The decision by outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to lift the ban on women in ground combat is a departure from objective reality. While this policy may seem like a logical step forward in equalizing gender opportunities, it is crucial that the U.S. consider realistic implications. This decision is not only consequential to the readiness, operations, and cost of defense, but also inherently false and contradictory to nature.
This policy change indulges the fallacy that all gender neutrality is progress. To ignore the objective biological differences inherent in gender is naive and detrimental to both women and men in combat.
Physical differences as simple as reduced muscle hypertrophy in women during strength building increases their propensity for injuries such as stress fractures. To be adequately ready and prepared for ground combat operations, women would have to be able to lift and carry a body weighing over 200 lbs in addition to the weight of their personal gear. In the event of sustained combat engagement, the 200+ lbs body might need to be carried for longer periods of time or over longer distances. Naturally lower hemoglobin levels in women reduce their oxygen carrying capacity, which lowers cardiac output and cardiovascular performance.
These physical differences can lead to an increase of gender-specific injuries, especially when physical activity is amplified during combat engagement. Military reports show that few women already qualify for combat.
How did the military respond? “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 that high?” General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in a press briefing. “Does it really have to be that high?”
In other words, Gen. Dempsey is saying that gender standards should be reduced and normalized in order to be “neutral.” As Elaine Donnelly of the Center for Military Readiness observes, “Despite a law mandating ‘gender-neutral’ standards, every military training program open to both men and women is gender-normed in some way.” The normalization of gender is in fact consequential in its application to military combat operations and cannot be overlooked or ignored.
The cost of lowering gender standards is not only the destruction and loss of overall military combat readiness, but also the inevitable loss of lives as a result of being unprepared. “The only way to preserve superior training that prepares men from direct ground combat against the enemy,” Donnelly says, “is to codify updated, reality-based regulations that affirm women’s direct ground combat exemptions.” Gen. James Amos, the Marine Corps commandant, was also reported saying, “We can’t afford to lower standards. We can’t make adjustments on what’s required on the battlefield.”
This is not a civil rights issue, but rather an issue of the repression of culture, society, and development by egalitarian policies that set themselves in opposition to nature and reality. Policies of gender neutrality reject biological and physiological facts for the sake of fabricating artificial conditions.
By ignoring these differences and trying to be blind to gender for the sake of political correctness, Washington partisanship has eclipsed simply being able to hold civil conversations and intellectual dialogue about the true role and value of these physiological differences. This same partisanship has arrested the development of policies that uphold these distinctions and provide for the common good and strong national defense.
Any idea that gender, nature, and progress can be controlled is fallacious and foolish. Policies that inappropriately distort gender distinctions for the sake of egalitarian politics and unrealistic progress threaten the most important pillar to the common good and flourishing of American culture.
Lance McCaskill is a John Jay Fellow and former Management Consultant to the Department of Defense. Image of United States Marine with Tracer machine gun rounds courtesy of Big Stock Photo.
Source: AFF Doublethink Online | Andrew Stiles
Source: AFF Doublethink Online | Kathlyn Ehl