Pentagon opens up combat roles for women.

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/pentagon-to-remove-ban-on-women-in-combat/2013/01/23/6cba86f6-659e-11e2-85f5-a8a9228e55e7_story.html

Outgoing Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta has decided to allow women to serve in combat roles, a watershed policy decision that follows years of calls for a fully inclusive military, defense officials said Wednesday.

Well, it seems this has finally happened. About damn time, too. Thoughts? Do you think this is a good idea or a bad one? A change for the better or worse?

Bad news. Not what you think-
Poor gals already have it bad as it is, now some will be stuck in nowhere with a group of guys on patrol. Sexual harassment and rape will go through the roof.
I'm not personally against women in fighting roles, but the prospects are frightening.

Simpsons erttheking did it!

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/18.399223-US-military-to-allow-women-in-direct-combat

Though this seems to be a better place for it, TBH.

Anyway, I say it's a good idea, and the arguments that some men will find the change difficult sound awfully reminiscent of the claims made when openly gay people were allowed to serve, or black people to serve the same as white before that.

thaluikhain:
Simpsons erttheking did it!

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/18.399223-US-military-to-allow-women-in-direct-combat

Though this seems to be a better place for it, TBH.

Honestly, I didn't see that in OT until after I posted this. I did specifically look, I swear! D:

TheIronRuler:
Bad news. Not what you think-
Poor gals already have it bad as it is, now some will be stuck in nowhere with a group of guys on patrol. Sexual harassment and rape will go through the roof.
I'm not personally against women in fighting roles, but the prospects are frightening.

I feel like overall things will be fine but there will be one case where this happens and it will be in the media for months. I have nothing against it but I feel that there may need to be extra protections. I don't know, though. I'm not female so I don't know what their response would be.

TheIronRuler:
Bad news. Not what you think-
Poor gals already have it bad as it is, now some will be stuck in nowhere with a group of guys on patrol. Sexual harassment and rape will go through the roof.
I'm not personally against women in fighting roles, but the prospects are frightening.

I really don't think it will 'go through the roof'. Besides, sometimes, you have to make short-term sacrifices for long-term equality. If said women can meet the physical demands of the job, I don't see a reason for excluding them.

Er, as it stands, there are serious problems with rape and sexual harassment in the US military.

Female service personnel are more likely to be raped by male service personnel than killed by the enemy.

Realitycrash:

TheIronRuler:
Bad news. Not what you think-
Poor gals already have it bad as it is, now some will be stuck in nowhere with a group of guys on patrol. Sexual harassment and rape will go through the roof.
I'm not personally against women in fighting roles, but the prospects are frightening.

I really don't think it will 'go through the roof'. Besides, sometimes, you have to make short-term sacrifices for long-term equality. If said women can meet the physical demands of the job, I don't see a reason for excluding them.

It is already through the roof, more protection is needed. That issue should have already been addressed. Of course women should have never been excluded in the first place, these are two separate issues though the protections should have been " stepped up" all along. From my understanding on the subject, many men at the time women were allowed to serve felt they should " punish the women" by raping and abusing them to make them leave and discourage them from coming there in the first place. They have not implemented enough changes to change that view as of yet, and they are well overdue. The more women speak up on the issue, the less respect they are given. That is how it currenlty works.

It's about darn time they did that.
The only issue I can see is that inevitable sexual harassment between some of the men in the US Army and the newly joined women. Of course, the fault of any non-consensual sexual/erotic activity, when and if it comes up, would lie solely on whoever initiated the activity (Most often being a male). IT would be silly to blame women in the military for being sexually harassed when they had no fault in it.

I am fine with this, although I thought this needed the approval of Congress, or at least the commander in chief. I thought the pentagon didn't have the power to make these kinds of choices.

Lil devils x:

Realitycrash:

TheIronRuler:
Bad news. Not what you think-
Poor gals already have it bad as it is, now some will be stuck in nowhere with a group of guys on patrol. Sexual harassment and rape will go through the roof.
I'm not personally against women in fighting roles, but the prospects are frightening.

I really don't think it will 'go through the roof'. Besides, sometimes, you have to make short-term sacrifices for long-term equality. If said women can meet the physical demands of the job, I don't see a reason for excluding them.

It is already through the roof, more protection is needed. That issue should have already been addressed. Of course women should have never been excluded in the first place, these are two separate issues though the protections should have been " stepped up" all along. From my understanding on the subject, many men at the time women were allowed to serve felt they should " punish the women" by raping and abusing them to make them leave and discourage them from coming there in the first place. They have not implemented enough changes to change that view as of yet, and they are well overdue. The more women speak up on the issue, the less respect they are given. That is how it currenlty works.

It's doubly bad in the case of military rapes, because not only do the women have to deal with the usual "she must have been asking for it/teasing/acting slutty" routine, the Myth of the American Soldier has become so entrenched, so worshipped, that nobody wants to believe that one of their perfect little soldier boys could possibly do anything so terrible. Without public outrage, the military have no incentive to change beyond basic human decency, and you only have to look at the recent occupations in the middle east to see what happens when you rely on the military displaying that quality.

My two cents on the matter, "Well as long as she can carry and use her fifty lb kit (number pulled out my ass) she is more than welcome to the job. If she can do it well. If she can't, well do some push-ups and try again."

Worked for the Russians in WWII. It's not a problem with me, nor should it be for anyone else as long as she is held to the same standards. If she can haul her kit, however much it weighs, she can fight.

Unfortunately the sexual harassment and assault already rampant in the U.S. military will likely rise. We have to do something about that or else we'll probably see a few more friendly fire incidents that aren't quite accidental. Either that or a few soldiers(rapists, really) will wake up with slit throats if they don't get a knife in the gut during the attempt.

as long as they can keep up i dont see an issue plus its worked for numerous countries world wide who have done it.

realistically they should make better fighter pilots and submariners than males

This is a great step forward for the equality movement. Let's just hope they do the sensible thing and keep the requirements the same irregardless of gender.

While I'm fairly skeptical of how this will turn out; I'd think that as long as they don't make standards lower so more women can get in it shouldn't got to poorly.

It's a bit weird when "treat the women as shittily as men get treated" gets applauded by men and women alike as a progressive move.

But hell, it'll make for an interesting social experiment and maybe shut a few people up, on both sides of the feminism debate.
,
As for the increased risk of relationships forming, sexual harassment, etc (>implying this doesn't already happen in male-male interactions) - single-gender battalions should sort that out more or less. Or would that be another "damaging" and "counterproductive" example of "equal but different"?

National Review is in a tizzy this morning. From them:

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/338613/wrong-women-warriors-heather-mac-donald

"We have apparently arrived at the Golden Age, free from strife and the threat of foreign enemies. Little else can explain so gratuitous a decision as to place women in combat units. The downsides to such a policy are legion and obvious; the only reason to pursue it is to placate feminism's insatiable and narcissistic drive for absolute official equality between the sexes."

My own opinion: It is a bad idea but the powers that be will get away with it. Many will suffer dreadfully, but the elite will have won a battle in the radical egalitarian wars. The outcome for the USA as a whole will be negligible. The outcome of our overall military adventures will be largely unchanged by this. I do have to wonder if this will cause women voters to care more about this nation getting into needless foreign adventures (Libya, Kosovo).

It is bad for individuals for pretty much the reasons stated in NRO. Elites will love this though and not care whose lives they destroy.

Women have already been in combat. Many times. It's the new face of warfare and its about time we started admitting that war isn't about two sides lining up in a field anymore.

Batou667:
It's a bit weird when "treat the women as shittily as men get treated" gets applauded by men and women alike as a progressive move.

But hell, it'll make for an interesting social experiment and maybe shut a few people up, on both sides of the feminism debate.
,
As for the increased risk of relationships forming, sexual harassment, etc (>implying this doesn't already happen in male-male interactions) - single-gender battalions should sort that out more or less. Or would that be another "damaging" and "counterproductive" example of "equal but different"?

Well, it's not like women are being forced to serve, they are volunteering for this, same as the men.

I don't think it's much of a social experiment, given that the US is hardly the first First World nation to do this.

Gender segregated units, IMHO, would be counter productive, yes.

They could do what the UK army has been doing lately. Due to shortages in personnel available for frontline action (active assault rather than patrol) they have been asking for people to volunteer for these roles, leading to a number of all female squads (to avoid the usual difference in ability argument) that have been fighting as infantrymen.

If women can serve put them in all female units; no disparity in ability, none of the 'men will be stupid if there's an injured woman' and no men there to risk women when they're out in the field. There's also the benefit that soldier rape is often inside a unit and is unreported because you can't report the person who's watching your back; if he's outside your unit then that doesn't apply and reporting might go up.

I'd assume women soldiers already have their own separate area on base so that shouldn't be a problem per-se. However there should be increases in on base security and help whatever happens.

I wonder why the US has such an appalling military rape record? I did a quick google and only found 1 story of British soldiers raping someone but that was in Germany so not quite the same, is it something to do with the differences in military structure/doctrine or are US female soldiers more likely to report it than their British counterparts (our military rape conviction rape is only 2-3%, less than half the civilian equivalent)

As a female army veteran, I'm both surprised and thrilled to hear this.

Gorfias:
Many will suffer dreadfully, but the elite will have won a battle in the radical egalitarian wars.

Yes, from seeing all of the reactions like yours, it does seem that the butthurt sustained must be rather insufferable. My feelings go out to you.

Chemical Alia:
As a female army veteran, I'm both surprised and thrilled to hear this.

Gorfias:
Many will suffer dreadfully, but the elite will have won a battle in the radical egalitarian wars.

Yes, from seeing all of the reactions like yours, it does seem that the butthurt sustained must be rather insufferable. My feelings go out to you.

I appreciate that. It is a time of being something of a political dhimini. I ought to just keep my mouth shut and what ever happens is going to happen. Somehow, I haven't been able to do so yet. Maybe just getting in position to say, "I told you so." Will that help fix things after they've been violently smashed? I don't know. Hope springs eternal though.

Keep hanging in there.

TheIronRuler:
Poor gals already have it bad as it is, now some will be stuck in nowhere with a group of guys on patrol. Sexual harassment and rape will go through the roof.

That's mostly determined by the professionalism of the armed force in question, and not by allowing women in combat roles or not. It occurs more often in the armed forces true (44% vs 12% as national average, Dutch rates) but research already found that the more hierarchic an organisation is, the more often sexual intimidation occurs. The police of all things reports elevated rates for instance. Some sectors of industry for instance, mostly strongly hierarchic ones or dominated by employees that are bottom of the lower class men, report sexual intimidation rates higher than the military like for instance transportation in the form of train conductors. They often deal with illegal passenger without tickets, and the verbal abuse that comes from those confrontations often involves sexist slurs and that ranks as sexual intimidation. The higher rates in other sectors are suggesting this isn't a military problem.

And it's definately true that the US army has a poor record on these things, but like I said, that's because the US army is relatively poor quality and undisciplined. It's not so much a sexism thing, because for instance the US army is also known for poor peacekeeping skills and the high rate of war crimes, which are results of the same lack of professionalism. It's nothing that can't be fixed. If women in combat roles increases this problem (which I doubt, but for the sake of the argument) the answer would be in increasing discipline. For instance the officers training involved standards on how to deal with reports of unwanted behaviour, as all incidents of breaching codes of conduct are called.


In the meantime, a woman in a combat role, one in my escort unit, is probably a significant contributing factor to the fact that my head is still attached to my body, judging by the number of confirmed dead and injured, so I'm all in favour. ^_^

Gorfias:
National Review is in a tizzy this morning. From them:
http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/338613/wrong-women-warriors-heather-mac-donald

I'd say that if the 1st Conservative Bigots reports staggering amounts of butthurt, that's hardly a worrying report, but hey, that's me.

Blablahb:

And it's definately true that the US army has a poor record on these things, but like I said, that's because the US army is relatively poor quality and undisciplined. .

They are working on the training. Not to worry. I understand a big initiative is to teach young men to be less sensitive to women and their issues:

Example of the matter being reviewed:

http://nailinthehead.hubpages.com/hub/Should-women-join-the-military

That way, for instance, men will be less likely to talk if a sister in arms is raped in front of them in an effort to torture the men into surrendering such information.

Hmmmm. Teaching men to be less sensitive to women's needs. I think it will work! I just don't think it is a good thing.

This is a good thing, yes. They've argued for this for a long time and I have yet to see any convincing argument why they shouldn't be allowed to.

TheIronRuler:
Bad news. Not what you think-
Poor gals already have it bad as it is, now some will be stuck in nowhere with a group of guys on patrol. Sexual harassment and rape will go through the roof.
I'm not personally against women in fighting roles, but the prospects are frightening.

To me this doesn't sound like a problem of where women are allowed to go in the military, and nor is it being solved in any way by women being denied certain positions. It sounds like a problem of structure and discipline--either not having the disciplinary and investigative structure to find these problems when they happen, and infrastructure not set in place to seek out and prevent them from happening. Half the battle in investigating rape and sexual harassment is having a safe environment and system for the victims to seek out when it's occurred.

And again, if rape is already such a problem in the military, it seems keeping women out of certain roles isn't exactly helping matters. Hell, it could be why they've managed to ignore it so long. It's a problem, but it's remained roughly the same size for a very long time, and it hasn't hindered front-line operations. Perhaps when it starts affecting those on the front lines, they'll take it as more of a threat and start being more proactive about it. And I really hope in saying that I don't sound like I'm encouraging more rapes to happen now. I just really hope they do get more proactive before it leads to more victims, sooner rather than later.

Gorfias:
My own opinion: It is a bad idea but the powers that be will get away with it. Many will suffer dreadfully, but the elite will have won a battle in the radical egalitarian wars. The outcome for the USA as a whole will be negligible. The outcome of our overall military adventures will be largely unchanged by this. I do have to wonder if this will cause women voters to care more about this nation getting into needless foreign adventures (Libya, Kosovo).

I'm sorry, but I really don't understand any of this. When you say "Many will suffer dreadfully," do you mean rape and sexual harassment like Iron Ruler was talking about? And what makes you think women have so much to do with the US's involvement in Libya and Kosovo? I don't remember "Invade Libya" being on the ballot. And last I checked most politicians, military commanders, and our commander in chief himself are mostly male. Even if there were some sort of political pandering to happen here (which I don't really see, most women I know are more familiar/concerned with the position of women in the Middle East, and though Libya is close most of them know a lot more about Iran and Saudi Arabia), they could do whatever the hell they wanted to do.

I'm not approving of this until the draft is extended to women as well. Currently, all males age 18 or over in the US have to register with the Selective Service, but of course women don't.

Ravinoff:
I'm not approving of this until the draft is extended to women as well. Currently, all males age 18 or over in the US have to register with the Selective Service, but of course women don't.

You can't draft women into combat if women aren't allowed into combat.

Ravinoff:
I'm not approving of this until the draft is extended to women as well. Currently, all males age 18 or over in the US have to register with the Selective Service, but of course women don't.

I feel the same way, but I think the draft is being avoided because it's sort of a political landmine. I highly doubt the US will be using the draft again after Vietnam except as an extremely desperate measure, however I also doubt enough politicians and military leaders will be willing to summon up the courage to get rid of the system altogether. Ignoring the problem at this point works best to their advantage. Because even mentioning changing the system to include women too would just attract attention to it and give them a whole new shitstorm to deal with.

If the draft is kept, then how do you keep both the mother and the father of a family from getting drafted? How do you decide which of the two goes? How is it going to be handled for same-sex couples and families? What if women get pregnant to avoid getting drafted? If the draft isn't kept, what happens if we need something like it? All of this and more will hit the fan the moment anybody brings it up, and they know it.

Realitycrash:
If said women can meet the physical demands of the job, I don't see a reason for excluding them.

That's a problem I hope they address before it actually goes into affect. As of now Women have lower requirement in their basic training(specifically upper body strength and endurance tests) routines.

OP: I also share Iron Ruler's fear of rape, women will have to have separate barracks at all times or the problems associated with rape or even just pregnancy from intercourse could be an issue for our military. I assume that military has thought through this though. Unlike what most people think there isn't just some machismo act to always be protecting women there are legitimate concerns that start with basic training and end with rape.

While i'm definitely not for the change I'm not against it and I'd hope that a lengthy review process was done, call it sexism if you want but an increase in liberty(if you can really call that a part of your liberty) shouldn't come at the sacrifice of a person life.

Gorfias:

Blablahb:

And it's definately true that the US army has a poor record on these things, but like I said, that's because the US army is relatively poor quality and undisciplined. .

They are working on the training. Not to worry. I understand a big initiative is to teach young men to be less sensitive to women and their issues:

Example of the matter being reviewed:

http://nailinthehead.hubpages.com/hub/Should-women-join-the-military

That way, for instance, men will be less likely to talk if a sister in arms is raped in front of them in an effort to torture the men into surrendering such information.

Hmmmm. Teaching men to be less sensitive to women's needs. I think it will work! I just don't think it is a good thing.

Women soldiers are way, way, way more likely to be raped by their fellow male comrades than by the enemy.

If you're worried about our women in uniform being targeted for sexual assault, turn your crosshairs on male US soldiers, and don't worry so much about their performance in combat.

Well bugger my bumblebees' breadbin, they actually did it. A noble thing to do, but IronRuler nailed it--the US military already has atrocious levels and handling of sexual harassment and assault, and this is only going to make it worse. As bad as I might sound for saying this, I hope that there's one high-profile case that finally gets the ball rolling to bring that harassment in line.

dmase:
OP: I also share Iron Ruler's fear of rape, women will have to have separate barracks at all times or the problems associated with rape or even just pregnancy from intercourse could be an issue for our military. I assume that military has thought through this though. Unlike what most people think there isn't just some machismo act to always be protecting women there are legitimate concerns that start with basic training and end with rape.

Those already are serious issues. A while ago, the US military made it an offence, I think courtmartiallable, for a male soldier to get a female soldier pregnant in Iraq.

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