I have written about the women in combat controversy in the past and this could be my last column on the subject.
I have written about the women in combat controversy in the past and this could be my last column on the subject. As a nation, we are about to make the decision to open all combat positions to women. It would come as no surprise, I don’t think, to my readers that I’m not an advocate.
Of course, I was born in the early 1950s, a time when men were men and women were women and there were some distinct occupations, skills, and roles that each sex labored at, possessed, and held that were not mixed.
But now we’re more than just mixed. We’re a bit mixed up. We’ve Caitlin Jennered our society in a way that doesn’t make much sense … at least it doesn’t to my 62-plus years of living and 27-plus years of service in the Marines.
My daughters and granddaughters? I want them to flourish. They deserve to compete … to have an equal chance of success in their chosen professions. But not at the expense of a male counterpart’s life or our nation’s combat success.
The Marines — as a former one I’m proud they’re (as we have a tradition to be) the “last man standing,” singularly attempting to hold the line in their principles just like they did with the acceptance of openly serving gay troops controversy — are asking for an exception to our civilian leaders’ dictates to open combat positions to women. The Marines want to maintain male-only infantry and reconnaissance units.
But the Marines will lose this battle. They’ll lose it in the face of overwhelming political pressure, a movement to make equal that which was not intended, designed, created, or prudent to be equal, and irrational orders from our civilian leaders, most of whom couldn’t know the real risk of a social experiment like this because they’ve never served in combat and never will.
According to an Associated Press report in the middle of September and unlike the Marines, “officials said the Army, Navy and Air Force are expected to allow women to serve in all combat jobs and will not ask Secretary of Defense Carter for any exceptions. They say that Special Operations Command is also likely to allow women to compete for the most demanding military commando jobs — including the Navy SEALs — though with the knowledge that it may be years before women even try to enter those fields.”
The order to accommodate women in physical, stronger, faster, and resilient male bastions will find few female takers. Sure, once the order comes down denying the Marines’ request for exceptions to forced feminization and integration, there will be a few women who will be able to make it. But very few if the standards are not lowered (which they ultimately will be). Not enough will qualify — even with lowered standards — to justify the expense, turmoil, tension, and risk.
“Everyone deserves a chance. We’ve got to use all the talent we have — male and female — to be the best we can be,” we’re told as the reasons we’re fooling with Mother Nature.
The Associated Press suggested it unlikely the Marines would be granted a waiver “even in the face of the 25-year-old report by a presidential commission on women in the armed forces that concluded, ‘Risking the lives of a military unit in combat to provide career opportunities or accommodate the personal desires or interests of an individual, or group of individuals, is more than bad military judgment. It is morally wrong.’”
Nothing has changed in the past 25 years since that principled report was released — women are not physically stronger, more resilient, or faster — that could provide moral justification for denying the Marines’ requested exemption. Two things have changed though: a quizzical disregard of nature and an imprudent gender equalization movement that will put men at greater risk.
To liberal politicians and political appointees who have no combat experience, such policies might make sense politically. But morally? Not one man who dies is worth any number of women who may have better promotion opportunities by serving in the infantry. Period.
Barry Fetzer is a columnist for the Havelock News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.