Feminizing The Military

Tammy Duckworth has put out the following screed:

Because I don’t watch Tucker Carlson, I entirely missed what he actually said on this matter, so I don’t have a dog in this fight. However, being a curious fellow, I looked it up. Here’s the quote.

While China’s military becomes more masculine as it’s assembled the world’s largest navy, our military, as Joe Biden says, needs to become more feminine — whatever feminine means anymore since men and women no longer exist. The bottom line is it’s out of control and the Pentagon is going along with it. Again, this is a mockery of the U.S. military and its core mission, which is winning wars. … So we’ve got new hairstyles and maternity flight suits. Pregnant women are going to fight our wars. It’s a mockery of the US military.

Hmm … I’m not seeing anything in there that “ridicules pregnant servicewomen” as Tammy claims. All I can find that he said is that he doesn’t think pregnant women should fight our wars. But that’s the nature of these things in 2021. It doesn’t matter what he said, someone is offended so they’re entitled to make up new “facts”.

In any case, the whole thing made me wonder about “maternity flight suits”, so I looked up the Air Force regs for pregnant pilots:

Last year, the Air Force announced it had begun allowing some female pilots to stay in the cockpit longer while pregnant without need of a medical waiver.

The change applied to remotely piloted aircrew, missile operations duty crews and certain fully qualified pilot positions without additional restrictions put on their time in service, the Air Force said last September.

Previously, all female Air Force pilots were removed from flight duty after they confirmed their pregnancy, according to spokeswoman Capt. Carrie Volpe.

Women would have to file extensive paperwork for a waiver just to be allowed duty time between weeks 1 and 34 of pregnancy, Volpe said at the time.

Similarly, under the old policy, fully qualified pilots who flew dual-seat, non-ejection aircraft — KC-135 Stratotankers, C-130 Hercules, etc. — would have to apply for a waiver to fly between 13 and 24 weeks of pregnancy.

While the waiver process is no longer required, airmen still need a “return to flight status” check if they fly in an aircraft, which is a precautionary appointment made with a medical professional to certify the pilot for flight.
Pilots are still prohibited from flying in the first trimester of pregnancy, deploying overseas and flying ejection-seat aircraft, such as fighter jets.

Seems like the only change is that pregnant female pilots used to have to get a waiver to fly in the second trimester of pregnancy, and now they don’t need a waiver. However, they still can’t fly during the first trimester, deploy overseas, or fly fighter planes if they’re pregnant.

If what Tucker said is so horrible … how come nobody is complaining about those restrictions? But I digress …

My theory on all of this is curious. I don’t think we should expect women to do everything that men can do. I think we should expect women to do everything that men can’t do …

Here’s an inconvenient fact worth pondering. Men and women are different. Despite the fact that as Tucker said, in our bizarro-world of 2021 “men and women no longer exist” … men and women are still different.

Here’s the relevant example. Throughout history, groups of generally younger men have banded together, often led by an older man, grabbed whatever weapons were currently used during that era, and gone off to thump their neighbors over the head and come away with both their their neighbors’ stuff as well as their neighbors’ women.

But I know of no society where groups of generally younger women have banded together, often led by an older woman, grabbed whatever weapons were currently used during that era, and gone off to thump their neighbors over the head and come away with both their their neighbors’ stuff as well as their neighbors’ men.

Not one society has ever done that. There have indeed been amazing individual women warriors, but the legends of battalions of “Amazon warriors” were just that—legends. Men and women are different.

My point is simple. Inherently, men are warlike, and women are not warlike. Historical reality. So if I had to pick one group or the other to accompany me to war, it’s an easy choice.

Now, should there be women in the military? Absolutely. There have been legendary women fighters throughout history. It’s the nature of humanoids. Whatever the characteristics of any given group might be, there are always individual exceptions, members of the group who are unlike the rest in important ways.

And should we make all reasonable allowances in terms of the design of body armor and flight suits and the like for women in the military? Again, absolutely. We should support all of our fighting men and women in whatever they need.

But the military is now in the process of lowering the physical standards for the testing of strength and agility for women to be in combat … and I gotta say, if I’m injured and have to be lifted out of a flaming Humvee and carried a mile to safety, I’d rather have someone there who can pass the current stringent fitness tests to help me.

And as near as I can tell, that lowering of standards is what Tucker is calling the “feminization of the military”. And in that regard, I think he’s 100% right. We don’t want a kinder, softer “woke” military. We want a stronger, fitter military.

And that military should definitely include women. Hey, I’ve known some strapping big strong women in my life, and if they can pass the physical fitness standards, more power to them. They can rescue me any time. I give all women in the military, and in law enforcement for that matter, huge props.

But I don’t think that we should lower those physical standards. That would indeed be “feminizing the military”, and it would be a big mistake.

In closing, let me say that people are totally and completely overlooking the most important issue in this whole goat-rope. It is very upsetting and dangerous to see the military brass attacking a civilian TV commenter. Historically, the military has stayed entirely out of civilian matters. In my 74 years I’ve never seen US military brass verbally attack a US civilian, no matter what the civilian said. Not once, not their job, not their sphere of action. They’re here to fight wars, not to fight with civilians.

I have no problem with Tammy or anyone else attacking Tucker for saying things. Hey, he’s said things I thought were way wrong.

But having generals and other high-ranking military folks take a side in this? That is scary as hell. Whether Tucker is right or wrong, the military should never comment or intrude on domestic politics. That’s a very big step down a very dangerous path, and it is much more important than anything Tucker might or might not have said.

Respectfully,

w.

PS—I find it hilarious that Tammy’s response to what Tucker said is “Send Me Money!!” … she’s not motivated by moral outrage, her motivation is monetary greed.

13 thoughts on “Feminizing The Military

  1. A side note (or maybe not) – Most of the people complaining over the different standards in the physical fitness test are doing so from a fundamental misunderstanding of what that test does.

    The Army’s physical fitness test is NOT a job aptitude or skills test. It does not, for example, test your ability to carry a combat infantryman’s load on a forced march through the swamp. It does not test your ability to carry a litter or break track on the treads of your self-propelled howitzer. Those job-specific standards are spelled out in the ARTEP standards (among others).

    The physical fitness test measures general fitness as a proxy for health. Being able to pass the physical fitness test does not qualify you for any particular job. On the other hand, being unable to pass is a pretty good indicator that you’re either very sick or not qualified for any job in the service.

    The standards in the physical fitness test have always been different for men and women because the biological measures of general fitness and health are different. Men have statistically greater upper body strength. A woman who can do 40 push-ups is in pretty good shape. A man who can only do 40 push-ups is, comparatively speaking, in worse health.

    Again, none of this has anything to do with your ability to do your actual job in the service. That’s measured by entirely different tests. The proposed changes to the physical fitness test have to do with our improved understanding of what “generalized fitness” and health really mean.

    On a semi-related tangent, please also remember that the physical fitness test is a compromise measure of generalized fitness. The compromises include the need to find a good-enough test that is easy to administer, objective to measure and that requires NO equipment. It needs to be a test that can be administered anywhere in even the smallest and remotest units.

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    • If you are in a charge or a retreat and cannot keep up you should be toast, in the case of women in that state is she may cause someone who can survive to fight again loss you life the military is in trouble. Now Lessing standards are happing period. You can deny it all you want but that changes nothing.

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      • The “no man left behind” ideology has undermined the fighting efficiency of our military. It is a feel good, ad jingle slogan. Taking your wounded out in a retreat is sensible. Bogging down the line of assault by everyone stopping to tend wounded instead of moving forward aggressively to the objective is insanity and costs many, many more lives.

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  2. My position on this has been the same all my life. I know plenty of women I would go through a door with and many more men I would not. Aggressiveness, resolution of action and pure cold blooded intent in combat weigh far heavier on my view than a bunch of stupid words on pieces of paper. I have known officers(yea, little o) who did not have what it takes to kill, and men died for that deficiency of character. Our military has been steadily declining since the ’50s and unless some drastic actions are taken it is going to get worse.

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  3. Hm.
    No “Amazons”?
    Boudicca? Joan of Arc?
    But otherwise I agree. I have a niece who was an Army officer for 20 years, not infantry though, signals, and she agrees as well.

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    • Add Ursula von der Leyen to your list. While she is The Unknown Warrior, she designed uniforms for pregnant warriors when she was a German Minister of Defense. Let’s hope that her designs get declassified some day and may become widely used.

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      • To be fair, she did not design them herself, she just ordered them as a political priority. Over such military minutiae that the majority of tanks could not drive, aircraft could not fly, and submarines could not dive. At least, she got her priorities right….

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    • Yep, there are many examples of women fighting, and leading armies. As the old Texas Ranger said, “I don’t mind women as Rangers, ‘long as they are 6’6 and mean as a snake.”.

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  4. It’s always about the money, isn’t it? Or power, which if you don’t have money you don’t have power.

    Once upon a time (although sometimes it seems like yesterday) I was drafted into the armed forces of the United States (two years in and out), so I have my own opinions about women in combat. Or is an opinion based on experience stll an opinion?

    To paraphrase what old Ben said a little; “Experience keeps a hard school, but fools will learn in no other, and scarcely in that.” I guess desk-bounds will have to learn the same old hard lessons the same old hard way or not at all.

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  5. I have heard of one place where large groups of women were involved in combat. I had a high school teacher that lost both legs in Korea and he told a few of us that, when the Chinese surged there were companies of women ground troops that were his worst nightmare. He said they would not give up when they were beaten and our troops could not get them to surrender and wound up having to kill them all. I never checked to see if others had similar experience but I trusted this man.

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  6. My line is a take on Oscar Wilde. “What do women want?” He asked.

    But he was asking the wrong question. It is not what women want, it is what they expect.

    And what women expect is: “They expect to be protected.”

    And if they are not protected they will go find another protector. Like “A Woman in Berlin” in May 1945.

    On the other hand, “Men know that they are expendable.”

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