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Women in Combat Roles

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PLW
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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by PLW » Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:04 pm

Was her name Brienne?

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Gavin
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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by Gavin » Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:11 pm

GreenGoo wrote:Well, I think when one side is saying that "no, not possible, men will die" even 1 example of the opposite being true is significant. Or should be. Luckily there is more than a single case study for reference.
and/or women will die. Remember, not only do they suffer more from injuries, but they are slower and exhibit significantly less force. This means that carrying the same amount of weight while keeping up speed-wise will impact their endurance significantly.
Also, 1 example is pretty good, when the status quo has always been to prevent women from ever being in that situation in the first place. It's harder to give meaningful examples when by definition women are being prevented from creating those examples.
Do you feel comfortable gathering statistics over human lives when we absolutely know they're weaker and this is a physically demanding job? That's an appeal to emotion so it may bear no weight, but it's a significant fact when we know that women should not be able to perform a similar job in the same way we have to seperate all sports, even running.

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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by GreenGoo » Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:20 pm

Gavin wrote:
GreenGoo wrote:Well, I think when one side is saying that "no, not possible, men will die" even 1 example of the opposite being true is significant. Or should be. Luckily there is more than a single case study for reference.
and/or women will die. Remember, not only do they suffer more from injuries, but they are slower and exhibit significantly less force. This means that carrying the same amount of weight while keeping up speed-wise will impact their endurance significantly.
Also, 1 example is pretty good, when the status quo has always been to prevent women from ever being in that situation in the first place. It's harder to give meaningful examples when by definition women are being prevented from creating those examples.
Do you feel comfortable gathering statistics over human lives when we absolutely know they're weaker and this is a physically demanding job? That's an appeal to emotion so it may bear no weight, but it's a significant fact when we know that women should not be able to perform a similar job in the same way we have to seperate all sports, even running.
We're going in circles.

1) Men and women already die in war. That's what happens in war.

2) Yes, I absolutely am comfortable gathering stats over human lives. That's how the military gathers stats.

3) But if you don't want to put women in harms way to find out, liason with other countries who are willing. Use their stats as a jumping off point. Which is almost guaranteed to be what the US has already done, and is probably why they've greenlit the whole thing.

4) Studies are available that either imply or outright state that women's ability to take stress (physical, emotional) is greater than was past thought. The WIRED article I mentioned alluded to it. I'll see what I can find tonight if I have time. So when you say we "absolutely know" you aren't quantifying in any manner that is useful for determining metrics.

Whatever you personally believe/know/feel, women are doing these jobs successfully, and your American women will too. I hope you give them your full support when the time comes.

It's been fun theorycrafting with you guys, but I don't have much more to add that I haven't already said, and as far as I can tell, neither do you (general "you").

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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by GreenGoo » Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:42 pm

noxiousdog wrote:
You're inventing an argument. Nobody is saying what you think they are saying.

One side is saying, "let our current fighting force be scored at 100. If we put a significant number of women in front line combat there are reasons to believe the new fighting force would have to be score at less than 100."

This allows for a lot of variables. How much less? How much will it cost? What is a significant number of women? Which front lines of combat? Are there other positives that make it worth it?

To me, these are all fair questions.
I don't disagree that those questions need to be answered. I would have thought they are already answered and are what the decision was based on.

As to inventing an argument, I don't believe I was. I was simply addressing the notion that women on the frontlines are going to cause deaths to go up. We have at least one example where at worst, a woman's presence in combat kept the status quo (assuming a man would have had similar success) at best she saved lives that would otherwise be lost. But that's the point. She was "good enough" to receive a silver star even though we have no idea what would have happened if a man had been in command instead of a woman.

If as has been put forth repeatedly, women cause deaths not prevent them, then even a single example that refutes that should cause the entire premise to be rethought. Since there are more than a single instance of valor in combat by women, you would think that would at least cause people to concede that "some" women might not be a liability. At which point both sides of the argument need to decide which ones and we can start arguing over how to figure that out rather than one side saying "no way" to women and the other side saying "those who pass muster".

Women are already on the front line, already commanding, already winning silver stars. Nothing we say or the government decision recently made will change that. The only thing that has changed is that women will be intentionally put in fighting positions, rather than just supporting those who are. Women will continue to fight and die in war either way.

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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by Gavin » Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:02 pm

GreenGoo wrote:3) Studies are available that either imply or outright state that women's ability to take stress (physical, emotional) is greater than was past thought. The WIRED article I mentioned alluded to it. I'll see what I can find tonight if I have time. So when you say we "absolutely know" you aren't quantifying in any manner that is useful for determining metrics.
Physical pain is not injury. A broken leg is still a broken leg. I would never say that a woman is some fainting stereotype. We're talking about power output, ease of injury, speed, and endurance. Not pain endurance mind you, but exerting strength and speed over time. (P.S. women are able to endure greater pain and emotional stress because of the way they deal with stress. It's quite remarkable).
Whatever you personally believe/know/feel, women are doing these jobs successfully, and your American women will too. I hope you give them your full support when the time comes.
Them doing the jobs doesn't mean they should be specifically assigned to do it. They're doing it because the "front line" has been blurred in modern combat and so it comes to them whether they're intended for it or not. The difference would be specifically sending them to places we know are the front line and more dangerous.

The purpose of this is to open up advancement opportunities. The way to open them up is to change the requirements for women.

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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by Grifman » Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:33 pm

hepcat wrote:I think we're seeing some new members from the 18th century historical recreation board that some folks of OO started a while back. Welcome! Hope you enjoy your visit!
And I think we are seeing some new members from the Politically Correct and Ignore the Facts Club :)
Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions. – G.K. Chesterton

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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by Grifman » Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:54 pm

GreenGoo wrote:No offence Grif, but you've given me an article written by someone with an agenda. I went back and read his entire article.
And those that want women in combat don't have a agenda? LOL! Physician, heal thyself!
When your source says things like
I doubt that there is a huge push on the part of female soldiers and Marines to join the infantry. Captain Petronio makes the same point. The impetus comes instead from professional feminists still living in the 1970s and a small number of female officers who believe that serving in the infantry will increase the likelihood that they will become generals. But the Pentagon itself points out that military women are already promoted at rates equal to or faster than men.
He quotes a serving Marine female officer as evidence for his opinion. And some simple reading of the internet (which you claims you do) will back him up - a lot of what is driving this is that there is a ceiling on higher female officers in the military. You're not going to get a combat command or be Chairman of the JCS without combat experience. And there are women who don't like that.
Things like "I doubt". Things like "the impetus professional feminists still living in the 1970's". Things like "female officers who believe that serving in the infantry will increase the likelihood that they will become generals".
Sure, those are his opinions, but what you still don't deal with are the facts that he presents. After all these posts you fail to engage at the most elementary level the real physical differences between men and women. Why?
When he says things like that, speculating but reporting it as truth, he's as guilty as the "professional feminists from the 1970's" of having an agenda that is not objective. His "data" is given without context and without cite. His "data" is given without regard to how the "data" negatively impacts females that they are not able to fulfill their duties.
I guess common sense has gone out the door. Does he need to specify the obvious impact of physical differences? You're smart, surely you can figure it out. Do I have to spell out the implications of these differences?
Your source is a joke. Your evidence is the opinion of someone who has spent 20 years by his own admission trying to keep women out of combat roles.
Using this logic I can dismiss anyone who has spent several years lobbying for women in combat, right? If it works for you, it can work for me. Again, you engage in ad hominem and fail to engage his arguments. That only tells me that you really don't have an answer.
My evidence is the internet
LOL! I have the internet also! Exactly what evidence have your brought to the table? I don't see any response from you addressing the implications of physical differences between men and women? Where is that analysis?
and decades of women in combat roles for multiple first world militaries.
That proves nothing other than they have women serving. It says nothing about effectiveness. I've said this several times and you continue to ignore it. Where is your analysis about the effectiveness of women in combat? Not anecdotal stories of heroism but hard facts, studies on how well woman can perform?

Your source is opinion and speculation and fear. My source is reality.
Yet you seem unable or incapable of dealing with the real physical differences between men and woman and the implications for combat. I don't see much reality despite your claim.
a) women are already on the front line
Irrelevant since the issue is whether they should be there to begin with.
b) your opinion is irrelevant (and his. and mine) since it's happening anyway.
That's your argument? I said this before but when women weren't allowed would you have accepted an argument from me that said it's not happening so your opinion is irrelevant? So many of your arguments can be turned right around on you!

Since you want facts, more will follow. I look forward to your engagement.
Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions. – G.K. Chesterton

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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by Grifman » Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:03 pm

Greengoo wants evidence, then here it is. First off is an article by female Marine officer who served in Afghanistan:

http://www.mca-marines.org/gazette/arti ... ated-equal" target="_blank

Some highlights:
Who is driving this agenda? I am not personally hearing female Marines, enlisted or officer, pounding on the doors of Congress claiming that their inability to serve in the infantry violates their right to equality. Shockingly, this isn’t even a congressional agenda. This issue is being pushed by several groups, one of which is a small committee of civilians appointed by the Secretary of Defense called the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Service (DACOWITS). Their mission is to advise the Department of Defense (DoD) on recommendations, as well as matters of policy, pertaining to the well-being of women in the Armed Services from recruiting to employment. Members are selected based on their prior military experience or experience with women’s workforce issues. I certainly applaud and appreciate DACOWITS’ mission; however, as it pertains to the issue of women in the infantry, it’s very surprising to see that none of the committee members are on active duty or have any recent combat or relevant operational experience relating to the issue they are attempting to change. I say this because, at the end of the day, it’s the active duty servicemember who will ultimately deal with the results of their initiatives, not those on the outside looking in
I understand that there are female servicemembers who have proven themselves to be physically, mentally, and morally capable of leading and executing combat-type operations; as a result, some of these Marines may feel qualified for the chance of taking on the role of 0302. In the end, my main concern is not whether women are capable of conducting combat operations, as we have already proven that we can hold our own in some very difficult combat situations; instead, my main concern is a question of longevity. Can women endure the physical and physiological rigors of sustained combat operations, and are we willing to accept the attrition and medical issues that go along with integration?
By the fifth month into the deployment, I had muscle atrophy in my thighs that was causing me to constantly trip and my legs to buckle with the slightest grade change. My agility during firefights and mobility on and off vehicles and perimeter walls was seriously hindering my response time and overall capability. It was evident that stress and muscular deterioration was affecting everyone regardless of gender; however, the rate of my deterioration was noticeably faster than that of male Marines and further compounded by gender-specific medical conditions. At the end of the 7-month deployment, and the construction of 18 PBs later, I had lost 17 pounds and was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (which personally resulted in infertility, but is not a genetic trend in my family), which was brought on by the chemical and physical changes endured during deployment. Regardless of my deteriorating physical stature, I was extremely successful during both of my combat tours, serving beside my infantry brethren and gaining the respect of every unit I supported. Regardless, I can say with 100 percent assurance that despite my accomplishments, there is no way I could endure the physical demands of the infantrymen whom I worked beside as their combat load and constant deployment cycle would leave me facing medical separation long before the option of retirement. I understand that everyone is affected differently; however, I am confident that should the Marine Corps attempt to fully integrate women into the infantry, we as an institution are going to experience a colossal increase in crippling and career-ending medical conditions for females.
There is a drastic shortage of historical data on female attrition or medical ailments of women who have executed sustained combat operations. This said, we need only to review the statistics from our entry-level schools to realize that there is a significant difference in the physical longevity between male and female Marines. At OCS the attrition rate for female candidates in 2011 was historically low at 40 percent, while the male candidates attrite at a much lower rate of 16 percent. Of candidates who were dropped from training because they were injured or not physically qualified, females were breaking at a much higher rate than males, 14 percent versus 4 percent. The same trends were seen at TBS in 2011; the attrition rate for females was 13 percent versus 5 percent for males, and 5 percent of females were found not physically qualified compared with 1 percent of males. Further, both of these training venues have physical fitness standards that are easier for females; at IOC there is one standard regardless of gender. The attrition rate for males attending IOC in 2011 was 17 percent. Should female Marines ultimately attend IOC, we can expect significantly higher attrition rates and long-term injuries for women.
I look forward to Greengoo actually engaging these arguments from an active service female Marine/
Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions. – G.K. Chesterton

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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by Grifman » Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:10 pm

Some further information for Greengoo:

From the report of the Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces dated November 15, 1992
The average female Army recruit is 4.8 inches shorter, 31.7 pounds lighter, has 37.4 fewer pounds of muscle, and 5.7 more pounds of fat than the average male recruit. She has only 55 percent of the upper-body strength and 72 percent of the lower-body strength. An Army study done in 1988 found that women are more than twice as likely to suffer leg injuries and nearly five times as likely to suffer fractures as men. Further, the Commission heard an abundance of expert testimony including:- women’s aerobic capacity is significantly lower, meaning they cannot carry as much as far as fast as men, and they are more susceptible to fatigue.- in terms of physical capability, the upper five percent of women are at the level of the male median. The average 20-to-30 year-old woman has the same aerobic capacity as a 50 year-old man. After a study was conducted at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, one expert testified that:- using the standard Army Physical Fitness Test, the upper quintile (top 20%) of women at West point achieved scores on the test equivalent to the bottom quintile (bottom 20%) of men.- only 21 women out of the initial 623 (3.4%) achieved a score equal to the male mean score of 260.- on the push-up test, only 7% of women can meet a score of 60, while 78% of men exceed it.- adopting a male standard of fitness at West Point would mean 70% of the women he studied would be separated as failures at the end of their junior year, only 3% would be eligible for the Recondo badge, and not one would receive the Army Physical Fitness badge.
I look forward to him engaging this data.
Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions. – G.K. Chesterton

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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by Grifman » Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:16 pm

Another interesting article from a Marine officer:

http://www.mca-marines.org/gazette/arti ... en-settled" target="_blank

I found the most salient line to be this:
In every people group on Earth women are the smaller/weaker/more compassionate demographic. It defies logic to purposefully integrate women into combat arms where they would face the generally larger/stronger/more violent demographic (men) in the horror of combat. Combat is killing. And those who propose to put women in combat arms fail to consider this basic tenet of warfare: We actively strive for inequality in combat, seeking to press our strength to exploit any weakness in the enemy.
Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions. – G.K. Chesterton

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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by Anonymous Bosch » Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:23 pm

FWIW Grifman, I posted Capt. Petronio's article back on the second page of this thread.

And while Greengoo believes "a woman qualifying for a silver star" should be compelling, when it comes to a female Marine Captain with front line combat experience expressing concern about the differences between men and women on the battlefield, he believes "it would be foolish to listen to a single voice as the sole expert on the subject". :wink:
"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." -- Daniel Webster

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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by GreenGoo » Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:42 pm

Anonymous Bosch wrote:FWIW Grifman, I posted Capt. Petronio's article back on the second page of this thread.

And while Greengoo believes "a woman qualifying for a silver star" should be compelling, when it comes to a female Marine Captain with front line combat experience expressing concern about the differences between men and women on the battlefield, he believes "it would be foolish to listen to a single voice as the sole expert on the subject". :wink:
First off, AB engage honestly or go away.

Scenario 1) A single person says something is impossible. Do we stop there? Are we done? Is one person's opinion enough?

Scenario 2) The whole world (or just mostly Americans as it turns out) says something is impossible. Then, someone does the impossible. Is it still impossible? Or has it been definitively proven to not be impossible after all?

Do we see the difference? Do we understand how in the first situation 1 person's opinion (literally, what he thinks) is not enough? Do we understand how in the second situation we now know something is not as impossible as we originally thought, since we have clear evidence that it is in fact possible and has happened?

I also mentioned the irony of a woman who's total thesis is that even though she was capable of success on the battlefield, women should not be allowed on the front lines. That said, I think her writing should be taken into account as part of a whole. Which is not exactly how you characterized my opinion of her. :tjg:

Dufus Mcmisogynist (aka the only people who want women on the battlefield are remnants from the 70's feminist movement) can shove his opinion and uncited and lacking context "facts" up his ass. When someone starts with the agenda of preventing something, and working against it for 2 decades (his own admission, assuming he's at least honest in this), I don't have a lot of time to spend on his "thoughts" on the matter.

Also, I can't believe I'm having to fight this fight alone. There are a few undecideds and noncomittals, but for the most part I'm in this alone. I can only assume it's because this is mostly an American board and you guys are still behind the times by about 30 years or so.

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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by GreenGoo » Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:51 pm

Grifman wrote:Another interesting article from a Marine officer:

http://www.mca-marines.org/gazette/arti ... en-settled" target="_blank

I found the most salient line to be this:
In every people group on Earth women are the smaller/weaker/more compassionate demographic. It defies logic to purposefully integrate women into combat arms where they would face the generally larger/stronger/more violent demographic (men) in the horror of combat. Combat is killing. And those who propose to put women in combat arms fail to consider this basic tenet of warfare: We actively strive for inequality in combat, seeking to press our strength to exploit any weakness in the enemy.
I love that you quoted this. It absolutely expresses everything that is wrong with keeping women from combat.

Just like not all men are cut out for front line duty (despite being the larger/stronger/more violent demographic), neither are all women. But some women are violent. Some women are big. Some women are strong. But that's not the only or even necessary traits it takes to be a good warrior.

The venn diagram of suitable combatants might be mostly filled with men, but there is overlap with women. It exists. I know this because my country has them. Yours does too you just haven't admitted it to yourselves yet. Reality defies logic I guess.

The quote mentions the "horror of combat" like that has some meaning the reader doesn't understand and failed to consider. Geezus how completely condescending. I have taken it into consideration. So have the women that must face it. Especially them. Who is he talking to? Congress?

The quote literally says "of course women can't be in combat. Duh".

Well I say "duh" right back.

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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by GreenGoo » Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:33 pm

Grifman wrote:I look forward to Greengoo actually engaging these arguments from an active service female Marine/

You serious, Clarke?

Do you want me to do it line by line or what? I'm not writing an article in opposition. I'm not qualified or interested.

Some of what she says is valid. Some of it is opinion. Some of it is her personal experience. Which, while valuable, is called anecdotal. Google gives me lots of anecdotes. Should we add them up and base military policy on that? If there is something you think is particularly worthy of attention, let me know and I'll tell you what I think about it.

I'm glad she served, I'm glad she was a capable, strong leader and I'm glad we have her writings to source from.

Women shouldn't be prevented from fighting because they are women. They should be prevented from fighting because they can't pass the standards. I don't expect a huge number of women to line up for the infantry, and I expect even fewer to make it. But some will. And they should be allowed to kill people if they want to.

We keep talking about this as a hypothetical. What will happen. We know what will happen. They will be just as good or bad, suffer from cowardice or extreme bravery, they will be cool under fire or lose it, they will behave exactly as men have for centuries in such conditions. Not because they are the same, but because they are people, and that's how people react/behave/perform.

Just open the door, and the ones that qualify get to fight. Those that don't, don't. Everybody wins.

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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by GreenGoo » Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:56 pm

Here's some opinion pieces in Canada that have sprouted up with this turn of events down south.

I post them for interest only, and not as proof of anything. They are opinion pieces. Read them or not, as you will. You might be interested in how some of our media approaches the question of women in combat.

Globe and Mail - Discusses minimum fitness levels, gender blind evaluation (no cites, just author stating it as fact. Beats me if it's true).

Wall Street Journal - Guess this is how some of your media reports things. Discusses some pro's, some con's of women in combat, with anecdotal evidence specific to a few women serving in Canada. General interest article, not a report of women in combat.

CBCNews - Propaganda bit touting our "progressive" ways. :D Mentions that we had 225 female members in regular combat forces and almost 1000 in reserve combat units in 2006 I think.

National Post - I think this is a pretty fair piece. Talks about some of the less proud moments, such as resistance within the military and that fully integrating women was forced upon them from outside (i.e. political intervention). Talks about the movement towards acceptance and eventual expectation that women serve in combat. RMC (Royal Military College) is our equivalent to your West Point, I believe.

That's just a quickie search of some new and old articles about Canada only. I'm sure the other countries have their own stories.

Read them or don't. I don't expect them to change anyone's mind, but hopefully it will be interesting to see what is showing up in the media, since your media seems so negative right now.

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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by Anonymous Bosch » Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:48 pm

GreenGoo wrote:
Anonymous Bosch wrote:FWIW Grifman, I posted Capt. Petronio's article back on the second page of this thread.

And while Greengoo believes "a woman qualifying for a silver star" should be compelling, when it comes to a female Marine Captain with front line combat experience expressing concern about the differences between men and women on the battlefield, he believes "it would be foolish to listen to a single voice as the sole expert on the subject". :wink:
First off, AB engage honestly or go away.
No need to get yer knickers in a knot Greengoo, it was intended as a wee bit of flippant ribbing (hence the emoticon) while letting Grifman know that one of his articles had already been brought up earlier in the thread.
"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." -- Daniel Webster

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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by GreenGoo » Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:57 pm

Anonymous Bosch wrote:
GreenGoo wrote:
Anonymous Bosch wrote:FWIW Grifman, I posted Capt. Petronio's article back on the second page of this thread.

And while Greengoo believes "a woman qualifying for a silver star" should be compelling, when it comes to a female Marine Captain with front line combat experience expressing concern about the differences between men and women on the battlefield, he believes "it would be foolish to listen to a single voice as the sole expert on the subject". :wink:
First off, AB engage honestly or go away.
No need to get yer knickers in a knot Greengoo, it was intended as a wee bit of flippant ribbing (hence the emoticon) while letting Grifman know that one of his articles had already been brought up earlier in the thread.
No worries. I sensed it but this topic has me up in arms, so to speak.

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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by gbasden » Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:25 am

GreenGoo wrote:Also, I can't believe I'm having to fight this fight alone. There are a few undecideds and noncomittals, but for the most part I'm in this alone. I can only assume it's because this is mostly an American board and you guys are still behind the times by about 30 years or so.
Sorry, my lack of support has been caused solely by a lack of time. I completely agree with you and believe you have been doing a fantastic job in fighting the good fight. I have a female friend who has been an MP in the Army for over 10 years now, including two tours in Afghanistan. I believe she'd do a fantastic job as infantry.

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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by Quaro » Thu Jan 31, 2013 3:56 am

I'm kinda surprised and amused by the basis of many of the arguments here too, just don't care enough to bother.

FWIW, nobody is arguing that combat standards should be lowered. Panetta said that clearly.

But some of you are apparently arguing that the armed forces be legally prohibited from choosing a woman for a position, even if they think they are the best candidate.

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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by Anonymous Bosch » Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:58 am

Quaro wrote:FWIW, nobody is arguing that combat standards should be lowered.
I'm left with a dinstinctly different impression when I see General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, making comments like this:
General Martin Dempsey wrote:Importantly, though, if we do decide that a particular standard is so high that a woman couldn't make it, the burden is now on the service to come back and explain to the secretary, why is it that high? Does it really have to be that high?
Which is exactly what Major Judith Webb was referring to re: the British Army meeting gender equality requirements.

Let's not forget the whole argument in the first place for putting female soliders on the front line was that it otherwise limits womens' abilities to receive promotions and pay increases, thereby making it discriminatory, because to be a General typically requires combat experience. However, if you can't see the possibility of that same argument being applied when it turns out there's just one or two women out of the entire armed forces that are capable of passing the Marine IOC, for example, you simply aren't paying attention. They may not refer to it as lowering or reducing standards, but they'll simply be "modified" as Marine Captain Katie Petronio brought up.
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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by GreenGoo » Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:22 am

The question I would ask is, why isn't it higher?

If we all agreed to raise the requirements, would that change anything? If the military said "we're allowing women to join combat units, but we're raising the bar to ensure we don't get any duds" would everyone be ok with that?

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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by raydude » Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:39 am

gbasden wrote:
GreenGoo wrote:Also, I can't believe I'm having to fight this fight alone. There are a few undecideds and noncomittals, but for the most part I'm in this alone. I can only assume it's because this is mostly an American board and you guys are still behind the times by about 30 years or so.
Sorry, my lack of support has been caused solely by a lack of time. I completely agree with you and believe you have been doing a fantastic job in fighting the good fight. I have a female friend who has been an MP in the Army for over 10 years now, including two tours in Afghanistan. I believe she'd do a fantastic job as infantry.
I put my two cents in on gamingtrend's thread. I think in the end that the military will sort it out and women will be fighting effectively in combat in one way or another. The military hasn't collapsed yet after allowing african-americans, asians, and gay people to fight. And at some time in the past arguments were made for each one that are similar to the arguments being made against women now.

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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by Gavin » Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:28 pm

Anonymous Bosch wrote:FWIW Grifman, I posted Capt. Petronio's article back on the second page of this thread.

And while Greengoo believes "a woman qualifying for a silver star" should be compelling, when it comes to a female Marine Captain with front line combat experience expressing concern about the differences between men and women on the battlefield, he believes "it would be foolish to listen to a single voice as the sole expert on the subject". :wink:
Why should it be compelling? An example is not aggregate data. At this end, we literally know that women are less fit for the task physically. It's not even a question so much as biological fact. Women aren't dumb and they are capable. They can do great jobs in military activities but that doesn't mean physical strength doesn't make a difference.

The only real question is whether or not it will make a difference. My claim is that it will make a difference in certain situations and that's enough to not allow it. Instead, give women alternate paths to leadership rather than risking lives for the sake of PR induced-equality.

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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by Anonymous Bosch » Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:31 pm

raydude wrote:I put my two cents in on gamingtrend's thread. I think in the end that the military will sort it out and women will be fighting effectively in combat in one way or another. The military hasn't collapsed yet after allowing african-americans, asians, and gay people to fight. And at some time in the past arguments were made for each one that are similar to the arguments being made against women now.
Were physical and physiological standards and requirements altered for the integration of black, Asian, or homosexual candidates into the military though? Otherwise, how are the arguments similar in any way to the concerns that have been raised, in at least one example by a female Marine Captain with front line combat experience, in this thread?
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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by GreenGoo » Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:41 pm

Gavin wrote: Why should it be compelling? An example is not aggregate data. At this end, we literally know that women are less fit for the task physically. It's not even a question so much as biological fact. Women aren't dumb and they are capable. They can do great jobs in military activities but that doesn't mean physical strength doesn't make a difference.
It's compelling because it's an example of success. Once we have an established example of success, the doomed to failure/it's impossible argument loses ground. It should collapse completely after many, repeated examples but apparently that's not good enough. Women are weaker then men so they are a poor substitute in battle. Q.E.D.

As far as demographics are concerned, yes, women are in general less fit for combat. But we don't put all men on the front line and we won't be putting all women on the front line. At which point we need to care about individual performance, not aggregate across entire demo. So your men are stronger than women argument is less interesting, less useful and less applicable that you think it is.

The "question" is not whether women are physically as strong as men. The "question" is whether women can perform satisfactorily (the only measurement we use for excluding men or not) on the frontlines. Multiple examples tell us that yes, women can perform this job satisfactorily. In fact, we have examples of women performing beyond expectations. So far beyond that they are receiving medals for valor. So apparently not all women are doomed to failure, causing the deaths of themselves and others, just by existing on the frontline.

Unless you feel the medals are also politically motivated, then...I don't know what to say to that.

You are literally changing the question from competence in battle to physical prowess. Worse still, after you change the question, you beg it. Which makes it clear why you think your position is self evident but does little to address the actual situation.

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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by GreenGoo » Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:50 pm

Anonymous Bosch wrote:Were physical and physiological standards and requirements altered for the integration of black, Asian, or homosexual candidates into the military though? Otherwise, how are the arguments similar in any way to the concerns that have been raised, in at least one example by a female Marine Captain with front line combat experience, in this thread?
I agree that they are not identical situations.

I would argue that the differences in physiology have simply given many bigots the appearance of legitimacy they can latch onto in the hopes that no one notices they simply don't want women in combat.

edit: I wasn't as clear here as I would have liked. I think the physiological concerns are valid and need to be examined in the states, as they have been in other countries. So I think examining and bringing this topic up is valid and not inherently bigotted. I think some bigots are trying to legitimize their bigotry by expressing it through concern about physiology. That's a separate issue.

Please read carefully, so there is no misunderstanding. I do not make this claim of anyone in this thread. I hear it in the voices and words of many people though. Military people. People on the street. Politicians.

The marine guy who's article has come up a few times is clearly dancing around his personal dislike of women in combat. Another article of his I stumbled acrossed accused a female officer (senior to him, I think) of being attractive and that it was somehow her fault that he found it distracting. This is the same argument used to excuse rape by many. I'm sorry, but if you have so little control over your biological urge to reproduce that you would fail to fulfill your duties because of it, you don't deserve to be in a position of authority. WTF. We all want to fuck, but who the hell would lose sight of their responsibilities in the middle of a firefight because the person beside you "looks nice"? Farcical.

So many comments out there that don't even try to hide their bigoted nature. Worse, some of these comments are coming from (or purported to be) some women themselves. Some women are so sure of their inferiority that they do not want to allow other women to even try (and by try, I mean apply, train, qualify and fight, not just put a gun in their hand and hope for the best). That is messed up.
Last edited by GreenGoo on Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by noxiousdog » Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:03 pm

Ok. Looking at some numbers.
Panetta's move expands the Pentagon's action nearly a year ago to open about 14,500 combat positions to women, nearly all of them in the Army. This decision could open more than 230,000 jobs, many in Army and Marine infantry units, to women.
So, theoretically, 230,000 out of 2.3 million.

According to About.com women make up 20% of the military. So if the same ratio holds, we're looking about 2% of the combat forces being women.

Since it's already being done to a great degree, those seem like large enough numbers for it to be worth while, and small enough numbers that there would be enough qualified participants.

As long as it doesn't become an affirmative action situation, (we need to boost our male/female ratio) I see no problem with it.
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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by GreenGoo » Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:25 pm

Our numbers aren't even as good as yours. I think our military is only 12-13% women. Not sure about fighting women, but the number I saw quoted was 225 (including armour, infantry and artillery(?) I think). That is not a lot of women, especially since artillery and armour are even farther removed from the rigors of frontline infantry work.

We've only lost 1 infantry fighting woman so far, but it's such an event that she is almost a celebrity posthumously, I'm sad to say. There have been complaints from some of the fighting women that commanders are still loathe to put them in harm's way, which as you can imagine for someone who has trained mentally and physically for combat, is frustrating for them. This is not a failing of the women but a failure at a leadership level. A tiny failure though, considering how few women there are to deploy. Still, as younger generations replace older commanders, I expect that sort of behaviour to be reduced.

A couple of factoids.

My wife is against women on the frontline. I pressed her and her answer was somewhat incoherent. I let it go because I have to live with her. You guys, you get the full deal. ;)

At one point the Israeli president (don't even remember which one) in response to complaints from women wanting to be in combat, said something to the effect that "they should be home knitting where they could be of some use". Paraphrased, but pretty close. I didn't ugly it up, those are nearly his words.

Can you imagine Obama saying that? I think I'd pay money to see that and watch the fallout. Would be a thing of apocalyptic beauty.

edit: Ok the quote was bothering me, so I went and looked it up. Different, but the spirit is the same. And it was for fighter pilots.
wiki wrote: In November 8, 1995, while she was a student of aeronautics at the Technion as part of the academic reserve, Alice Miller appealed to the Israeli Supreme Court after being turned down for the pilot selection phase in the Israeli Air Force flight academy. Following her appeal, Israeli president Ezer Weizman, a former IAF commander, made chauvinistic comments that ridiculed the idea of women as fighter pilots: "Listen maideleh, have you ever seen a man knitting socks? Have you ever seen a female surgeon or a female being a conductor of an orchestra? Women are not able to withstand the pressures required for fighter pilots."[18] The Israeli Supreme Court eventually ruled in 1996 that the IAF could not exclude qualified women from pilot training. Even though Miller did not pass the exams, the ruling was a watershed, opening doors for women in the IDF.[13]
Of note is the woman did not pass the exams and was unable to become a fighter pilot. Problem solved. Woman was not held back by men because she was a woman. Her lack of aptitude for the position kept her out of the role so no one was hurt by her lack of ability. Everybody happy.

Later qualified women do become fighter pilots. Go capable women!
Last edited by GreenGoo on Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by Isgrimnur » Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:27 pm

Obama? No. Cheney? Absolutely.
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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by Rip » Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:52 pm

GreenGoo wrote:The question I would ask is, why isn't it higher?

If we all agreed to raise the requirements, would that change anything? If the military said "we're allowing women to join combat units, but we're raising the bar to ensure we don't get any duds" would everyone be ok with that?
As long as you could get enough to fill the billets. Given the number of people that are seeing mutiple combat rotations I would say they are having trouble filling the billets already.

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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by Rip » Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:54 pm

raydude wrote:
gbasden wrote:
GreenGoo wrote:Also, I can't believe I'm having to fight this fight alone. There are a few undecideds and noncomittals, but for the most part I'm in this alone. I can only assume it's because this is mostly an American board and you guys are still behind the times by about 30 years or so.
Sorry, my lack of support has been caused solely by a lack of time. I completely agree with you and believe you have been doing a fantastic job in fighting the good fight. I have a female friend who has been an MP in the Army for over 10 years now, including two tours in Afghanistan. I believe she'd do a fantastic job as infantry.
I put my two cents in on gamingtrend's thread. I think in the end that the military will sort it out and women will be fighting effectively in combat in one way or another. The military hasn't collapsed yet after allowing african-americans, asians, and gay people to fight. And at some time in the past arguments were made for each one that are similar to the arguments being made against women now.
I don't recall any of those being proven scientifically inferior from a physical perspective.

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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by GreenGoo » Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:59 pm

Rip wrote:
GreenGoo wrote:The question I would ask is, why isn't it higher?

If we all agreed to raise the requirements, would that change anything? If the military said "we're allowing women to join combat units, but we're raising the bar to ensure we don't get any duds" would everyone be ok with that?
As long as you could get enough to fill the billets. Given the number of people that are seeing mutiple combat rotations I would say they are having trouble filling the billets already.
So you're saying it's ok to lower (or keep them low) the requirements if there is a shortage of personnel? I'd agree with that.

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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by Rip » Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:05 pm

GreenGoo wrote:
Rip wrote:
GreenGoo wrote:The question I would ask is, why isn't it higher?

If we all agreed to raise the requirements, would that change anything? If the military said "we're allowing women to join combat units, but we're raising the bar to ensure we don't get any duds" would everyone be ok with that?
As long as you could get enough to fill the billets. Given the number of people that are seeing mutiple combat rotations I would say they are having trouble filling the billets already.
So you're saying it's ok to lower (or keep them low) the requirements if there is a shortage of personnel? I'd agree with that.
There really is no other way. In fact one would think the requirements would be reviewed occasionally and optimized to meet manpower requirements. I am pretty sure even those who would rather not have a woman fighting at their side would prefer that over having no one at your side.

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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by GreenGoo » Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:26 pm

I agree with the idea that that requirements to qualify should be part of the manning planning. And just reviewing them to make sure they are testing what you think they are testing, and that what you think you are testing is still valid to do the job. Hopefully they aren't still testing their ability to dual wield axes, for example. :D

That absolutely should be part of a pro-active, world leading military planning and execution.

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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by PLW » Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:40 pm

Let's say we had some objective definition of "physically capable of sustaining the rigors of combat", but that it was impossible to measure directly. Instead, we have some medley of imperfect measures of this (mile time, # of pushup, # of chin-ups, etc), and we want to qualify everyone who we judge to be above that standard with probability above some threshold (say 95% sure they satisfy it). I think this is pretty much the current state of affairs.

Given the underlying differences in the distributions of abilities, differences in selection into taking the test, and differences in the mapping between our objective and outcomes we can actually measure, I think it is extremely unlikely that the optimal qualification thresholds on the imperfect tests would be the same for men and women. Probably, some should be higher and some should be lower, but it's not impossible that all should be lower.

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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by Gavin » Thu Jan 31, 2013 3:07 pm

GreenGoo wrote:
Gavin wrote: Why should it be compelling? An example is not aggregate data. At this end, we literally know that women are less fit for the task physically. It's not even a question so much as biological fact. Women aren't dumb and they are capable. They can do great jobs in military activities but that doesn't mean physical strength doesn't make a difference.
It's compelling because it's an example of success. Once we have an established example of success, the doomed to failure/it's impossible argument loses ground. It should collapse completely after many, repeated examples but apparently that's not good enough. Women are weaker then men so they are a poor substitute in battle. Q.E.D.
I'm not saying that women are inept or incapable of awesomeness. I'm saying that there are situations that women soldiers could face that their physical differences could play a significant enough factor to harm the unit. Can you say that one success accounts for all scenarios? Did she exhibit some kind of extreme strength that the average male soldier could not do?

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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by GreenGoo » Thu Jan 31, 2013 3:26 pm

I'm saying less people are going to be killed in these hypothetical situations you mention than are killed by friendly fire. Friendly fire events are typically human error. So these standards that we're talking about already allow for individuals that fail and cause deaths. This not a reason to allow more deaths, but it does illustrate that people die despite our best intentions, even when no enemy is involved.

Now we need to decide whether the hypothetical situations you reference are significant enough to be statistically meaningful. Do I think there will come a time when a woman can't lift a heavy girder off a man after the building they are in collapses from mortar fire? Maybe. Do I think there will come a time when a man can't lift a heavy girder off a man after the building they are in collapses from mortar fire? Maybe. Is the difference between the man and woman in this hypothetical situation a reason to keep women out of combat roles? According to you, yes.

I disagree.

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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by Gavin » Thu Jan 31, 2013 3:58 pm

GreenGoo wrote:I'm saying less people are going to be killed in these hypothetical situations you mention than are killed by friendly fire. Friendly fire events are typically human error. So these standards that we're talking about already allow for individuals that fail and cause deaths. This not a reason to allow more deaths, but it does illustrate that people die despite our best intentions, even when no enemy is involved.
What? I'm having trouble following this paragraph after reading it a few times.
Now we need to decide whether the hypothetical situations you reference are significant enough to be statistically meaningful. Do I think there will come a time when a woman can't lift a heavy girder off a man after the building they are in collapses from mortar fire? Maybe. Do I think there will come a time when a man can't lift a heavy girder off a man after the building they are in collapses from mortar fire? Maybe. Is the difference between the man and woman in this hypothetical situation a reason to keep women out of combat roles? According to you, yes.

I disagree.
I'm saying that slower and weaker can cause all kinds of problems where strength and speed are required, including the soldier's own peril.

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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by PLW » Thu Jan 31, 2013 4:03 pm

Gavin wrote: I'm saying that slower and weaker can cause all kinds of problems where strength and speed are required, including the soldier's own peril.
This is true by definition. But it tells us little useful about how to select soldiers, or else would simply limit the job to Olympic decathletes.

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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by Gavin » Thu Jan 31, 2013 4:11 pm

PLW wrote:
Gavin wrote: I'm saying that slower and weaker can cause all kinds of problems where strength and speed are required, including the soldier's own peril.
This is true by definition. But it tells us little useful about how to select soldiers, or else would simply limit the job to Olympic decathletes.
The Olympics seperate out men and women so that it's fair.

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