When it comes to the defence of the country, men are expected to sacrifice their lives for ‘Queen and country’. During World War I xx men died, during World War II xx men died. In the interests of equality should we send only women into future battles until the same number of women have been killed as the men during the two world wars?
It is interesting to compare the financial treatment of a war veteran injured in the Falklands war by horrific burns, with the fact that laws have been changed to give women large compensations, from the Ministry of Defence, for the loss of earnings as a result of pregnancy when they have voluntarily entered into contracts of employment which regulate this.
The soldier, Simon Weston, was paid nothing in compensation except for his normal pension. The mother was paid £150,000 (typically) for unfair dismissal. In fact the total service personnel employer liability claim for 1994/5 was £14.3M with 298 settled claims where e.g. injury and damages could be proved to be the fault of MOD negligence. However the total refund given to the approximately 300 women who were pregnant totalled £50M.
Men and women have to comply with unequal physical training standards. The MOD reports the following for the Army:
Heaves Sit-ups Run
Men 2 1 min 1.5 miles in 12.5 mins
Women 2 1 min 1.5 miles in 15 mins
Physical Training Standard [army] must be achieved on leaving
Heaves Sit-ups Run
Men 6 3 mins 1.5 miles in 10.5 mins
Women 12 modified 2mins 40secs 1.5 miles in 12.5 mins
This story ran on page A21 of the Boston Globe on 08/27/97.
Eight good reasons to oppose women in the military, By Mona Charen, 08/27/97
Most of the opinion-shaping press has presented the spectacle of the Virginia Military Institute’s first female cadets as a simple story of feminism triumphant. All people of good will are presumed to be rooting for the plucky little gals as they conquer one of the last bastions of male supremacy – the military. Here are eight reasons that the national consensus on this is wrong.
1.) The male-only tradition at military academies, as in the military services themselves until recently, is not a manifestation of male dominance or an attempt to keep women in second-class status (any more than all-women’s colleges are expressions of female chauvinism). It is based on fundamental differences between the sexes that no amount of political pressure can erase.
2.) Men are physically stronger than women. If women object to that reality, their complaint is with God, not VMI. And while war has become more technological in recent years, physical strength is not yet irrelevant. Men are also more aggressive (though not necessarily meaner). Feminists deny this now, but remember back in the ’70s, when they were arguing that the world would be so much less warlike if women ran things?
War is horrible, and it is devoutly to be hoped that mankind will someday transcend it, as we have outgrown child sacrifice and (nearly everywhere) slavery. But, until that day comes, do we not want the toughest, hardest, strongest, and most aggressive members of society to fight our wars?
3.) Men do not get pregnant or nurse babies. When a woman becomes an insurance adjuster or a CEO, a pregnancy does not represent a catastrophe. But a woman warrior cannot be pregnant. (That’s why the abortion rate is so high on military bases.) Will feminists next argue that keeping babies out of combat constitutes discrimination?
4.) Introducing women into the military complicates morale and discipline problems. A military unit relies on camaraderie and loyalty. The rules against fraternization – widely misunderstood during the recent Kelly Flinn imbroglio – are intended to maintain morale by ensuring that no enlisted man has a close personal friendship with his commanding officer. Friendships can complicate the line of command. If your commanding officer orders you to ”take that hill,” you must believe he is doing it for militarily sound reasons, not because he dislikes you or prefers to save your tent-mate.
How much more forcefully, then, can romantic love, sexual competition and jealousy affect unit cohesion?
5.) And then there is sexual harassment. In our ideological zeal to see women in the military, we have handed the sexual predators of this world a big, beautiful present. Putting young, vulnerable women into the hands of drill sergeants – who exert practically life-and-death control over their lives for a period of time – is asking for what we’ve got: An epidemic of abuse.
6.) Feminists are now attacking military life, claiming on the one hand that there are no relevant differences between the sexes that should exclude women and on the other that the trouble with the military is that it is too ”phallocentric.” Which is it? The feminists do not want strict equality. If they did, they would be protesting the fact that at service academies, women are not required to meet the same training standards as men.
7.) The Israelis tried using women in combat but rejected the policy for several reasons. They found that men were trying to protect the women at the expense of fighting well and that the enemy was fighting harder to avoid the shame of surrendering to women. The culture of one’s potential adversary is a relevant consideration. The United States is not likely to fight Canada.
8.) This is not the first time feminists have claimed – in a sensitive realm – that differences between the sexes are illusory. A generation ago, they argued that differences in sexual attitudes and behavior were merely artifacts of cultural conditioning. Women were as randy as men, they argued, and deserved the chance to prove it.
Twenty-five years later, feminists are refining that view. In fact, some have become so sexually phobic that they’ve defined any unwelcome approach by a man to be ”sexual harassment.” Women are tough enough to fight wars but not able to handle a dirty joke? Hmmm.
Mona Charen is a syndicated columnist.
c Copyright 1997 Globe Newspaper Company.
We receive messages from individuals in the military like this one for example…
“I thought you might want to include a few facts that people might not realise about the forces:
Women are allowed to wear earrings. Men are not.
Men have to have the hair above the collar, and are not to have hair below the “middle of the ear”, this rule does not apply to the hairstyle of women.
Men have to continually cover the posts of women while they are on maternity leave.
Men get no extra leave when their wives have babies.
To be fair there a some women who pull their weight but generally the forces are turning into a loony left organisation where you cant say boo to a goose. Sooner or later we are going to get a rude awakening and probably a great kick up the arse”!