Battleland

Women in Combat: Is It Really That Big of a Deal?

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REUTERS / Lance Cpl. Marionne T. Mangrum / U.S. Marine Corps

Marine Lance Cpl. Stephanie Robertson, in Marjah, Afghanistan,in 2010.

The announcement that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has lifted the ban on women in direct ground combat has brought out the normal pundits who either support it — or who don’t.

What I have found in the more than 10 years I have been studying military sociology — and the 21 years I experienced in the military first-hand — is that the naysayers have probably never worked with dedicated women who only want a chance to serve their country like their male peers.

I am really getting sick and tired of the same old same old arguments, which were the subject of my Master’s thesis in 2003: most of the arguments are speculative and not based on reality.

Further, the con arguments are based on emotion while the pro camp is based on logic… to wit: “Women can’t do combat infantry,” as opposed to “Military jobs should be based on performance, and those who can meet those standards should be able to participate.” This criterion eliminates any gender bias, and is not calling for the lowering of standards, which should be based on realistic performance measures.

I myself was in a military specialty that had previously been all-male until 1974 when a young enlisted woman named Donna Tobias forcefully and successfully graduated from the Second Class Dive School in Little Creek, Va. She then went on to work at the Harbor Clearance Unit as a fleet diver, and then was an instructor at the submarine ascent training tank in Groton, Conn. She later got out of the Navy, received her Master’s degree in special education, and spent the last 25 years of her life mentoring the less than capable beings of our world. They never forgot her.

Five years later, in 1979, the first woman salvage diver, Ensign Susan Trukken, graduated from the Naval School of Diving and Salvage at the Washington Navy Yard. Two women followed in the next class, me and my dive buddy, Martha Herb, who would become the first woman diver to make admiral.

I can tell you from experience that no one gave us any slack. In fact — and Admiral Martha can confirm this, as well as her husband (who was also in our dive class), and my dive buddy, Lieutenant Vern Armstrong, we were given more harassment as students than the men. And we overcame those obstacles.

Women who choose to start infantry training are going to have a hard time. I predict that many will fail, just like in the military diving community. There will never be the percentage of women in the infantry as there are in the total military population, which stands at around 15%. This percentage of women in the military has been pretty stable since 2000.

No one believes all women can do all the jobs that are required in the military combat arms. That is why in the current all-volunteer force, people are given options… and that is why advocates of women’s increased participation in the military always insist that “those who are willing, and capable and can do the job, should be able to compete for those jobs, and they should be based on those criteria, not gender.”

None of us is calling for reduced standards, calling for your little sisters, aunts, and moms, to be drafted into jobs they cannot perform, and for which they do not qualify? We are just asking that women who want to join the military, and serve their country, be allowed, just like men, to serve to the best of their ability and capacity, in the jobs for which they wish to volunteer.

How simple is that? And why is it such a big deal?

30 comments
DStopper29
DStopper29 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

It's no sweat. Pass the same tests men do. There will be no degradation of standards and if the left tries to make that so (as they do with education, entitlements and everything else), there will be resistance at all levels of the military. If the left in this country chooses to reduce standards to make them "reasonable" or "fair," everyone loses -- including these modern-day Gloria Steinem followers.

heather.hall
heather.hall

I agree with you. I don't think it's fair because women can do the same things as guys. I also agree that they never give the women any slack. Women that want to do military should be allowed to do that. Maybe that's what they want to do. I think that if a women's dream job was to be in the military they should be able to that. They should not just tell someone no you can't be in the military just because they are a women. I don't think that right at all, they should let women in the combat.

marquise.walker
marquise.walker

I think that women shouldn't be excluded from 25% of the army duties. Some women aren't forced to join the army like some men used to be, but other women think that they should have the right to serve in combat. I agree that they should, women shouldn't have to wait until 2016 to get a duty within the army's available roles. The ban on women in combat is unnecessary everyone should have the right to do as they wish.

marquise.walker
marquise.walker

I think that women should be able to be drafted into the army it's not fair for women to be excluded from 25% of active duty roles. The army will need more troops for the type of battle crisis's that happen in the u.s. Women don't join the army because they have to like some men but some women feel that they should be able to be in combat maybe because its something different. women shouldn't have to wait until 2016 for open jobs.

joetheragman2
joetheragman2

According to the Washington Post--Prepare to DRAFT WOMEN:

"It is only constitutional to register men for a draft, the Supreme Court ruled more than three decades ago, because the reason for registration is to create a pool of potential combat troops should a national emergency demand a rapid increase in the size of the military. Women were excluded from serving in battlefield jobs, so there was no reason to register them for possible conscription into the armed forces, the court held.Now that front-line infantry, armor, artillery and special operations jobs are open to female volunteers who can meet the physical requirements, it will be difficult for anyone to make a persuasive argument that women should continue to be exempt from registration, said Diane Mazur, a law professor at the University of Florida and a former Air Force officer.

“They’re going to have to show that excluding women from the draft actually improves military readiness,” Mazur said. “I just don’t see how you can make that argument.”

Groups that backed the end of the ban on women in combat also support including women in draft registration as a matter of basic citizenship. Women should have the same civic obligations as men, said Greg Jacob, a former Marine Corps officer and policy director for the Service Women’s Action Network. “We see registration as another step forward in terms of equality and fairness,” Jacob said.

The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., supports draft registration for women, according to his spokeswoman. Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Calif., who heads the House Armed Services Committee, hasn’t made up his mind. McKeon said through a spokesman that he’s awaiting a Defense Department report due in the coming weeks that will assess the legal impact of lifting the ban women in combat on draft registration.

But if you’re worried a draft notice is going to soon be in your mailbox, take a deep breath. There is no looming national crisis that makes a military draft likely.

joetheragman2
joetheragman2

Minimum number of pushups for an Army male age 18 is 42

Minimum number of pushups for an Army female age 18 is 19

LESS than HALF



Read more: http://nation.time.com/2013/02/06/women-in-combat-is-it-really-that-big-of-a-deal/#ixzz2MabxUVro

DStopper29
DStopper29

@joetheragman2 That's just basic training that everyone has to go through -- with the understanding that those women probably won't be pulling triggers. I agree with your thought process however in that if they want to play those roles, the standards must equalize.

joetheragman2
joetheragman2

OK, two women in a squad of ten men. Zero privacy. One woman complains that the men see her naked. Are we going to change the laws on Sexual harassment?

justiceday
justiceday

I'm more concerned with the fact that one in three women who serve is sexually assautled or raped by our own troops.

theusmarinesrapecom

joetheragman2
joetheragman2

@justiceday Hey justice, I have a question: If women are as strong and agressive as men, how do they get raped all the time in one on one encounters? 

NiamhDerbyCountyHughes
NiamhDerbyCountyHughes

So you are suggesting it is the women's faults? Wow. How about we come up with a brilliant new idea? It's this thing that men could learn called SELF CONTROL.

joetheragman2
joetheragman2

@NiamhDerbyCountyHughes I said, if women are as strong and aggressive as men, how to they get raped all the time in one on one encounters? I am not saying anything about lower than scum rapists...i am asking a factual question...

Halward_Then
Halward_Then

Medic5392 brings up the important point here. Anytime someone brings up the physiological differences between men and women or points out that the two genders may not be completely the same or equal in all aspects they are labeled a misogynist. It is a simple fact that standards for women are lower than they are for men, men are expected to operate at a higher physical level then women. This makes sense for the sake of political correctness but the military is not about political correctness as much as people want to make it so. The military is about practicality and combat effectiveness, that shouldn't change. Military decisions should be made from a tactical stand point and not a public relations one. I am completely pro women's rights and equality, I believe that they should be afforded the same opportunities as everyone else but the military isn't about what you have the right to do, and it's not about looking for what the government can do for in spite of what many service members may think. It is about doing whats best for you country and whats best for the service members to the left and right of you out there. I just think that women should be honest with themselves about their physical limitations. If you are unable to physically handle situations that are likely to arise in combat then what you need to consider is whether your putting others in danger through your limitations. It's something an infantryman should consider everyday is whether he is up to the task of keeping his brothers alive. 

E_H_Carpenter
E_H_Carpenter

@Halward_ThenI will be the first to say that there are not only physiological, but psychological differences between men and women, and that anyone who thinks men and women are equal in all respects has never been to a co-ed sauna, a hospital delivery room, or a sumo-wrestling contest. There are physical differences to what the male and female body are capable of; but there are a great more commonalities than there are differences, and within the sphere of Marine infantry, there’s no requirement to birth babies or pack on extraordinary amounts of muscle and fat. What there is are some basic requirements to be able to walk significant distances, to shoot with accuracy, to throw grenades, to use a radio to call for air support, to have an eye for things that look “out of place” (indicators of potential IEDs) and to be able to interact with the local population. Military decisions aren’t made strictly from a tactical standpoint; they must be made with operational and strategic considerations in mind as well. I am all for a common standard for infantry, and higher standards of entry for Special Forces – but gender should not be a disqualifier. As I mentioned in my Duck of Minerva post, those standards already exist, and for normal infantry, the physical tests aren't significantly higher than benchmark standards in other parts of entry-level training - standards which female Marines are already meeting or exceeding. With regards to the higher standards imposed on the Special Forces, will a statistically lower percentage of women pass those tests? Probably. But they should have the opportunity to compete. In fact, having this discussion will hopefully raise other topics, such as whether our current combat loads are too heavy for anyone (man or woman) to be carrying into battle - not a new idea, suggested by S.L.A. Marshall as early as 1950. Or whether all those physically demanding tests actually determine if a person will be good for Spec Ops - Chris Kyle "America's Deadliest Sniper" had 160 confirmed kills over a 10-year career; Soviet sniper Lyudmila Mykhailivna Pavlichenko racked up 309 confirmed kills in just one year - including 36 German snipers. And she was not an anomaly - there are at least 44 other female Soviet snipers who racked up 50+ confirmed kills - apparently someone forgot to tell them that they were not qualified to serve...

Nudelmann
Nudelmann

 @E_H_Carpenter If you're going to base skill solely on kill counts you're ignoring the deadliest sniper in all of history, the Great Simo Hayha. Chris Kyle's 10-year "career" presented him with far, far less opportunities and much stricter ROE than any sniper could have ever experienced in a year during WW2. Longer wars don't mean deadlier ones if recent history has anything to prove.

The accuracy of any early Soviet claims during WW2 are highly dubious as they were often used to cover the horrid losses that the Soviet Army experienced during the early years of invasion. I wouldn't dare cite any Soviet numbers without backing it up with German ones. The Soviets claim she racked up a little over more than half that figure, 187, in the first two and a half months of the War. That's around 75 a month. Now answer me this, how can a Woman with no previous combat experience who never joined the military and spent most of her life working inside a factory suddenly be able to kill hundreds of Germans and best any previous World record? All this when German panzers where breaking through every Soviet line and rapidly advancing onto Moscow. Up until 1944, the Soviet army still had political commissars to execute any conscript that deserted and espouse the glory of Stalin. I don't think any decent sniper worth her salt would be "injured" in a mortar attack and decide to sit out the entire rest of the War and sent off to be paraded in the US&Canada. No, it sounds completely fabricated, though I'm far more willing to believe the accounts of the other 44 female snipers instead.

Medic5392
Medic5392

@E_H_Carpenter @Halward_Then The physical differences combined with the cultural impact and psychological differences need to be taken in totality. You say that they should be given a chance to compete? Where were your writing skills over the last 30 years as they were never made to meet the same physical standards in any part of the military? Did you want them to compete at the Academies for spots fairly and write against the hard quotas they are given despite having lower physical standards that actually give them higher scores and rankings in their respective classes? Did you fight against the continued lowering of standards and treatment that has been given to them since the genders began mixing? Do you hold strict accountability about frat in your unit? Where was all of this great sense of fair play in the previous three decades from the articles authors? Where was your sense of fair play in years prior to this? 

Also, the Soviet Sniper "Myth" is something that needs to be taken with a grain of salt, numbers were greatly blown up during the war and more and more evidence has come about that since the end of the cold war. Either way, there were many female snipers who did get kills, not the same as asking them to hump 70lbs of kit, on uneven terrain with full kit on and then engage the enemy in close combat. The Soviets ended the practice of women on the ground as soon as they could due to it's epic failure. The one place the women did excel was in the air in head to head combat with the Germans, not the same as being a grunt. 

The "standards" for the Military PFT/PRTs are so low in the Army, Navy and Air Force that the fact that they still have to be gender normed should be an indicator. The USMC, to it's credit is making women do 8 dead hang pull ups soon service wide. Still not an indicator of an MOS/NEC specific test though and they are still looking to make that "gender neutral" by dropping the standrads. If you want a true MOS/NEC ground combat PT test, it would involve obstacles with 6' walls in full kit to simulate urban movement, a timed ruck march with minimum weight of 50-70lbs. for at least 15k on uneven terrain and man drags and carries of a dead weight dummy that weight at least 190lbs (Ave US Male Weight) There are other things that should be added, such as pulls up with body armor on, etc...not sure the answer exactly but the various service PT tests are not an indicator. I would also caution you to use ANYTHING by SLAM, he was discredited a long while back on his studies. No one even uses him who attempts to keep current, that includes Grossman who had a hard time letting him go. S.L.A Marshall has zero credibility. 

E_H_Carpenter
E_H_Carpenter

As a Marine officer who is acquainted with the requirements for enlisted infantry training, I believe that women will have no problem graduating from Infantry Training Battalion when they are allowed to attend... The "standards" that so many are talking about lowering aren't much higher, from a physical perspective, than anything that women have already been doing for years in other schools throughout the Corps. Read the full article here: 

http://www.whiteoliphaunt.com/duckofminerva/2013/02/apples-oranges-women-in-the-infantry.html

joetheragman2
joetheragman2

@E_H_Carpenter 

Well that might be true in the Marine Corps, but not in the Army. 

Minimum number of pushups for an Army male age 18 is 42

Minimum number of pushups for an Army female age 18 is 19

LESS than HALF


Medic5392
Medic5392

@E_H_CarpenterWay to pump up your writing blog E. Also, every marine is considered a rifleman, this is the military and not the McDonald's where some folks are fry guys, some flip burgers, etc....in the military, especially a branch that is focused on ground combat, then everyone is expected to have basic skills. You attitude and unfortunately your lack of actual data to support it flows along the same reasoning why we have the majority of our forces in Afghanistan sitting on their asses in BAF and KAF. They can't go out and do patrols due to inadequate training, can't rotate or flex with their duties due to this, etc....How often are you doing foot patrols from Bastion Major? Not other Marines, you.

Finally, you ending comment on building women up like males in the infantry shows a total lack of knowledge on the physiological differences between the genders, how they respond to physical training or even basic A&P (Read up on the Q Angle and female skeletal system and it's connection to ortho injuries). 

E_H_Carpenter
E_H_Carpenter

@Medic5392Medic5392 – You raise some interesting points that are, unfortunately, beyond the scope of my original thoughts on the subject; specifically, whether the small data sample (2 points) of female candidates failing a particular infantry course (the USMC Infantry Officer’s Course) was in fact an indication that there were specific physical or mental limitations that would preclude women from serving successfully in infantry units. The “every Marine a rifleman” mantra is one that started on Wake Island in WWII, and was reinforced in Korea, when Marines from every specialty – cooks, mechanics, etc, were pressed into duty to serve as infantry. The spirit is kept alive through MCT and TBS, as I referenced in my post at Duck of Minerva – every Marine and officer, male and female, whether they end up as a pilot, a mechanic, or a truck driver has the basic infantry skills – shoot, move, communicate – drilled into them early on in their careers. That said, the military is much more like McDonalds than the average person might think. The Marine Corps is a perfect example; less than 25% are infantry – the large majority are supporting arms – aviation, artillery, armor – or the service organizations that support all the combat elements. This includes supply, maintenance, ordnance, communications, intelligence, administration, etc. This is the statistical reason that “the majority of (our) forces are sitting on their asses in BAF and KAF”. I can’t comment with authority about what goes on at KAF and BAF, but the forces here on Bastion, although they certainly outnumber the infantry, aren’t sitting on their asses – they’re building bombs, repairing gun systems, processing intelligence, repairing aircraft, expediting repair parts, fueling generators, driving MRAPs on convoys, etc, etc… How often am I, personally, leading foot patrols out of Bastion? Never – but that’s not a function of my rank, it’s due to my specialty – aviation logistics. Other Marine Majors in Helmand Province (including a friend who recently survived an IED attack) are out on the ground, on foot, leading Marines. Because that’s their job. My Marines and I don’t go out on patrols - not because we’re physically incapable, but because if we were all out patrolling, there would be no one to build bombs, pump fuel, or repair the aircraft that our infantry brothers rely on for intelligence collection, resupply, lift, MEDEVAC, and close air support. As for your observation on my possible lack of physiological knowledge, I’ve been ACE-certified as a personal trainer in order to better help my Marines attain and maintain excellent fitness, and have been through numerous Marine Corps and Army courses; I am confident I speak with some authority when I say that many female Marines could already pass the physical “standards” required of infantry students at Infantry Training Battalion – because, as I pointed out in my article on Duck of Minerva, they already pass those benchmarks in other phases of training. Vague claims about the “average” of men and women aren’t relevant – the “average” American isn’t fit for military service – too fat, not smart enough, too many kids, too much drug use, or too extensive a criminal record. Only 25 percent of young Americans actually qualify to serve in ANY specialty in the military. That said, there are subsets of infantry (especially in the Special Forces community) that have much more stringent entry and training requirements; Marine Force Recon, Army Rangers, Navy SEALS. Those programs are so stringent, hundreds of extremely fit men flunk out every year, or injure themselves trying to make the grade. But Spec-Ops is, again, a very small segment of the total infantry force; for Marine infantry in general, though, there is already a standard, it’s not terribly high when compared to the standard required of all Marines in entry-level and follow-on training programs, and I have had the pleasure of serving with many female Marines who could achieve or surpass those standards, if they were allowed the opportunity.

Medic5392
Medic5392

@E_H_Carpenter @Medic5392

The Women in the Armed Forces report examined the differences in the physical abilities of men and women which are relevant to military performance and observed, unsurprisingly, that they differ significantly. Differences between women and men in their capacity to develop muscle strength and aerobic fitness are such that only approximately 1% of women can equal the performance of the average man. In lifting, carrying and similar tasks performed routinely by the British Army, this means that, on average, women have a lower work capacity than men and, when exposed to the same physical workload as men, have to work 50-80% harder to achieve the same results. This puts them at greater risk of injury. In load marching, another fundamental military task, and in all other simulated combat tasks, women were found to perform worse than men, and the greater the load, the greater the discrepancy. The study concluded that about 0.1% of female applicants and 1 % of trained female soldiers would reach the required standards to meet the demands of these roles.-From Page 4, Section 11 of the UK MoD Women in the Armed Forces Report Summary 2002'. 

Medic5392
Medic5392

@E_H_Carpenter @Medic5392 From the UK MoD 2002'-

The criteria identified at the outset for the PSS(R) tests were:

a. They were to be related to the military task.

b. They were to set common standards which were bias free.

c. They should act as a scientifically valid predictor of physical performance.

d. They should be cost effective.

*A review of female recruits entering the Army in 1999 showed that if current selection standards were applied retrospectively, only 0.1% of those applying would have reached the standard for entry to the Infantry or RAC. Of trained female soldiers, 1% would reach the standard (5).

The study basically said the same thing the US studies did when women went into the Academies and we dropped standards there. The UK still bans females from ground combat due to the criteria they used and the results. This is just the physical aspect we are addressing here, not even touching the cultural impact a young, fit, aggressive female will have on an infantry unit in an isolated, austere environment. I will tell you as someone who has seen these things over a decade, the frat, pregnancy and other issues that come up in mixed gender units waste more man  hours and cause unplanned losses not due to combat. Major, on this topic I would refrain from making comments unless you are going to be open. If you have been in what I estimate to be at around 8-10 years and you have not seen the silly amount of time wasted on the sexual and group dynamics on a FOB, never mind at a VSO or other similar site then I suggest that you are not paying attention, blind or not being honest. Combine the cost of injuries, lower physical ability, stamina and the social issues it is not worth it. I would also bet my bottom dollar that like everything else the US Military has done in the area they will just drop standards and make quotas for women as they always have in our history. 


Medic5392
Medic5392

@E_H_Carpenter @Medic5392Actually no, it is not beyond the scope, you simply chose to read only that which you could attempt to argue against. 

"specifically, whether the small data sample (2 points) of female candidates failing a particular infantry course (the USMC Infantry Officer’s Course) was in fact an indication that there were specific physical or mental limitations that would preclude women from serving successfully in infantry units."-EH

No, there is ample historical evidence backing this up as well as basic A&P. I highly suggest you read up on the "Q" Angle and why women's skeletal frames, while fantastic for birthing and their evolutionary purpose, are not so good for lugging heavy weight for long distances. They break down from ortho injuries at a far greater rate than men do. The Center for Naval Analysis did a study, public available at DTIC, the shows women are 2.5 times more likely than men to be an unplanned loss. That is for the Navy. As for the recent course and your view that it is about "averages", no. The averages are what about 1.5% of females can meet, i.e; about 1.5% of females will meet the male average for physical performance. The UK MoD studied and compared men and women side by side in military training in 2002, the odds of a women making it were about that and did not include that the lifespan of said women was also much shorter due to ortho injuries. 

As for the "every marine a rifleman", yes, it is and should be maintained. The fact that due to your rank and position is irrelevant, you are expected to meet the basic skills of a rifleman. It is not a McD's, the costs are a wee bit more terrible and the "average" American knows this. 

As for your other comment on who would or would not qualify to get into the military, those numbers are predictions based on current policy and trends. I would highly suggest reading the counter to the PCOWTIAS, Kingsley Browns "Co-Ed Combat" and really suggest you start researching on the orthopedic and other injuries women suffer due to no fault of their own except evolution. 

http://www.thelizlibrary.org/undelete/1110-GregorW.pdf

http://www.thelizlibrary.org/undelete/Browne.pdf

The above have two decent short reads for you, enjoy. I will cut and paste some salient points from the recent UK Study that was finished in 2002 and reviewed in 2010. You can only post so many words on here though. 

Side note, if you are a going to use certifications to back up your views, don't use ACE for physiology bona fides. 

justiceday
justiceday

The us marines have lowered standards for men, why not women.  They enlist druggies and criminals and give out 14,000 drug waivers a year.  They can't even get enough marines to pass special ops tryouts, they have to train them before they tryout in hopes they can pass.

The biggest problem is that the women are raped and sexually assaulted at a rate of 50 a day, and that's the DoD saying that.

This is a PR move for the DoD to take our mind off of everything else they are doing.

theusmarinesrapecom

Medic5392
Medic5392 like.author.displayName 1 Like

The author, like most in her camp, leaves out that in our entire history we have NEVER once held females to the same physical standards as the men. Her thesis politely skips around the many issues that are valid that of course she and Mark Thompson also used to ignore, the very real physical differences between men and women. 

The author, Donna Tobias and every woman who has been in EOD, Navy Diver or at the Academies have never had to meet the same standards as the men did. As much as the author would like to believe she made it on merit, she made it on a combination of politics, her gender, "goals" and lowered standards. 

How about throw up the results of the UK MoD Study from 2002' and the review in 2010', or better yet, let us go back to her era and the Presidential Commission on Women in the Armed Forces? Odd isn't it? I think I am have resigned myself to the fact that anytime I meet a woman in a traditional male job that the same type of women who writes this type of drivel is the same type who never wrote about the lowered standards in the past. Why? Because they benefited her. 

So, tell me Mrs. Iskra, when have we ever had women in the military be held to the same standards? Sure, we have tried that, but when it did not work out they were "changed", "re-evaluated", etc...Show me a consistent holding of the line for standards? It was not in anything you are writing about, anything I have seen or that is in your articles? 

Tell me what you think of LTC Gregor? What about the UK MoD study? The PCOWITAS? The US Navy's early study of Damage Control and females and males going up and down the ladders with a wounded man? 

Don_Bacon
Don_Bacon

Women in Combat: Is It Really That Big of a Deal? How big is big?

Lance Cpl. Stephanie Robertson, shown above in full battle rattle, was in a “female engagement team."

from the NYTimes:
Male commanders in Helmand acknowledge that they sometimes hold the female Marines back to avoid potential problems. Captain Zepeda, for example, said he had deliberately kept the women behind the lead unit for the clearing of Sistani. The next day he said he had made sure that the women were routed around the possible Taliban ambush, in part to avoid a firefight before the meeting with village elders. But he might have sent an all-male infantry unit straight into it to try to inflict casualties on the enemy. . . Captain Naslund did not hesitate. “Just making a small improvement in somebody’s life, that means something,” she said. “And if that means that someday women don’t have to wear a burqa, great. If it means that they’re getting beat up and they’ve got some place to go to tell somebody, great. Or if they have a well in their compound that they didn’t have before, that’s going to make a big difference.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/03/world/asia/03marines.html?pagewanted=all

On the other hand perhaps they enjoy wearing a burqa.

mtngoatjoe
mtngoatjoe

But if a woman can do the same job as a man, then what can we men do to make ourselves feel special? First gays, now women. Who's gonna join the infantry next, quadriplegics?

Don't worry, I'm being facetious. I totally believe that anyone who can meet the requirements should be allowed to serve.

ruraynor
ruraynor

@mtngoatjoe Some quadriplegics ended up that way from being in the infantry in the first place.

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