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View Poll Results: Do you think women should be able to join the Infantry?
Yes 24 50.00%
No 20 41.67%
Other (explain) 4 8.33%
Voters: 48. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-02-2009, 09:15 PM
 
Location: Texas
14,023 posts, read 9,495,071 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elamigo View Post
Still, the bottom line lies on this question:

If a woman qualifies by meeting the standards to be an infantry Soldier, do you agree she be allowed to be one?

Very simple: Yes or No.

You have a great day.
El Amigo

No.

As OC Investor 2 put it: "The number of women who could withstand the rigors of infantry life is so small that disrupting the small unit dynamic that has carried men thru battle since the time of the phalanx to accomodate that small number is not worth it."

He's exactly right.
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Old 07-02-2009, 09:19 PM
 
Location: El Paso, TX
3,172 posts, read 2,213,003 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OC Investor2 View Post
I'll answer your question. The answer is no. Why? The number of women who could withstand the rigors of infantry life is so small that disrupting the small unit dynamic that has carried men thru battle since the time of the phalanx to accomodate that small number is not worth it.

It is the job of Infantry units to close with and destroy the enemy in close combat, not be a Make-a-Wish dream granters for a small number of hard charging, physically tough females.

Skillit raised many germane arguments and you seem to be brushing them all off as narrow-minded discrimination. There is no strategy, tactic or other aid that would compensate for an infantry soldier who could not ruck up, move out and vigourouly engage the enemy - in hand to hand combat if neccesary. The weapons may have changed but the basic role of an infantry soldier is no different then it has been for hundreds, if not thousands of years.
I did not brush them off. They are narrow minded discrimination. The Russians in WWII are used as class examples that women have been able to deal with all the excuses you just mentioned as to why women cannot handle it. Are American women any different? Guess what. In some sense they are and in that sense I agree they cannot handle it as you point. However, that has more to do with the mentality and attitude more than the reality that women are capable to hande it. Not, only Russia is an example, there are many examples in history in nations around that world that have demonstrated women can handle it. I cited a book earlier. The writer did quiet good research on the issue. That is not the only book though. There are many out there that do show women can handle it. The mentality that exist against it is the real obstacle.

As far as saying that very few would not qualify, how do you know that if today they are not allowed to qualify for?

Now, you bring up the issue of unit disruption. It is the same excuse with gays and also the one given on blacks before. Unit disruption seems to be the common denominator that to me seems the ulterior motive is simple discrimination.

"Make-a-dream wish granters"? That type of comment seems to be opposite extreme of the "make a dream wish granters", neither side is willing to consider the other side may have some validity.

You have a great day.
El Amigo
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Old 07-03-2009, 10:54 PM
 
2,648 posts, read 3,073,855 times
Reputation: 1819
Quote:
Originally Posted by elamigo View Post
I did not brush them off. They are narrow minded discrimination. The Russians in WWII are used as class examples that women have been able to deal with all the excuses you just mentioned as to why women cannot handle it. Are American women any different? Guess what. In some sense they are and in that sense I agree they cannot handle it as you point. However, that has more to do with the mentality and attitude more than the reality that women are capable to hande it. Not, only Russia is an example, there are many examples in history in nations around that world that have demonstrated women can handle it. I cited a book earlier. The writer did quiet good research on the issue. That is not the only book though. There are many out there that do show women can handle it. The mentality that exist against it is the real obstacle.

As far as saying that very few would not qualify, how do you know that if today they are not allowed to qualify for?

Now, you bring up the issue of unit disruption. It is the same excuse with gays and also the one given on blacks before. Unit disruption seems to be the common denominator that to me seems the ulterior motive is simple discrimination.

"Make-a-dream wish granters"? That type of comment seems to be opposite extreme of the "make a dream wish granters", neither side is willing to consider the other side may have some validity.

You have a great day.
El Amigo

Bad example.

I suppose if 1/3rd of US territory were captured by the enemy, most of our army was captured or KIA and we were on the verge of losing a war to a genocidal maniac, then yes we can start putting women in the infantry. Until then the answer would stay "No". Besides, survivability of the individual soldier & his or her squad never was a high priority for the Red Army, was it? I think we can do a little better then that.

How do I know only a small number of women would qualify? Because that is the reality of the biology. Women are not as physically strong as men. Some small percentage of the front end of the bell curve female physical ability would reside past the point of acceptance for infantry duty and those women would be physically qualified, the vast majority won't. There's a reason men & women do not compete head to head in athletics. Just ask Annika Sorreson or Michelle Wie.

The reason the issue of homosexuality and females is legit (and I think the Gay thing is changing as mores & values do) and the race thing is not is both of the former involve sexuality while the latter does not. Sex is a can of worms that does not belong open on the battelfield.

I'll also give you another reason I oppose opening the infantry to woman that I have not yet stated. If we opened the infantry to those few women who could handle it, given today's PC enviroment, how long do you think it will before the standards would be lowered to accomodate more females? Do you seriously believe that once women were in the activists would let it rest there? No Way! Soon it would be "disparate impact" this and "proportional representation" that and it would be all downhill from there. If those standards start to fall our warfighters will be less effective and both men and women will die. Can you honestly say the standards would hold against the pressure of the PC types?

I can consider alot of the validity of the opposing arguement. I am OK with women in a number of combat roles they were not allowed in when I was soldiering. Infantry isn't one of those roles.
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Old 07-06-2009, 04:33 AM
 
6,351 posts, read 13,026,577 times
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I've never been in an infantry unit or even the U.S. Army, so I can only base my beliefs onmy USAF experiences. I enlisted in 1974 and women in non-traditional fields like aircraft maintenance were still very much a novelty. but they ultimately proved to be just as good as men on the flightline. IMHO, the bottom line is: "Can the individual do the job"? I believe that is all that matters. There was quite an adjustment when the USAF announced that women would be allowed to fly combat aircraft. There were many of the same arguments against the policy as there were about them serving in the Combat Arms branches. I don't believe there's any reason to exclude women from Combat Arms units; Heck, there everywhere on the front lines now.

The other issue with women serving in the military is the opportunity for promotion. Anywhere women are excluded from a certain job, that hurts their promotion potential. And that's just wrong.
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Old 07-06-2009, 07:35 AM
 
Location: New Mexico USA
17,138 posts, read 17,839,317 times
Reputation: 19770
Women represent 19% of all French military personnel. They are allowed to serve in the combat infantry.

Some women served in the infantry in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) IDF during the 1948 war of independence and "Operation Kadesh" in 1956, In 1999 the Israel Caracal company was formed, as a non segregated infantry company. In 2000 it was expanded into a Battalion (called The 33rd, for the 33 women killed in combat during the War of Independence) since then, further combat positions have opened to women, including Artillery and Field Intelligence.

Since 2001 New Zealand has had no restrictions on roles for women in its defence force. They are able to serve in the Special Air Service, infantry, armour and artillery.

Canada began allowing women in its infantry ranks in 1989.



Rich
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Old 07-06-2009, 01:24 PM
 
Location: vagabond
2,612 posts, read 3,367,491 times
Reputation: 1227
no matter how much people want to create "equal opportunity," it will never exist–no matter how much legislation and pc bullcrap is pushed. there is no way that we will make it so that women can compete in male-specialized areas, and no way that we will make it so that men can compete in female-specialized areas. we've evolved that way so that we don't need to compete in those outside arenas, and to try to stick someone back in is like forcing the square peg through the round hole.

as far as physical capability is concerned, strength is not the only issue. strength is definitely necessary, and most women would not pass the qualifications based on that alone. but then you have to consider speed, reflexes, endurance, and many other aspects that are very different than the qualities that make a good soccer player. an even smaller percentage of females would qualify when all physical aspects are tallied. of that small percentage, how many of them could actually handle the combat environment? men can hardly handle it most of the time, and that is what we've been physically, emotionally, and mentally specialized to do.

males and females think and feel differently, and combat plays games with all of both of those traits. i have never seen studies done that would indicate whether females would or would not do well mentally and emotionally in an infantry environment. men do lousy enough, but their minds are set up specifically for that kind of action. i'd be curious to see how women compare.

but ultimately, i do think that it would be wrong to incorporate females into the infantry–because it would drop the effectiveness of the military unit. i see it along the same lines as the stupid legislations continually drawn up in order to make boot camp easier, less combative and emotionally traumatizing, etc (because we wouldn't want our recruits to be evaluated in bot camp for something like... combat, would we? for crying out loud...).

if women were allowed in the infantry, then standards would drop in many areas. field ops would have to be shorter. pt standards would slide even lower than they are at this point (and nowadays, it is a joke no matter what branch you are talking about). units would need to be changed around entirely (this one is less important than the others, since it is an aspect of current military tradition, rather than anything else, but it is still a serious issue that might take decades to integrate properly).

there are just too many aspects about the idea that i see as irresponsible, minimally analyzed, and ignorant. like i said, if there is ever conclusive evidence that the above would not be a problem, i'd be very curious to see how it would work, but the bottom line is that the military unit would become less effective, and that is not tolerable, no matter the feel-good politics involved in extreme equal opportunity legislation.

aaron out.
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Old 07-06-2009, 01:37 PM
 
Location: El Paso, TX
3,172 posts, read 2,213,003 times
Reputation: 2389
Quote:
Originally Posted by OC Investor2 View Post
Bad example.

I suppose if 1/3rd of US territory were captured by the enemy, most of our army was captured or KIA and we were on the verge of losing a war to a genocidal maniac, then yes we can start putting women in the infantry. Until then the answer would stay "No". Besides, survivability of the individual soldier & his or her squad never was a high priority for the Red Army, was it? I think we can do a little better then that.

How do I know only a small number of women would qualify? Because that is the reality of the biology. Women are not as physically strong as men. Some small percentage of the front end of the bell curve female physical ability would reside past the point of acceptance for infantry duty and those women would be physically qualified, the vast majority won't. There's a reason men & women do not compete head to head in athletics. Just ask Annika Sorreson or Michelle Wie.

The reason the issue of homosexuality and females is legit (and I think the Gay thing is changing as mores & values do) and the race thing is not is both of the former involve sexuality while the latter does not. Sex is a can of worms that does not belong open on the battelfield.

I'll also give you another reason I oppose opening the infantry to woman that I have not yet stated. If we opened the infantry to those few women who could handle it, given today's PC enviroment, how long do you think it will before the standards would be lowered to accomodate more females? Do you seriously believe that once women were in the activists would let it rest there? No Way! Soon it would be "disparate impact" this and "proportional representation" that and it would be all downhill from there. If those standards start to fall our warfighters will be less effective and both men and women will die. Can you honestly say the standards would hold against the pressure of the PC types?

I can consider alot of the validity of the opposing arguement. I am OK with women in a number of combat roles they were not allowed in when I was soldiering. Infantry isn't one of those roles.
OK, let is cover biology. Women are not strong as men? Generally speaking I would say you are correct. Men are designed with greater upper body than women. Does that mean women cannot handle dragging, lifting, and carring wounded men in the field? The human body has an amazing ability to adjust to circumstances and women have proven that.
I will cite example but by not means they are not the exception as I suspect you may reply with. They are a few of the so many I could cite from history books to many to list here. When I attended the US Army Sergeants Major Academy I did a research paper on women in combat. I admit at that time I had my apprehensions on women in combat. Actually before that I was convinced the same way you are. However, after doing some lenghty reaearch your reasons do not hold water. At that time I had to accept that women can be in the infantry units. In all fairness to your comments I will say conclude you give such reasons comparing women today, probably American women to say the least. I will say that our culture softened women to the point they are today. I will not fault them for that. It simply just happened that way. However, as women have been allowed to integrate in many fields, the gap between men and women has narrowed in just about any field. Sports is one of them. I do not believe they will be equally the same due to biology as you stated. However, again, that does not mean they cannot perform in the infantry field. History does not support your view. I may cite individual women actions but I will concentrate on units, battalions, armies of women throughout history. Because of time and space I cannot cite them with the details books provide. It is up to you to read on them. Actually, I may break into a couple more posts to provide some coverage on their abilities to perform on the battle field.
Examples:
The Abkhazians- They had a woman warrior tradition. Warring skills were a differentiation between free people from a slave. Women "were expected to take up arms bravely when necessary, to fight alongside the men and be stoic and relentless". Abkhazians, The Long-Living People of the Caucasus. By Sula Benet. You may try to counter that the women in support fields. No, they were expected to pass the same areas as the men to qualify.
The Greeks- About one fifth of the Greek army during the Greek Civil War was composed of women. One example of bravery is Annetta of the Peloponnesus. She "single-handedly captured and disarmed a group of German soldiers" during WWII.
Eastern countries i.e. Italy, Austria, Georgia, Prussia, Greece, Turkey, and
Russia had women in their armies. In one example "They died in frontline combat and received the highest decorations for heroism and valor". Women Warriors by David E. Jones.
Trotsky in his History of Russina Revolution gave accounts of how women directed the revolutio's inception in St. Petersburg in 1917. Anti-Zar women fighters acted on military fronts all over Russia as line troops, military train conductors, snipers, demolition experts, spies, terrorists, assasins.
Gosh! I have to go now. I will continues because I do have a long list of examples but I got a call and have to go somewhere. These examples are just a very minute historical piece.
When I get back I will cite more.

I will depart replying to your comment of about the Russians. It is very weak. You had not data to support. Just personal bias as I can see. They demonstrated great courage and the will to protect their country from the Germans. To down play their women effort with this "survivability of the individual soldier & his or her squad never was a high priority for the Red Army, was it?" comment is very uncalled for. It should draw praise and recognition for the valor and courage of a country that worked hard at great perils to defend their country. To me it is just a below the belt comment on their actions.
The point is discussion whether women are capable to be in the infantry. They can if there are less people like you. It is your mentality that is the main obstacle as it was when a few decades ago many did not want them in the Army at all. Now, that they are in so many field performing and proving they could do what many said they could not, one of the last bastions of machismo is the infantry.
I will be back.

You have great day.
El Amigo
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Old 07-07-2009, 05:16 AM
 
1,482 posts, read 1,043,458 times
Reputation: 820
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poncho_NM View Post
Women represent 19% of all French military personnel. They are allowed to serve in the combat infantry.

Some women served in the infantry in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) IDF during the 1948 war of independence and "Operation Kadesh" in 1956, In 1999 the Israel Caracal company was formed, as a non segregated infantry company. In 2000 it was expanded into a Battalion (called The 33rd, for the 33 women killed in combat during the War of Independence) since then, further combat positions have opened to women, including Artillery and Field Intelligence.

Since 2001 New Zealand has had no restrictions on roles for women in its defence force. They are able to serve in the Special Air Service, infantry, armour and artillery.

Canada began allowing women in its infantry ranks in 1989.



Rich
I know just a touch about the NZ army, yes we have that dumb policy for the NZ army but, while there are women attached to our infantry none are infantry.
A woman passing selection for the SAS, just cannot see them getting through the physical part of selection.
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Old 07-07-2009, 05:26 AM
 
1,091 posts, read 2,370,495 times
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The israeli army has women in combat, and nobody could argue that they're not kick-ass.
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Old 07-07-2009, 05:35 AM
 
6,151 posts, read 5,433,545 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nzrugby View Post
That is the point I am making, arguing that women have the ability to go bayonet to bayonet against any male is the same as arguing that ALL sports should be unisex.
That just about calls it.
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