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What do you think about women being allowed to be on the front lines in combat?

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Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2013 7:29 am

Asked by News-Sentinel intern Brian Ratto in Downtown Lodi.
Quinn Daughetry Craig Baker Don Handley Saralee Okazaki Judi Simon
Lodi Valley Springs Lodi Lodi Stockton
“I think that it is a great idea for women to be on the front lines. They should be allowed to fight.” “There is nothing more dangerous than (an angry) woman.” “There were women in when I was in the service. They should have the right to.” “My son is in the Navy. A lot of women are able and willing. They should be able to be on the front lines.” “If they want to, they can. They have a right to be there. They make great fighter pilots. I don’t see why they would not be equally allowed on the front lines.”

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • Christina Welch posted at 10:36 am on Sun, Feb 10, 2013.

    Lodi 1970 Posts: 85

    Pat, I am familiar with the Ken Burns series on the Dust Bowl, but his stuff tends to be on PBS. I haven't seen the History Channel one; I will have to check it out. Sorry I forgot mom's last name in my previous post...Patricia Holland, class of 1965. Her older sister Lynne married Frank Pepper--now, there's someone you might know!

  • Christina Welch posted at 10:33 am on Sun, Feb 10, 2013.

    Lodi 1970 Posts: 85

    I'm sorry, Mr Chaney, I did not mean to offend anyone or break any rules, and I certainly am not one to gossip. Actually, I figured Pat and I were the only ones even still reading this thread. And, I thought our discussion about history (although tangent to our original discussion about women in combat) was a serious discussion. But, that's just me--I love history. I apologize if I got off track.

    Pat--Please see my reply after your last comment...

  • Doug Chaney posted at 7:59 am on Sun, Feb 10, 2013.

    advocate Posts: 502

    Looking at these last few comments, this looks more like a gossip column than a serious discussion.

  • Patrick W Maple posted at 5:33 pm on Fri, Feb 8, 2013.

    Pat Maple Posts: 1805

    What was your mom's name? I went to Lodi but knew a lot of Galt kids and families from my dad's business. Yes they both were Okies from the Dust Bowl...the History Channel has a good program on that era. My wife's family is Irish/English/German...I am also part Welsh and Irish...we came here in the 1500s by way of Welsh settlers and the Mandan tribe in the South Eastern Seaboard. Again the Histrory Channel has a program on who really discovered America.

  • Christina Welch posted at 7:33 am on Fri, Feb 8, 2013.

    Lodi 1970 Posts: 85

    Wow, Pat, you definitely have an awesome lineage. I'm just German/Irish/English--how boring :-) I can really understand now the spiritual side that comes out in your writing. So, were they part of the Dust Bowl migration? My dad's family was also from Arkansas, and they came to Cali as a result of the Dust Bowl. Did you go to Lodi High, or Galt? Did you know my mom? Lodi is such a small town, although it definitely has changed a lot over the years.

    I got my numbers from the Wall Street Journal, and I think it was a Pew Research poll. But, you're right about polls (and statistics in general, I think)--they can be manipulated by those doing the polling. The active military is who I'm interested in, anyway, and I guess we'll never hear about how they feel. That is unfortunate, 'cause they'll be the ones on the front lines.

  • Patrick W Maple posted at 3:34 pm on Thu, Feb 7, 2013.

    Pat Maple Posts: 1805

    Ms W: Not sure where you got your numbers...NewsMax poll of nearly 60K says no by a wide margin...45K to 13K. According to the Washington Post among veterans is is about 65-35 for...I don't believe they survey active duty military. So...as most polls...I guess it is what people want to believe (or not) and who's doing the polling...and usually none of them are correct. Aside from that I don't believe in running things by polls. That is what leadership is all about...especially in combat.

    My Mother came from Missouri and my Father from Arkansas...Mom was French/Blackfoot and Illinois...Dad was Cherokee, Choctaw and Chickasaw. Both were born in Arkansas, Mom in Paragould and Dad in Greenville (no longer exists).
    I have a distant relative that designed the Trail of Tears display at the national Cherokee Cultural Center in Talaquah OK. My grandmother and grandfather met on a reservation in OK. Osiyo.

  • Christina Welch posted at 7:17 am on Thu, Feb 7, 2013.

    Lodi 1970 Posts: 85

    Still waiting to hear about your heritage, but to get back on topic, I wanted to ask you something. I have seen the polling that indicates roughly 60% of Americans support lifting the ban on women in combat, but I haven't found any polling from current members in the military. I'd be really interested to know what that data says. Do you have any idea? Or, are military personnel not allowed to participate in this kind of polling? I'm just curious. With your military experience, I'm hoping you can answer this for me. Thanks!

  • Christina Welch posted at 5:58 pm on Mon, Feb 4, 2013.

    Lodi 1970 Posts: 85

    Oh, boy, I so want to have this conversation with you, but it's scary knowing all the others who could be reading this...I am a very private and primitive, if you will, person--no Facebook account or all that social media stuff; this forum is about as tech as I get. Oh. heck, I've probably already been googled already and Darrel doesn't appear to be on here anymore (BTW--what up with that? Where'd he and John Lucas go?) so I guess it can't hurt... William (my grandpa--WW II vet, most wonderful man the world has ever known) and Thelma (a South Dakota German) had two daughters here in Lodi, Patricia (my mom) and Lynne. Lynne married her high school sweetheart, Frank, and they're settled here in town, too. I wouldn't be surprised if you do know them.

    1932? Was your family part of the Okie (I mean that in the historic sense, not derogatory) migration from the Dust Bowl? You have Native American roots, which could place you in that region, so I'm just wondering. Really cool. "Lots of history" indeed.

  • Patrick W Maple posted at 5:01 pm on Mon, Feb 4, 2013.

    Pat Maple Posts: 1805

    What was your mom's maiden name...probably knew her...did she have bros and siss?
    Did your grandparents live in Lodi as well? I may know them too. Where did they work?
    We have been here since 1932. In Woodbridge since 1940. Lots of history here.

  • Christina Welch posted at 1:57 pm on Mon, Feb 4, 2013.

    Lodi 1970 Posts: 85

    Yes, born and raised in Little Lovable Lodi since 1970. My mom was a 1965 grad of Lodi High, but I ended up at Tokay. Grandma and grandpa moved here after WWII. What I know about the ERA I have learned from the history books, not personal experience.

    And, yes, I can tell by your writing (not just on this particular thread) that you do care a lot about children. I admire you for that, and for being a self-made man & even some of your bravado. I know others have criticized you in depth, but you have always been fair with me. Even when we disagree. Thanks.

  • Patrick W Maple posted at 12:37 pm on Mon, Feb 4, 2013.

    Pat Maple Posts: 1805

    No wow...just that I care a great deal for the children of this Nation. Is the 1970 tag when you were born? Were you around when the ERA was in motion? I supported that and the Title IX reforms...my sister was twice the athlete (swimmer) I was and deserved to get a scholarship...as did many other women I knew. Many of the best people I know, look up to and admire are women...beginning with my grandmother. Intelligence is often a hard thing to find...stay around.

  • Christina Welch posted at 7:51 am on Mon, Feb 4, 2013.

    Lodi 1970 Posts: 85

    You have wowed me again. There is something really "zen" about your writings...
    The society/individual paradigm is indeed complex. And, you are absolutely right about until the Supreme Court rules there is no Constitutional basis--the idea of women in combat has not been heard before. I wonder if Society would ever be given the opportunity to vote on the matter? Probably not. There is no national referendum, like we have in California. It will definitely be interesting to see how this all plays out.

  • Patrick W Maple posted at 10:27 pm on Sun, Feb 3, 2013.

    Pat Maple Posts: 1805

    Ms W is simply an expedient...I often use the lower case letters to show disgust for a beligerant person...not here...the opposite applies.

    Societies cannot exist without individuals. Individuals decide their own destinations. Without those determinations by individuals societies only exists in our minds. My sister exists...she is my sister no matter what she says or if she denies it...she doesn't get that choice. However, she can move to another country or society...but she is still my sister...the rest of our family has died

    Courts rule on laws...or at least the garbage that politicians profess to be law. Even when a law is thrown out, the boneheads can just modify that one or just make up another. Prohibition.
    Society cannot sacrifice a life. It is prohibited by individual beliefs constituted by laws. The sacrifices are made by those individuals who choose to do so. Society may put us in that position (war) but the individual must still choose to participate at least not since the draft was set aside (for now anyway).

    Until the SC.OTUS rules there is no Constitutional basis. It is merely one person's opinion (Panetta) and his choice...the Society (collective individuals)has yet to speak or vote on the matter

  • Christina Welch posted at 2:40 pm on Sat, Feb 2, 2013.

    Lodi 1970 Posts: 85

    Wow. That is a really good question, Pat. (And, please call me Christina--the whole "Ms" & "Mr" thing makes me feel like we're treating each other like so many others on this forum, and I really don't feel that animosity between us.) Which is more important, individual or societal rights? To me, both are so valuable, but if I had to choose, I would say society. After all, humans gave up the "state of nature" long ago and entered into this social contract, so to a certain degree we gave up our complete freedom. Without society, an individual can't really survive, so I guess society should be the overriding concern.

    Do you sacrifice a life for society--yes; do you adjust society for the individual--well, yes, we have throughout our history, whether the Jacksonian era, Progressive era, or Civil Rights. I don't think the two are mutually exclusive. I suppose it depends on whatever particular issue you are talking about. And that's what the courts have done through the years--they make the call between the two.

    In terms of women in combat, I think I have made my point about their Constitutional right to be there, but you have defintely made me think about it in a more philosophical way. Personally, I have no clue what it is like in combat, and I don't have an interest in beginning a discussion about the practical side of it; I think you, Kevin, and Jerome covered that pretty much in depth. I have just wanted to weigh in on the legal side of it. Regardless of our opinions, it is policy now, and I certainly will be praying (as I always do) for all of our troops--men and women.

  • Patrick W Maple posted at 7:38 pm on Fri, Feb 1, 2013.

    Pat Maple Posts: 1805

    Ms W: The question would then be which is more important... individual or societal rights? Do you sacrifice a life for society to let it live or adjust society in order for the individual to survive?
    In the military there are no individuals and their society exists for our protection. In combat there is a singular whole that functions as one...if one part fails to function...most often more than one dies. In a practical form this edict does not afford equal protection to the soldier or society.

  • Christina Welch posted at 8:41 am on Fri, Feb 1, 2013.

    Lodi 1970 Posts: 85

    I am not really arguing about justice in the same sense you are. You are talking about individual justice, I am talking about societal justice, and my focus has been with the Equal Protection Clause. You are absolutely correct about the usage of the term arbitrary by the Court in many of its opinions regarding procedural due process--the "how" of government action. My focus has been more about substantive due process, which ties in with the idea of equal protection--the "what" of governmental action. Due process requires that both the ways in which government acts and the laws under which it acts must be fair. When we talk about the safeguards from arbitrary denial of life, liberty or property, we are talking about the protections of one's civil liberties (i.e. Bill of Rights) or procedural due process. That is not the heart of my argument. When talking about the ban on women in combat, it is about the denial of womens' civil rights, as protected by the Equal Protection Clause. Although, I guess one could argue that the ban is also unconstitutional based on substantive due process, too. The ban itself is arbitrary and unfair. I hadn't thought of it that way--I was focusing just on equal protection--thank you for the insight.

  • Patrick W Maple posted at 2:45 pm on Thu, Jan 31, 2013.

    Pat Maple Posts: 1805

    Ms Welch: I stand partially corrected/correct...The amendment is a whole not a sum: The Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution each contain a Due Process Clause. Due process deals with the administration of justice and thus the Due Process Clause acts as a safeguard from arbitrary denial of life, liberty, or property by the Government outside the sanction of law. I do believe you are arguing justice here.

  • Christina Welch posted at 7:25 am on Thu, Jan 31, 2013.

    Lodi 1970 Posts: 85

    Actually, Mr Maple, neither the word arbitrary nor unreasonable is used in the text of the 14th amendment.

    It reads: All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    In its various opinions, the Court has tended to use the term "unreasonable" rather than arbitrary.

    And, yes, I do believe we will eventually hear from the courts on this issue.

  • Patrick W Maple posted at 2:02 am on Thu, Jan 31, 2013.

    Pat Maple Posts: 1805

    Ms Welch: The term is "arbitrary" not unreasonable...big difference.

  • Patrick W Maple posted at 3:12 pm on Wed, Jan 30, 2013.

    Pat Maple Posts: 1805

    Ms Welch: We will hear from the courts...it only takes one soldier to file a suit under the equal protection clause.

  • Christina Welch posted at 8:16 am on Wed, Jan 30, 2013.

    Lodi 1970 Posts: 85

    You are correct, Mr Maple, the 14th amendment prohibits unreasonable governmental discrimination, and it has been up the the courts to determine what is reasonable and what is not. In issues dealing with women (and race, for that matter) they follow the strict scrutiny test, which means any laws that treat men and women differently will be overturned by the court unless they are intended to serve an "important governmental objective." If women and men are required to meet the same training and physical standards to be in combat, then what is the governmental objective in keeping women out of combat? Indeed, in the famous case involving the Virginia Military Institute, the court held that the practice of refusing to admit women to its rigorous program was indeed unconstitutional. Of course, the Court has not ruled on the issue of women in combat, but I believe they would follow the precedent already set. Regardless, the policy has now been changed, so I guess we'll never know what the decision would've been.

  • Patrick W Maple posted at 11:39 pm on Tue, Jan 29, 2013.

    Pat Maple Posts: 1805

    The only facts in combat are the casualty counts. Kevin you ARE biased. We are all with our lives... The standards for combat can't be lowered as it was for firefighters, police officers and some military (and rightly so in many areas). Those are facts. None of the females tested in the Marine Corps passed...that is a fact. Would you choose a dentist to do your heart surgery or a cardiologist? They are both doctors. That is a fact. A heart surgeon must meet the highest standards or people die. And dead IS dead. That is a fact. The rest is just speculation and many people have died speculating...guessing. As far as "defending" their country...they (both genders) do that every time they go to work. Less than 10% of all forces see actual combat the rest are support for the guy pulling the trigger. Mrt:Opposing one example is easy, it is the hundreds of others and thousands of experienced combat veterans voices that are hard to ignore. It is easy to THINK you can swim it is another to actually swim
    Ms Welch read the 14th Amendment again...it prohibits ARBITRARY discrimination... NOT discrimination. The legislature and courts saw that not everyone was equal in many different ways and framed the arguments and amendments accordingly. Discrimination is alive and well worldwide.

  • Jeff Tillett posted at 8:07 pm on Tue, Jan 29, 2013.

    Jeff Tillett Posts: 561

    er... girls become women by getting older...

  • Jeff Tillett posted at 7:54 pm on Tue, Jan 29, 2013.

    Jeff Tillett Posts: 561

    really? you're going to go with this guy?

    Kingsley Browne: "Girls become men by getting older. Boys become men by accomplishing something."

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 6:30 pm on Tue, Jan 29, 2013.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2194

    I'm not suggesting we "guess" anything. I have said from the very start that if a woman can pass the physical/phsychological requirements to be in combat then they should be given the opportunity to serve a combat role.

    You are the one saying just cause they are a woman then they shouldn't be allowed to defend their country.

  • Christina Welch posted at 5:55 pm on Tue, Jan 29, 2013.

    Lodi 1970 Posts: 85

    Very good example, Mr Kinderman, I can see how the military is indeed exempt from the 14th amendment in terms of the freedom of speech, as clearly they should be; there's no room for insubordination in any army. But, you willingly sign that liberty away when you enlist and become "Government Issue," right? Women don't willingly sign away their civil rights when they enlist (their freedom of speech, yes, but not their equal protection of the laws.)

    I think our disagreement here is in how we view the Constitution. I learned that the 1st amendment was about our civil liberties--they are our protections against arbitrary acts of government. Whereas the 14th amendment is about civil rights--those positive acts of government that ensure all people enjoy these constitutional guarantees. I think you combine the concepts of liberties and rights, which many people do 'cause the distinction is definitely cloudy.

    I am not protesting the combat ban based on any violation of womens' civil liberties--you kinda give those up (not just free speech) voluntarily while you're in the military. I consider the ban to be unconstitutional because it is discriminatory; the equal protection of the 14th amendment covers more than just the Bill of Rights, it covers all law and government policy.

    We clearly disagree on this, and that's okay. I don't think you're a misogynist and I actually think that is a term bandied about too loosely on this forum. But, I also don't agree with your "facts" and I haven't appreciated your rather demeaning tone toward me. Perhaps that was not your intent, and I do realize you have a somewhat "superior" tone with your writing in general, but that was how I took it. Nonetheless, I have enjoyed the debate.

  • Patrick W Maple posted at 5:29 pm on Tue, Jan 29, 2013.

    Pat Maple Posts: 1805

    Maybe it is time to quit OVER estimating their abilities or not ESTIMATING their abilities at all. Dead is Dead...this is not a guessing game.

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 4:41 pm on Tue, Jan 29, 2013.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2194

    The fact remains (as the point I was making with the police officer comparison) EVERY TIME women have entered into a field that was once "man only" terrain, they faced the very similar arguements that are now being used to keep them out of combat. All the arguements basically boils down to "they can't physically do it". It was used to keep women out of flight combat and guess what, they proves they could do it. Women were told they weren't tough enough to be cops, guess what? They were.

    Maybe it is time the 1960's attitude of underestimating women was allowed to pass into history and we recognize that women can be useful and valuable in combat.

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 4:20 pm on Tue, Jan 29, 2013.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2194

    No, I am not a veteran. I am an outside, UNBIASED observer in the discussion who sees a lot of men fighting as they see their last "boys only" club threatened by physically capible women who are disrupting the generations of instilled American Machismo that says women should stay home and be protected.

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 4:16 pm on Tue, Jan 29, 2013.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2194

    "Do you honestly believe that any of those picked based solely on the ability to break things and kill people would be women?"

    And there lies the problem. While a soldier can and often IS called to "Break things and kill people" front line soldiers are also often called upon to deal with civilians and native populations. Do YOU really think your soldiers bent on killing everything that moves are good for this?

    Stories like this one convince me more and more that there are women who CAN be on the front lines and meet the standards to be effective fighting machines the military needs.

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 3:58 pm on Tue, Jan 29, 2013.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2194

    Kingsley Browne: What a surprise, an OLDer MAN who has made money by selling books proclaiming the weakness of women doesn't believe they should be in combat.

    Here is a good link to the pros and cons of women in combat: http://sistersinarms.ca/history/women-in-combat-pros-and-cons/

  • Patrick W Maple posted at 3:37 pm on Tue, Jan 29, 2013.

    Pat Maple Posts: 1805

    Research: Facts reported by professor Kingsley Browne of Wayne State University, author of the book “Co-ed Combat”:

    “Inclusion of women in (combat) roles results in a segment of the force that is physically weaker, more prone to injury (both physical and psychological), less physically aggressive, able to withstand less pain, less willing to take physical risks, less motivated to kill, less likely to be available to deploy when ordered to (partly, but not exclusively because of pregnancy), more expensive to recruit, and less likely to remain in the service even for the length of their initial contracts.”

    Courtesy of: Michael Graham / Boston Herald: "Yes, Israel has women in combat roles. They make up a whopping 3 percent of combat troops, in a nation where military service for nearly 100 percent of the population is mandatory.

    In America, we have 310 million people, but only about 300,000 combat positions — 1/10th of 1 percent.

    Think of war as a game of football. We get to look out across our nation and pick our best 300,000 to go up against al-Qaeda or China’s best. Do you honestly believe that any of those picked based solely on the ability to break things and kill people would be women?

    It’s not that we haven’t tried. Last September the Marine Corps opened its Infantry Officer Course to women. There were 80 eligible female Marines, according to a report published in the Washington Times, but only two volunteered for the opportunity to lead, up-front and on the ground.

    “Of the two female volunteers, one washed out on the first day, along with 26 of the 107 men, and the other dropped out two weeks later for medical reasons, a Marine Corps spokesman said.”

    This isn’t because these female Marine women are inferior or less patriotic. It’s because of the physical realities of being a woman. Obama and his Defense Secretary Leon Panetta can ignore those realities in the name of politics, but they can’t avoid the consequences."

    This information would put doubt in any combat soldier...something he doesn't need in a fire-fight.

  • Patrick W Maple posted at 3:25 pm on Tue, Jan 29, 2013.

    Pat Maple Posts: 1805

    Kevin are you a veteran or a combat veteran? The people you are talking about are crazy...are you suggesting that you have to be crazy to kill? Or that we should put people with psychological problems with combat troops? The natural instinct of a human is to not kill each other...in combat that is not the case. These men have been there and trained there...I will take their word over yours on any given mission.

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 2:14 pm on Tue, Jan 29, 2013.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2194

    A relative comment from a current news story about a woman up for execution in Texas: "Federal Bureau of Justice Statistics compiled from 1980 through 2008 show women make up about 10 percent of homicide offenders nationwide."

    So someone please tell me again that women don't have the "killer instinct".

    FACT is that women can be trained to be just as good combat soldiers as men. A fact that they prove in countries aorund the world. So why do so many thing only American women are to weak and timid to make good soldiers?

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 1:40 pm on Tue, Jan 29, 2013.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2194

    "Some see it as a degredation to mans place..."

    The same thing has been said EVERY TIME women dared to enter into "man's territory". This same mentality is why so many men can't help but view women as "weak" and needing protection. The male ego is so fragile (in some) that they can't comprehend that women can be just as good or better than them.

    As a stay at home dad I run into this male ego thing all the time. Countless men have told me they would rather work two or three jobs before "allowing" thier wife to make more money than them.

    ma·chis·mo noun
    1. a strong or exaggerated sense of manliness; an assumptive attitude that virility, courage, strength, and entitlement to dominate are attributes or concomitants of masculinity.

  • Patrick W Maple posted at 1:06 pm on Tue, Jan 29, 2013.

    Pat Maple Posts: 1805

    This is from a friend of mine who spent three tours in Viet Nam as a Dust Off Medic and was responsible for savingt the lives of over 800 soldiers as well as recovering those who did not survive their wounds. He then went on to become an Oakland Police Officer and served that community for over 25 years. To this day he still has nightmares and PTSD: When asked about women in combat, he refered me to an old friend acquaintance of ours and what he said:

    "I asked Col. David Hackworth(ret & dead) the same question several years ago. He was one of the most decorated vets of the Korean and Nam war. He said women don't have the "killer instinct" in them. He wrote a book about his experiences in combat. Its called, "About Face". I have a signed copy of his book. Great guy."

    In my conversations with many of my era soldiers and even many from this era (combat and non-combat) most of them do not think it is a good idea. Some see it as a degredation to mans place in the military...

  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 12:29 pm on Tue, Jan 29, 2013.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2378

    I'm sorry, Ms. Welch but when it comes to the Armed Forces of the United States of America, the Constitution does not always apply - and that's the way it should be.

    As an example, no member of the Armed Forces is permitted to say anything disparaging about not only the President, but any member of Congress as well. Doing so is a Court-Martial offense; punishable by substantial prison terms. So what happened to the First Amendment? Well, it's quite simple. In order to maintain "good order and discipline" in the military, what applies on the streets of America isn't necessarily good on the "streets" of our military.

    There is no RIGHT to be a member of the military - or perhaps you could point that out to us. It is a profound privilege to serve. It is also not a game or some kind of social experiment - or at least it's not supposed to be. Their primary mission is to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution - not to practice its rights. And very often those missions are horrible.

    It is my opinion (MY opinion) that women should not be permitted to serve in combat positions. Why? Because I don't believe they are capable of doing certain things that only men can. And those things are necessary to keep this nation free and protected. Misogynistic? Not even close; I’m just stating facts.

  • Christina Welch posted at 5:01 pm on Mon, Jan 28, 2013.

    Lodi 1970 Posts: 85

    "It may be that they are supposed to be treated as such..."

    That's the whole point I am trying to make here. The 14th amendment protects the citizens of the US and affords them equal protection of the law; it prohibits discrimination--of women, the disabled, the mentally ill, etc. by the government. The government is not allowed to unreasonably discriminate against its citizens, and the military is part of the government, albeit a specialized part. Of course, in reality, discrimination is still everywhere, and if one feels discriminated against they have legal recourse to obtain justice. I believe that would've been the case here, if the govt. had not changed their policy regarding women in combat. Women were being denied equal access to combat positions and all the promotions and benefits that go along with it, and that is a violation of their 14th amendment right. Now, again, I am not saying they have to be guaranteed a position; the issue of access is the point here, and, yes, the Constitution is pretty clear on that. (Now, how the Supreme Court would go about interpreting it in terms of this issue, who knows?)

    As for men giving birth, should scientific advances and whatnot make it feasible, I say go for it! They should have equal access to pregnancy, if that's what they decide they want to do.

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 4:40 pm on Mon, Jan 28, 2013.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2194

    An intersting arguement: Cause men pee standing up women should not be allowed to defend their country.

  • Patrick W Maple posted at 4:10 pm on Mon, Jan 28, 2013.

    Pat Maple Posts: 1805

    JK: As a fellow soldier that understands what the differences are...I agree.

    OOP: Ms Welch...do you agree that men should be able to give birth?

  • Patrick W Maple posted at 3:52 pm on Mon, Jan 28, 2013.

    Pat Maple Posts: 1805

    Ms Welch: No, all people are not equal or the same in the eyes of the Constitution. Many people are treated differently, the disabled, severely disabled, mentally ill, felons, illegal immigrants, children born here of illegal parents, soliders, politicians, foreign governments, some voters and even our police officers. It may be that they are supposed to be treated as such but by either no fault of their own and sometimes by their own fault (such as politicians and their pay and privileges) they become unequal.

  • Christina Welch posted at 2:37 pm on Mon, Jan 28, 2013.

    Lodi 1970 Posts: 85

    Men and women are definitely physically different, Mr Kinderman, but both are the same in the eyes of the Constitution, even if some would want to disclaim that. Many women (including myself) do actually know what a "right" is, and this new policy is a reflection of that.

  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 11:57 am on Mon, Jan 28, 2013.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2378

    Mr. Maple - what they're going to need to do first is to ensure that the requirements to actually become a marine, soldier, sailor or airman are equal - and that occurs during basic training where even now men and women are not treated equally or even equitably (to a degree) because of one obvious axiomatic reason: men and women are different.

  • Doug Chaney posted at 11:52 am on Mon, Jan 28, 2013.

    advocate Posts: 502

    I,m not questioning anything, just stating my opinion from what I've seen on jobsites as a foreman for 22 years on many large projects. I simply don't agree that females can't do a man's job. Apparently that's true judging by female combat soldiers. And maybe most females could do the job if they were paid the same as their counterparts, like the macho male carryng 180 pounds of anything on a full run.

  • Doug Chaney posted at 11:45 am on Mon, Jan 28, 2013.

    advocate Posts: 502

    Sounds like you're spinning some of those Ollie North Faux news war stories. Have you ever had a female roofer working for you?

  • Doug Chaney posted at 11:43 am on Mon, Jan 28, 2013.

    advocate Posts: 502

    So they're going to drag him out with all that gear on? Sounds like he'd have to be drug face down with any type of backpack or side pack on. It was 220 pounds, now it's 280 pounds. He'd have to weight that much to carry 180 pounds of anything at a full run. Get realistic.

  • Robert Jacobs posted at 8:02 am on Mon, Jan 28, 2013.

    Robert Jacobs Posts: 298

    Yeah well they will certainly get the chance given the track record of starting or joining wars by the United States Government!

    God protect us from ourselves!

  • Patrick W Maple posted at 3:48 pm on Sun, Jan 27, 2013.

    Pat Maple Posts: 1805

    Added: Amy Duckworth, an Illinois Democrat, said the military should open up every unit to women and see if they can complete the required training.

    "If the women can't meet the standards, they don't get to graduate from the program."

    I agree.

  • Patrick W Maple posted at 3:46 pm on Sun, Jan 27, 2013.

    Pat Maple Posts: 1805

    Kevin: Let me first thank you for being a coach...after 25 years as a swimming and baseball coach, 14 years on schoool boards and 6 years as a life coach for kids and teens...I know what it takes to do the job. And I know the capabilities of each gender.

    I also spent time working with WEAVE, Battered Women's Center, Rape Crisis Center, Child Abuse Center, CPS, Foster Children's Homes and a host of other organizations that helped and protected both women and children. I saw and dealt with a lot of carp. I took a class on the ERA and supported it...as I did Title IX reforms. I am not a lazy nor a dumb man as some try to portray here. I do have opinions...but they are just that.

    One of those opinions is women in combat. I do believe that it should not be up to the commanders as to who should or should not be delivered to a combat zone or placed in a fire-fight. One of the courses I took during my military training was the Assumption of Facts course. The overriding premise was to KNOW your enemy...if you did not or could not, then assume the greater force is with them and adjust. THAT decision MUST be left to the leader on the ground...NOT the politicians or one's superior.

    Wanting to do something involves just you...doing something in ground combat involves other lives (jet pilots are a different argument...I think they should be there)...it is the combat leader's decision to make that call. So the call is ALWAYS to maximum force forward and the players YOU as the leader want and in today's Army and Marines I hate to say it but I believe (my opinion) it is the men. That is not being chauvanistic it is just looking out for your troops. BTW, no woman has ever made it through the Navy Seal training courses.

    As for your comments about Viet Nam...there was only one massacre, Mi Li, it was perpetrated by a combat unit of war weary people...three people were charged and only Lt Calley was convicted. Once again the politicos and peace people (as well as the news media) began the assault on the soldiers and the war. Do you you remember the accusation that soldiers were throwing Viet Cong soldiers out of helicopters? That was a Hollywood story.
    Read: vietnam-veterans.us/popup/myths.html
    Most soldiers there just wanted to come home and most were draftees.

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 2:45 pm on Sun, Jan 27, 2013.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2194

    Thought I would throw this little side tidbit out there in regards to women being the weaker sex: I coach a lot. And I demand physical exertion before every practice. Over the past few years I have been pleasantly surprised in my daughter who is 3 years younger than most of the boys I am coaching. She not only does better push ups, runs faster and all the opening physical drills better than the older boys, she also doesn't complain about it nearly as much as they do.

    If at some point she decides military service is what she wants and takes a combat role I will be just as proud of her knowing she can do everything the men next to her can do.

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 2:40 pm on Sun, Jan 27, 2013.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2194

    The argument keeps being made over women in the "stress of combat" and that they will not be able to handle it. There are repeated examples of MEN unable to handle it as well like Jeremy Morlock.

    Look at all the news footage of male police officer beating helpless victims (granted they are bad guys but as soon as they are subdued, they become victims). Look at the massacres from Vietnam where US soldiers went in to villages and killed everyone, men, women and children.

    I fully acknowledge that there may be roles some women may not be physically able to fill in the combat front lines. Then again there are many front line combat roles most men can't fill. This is why the military has specialized training (sorry I do not know what it is called). So people can fill the roles that they are physically and mentally suited for.

    Women are NOT the weaker sex, and it is time they were allowed all the opportunities men are allowed.

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 2:19 pm on Sun, Jan 27, 2013.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2194

    Patrick, while your impressive list of experiences show dedication and self-sacrifice, it and your own words show that you are incapable of seeing women as anything other than the "weaker sex".

    Several times now you have stated to the effect that women are incapable of saving another persons life when the pressure is one. This is why I made the comparison to police officers. Female officers HAVE put their lives on the line, when being fired upon, to save fellow officers and civilians. Female firefighters run into burning buildings in full gear, putting their lives on the line in hellish conditions to save people.

    I do notice that even though I have asked repeatedly no one has offered one reason why a physically capable woman should be denied combat duty OTHDER that the fact that she is a woman.

    We don't need to question anyone's stance on women's rights, their own words show what they believe.

  • Patrick W Maple posted at 1:53 pm on Sun, Jan 27, 2013.

    Pat Maple Posts: 1805

    One simple point left...As the NCOIC of a Nuclear Weapons Batallion, I sat on the Czech border with an 8" Howitzer Battery and 6 nuclear rounds...the question was asked..."Can you pull the lanyard?", IF they hesitated...I sent them home. NO ONE knows what they will do until they are put to the test, it is up to those who know best to make that determination...not us.

    When the Lenny Skutnik jumped into to the Patomac River after an Air Florida flight crash, to save a woman from drowning, hundreds of others were standing on the bridge he jumped from...Mr Skutnik was put to the test...he passed...he didn't hesitate. Had he not acted the lady would have died.

  • Patrick W Maple posted at 1:41 pm on Sun, Jan 27, 2013.

    Pat Maple Posts: 1805

    Good point Ms Welch. The political pandering is still there. One quick comment about combat. Of the 25 or so combat and non-combat troops and veterans I have talked to the split is 70-30 against. I think women would do fine in jets and helicopters but I have my doubts as a ground troop.

    As for your comments mr chaney...was she being fired at while she was doing her job? Were people being killed? As far as the weight of a soldier...the soldier must be capable of carrying 45% of their weight when approaching combat and 30% when in combat for sustained periods of time. A man who weighs 180# will weigh 235# in combat and as much as 260# on the road. Do the math...BEFORE making disparaging comments about me. BTW I have been in contruction for over 50 years...I know what women (some of them) are capable of doing and what they are NOT capable of doing.

    Let me ask you both...are you veterans? Were you trained for combat leadership? Were you in combat? Have you ever been shot at? Threatened with a knife? Hit with a tire iron? Ever have to run for your life? Ever save another person's life while putting yours on the line? Save for the combat experience I have experienced all of the above.

    And PLEASE don't question my stand on women's rights...or their position in this world...my belief is they should do whatever they want as long as it doesn't possibly endanger someone else's life. I think my track record speaks for itself....and yours?

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 11:50 am on Sun, Jan 27, 2013.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2194

    Patrick, I have known plenty of women who could do all the things you described with the SAME training as men. I have also know quite a few guys who came out of the military unable to do what you described. And the average soldier carries about 90# of gear, not 180#.

    The problem with the point you are trying to make is you are taking the pinnacle of training and comparing it to social expectations of women being the "weaker" sex.

    I'll say it again, ANYONE who meets the standard for physical fitness and psychological fitness who wants to serve on the front line should be allowed. Why would we keep physically able people who want to serve their county in combat out of combat? Because of generations of thinking women belong in the kitchen? Time to get over that thinking.

  • Doug Chaney posted at 11:38 am on Sun, Jan 27, 2013.

    advocate Posts: 502

    Mr. Maple, I know many young, fat and lazy men, young and old, that can't even do that. I've worked with and seen many females in the construction industry that could keep up with the average male on any job. My apprentiice, Susan, when I did the Airport Towers high rise project, three nearly identical 21-story high rises and two massive parking structures, could get that pipe lifted to her shoulder climb a 6-12 foot ladder and secure the pipe in the hangar and make the connection, sometimes pulling pipe wrenches, 18 or 24-inch steel wrenches and making the pipe up to assure it didn't leak. She was just an ordinary looking young lady that would make you sweat just watching her show up some of the duds the union hall sent me for manpower. She had the desire, will and drive to do as much physical work as any man I've seen and has since retired after 30 or so years in the trade. She always remained immune to the layoff list due to her capabilities, and to this day there are many females in the piping industry who have come up through the 5 year apprenticeship program and attained their journeyperson status, some even capable of successfully completing those above tasks. Where do you normally find a 220 pound soldier? I'd like to know which type of females you base your ridiculous statements on in coming to your chauvinistic conclusion? Go out on some real construction jobs and observe for yourself the real female in the workplace. The greatest thing is that they receive the same great pay, benefits and job status as everyone else in their particular craft. And, yes, that even includes roofing, plasterers, plumbers, pipefitters, sprinklerfitters, electricians, tinners, laborers, glaziers, laggers, crane operators, operating engineers, etc., and sometimes in tthe position of foreperson or even superintendant. There's no man on earth that can look at any particular female and judge her by her looks and stature or size. You'd be surprised how many females make your assessment of them look like the story of Pinocchio.

  • Christina Welch posted at 9:57 am on Sun, Jan 27, 2013.

    Lodi 1970 Posts: 85

    I think the reason this was done now was in response to the pending ACLU lawsuit on behalf of four female soldiers who questioned the constitutionality of the combat ban. Personally, I would've liked to see the case wind its way to the Supreme Court; then we would've had the constitutional agreement on this issue, although still the controversy, I'm sure.

  • Patrick W Maple posted at 6:56 am on Sun, Jan 27, 2013.

    Pat Maple Posts: 1805

    A job a woman can't do? Load 5 65# howitzer rounds in one minute for an hour at a time. Pack a 50 cal machine gun or 180# of ammo for miles through a jungle...on a full run.? Pull a wounded 220# soldier out of a fire zone while under fire (what if the wounded soldier was you?). They aren't physically capable.

    You cannot compare a cop to a soldier. Combat fatigue, sustained fighting periods, equipment and missions are completely different...again the social theory is lacking...it is not a game... dead is dead.

  • Patrick W Maple posted at 6:31 am on Sun, Jan 27, 2013.

    Pat Maple Posts: 1805

    This social experiment can be easily TESTED through war games and combat simulations (not actual combat)..man vs woman to get a sense of possibility. It can be further tested with psych stress and physical abilities. But remember in reality there are no do-overs DEAD IS DEAD!

    As far as the choice of who participates it is always up to the squad, platoon or company leader as to the participation of particular soldiers...it is a "who do you trust to have your back" that has been thoroughly tested in training or previous combat. Not just CAN they pull the trigger but WILL they? That was the question with draftees and will be with women.

    There is no constitutional agreement on who should get to die in combat.

    A side note...it is interesting that these political hacks trot this out now...when the wars are winding down? I also wonder how many of the people questioned were veterans...especially combat veterans??

  • Christina Welch posted at 4:51 pm on Sat, Jan 26, 2013.

    Lodi 1970 Posts: 85

    You make an interesting point, Pat, although I don't think the troops often get to have much input into decisions made by the higher-ups. And, you are right, this is a social experiment in a sense. I, for one, think that women can be successful at it. With the same training and focus as given to the men, I believe some women will be able to rise to the occasion. And, I do believe it is their constitutional right to do so.

  • Patrick W Maple posted at 4:11 pm on Sat, Jan 26, 2013.

    Pat Maple Posts: 1805

    we both...my sister and I...

  • Patrick W Maple posted at 4:09 pm on Sat, Jan 26, 2013.

    Pat Maple Posts: 1805

    Title IX was signed into law by Richard Nixon in 1972, it gave women the same rights to participate in sports at the collegiate level (along with other rights). It did NOT however, give them the right to compete in men's sports, only that women and their sports should have the same access at the collegiate level.

    I for one was glad to see this as we both competed on a national level as well as many other women we swam with did. I received a scholarship to the Univ of Arkansas, while my sister and those same women went home. This was a patent unfairness. Those women were athletes and deserved the same respect and a pathway to college.

    Like it or not, they can compete and can sometimes beat a man of lesser talent...I know that I can't beat a Navritalova at tennis, or sing like Faith Hill...no more than my sister could be me in the 400 IM...but she was certainly better at other things. AND certainly deserved to at least try...the problem with combat is that you don't get to TRY...you either DO or you are DEAD. There is no consolation heat... no trophies for second or third...and NO do-overs.

    My father, two brothers and myself were all in the military...they saw combat, I just prepared for it and was ready...I didn't go because my brothers didn't want me there and protested. Instead I went into Nuclear Weapons and other operations. I can't imagine what it was like for my father to take all of his sons to the bus station in Stockton, after seeing what he did as a LSI driver on Palau, Peleilu and several other Pacific islands, knowing that one or all of his sons may not come home.

    The question of who should be in combat should be asked of the troops...(who would you rather serve with?) and not the social engineers on the side lines. This is a social experiment that could backfire and set women back many years if they are not successful. I wonder if they will be.

  • Christina Welch posted at 3:16 pm on Sat, Jan 26, 2013.

    Lodi 1970 Posts: 85

    Still waiting for a post-Civil Rights era example of how the military was ever exempt from the 14th amendment of the Constitution...

    To me, this issue isn't about a woman's physical capacity to be in combat, it is about her CONSTITUTIONAL right to be able to pursue that goal. Equal access. Not equality of condition, but equality of opportunity. Isn't that what America is supposed to be about?

  • stan taves posted at 11:54 am on Sat, Jan 26, 2013.

    Stan Taves Posts: 320

    Jerome, I have to say that your latest post is truly profound, accurate, and deserving of high regard.

  • Walter Chang posted at 10:58 am on Sat, Jan 26, 2013.

    Walt Posts: 1246

    I had an epiphany...

    Darrell is the smart one!


  • Walter Chang posted at 10:35 am on Sat, Jan 26, 2013.

    Walt Posts: 1246

    "crude and vulgar"

    Bada Bing

    "diminished mental acuity"

    Bada Boom!


  • Walter Chang posted at 10:33 am on Sat, Jan 26, 2013.

    Walt Posts: 1246

    "In short, this is a subject that we can only pretend to answer."

    Save the bandwidth.

    Quit pretending!!


  • Jeff Tillett posted at 10:24 am on Sat, Jan 26, 2013.

    Jeff Tillett Posts: 561

    "In short, this is a subject that we can only pretend to answer."

    Right, so perhaps we should let the experts answer. And they have. Defense Secretary Panetta and the Joint Chiefs of Staff say there is no reason to not allow women to compete for combat positions. If any woman can meet the standards set for men, then why not?

    Thanks for acquiescing to their informed decision.

  • Walter Chang posted at 10:08 am on Sat, Jan 26, 2013.

    Walt Posts: 1246

    Tag Team

    From the "He-Man Woman Haters Club"


  • Joanne Bobin posted at 10:05 am on Sat, Jan 26, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    I know that this will get deleted, but the comment by Stan Taves really deserves his designation as a crude and vulgar individual.

    Age and diminished mental acuity are not an excuse for these types of comments.

  • Walter Chang posted at 10:04 am on Sat, Jan 26, 2013.

    Walt Posts: 1246

    "Not only not, but heck no!"

    Folks, that's the final word...

    From the "Man Cave".



  • Joanne Bobin posted at 9:59 am on Sat, Jan 26, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Another "mysteriously deleted" comment. Well, let me repeat that the misogynists are out in force today with the "misogynist-in-chief" at the forefront of all that is militarily acceptable to him - he who spent his entire military career in peace-time at a cush AF base and has never seen a moment of combat.

    To reiterate my "deleted" comment from earlier, we seem to have a plethora of high ranking males dominating the military that are completely incapable of 1. keeping their pants zipped and 2. winning any wars (not a single victory since WWII).

    If the anti-female males would like it any better, then the military should eliminate the combat requirement that many upper level postions require in order to receive promotions. Then they wouldn't have to worry about (according to some) having to "save their female peers (which automatically presupposes that they will NEED "saving') instead of shooting the bad guys.

    After all, the code of chivalry should never die and females should always be regarded as helpless individuals crying plaintively from the heights of the tower, "Help me, help me! Oh, kind sir, please help me!"

  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 1:30 am on Sat, Jan 26, 2013.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2378

    I was washing my dishes in my safe and warm apartment here in Lodi when it finally hit me. Here we are having a conversation (argument) about women having the right to kill other people as nonchalantly as taking out the trash. It's a subject which we are so far removed from that any attempt to resolve it is futile. It's silly.

    And no, there is no civilian comparison to serving in the military in a forward position. Being a policeman in no way equates to waking up each morning and going out to seek out other human beings to relieve them of their lives. "To Protect & To Serve" is the motto of most police forces stenciled on their police vehicles. "To Kill People and Break Things" is the unofficial motto of the United States Army.

    The five citizens who were asked the question sound as if their giving a review for the latest Batman movie; as if the actor who played the Joker died because his part was so difficult to play.

    We're disconnected from war. And while I personally was never ordered into combat during my enlistment in the Air Force, it "could" have happened. But even that doesn't come close to those who actually do pull the triggers to kill people as a result of the mission and those issuing the standing orders of the day.

    In short, this is a subject that we can only pretend to answer. Of course my revelation in this regard in no way changes my opinion about women serving in combat positions. Not only not, but heck no!

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 9:22 pm on Fri, Jan 25, 2013.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2194

    The best civilian comparison most of us can understand for women in the military is women in the police force. In reading in search for support of my discussions here I came across very interesting articles on this. Including the fact that women faced the very same arguements against them in gaining respect as police officers.

    "all of the past research on women police has focused on the capabilities of women to perform police work; virtually all conclude that women, indeed, do have such ability. This capacity includes physical as well as mental and emotional fitness. Studies demonstrating women's capabilities have covered the areas of patrol work (Bloch and Anderson 1974, Sherman 1975, Townsey 1982) citizen satisfaction (Sherman 1975), police chief evaluations (Seligson 1985), response to hazardous situations (Elias 1984), academy academic performance (Elias 1984), physical capability (Townsey 1982), physical training receptivity (Moldon 1985), and the handling of violent confrontations (Moldon 1985, Grennan 1987). " from ncjrs.gov/policing/fem635.htm.

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 9:14 pm on Fri, Jan 25, 2013.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2194

    I still maintain that women can be just as good in all aspects of combat as men. As for following orders, do you seriously believe that women can't just follow orders like men? Do you HAVE a woman in your life (that was meant as a joke before someone else says it)? Not only can they be very effective when taking orders, they also can be just as cutthroat as any man.

    Psychologically women are stronger than men. Men commit suicide 3-1 over women, why? Because men bottle up things until they explode into destructive tendencies. I would much rather be surrounded by emotionally stable, combat trained women than self destructive men who may or may not care if I live.

    Continued at the top

  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 8:44 pm on Fri, Jan 25, 2013.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2378

    Alright, I'll concede the "mindless" remark could have been better described but we must always have tough, solid, strong killing machines as soldiers who will follow orders without question. While it might be nice to understand why an order must be followed, more often than not they're expected to simply follow it and just maybe they'll get the whys and wherefores down the line. And when one is in combat, the training it takes to get someone to think that way requires men; not women who like Ms. Tygert claim are "different in their own beautiful ways." As is your idea that having nurturing women on the front lines is a good idea. That kind of stuff weakens an army.

    And as far as our troops having better weapons that don't require mindless soldiers using them, keep in mind that the "battlefields" have changed significantly. They don't even know who the enemy is anymore because in both Iraq and Afghanistan they were going house to house (urban) and there were no uniforms to differentiate who the bad guys were from civilians that included women and children.

    So I'll stick with my opinion regarding women in combat. I appreciate you not calling me names simply because of my stance on this matter. For years now on this forum, very few have desired to argue facts. While it doesn't really bother me (aside from the fact that it's often a waste of time), it's nice to have spirited debate. And you and I have always kept it civil.

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 8:31 pm on Fri, Jan 25, 2013.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2194

    Stan, aside from crude jokes, please tell the whole group what jobs you think women are not qualified to do.

  • stan taves posted at 8:14 pm on Fri, Jan 25, 2013.

    Stan Taves Posts: 320

    Good perspective, Joanne. The fact is that The US Armed Forces are faced with challenges that no other nation is equipped to deal with. I hate to break this to you , Joanne, but sometimes it takes a MAN to get the job done. I know, I know, my honey bee; You long for a world that the wolf can't see.

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 4:34 pm on Fri, Jan 25, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Can't understand why THIS one was deleted except that the MIC was offended when I stated that the Israeli Defense Forces mandate that a woman, who is subject to mandatory military service, must remain in the reserve component until the age of 38, EVEN IF SHE HAS CHILDREN.

    So much for opinion that women should be cradling their babies in their arms and not cradling an M16.

  • Jeff Tillett posted at 12:10 pm on Fri, Jan 25, 2013.

    Jeff Tillett Posts: 561

    good, i'm glad we agree then... capable women should be allowed to serve in combat. have a good day!

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 11:43 am on Fri, Jan 25, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    We should take our cue from the Israeli Defense Forces - an army that doesn't mess around with the defense of its country and has mandatory service for men and women.

    From Wikipedia:

    "Clause 16A of the military service law requires that female combat soldiers serve 3 years of mandatory service, and continue in reserves service up to age 38, even if they become mothers. These are essentially identical to the terms of service for male combat soldiers. Each year, 1,500 female combat soldiers are drafted into the IDF. Women currently make up 3% of the IDF's combat soldiers.

    A combat option for women is the Caracal Battalion, which is a highly operational force that is made up of 70 percent female soldiers. The unit undergoes training like any combat infantry. The IDF commando K9 unit, Oketz, also drafts females as elite combat soldiers."

  • Christina Welch posted at 11:40 am on Fri, Jan 25, 2013.

    Lodi 1970 Posts: 85

    You are so right, Kevin. This is just the issue of equal access. We're not even mentioning the political under-representation, economic inequality, and objectification of women in our society today... a lot of work to go, indeed!

  • stan taves posted at 11:34 am on Fri, Jan 25, 2013.

    Stan Taves Posts: 320

    Absolutely Jeff, and had you read my original post more carefully, before you started banging away in haste, then you would have understood my point.

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 11:32 am on Fri, Jan 25, 2013.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2194

    The advancement of technology has voided the "women are not strong enough" discussion: wired.com/dangerroom/2012/05/combat-exoskeleton-afghanistan/

  • Joanne Bobin posted at 11:30 am on Fri, Jan 25, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Here from the Chicago Tribune:

    "Petraeus today finds he has company in his notoriety. The New York Times on Tuesday published a list of them. Petraeus's successor in Kabul, Gen. John Allen, is currently being investigated because of his voluminous correspondence with Jill Kelley.

    Others under current or recent investigation for misconduct or improprieties are the head of the newly established Army Africa Command; the deputy commander of the 82nd Airborne Division (now in Afghanistan); the former commander of the 173rd Airborne Brigade (expelled from the army for convictions of bigamy and fraud); and the admiral commanding the Stennis carrier strike group, relieved of command for "inappropriate leadership judgment." Air Force scandals involve charges of rape and assault by instructors at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas, and long-running accusations of inappropriate and unconstitutional Protestant fundamentalist religious proselytism and pressures on cadets at the Air Force Academy.

    As a former serviceman, I have been long bemused by the proliferation of ribbons and other decorations on the chests of today's high-ranking army officers. Petraeus, who left the military academy in 1974, now is entitled to wear 45 ribbons and 10 metal ornaments on his military blouse (other than unit patches, and parachute and similar badges). He has seen active combat only as commander of the 101st Airborne in the Gulf War. His only combat decoration is the Bronze Star with V (for valor). He wears the prized expert infantry badge, but without the wreath indicating participation in infantry combat."

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 11:20 am on Fri, Jan 25, 2013.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2194

    Ironically I am watching a recorded episode of Ghost Mine (guily pleasure, paranormal stuff). One of the miners just said it was "bad luck" to have women under ground.

    Got me thinking about all the times over the years when men have claimed that women are "incapable" of doing a certain job only to be proven that women are JUST as capable to do things men are. They may not be muscle bound neanderthals killing mindlessly on the front line (as Jerome paints our military), but women in combat will be valuable and capable soldiers.

    Sadly it is clear there is a lot of work to go in countering generations of male machismo.

  • Jeff Tillett posted at 11:17 am on Fri, Jan 25, 2013.

    Jeff Tillett Posts: 561

    I'm sorry oh great and omnipotent one.

    my point was that not all women are physically inferior to men. shouldn't those women who are physically capable be allowed to serve in roles that they can qualify?

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 11:10 am on Fri, Jan 25, 2013.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2194

    You're right, I never served. I have had a lot of friend serve though. I have famly is special forces where even his mother desn't know everythng he did.

    YOUR "mindless killer" on the front line is more dangerous than a woman would be. Mindless killers act without thinking. Give away locations and make stupid mistakes that cost lives. The military is PAST killing everything that movesd (yes there was a time when mindless killers were needed, but today's technology DEMANDS we have SMART soldiers, not mindless ones) . Today people on the front lines are called to protect people the bad guys are using as shield. Mindless killers don't care who they kill, SMART soldiers can defeat the bad guys WITHOUT becoming one of the bad guys.

    I'll say it again: My Lai Massacre

  • Jeff Tillett posted at 11:07 am on Fri, Jan 25, 2013.

    Jeff Tillett Posts: 561

    reading comprehension fail. she clarified exactly what she meant by "right".

    'And when it takes confronting them head-on, we need well-trained, hardened and tough PEOPLE to take care of them. " /fixed

    Here's a question, Mr. Kinderman... are ALL men (or even ALL men in the military, for that matter) physically capable of serving in combat?

  • Eric Barrow posted at 11:07 am on Fri, Jan 25, 2013.

    Eric Barrow Posts: 1613

    Jerome you claim that women might be too nurturing to take a life but you also paint them as careless killers when it comes to abortion, so which is it? I think your misoginism is showing. Also the prevalence of cases of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in returning soldiers shows us that many men aren't suited to taking and risking life either.

  • Christina Welch posted at 11:03 am on Fri, Jan 25, 2013.

    Lodi 1970 Posts: 85

    I realize there is an application process for the military, but everyone should have the equal right to apply, and indeed, the 14th amendment protects that right. Could you please give a specific, historic example of when the military was exempt from the 14th amendment (since the Civil Rights era, that is.) And, just for clarification, by your arguments here, I take it that you don't believe women should be in the military at all? This seems like a bigger issue for you than just combat.

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 10:45 am on Fri, Jan 25, 2013.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2194

    Jerome, you keep looking at the PHYSICAL difference between men and women on the battle field, but the Physchological differences can be just as importance. Men are MUCH more aggressive and respond as "vicious killers" (in your words) when feeling threatened. Read about The My Lai Massacre to see what this gets us.

    AS for the strength, issue. How much strength does it take to pull a trigger? ANYONE that meets the physical requirements for combat should be allowed to serve (not talking about two different standards, one standard for all). I have known women who were a lot tougher than most men I know.

  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 10:44 am on Fri, Jan 25, 2013.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2378

    Then what you're implying Mr. Paglia is that we no longer have front lines; therefore we don't need anyone manning them? Not to be rude, but it's obvious you've never served in the Armed Forces. And that's okay - it's been an all volunteer force for a long time. But this IS one thing that if you haven't experienced it, you really aren't as knowledgeable as those who have.

    We most certainly do need hardened, mindless killers on the front lines. Ask any Marine.

  • Christina Welch posted at 10:43 am on Fri, Jan 25, 2013.

    Lodi 1970 Posts: 85

    Excellent points!

  • stan taves posted at 10:41 am on Fri, Jan 25, 2013.

    Stan Taves Posts: 320

    Please Jeff, for your own sake, do your homework before you come at me -- you're barking up a tree that you can't possibly climb. First of all, I didn't even infer that "all" women are physically inferior to "all" men. Secondly, the degeneration of muscle tissue (atrophy) does not occur from disuse exclusively; it is also caused by over use.

  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 10:40 am on Fri, Jan 25, 2013.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2378

    Ms. Welch, you obviously don't understand what a "right" is. All Americans have the right to freedom of speech and to worship as they please. There's no application to fill out.

    To become a member of the Armed Forces of the United States, a single speeding ticket as a civilian is likely to keep you out of the Air Force at this time. There are specific requirements that must be met prior to becoming a member of any branch. Therefore, membership cannot be considered a right.

    So when you're talking about "equal protection," and the 14th Amendment the military was often exempt because by doing so could weaken it. And the last thing we need is a weak military. They're the only thing keeping us free. If you don't think so, then I would consider you quite naïve. There are plenty of missions that are going on right now that we'll never hear about that keep the wolves at bay Ms. Welch. And when it takes confronting them head-on, we need well-trained, hardened and tough men to take care of them. These men do not need to worry about pulling someone over a wall or through a river to get to their objective. And while you might wish to disagree this point, men ARE physically stronger than women - it's a fact.

    You think the Williams sisters are front-line material? I don't think so. Fighting wars is not tennis.

    Finally, I think you're missing a very important point - because you realize that most women probably cannot serve as well as men in combat makes me believe that they should be given the "option" to serve on the front lines. Men don't get that option. They serve where they're told to serve. To lift the ban only to have it optional should be an affront to all women. But more important, lifting the ban but making it optional to women makes it dangerous to those who don't have that luxury.

    War isn’t a game, so we shouldn’t be having these social experiments when our very freedom is at stake. Unfortunately, we’re also being attacked from within – Progressivism is a disease (in my opinion of course). It’s destroying us.

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 10:24 am on Fri, Jan 25, 2013.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2194

    Jerome said "We need hardened, vicious killers on the front lines - we do NOT need women."

    I disagree. Given the level of destructive power our current weapons have we don't need mindless killing machines. We need intelligent and mentally able people who understand that the power they have can both save innocent people or kill them if wielded as vicious killers.

    This is not the first time this "they are not able to perform" arguement was used for a group of people: "In spite of adversity and limited opportunities, African Americans have played a significant role in U.S. military history over the past 300 years. They were denied military leadership roles and skilled training because many believed they lacked qualifications for combat duty. Before 1940, African Americans were barred from flying for the U.S. military. Civil rights organizations and the black press exerted pressure that resulted in the formation of an all African-American pursuit squadron based in Tuskegee, Alabama, in 1941. They became known as the Tuskegee Airmen. " http://www.tuskegeeairmen.org/

  • Christina Welch posted at 10:12 am on Fri, Jan 25, 2013.

    Lodi 1970 Posts: 85

    Both women and men have the right to equal protection of the laws through the 14th Amendment, and the establishment and maintenance of our military throughout history has been accomplished through the passage of laws. The military does not just magically exist on its own. The 14th Amendment forbids the government from discriminating against or drawing unreasonable distinctions between persons. Serving is not what I mean by the right, it is the equal protection of the law that I'm referring to. And, in no way am I advocating that a woman who cannot meet the requirements should be there. I have seen many incredibly strong female athletes--the Williams sisters right now come to mind since I've been watching the Australian Open--that lead me to believe there are women out there who can do the job. I realize most women probably cannot, but for those who can, why stop them?

  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 9:52 am on Fri, Jan 25, 2013.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2378

    A "chance" Ms. Welch? No - absolutely not! Tell me what other military member would want to depend upon anyone else whose presence in combat is a gamble? We need hardened, vicious killers on the front lines - we do NOT need women. Now if this offends the senses, so be it. Frankly, I really don't care. What I DO care about is this incessant need to weaken our military with all of these social experiments.

    Oh, and as far as women being "on par?" Okay, let's look at the golf course, shall we? Women are not required to be as physically fit; that's why there are separate confidence courses - just as there are women's tees on a golf course. The only way they're on par is if they shorten the distance between the tee and the pin. When it comes to combat, there can be no shortening of the distance between the tee (the woman) and the pin (the victory).

  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 9:46 am on Fri, Jan 25, 2013.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2378

    No Ms. Welch, neither women OR men have a "right" to join the military. By extension, when they do join they have no right to be on the front lines if by being there might weaken or otherwise be a detriment to good order and discipline. In fact, it is an honor and a privilege to serve, but by no means is it a right.

  • Jeff Tillett posted at 9:37 am on Fri, Jan 25, 2013.

    Jeff Tillett Posts: 561


  • Jeff Tillett posted at 9:36 am on Fri, Jan 25, 2013.

    Jeff Tillett Posts: 561

    If someone is physically and mentally able and willing, why would you not allow them? Regardless of race, gender, or sexual preference?

  • Jeff Tillett posted at 9:34 am on Fri, Jan 25, 2013.

    Jeff Tillett Posts: 561

    you're right, it's not a "right". we shouldn't let them in. gays or minorities either, right? right?

  • Jeff Tillett posted at 9:33 am on Fri, Jan 25, 2013.

    Jeff Tillett Posts: 561

    oh, and atrophy... I do not think you know what that means. or at least what causes it.

  • Christina Welch posted at 9:32 am on Fri, Jan 25, 2013.

    Lodi 1970 Posts: 85

    Based on the 14th Amendment, I believe women do indeed have the right to serve in combat. Women have played an active and important role in our military throughout history, whether in active fighting during the American Revolution and Civil War disguised as men or the WACs since WWII. Since the 1970s, women have been on par with men in the military, except for in terms of combat. As long as a woman is capable to meet the requirements, I don't see why she shouldn't be given the chance.

  • Jeff Tillett posted at 9:30 am on Fri, Jan 25, 2013.

    Jeff Tillett Posts: 561

    yes, stan, all women are physically inferior to all men. do you really believe that?

  • stan taves posted at 8:39 am on Fri, Jan 25, 2013.

    Stan Taves Posts: 320

    Biologically, women are different from men -- how's that for a news flash? The important point is that women recover from muscle stress at a slower rate than men. In most cases muscle atrophy -- or breakdown -- will not create a significant problem. However, in extreme combat situations muscle atrophy is certainly a major concern. All I can say is that we need to get ready for the next steroid scandal to occur in the marines, and special forces.

  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 7:07 am on Fri, Jan 25, 2013.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2378

    But getting back to the subject, what about Mr. Baker up there? He thinks having women in combat is a great idea because there's nothing more dangerous than an angry woman.

    Any comments about that? I'd hope so!!

    And how about Ms. Simon who believes that they have a "right" to be there (in the military). Really - serving in the Armed Forces is a "right?" Since when? Any comments or concerns about what she thinks versus reality? She believes that flying a plane in combat is equal to being on the front lines? Oh, I don't think so. But since she brought it up, what do any of you think might happen to any woman shot down and captured by the enemy; how do you think she'd be treated? More than that though is how would the other POW's manage with a woman in the camp?

    And then there's Ms. Okazaki. She believes that a lot of women are "able and willing." Perhaps willing, but what about able? I mean REALLY able? Just because her son is in the Navy she knows this how?

    As for Mr. Handley, like Ms. Simon he thinks there's some sort of "right" to be in the military; and based upon that, women should be permitted to fight; as does young Mr. Daughetry. What weight should those gloves be, for fighting I mean?

    Yeah, I've inserted some satirical stuff, but this matter is really nothing to joke about. The problem is that too many people actually believe we've "evolved" to the point where what was once wrong is now perfectly okay; and things that were okay are now suddenly wrong. Well, as human beings we haven't changed all that much in over 2,000 years. Men are still the fighters; and women still the nurturers. Or at least most women are better at raising and caring for children than most men.

    It's the way God made us. And for you who don't believe in a Supreme Being, let's just attribute these differences to good old Mother Nature. And now you want to defy these natural things by shoving an M-14 or M-16 (in my day) into the arms of those who used to hold babies but are empty owing to the millions of abortions - and put them side-by-side with the men who should be paying attention not to the woman at his side to ensure her continued safety, but to the enemy who wants to kill him probably now with a higher resolve. And this is what we want for our Armed Forces?

  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 6:46 am on Fri, Jan 25, 2013.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2378

    Now that's interesting, I believe in the sanctity of human life and as such I believe abortion to be wrong. And I believe that it would be wrong to order women into combat. And because of those beliefs I "need help?"

    What kind of help would that be? Someone would be able to sit me down and convince me that killing unborn human babies is a good thing; that it's the right thing to do simply because a woman doesn't want a baby at that particular time; or they forgot to apply some sort of contraception; or it didn't work?

    And this person in an attempt to "help me" would be able to convince me that the majority of women would be able to act and react exactly as men do when placed into combat positions? They'll assure me that they'll be there when needed and that they'll kill another human being as easily as swatting a fly, which they WILL be expected to do?

    Frankly, I think such "help" would be a colossal waste of time for all concerned. I also believe that the basis for my beliefs isn't out of any hatred for anyone. But the comments that have been posted in response to my opinions have been mostly riddled with hatred and disrespect.

    These are just my opinions - I have no power by myself to enact changes that would support my way of thinking. So why the hatred? I think there are others here who need "help" far more than I do. Sure, I'm passionate about what I believe - as I should have. But I direct that passion not at any person in a negative way, but in a positive way so as to try to make people think. Perhaps that's what gets them all riled up - all that thinking gets them confused. Well then, I've succeeded at least to some degree. Phew! And for awhile there I thought I was just wasting my time.

  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 6:22 am on Fri, Jan 25, 2013.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2378

    Ms. Tygert, you might want to study up on what goes on in our military. There's a great deal of "allowing" and "disallowing" going on. The Uniform Code of Military Justice dictates what members can and cannot do - and I know there's a whole lot of civilians who believe it to be arcane and bizarre. But in order to do their jobs - win wars by rooting out and killing people by rote - it's necessary to be trained to hate the enemy, not try to understand them, and then to kill them without a second thought. Warriors are not built upon beautiful differences or beautiful ways; they're made out of centuries of study of men's character and their innate qualities that are not present within most women.

    The fact that women represent half of the human race has no bearing on the mission of the military. But like I spoke to Mr. Paglia's concerns about my "joke," I know it's not funny; it wasn't meant to be. So you tell me - should women be treated EXACTLY like men in the military? Or should they be permitted to decide for themselves if they'll pick up a rifle and confront the enemy - even eye-to-eye - with the sole purpose of taking their lives without a second thought? That's not an easy question to answer because men and women ARE different. Women ARE nurturing (or at least they're supposed to be) and as such they have no business pretending that they can be killers.

    Another question: how many women are in prison because they murdered someone other than their spouse? Look it up, it might surprise you. By their very nature, men are tougher, harder and better designed physically to take on an enemy. And it's because of those natural tendencies that are taken advantage of through hard training that wars are won. If we add women to the mix with their natural tendencies as nurturers, we'll lose more battles and predictably more wars.

  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 5:41 am on Fri, Jan 25, 2013.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2378

    It was a joke, Mr. Paglia, but it wasn't meant to be funny. Taken in context with what I wrote just prior to it, I attempted to emphasize that front line combat positions are not something any military member should be able to opt out of. And from what I've read about the lifting of this ban, some sort of opting out is being considered.

    Look, the military is not a social experiment. I do NOT believe women should be placed in combat positions. As a former member of the military, I would never want my commander to be "nurturing" as you think women would bring to the table. We should fear our leaders more than the enemy - that's how lives are saved; not by nurturing them.

    Ms. Tygert above speaks about how women "are different in their own beautiful ways." And this is why women should be on the front lines?!? Good grief!! This is preposterous.

    I can guarantee you that if they're permitted to do this, the men assigned with them will be more concerned about them than killing the enemy. This is what men not only do, it's what they're SUPPOSED to do. I'm shocked that anyone thinks this is a good idea. Perhaps it's because we haven't had a war on American soil since the Civil War that has people thinking so blase about it; that the military should be a place to experiment with these changes in social mores. It's not - the aim of the army is to kill people and break things. It's not a place to be nurtured and cared for.

    I have the highest respect for women; but in this case I'll never support ordering women into combat. So let me ask you, Mr. Paglia - should women be permitted to choose whether or not they'll serve in forward positions; or should they be treated EXACTLY like their male counterparts if this ban is lifted? THAT is the question that must be answered and seriously considered by both those with the power to change these rules and the women who will be expected to fall into line.

  • Sarah Elizabeth Tygert posted at 12:02 am on Fri, Jan 25, 2013.

    Sarah Tygert Posts: 53

    What a strange question... I didn't know we still thought about things in terms of "allowing" anymore. Why prevent any human being from doing anything of the sort? I actually was under the assumption that we let women on the front lines long ago....

    Women represent half of the human race, and have our differences in gender to bring to the table. No longer do, or should, we live in a male dominated society. There is nothing we can't do, we just sometimes do differently, because we are different in our own beautiful ways. Differences are healthy, they're needed.

  • Andy Crowder posted at 7:58 pm on Thu, Jan 24, 2013.

    Andy Crowder Posts: 245

    Kinderman's disrespect, possibly even hatred, for women is so visceral that it's front and center of nearly all his posts on every topic. Get some help, man.

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 6:03 pm on Thu, Jan 24, 2013.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2194

    [thumbdown] Jerome I am really hoping that that comment about a bad hair day was a joke that missed the mark.

    As for women on the front line I think it is a great idea. As they move through the ranks and into command positions then maybe smarter battle field decisions could be made (stated because women, for the most part, are more nurturing than men and make decisions differently than men).

  • Jeff Tillett posted at 4:26 pm on Thu, Jan 24, 2013.

    Jeff Tillett Posts: 561

    “No, I’m having a bad-hair day – I think I’ll just sleep in. You guys go take that hill, I’ll see you later.”

    Wow, excellent use of chauvinism.

  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 12:35 pm on Thu, Jan 24, 2013.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2378

    As for the five folks above who were asked their opinion out on the street, I doubt that they really had much time to consider the question. Because if they had, I'm sure we wouldn't have been treated to such ridiculous notions.

  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 11:34 am on Thu, Jan 24, 2013.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2378

    Not having reviewed the specifics of lifting this ban, I can only say that only if women can be expected to do everything that a man can do in combat then fine. But that's a very big "IF!"

    With this lifting, so must go separate levels of qualification. No more separate confidence courses during basic training - if you can't climb, jump, run and do just as your male counterparts, then keep the ban - it's not worth the risk. They MUST be physically able to do EVERYTHING men have been doing for centuries. And they can’t hesitate when called upon to kill; that means they must be mentally and emotionally able to relieve someone of their life without even thinking about it.

    There's an idea that women might be able to "opt out" of certain combat assignments. No man has the right or the option to refuse an assignment. When an order is given, men are expected to carry it out – without question. And no men have ever been given the choice as to what orders they'll obey or think about. “No, I’m having a bad-hair day – I think I’ll just sleep in. You guys go take that hill, I’ll see you later.”

    This is a VERY BAD idea. Hopefully it won't be permitted to move beyond this point.


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