have brain cells jumping to their suicide. Me, when I learned dad had been watching Fox.

    by glescagal on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 04:15:43 PM PST

  •  the reality is (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JayBat, ten canvassers

    that most men can't be infantrymen. I've been in the military off and on, mostly on, since 1992...I'd be a pretty crappy infantry Soldier/Officer. Insanely crappy.

    Now, an even greater percentage of women couldn't do it either. It's just insane what they have to do.

    But, and this is the big but, there are for a fact, without a doubt, some women who absolutely could do it. Who would be much, much better infantry Soldier's and Officer's than I would be for example. Who could do it, or excel at it.

    So, on the one hand, all of the parade of horribles conservatives worry about won't and can't happen. First, the vast majority of women wouldn't be able to qualify (because a large majority of men wouldn't be able to either...people don't understand most of the folks in the Army are combat support or service support Soldiers, the percentage of actual combat Soldiers is actually small). Second, the standards won't change so there won't be women who can't cut it allowed in, just like the men who can't cut it aren't allowed in those jobs...or get weeded out quickly.

    On the other hand, those women who CAN do it, and who CAN excel at it, will now have the chance to show their full potential. Having a new pool of excellence to draw from can only strengthen our armed forces...and increasing male/female working togetherness (made up word) can't do anything in the long run but help stem sexual assault/harrasment issues).

    So, much like integration, and repealing DADT, much ago about nothing.

    •  What do they look for? (0+ / 0-)

      You bring up an excellent point.  Only a small percentage of people are the ones actually doing any sort of killing.  I think Allen West is worried about females doing a bayonet rush or some @#$@#, but to be honest if you're fit to do it you're fit to do it.

      "Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die," - Buddha.

      by sujigu on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 07:47:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  LTC West was Artillery (0+ / 0-)

        1 - Artillery is meant to be in the rear.  

        2 - Women have been in Artillery for a long time.

        3 - He had an issue with them a long time ago.

        4 - His issue with them was not always about competence.  

        It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

        by ksuwildkat on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 12:56:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Women can't hack combat (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Southern Lib, SeekCa

    Tell that to the Russians who had many women in combat defending their country against the Nazi's in WW2.     I know quite a few women who would kick Allen West's butt.    

    Not every female in the military will qualify but there are some and any restriction from combat duty should be based on ability and qualifications not their gender.

    •  Reality of combat conditions (0+ / 0-)

      First, Iraq was a war crime, and Afghanistan is a useless war.   That said, US Infantrymen and Marines carry huge loads, routinely over 100lbs   Anyone who thinks all but a tiny fraction of women could do it are deluding themselves.

      How about artillery?  How many women can sling around a 90lb standard projectile?  While wearing 50lb of body armor?

      Russians had women in combat because they threw everyone against the Nazis, and lost over 20 million people doing it.  

      •  Yeah (0+ / 0-)

        I mean,'s can nobody see that women are physically infrior to men. I mean, totally like right guy? Bro, it's like any guy born can move that level of weight. I mean, it's not like they have to work out and train to do it, they just naturally do it right bro? Totally, right? And women, we all know they can't do it right? Cuz, tits and stuff..right?

        Nicht durch Zorn, sondern durch Lachen tödtet man. ~Nietzsche

        by somewierdguy on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 10:50:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Maybe if we went mano Y mano... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ....there wouldn't be as many wars in the first place.

    Some people are intolerant, and I CAN'T STAND people like that. -- Tom Lehrer

    by TheCrank on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 04:39:23 PM PST

  •  carry me out, female, and regularly carry 100lbs (0+ / 0-)

    You're hit, lying on the ground, and  need someone to pick you up and carry you out 200 meters.  How many females can pick up or drag 180 lbs?

    How about normal missions?  How many females can hump a 100lb ruck?
    Individual Marine combat loads -- including protective gear, weapons, ammunition, water, food and communications gear -- range from 97 to 135 pounds, well over the recommended 50 pounds, a 2007 Navy study found.

  •  (Former) Rep. West Don't Get Out Much (0+ / 0-)
    ". . .being on the ground and having to go mano y [sic] mano in close combat is a completely different environment.”
    Perhaps because he repulses women (not to mention men) within 1,000 clicks, Allen West obviously has never actually seen a "mano a mano" fight involving two women, or a woman fighting a man who is not hamstrung by all the fears and cultural training about how women can't beat a man, else this ignorant statement would have never come out of that diarrhea hole he calls a mouth.  Women who are determined to fight do not fight the same way as men, when it's truly "mano a mano."

    I've seen many of those types of fights in my lifetime, and I've even been in couple of those (thankfully not for decades.)  Men have no idea.  That's all I'll say.

  •  "Personal hygiene reasons" (0+ / 0-)

    Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin's remark about the suitability of women in combat positions brought to mind the memoir of a soldier who was in the battle for Iwo Jima in WWII.  His unit was trapped on the beach and the firefight was so intense and so prolonged that a man couldn't even move to take a proper shit.  So, he said, we just pissed and shit in our pants, as we lay there.  Now that's a personal hygiene problem if I ever heard one.

  •  Jesus Christ (0+ / 0-)

    My wife is a combat veteran, combat medic to be precise. One of the first people in Baghdad with the rat pack, on roundups with rangers, and 32 confirmed kills, and god knows how many unconfirmed. Her "personal hygiene supplies" resulted in an accommodation when she used them to plug bullet holes after they were out so long that she ran out of bandages and other medical supplies.

    This argument that women are unable to preform to the same level as a man as soldiers is misogyny, period. There are thousands of women out there busting their ass in ways that would make the armchair "but..they have less upper body strength and (gasp) "baby making parts"
    Women are out there doing their goddamned jobs, jobs few people do in this country are willing to do as seen by the percentage that actually serve. There is nothing, NOTHING that women in a military setting cannot do as well as their male counterparts. All this paper ban  does is denigrate them as second class soldiers, hold them back from positions for which they are qualified, and ignore their achievements in the field. PERIOD. Or for those of you who seem to think "women aren't cut out for it" and clutch your manly pearls at the thought, "case closed." Wouldn't want to disturb your sensitive natures.

    Nicht durch Zorn, sondern durch Lachen tödtet man. ~Nietzsche

    by somewierdguy on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 10:58:04 PM PST

  •  These guys probably think that women in combat (0+ / 0-)

    will just cry their way out of being captured by the enemy. You know, like speeding tickets.

  •  During my career in the Army... (0+ / 0-)

    I have met many female soldiers that I have no doubt could and did succeed in combat situations. Medics, MPs, and various other MOSs operate across the battlefield and to suggest that when you're being shot at IS NOT combat is a joke.

    I have no doubt female soldiers will adapt and overcome obstacles that will be place before them and to overcome them in a true soldierly fashion. They will succeed and thrive in those MOSs and positions that up till now have been closed off to them. This is not social engineering, this is giving female soldiers more opportunities and in many cases ensuring they get recognition for what they already do.

    To my sisters, congratulations for well deserved, long overdue recognition.

    To the world you are one person. To one person, you are the world. They can have John Galt, I'll take Joe Hill any day.

    by p a roberson on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 04:20:26 AM PST

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