Women in the military are a hot topic. Lots of feminists think women should be allowed in the military. I used to agree. I mean I really used to agree. Way back when Vietnam was hot, and my own testicles were on the line, and womens' lib was a hot topic, oh boy did I agree! My only disagreement at that point was with the "allowed" part. I agreed with the feminist creed even more than most women did. I thought they should be just as subject to the draft as I was, which would reduce my chance of losing said testicles by half. Any guy will tell you, half of two testicles is better than none.
Interestingly enough, this coincided with the reign of one of the few true feminist admirals ever to hold the position of Chief of the Navy, Admiral Zumwalt. One of his infamous "Z-grams" outlined the only truly feminist definition of military language I have ever heard. He stated that a female in the military should be addressed as "mister" if junior or equal, or "sir" if senior. Since then the rules have been changed, and are now sexist once again. Few people realize that it's literally true that the so-called "masculine" forms in our language are really non-sexist, with the "feminine" forms being the only special case. The latin roots of our language used to use "homo" to mean men, while the germanic root used "weir". So we don't actually have male-specific words in our language. Besides, purely from a viewpoint of linguistic parsimony it makes far more sense to drop specialist forms such as "postal person" or "chairwoman" (more properly, "madam chairman") and to recognize the gender-nonspecifity of forms such as "mailman" and "chairman".
If I may be permitted an even larger digression, back when "Ms" (pronounced "miz") was first proposed as an alternative to "Miss" or "Mrs" as the proper way to address a woman, I had an alternative idea. Rather than a half-measure like that, we should use the even more generic "Mx" (pronounced "mix") which would not only refrain from showing marital status, it would also not indicate gender. Please feel free to refer to me as "Mx Savage".
But back to the main point, which is women in the military.
As I said, once upon a time I thought it was a great idea. Now I'm not so sure. It depends on what you want the military to do.
If you want a purely defensive military force (which might be a great idea), then having women in the military is a great idea. The Swiss have certainly proven that, among others.
On the other hand, if you feel that one reason for having a standing army is to "project force" (as they put it) into foreign territory, then women in the military is a very bad idea.
Think about it. Why would any sane, rational person be willing to fly halfway around the world to go shoot at strangers who never did anything to them personally?
They wouldn't. So how do you get an army that is willing to do that?
"Why" is a different question. Why anyone would do such a thing can be explained by any number of psychologists, none of whom you should believe. Psychology is still in the dark ages. But "how" is easy. There is a well known empirical formula for turning men into a fighting force willing to go anywhere and kill anyone. It has been independantly discovered by people as diverse as Hannibal and Chaka Zulu, and is well known to our modern military. A large part of the formula is to take young, late-puberty males and isolate them from society in general and women in particular, beat down any sense of personal identity they may have, sexually frustrate them, and associate their weapons with their genitalia. The whole point is to drive young men slightly insane in a particular way, so that they will think it's a good idea to go shoot strangers if they are told to do so.
If done properly it will link agressiveness with the sex drive, making the act of shooting at people almost orgasmic in its intensity and satisfaction. Small wonder that military men commit rape as much as they do. Not only is aggressiveness linked to sex, the men are kept sexually frustrated as well. Seeking an outlet, and given shooting at strangers as the only acceptible outlet, their sex drives will lead them to go into action and fight. This is why the military has historically had strong objections to homosexuality and masturbation, also. Both provide unacceptible (i.e. not hostile to designated strangers) outlets for the sex drive.
It depends on what you want in an army. If your primary concern is a defensive force, then the more women the better, since when it comes to defense women are capable of viciousness that would astonish most men. But if you want an army for aggressive purposes, then you can't include women or it just won't work.
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