The goal was always to turn out men. Not some feminized, politically correct, egalitarian version of manhood, but in keeping with their genetically driven impulses and God-given natures, we determined to encourage them to defy current societal pressures and become real, masculine men.And she makes an argument about women in combat that has crossed my mind repeatedly but that I've never publicly made. Are men not being given mixed messages about women and violence? In ordinary civilian life, men are told that women are different and should be shielded from all violence and that our culture is too accepting of violence against women. But men are also being presented with a lot of imagery of violent warrior women, and this imagery is likely to desensitise men when it comes to women and violence.
And the problem will only intensify if men are expected to fight in the military alongside and against women. If a man has to be trained to shoot or bayonet a woman, will he still be able to carry that masculine sense of honour of never directing violence toward women? Paula Bolyard puts it this way:
Through all of this, we clearly taught our boys that they were never, ever to play roughly with girls. We knew a time would come that they would be bigger and stronger than the girls and they needed to know that they were to never lay a hand on a girl.
In this day and age of political correctness and federally mandated gender equity, this may sound “unfair” or antiquated, but the inconvenient truth is that the process of civilizing young men involves taming their aggressive instincts. If we want them to learn to treat a woman with respect, they must be taught that overpowering her with their physical strength is never acceptable.
At the same time, they must learn that their physical size and strength are gifts that can and should be used to protect their families and property in the event of danger. Controlled strength is a sign of maturity and integrity.
As we find ourselves on the cusp of women on the front lines of combat, we must ask some important questions about how we will raise boys in the future in light of this decision.
Back in 1992, when cries for women in combat were sounding on the heels of the Gulf War, John Luddy wrote about the implications of such a decision in the Los Angeles Times:
All killing on the battlefield is not accomplished by precision-guided munitions; men must still drive cold steel into other men’s guts. Parents, picture a platoon of soldiers, your daughter among them, wielding bayonets in what we infantrymen delicately call close combat. Some are doing the sticking; some are being stuck. Therein lies the second problem with placing women in combat units. As a society, do we want to have women doing this? If so, what would be wrong with a man punching a woman under the same circumstances in which he might punch a man? One is no “better” than the other, but we react differently, don’t we?
If we as a country insist on pushing through this barrier and throwing our women at the enemy by placing them on the front lines in combat, some important cultural and sociological changes will need to occur. We will need to raise a new generation of men who will be willing to stand by and watch women being shot, stabbed, tortured, raped and battered. They will need to be desensitized to the realities of harm befalling women. Additionally, once the United States crosses the barrier of women in combat, other countries will likely follow, so our men will need to learn to stand face to face with a woman, look her in the eye, and kill her in hand-to-hand combat.
Finally, I thought the following comment from a Vietnam veteran worth highlighting, It shows the reality of going on tour in a combat situation:
I was also a Marine grunt and the training we went through was totally brutal. I was glad I had it, because when I got to Vietnam it made me able to cope with what we did there. On operations, especially in the mountains, we walked with flak jackets, helmets, packs, rifles, grenades, machine guns, rocket launchers, sometimes mortars, carried extra rounds for the mortars and the machine guns, and were virtual pack mules.
When we ran into the enemy we could not drop the gear and leave it, because we had to attack and we did not know where the attack would end. We would run forward carrying all this gear and still fight our asses off. This might be after walking from daylight until late in the afternoon. At night we dug our fighting holes and stood watch. One man on for an hour and a half and one man asleep for an hour and a half. Just before day light we went on full alert. That meant we usually got four to five hours sleep a night. This went on day after day after day. Our clothes rotted off of us, grime was so deeply ingrained into our skin that we could pull it off with our finger nails, and we ate two meals a day and drank whatever water we could find. Sometimes we had lots of water. Other times we had four quart sized canteens and they had to last us for two or three days. We lost weight, we became walking zombies who functioned on instinct, but we functioned. Maybe one in one hundred women could do this, but she would not fit in and the men would try to protect her. It is completely stupid and asinine to put women in a situation like this.