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Women on the Front Lines

I'm listening to World Have Your Say on NPR (great program) and this is the question of the day. It is clear that cultural differences are the primary factor in people's disagreements. In many cultures there is the assumption that females will want to marry and have children. But here, in America, we don't all do that. Granted, women who do not follow this path are in the minority. But also, women who have a desire to fight in the military are definitely in the minority. So let's think about this.

For the military of the US, I have an opinion. For other nations, I do not. I think that American women should be allowed to serve. But I have more specifications. One woman on the program pointed out that men don't bond as well if there are women around. I have to agree with that, and extend it to women as well. Women don't bond as well if men are around. For combat, bonding and cohesiveness within a unit is important. Black male fighting units gained respect by their performance. Now let us have female units that gain respect by theirs.

Imagine a group of women for whom fighting for their nation is more important than having children, or more important for them than coming home to their children. In many cultures, these women would be considered sick in the head. But I see them as a formidable fighting force. In Palestine they would be suicide bombers. If you could have a group of women who train together and fight together, and share a certain set of values, you might have an incredibly devastating fighting force. Allow these women to bond, without men around. Female commanders. Then send them out.

I'm not advocating for mixing men and women in units on the front line. I know that we're doing it, and I know that those women are exceptional fighters. Any female who can tolerate the abuses of training with packs of young men is extra-tough. But I think that the loss of cohesion and added distraction from mixing genders in units is greater than the gain in numbers or strength.

I'm advocating for letting those few women who desire to fight to do so in elite female units. Imagine too what a terrible humiliation it would be for a fighting force of sexist men to be trashed by a pack of women. It would be useful psychologically and could be used to turn around entrenched situations.

Of course I can imagine that should this unit of women be captured they would be systematically raped/tortured. This type of unit would need special strategies for dealing with such an event, to avoid the reverse psychological advantage that could be taken by captors. These women might be expected to fall on their swords or otherwise demonstrate their invincibility in the face of the attack of the phallus.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Feb. 17th, 2010 09:33 pm (UTC)
I'm all for equality. If someone can do the same job then they are welcome to do so. There are female fire fighters round here and they do the same tests as the men and they can do the job and that's fine. The Russians in WWII used all female units and they were pretty careful not to get captured, they used the obvious technique, fight like crazy to the death.

My Ranger boss is all in favor too. There are aspects of the job that are designed to require strength, but that's because the people doing the job are mostly men and choose to do it that way.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )



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