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Published 4 years ago with 3 Comments

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  • LacquerCritic

    Oh boy. This is such a tricky area to discuss, I've found. Of first note - there's a lot of internet disdain for calling women 'females', but I believe it's basically standard in the military, so when you read the quotes from military personnel, I wouldn't take that part to heart (especially because of their consistency in using 'males' as well).

    Next, I think if women are failing training due to physical issues, that's perfectly fine. If the drop-out rate was due to some social factor, that would be one thing, but if many women are getting significant injuries from training, that truly is indicative that they aren't physically capable of that particular job, and that's fair. Women do skew less physically strong than men - that's a fact, not a social issue. There are going to be women at the top of the bell curve capable of meeting the same requirements as men, but there are going to be fewer.

    Regarding this quote:

    Dober is a combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, and he's troubled by the high number of physical injuries among the women in a training course that he says is nothing like the real world of infantry combat.

    "Close-quarters battle, it's a very ugly thing," Dober says. "It shouldn't be up to opinion or feelings. It should be about who's the best. Could I say [gender] integration will positively and absolutely enhance the combat effectiveness and efficiency of a Marine rifle squad? I doubt it."

    The bolding is my emphasis - that part of the quote implies to me that there will be military personnel who believe that just because a woman has passed the training doesn't mean she's capable of the work. I would have thought the training to become a Marine is incredibly thorough given their reputation, so such doubts would suggest to me that there are still biases that need to be understood. Accepting a man who has passed training but continuing to doubt a woman who has passed the same training is a problem.

    • invariantMass

      So I'm going to agree with the majority of what you've said, there are women I believe who are suitable candidates for combat MOSs. However the last part where you mention ...

      Accepting a man who has passed training but continuing to doubt a woman who has passed the same training is a problem.

      There were guys in all of the infantry units I was in that people would question how he passed OSUT training, and would have difficulty with the weekly unit training. Most would chalk it up to 'basic' getting 'softer', but it does happen. These people are able to slip through the cracks and are unfit for serving in a combat MOS or any type of military capacity. I mean look at the surging numbers of active military suicide, these are people with past histories of depression that somehow make it through the training that never should have been allowed to enlist. The majority of these service members have never even seen combat, so it'd be a tough sell to claim the issue of PTSD.

      What I'm saying is that doubting a soldier is fit for combat already happens to men in combat roles, and to single this out as a gender issue is a little farfetched. Source on PTSD/Deployed /NonDeployed Suicides: http://www.militarytimes.com/story/military/p...nse-department-suicides-2013-report/21865977/

      • LacquerCritic

        I think that we can look at it with a bit more nuance though. The situation you described - someone having issues with the weekly training - is entirely understandable. And again, I'd argue that if women in combat roles continue to struggle with regular training, or have other issues pop up as time goes on, that is a valid concern. But if you have a woman fresh out of training, having seemingly passed with no issues, and there's nothing else on which you can evaluate her, saying, "Well, I bet she's going to have problems anyway. She probably won't be able to do the job," isn't benefiting anyone.

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