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Author Topic: On Gender and Combat  (Read 7189 times)

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Offline Paladin

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Re: On Gender and Combat
« Reply #50 on: January 03, 2010, 07:21:54 PM »
Can that same 120 pound woman strap on an additional 120 pounds of armor and equipment, run 15-20 miles in 120F weather, perform hours of shooting excercises, and run back the same 15-20 miles to base, rinse, repeat for 28 days?

yes actually she can. She was in the Army before she started martial arts with the acadamey I was at. I will say nothing further because I realize now that nomatter how much evidence I provide you with you will be stuck in your opinion.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: On Gender and Combat
« Reply #51 on: January 03, 2010, 07:24:10 PM »
I really don't see why a woman couldn't do that with the same skill and endurance of a 120lb male counterpart.

Offline IgnaddioTopic starter

Re: On Gender and Combat
« Reply #52 on: January 03, 2010, 07:28:22 PM »
yes actually she can. She was in the Army before she started martial arts with the acadamey I was at. I will say nothing further because I realize now that nomatter how much evidence I provide you with you will be stuck in your opinion.

Who says my opinion hasn't and will not changed, I mean, outside of you? I was only asking a question. Had I been of the opinion that she could not, I would have said so. The fact of the matter is that I don't know. Hence the question.

Offline Canuckian

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Re: On Gender and Combat
« Reply #53 on: January 03, 2010, 07:28:48 PM »
I really don't see why a woman couldn't do that with the same skill and endurance of a 120lb male counterpart.

Actually, I have to disagree with that.  As was pointed out above, men and women (regardless of their similar weights) have fundamentally different bodytypes when it comes to musculature.  A 5'6 woman who weighs 120lbs is (probably) much healthier overall than a 5'6 man who weighs 120lbs.  A man that light would probably have some serious health issues to deal with.

Now in an attempt to slightly steer the conversation away from trolling and name-calling, here's a question.  How do you people deal with the difference in uniforms required for men and women?  I mean, they're called "uniforms" but they're hardly uniform between the genders.  Men have to wear ties and slacks while women have neck tabs and skirts (with their dress uniforms, that is).

What do you peole make of that requirement between the sexes?

Offline Jude

Re: On Gender and Combat
« Reply #54 on: January 03, 2010, 07:29:44 PM »
yes actually she can. She was in the Army before she started martial arts with the acadamey I was at. I will say nothing further because I realize now that nomatter how much evidence I provide you with you will be stuck in your opinion.
Just because one or two women are capable of the job doesn't mean that enough women are in general in order to justify allowing women to serve in the infantry.  There are drawbacks to allowing both sexes into any division of the military, which have nothing to do with women.

Discipline is easier, you don't need segregated living, hygiene, or dressing facilities.  It's simply easier to give orders to a more homogeneous population.  Then there's the problem of relationships developing that are bad for unit cohesion, female soldiers getting pregnant in the field and needing a discharge (which is a very big issue in the military in certain parts of the world if you pay attention the news).

It's a question of whether or not the benefits exceed the setbacks, which is not situation that an anecdote can clear up.  Anecdotes are, by definition, the exceptional cases.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2010, 07:35:21 PM by Jude »

Offline Paladin

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Re: On Gender and Combat
« Reply #55 on: January 03, 2010, 07:34:01 PM »
Who says my opinion hasn't and will not changed, I mean, outside of you? I was only asking a question. Had I been of the opinion that she could not, I would have said so. The fact of the matter is that I don't know. Hence the question.

My apolagies, this is just a situation that heats me up a bit. I mean no disrespect but from my point of view I call it as I see it.

Offline Oniya

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Re: On Gender and Combat
« Reply #56 on: January 03, 2010, 07:34:45 PM »
Now in an attempt to slightly steer the conversation away from trolling and name-calling, here's a question.  How do you people deal with the difference in uniforms required for men and women?  I mean, they're called "uniforms" but they're hardly uniform between the genders.  Men have to wear ties and slacks while women have neck tabs and skirts (with their dress uniforms, that is).

What do you peole make of that requirement between the sexes?

As that requirement is only for dress uniforms, and isn't expected to be worn in combat, I view it as no different from the 'expectation' that a female CEO is to be seen wearing a skirt-set.  It's a holdover that could probably be done away with much easier than any of the other gender-related distinctions that the military makes.

Offline IgnaddioTopic starter

Re: On Gender and Combat
« Reply #57 on: January 03, 2010, 07:43:52 PM »
Actually, I have to disagree with that.  As was pointed out above, men and women (regardless of their similar weights) have fundamentally different bodytypes when it comes to musculature.  A 5'6 woman who weighs 120lbs is (probably) much healthier overall than a 5'6 man who weighs 120lbs.  A man that light would probably have some serious health issues to deal with.

Now in an attempt to slightly steer the conversation away from trolling and name-calling, here's a question.  How do you people deal with the difference in uniforms required for men and women?  I mean, they're called "uniforms" but they're hardly uniform between the genders.  Men have to wear ties and slacks while women have neck tabs and skirts (with their dress uniforms, that is).

What do you peole make of that requirement between the sexes?

If I recall correctly, the skirts are an optional component, at least in the Navy; slacks are standard issue for men and women. That said, our coveralls are identical, as are the new Navy Working Uniforms, up to and including the buttonholes (I think.). One of the more humorous differences I remember seeing were on Navy Utilities, how the women's rank insignia were smaller than men's. I can't for the life of me recall why that was necessary, except to identify man from woman at a distance.

Offline Zeitgeist

Re: On Gender and Combat
« Reply #58 on: January 03, 2010, 07:50:57 PM »
If I recall correctly, the skirts are an optional component, at least in the Navy; slacks are standard issue for men and women. That said, our coveralls are identical, as are the new Navy Working Uniforms, up to and including the buttonholes (I think.). One of the more humorous differences I remember seeing were on Navy Utilities, how the women's rank insignia were smaller than men's. I can't for the life of me recall why that was necessary, except to identify man from woman at a distance.

This is a fine example of seeing bogey men where there are none. I myself served in the Navy, so I'm not coming out from left field here. The insignia is smaller, likely due to the shirt and sleeve size, rather than by any design to contrast men vs. women. I don't know about anyone else, but even from a distance my eyes would likely use different and more obvious clues to distinguish man vs. woman.

Offline Zeitgeist

Re: On Gender and Combat
« Reply #59 on: January 03, 2010, 07:53:35 PM »
This is a fine example of seeing bogey men where there are none. I myself served in the Navy, so I'm not coming out from left field here. The insignia is smaller, likely due to the shirt and sleeve size, rather than by any design to contrast men vs. women. I don't know about anyone else, but even from a distance my eyes would likely use different and more obvious clues to distinguish man vs. woman.

In addition, the difference in size could very well just be a mechanism for inventory, than any other.

Offline Trieste

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Re: On Gender and Combat
« Reply #60 on: January 03, 2010, 08:02:05 PM »
This is a fine example of seeing bogey men where there are none. I myself served in the Navy, so I'm not coming out from left field here. The insignia is smaller, likely due to the shirt and sleeve size, rather than by any design to contrast men vs. women. I don't know about anyone else, but even from a distance my eyes would likely use different and more obvious clues to distinguish man vs. woman.

A woman in a baggy coverall with her hair braided up and under a cap who is too far away to make out facial features can easily be mistaken for a man.

I... fail to see why you would need to identify a man from a woman that readily, though. I suspect it really does have to do with narrower shoulder widths and less flat room on the chest.

My opinion is that both women and men should be allowed to prove themselves if they want to. If a woman wants to join up and do her best to keep up with the boys, who the heck has the right to stand in her way? And if she can't do it, tell her she's got to go or let her retry it as many times as men are allowed to. My opinion is that most women wouldn't want to, but if they can do this ...

Can that same 120 pound woman strap on an additional 120 pounds of armor and equipment, run 15-20 miles in 120F weather, perform hours of shooting excercises, and run back the same 15-20 miles to base, rinse, repeat for 28 days?

... then she's earned her right to serve in whatever position those men can.

Offline IgnaddioTopic starter

Re: On Gender and Combat
« Reply #61 on: January 03, 2010, 08:05:22 PM »
I had only intended it as a joke; simply a humorous observation that I and my male divisionmates used to haze the women. And yes, we made fun of each other as well; no one was excluded from ribbing about this or that, from job performance to personal failings, as far as I'm concerned it was all in good fun.

But back to the subject at hand, has anyone been able to find a resource that can support their argument? I'd hate to see this thread get locked for lack of their use. I'm still trying to find a resource of "healthy" height and weight, and outside a calculator that predicted 160 pounds was a healthy weight for me (at six feet, five inches), I am not having much luck.

Offline Paladin

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Re: On Gender and Combat
« Reply #62 on: January 03, 2010, 08:13:20 PM »
Thats just it I am Proof The Man was My Instructor.. as was the Woman.

Offline Kotah

Re: On Gender and Combat
« Reply #63 on: January 03, 2010, 08:17:33 PM »
Can that same 120 pound woman strap on an additional 120 pounds of armor and equipment, run 15-20 miles in 120F weather, perform hours of shooting excercises, and run back the same 15-20 miles to base, rinse, repeat for 28 days?

The real question here, is if she CAN- would you deny her the right to do so?

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Re: On Gender and Combat
« Reply #64 on: January 03, 2010, 08:23:12 PM »
The real question here, is if she CAN- would you deny her the right to do so?

I believe the term here should be... HELLL NOOO

Offline Sure

Re: On Gender and Combat
« Reply #65 on: January 03, 2010, 08:36:05 PM »
The problem here is that there are no hard statistics on women's performance in combat because... women are rarely sent into combat. If they are, it is ad hoc and usually the side doesn't admit it, which lends itself poorly to studies.

The only time I have heard arguments about why women shouldn't be in combat backed by statistics was in a study (which did not actually comment on whether this was right or not) which mentioned some information from the IDF. The IDF found that:
1.) When female soldiers were wounded or killed in combat, a significant number of men would both become less likely to obey orders, harder to control, more aggressive, and more likely to attempt to kill the enemy.
2.) Members of groups such as Hamas etc etc were significantly less likely to surrender to a woman and less intimidated by women.

The source is David Grossman's On Killing.

That being said, those are more an indicator of attitudes and sexism rather than of anything inherent about women, in my opinion. Regardless, this remains the only study I have ever heard of (and I looked into it quite a bit a while ago) that justifies women being excluded from combat positions. I couldn't find any studies in support of it. So, personally, I'm inclined to think they're not really out there...

I'm for allowing women into combat positions, by the way.

Offline IgnaddioTopic starter

Re: On Gender and Combat
« Reply #66 on: January 03, 2010, 08:44:53 PM »
The real question here, is if she CAN- would you deny her the right to do so?

I wouldn't call that a right. A job is not a right, by any stretch of the imagination.

But if it were up to me, and it were something I could know about someone without having to expend the time and money attempting to train the other women that could not, certainly not. That said, I also do not know the cost of training a soldier in the infantry MOS (I believe it's somewhere around $40,000 for the seventeen week school, but cannot back that up with a reference.) I also don't know the ratio of women physically capable of the job compared to those that are not. If I had to guess, though, I would say the cost of attempting to train the ones that cannot is sufficient to warrant the exclusion of the entire gender.

Offline Kotah

Re: On Gender and Combat
« Reply #67 on: January 03, 2010, 08:50:00 PM »
Would you then also apply that to men that actively want to take part in a mostly female profession?

Offline IgnaddioTopic starter

Re: On Gender and Combat
« Reply #68 on: January 03, 2010, 09:04:00 PM »
If there exists a profession where men face a high attrition rate, their training, while prohibitively expensive is funded by the government (or a similar agency not funded by the person being trained), then certainly I could see the value in excluding them as a potential candidate for the job in question.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: On Gender and Combat
« Reply #69 on: January 03, 2010, 09:08:25 PM »
I wouldn't call that a right. A job is not a right, by any stretch of the imagination.

But if it were up to me, and it were something I could know about someone without having to expend the time and money attempting to train the other women that could not, certainly not. That said, I also do not know the cost of training a soldier in the infantry MOS (I believe it's somewhere around $40,000 for the seventeen week school, but cannot back that up with a reference.) I also don't know the ratio of women physically capable of the job compared to those that are not. If I had to guess, though, I would say the cost of attempting to train the ones that cannot is sufficient to warrant the exclusion of the entire gender.

So with no notion of how much it would cost, no notion of how many women would wash out, no notion of the capabilities of the women who would apply and no real idea of the ratios, numbers or anything...you just decline it off hand.  I'm certainly glad this mentality was not present when women had to take over manufacturing jobs for the men during WWII, an area that women were thought to do poorly in since they were physically weaker.  Yet the women produced goods for their fighting men without so much as a hiccup. 

You have been presented with historical examples of women in combat, given personal expierences by people in the military and familiar with the capabilities of women fighting and have also been given examples of women in current jobs that require heavy lifting and manuevering.  All of this evidence combined should be enough to warrant more than an off-hand dismissal.  There is a point where you are ignoring evidence.

Offline IgnaddioTopic starter

Re: On Gender and Combat
« Reply #70 on: January 03, 2010, 09:14:00 PM »
I am ignoring historical evidence of women in combat as they are not examples of women in modern infantry, which is the stance that I took. I have given personal experience of women in the military and found them wanting.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: On Gender and Combat
« Reply #71 on: January 03, 2010, 09:17:53 PM »
I would assume that modern infantry can be a bit more accomodating for people with considerable advances in technology and equipment.  For certain the packs given to soldiers are lighter, along with the body armor and equipment.  So if women can perform in combat from WWII and beyond, then it stands to reason they could measure up in modern warfare as well.  The personal military expierence you gave involved a woman and a door...I'm not quite sure how that stands up compared to that.  Combine this with the fact that there are militaries with women integrated into them and the door becomes less of an issue.

Offline Kotah

Re: On Gender and Combat
« Reply #72 on: January 03, 2010, 09:27:28 PM »
If there exists a profession where men face a high attrition rate, their training, while prohibitively expensive is funded by the government (or a similar agency not funded by the person being trained), then certainly I could see the value in excluding them as a potential candidate for the job in question.

Why, sir, there just so happens to be one!

Nursing. Most nurses receive government grants to take the courses required. In fact, my entire nursing education was paid for -ENTIRELY- by the government. Not becasue I'm poor, but because of... well.. there are initiatives for more nurses out there, many of which are exceedingly easy to fill the requirements.

While fewer men take interest in nursing as women, there is a small population that do want to join the nursing field.

There are also a lot of problems that come up with male nurses. The most common, I have found, is refusal of care from a male nurse. There are a lot of people out there that will refuse any and all care from male nurses. I can't even  begin to count how many extra patients i have had to take because the other nurse was a man. Thus putting extra pressure on the female nurses. Men who take an interest in work are less likely to succeed, and most leave the field within 5 years (there was a study recently published on how dissatisfied male nurses are, and such... but I couldn't find it online to save my life. I read it in RN). There is also a problem with wrongful abuse allegations against male nurses. Men are not allowed to take care of certain female patients with certain disorders, ect.

Show men be disallowed to be nurses?

Offline Jude

Re: On Gender and Combat
« Reply #73 on: January 03, 2010, 09:33:04 PM »
At this point there's a couple of basic partitions separating how people feel on the issue, I think.

1)  There are those who feel like women should be allowed to serve because some women have proven themselves capable.  They don't care what the percentage is or how common these women are, they view it as a right, and a measure of equality.

2)  There are people who believe that some women certainly are capable of serving but also see the drawbacks of having them serve.  They don't know which outweighs which and would need statistics and a lot more research/information to make an opinion.

3)  There are those who believe women should not be allowed to serve because they're simply not as qualified as males are due to gender differences in the body.

I can see the merits of each position but I'm a number 2 myself.  I can't emphasize enough though how utterly useless anecdotal evidence is.  Individual stories are not data, they do not predict trends, only possibilities.  We're dealing with likelihoods when it comes to the consequences of policy, not potentialities.



As far as Kotah's answer goes, I think it's a bit of an invalid comparison to try and relate private sector nursing to public sector armed conflict.  A lot of it also has to do with how you state the question.

Should men be disallowed to be nurses?  No, but discriminating against men when it comes to nursing positions seems like a fair proposal.  I just don't like the idea of the government telling private institutions how to run their businesses in this instance.  If they want to hire male nurses, that's their choice, but I think they should have the right as a corporation to not hire male nurses if females are better suited for the job.

I also wouldn't have the government telling private security forces which do things similar to the military (i.e. Blackwater) that they can't hire females to be infantrymen even if the statistics show it's a bad idea.  So essentially I think the answer is different whether you're talking about private sector vs. public sector and whether or not the hiring practices are determined by the organization itself or by an outside force (i.e. government).
« Last Edit: January 03, 2010, 09:35:06 PM by Jude »

Offline Kotah

Re: On Gender and Combat
« Reply #74 on: January 03, 2010, 09:39:38 PM »
My position, actually, is that if a woman can make it through the training, she should be allowed to serve.

As for how private hospitals are, nurses serve more then just your standard hospital and nursing homes. I've personally worked in VA hospitals for the navy in North Chicago. There are state hospitals funded and run by the government. In fact, most privately owned homes and hospitals are fully dependent on the government. Not to mention the fact that the government sets standards and dictates every part of the care you are going to receive.

It is illegal to discriminate because of sex when you go to hire someone.