By Matthew T. Hall
June 21, 2013
News that women might be allowed in the U.S. military’s special forces by 2016 stirred up passionate debate among the combat-tested on websites like the Marine Corps Gazette and the Navy Times and arguments on sites such as the Atlantic Wire. As on Twitter, the reaction ranged from “Whoa” and “LOL” to “Score one for equality” and “Welcome to the 21st century.”
From “Get Over It! We Are Not All Created Equal” on Marine Corps Gazette:
Anonymous: Men and women are different and that is by design.
Anonymous: I have served in combat in Panama, Iraq (Desert Storm), Kosovo, Somalia, Iraq (Iraqi Freedom), Afghanistan and many other ops.! My body is a wreck! I have observed male and female alike attempt to exceed their abilities for years. I am now a Chief of Police and I have observed this in law enforcement. Allow the females the chance to succeed but make no concessions in standards for gender (Physical fitness test, height and weight standards, etc.). Equal Opportunity. There are those that can do and those that can’t! Our Military is an all Volunteer so let them! Good Luck!!! De Oppresso Liber!!!!!
Anonymous: The lady is right. Women cannot perform to men’s standards. First there needs to be no gender separation in sports where at least it won’t get people killed. The military is no place for social experimentation and if you support it then you support putting people’s lives at risk for your own social view.
Joe: Oh Yeah - the front line foxhole digging grunt. You’re right, women suck at that, they might break a fingernail or the latrine doesn’t have the proper hand sanitizer, etc. Get over it, today’s military is more about intelligence gathering and hi-tech deployment of smart weapons. President Clinton via baby steps implemented the great social experiment with “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” President Obama rescinded that and allowed openly Gay to serve in our military.... Another social experiment successful.
From “Spec Ops may need to be exempt from integrating women, SOCOM official says” on Navy Times:
Joe Bacarella: The function of U.S. Special Forces is to carry out high risk, clandestine missions. U.S. Special Forces are now extremely effective... Why screw up success? These missions are not politically correct, are not a game, & represent the finest in our military who kill on the orders of their superiors. Methinks this plan to integrate women is not well thought out.
Jeremy Springston: This has the chance to be a rather interesting experiment because finally we have the opportunity to put a definitive end to the debate. If... IF... the powers that be can resist the politics of the issue long enough to devise an objective method of measuring the various intricacies involved, then the results will either vindicate or condemn the idea. Both sides of the argument have valid points and a mere exercise in semantics and preconceived notions should not decide the outcome.
Blake Miles: This isn’t a domestic policy debate. A mistake in this decision making process, which is being pursued for political reasons from within and without the military, could lead to deaths. Tread wisely.
Michael L Stephens: GI Jane. Give them a shot.
Jared Hill: If a woman can meet every physical, mental and emotional demand of this position, bring em on board... otherwise, wash em out just like the majority of men who go to BUDS.
From “Yes, Women Are Ready to Be Navy SEALs — Just Ask the Internet” on Atlantic Wire:
A.T.P.: Why upend the proven doctrine of not letting blacks fight? Oh right, because it was arbitrary and discriminatory.
CptRon: Excluding blacks was arbitrary because there is no physical difference between black men and white men. You cannot say the same for men and women and therefore its not arbitrary.
A.T.P.: On average, there is a difference. But there isn’t a difference in every case. To exclude a women but admit a man when they performed equally well on the same test is arbitrary.
Mark Wolf: Dude... that’s not what we’re saying though! Jesus... On average there’s a HUGE difference, so to make that tiny little exclusion for those women that CAN cope with the physical requirements... that’s asking for trouble. Vikings and Saxons used to have women fighters/leaders... so it is possible. However, it is also rare.
A.T.P.: American women fight, even if they aren’t in combat units. And countries like Canada, Norway, and Israel have women in combat units. It’s not that rare any more.
CptRon: Separate facilities, separate supply needs, special hygiene requirements, different medical consideration ... for what, to assuage the PC needs of civilians?
A.T.P.: Those logistical challenges have largely been solved when it comes to women outside combat units. I think they can be solved with women inside combat units, especially since, as you know the distinction between combat and non-combat is blurred in unconventional warfare.