Wouldn't it be Nice to be in a Foxhole Together So We Could Bring Our Dumb Fights, Petty Jealousies, and Energy-Zapping Crises to the Frontlines?
This whole Jessica Lynch worshipping mania has lent the feminists new life. Somehow, a paper-pushing, female, Army clerk getting captured by incompetent, poorly trained Iraqi soldiers, and surviving a short period of lying on a hospital cot where she was cared for, is all we need to know to conclude that women can handle combat.
There have been oodles of scientific studies and methodological approaches on male vs. female capacities that clearly tell the truth of why women don't belong in combat, but how about the basic, truth-telling observations of why men and women should never mix in combat situations:
- Protectorate. Males tend toward a natural defense of women that would disrupt the particulars of combat objectives. In a non-decadent, Western culture, any man should and will feel compelled to protect and defend a woman in distress. This is what men do. Thank God for testosterone.
- Sexual. The complicated issue of men and women mixing it up sexually always creates the possibility for emotional torment, mutual obsession, and perpetual grief — the kind of stuff that keeps soldiers from concentrating on the mission at hand. Sexual tension also creates uneasiness within any group setting.
- Emotional ties. The emotional and territorial issues — that are the result of sexual relationships — of men and women being guarded and jealous concerning who is sleeping with who, who belongs to who, who is "looking" at who, who is flirting with who, who is wearing what in front of who, etc. Think of the silly fights and jealousies that erupt between men and women over the silliest darn things; oh please, do we need that in a combat setting?
- Muscles. Physical strength differentials. Men are masculine and strong, women are not. (At least they aren't supposed to be.)
- Emotional differentials. Women cry after running over a squirrel in the road. Most men won't bat an eye, and may even enjoy it.
- Emotional intelligence. The emotional IQ of women is far higher and more developed. Men tend toward being more generally "clueless," and not thinking things through. Ever hear of the term "clueless man?" In any situation where quick thinking and rapid action is necessary, the various stopovers, lollygags, and deep treks that a woman's brain makes in order to assess the various emotive outcomes can equal death, and not only for herself, but a whole crew of soldiers.
- Hygiene. Women have high-maintenance hygiene issues that must be attended to, and this extends beyond the monthly factor.
- Survival. Men can do without, and they won't complain. Women are predisposed toward luxuries and being pandered to. Their tolerance for doing without life's little essentials is way lower then that of men.
Only those who never pay attention to men and women in general and never form relationships with a variety of people could say they do not notice such conduct. A typical moment: my girlfriend and I were driving in the car one day, and she was incessantly punching redial on her cell phone, trying to get through to her beau, and she kept getting his busy signal instead. When she finally got through, it was a fight starting along the lines of, "you were talking to someone else for an hour, and you never even talk to me for that long!" That spat lasted for days. Or how about the big restaurant catfight that starts when a guy takes his gaze off his date because some hot blonde walked by?
In general, neither men nor women are perpetual boobs when sorted by gender. Only individuals are boobs. Neither gender should have to take the burden of the blame for the Mars-Venus syndrome. Mother Nature just has it set up so that we can't live with each other or without each other. That's nature's most delightful trick on humankind. Actually, women have many legitimate complaints against men and their assorted behaviors. Men screw up; their immaturity level is typically far beneath that of a comparably-aged woman. But the point is do we need those kinds of mêlées in a combat zone or any military exercise? Only a social utilitarian with the most militantly progressive agenda would answer yes to that. And that's what we have with the Feminist Left and the Republican-Social Democratic, Feminist New Right.
Perhaps most noticeable, though, is the good old physical strength issue. The women-in-combat movement seems to ignore this, excuse it away, or try and prove it irrelevant. They dream that some 140-pound mother of two can keep up in the trenches with the most physically futile man, let alone the average or superior conditioned male.
Hey, once upon a time, when I was eight or nine years old, I was determined to be the first woman (goaltender) in the National Hockey League. I was the most steadfast goalie in the neighborhood and school. Then at about twelve, I was going to be a firefighter like my dad. But at some point, my 5'3" came to a grinding halt, and the guys around me shot up like redwood trees. But then an even more amazing thing happened: I grew up; something the militant feminists have yet to do.
Now, moving on to some personal, truth-telling observations I've had lately. They center on my trips to the local Powerhouse Gym where I work out. I see myself as a fit athlete, far above the level of most women, and even most men. I have long competed in various athletics, team sports, and I have worked out with weights for many years.
What I notice at the gym almost each time I go is this: I sit down to do the bench press, tightly-packed and muscular, but feminine-fit. With little body fat, I'm feeling good about the 20 or so hours that I've put in working out — in just one week's time. I suspect I'm plenty fit to climb Everest because my strength and cardio conditioning are so exceptional. Then some guy sits at the bench next to me. He looks like a 165-pound couch potato, of medium build with an undeveloped chest and arms, and his whole body is soft and flabby because he's probably just getting underway with a conditioning routine.
The couch potato — who probably works out five minutes for every hour of mine — throws up his plates on the bench press and starts doing his reps and sets. Needless to say, I can't help but note that he's pressing 4-5 times the weight I am, even as I am maxing out. And he does it fairly effortlessly, leading me to believe that he hasn't even approached maximum effort. The same thing happens watching the guys do the bicep curls. And the back machines. And so on and so on. My 112 pounds can squat 150% of my body weight because of vigorous training. But the male couch potato will do more. Now factor in the very physically fit males and the discrepancies are mind-boggling. Is there a lesson to be learned there? Will the Equality Peoples ever open their eyes to the facts?
Like all women who are avid athletes, I like to compete as well as be fit and trim. I like to look good in a bikini as well as keep up with the front of the pack in a 100-mile cycling event. I love to be strong and fast while I'm young, and I prepare myself for an active, fit, healthy old age.
Nevertheless, if a fit woman like me can be so overwhelmed by a man of average fitness, factor in the physically elite males and you begin to see why women just can't cut it. And they shouldn't have to.
Women ought to stay mentally and emotionally healthy. And they ought to be strong, compete, define their muscles, lift weights, play sports, and they should try to achieve a level of physical excellence throughout their lives. Darn right. And men tell me they love fit females.
But keep women the hell out of combat because we aren't built to fight, squash things, blow up, maim, or kill. We're built to look good and stay soft.
May 21, 2003
Karen De Coster, CPA, [send her mail] is a paleolibertarian freelance writer, graduate student in Austrian Economics, and a business professional from Michigan. Her first book is currently in the works. See her Mises Institute archive for more online articles, and check out her website
Copyright © 2003 Karen De Coster