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The myth of gender interchangeability

By Babette Francis - posted Friday, 5 April 2013

Few policies illustrate better the feminist myth that men and women are interchangeable than the feminist push to have women employed in front-line combat roles in war.

A text I studied for my Senior Cambridge in India (equivalent to the VCE) was Shakespeare's Henry V. We memorised King Henry's speech before the battle of Harfleur where he, Exeter, Bedford, Gloucester and soldiers were scaling walls:

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
Or close the wall up with our English dead....


The US may be closing walls with their female dead - in her column inTownhall Daily Phyllis Schlafly, President, Eagle Forum, USA, writes:

US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta's decision, as he ran through the Pentagon's exit door, to strike down the 1994 Combat Exclusion Law which excludes women from front-line combat roles, is a newsworthy act of political cowardice. His successor, presumably Chuck Hagel, will inherit the task of defending the order to assign women to front-line combat.

Of course, Panetta doesn't want to be grilled about his order. It's lacking in common sense and is toadying to feminist officers who yearn to be 3- and 4-star generals based on the feminist dogma of gender interchangeability, but where are the surveys from enlisted women who will bear the burden of the really tough and dangerous work?

  • Will the new policy of women in combat be based on gender norming, i.e. giving women and men the same tests but scoring them differently, grading women "A" for the same performance that would give a man a "C," but clearing both as passing the test on the pretense that equal effort equals equal results?
  • Explain how your new women-in-combat policy will be impacted by your policy of "diversity metrics", a fancy name for quotas. To create the illusion your new feminist policy is a success, will men be required to pretend women are qualified and entitled to career promotions?
  • Do you believe the assignment of women to combat infantry will improve combat readiness? What is your plan for non-deployability rates of women due to pregnancy and complications of sexual misconduct ranging from assault to fraternization?
  • To make the weight-lifting requirement for combat assignments gender neutral, how many pounds will be taken off the test? Gender differences in weight-lifting and upper-body strength are well documented.
  • Will men be expected to conceal female physical deficiencies to make the new policy "work"? Will men's careers be harmed if they report the truth about women's inability to do the "heavy lifting"?
  • Will assignment to combat jobs be voluntary for women but involuntary for men? Will the military ask women "do you want to go to combat?" but just assign men wherever fatal fighting is needed?
  • Will promotions for field commanders depend on attainment of "diversity metrics" that can be achieved only by creating a "critical mass" of women in infantry battalions? Explain the test of Marines in last year's tryouts for the Infantry Officer Course, where only two women volunteered, one washed out the first day, the other after one week?
  • How do you explain that women in the military get injured at least twice the rate of men and why the National Football League does not seek gender equality with female players?

Phyllis adds:

Many people have a very sanitized view of battlefield fighting. They think it means a quick gun fight and returning to base with separate shower and toilet facilities...

Ryan Smith, Marine infantry squad leader in our 2003 invasion of Iraq, described the reality of 48 hours in scorching Middle Eastern heat, with 25 Marines in the back of a vehicle designed for 15, dressed in full gear, without exiting the vehicles for any toilet needs....

Former Defense Department Inspector General Joseph E. Schmitz, a constitutional expert, who served in the US navy for 27 years, including 5 years of active duty, considers Panetta's order may be illegal or even unconstitutional because authority to make such a radical change was specifically granted to Congress. Schmitz said the order to put women in front-line combat will lead to a "degradation of good order and discipline.

Retired Army Major General Robert H. Scales writes in the Washington Post that we know from experience that the intimate, deliberate, brutal killing of our country's enemies is best done by small units or teams of men. Four solid buddy pairings of men led by a sergeant compose a nine-man battle-ready combat squad.

These squads are bound together by the 'band of brothers' effect, a phrase borrowed from Henry V.

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother...

Centuries of battlefield experience have taught us that this brotherhood is what causes a
young man to risk and even sacrifice his life willingly so his buddies can survive, and that
cohesion is a male-only relationship that would be irreparably compromised by including
women in the squad.


I am not sure where the Australian Defence Force is in employing women in front-line combat roles. About a year ago Defence Minister, Stephen Smith, in an illogical response to the sex scandals in the ADF, said women in the military should have full equality including in combat roles. Presumably this was to placate the feminist sisterhood. This month The Australian (3/4/13) reported that victims of sex and bullying in the military felt they "were being left out of the inquiry". Hopefully the ADF will address their concerns and not make yet another irrational response by recommending that women with bayonets should lead military offensives.

Women in combat are no band of brothers....

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About the Author

Babette Francis, (BSc.Hons), mother of eight, is the National & Overseas Co-ordinator of Endeavour Forum Inc. an NGO with special consultative status with the Economic & Social Council of the UN. Mrs. Francis is the Australian representative of the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer - She lived in India during the Partition of the sub-continent into India and Pakistan, a historical event that she believes was caused by the unwillingness of the Muslim leaders of that era to live in a secular democracy.

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