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User: Subliminable

2002-10-05
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Posted in Should women be at combat? on 2003-04-08 23:30:10

Thanks for you humbling responses, Zeus.

Listening to the way you talk about war, it was clearly a terrifying experience. I don't doubt that, and I pity that you, a kid who had just gotten his high school degree, just as quickly had a gun forced into his hands. It was no doubt a nauseating feeling knowing that your government was more concerned about politics and appearing tough to the rest of the world than you or your friends' survival.

But were you not afraid? Are you going to tell me that you weren't scared over there, in a country you'd never been to, in a war that didn't look like it was going to turn out for the best? Of course not--that's raw humanity. That's something that both sexes can feel.

When I defend the idea of women on the front lines, I know I am speaking from personal preference. If there were a war that I believed in (certainly not this disgusting eco-political battle we've got going on now in the Middle East; I'm a martial artist, not a hawk) I wouldn't want to idly sit by and fight it from a $%!@pit or a tanker. I'd want to do it myself, looking AT my enemy. That's something that you can't take away from me. That's something that I learned after years of sacrifice and patience with the dynamics of fighting. That's more respectful, in my opinion, than murdering someone with a weapon of mass destruction because you're too much of a coward to risk your own life, and prefer it if they'd die at your convenience. Machines are coward's weapons. Flying over their heads spilling napalm on them without even having to get your hands dirty is cowardly. If I were to kill someone's child, the least I could do is give them a glimpse of my face first.

Is that really so much to ask?

Today's average woman probably can't fight in a war. Yes, I agree with you there. I've agreed many times with that. But does that mean that the soul of a woman is naturally serene and peaceful, fearful of things such as war and hatred? No--it's the way our society conditions them. Today's woman would have a hard time on the front lines, because America tells them that they'd have a hard time on the front lines and refuses to teach them what it'd be like. And since man is a social animal, what society says, usually, unfortunately, goes..

But that's the military's fault. That's mom and dad's fault for coddling her all her life. That's a worldwide patriarchy saying "this is how you feel, now feel it". That is not the fault of women themselves. So why are they being punished? Why treat the symptom over the cause? Why only give women the option of cowardly fighting (i.e. flying jets and dropping bombs, commanding subs, aircraft carriers, etc.) if they insist on fighting at all, rather than really, TRULY allowing them to know what it is to be a soldier and to sacrifice what a soldier has to sacrifice?

To me, this argument isn't about the sexes as much as it's about the heart of a warrior.

In the 54 years you've been alive, you've only gotten to know in depth one side of womanhood--the American woman, circa 1949 (you're my mom's age, by the way). Do I think that AMERICAN women, raised in the way America raises girls, can fight on the front lines in wars? Probably not. Do I think that WOMEN, raised to be independent, and not whine or complain, can fight on the front lines in wars? I don't think that; I know.

========== In Reply To ==========

Posted in Should women be at combat? on 2003-04-08 02:55:19

Darling, can you tell me where I called him a name? Because I can swear that I said something about xenophobia...but...that's not exactly the same as calling him a f*cking idiot. Aside from my cursing habit, I did not blatantly taunt the man, who, I will agree, was a complete gentleman throughout the debate. In fact, I'd like to hear from him again.

I'd be more than willing to take a look at that article about women in flight. I'm not here to blindly take the girls' side, and I think it's ridiculous that scientists are now trying to prove gender differences in flight capabilities. Granted, "science" is pretty much useless as it changes to meet the views of a society, and is constantly being used to prove that the status quo is how things should be in the "natural scheme of things" (it's harder to get your study noticed if you have something that goes against popular belief, no matter how f*cking scientific it is). I believe in the differences in people, and that people's interests should be nurtured rather than pigeonholing everyone into cute, little cookie cutter roles (i.e. "hey, v*gina carrier, here's some nice paperwork for you"/"hey, p*nis carrier, here's a gun. Use it!"). Life is 90% nurture and only 10% nature. Try to play the science card all you want, but your society shaped who you are, how you talk, how you think, your entire view of life so that you channel your energies into socially accepted roles.

"Men are good at some things, and women are good at other things." Right. Like cooking, getting 88 cents on the dollar at our jobs, and giving birth. We just naturally love that kind of sacrifice--no, really! It must be the estrogen! ~giggle!~ You guys do what you like, we'll just be quietly cleaning up after you when you're through. It's what we're good at! No, really! (I realize that was quite a jump from what you were saying about women and men's strengths, but in all seriousness, if you can say something so broad and general like that and take it as fact, what's stopping you from also "finding" that there's a mass of nerve fibers in a woman's brain in her lower cortexual cerebellum with sternum reflexes and fiberoptic transmissions that make her evolutionarily more capable than a man to push a broom across a kitchen floor? Absolutely nothing.)

With all due respect, f*ck gender roles and the "biology" that supports them. I have no patience for scientific evidence being used to promote prejudices; you're one of those science-proves-this people. People have been trying to pull that bullsh*t throughout history, and it's never been less bullsh*tty in any century prior to this one. Before you jump to conclusions about the inferiority of women in combat, way back when, so-called "science" was proving that black soldiers during the Civil War and WWI and WWII couldn't fight as well as white men. Such a stupid law is laughable these days, but then it was taken as fact, and as a good, viable reason to keep black men from participating in wartime, aside from lugging cannons and other artillery around. Why? Because that's what the black men were "good at".

You see? You can get science to say whatever the hell you want for it to, and as someone who supposedly respects science so much, I'm shocked at your hubris in thinking that science has it all figured out in the 21st century.

And yeah, men have more testosterone. Nice observation. If martial arts has taught me anything, though, it's that it's easier to hurt men. Women--flexible, pliable, and resistant as they are--can take more damage than a man can. So, men have the benefit of strength; women have the benefit of higher pain tolerance and can thus last longer. Hmm, biology supports that, too! So why can't women do the actual fighting and men do the carrying of supplies, then? Wouldn't that, too, be supported by evolutionary theory and biology?

Though that very thing still bugs me... you still haven't answered why it'd be such a bad thing to experiment with both men and women on the field to put an end to both sides' pointless, time-wasting bickering. I've asked for it twice, but you keep dancing around giving an actual answer (argue all you want, deep down you know I am right about this). Why is that?

========== In Reply To ========== I'm no chauvinist. Women have their place in the army. Due to folds in the brain that allow women to multitask and communicate better than men, women would be better suited in an office environment. Now, calm down for a minute. The office work must be done and there is no shame in it (my grandpa did office work in WWII. I'm very proud of my grandpa.). The best army in the world would be defeated without solid communication and intellegence. The job is vital.

I read somewhere (if you want me to find it again, I'll see what I can do but I doubt you want to agrue with this) that women have certain biological advantages in flight. If a woman wants to see some action, why not join the air force?

However, as Zeus said, most women are not meant to do grunt work. I agree. Testosterone gives men most of our strength and women only have 1/4 the amount of testosterone men have. Therefore, women are naturally less agressive and weaker than men physically (argue all you want, deep down you know I am right about this): There is nothing you can do about this short of issueing steriods to all female GIs. If a female is less agressive, how can she fight with the same tenacity of her male counterpart? If a woman is not fighting as agressivly as a man would, then you are putting the other GIs at risk. Could a female carry all of her equipment or would the men have to help her making it harder on them? Could some women handle the grunt work, of course: But certainly not the masses.

Men are better than women at some things. Women are better than men at other things. Doesn't it make logical sense for men to do what we are good at? Shouldn't women do what they are good at?

I agree with you, again. In war, people die.

As far as my assumption about name calling, you blatently did this to a vet. He is the only person here who has any idea what the real war is like (instead of watching it on TV like we do). If you are going to call him names (a man who fought for his country), why wouldn't you do the same to me?

Posted in Should women be at combat? on 2003-04-07 18:58:22

"Hmmm", indeed

If two men enter the army and are held to different standards, of course the more rigorously trained of the two is going to be the better soldier. But that's not the issue here. What we're discussing is why you claim that women are inherently bad soldiers. The way women are trained is a variable in this equation that CAN be changed. What can NOT be changed is the fact that they're women, which is precisely what you fellas seem to have the problem with. You stand behind your "facts" about women: how we feel about war, whether or not there are enough of us with the "guts" to be foot soldiers, and how we'd never stand up for our own on the battlefield, but if we were to change all those minor, environmental details, what would your argument be then? Would there even be one? If not, I don't have anything more to say to you, because we're both apparently reading off the same page.

You're absolutely right that women in today's military are held to lower standards. Is that a problem? Of course. I don't stand behind unequal treatment for the same benefits. Women shouldn't fight on foot simply for the sake of political correctness--she should earn it. But the problem is that the establishment outright refuses to train men and women on equal terms. THAT'S what's wrong. That whole attitude carried by the drill sergeants, the officers, the U.S. military, the GOVERNMENT is entirely a product of society and the belief that women should be coddled. But coddling women, in the army or anywhere else, isn't doing anyone any damn good (especially not women). Our society is still focussed on dividing things down the middle for "boy's club" and "girl's club", and so of course women aren't equal to men at this point.

But does that mean that women will never be able to fight in wars? You seem to be arguing not against the establishment for their improper training of female soldiers, but against the idea of female soldiers fighting on the ground AT ALL.

Either way you slice it: plenty of men have died fighting for America. I guess that means they just weren't cut out for the military, huh? Snap judgments, that's what it's all about here, right? Those men died 'cause they must've done something wrong, or were otherwise inferior to their friends who ended up going home to their families at the end of the war, right?

No. It meant that they were victims of bad luck, or being in the "wrong place at the wrong time". It's all about luck in war, and especially in today's wars, what with the guns and otherwise cowardly implements of destruction that don't require you even look your enemy in the eye before killing him. You don't even have to know where he is. Don't worry; those bombs'll take care of him...

Men are just as much the victims of bad luck as women are. You can't assume that because some female soldiers were to die, it's because they're not cut out for the job. They died because it's a f*ckin' WAR, and sh*t like that happens, tragic as it is.

I suppose I have every right to "point fingers", seeing as you're not truly attacking the issue of inequality in the military, but are actually skeptical of women’s ability to fight in general. And furthermore, at least I have more behind my argument than some teenybopper who decided to exercise her girl power by yelling at men for being chauvinist at a poll site.

Speaking of which, jumping to conclusions about me coming on here in order to say "YOU CHAUVINIST PIG! YOU SEXIST XENOPHOBE! WAH WAH WAH" really takes your credibility down a notch. I am not attacking as much as I am trying to make a case for myself and get you to understand your own prejudice.

========== In Reply To ========== First off, kudos to you, Zeus, for fighting for my freedom. You have my respect.

The problem I see with women in the military is that they are held to lower standards than the men are in training. How could a woman possibly fight as well as a man when she recieves less training?

Is that sexist? Xenophobic? Lets say that two men join the army. One man is held to higher standards and his training is more difficult than the other man's training. Who is going to be the superior soldier? That is my point.

Can women train at men's standards? Who knows? I'm sure there are women out their that could. However, they are not so I must say no to women as foot soliders.

Subliminable, go right ahead and point your finger and start your name calling (i.e. "OH, YOU MALE CHAUVINIST PIG! YOU SEXIST XENOPHOBE! WAH WAH WAH!"). You are only killing your credibility by name calling. If you cannot even argue your point without name calling, how could you be strong enough to fight a war?

Posted in Should women be at combat? on 2003-04-06 21:50:47

To answer your question, no, I've never been in armed combat. But here's a question for you: when you were in Vietnam, WERE there women in your platoon? WERE there women watching your back? If not, then how could you possibly know what it would be like to have them there?

See, you keep saying that sh*t, though, "women would slow us down", or "women are bad for the troops' morale". How the hell do you know that?

You're just as in the dark as I am on this one, are you not? You're making a claim based on a conjecture of possible outcomes as opposed to telling me what it's like on the front lines from your personal experience with women infantrymen. Likewise, I'm doing the same thing. So we could either continue arguing the semantics of why women should or shouldn't help out on the front lines, or we could actually try it.

Seriously, what would be so bad with letting the women fight? Since we're both technically talking out of our as*es as we have NO personal experience with women as foot soldiers, what would be the harm in trying it out once and seeing how women do in such a situation? What's holding us back from that sort of experiment? Can you tell me?

Or is xenophobia the real cause for your opinion?

========== In Reply To ========== My question to you is have you ever been in combat?

If so, I can respect your opinion. I will still strongly disagree with it, but if you've actually been in armed combat and think women have a place there, so be it.

However if you've never been in that situation yourself, then in all due respect, you don't know what you're talking about.

And although I deeply resect Jessica Lynch for serving her country, she was not in actual combat. She was with a maintainence unit that took a wrong turn and got captured. And while she fought very couragously during her rescue, the men who put their lives at risk to rescue her were the real heroes of that incident.

But I have no problem with women performing in the capacity in which she was assigned. And I don't have a problem with women flying sorties. And there are many other important jobs in the military that women can perform. But if I'm a foot soldier, I don't want to be slowed down by women nor do I want them watching my back. Having them there would be bad for moral and make a very dangerous situation even more dangerous. And I've been there and know what its like.

Posted in Should women be at combat? on 2003-04-06 21:50:44

To answer your question, no, I've never been in armed combat. But here's a question for you: when you were in Vietnam, WERE there women in your platoon? WERE there women watching your back? If not, then how could you possibly know what it would be like to have them there?

See, you keep saying that sh*t, though, "women would slow us down", or "women are bad for the troops' morale". How the hell do you know that?

You're just as in the dark as I am on this one, are you not? You're making a claim based on a conjecture of possible outcomes as opposed to telling me what it's like on the front lines from your personal experience with women infantrymen. Likewise, I'm doing the same thing. So we could either continue arguing the semantics of why women should or shouldn't help out on the front lines, or we could actually try it.

Seriously, what would be so bad with letting the women fight? Since we're both technically talking out of our as*es as we have NO personal experience with women as foot soldiers, what would be the harm in trying it out once and seeing how women do in such a situation? What's holding us back from that sort of experiment? Can you tell me?

Or is xenophobia the real cause for your opinion?

========== In Reply To ========== My question to you is have you ever been in combat?

If so, I can respect your opinion. I will still strongly disagree with it, but if you've actually been in armed combat and think women have a place there, so be it.

However if you've never been in that situation yourself, then in all due respect, you don't know what you're talking about.

And although I deeply resect Jessica Lynch for serving her country, she was not in actual combat. She was with a maintainence unit that took a wrong turn and got captured. And while she fought very couragously during her rescue, the men who put their lives at risk to rescue her were the real heroes of that incident.

But I have no problem with women performing in the capacity in which she was assigned. And I don't have a problem with women flying sorties. And there are many other important jobs in the military that women can perform. But if I'm a foot soldier, I don't want to be slowed down by women nor do I want them watching my back. Having them there would be bad for moral and make a very dangerous situation even more dangerous. And I've been there and know what its like.