HE SAID SHE SAID: The Lady Is Not For Fighting

More stories from Ken D'Angelo

It Beats Working
March 30, 2017
Mortality Sucks
February 4, 2016

  “No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making                      

                     the other poor dumb bastard die for his country”– General George S Patton


That is pretty much the definition of a combat soldier’s job: kill the enemy and live to fight another day and kill more of the enemy. It is also the basic reason that women have no place in combat. For the purpose of this essay the term combat will refer to ground based offensive actions taken against enemy forces, in other words, infantry and armor. I do not question that women can have heroic courage. I am not saying that women are not fiercely patriotic. I have seen women make incredible self-sacrifice for a cause in which they believe. I believe a woman should be taught to fight. From Boudicca of the Iceni and her doomed revolt against Rome to the Night Witches of the Soviet Air Force flying cloth and wood bi planes terrorizing Guderian’s troops in the cold Russian darkness, women throughout history have stood proud in their fights. The question has never been whether or not women can lead or ride or shoot or fly as well as and sometimes better than their male comrades. The question is whether on average women can, pound for pound, muscle for muscle, bone for bone meet the same standards as their average male counterpart.

Time after time the answer has been no, they can’t. This statement is not something I have formulated out of thin air. It is based on direct quotes from female officers in the Army and Marines. Here are a few of their comments and observations: “There is a big difference between being in a combat zone or in actual combat…being in a combat zone or on a convoy once in awhile exposed to an IED (improvised explosive device) is quite different than being in a sustained, direct action against the enemy… there’s no comparison so please stop making it.” “There is no way women can be accommodated in the combat arms without a number of negative consequences that really can’t be justified. There’s no trade off.” “Most women wouldn’t even qualify to be in the military if they didn’t have separate standards. Men and women are different, but those pushing women into combat don’t want to admit that truth.” This last statement is backed up by a study from Britain that found that physiological differences put women at a disadvantage in strength based and aerobic fitness tests.

On average, men’s blood carries 10 to 12 percent more oxygen per liter than woman. Men’s rate of oxygen consumption is 40 to 60 percent more than women. The average fit man will have 50 percent more muscle mass and cary 10 percent less body fat than the average fit woman. Men on average have greater bone density than women. A concussive force that will just stun a man would knock out a woman.  Studies in the Israeli Army (IDF) found that stress fractures were more frequent among women enlistees that in men by double digit percentages. The end result is that the females are not required to carry as much weight. That could mean that a female in an infantry unit would carry less ammunition which would either be transferred to the load carried by a male soldier or the unit would have less ammunition than they would if it were an all male unit.

Then there is the one thousand pound gorilla in the room that pretty well stops the following area of discussion in its tracks. Let me quote a female Marine officer. “Until women stop menstruating there will always be an uphill battle for staying level and strong at all times. No one wants to talk about the fact that in the days before a woman’s cycle she loses half her strength, to say nothing of the emotional ups and downs that affect judgement.”

Since I am convex and not concave I’ll take her word for it. If and when a woman can go on a four day patrol carrying 60 to 140 pounds of gear and keep pace with her male comrades then maybe I’ll reconsider my view.

I’m going to conclude with a last quote from  Major Angela Scott in the army. “There should be one standard and whoever wants to attempt to meet this standard should be allowed. If they don’t meet the standard then that’s on them.” She gave this statement after she took the sixteen day Ranger Training Assessment Course. She dropped out after eight days but had the integrity to stick to her standards. God bless and keep you, Major Scott.