The administration, concerned that not enough women serving in the military have had the opportunity to be captured and raped by the enemy, now wish to assign women to combat roles.
Good thing this happened while the looming debt crisis is about to bankrupt us, and while unconstitutional executive orders are being issued to infringe on our gun rights, and while an antisemite is being appointed to the cabinet, and while the scandal of a slain ambassador in Libya and the surrounding cover-up and scapegoating of a Coptic guy who posted a YouTube video continues to be stonewalled, and while the Catholic Church is still being required by law to violate our most deeply held beliefs and to lose our First Amendment right to practice our faith, and while the trainwreck of fiscal madness and socialized medicine continue to topple over onto us with the slowmotion grandeur of a great natural disaster, because, otherwise, we might be able to generate some coordinated opposition to this. But when the immune system of a social body is gone, every random germ floating by causes another disease and another set of symptoms flares up.
The administration has uttered the assurance that physical standards will not be dropped or downgraded as they have been in all previous cases of putting women in men’s roles in the military and fire brigades. This assurance is a ritual phrase, not believed and not meant to be believed. It is similar to when a Catholic at High Mass does not understand Latin, but mutters the proper response anyway upon cue. “Carry a Lay a-song. Christy a Lay a-song.” like that.
Naturally, I am opposed to national suicide, to preemptive disarmament, and to demeaning women, and to cowardice in men, and to eliminating the future mothers of the Republicans (because you know the Dems are not sending their daughters into harm’s way: Dems will be protesting the wars and shielding the tyrants, not fighting them). My theory is that if American women are such helpless ninnies that they cannot save enough pin money to buy their cheapass lovers condoms at the drugstore without my Archbishop having to take money out of the church poor box to foot the bill, then the girls are not man enough to storm Normandy Beach.
I have been convinced as an abstract and rational matter that imposing women in combat is counterproductive both to the unit and to the society the army defends for quite some time.
However, it became a passionate and emotional issue for me, something I felt in my roaring and volcanic heart, rather than something I merely deduced in the icy heights of my dispassionate logic, when I saw the movie STARSHIP TROOPERS by Paul Verhoeven.
For those of you not familiar with the movie, it has the same relation to the book of that same title by Robert Heinlein as the 1967 version of CASINO ROYALE has to the book of that same title by Ian Fleming: it is a satire. Unlike the spy-parody, however, this movie was neither funny nor lighthearted in its satire.
One of the satirical scenes, or at least I hope it was meant satirically, was a shower scene where the virile and stalwart young heroic soldier boys were naked and wet and crowded together with the nubile and buxom young bathing beauties, whereupon the boys …. ignored them. There was no blushing, no erections, no wolf whistles, no averting of the eyes, no friendly slaps on the perfectly rounded peach-shaped buttocks of the battle-nymphs …. nothing.
Neither shame nor lust nor admiration nor modesty.
I realized that the joke was that the army of the future expected these pale and watery-souled eunuchs to place themselves between their loved homes and war’s desolation. And, of course, as the movie went on, we saw the pale and watery-souled eunuchs shooting each other, cowering before bugs that farted missiles into orbit, stabbing each other, and wandering into blind box canyons without scouts or air support so that the comedy scenes of giant bugs ripping the heads off of comedy soldiers in comic waterfalls of blood would play out to the general laughter of the audience.
Then, as I was whooping at this zany comedy, I noticed I was the only one in the movie theater laughing.
The film maker and the audience were apparently supposed to take seriously the idea that penis-free men would make good soldiers, and that the cause of female equality required males to be penis-free. (I mean that phrase in both senses of the word. In the movie, the men acted like organisms lacking a male member, but they also fornicated with abandon, that is, freely, with subordinate she-soldier bathing beauties. I would call it fraternization, except that it was more like a sorority than a fraternity.)
It occurred to me then that this screwball comedy was actually meant as a mockery of the military, as if Verhoeven thought he was exaggerating things real military people actually did, like having drill sergeants stab recruits, and showing things he thought they should do, like having coed showers and commanding officers encouraging fraternizational fornication as recreation in the ranks. The joke of having clown soldiers do clown things (like ramming their starships into each other, or shooting each other when wounded) was apparently because this craven and nithling director, whose whole life and civilization has been protected by the brave sacrifice of men manlier than he, thought it was funny to denigrate that sacrifice.
And I thought that joke was that if the real soldiers, if they accepted these clown ideas, would end up as clowns. But no, the joke was supposed to be that the soldiers were clowns, and the ideas were merely meant to shock the bourgeoisie. (I suppose the ideas would have been shocking for World War One. The so called progressive ideas of the so called Progressives, from free love to the suffragette movement, date from about the time of the Great War, and have not progressed since.)
As a movie mocking the folly of the war against Bismarck and the Kaiser, and the inhumanity of trench warfare, I think STARSHIP TROOPERS did a fine job. As a retro-historical oddity, a 1997 movie using a 1959 novel to put across a 1919 set of ideas, the movie is worth preserving. Otherwise, all copies should be hunted down heaped on a bonfire and burnt, preferably beneath the stake to which Mr Verhoeven is chained. Because I am totally joking about not getting the point of the movie: I knew from the opening scene that the film was meant to drive a thumb into my eye, and to spit in the face of everyone who loves honor and admires heroes, or who liked Heinlein’s book. I paid nine bucks so that a cowardly man could void his bowls on me.
In sum, STARSHIP TROOPERS the movie was not only the worst science fiction film ever made, and the worse war film ever made, it was made by people who were not in the military and had never spoken to anyone who had been, and was evidently made for an audience of people who were not in the military and had never spoken to anyone who had been.
Now, I am sure that if you had held a vote among just fans of that film as to the advisability of women in combat zones, they would not even be able to comprehend the argument against it. I will not repeat those arguments here: they are too obvious. (But I will link to them.)
But this is not a question of argument, but of emotion. The politically correct have associated the emotion of equal rights for women with the question of how best to use limited resources to pursue the goals of war. To them, protecting women from the danger of combat is the same as yanking the ballot out of their frail and delicate hands. They have associated or aligned two unrelated ideas in a false-to-facts way. So, to a degree, the question cannot be discussed, because you think you will be talking about how best to prosecute a war, and they think you are yanking the ballot out of the woman’s hands, and they will talk as if you said that no matter what you said.
My thoughts can be summed up nicely with these words. As theologian John Piper has said,
If I were the last man on the planet to think so, I would want the honor of saying no woman should go before me into combat to defend my country. A man who endorses women in combat is not pro-woman; he’s a wimp. He should be ashamed. For most of history, in most cultures, he would have been utterly scorned as a coward to promote such an idea. Part of the meaning of manhood as God created us is the sense of responsibility for the safety and welfare of our women.
I also will quote Father Christmas from THE LION THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE. Battles are ugly when women fight.
To be sure, nations like Israel who are under constant attack and ongoing military threat from the US Democrat Party, and from the Democrat’s allies among the Jihadists and Palestinians, simply must place women in dangerous military roles because the tiny nation lacks the manpower otherwise.
You see, I am not opposed to women in combat, if there is a draft. If we are not in such desperate straits that we do not need a draft, a fortiori, we are not in such desperate straits that we need to expose our mothers, wives, sisters and daughters in harm’s way.
If even one incident like the capture and rape of Pvt Jessica Lynch can be prevented by a ban on assault weapons, I mean, a ban on allowing women to serve in combat zones, even one life, then I support that ban!
But it is still ugly even when it happens, over and above the hellish ugliness of all wars, because once women are involved, it is ugliness without honor, and without that masculine courage and bravery which is the only small spark of anything good or admirable in the vast darkness and horror and bloodshed of campaign.
In castrated combat, that masculine courage is allegedly replaced by an intellectual affirmation of the equal personhood of all human resources being expended in the mechanics of the military operation.
I say allegedly, because what really happens is that a soldier boy exposes himself to greater danger to protect the soldier girl in his unit, or to show off in front of her, or else he must lose the manly honor that makes him a good soldier; but at the same time all parties involved in the rank structure have to pretend that this does not or should not happen.
That pretense is political correctness. The point of PC is to get everyone in the subordinate population to tell the same lies together, lies none of them believe, because it humiliates them, robs them of strength of will, and makes them mistrust each other so that the subordinates cannot rise up in rebellion.
(You did not think PC was really a matter of courtesy to spare the delicate feelings of others, did you, reader? Has any PC-nik ever struck you as even having the level of courtesy of your average taxi driver or motorcycle gang leader?)
If the soldier girl is his lover, or the lover of someone higher in rank, or the lover of his romantic rival in his unit, matters become more complex and vile. The idea that all this can be tossed aside by merely commanding human nature to obey the dictates of intellectual theory is an idea no one who survived the Twentieth Century should entertain.
We have seen what institutions which take human nature into account are like: marriage, or the US Constitution. We have also seen when institutions which flatly deny human nature in a burst of smug make-believe are like: free love, or the Soviet Constitution. Why make the US Military one more unreality-believing antihuman institution? Why else but to erode it as a fighting force?
Father Christmas was right in more ways than one. Battles are ugly when women are in them, not only because exposing your daughters to danger is ugly, but because making your sons into gormless cowards is very ugly.