Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The body has meaning

As regular readers will know, I'm not a supporter of the idea of women in combat. It's not something that women were made for, and proof of this is in the body itself - in the distinct physicality of men and women.

Below is a picture of an Australian soldier, Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith, who stormed a machine-gun position in Afghanistan in 2010 and was later awarded a Victoria Cross for his act of valour. His body is angular and muscular and he has the facial features and expression that you would expect of a warrior:



Compare his picture with that of New Zealand singer Hayley Westenra:



She is smaller, her limbs are slender and elegant, her body is softer and her face radiates warmth and emotion. She wasn't made for the battlefield but for something more feminine.

There is a meaning written into our physical, embodied selves. Our bodies tell us something about our purposes as men and women. Liberals won't like to hear this, as it means that some of our choices aren't entirely self-determined.

But what's the alternative? If you were to argue that our bodies shouldn't matter, then how could you pursue life as an integrated being, i.e. how could you develop as a person who had achieved a unity of body, mind and spirit?

It isn't right to throw away the body as an identifying aspect of self.

26 comments:

  1. Ben-Roberts has the bodybuilder look you won't see on female soldiers.

    I have met a very small number of female soldiers with the lean, rangy look of warriors. They are a small minority of all female soldiers, though - most look more like Haley Westenra.

    Personally I'm ok with that very small number of very unusual women being soldiers; they are the tiny proportion who can past the same physical standards set for men. What actually happens of course is that standards are lowered so that normal, Haley-looking girls can get through.

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  2. Simon,

    Unusually I have to disagree with one part of your comment.

    I believe you when you say that there is a subset of women soldiers who are exceptional in that they meet the physical requirements for being soldiers.

    But even these women I would exclude from combat roles. Why? Because they are still women and as such they will fulfil who they are in a different way to men.

    Furthermore, permitting women to be combat troops alters the male function in society - in particular it undercuts the idea of a male duty to protect. How can men maintain a sense of this duty if they have to psychologically process the fact that they are fighting alongside women?

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  3. I agree with Mr. Richardson. Simon's view is progress. When he says that the women who are suitable for combat have a "lean, rangy look", he is saying that parts of their body, e.g. the limbs, faces and other parts that make up that "look", matter. That's already more than a consistent liberal could say.

    Unfortunately, it's also not enough for a consistent whatever-we-are to say. Simon allows that some parts, the visible, prominent parts have meaning for one's career. He just doesn't allow for the concealed, genital parts to have that kind of meaning too.

    I'd be interested in knowing why he has chosen to exclude the genitals from the socially meaningful body parts. It seems to be that this social dissection (vivisection?) of the body into useful and useless parts could get messy.

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  4. I respect you guys' views - I am not a traditionalist conservative so my gut feelings often won't tally with yours, I wouldn't expect them to.

    If it were up to me I'd allow female fighters that met actual warrior standards, but put them in sex-segregated units so that their having different genitals wouldn't matter. Most women are cut out to be wives, mothers, nurturers - not everyone is, though.

    I guess my POV is Utilitarian, it's just that unlike most modern utilitarians I think that a healthy society needs a strong dose of conservative/traditional values, as well as liberal values, and both need to be recognised as legitimate elements (as Haidt's research implies). Obviously our modern society devalues the conservative completely, which is why we're so screwed up.

    It may well be that you guys are right and that allowing any women in combat causes social harm that outweighs the benefits. Certainly the Israeli experience indicates that mixed-sex combat units don't work well. I'm not convinced though; I think - and this may be wrong - that a role can still be recognised as a male role even if some women are allowed to fulfil it, as long as those women are still held to male standards and treated as men. Which in cases like this requires segregation so that sex urges don't get in the way.

    Finally, I'm unsure if women in combat is an important argument right now. We shouldn't be fighting in Afghanistan (etc) in pursuit of American-Liberal World Empire. The real battle is being fought at home, within our societies. Having 4 kids and bringing them up right is a much greater victory than killing 20 Taleban. Maybe one day we'll be physically fighting for survival on our streets, but if so that is a ways off, and I suspect may not happen.

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  5. "We shouldn't be fighting in Afghanistan (etc) in pursuit of American-Liberal World Empire."

    Oh please give me a freaking break! When the US invaded Afghanistan they closed the 15 training camps that have provided training for some 20,000 plus potential terrorists. The British security services estimate that some 600 people trained in the Afghan camps now live in the UK, according to one Whitehall source. The al Qaeda training camps are an integral part of the terrorist organization. All 19 of the 9/11 hijackers, as well as the operatives in the London Bombings, the USS Cole attacks and the Bali bombing which killed 88 Australians attended Afghan training camps.

    As for "The real battle is being fought at home, within our societies"
    Yes but not the way you state.The real battle is and will continue to be against the Islamification of the western world. Which actually for Europe is lost anyway thanks to the useful idiots who hold the absurd belief that all cultures are equal.If you live in Britain your 4 kids will be growing up in a country that has already adopted parts of Sharia Law and every year there will be more and more aspects added while the Muslims keep on pouring in and shouting their hatred of the west from street corners and plotting against their hosts.You need to understand that without America there is no free world.

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  6. kman,
    I think you've misunderstood Simon. He was not saying that the U.S. was wrong to shut down the terrorist camps. He may believe that; I don't know. But that's not what he said. He said we should n't be fighting afghanistan to spread liberalism. We are of course doing precisely that, and you shouldn't be surprised to hear that labeled the folly it is on a traditionalist website.

    Auster has an article up about the election results of the Arab spring "revolution" we supported in Egypt. It might well be the last free election the Egyptians ever have.

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  7. Bartholomew I appreciate your post but I think that his message was clear IMO that we shouldn't be there period.I don't believe he even knows or cares re the training camps.

    "We shouldn't be fighting in Afghanistan (etc) in pursuit of American-Liberal World Empire."

    It's the "World Empire" read... "imperialism"

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  8. Bartholomew said...
    kman,
    Bartholomew:
    "I think you've misunderstood Simon.
    He was not saying that the U.S. was wrong to shut down the terrorist camps. He may believe that; I don't know. But that's not what he said. He said we should n't be fighting afghanistan to spread liberalism. We are of course doing precisely that, and you shouldn't be surprised to hear that labeled the folly it is on a traditionalist website."

    You are right of course. Al Qaeda needed to be destroyed - which they weren't, due to the failure at Tora Bora. And the Taleban needed to be punished for harbouring Al Qaeda. Punished as in hit them hard, support their enemies (Northern Alliance) then leave, with the admonishment they'll be hit harder next time if they do it again.

    But Afghanistan per se was never important. Nor are the Taleban. AIR the 9/11 plot was planned in Hamburg, not Kabul. Attacking Afghanistan after 9/11 was necessary, but trying to turn Afghanistan into a liberal democracy is stupid, futile and wrong. The Pashtun are not built that way.

    The actual result of US/Western meddling in Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan is that every time London and other Western cities are flooded with 'asylum seekers' from those nations. Which makes things worse, not better.

    The correct strategy for Western survival is Auster's Separationism, not Liberal-Neocon Global Democratic Transformation.

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  9. kman:
    "As for "The real battle is being fought at home, within our societies"
    Yes but not the way you state.The real battle is and will continue to be against the Islamification of the western world. Which actually for Europe is lost anyway thanks to the useful idiots who hold the absurd belief that all cultures are equal.If you live in Britain your 4 kids will be growing up in a country that has already adopted parts of Sharia Law and every year there will be more and more aspects added while the Muslims keep on pouring in and shouting their hatred of the west from street corners and plotting against their hosts.You need to understand that without America there is no free world."

    America encourages and abets the Islamification of Europe, so this is is the exact opposite of the truth. America drove the Serbs out of Kosovo, their own ancestral heartland, to create an Albanian Muslim gangster state. America has worked hard to spread Salafist Islam world-wide. Your own government is a greater enemy of the West than is Saudi Arabia or Al Qaeda.

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  10. Simon said,

    "Your own government is a greater enemy of the West than is Saudi Arabia or Al Qaeda."

    Hardly.

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  11. "But Afghanistan per se was never important. Nor are the Taleban."

    If the new Afghan forces fail to hold the Taliban at bay when the allies pull out of Afghanistan, (which realistically the new army won't) the Afghan Taliban will then be free to rebuild their terrorist training camps and then move their forces in to help the Pakistani Taliban overthrow Pakistan's government which is barely holding on now.

    They will aquire Pakistan's well over 100 nuclear weapons, long range missiles, and a fleet of hi tech French designed Agosta stealth submarines with second-strike capability, with a range close to 12,000 miles .and represent a very serious threat to every western country. And these religious psychopaths, the Taliban who would cut the throats of their own wives or daughters if provoked, or hang anybody who plays music or flies a kite have already stated that they will use these weapons on the west as soon as they acquire them...It's comforting to know though that Simon believes that these brothers of al Quida they are no problem.

    "The actual result of US/Western meddling in Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan is that every time London and other Western cities are flooded with 'asylum seekers' from those nations. Which makes things worse, not better"
    It's not the asylum seekers who are the real problem, it's the open door policy of the massive immigration of Muslims from third world countries, especially Pakistan.

    Survey of British Muslims, Channel 4, Aug 2006
    24 per cent agreed or tended to agree that the 7/7 bombings were justified.
    45 per cent think 9/11 was carried out by the US or Israel.
    36 percent said they wanted Sharia law in the UK.
    Half said British people who insult Islam should be arrested and prosecuted.
    Almost 80 per cent said those who published cartoons of the prophet Mohammed should be punished.
    24 percent of British Muslims deny that the four British Muslim suicide bombers carried out the 7/7 attacks.
    24 percent of British Muslims believe the British government carried out the 7/7 attacks.

    "America encourages and abets the Islamification of Europe, so this is is the exact opposite of the truth. America drove the Serbs out of Kosovo, their own ancestral heartland, to create an Albanian Muslim gangster state. America has worked hard to spread Salafist Islam world-wide. Your own government is a greater enemy of the West than is Saudi Arabia or Al Qaeda."

    So America defending the Muslim population against genocide is again the villain? But wait Australia is also a greater enemy of the west than al Quida?

    You can bet folks that Simon's heroes are a witches brew of Marx, Pilger and Assange. Simon it appears blames all the world's ill on America even while he sits at home safe and snug with the missus and the kids, typing his virulent anti America poison. He is totally unaware it appears that he is safe and sound because his Great Satan America is safeguarding him and his with a massive array of nuclear weapons, and tens of thousands of U.S. servicemen stationed in the U.K. and Europe at a cost to the America taxpayer of USD $100 billion p/a. This even while Americans are struggling with their own economy.


    Thomas Sewell said....
    "How many times, in its thousands of years of history, has Europe gone 60 years without a major war, as it has since World War II? That peace has been due to American nuclear weapons, which was all that could deter the Soviet Union's armies from marching right across Europe to the Atlantic Ocean. Not a day passes in Europe when someone isn't making the wildest claims, hurling the vilest insults or spreading the most outlandish conspiracy theories about the United States. But there's no risk involved and it all serves mainly to boost the European feeling of self-righteousness.

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  12. The original post astonishes me. When I was 12 or so, I thought, "Men are this, and women are that." Then I grew up and realized the world is more complex than that.

    The world is not made up of G.I. Joes and Barbie dolls. You seem to suggest that it should be.

    Your idea seems to be that men and women each have a distinct, intrinsic nature, from which their proper roles in society can be inferred, en masse. But isn't it reasonable to expect a person to act on the basis of their own nature? If someone wants to do something, such as join the army, then joining the army seems to be in the nature of this person. You would say to them, "But that's not in your nature." I think they should reply, "Clearly it is in my nature, for it is what I want to do." How do you reply to this?

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  13. kman:
    "You can bet folks that Simon's heroes are a witches brew of Marx, Pilger and Assange. "

    More like Charles Martel and Enoch Powell. You clearly have no idea where I'm coming from.

    The bit about fighting the Taleban in Afghanistan to stop them taking over Pakistan was pretty funny, though.

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  14. "Simon it appears blames all the world's ill on America even while he sits at home safe and snug with the missus and the kids, typing his virulent anti America poison. He is totally unaware it appears that he is safe and sound because his Great Satan America is safeguarding him..."

    Clearly you're doing a great job then, since I live in a Salafi Islamist dominated area of London, there's a group of bearded Islamists a few doors down from me. They're working to recruit my next-door neighbour's son as one of them. A major Al Qaeda suspect lived two streets over. At the last election the Salafis used various dirty tricks to get their man re-elected as my MP. And you think having soldiers fighting in Afghanistan is defending the West.

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  15. Well in the Aus army I doubt 0.01% of the women enlisted could actually pass the bare minimum of the entrance exam for the Carter SASR course, and then pass said course. Nor would such woman keep up with the men, due to a higher incidence of injury rate.

    The only way a women could achieve it is via steroids, or having an extra Y chromosome.

    Yes, the physical requirements for women in all other positions are less rigours or demanding then that of the men. It's pathetic to think women could make a substantial impact in the fighting Corps.

    Before anyone gets confused having a day pack a rifle, a couple of skirmishes in the sand pit as a medic, does not make for front line combat corps.

    As for the current wars, it all hinges on Afghanistan, other wise it will be "Return of the thugs", or "Return of the Barbarians". If the Barbarians over run the Pakistani Elite then it the relatively peaceful NWO dreams will be game over.

    On the flip side, the West, China and Russia will have to disarm Pakistan and India of Nukes, which will cost a lot of money and another WW3. As I'm sure the Muslims in the Middle East and through out South and South East Asian won't take it.

    It sure as hell would stop the immigration invasion and have the Muslim invaders all over the West turfed out like the Japanese in WW2. :-) Always an up side.

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  17. On the face of it the immigration battle is the easiest battle of them all to win, all you have to do is close the door. But on closer examination it isn't that easy. You have to encourage your own people to have children, you have to encourage them to think of their national future and not just on short term impacts, you have to openly combat ideological thinking that would leave them mute.

    Going to war, having an army, fighting foreigners, is a act of national vigor and masculinity, and its therefore no surprise that its endlessly attacked by the left. Its one example where national courage still exists and as such can be a pivot on which other necessary and neglected national values can be restored from.

    Don't blame the sending of forces overseas for Londonistan.

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  18. Then I grew up and realized the world is more complex than that.

    Great job on calling on childish... not. It astounds me that people think that men and women are complex (that our gender, our sex is "complex" and that we have 6 or more genders/sexes) yet that sexual orientation is genetic, innate and immutable. That's pretty much the modern condition. God? Doesn't exist or existence is unsure. Race? Doesn't exist. Gender? Doesn't exist. Sexual orientation? That DOES exist! It's IMMUTABLE. You're one huge hypocrite.

    I think they should reply, "Clearly it is in my nature, for it is what I want to do." How do you reply to this?

    They're wrong, perhaps even strongly delusional. I've heard people say that they are Napoleon or a woman in a man's body. Both are crazy but the latter is seen as good in our crazy liberal society and liberals just have to do "gender reassignment surgeries" to achieve their "dreams".

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  19. Anon wrote,

    "The original post astonishes me. When I was 12 or so, I thought, "Men are this, and women are that." Then I grew up and realized the world is more complex than that.

    What did that famous Zen Buddhist say?

    "Before I had studied Zen for thirty years, I saw mountains as mountains, and waters as waters. When I arrived at a more intimate knowledge, I came to the point where I saw that mountains are not mountains, and waters are not waters. But now that I have got its very substance I am at rest. For it's just that I see mountains once again as mountains, and waters once again as waters."

    It looks like you're two for three. Keep searching for the truth. You'll get there.

    In the meantime, you'll have to take it on faith: yes, men are really men, and women are really women.

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  20. The bit about fighting the Taleban in Afghanistan to stop them taking over Pakistan was pretty funny, though."
    Yeah Simon I make all this stuff up all the time...Oh but wait -maybe I didn't!...Keeping in mind that the Afghani Taliban are are made up of both Afghans and Pakistanis. and are brothers in arms.

    " One of the top leaders of the movement of the Taliban in Pakistan said the terror group sought to overthrow the Pakistani government, impose sharia, seize the country’s nuclear weapons, and wage jihad until “the Caliphate is established across the world”.
    "“First of all, we aim to counter the Pakistani government, its intelligence agencies, and its army, which are against Islam and have oppressed the mujahideen and their families,” Khalid said, according to the SITE translation. The Taliban want to “avenge the oppression of the mujahideen in the tribal and urban areas” as well as the “humiliation of the mujahideen in Pakistani prisons”.
    ...http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2012/03/21/news/national/taliban-commander-wants-pakistan%E2%80%99s-nukes-overthrow-of-govt/

    "Today the Taliban operate in Afghanistan and northwest Pakistan. It is believed one of their current major headquarters is near Quetta in Pakistan.[35][36]"
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taliban

    As for the "Salafi Islamists in Britain'-Some may be radicalised but every report on all the bombings or foiled terrorist attack attempts in the U.K. have been Pakistani, or Britsh nations of Pakistani origin, so your point is absurd. re blaming the " soldiers fighting in Afghanistan is defending the West."
    And here is a thought. The reason you have refugees living in Britain is because you and your fellow PC multiculturists "all cultures are equal" welcome them in in the name of cultural diversity. You know the crap about "learning from other cultures - from like extremely violent, barbaric women hating Muslim third world tribes -people.

    You lefty multiculturist need to understan that 360 thousand babies are born every day on this planet, and as City of Greater Dandenong Councilor, Peter Brown speaking about the Muslim African refugee crime wave in Dandenong."Australia should not be the repository for global social and ethnic problems in the misguided belief that we can solve them, because as the world population increases beyond the already unsustainable levels more pressure will be placed on Australia to be a universal agent of global multicultural support. We will be doomed to failure... " And you Brits are definately doomed to fail and there is absolutely no doubt about that. So lefties stop blaming America for all your problems and start taking a look at what you have done to yourseve. Oh incidentally - mandatory prayer vsessions are 5 times a day at the gas factory and you know what the penalty is for not turning up.

    Canadian journalist Mark Steyn once said about self-appointed moralists -"safe inside the citadel of Western freedom, economic propriety, and the United States military, who, from the very ramparts they damn, praise the enemy ramming the gates below."

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  21. Why should't they fight, gays & trangenderites and what have you should as well.
    In rome and greece a citizen with rights was expected to join the army, slaves were not allowed. The idea was that men that benefit from a society should fight to protect it and advance it's interest.

    Who benefits from the current configuration of western society? queers, slutty soon to be spinsters, third worlders, ykws. give them their bloody equality to serve, it's their society not ours and not the Ben Roberts-Smiths of this world.

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  22. Crunchie said,

    "queers, slutty soon to be spinsters, third worlders, ykws. give them their bloody equality to serve, it's their society not ours and not the Ben Roberts-Smiths of this world."

    But I'm pretty sure that's what this website is all about: taking back Australian society for the Ben Roberts-Smiths of this world.

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  23. In rome and greece a citizen with rights was expected to join the army, slaves were not allowed. The idea was that men that benefit from a society should fight to protect it and advance it's interest.

    I think it's important that we don't pretend that "benefiting from a society" is equal to "loving a society". The least productive people tend to benefit the most. Only the people who love the society the most and who have the most to lose if the society is altered in any way, should be fighting to defend that society. Heterosexual native men are the group that best fits that description, as they are the most conservative group because of their nature. And, as Mark says, you undermine that very loyal and pious nature by forcing them to fight alongside a bunch of girls, and even having them worry about their women being conscripted. The whole point of going to war, for those men, is to keep their women and children safe. What next? Babies on the battlefield?

    Now that American politicians have managed to give heterosexual native men so little to love and lose in their society, their armed forces are finding that the quality of recruits is declining. Too many girls, gays, and gooks.

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  24. It is unfortunate that Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith has defiled his body with grotesque tattoos. It is astonishing that the Australian Army permits this. Yes, the body does have meaning -- and when you put tattoos on your body, it means you are a savage barbarian, not a defender of the traditional order.

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  25. Yes tattoo's "tough guy stickers" are enormously popular in the Armed forces. More so the British Army than here.

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