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April 08, 2003

Chix in uniform

Slate is having a dialogue on this. There are always odd-balls, and from what I know of women, those who would want to be "ground-pounders" are peculiar, but perhaps they should be judged as individuals??? Of course, the main problem is not the women themselves-a few are strong enough to do everything required on the front lines, many (most) are not [1]. But how will the men react to this? The argument is somewhat similar to the one about homosexuals-or the supposed problems that would occur with integration (most conscript armies don't give homosexuals exemptions from service from what I know, a country as button-down as Singapore does not-and conscription in Singapore is justified on grounds that it is the only place where races mingle in close-quarters, it is needed for ethnic and class harmony). Process, procedure and principle are sometimes important in & of themselves-and judging something by utilitarian outcomes expected can be difficult [2]. We'll see....

[1] Yeah, I have read about this-but I had a friend who dropped out of college to join the Marines and I hung with him when he got back. A liberal Democrat, but he would occasionally bitch that many of the women weren't strong enough to do this or that. This guy was fat, he had lose 100 pounds, so he resented it I guess that others didn't have to bulk up like he had to slim down, I don't know. He was always 10 pounds under the upper limit allowed....

[2] For instance, some would say that a professional military force is better for national defense. This might be true, they are professionals, but conscripts, or at least citizen soldiers who rise up by themselves, are probably better in a war of national defense where they defend their homes and families (but not so good for force projection in foreign adventures). The Roman Republic probably had a somewhat better army after Gauis Marius recruited from the urban proletariat, rather than raising levies periodically from the propertied farmers that lived in the environs of Rome, but the generals became far more powerfull and within a generation the army was marching on Rome-an army of Romans-for the future dictator Sulla. And of course, even the most casual studies of history show that Muslim rulers almost always lost control of their "slave" armies within a few generations....

Posted by razib at 09:21 PM

other armies have tried women in the infantry and they don't work. aside from the sex problems they introduce, they have problems with:

1 ammo. can't carry enough 5.56
2 guns. can't carry 249 or 60
3 grenades. can't throw far enough
4 people. can't carry a man
5 camps. can't set up or tear down fast enough
6 APCs. can't carry a full toolbox or twist things with enough force to do repairs

1 can't run far
2 ankles and shins break on runs
3 they menstruate

1) can't fight men hand to hand
2) have trouble getting their hands around m9

women also throw like women. between this and not throwing far, you stand a good chance of getting hit with your own grenades.

the most dangerous problem is when a woman takes a round. men stop to help and this can get everybody killed.

Posted by: jody at April 9, 2003 10:04 AM