I have written at this site more than once on the subject of women in combat. For those who missed those previous articles, my main points were: 1) Opening combat jobs to women is a bad idea being considered for the wrong reasons, and 2) Advocates of women in combat distort the English language to make that which is unsupportable appear less objectionable. This second point—how liberals use political double-talk to deceive instead of using the truth to convince—must be understood if the debate over women in combat is going to be logical, objective, and unbiased.
Writing on this subject in FrontPage Magazine, Daniel Greenfield said: “Political language exists to destroy meaning and to make unpopular policies seem popular by associating them with the opposite of what they are. Taxes are opportunities. Spending is stimulus. (He might have added that abortion is choice and opposition to abortion is making war on women). The left is as good at language as is it bad at governing. It can’t change reality but it excels at, changing the description of reality. Common sense is the enemy of the left and the left defeats common sense by corrupting language so that nothing makes sense and common sense can never come into play.” What Greenfield describes is exactly what the left is doing as it advocates for women in combat, a position that cannot be justified on the basis of facts, logic, or common sense.
The most liberal distortion of the moment in the debate over women in combat is the term gender-neutral. Advocates of women in combat claim they want only to ensure that the military becomes a gender-neutral enterprise. Gender-neutral? Such an inoffensive sounding term. Greenfield had this to say about the purposefully deceptive term: “But what is gender neutrality exactly? No one really knows except that it will involve being neutral about gender or genders being neutral. If not for the fancifully Orwellian language the teleprompters of the powerful spew up, it might be taken to mean that there will be the same standards for all soldiers regardless of their gender.”
The one thing gender-neutral will never mean is applying the same standards for men and women in the military. The studies showing the practical impossibility of maintaining the same standards for men and women soldiers would fill a good-sized library. Perhaps the best study came out of Great Britain. The Brits actually experimented (for almost ten years) with allowing women in combat roles and as a prerequisite they applied the same standards for men and women. After ten years of predictable failure, the Brits quietly dropped their women-in-combat experiment and returned to less demanding physical standards for women soldiers. Why? The number of women able to meet the same standards as men was so small that not only could the Brits not fill their combat slots, they could not fill the support slots typically filled by women.
The British Army decided to put combat effectiveness ahead of political correctness when they insisted on maintaining the same physical standards for men and women soldiers. They put combat effectiveness ahead of political correctness again when they stuck to their guns and refused to water down the standards for women when large numbers of female recruits could not meet the standards. They put combat effectiveness ahead of political correctness one final time when they admitted the obvious and eliminated their women-in-combat program. That was the Brits. I don’t think the American military would respond in the same manner.
If the left eventually wins its campaign to put women in combat, it will run into the same stumbling blocks the Brits confronted: the physical differences between men and women. But if history teaches us anything it is that the American military will simply respond to the high failure rate of female recruits on physical tests by watering down the standards for women (as it does now in basic training). When this gender-biased approach becomes an issue—as it inevitably will—the American military with its proclivity for political correctness will do the obvious: water down the physical standards for men and women. Our enemies all over the world are eagerly awaiting the day they will be able to engage in hand-to-hand combat with American women.