The Pentagon’s Surrender to Feminism

G“The Pentagon unveiled plans Tuesday for fully integrating women into front-line and special combat roles, including elite forces such as Army Rangers and Navy SEALs.”

So ran the lead on the CNN story. And why are we doing this?

Did the young officers leading troops in battle in Afghanistan and Iraq, returning with casualties, say they needed women to enhance the fighting efficiency of their combat units and the survival rate of their soldiers? Did men from the 101st and 82nd airborne, the Marines, the SEALs and Delta Force petition the Joint Chiefs to put women alongside them in future engagements to make them an even superior force?

No. This decision to put women in combat represents a capitulation of the military brass, a surrender to the spirit of our age, the Pentagon’s salute to feminist ideology.

This is not a decision at which soldiers arrived when they studied after-action reports, but the product of an ideology that contradicts human nature, human experience and human history, and declares as dogma that women are just as good at soldiering as men.

But if this were true, rather than merely asserted, would it have taken mankind the thousands of years from Thermopylae to discover it?

In the history of civilization, men have fought the wars. In civilized societies, attacks on women have always been regarded as contemptible and cowardly. Even the Third Reich in its dying hours did not send women into battle, but old men and boys. “You don’t hit a girl!” was something every American boy had drilled into him from childhood. It was part of our culture, the way we were raised. A Marine friend told me he would have resigned from the Corps rather than fight women with the pugil sticks used for bayonet practice at Parris Island.

Sending women into combat on equal terms seems also to violate common sense. When they reach maturity, men are bigger, stronger, more aggressive. Thus they commit many times the number of violent crimes and outnumber women in prisons 10 to 1. For every Bonnie Parker, there are 10 Clyde Barrows.

Is it a coincidence that every massacre discussed in our gun debate — from the Texas Tower to the Long Island Railroad, from Columbine to Ft. Hood, from Virginia Tech to Tucson, from Aurora to Newtown — was the work of a crazed male?

Nothing matches mortal combat where soldiers fight and kill, and are wounded, maimed and die for cause or country. Domestically, the closest approximations are combat training, ultimate fighting, boxing and that most physical of team sports, the NFL. Yet no women compete against men in individual or team sports. They are absent from boys’ and men’s teams in high school and college, be it football, basketball, baseball, hockey or lacrosse. Even in the non-contact sports of golf, tennis and volleyball, men compete with men, women against women. In the Olympics, to which nations send their best athletes, women and men compete separately in track and field, swimming and gymnastics.

Consider our own history. Would any U.S. admiral say that in any of America’s great naval battles — Mobile Bay, Manila Bay, Midway, the Coral Sea — we would done better with some women manning the guns? In the revolutionary and civil wars, World Wars I and II, Korea and Vietnam, women were not in combat. Was it invidious discrimination of which we should all be ashamed that women were not fighting alongside the men at Gettysburg, in the Argonne, at Normandy or with “Chesty” Puller’s Marines in the retreat from the Chosin Reservoir?

Undeniably, some women might handle combat as well as some men. But that is true of some 13-, 14- and 15-year-old boys, and some 50- and 60-year old men. Yet we do not draft boys or men that age or send them into combat. Is this invidious discrimination based on age, or ageism?

Carry this feminist-egalitarian ideology to its logical conclusion, and half of those storming the Omaha and Utah beaches should have been girls and women. Is this not an absurdity?

We have had Navy ships become “love boats,” with female sailors returning pregnant. At the Naval Academy, three midshipmen, football players, allegedly raped an intoxicated classmate. For months, she was too ashamed and frightened to report it. An estimated 26,000 personnel of the armed forces were sexually assaulted in 2011, up from 19,000 in 2010. Obama and the Congress are understandably outraged. Such assaults are appalling. But is not the practice of forcing young men and women together in close quarters a contributory factor here?

Among the primary reasons the Equal Rights Amendment, the ERA, went down to defeat three decades ago was the realization it could mean, in a future war, women could be drafted equally with men, and sent in equal numbers into combat.

But what appalled the Reaganites is social progress in the age of Obama. This is another country from the one we grew up in.

Pat Buchanan


Patrick Buchanan is a conservative political commentator and syndicated columnist and author of several books, including Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?.

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  • cmacri

    Not a comment, just an observation. Way back in 1984, during my college sea term aboard a Military Sealift Command ship, I flew into Haifa, Israel to catch my ship. Uniformed soldiers, male and female, standing around with machine guns, were a common site. I don’t know about now, but back then, armed service was a requirement for all young Israeli men and women. I wonder if there are lessons we could learn from Israel’s experience.

  • drea916

    Men go to war and women have babies…both are difficult and often take the person’s life. Both are nessecary for civilization. I think women should go to war when men have cramps, menstrate and give birth. (I’m not knocking men, just that each of the sexes has a role to play and women’s can’t be changed, so keep men where they’re at.)

  • Barrysullivan1

    Isreal has women in the military but they have never been sent into combat. Given Israel is small and surrounded by enemies, the logic of having everyone trained is that if the enemy is overrunning Israel of course everyone will fight rathjer than being slaughtered. I served in the Navy back in the 1980s when they started putting women on ships and the sex between superiors and subordinates was rampant and destroyed the morale on ships where women were stationed. Buchannon’s article is right on.

  • Winston Barquez

    equality is the result of human dignity.
    This dignity stems from the reality of man and woman being made in the
    image and likeness of God. Beyond that,
    they are unequal and so they have different but complimentary roles from the
    bedroom to the boardroom. These roles
    complete, and not compete with, each other.
    Now, the fallacy of feminism seeks to eliminate this radical inequality
    and to create a human being that is called a “man-woman”. The absurdity of this fallacy is based on the
    fact that it regards the complimentary roles of man and woman as contradictory
    and imagine the male to be unfairly superior to the female and unjustly
    discriminatory of the latter. This
    absurdity leads to relationships that are unnatural and abnormal. The term “man-woman”, like the term “same-sex
    marriage”, is an oxymoron and the person who believes that there is such a thing is a moral moron.
    Sorry for being radical, but I have to call a “spade” a “spade”.

  • Poppiexno

    One more example of insane PC liberalism denying ANY difference between men and women. It’s my understanding that only the Marine Corp, of all the uniform services, imposes the same physical requiremnt on both men and women. If I were wounded I would sure want someone strong enough to get me out of harm’s way.
    It may be argued that the Soviet Union used women in the front line in WWII so why not us. Unlike us, the Soviets had a rigid, unforgiving military ethos. An unbiased academic study of their experience would be an interesting read. But we need not go back that far. Women have flown combat missions in the Middle East. What is the Air Force’s experience there?

  • Richard III

    Excellent point, and extra excellent metaphor. 😀