MALE DISPOSABILITY – DOD to lift the ban on women in combat – Whoopdy-doo – Let’s see if they manage to keep from fucking this up.

And the signs are not good. Judging from their stated motive for lifting the ban, they have it exactly backwards.

“Advocates have long said that banning women from elite combat roles was not only discriminatory, but also prevented women from reaching more prestigious military ranks and receiving promotions.”

When these advocates complained the ban was discriminatory, I feel confident in guessing they were complaining about discrimination against women. So in reality this is just more damseling, it’s all for the sake of the women.

If this is about nothing more than promotions and career opportunities, then Panetta should be handed a dagger, along with his whole crew.

The ban was discriminatory, but the victims of that discrimination are men. It was male disposability. And if the Defense department is worried about women here, that male disposability may even get worse. If this new policy is implemented the wrong way it will imperil men on the battlefield, all in the name of extending a benefit to women. (And for all the disadvantages, the ability to go into combat confers benefits too. Historically it has been to royal road to the prerogatives of citizenship – oh, wait, historically there’s been an exception made for women when it comes to those prerogatives, hasn’t there?)

What are the chances that all soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen will be trained to and held to and selected to meet the same standard? DOD’s record on standards for physical fitness for 30 years have been gendered; why expect any better on this?

If a man is too weak to perform in a unit, he gets bounced. Will the same apply to women? It’s unlikely, given the hyper-scrutiny and zero-defects atmosphere that is likely to prevail.

Disposability is in and of itself not a bad thing. It’s what confers a big part of the benefit of being a social species. A few die saving the rest. It’s only wrong when it’s imposed unequally. We will see how thoroughly DOD understands full and real equality.

After all, women have been in harm’s way in our last two wars and occupations for years now. The public didn’t go into fits when women came home in body bags, tiny though the percentage of all war dead they formed was. Non-linear warfare is dangerous in the entire area of operations and even safe areas are only less dangerous. Logistical support is always a high-value target, and women have been driving trucks for decades now. This is going to be at a higher level, but more a matter of degree than of kind.

This really could be for everyone’s sake, and that includes women. This is an issue of full citizenship. This is one more chance for women to shoulder the full burdens, all the burdens of citizenship, but this time, for the first time, without falling back on the pussy pass.

Now the real struggle for women in the military begins, to insist on real equality in training and in physical standards and every other thing in the face of the substantial white knighting resistance they will face in the DOD.

We will see how well they do with that.

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  • Clarence

    HA HA HA HA HAAAAAAAAAA!!

    Do you even HAVE to ask that?
    http://news.yahoo.com/air-force-calls-number-sex-assaults-appalling-150039203–politics.html

    Now buried somewhere in that testimony or in a report (and not most of them I’m sure) MIGHT be an assertion that a cis male recruit could possibly be sexually assaulted by a woman. Buried under the tons of damseling statistics , that is.

    Of course the COTWA was on this about a month or two ago. Thrown in with some of that rape or near rape incidents are going to be some percentage of false accusations that will never be talked about. There will also be some incidents of drunken groping, “innappropriate” comments, or humor, etc.

    In short, it all gets thrown into the same bag and then used to demonize all males. There’s nothing new here, and, judging by the total surrender to gender ideologues when it comes sexual assault and harassment there’s probably going to be nothing new in how the new “women in combat” policies will be written, or at least how they are implemented.

    It will be men who pay the price.

  • Valkina

    The same standard sounds logical,enemies are not going to go easy on you.Also there is the fact that it is plane hypocritical.

    Personally always hated the strength double standard,because I found them insulting.

  • http://stonerwithaboner.wordpress.com stonerwithaboner

    so now that benevolent sexism has been conquered, will all the feminists and everyone else please scream to end Selective Service!!!

  • Copyleft

    This is instructive. When women demanded equal rights, the notion that they should step up and take on equal responsibilities was wildly unpopular and shoved into the background. Feminists hoped nobody would notice the contradiction, so they could have their cake and eat it too.

    Women in comabt because dangerous duty should be shared? Hell, no! Women weren’t interested. But women in combat because dangerous duty will get them access to promotions? Well, in that case, climb aboard! Only sexist oppressive patriarchs are against letting women enjoy the perks of ground-combat duty! Darn privilege-hoggers….

    Still, regardless of the reason, it’s a good change. Every woman who dies on the battlefield represents a man who wasn’t sent to die in her place (in the name of protecting much-more-valuable female lives).

    So. When will they be required to sign up for the draft? Oh, silly me–that would be another responsibility, not a privilege. I was forgetting!

  • dungone

    Now they have no excuse but to force women to register for the draft.

  • dungone

    And since women are excluded from combat service by statute or military policy, men and women are simply not similarly situated for purposes of a draft or registration for a draft, and Congress’ decision to authorize the registration of only men therefore does not violate the Due Process Clause.

    That’s exact wording of Rostker vs Goldberg. http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0453_0057_ZS.html

    The entire Supreme Court ruling spells out a excruciatingly detailed rationalization for why the Selective Service now violates the Due Process Clause. Not that the original decision wasn’t complete bullshit anyway, but it’d love to see them wiggle out of the precedent that they set the next time someone takes this to court.

  • NeMi

    I think you are wrong in claiming that banning women from entering combat positions in the military is, in fact, sexism against men. Discrimnation should always be measured by looking at who is most directly affected by it (i.e. who is denied opportunities that another group has or who is assigned responsibilities that another group doesn’t have).

    However dangerous, difficult and necessary working in combat positions might be, it is barring a draft still a choice. Any individual who feels that the risks and difficulties outweight whatever they might gain from the job can just choose to do something else with their lives. It’s an opportunity, not a responsibility, and as such denying it from women is, in fact, discrimnation against women. This isn’t like the draft, which is not a matter of choice.

  • UnbiddenKarma

    NeMi not really at all we’re talking opportunity vs obligation. For instance when you sign up for the Military you are never guaranteed a position. They will try and put you into a stated job that they had open but in reality you are there for the duration of the contract perhaps even longer under some situations. For men that means if there isn’t an opening somewhere else or that individual isn’t qualified to fill more advanced roles they get defaulted to the combat role. I’m willing to bet and so are most the other people here that women will not be defaulted these roles that in fact women will need to volunteer for them. We are still being sorted by our sex and it usually doesn’t create social alarm bells unless this sorting disadvantages women.

  • NeMi

    Alright, that was lack of information on my part then. Not having an army based on voluntary professional forces around here and never having been in the military myself I often don’t have a very good idea about how exactly things work around there.

  • dungone

    NeMi it is discrimination against men because combat duty is why only men can get drafted and thereby only men are subject to having numerous civil rights revoked if they refuse to subject themselves to possibility of a draft. Men are only given the right to vote because of the draft, whereas women can vote just because, without any equivalent obligation. Financial Aid for college works the same way. Even driver’s licenses.

  • UnbiddenKarma

    Dungone men do not have the right to vote because of the draft. Although it is true that the average man didn’t attain the right to vote and that this age of democracies didn’t come into being until there was a social expectation that the average man could be called on to fight that does not equate draft = right to vote. You can still vote without registering for the draft in many area’s (I’m unaware if voting auto registers you in some states). You are correct on the financial aid and driver’s licences. Although I think in an attempt to curb the drama the us government is less likely to force you to register for the draft before you can get financial aid they just add the stipulation that when you go to renew your license or register for aid that act in itself also registers you for the draft if you haven’t already.

    The greater point of Gingko’s post still stand though that we have vastly different expectations, obligations, and opportunities. And the gender equality advocates of our society hold some interesting positions on when and where to advocate for “equality”.

  • NeMi

    “NeMi it is discrimination against men because combat duty is why only men can get drafted and thereby only men are subject to having numerous civil rights revoked if they refuse to subject themselves to possibility of a draft.”

    Is it? Sure that’s the lame excuse that the US court gave in the Rostker vs. Goldberg case, but once that’s gone they’ll just find another excuse. I live in Finland where women are not barred from any roles within the military, yet only men are conscripted nevertheless.

  • Evil Green Ranger

    I heard this on the radio this morning. What they said was: “This is an acknowledgement that women are out there in combat roles right now. All this does is allow them to receive promotions in those roles.” (not a real quote.)

    In today’s wars, there are no “front lines”, and anyone in the war zone is in danger of being blown up by an IED. Women as well as men.

  • Wilson

    Here in the USA we could be blown up by an IED. That’s a passive death, not combat.

  • dungone

    Dungone men do not have the right to vote because of the draft.

    The Supreme Court begged to differ:

    Indeed, it may not be doubted that the very conception of a just government and its duty to the citizen includes the duty of the citizen to render military service in case of need, and the right of the government to compel it.

    http://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/245/366/case.html

    According to our government you don’t have the right to vote – or anything else for that matter – lest the government can compel you to fight in wars. Unless, of course, you’re a woman, in which case you get all this unearned privilege such as the vote.

    Moreover, specifically with regard to voting rights, the 26th Amendment to the Constitution extended voting rights to those who were 18 and over specifically because men had been subjected to the draft while being denied the right to vote. Somehow, women also got a freebie on that one as well. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twenty-sixth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

    Women, quite simply, are running out of excuses to be exempt from the draft while also maintaining all their other rights – in fact they have no excuses left except for sexist double-standards.

  • UnbiddenKarma

    I have to admit that’s an interesting take. I was referring to a historical lens of how voting rights originated with expectations but not legal duty toward the draft. But as you pointed out court opinions tend to show that right to be conscripted is inseparable from the right to be represented.

  • Ginkgo

    Clarence,
    “Now buried somewhere in that testimony or in a report (and not most of them I’m sure) MIGHT be an assertion that a cis male recruit could possibly be sexually assaulted by a woman. Buried under the tons of damseling statistics , that is.”

    You know what else is obvious by omission? Any mention of the incidence of lesbian sexual assaults. Traditionally that has always been female soldiers’ greatest fear. But the Sisterhood is hardly going to let anything about that see the light of day.

  • Ginkgo

    Welcome, Ne Mi.

    “I think you are wrong in claiming that banning women from entering combat positions in the military is, in fact, sexism against men. Discrimnation should always be measured by looking at who is most directly affected by it…”

    Yes. Indeed.

    ” (i.e. who is denied opportunities that another group has or who is assigned responsibilities that another group doesn’t have).”

    Bullshit. Are yu seriously trying to contend tat denial of career opportunites is in any way equal to exposure to death and maiming as discrimination/ THe question answers itself, don’t you think?

    I am curious at the degree of sheltering it takes to even think such a thing, because it seems to be quite common in this country, and not just on this specific aspect of military service..

  • EquilibriumShift

    Well, as it turns out, many legal scholars are saying this does mean women are subject to selective services/drafting.

    However, my hopes are low, because as NeMi says, when the de jure inequality evaporates, we are simply left with de facto inequality.

  • Ginkgo

    “Here in the USA we could be blown up by an IED. That’s a passive death, not combat.”

    Wilson, that is your personal opinion. The military decides what is and is not combat-related mostly based on gepgraphy, not manner of death, because that turns into a Scholastic exercise — in a combat zone, out of a combat zone. So if you get killed in Iraq on an IED it’s a combat death, but if it happens in Texas – for now, until they secede – it’s not combat.

  • Ginkgo

    NeMi,
    “Is it? Sure that’s the lame excuse that the US court gave in the Rostker vs. Goldberg case, but once that’s gone they’ll just find another excuse. I live in Finland where women are not barred from any roles within the military, yet only men are conscripted nevertheless.”

    I think this really gets to the heart of it. Your example in Finland is apposite. This reluctance to force women inot the draft is not based on logic, it is simply an animal reflex.

  • dungone

    @Wilson, getting blown up by an IED is a combat injury. I’ve been in blown-up vehicles myself and those who were injured received Purple Hearts.

    “This is an acknowledgement that women are out there in combat roles right now. All this does is allow them to receive promotions in those roles.” (not a real quote.)

    @EGR, they are already recognized with regard to the exposure to combat that they see. They can get combat action ribbons and Purple Hearts just like anyone else. That’s totally different than allowing them into combat occupations such as infantry, or to participate in the full range of missions that units such as the military police carry out.

    They don’t need additional recognition. The only “recognition” they need is to register for the selective service just like anyone else.

    And it’s definitely not true that “anyone” can get blown up. Women generally don’t get sent outside of the wire except on relatively well-traveled, well-patrolled routes. My job was to sweep for roadside bombs ahead of convoys, oftentimes on foot with a military working dog, and we had found and detonated dozens while putting ourselves at risk. Then I’d go on patrols to places where no one ever swept for IEDs, including to places where it was all but guaranteed that we would see gunfire, mortars, and possibly IEDs – and where women never, ever got sent. There were women in my own unit and when we went on these missions, the only thing they could do is sit in the camp and man the radio. They only traveled outside on the absolute safest jobs.

  • NeMi

    “Are yu seriously trying to contend tat denial of career opportunites is in any way equal to exposure to death and maiming as discrimination”

    Not at all. I was merely stating that this exposure to death is voluntary in professional armed forces, though I may have been partially wrong about that. If this is indeed about the military putting people into combat positions regardless of what positions they apply to and only doing this to men then that’s another matter entirely. As I said, I’m not all too familiar with the U.S. military.

  • dungone

    in a combat zone, out of a combat zone.

    That should go without saying. Outside of a combat zone it’s a crime; no one had been voluntold to specifically face this danger; they are there of their own free will in a well-policed society that is trying to keep them safe. No one tries to keep you safe in a combat zone except for your own comrades in arms. It’s definitely different. Inside a combat zone it may or may not be a combat death. It depends on whether or not it is death by an act of aggression. The recognition is not for selfless sacrifice, but for keeping score on how many citizens were killed by their enemies.

  • UnbiddenKarma

    NeMi it’s about standards. The military can do with you nearly what ever they want well there are some exceptions but you sign over a large amount of freedom. This is not a job you didn’t really sign a standard job description upon entry. The question that is still being wondered is whether they are simply allowing women to do combat if they want to or if they’re going to be expected to like the men are. All goes back to opportunity vs obligation. Our societies still have very sexist views but our gender advocates love to point out and combat when those opportunities are barred from women. Never do they do much work instilling the conventional notion that women ARE just as good at combat and SHOULD be expected to do it as much as male soldiers but instead the notion that women are being hurt by not being allowed to ie lack later promotional opportunities well that needs to be stopped asap.

  • http://daisysdeadair.blogspot.com/ DaisyDeadhead

    In the interests of furthering discussion, here is the National Review’s caterwauling on the issue: http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/338613/wrong-women-warriors-heather-mac-donald#

    And the 368 comments (as of this post) are also fascinating reading.

  • Aych

    Panetta should be handed a dagger. The real reason for this reform is to deliver promotions and medals to women, and women can pose on posters with guns and look heroic. Plus, Solider Barbie can get pregnant and be entitled to evacuation from war zones. It’s a good thing there’ll be no shortage of disposable male soldiers around to replace the pregnant ones, eh?

    Rarely do I ever see a feminist acknowledge what military life is like. Their default setting is to interpret jobs as existing for the purpose of personal fulfillment. They don’t see jobs as involving actual functions or productivity. They don’t see jobs as requiring any real actual skills or qualifications. They don’t see jobs as existing to create any outcome which is external to the person doing the job. No, in the feminist view: Jobs exist so women can self-actualize and have creative fun while watching money grow on trees. That’s all a job is to them: a chance for a woman to find personal fulfillment and happiness.

    And this view of jobs goes hand-in-glove with their default and bizarre view of organizations. A feminist looks at an organization and she sees a large, corrupt machine which allocates power and goodies to the men within them. You see, there’s this large reservoir of “power” hidden somewhere, and the organization somehow taps into it and redistributes it to the men at its uppermost levels. And if not enough women are in the uppermost levels, it means they’re not getting their fare share of power.

    The fact that men within male-dominated organizations are not always the biggest beneficiaries of said organizations seems to utterly elude them.

    And just you watch: Selective Service will still continue to be male-only for a long time into the future. All kinds of excuses will be made, but it will stay in place. And whenever anyone brings-up the subject, we’ll hear how it wouldn’t be fair to burden women with obligations like Selective Service. Just you watch.

  • Evil Green Ranger

    Jobs exist so women can self-actualize and have creative fun while watching money grow on trees. That’s all a job is to them: a chance for a woman to find personal fulfillment and happiness.

    In our society, it’s required for a man to have a job — it is not required for a woman to. Put another way: An unemployed man will be stigmatized; An unemployed woman will not. (Note that this isn’t a feminist interpretation — it’s a societal backdrop. Non-feminist women benefit from the double standard too.)

    There’s classism here too. Poor women may have to work full time in order to live. Middle class women can afford to work only part-time. The rich can afford to be “kept.” For women, _not working_ is a class privilege.

    For families with children younger than school age, this is reversed. Middle class families may find that it costs more money to buy child care than the woman can earn, especially if she has a hobby-job, or can only get part-time work. Rich families make enough that they can afford to pay someone else to watch their kids. I have no idea what the poor do with their kids.

    Job searches are another point of difference. When a woman looks for a job, because she doesn’t _have_ to have one, she can pass over jobs that aren’t in her field, or she can take a more fulfilling or more flexible job for less money. A man _has_ to have a job, and thus, must take one when he finds it. And if a job that pays more comes along, he will feel that he _has_ to take it, regardless of other reasons. (Unless he’s already making a lot of money.)

    This all comes back to the assumption that a man’s duty is to fund the family. A man is the economic base of the family, while a woman is not. This might have been true in the 50s, but there’s no reason that it has to be today. But the social expectations hang on, forcing men to work more and harder than women. To carry the family on their backs, and to feel shame if they don’t.

  • Tamen

    I dont’ recall where I read it, but somewhere I read an interview with a couple of women in the US Army who commented on the ban on combat roles being lifted. One of them said that she thought it was a good think that women could now volunteer for combat roles, but she personally liked the desk-job she had in the army. I instantly wondered if combat roles are voluntary for men in the army – can a man who enlist elect to not go into a combat role or are they ordered into one? I wonder since here in Norway we have a draft (although only a percentage of young men are required to serve the 12 months – so it’s more like a lottery where a deferment is quite easily obtainable) and the drafted men generally have no final say over where they are places (one can state wishes, but everyone wants to be couped up somewhere warm while few want to be infantry in northern Norway).

    Every once in a while there is talk from the state that the draft should apply to women as well (they now can volunteer to just about any service). As a stark contrast to the public discourse in the US almost all of the public voices against a female draft are from women.

  • Copyleft

    As far as I’ve seen, opposition to this change comes in two forms, both of them right-wing.

    #1 is the “sissifying our military” complaint, which worries that frontline soldiers will no longer be tough enough to spray hundreds of bullets into a random brown person from a safe distance while carrying an 80-pound pack and sporting full body armor, lugging a platoonful of injured comrades behind while demolishing concrete walls with one hand. The simplest answer to that is “The military still has screening and training programs; if you can’t do the job, you won’t be assigned to the job.”

    #2 is the “save our wimmenz!” impulse, where people react with shock and horror to the notion that–gasp!–WOMEN might get blown up, shot, captured, tortured, killed, etc. And surely that’s not acceptable. They might even get raped if the enemy got ahold of them (“they want our women,” you know!). And THAT’S unacceptable. Pure white-knighting. Apparently, it was okay that all this stuff was already happening to guys, but it simply cannot be permitted to sully our precious women.

    And the only appropriate response to THAT argument is unprintable.

  • Aych

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/25/opinion/women-in-the-battlefield.html?hp&_r=0

    As I suspected. In the NY Times editorial, military effectiveness ranks low among the priorities. What’s truly important is helping women’s careers. Peferably, this will be accompanied by calling men sexist pigs if they dare complain about the special dispensation that the female soldiers get. I mean, do the women really HAVE to shave their heads if they don’t want to?

  • Schala

    ” Peferably, this will be accompanied by calling men sexist pigs if they dare complain about the special dispensation that the female soldiers get. I mean, do the women really HAVE to shave their heads if they don’t want to?”

    I’ve been in Canadian air cadets before, and learned of grooming standards. They didn’t seem to be gender specific on paper. They allowed for buzzcut length (less than one inch) and bunched up hair, braided hair. Technically a guy could have bunched or braided hair. It just has to be kept out of the way and not impede helmets and masks.

    I think the US did have gender specific standards, for no reason though. They do for prisons.

  • debaser71

    Aych that NYT link is an excellent example of why I am increasingly apolitical these days.

    “Adding women to the leadership corps will foster a healthier military culture freed from testosterone-soaked abuse and scandal. “

  • GarethB

    Here’s a link to an article published in the Unites States Marine Corps Gazette in 2012. The article was written by (female) USMC Captain Katie Petronio and it is not positive about the anticipated impact of putting women into front line combat roles.

    http://www.mca-marines.org/gazette/article/get-over-it-we-are-not-all-created-equal

  • Aych

    I’ve never been in the military (and I feel that I missed something important because of that) but I gathered a sense of how the military operates regarding women. Basically, I’ve gotten the impression that the brass are a bunch of White Knights who will move heaven and earth to exonerate its female members.

    In 1994, Kara Hultgreen, the first female F-14 pilot, crashed her plane. One post-accident report blamed mechanical failure. A second report primarily blamed pilot error. Guess which report was made public?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kara_Hultgreen

  • Aych

    Incidentally, and I think this is perhaps more than tangentially-related…

    Have you ever noticed how uncomfortable feminists are when it comes to the issue of putting men in leadership positions within feminism? They seem threatened by the idea when you ask them.

    Their fear, as I’ve had it explained to me, is that the men will inevitably co-opt and take-over feminism.

    So they possess this suspicion about feminist men while simultaneously demanding that all male-dominated institutions, from the military to corporate boardrooms, throw-open their leadership positions to women. Not because the institutions will benefit (that’s of minor concern to them), no, but because the leadership positions have goodies and benefits that women should enjoy.

    So, in essence, they believe that men should be kept-out of leadership positions within feminism while women in leadership positions should be free to milk their institutions for what they’re worth.

  • Ginkgo

    “Their fear, as I’ve had it explained to me, is that the men will inevitably co-opt and take-over feminism.”

    Yes. tehy presume their own inferiority and helplesness. And if in fatc that is borne out by events, all it does is show how deeply engrained their hypoagency is, how deeply they have failed to overcome their patriarchal indoctrination.

    And this follows from that:
    “So they possess this suspicion about feminist men while simultaneously demanding that all male-dominated institutions, from the military to corporate boardrooms, throw-open their leadership positions to women.”

    Their engrained belief that women are harmless in these roles is just another exprtession of hypoagency. I’m not even going to comment on the Henny Penny sense of entitlement they are displaying.

  • Ginkgo

    debaser,
    ““Adding women to the leadership corps will foster a healthier military culture freed from testosterone-soaked abuse and scandal. “

    …is an example of why actual women in the miltary, who can be quite the testosterone-soaked balls of fire themselves, thank you very much, often just roll their eyes at civilian women. The idea that people so clueless about military women would presume to speak for them just discredits them in the eyes of their supposed beneficiaries.

    This chimes with the feckless nitwittedness of the self-serving hype that civilian feminists have been ginning up about rape in the military (which is self-servingly selective, BTW), in which they studiously ignore the largest group of rapists of women in the military – other women.

  • Valkina

    Ginkgo

    That is because when this type of people talk,about needing more women in certain positions.There are not talking about letting women of all types.They are talking about their type of women.In your cease,they are talking about needing more women who practices hypoagency.