The Feminist Assault on the Military

Editor’s note: With the Pentagon’s recent elimination of the ban against  women serving in combat, Frontpage editors have deemed it important to reprint an article written by David Horowitz twenty years ago that now, for obvious reasons, proves extremely relevant to the issue at hand. [David Horowitz, “The Feminist Assault on the Military,” Center for the Study of Popular Culture, October 5, 1992.]:

For nearly two decades after the Sixties, the U.S. military remained the one institution that had withstood the baleful influences of the radical left. Now that the cold war is over, this immunity appears to have ended. A series of relatively trivial incidents – a joke about women’s sexual excuses, a skit with sexual innuendos mocking a female member of Congress – and a drunken party at which crotches were grabbed in a gantlet ritual, have triggered a national hysteria and a political witch-hunt – referred to in the media as “the tailhook scandal” that is threatening the very foundations of the military establishment.

Already, the witch-hunt has terminated or blighted the careers of a Secretary of the Navy, four Admirals, a military aide to the president, and three “top gun” flight commanders. A question mark has been placed over the careers of thousands of naval and marine officers. And every male in the navy judged guilty under the draconian law of the new puritanism before the fact – has been condemned to eight hours of re-education in “sensitivity training” classes, designed – as in a latter-day Salem-to purify their souls.

The dimensions of what is happening are only dimly appreciated by the American public. The case of three-star Admiral John H. Fetterman Jr., a naval aviator with thirty-seven years of service, provides some clues. A family man with conservative moral values and a reputation for honesty and integrity, Fetterman had earned respect as the “people’s Admiral,” for his concern for the “little guy,” and for his advocacy of a wider role for women in the Navy. Capping his long and distinguished career, he had headed the Navy’s air forces in the Pacific before being appointed chief of naval education and training, the Navy’s number one shore command. A month after the Tailhook revelations, Fetterman was busted in rank. Days later, he took an early retirement.

Fetterman’s crime? He had been accused over a harassment “hotline” of shielding an aide from naval investigators. The aide, a chief petty officer, had made a pass, while drunk, at another enlisted man. In less fevered circumstances this incident might have slipped by without notice. But in the wake of Tailhook, the furies of sexual purity demanded blood. (One female officer, among the hundreds who rallied to Fetterman’s support, told the San Diego Union in horror, “They’re going after the wrong admiral. This shows you the whole world is upside down.”)

In justifying an otherwise incomprehensible act against one of its most respected commanders, the Navy hierarchy reached for the blunt instrument of innuendo. In an official statement, the Navy said that the relationship of Fetterman and his wife with the chief petty officer, “appears to have been unduly familiar.” In a poignant defense to his commanding officer, Fetterman replied:

That conclusion is based upon observations that my wife extended the courtesies of our home to the chief in question. In response, I must note my wife is a caring and gracious person. She has always made all members of the Navy family feel like they are part of our family. That particular attribute is one of her greatest strengths and one for which I will not apologize.

Then he warned that the measures being taken to root out sexual harassers might end up doing “irreparable damage to the military.”

For the past few months, we have seen the reputations of honorable men and women tarnished by innuendo, falsehood and rumor. Enough! Our Navy is populated by decent, honest and dedicated people. They need to be recognized as such.

But it will be a long time before the Navy’s honor is restored and the American concept of innocent until proven guilty is respected again in military quarters. The movement which has led to the current witch-hunt is far from spent. It began in earnest a decade ago, when the army attempted to introduce a sex-neutral system to test the physical strength of recruits. Designed to match individual abilities to military requirements, the Military Enlistment Physical Strength Capacity Test (MEPSCAT) provoked objections at the time from feminists inside and outside the military, who feared that sex-neutral standards might cause women to be barred from certain roles, particularly combat roles, which were the keys to military status and advancement.

Although the Air Force held out, and maintained the objectivity of the test, the Army and Navy caved in to their feminist critics. As the feminist objections were met, the MEPSCAT test was reduced to little more than a “guidance tool.” The double standard had taken its first step in becoming a way of life in the military as it has in other institutions of American life. The only area where a true standard remained in force was combat itself. Now, ten years later, combat has become the issue, and with incidents like Tailhook ripe for exploitation, the pressure to surrender to the feminist levelers appears all but insurmountable.

That pressure is embodied in the “Schroeder Amendment,” which would open the door to allow women to fly in combat. The Amendment is named after its sponsor, liberal Democrat Pat Schroeder, who appears to be the aspiring Senator McCarthy of the current investigative frenzy {I have in my hand a list of harassers…) In a July 9 letter to Defense Secretary Dick Cheney, Schroeder put the Pentagon on notice that “Tailhook ’91 is a symptom of a larger problem” and that the resignation of Navy Secretary Garrett does not begin “to address the problem.” To do just that, the Congresswoman wants investigations and prosecutions that will enable the navy to purge itself of sexual miscreants:

The Navy’s inability to complete an accurate investigation and the failure to identity and prosecute the attackers….sends a clear message…

In addition, Schroeder demands (and has succeeded in getting) re-education classes – “sexual harassment training [for] all personnel” – to cleanse the navy of existing bad attitudes.

Schroeder’s bill to allow women in combat (which would also make women eligible for a future military draft) is the other face of the feminist juggernaut. It is seen by supporters as a “wedge” measure that would lead to expanded combat roles and true institutional equality for women. A Presidential Commission has been appointed to review the issue and is scheduled to make a recommendation in November.

While the primary concern in making such a decision ought to be its possible impact on military capabilities, many of the advocates of change and many of those who will actually decide the issue have shown little interest in the maintenance of an effective defense. Schroeder, for example, was an anti-war activist before entering the House where, as a ranking member of the Armed Services Committee, she has been a longtime proponent of reductions in America’s military posture. Serving alongside her on the Committee are feminist allies Beverly Byron (who has demanded that every officer merely present at Tailhook be thrown out of the service) and California “anti-war” liberal Barbara Boxer. Another ranking Committee member and ardent Schroeder supporter, is radical Congressman Ron Dellums, a recent camp follower of Fidel Castro and other U.S. adversaries, an opponent of U.S. military interventions over the last three decades who denounced the Carter White House as “evil” for opposing Soviet aggression in Afghanistan, and a legislator who every year has sponsored an alternative defense authorization bill mandating crippling cuts in Americas military forces.

When New Left radicals, like myself, launched the movement against the war in Vietnam, we did not say we wanted the Communists to win – which we did – we said we wanted to give peace a chance; we wanted to bring the troops home. By persuading well-meaning Americans to take up our cause and by forcing Washington to bring the troops home, we accomplished our objective: the Communists won. With disastrous consequences for Vietnam and the world.

Examples of this kind of double agenda abound in the current feminist campaign and can be found in testimony before the Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces. Dr. Maria Lepowsky, a graduate of Berkeley and an associate professor of anthropology and Women’s Studies at the University of Wisconsin, provided testimony in support of a combat role for women. Then Professor Lepowsky asked herself: “What would be some possible consequences… – if women were put in combat – on American cultural values and American society…?” And then she answered her own question: “I think there might be increased concern about committing troops to combat, also perhaps a good thing…”

In other words, Lepowsky was advocating that women be put in combat roles because to do so would make it more difficult to commit troops to combat! This kind of candor is unusual for the left.

The feminist movement, which supplies the ideological framework for witnesses like Professor Lepowsky and advocates like Pat Schroeder is typical of those in which radicals have played significant roles. It is a coalition of different voices in which radicals set the political agendas and in which not all the agendas are on the surface.

Moderate feminists generally are seeking modest reforms in American society. Technological developments in the 20th Century have dramatically changed women’s social roles. Women no longer risk death in the normal course of childbirth, and can choose whether to become pregnant or not. Together with labor saving devices in the home, which have reduced the demands of maintaining a household, these technological advances have freed women to consider careers in the world at large, including careers in the military, where they have historically made significant contributions.

Naturally these changing opportunities for women have required some adjustments in the culture, particularly since many of the developments occurred in a relatively short time span. The development of contraceptives alone, for example, would have been a catalyst of important changes. When women entered the work force in unprecedented numbers, attitudes had to be adjusted and laws had to be changed; some traditions had to be modified and others abandoned.

America is a remarkably open society, with remarkably responsive institutions and these changes have taken place with consequent alacrity. And they are still taking place. The best and most constructive way for them to take place is deliberately, with careful consideration of possible consequences, and special respect for consequences that maybe unforeseen. As the inhabitants of the former Soviet empire discovered, at great human cost, revolutionary cures can often be worse than the diseases they were prescribed for.

This is a lesson lost on feminism’s radical wing whose ideology has been described by philosopher Christina Sommers as “gender feminism.” (Sommers contrasts this with “equity feminism,” a moderate position that really means getting a fair shake.) When advocates of reform speak of “gender integration” of the military, they are often invoking the ideas of the radical feminists without necessarily recognizing them for what they are.

Gender feminism is a bastard child of Marxism. It is the dominant ideology of women’s studies in American universities and of feminist groups like the National Organization of Women. Gender feminism holds that women are not women by nature, but that patriarchal society has “constructed” or created them female so that men could oppress them. The system that creates females is called “gender-patriarchy.” As the source of their oppression, it must be destroyed.

Radical feminists are social engineers in the same way that Communists are social engineers. They deny that there is a human nature, and they deny that there is a female nature, that human biology in any way fundamentally influences who or what we are. The solution to all social problems, conflicts and disappointments in life is to manipulate laws and institutions so as to create liberated human beings – beings who will not hate, have prejudices, exhibit bad sexual manners, get into conflicts, or go to war. By changing institutions, especially powerful institutions like the military, and using their administrative power to brainwash people into adopting attitudes that are politically correct, these radicals believe that the problems that have plagued mankind since the dawn of creation will be miraculously cured.

Social engineers like the gender feminists have little interest in questions of Americas national security not because they are in the pay of foreign powers, but because they believe that America is a patriarchal, sexist, racist oppressor and that its institutions must be destroyed or transformed beyond recognition, if women and other oppressed groups are to achieve their “liberation.” Of course, the gender feminists are not so naive as to admit their radical agendas outside the ideological sanctuaries of Women’s Studies departments. In testifying before presidential commissions what they sound like are equity feminists. They will say that placing women in combat positions is merely an extension of women working outside the home, and of expanding equal opportunity

But placing women in harm’s way and training them to kill one-on-one is not a mere extension of working outside the home. Furthermore, there are definite limits to equal rights and equal opportunity when biology is involved. Do I, for example, as an American male, have a right to bear a child? Do I have an equal opportunity with women to do so? Do they have an equal aptitude for combat? Ninety percent of the people arrested for violent crimes in the United States are, and always have been, male. From this statistic alone it would be possible to conclude that males have a distinct advantage over females when it comes to mobilizing an existing instinct for aggression for the purposes of organized combat.

One of the leading military advocates of equal roles for women and men is Commander Rosemary Mariner, a nineteen year career naval officer. In June, Commander Mariner testified before the Presidential Commission that women should not be excluded from combat because “separate is inherently unequal.” Perhaps. But so what? The founding documents of this country recognize the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. They do not recognize the rights of short people to be tall, of less intelligent people to have higher intelligence, of less aggressive people to be more aggressive, of physically weaker people to be stronger, of men to bear children or of women to be deployed in military combat.

Men and women are different and unequal in various abilities. That, to all but gender feminists, is an obvious, indisputable fact. The question is, what are the consequences of that fact?

The difficulty in answering the question is the emotional element that is introduced into the discussion by the moral and political claims of the feminist left. Mariner’s testimony before the Commission – a testimony infused with radical nostrums is instructive:

As with racial integration the biggest problem confronting gender integration is not men or women, but bigotry. It is bigotry that is the root cause of racial and sexual harassment. From common verbal abuse to the criminal acts of a Tailhook debacle, sexual harassment will continue to be a major problem in the armed forces because the combat exclusion law and policies make women institutionally inferior.

The basic elements of the radical view are all here. Sexual relations between men and women are to be understood in terms of racial relations between blacks and whites. The problem of sexual harassment is analogous to racism and is unrelated to the different biologies and sexual drives of men and women. At the root of the problem is institutions. “Tailhook ’91,” wrote Schroeder in her letter to the Secretary of Defense, “is the symptom of a larger problem: institutional bias against women.” In feminist terms, the social construction of women that renders them different from men is made possible by a patriarchal system of institutions that causes them to be perceived as inferior. In the eyes of the gender feminists, the exclusion of women from combat is a keystone of this system. If women were to be included in combat (and thus treated as the equals they are), if gender roles were to be abolished, then sexual harassment would cease to be a “major problem.”

Consider the proposition: For five thousand years men have been more aggressive sexually than women. Recognizing this, societies have universally established different (unequal) sexual rules for men and women. And for all that time, men (but not all men) have failed to heed those rules and have overstepped the boundaries of decent behavior. But according to the gender feminists, that is “merely” the past. Now the U.S. military has a chance to solve this problem once and for all. By passing the Schroeder amendment. By removing the barriers to women in combat. As soon as the “exclusion law” is changed, women’s self-esteem will rise, men’s respect for women will increase, and mirabile dictu sexual harassment will cease.

It is difficult to believe that rational human beings could propose such nonsense, let alone a commander in the U.S. Navy or a U.S. Congresswoman. But this is the fundamental idea that feminists – from the ideological professoriate on our benighted campuses to such public “spokespeople” as Gloria Steinem and Pat Schroeder promote from their pulpits ad nauseam. And to which our military brass and political leadership are kowtowing at a frightening pace. It is an instructive example of how radical ideology, given the chance, can glue up the human brain. If anyone were seriously looking at the question of military effectiveness, they would see that the greatest threat to military morale today is being created by the onslaught of half-baked feminist ideas that are making every man Jack in the military – from the highest brass to the lowliest grunt – guilty before the fact, guilty just because he is a male.

Item: This summer, Jerry Tuttle, a three-star Admiral who had been nominated by the President for one of the 12 top posts in the navy, was subjected to public humiliation when the President was forced to withdraw his nomination. Why? Because a newsletter for which he was responsible printed the following joke: Beer is better than women because beer never has a headache.

Item: Three “top gun” fliers were relieved of their commands because of their participation in, or witnessing of, a privately shown skit in the annual Tom Cat Follies at the Miramar Naval Station. The skit lampooned Congresswoman Schroeder.

What is going on in America that a three star Admiral can be denied a promotion over a lame joke that he didn’t even make? Or that seasoned fliers can have their careers terminated because of possible offense to a politician? How could a Republican President and Navy Department cave in to pressures like this, and why isn’t there national outrage over the injustice and stupidity of it? And, finally, what is the problem with feminists who can’t handle this kind of trivia? And yet want to enter a war zone and engage in combat!

There is a big problem out there and it is this: We are fast becoming a nation of hypocrites and liars in our unseemly haste to humor ideological bluenoses like Mariner and Schroeder, and to submit the lives of honorable and dedicated men like Admiral Tuttle and the Miramar commanders to the tender mercies of the feminist thought-police.

Thanks to Representative Schroeder, her supporting wolfpack and the weak-kneed defense brass who won’t stand up to them, the men in our armed services are now guilty for being men: for having encountered women who have used headaches as an excuse for not wanting sex, for suffering the abuse of a vindictive Congresswoman in silence, and for making lame jokes to ventilate their frustrations.

But it is not only men who are guilty when the radical star-chamber is in session. Women who are not politically correct are equally suspect. Thus Commander Mariner: “As with racial integration, the biggest problem confronting gender integration is…bigotry. ..Bigotry…is the root cause of racial and sexual harassment.”

Anyone who even suggests now that it might not be a good idea to include women in combat, is hereby put on notice that they are, at the very least, encouraging bigotry and most likely bigots themselves. Studies conducted at West Point have identified 120 physical differences between men and women that may bear on military requirements. Yet the US Naval Academy has been criticized for not moving fast enough to increase its female enrollment on the grounds that this is mere prejudice. Senator Barbara Mikulski has demanded “an attitude change” at the Academy, and an official Committee on Women’s Issues headed by Rear Admiral Virgil Hill has called for the “immediate dismissal of senior officers who question the role of women in the military.” To question – to question – the role of women in the military is now regarded as bigotry by the military itself.

The word “bigot” has resonance. It is meant to invoke the specter of racism and, simultaneously, to appropriate the moral mantle of the civil rights movement for the feminist cause. This feminist attempt to hijack the civil rights movement has always struck me as spurious and offensive. Women, as a gender, were never oppressed as American blacks and their ancestors were oppressed. It is the big lie of feminism to speak of “patriarchy” as a system of oppression comparable to slavery, and to see women’s restricted role in society as fundamentally unrelated to restrictions imposed by their biology and the state of technological development.

Black people were enslaved for centuries. Their slavery was justified by whites who judged them to be less than human. “Three-fifths of a man.” That was bigotry. That was racism. Sexism, by contrast, is an inane and meaningless term invented by Marxist radicals to stigmatize their opponents. Its primary function aside from abuse, is to appropriate the moral legacy of the struggle against racism. No western civilization, let alone western democracy, has ever regarded women as inferior beings in the sense that blacks were considered inferior. None has ever failed to value and cherish them.

Despite the fog of feminist propaganda that has enveloped the nation, we don’t need elaborate studies to prove this. Men’s feelings for women have been richly recorded in Western culture. Homer’s Iliad, which gives expression to the informing myths of Hellenic society, and is a founding document of Western civilization is about a war over a woman. Even the most dim-witted ideologue can see that there is power in womanhood there.

As for more recent attitudes, anyone who thinks that before The Feminist Mystique, women in America were denigrated as mere bodies without character or brains, should catch the next showing of any Katherine Hepburn film on American Movie Classics. In Adams Rib, to invoke but one example, Hepburn and Tracy play husband and wife lawyers who wind up on opposite sides of a major case. The wife wins. Only in Betty Friedan’s febrile imagination was the American family a “comfortable concentration camp” before the advent of NOW.

Yet the argument is still pressed that the decision to put women in combat is somehow crucial to women’s self-esteem and to men’s respect for women. It is a constant theme of the Presidential hearings. In discussing the inclusion of women in combat, Professor Lepowsky had this to say: “There might be a significant impact…on female self-esteem, especially for young girls and young women, the idea that male fraternity and male respect of women was possible.”

On what planet is Professor Lepowsky living? Including women in combat would give women the idea that male friendship for and respect of women was possible} If men don’t respect women, why do women fall in love with men and marry them? Is there something wrong with women? Are they so brain deficient or brainwashed as to be involved intimately with a species that doesn’t even respect them? Only a feminist ideologue could come up with such malicious lunacy. It only serves to confirm the suspicion that behind every radical feminists concern for what women might be, lies a profound contempt for who they are.

And yet this is the kind of thinking that is being factored into the future of our armed forces.

What is truly worrying about all this is that there is now an atmosphere of intimidation in the public sphere that prevents any candor on these issues. Jobs can and are being lost, careers are being ruined, reputations are being tarnished because of politically incorrect views; because of bad attitudes; because the party line is not being observed. These are disgraceful times in America. And they are fraught with danger where national security matters are concerned.

In its Washington session in June, the Presidential Commission also heard testimony from William S. Lind, former defense advisor to Gary Hart. In his testimony, Lind referred to the suppression of information vital to the decisions the Commission was going to make. According to Lind, the Army Personnel Office had detailed information on problems encountered with women troops in Desert Storm, which had not been released to the public. They included the fact that the non-deployability rate for women in the Gulf was many times higher than that for men. Specifically, when the troops were called to battle, between three and four times as many women per enlisted personnel were unavailable for duty. The inability to deploy women troops apparently caused an immediate turmoil with negative effects on unit cohesion, which is a primary component of combat effectiveness. Another piece of important information that was not made public was the fact that despite rigid measures taken in the field, there was no drop in the pregnancy rate through the period of deployment. (Pregnancy rates in the military are now 10-15%.) Pregnancy during Desert Shield was the primary reason for non-deployability.

Why is this information on the back burner? Where are the famous investigative reporters from 60 Minutes and the Washington Post, ever vigilant against the evils of military censorship? Perhaps a politically correct media lacks interest in information that could sow doubts about the case for “gender integration”. Even if the suppression of that information might jeopardize our men on some future field of battle.

(Suppression of information about women’s actual performance in some traditionally male jobs is not unique to the military. As a journalist I have interviewed policemen who will tell you – off the record – of the dangers they face because of women partners who are not as physically intimidating as men. I have talked to construction workers who will tell you – off the record – of having to carry women the law has forced onto their crews even though they are not physically strong enough to do a full share of the work.)

The suppression of information has provided one “answer” to these problems. “Gender norming” has provided the other. “Gender norming” is the practice of institutionalizing the double standard, so that women are measured in performance against other women, rather than men who can outperform them. “Gender norming” is now the rule at all military service academies. As is the cover-up of the adverse consequences of their new policies of admitting women.

The official position at West Point, for example, is that there have been no negative effects stemming from the admission of women to the Academy. The facts, as revealed in a recent Heritage study by Robert Knight, are quite different. Knight’s information is drawn from the sworn testimony of a West Point official taken in a Virginia Court:

  • When men and women are required to perform the same exercises, women’s scores are “weighted” to compensate for their deficiencies.
  • Women cadets take “comparable” training when they cannot meet the physical standards for male cadets.
  • In load-bearing tasks, 50% of the women score below the bottom 5% of the men.
  • Peer ratings have been eliminated because women were scoring too low.

To appease the heightened sensitivities of women in the present political atmosphere, even the men’s training program has been downgraded:

  • Cadets no longer train in combat boots because women were experiencing higher rates of injury.
  • Running with heavy weapons has been eliminated because it is “unrealistic and therefore unappropriate” to expect women to do it.
  • The famed “recondo” endurance week during which cadets used to march with full backpacks and undergo other strenuous activities has been eliminated, as have upper-body strength events in the obstacle course.

It is one thing to have second-rate professors in the humanities because of affirmative action quotas that lower standards. But a second rate officer corps?

Not surprisingly, resentment on the part of male cadets is high. One indication is that more than 50% of the women cadets at West Point reported that they had been sexually harassed last year.

It is a perfectly sinister combination. Rub men’s noses in arbitrariness and unfairness, and then charge them with sexual harassment when they react. It is also a perfect prescription for accumulating power and controlling resources. Which is what this witch-hunt – no different in this regard from any other – is ultimately about. For every male who falls from grace because he is suspected of sexual harassment, or of defending standards that maybe unfavorable to women, or of not reacting strongly enough to sexual harassment, there is a politically correct career officer or politician ready to take advantage of his misfortune. Rosemary Mariner is a candidate for Admiral; Beverly Byron has been mentioned as a possible Secretary of the Navy; Pat Schroeder has her sights on a cabinet post, perhaps Secretary of Defense.

Who is going to pay the price for these ambitions on the field of battle?

This brings us to another problem raised by William Lind, which is unit cohesion and combat effectiveness. In combat men will act to protect the women and this will undermine the effectiveness of the unit. The male soldier’s protective instinct is heightened by his knowledge of what the male enemy will do to females taken prisoner of war. This is not mere theory. The Israelis, who pioneered the introduction of women in combat during their War of Liberation now bar women from combat. They found exactly this, that “if you put women in combat with men, the men immediately forget about their tactical objective and they move instead to protect the women.”

The Israelis abandoned the practice of putting women into combat positions because it weakened their forces and exposed their fighting men to even greater risks. Is there is a reason for Americans to repeat the Israelis’ mistake just to humor the feminist left?

No amount of sensitivity training, no amount of brainwashing can alter human nature. The Communists proved that at unbelievable cost. They could not make a new socialist man (or woman) who would be cooperative and not competitive under a social plan, who would respond as effectively and efficiently to administrative commands as they had to market incentives, who would be communist and not individualist.

The Communists killed tens of millions of people and impoverished whole nations trying to change human nature, all the time calling it “liberation,” just as radical feminists do. It didn’t work. Social experiments that disregard fundamental human realities in the name of abstract pieties will always fail. But they will cause incalculable social damage and irreparable human suffering before they collapse.

And yet, under the guidance of feminist social engineers, our newly sensitized military leadership marches on. The Air Force has established a SERE program (Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape), including its own “prisoner of war” camp in the state of Washington to de-sensitize its male recruits so that they won’t react like men when female prisoners are tortured. In short, in their infinite wisdom, Ms. Schroeder and her feminist allies have enlisted the military in a program to brainwash men so that they won’t care what happens to women. That’s progress and social enlightenment, feminist style.

Of course, it is not necessary to gain access to the information that the military has suppressed or to be familiar with military terms like “unit cohesion” to see that America’s war-making ability has already been weakened by the decision to deploy large numbers of women on battlefields overseas, even absent a combat role. Who does not remember the poignant stories which the networks elaborated in lavish detail about the children left behind by their mothers on duty in the Persian Gulf? And in some cases mothers and fathers. (In fact there were 16,337 single military parents and 1,231 military couples, who left anxious children behind during the Gulf War.) In the irresponsibly gifted hands of network reporters, even the family pets orphaned by their owners became objects of national concern. And for some, occasions to oppose the war.

The net result is that an American President now is under pressure to win a war in four days or risk losing the war at home. How many dictators are going to test the will of America s liberated military and compassionate citizenry in future conflicts? These changes have implications for diplomacy and long term national security that are literally incalculable. Yet Schroeder and Co. want them decided on the basis of cheap slogans like “separate is inherently unequal.”

In the summer of 1992, the military establishment has acted like pussies in responding to the all-out assault on America’s armed services by Congresswomen Schroeder, Byron, Boxer, Mikulski et al. In the reigning atmosphere of political intimidation, even an offending skit could send career servicemen to the stake. Among the public figures lampooned in the Tom Cat Follies were President Bush and Vice President Quayle. But it was a rhyme about Representative Pat Schroeder that sent the Navy brass into paroxysms of fear and scrambling for a sword to fall on. When the smoke cleared, three dedicated careers were in the toilet because of this nonsense. Three careers destroyed as a result of Navy hypocrisy and fear of the wrath of one bigoted US Congresswoman. When the history of this sorry episode is written, maybe someone will call it the Feline Follies.

One might well ask what qualifies someone like Pat Schroeder to intimidate the entire American military establishment and to shape its destiny through the next generation? During the cold war Pat Schroeder and her supporters in the Congressional left worked overtime to hobble and disarm America in the face of the Soviet threat. In 1981, when Soviet armies were spreading death and destruction across Afghanistan and the United States had boycotted the Olympics in order to isolate the Soviet aggressor, Pat Schroeder and a group of leftwing House members hosted a delegation from the World Peace Council, a proven Soviet propaganda front, thus providing a KGB operation with a forum in the halls of Congress.

In 1982, with Soviet armies occupying Afghanistan, with 50,000 Cuban troops waging civil war in Ethiopia and Angola, with a Communist base established on the American mainland, with a Communist insurgency raging in E l Salvador, with thousands of nuclear warheads in Central Europe and Warsaw Pact forces outnumbering NATO troops by a two to one margin, Congresswoman Schroeder proposed an amendment to reduce the number of U.S. military personnel stationed overseas by half. (HR6030). If ever a member of the U.S. Government proposed a prescription for national suicide, this was it. Fortunately, three hundred and fourteen Democrats joined Republicans in defeating Schroeder’s amendment on the floor.

In the Congressional Quarterly, Pat Schroeder is noted for her efforts against nuclear testing while the Soviets were still our adversaries, against further development of the MX missile, against proposed funding levels for the Strategic Defense Initiative and the B-2 bomber – and against authorizing the president to use force to stop Saddam Hussein.

Maybe Ms. Schroeder’s Denver constituents approve of the attitudes these positions reflect. For most Americans Pat Schroeder’s credentials on issues of national defense will be cause for alarm.

The military is the one American institution that survived the Sixties intact. Now it threatens to become a casualty of current radical fashions. Of far more concern than any possible injustice that might be associated with the exclusion of women from combat, is the assault on the military that is now being conducted in the name of “gender integration,” the elimination of sexual harassment and the purging of male bigots. The worst crimes of our century have been committed by idealists attempting to eradicate just such “injustices,” stamp out politically incorrect attitudes and reconstruct human nature. Let’s not add the weakening of America’s military to the depressing list of disasters of these Utopias that failed.

  • JohnMichael

    Estrogen and progesterone-laden Leon Panetta–a genuine "doughboy"–has deemed women fit for combat, even in the infantry and Special Forces.

    Someone ought to remind him that after puberty the bodies of:

    -Boys are 40% Protein and 15% Fat,
    -Girls are 23% Protein and 25% Fat.

    Worst of all for Panetta's theory:

    Post-puberty boys have 20 times the testosterone of girls,
    and it is testosterone that gives them the
    physiological superiority to lead a more active
    and strenuous life.

    Unless girls take exogenous testosterone into their bodies,
    they can never approach the strength of healthy boys.

    Brain Sex: The Real Differences Between Men & Women,
    Anne Moir, Ph.D., Geneticist, NY: Bantam, Doubleday, Dell, 1991.

    P.S. Rather than a fair army, America needs a fearsome, victorious army.

    • Lillith66
      • John

        After normalizing for weight & % body fat, the author says men & women are the same. More or less built on the same chassis, but after 18 years of being bathed in a different hormonal soup they are not the same.

        A guy would have to put forth one degree of effort. A woman would have to put forth a much higher level of effort. Just don't see many women dong that.

        • Lillith66

          Totally agree, I just want folks to give statistics with actual real world data to back them up. I am not for putting woman on the front line, it’s just that JohnMichaels argument against was faulty!

    • Morpheus2009

      To be more correct, it's a fraction of men who qualify for the military as main combat troops. For women, it's an incredibly small fraction who would qualify. An elite few, as a matter of fact. I could see some women from say, extremely top-notch martial arts or cross-training, but those are an extreme few. Anyways, which leads to a question of how substantially would this add to the military? I doubt it would by much, or even a noticeable amount in the grand scheme.

  • AdinaK

    There is little doubt that radical leftism has infected all parts of the body politic. When it attaches itself to the military, all bets are off.
    It is imperative to understand the animus which fuels the left, particularly towards anything which smacks of "patriarchal" hierarchy. What better target than the military, the one place where men "rule" and also protect American ethos from? In other words, this arena is a twofer for the radical, revolutionary left.
    In this regard, they are in line for "deconstruction", and the feministas are "go to" gals for the hit job, in tow with every other "grievance" group –

    In tandem, leftist dogma is the same world over & its tentacles reach everywhere –

    Adina Kutnicki, Israel –

  • Aterg

    Your article is long repetitious in its content, not worth the time I spent. Opinionated and only your opinion, it would be better for you to join the 21st century if at all possible.

    • Buffy

      If you had actually read it, you would know that it was a reprint of something written 20 years ago….ie in the 20th Century. But you didn't read it, did you?

    • davarino

      Ya, well thats just your opinion man.

    • JacksonPearson

      Don't forget to feed the cat, and shut the lights out on the way out. {{{YAWN}}}

    • miguel

      lets see: you claim the mere passage of TIME somehow alters human biology? genetics? physical differences between men and women? the cruelty and violence of war? the needs of a nation? logic? truth? what a stupid, and idiotic fantasy- you are brainwashed, and are quite delusional.

    • tagalog

      Being as this website is a place for people to publish their opinions as commentary, and for others to reply with their opinions in reply, it seems a bit obtuse of you to state that it's "only your (David Horowitz') opinion." You're in the wrong place to expect scientifically verifiable facts. This is a place to discuss politics. Smarten up, please.

  • John Mac Canna

    Women only combat units are well over due. Let Women take the same risks as men for the same pay. But no mixing of sexes as men will take more risks to protect women.
    As for false allegations of rape and sexual harassment would not a rise in women only units, apart from lesbian harassment and rape.
    I have been advicing all men not to join the forces until these measures have been taken. War and the forces are an exerise in misandry. See see barbarossaaaa on youtube.

    • Tom

      That is my take. I would like to see female only destroyers, frigates, cruisers & submarines.

      Personally I would use the women as militia or reserve guard providing a second line of defense.
      When the chips are down & you want to preserve your people & your culture, you will fight. Unless you are Billary. Then you run away.

    • Asher

      People with understanding of what it takes on the battlefield know that this is a bad idea. Another attempt to diminish the effectiveness of American troops! Women serve well in areas of support, not on the front lines!

      • Morpheus2009

        Exactly, and again, it's not out of prejudice and misunderstanding as much as it is about understanding, concern, and respect, for what and who women are. This decision had little forethought to it.

  • bill badger

    Maybe it is not all bad news. Wait until a captured female soldier appears on YouTube having her head sawed off by savages, like Daniel Pearl or Ken Bigley

    That will get the public on side.

    • John Mac Canna

      Yes. And maybe we be more careful about getting into pointless wars

  • JacksonPearson

    Sorry folks, I know it's done that way anymore, but I just couldn't imagine women hunkering down in landing crafts on a D-day invasion of Normandy, or Omaha Beach, or storming island, after island in the South Pacific.

    Fighting is not playing video games, but very serious stuff. This is just more liberal political correct insanity.

    • ChiTT

      Have you stopped by Navy Gentleman's site? It is mostly old Breitbart posters and uses intense debate. It is a news aggregator site…like drudge with a comment section. There is a daily open threads and we even have a few trolls. If you have seen the site then disregard.

      • JacksonPearson

        Thank you…I'll take a look!

    • tagalog

      "Hey, stop the LCI! I just threw up on myself!"

      • JacksonPearson

        It's a tragedy waiting to happen. :o)

  • WilliamJamesWard

    It is the absolute outcome of the left to destroy America and in so doing America's ability to
    defend itself and be a deterent to would be dictators and ambitious Nations that have evil
    intent towards America. The left is the left and anything coming out of the Obama regime
    is to weaken, undermine and destroy our safety structure along with our economy, all
    systems of life and turn America into a leftist looney bin. Women can not do the battlefield
    job, it just can't be done and that has nothing to do with a woman's courage and patriotism.
    Foolishness ala leftist games will get people killed but we know about thier value of
    other peoples lives vis Benghazi, military commanders must put a stop to this……….William

  • mike elmore

    Next AARP will want the right of old people to serve in the infantry. Opps, I didn't mean Old people I meant retired people. After all, what's the difference between gender discrimination and age discrimination when it comes down to national security? The only question is, will what we know as freedom today endear long enough to get through this insanity.

    • D. Mark Ward

      How about this thought for a future (male) Soldier in a combat zone? “Well, here I am in this here fighting position. Doing my patriotic duty to defend all that I love back home. Our standard of living. Our values. Our Freedom. Keeping those I love safe and out of harm’s way. My grandparents. My parents. My brothers and sisters. My wife. Oh wait! They’re all over here with me!!”

      • tagalog

        Yeah, but when it comes to fighting for Mom's Apple Pie, the male G.I. will be able to call on his Squad Mama to bake one right up!

  • Asher

    Anything to stop the military from doing their jobs..Distraction, trying to protect the women, sexual attraction, and inability to manipulate heavy equipment. Tell this government that they are destroying the edge we have over the enemy. Women don't belong on the front lines of combat, but in intelligence, assemling, or transporting goods….

  • Carterl43

    Always follow the money trail…underlying this is to get the specialties and assignments women currently occupy reclassified as combat positions when serving in a region of conflict. Magic happens and now they get combat pay or tax exclusions. Guess what? They never have to fire a rifle, mortar, or other weapon and they never have to dig a fox hole. But they get the pay!

    • Marty

      I am under the impression that all individuals in a combat zone receive combat pay, regardless of their MOS. The combat pay is also the same for everyone regardless of rank.

  • cxt

    As I have mentioned prior….there is no question that women can't be excellent shooters and fighters.

    The real question is, as many have pointed out. What is it going to do to the military and society in general.

    I still go back to human interaction, humans pair up, its what we do. And I don't think it can be "educated" out of us. The more "life and death" your enviroment the less the "rules" matter.

    Its not a question of gender or sexual orientation. If your freezing and boiling in your foxhole, eating crappy food and drinking crappy water while all the while terrified your going to die—then your resentment and anger towards anyone whom has "someone" to share their hardships is going to skyrocket.

    As will the deeply held suspcion that you keep getting chosen for the "bad" duties so to spare somebodies "friend." True or not its going to feel like it.

    Is someones "special friend" going to watch your back the way they would their "friends."

    This is a poorly reasoned idea–for many, many reasons.

    • Morpheus2009

      I don't say this in a bad way, but sexual orientation isn't something that is going to make much of a difference. I say this for two reasons. Exclusive homosexuality, and not facultative homosexuality are a small fraction of the overall population. Second, even out of those whom I know whom are homosexual. Even most of them wouldn't stand for seeing someone helplessly assault their mother or sister, again, I feel from at least these incidences, that protecting a woman is way more than whom you feel inclined to have intimate relationships with, I feel that it also extends to understanding just simple family compassion too.

      I agree with you on the excellent shooters part, my wife would certainly defend the house, and she's a deadly sharpshooter, but being able to be on the frontline combat is different from having a weapon, which is normal even for support roles to carry a sidearm for their own defense. You are out there on foot hiding and strategically maneuvering to escape the enemy.

      It's hard to sound bad while mentioning the differences in gender, but you are in frontline combat, often deprived of hygiene, or a proper receptacle to urinate, something that can be troublesome, and which men and women are different in that regard. For me as a guy, I could be stuck in an APC overloaded with other guys, and that APC cannot stop, so I could easily piss in a bottle if I had to. I also don't have the menstrual bleeding, which can stink horribly, the last thing you would want is for a woman to have to clean herself off of such a mess, which wouldn't be the same as me controlling my urine into a cup, and the stink is awful, you better hope enemies aren't close to where you are, and that the woman isn't having that issue while you're trying to hide, dogs and other animal can smell a woman's stink from this, and you've pretty much given away where you are. It was a main reason why the women didn't do the hunting part in the days of nomadic hunter gatherers, they were easy targets for carnivorous beasts and gave a warning signal to hunted animals if she reached that point.

      Again, this is nothing to say that a woman can't be good in defensive or support roles, in fact, in piloting guarding, and so on, they can actually excel above men in those ways, but it's just liabilities such as those, that sadly, aren't exactly her choice, but are nonetheless liabilities.

  • cxt

    Sorry that should read above:

    There is no qquestion that women CAN BE excellent shooters and fighters.


  • LibertarianToo

    It won't do to call "gender feminism" the bastard child of Marxism. If you know Marx, you know that he wrote "Socialism: Utopian or Scientific" in reaction AGAINST the Socialist Cooperators who were the arch feminists of the day. Marx "made a man out of" Socialism -and the result was violence, coercion, terror, and millions murdered -all anathema to the feminist socialists..

    And what exactly did you mean "the military establishment has acted like pussies?" Don't want that contempt for the feminine to slip out in the middle of your argument.

    If you need to cite the disgraceful Tailhook episode to argue against qualified American citizens serving their country, then more power to Leon Panetta, who is only recognizing the reality on the ground after all.

    • ADM

      The Tailhook episode was yet another example of a scandal being used to short-circuit debate on this subject. The principal "victim" was Paula Coughlin, a naval aviator who was groped by some drunken male aviators. It turned out she could not identify her attackers, had a well-documented record for vigorously participating in the Bachanalian antics of Tailhooks past, and was an advocate of women in the military.

    • ADM

      The issue in your comment, though, is qualified. Well, during the Cold War, with forces larger than we have now and the same general standards (including those for men and women), the male component was larger than our current forces. Indeed, the armed forces were turning recruits away in the mid-80's, and yet women with inferior physical capabilities continued to be admitted. On a purely merit basis, the best qualified individual will be a man. Even that vanishingly small number of women who can meet the average male level of fitness will have a lighter skeleton (and thus be more easily injured – plenty of evidence exists to confirm that), will need special gear, will suffer PTSD at 2-4x the male rate, and can get pregnant. Those are all net costs. It is not a straight comparison with a man. in contrast, none of these things applied to racial integration.

      Do you think that there are objectively masculine and feminine characteristics or do you think gender is essentially constructed? The latter is the heart of feminism. It is demonstrably false.

      • LibertarianToo

        Please don't tell me what is "the heart of feminism." Women and men of course have differences. AND "gender" is of course a social construct –that varies from age to age and culture to culture.

        I recall when McGovern's MD assured us all that women were unfit for high public office because they are subject to "raging hormonal imbalances." Tell it to Michelle Bachman. Yet that is the first argument some of the posters here reach for as a blanket disqualifier for half the citizenry.

        The sort of grouping and tagging that says you can or can't do something because of what you are is nothing other that the class warfare the Left is so fond of. Americans believe one should rise or fall based on individual ability.

        • Tiberius

          I disagree with your argument. What many that have served or are currently serving in the military complain are about the double standards that either exist or are created. To have an equal playing field, all standards need to be apllied to all. The dangerous territory is when a military occupation speciality is suddenly has one standard for one group and another standard for another group, that where problems begin.

          In true earnest i think this is just polical agenda not some noble crusade for equal work for equal pay.

        • JoJoJams

          So, then, you don't believe in evolution and that mankind evolved from the animal kingdom, where the male and female of any species each has it's delineated roles and functions within that species? Somehow, only with the human animal is "man" and "woman" the same…when they're obviously not. Interesting.

  • Loyal Achates

    So I suppose the IDF has been totally crippled by it's preponderance of women serving under arms?

    • wsk

      When your a country the size of Israel, under contant attack and surrounded by enemies on three sides, you have to make adjustments. If you want women in combat let them guard our southern border with orders to "shoot to kill".

    • ADM

      The IDF does not have any significant number of women serving in the field. Military conscription and training are mandatory for both sexes in Israel, but the IDF always kept the women in training roles or in the rear. The Israeli word for their womens corp means "Charm" in Hebrew. Recent decisions by the Israeli Supreme Court have opened more roles to women, but the number of women actively involved in anything resembling combat is still trivially small. As an FYI, the IDF has had a record of inconclusive wars since 1973.

    • tagalog

      I was under the impression that the IDF experimented with women being placed in combat units, but that they discovered it was impracticable and stopped the practice. If what ADM posts is correct, apparently I am mistaken.

  • Jack Rail

    Feminists in America, of any stripe, are ignorant bigots. They fight biology and blame all their failures on men. Go to India or Africa or Russia or anywhere in the Orient or the Middle East (save Israel) to see women treated the way feminists say American men treat them. It's bull shiite. American women have been pampered and babied and treated like queens, and they want more more more, like the spoiled brats they are.

    Feminists are lazy and don't want to work that hard. Today's whiny babes don't compare to the women greats of the past such as Amelia Earhardt, Marie Curie, Jane Austin, Clare Booth Luce, on and on. Women who just did what they wanted to do and conquered the obstacles.

    Feminists, STFU. You embarrass yourselves.

  • Arley Steinhour

    Hmmm, I just penned this a couple of hours ago, and for some reason, feel this might be a good place to share the words. IMO, most women will not seek to be qualified for full combat, but prefer to do excellent work, in a support position. Only the toughest will try, and if they qualify, accept the responsibility, and consequences of their unique position, probably excel. Consider:

    Women in Combat
    Poem/Lyrics by Arley Steinhour 012813
    To Tune: (Come and lay down by my side)

    Place a baby on her back,
    and a rifle in her hand,
    Give her reason to attack,
    You'll have the meanest in the land,

    When she's done, you'll have surprise,
    As she wipes mud from her eyes,
    None can stand-up to the Name,
    Of, 'Combatant-Army-Dame.'

    She's a woman in disguise,
    Never trust her when she cries,
    Streets ran red, from those who tried,
    Only wise men, run and hide.

    May the choice, to now allow,
    Women Fight, not just 'serve chow,'
    Be a wise and honored choice,
    To when History lends it's voice.

    This step forward, some won't take,
    'Train as Warrior,' fighter make,
    Safe in job, behind the line,
    'Support,' so other Warriors shine.

    She's still a woman in disguise,
    Never trust her when she cries,
    Streets ran red, from those who tried,
    Only wise men, run and hide.


    In IDF, gal's fit right in,
    No one there calls it a sin,
    They fight for Country and their Kin,
    And, IDF seems to always Win.

    Keep the Watch, Redemption draws nigh, quite close, actually.

  • Jonathan

    Jeremiah 51:30
    The mighty men of Babylon have forborn to fight, they have remained in their holds: their might hath failed; they became as women: they have burned her dwellingplaces; her bars are broken.

  • poetcomic1

    Game over. This is the end. Am I the only American man deeply ASHAMED of my country for doing this?

  • Infovoyeur

    Well, problems galore, as the posts show. From bonding on duty, to hygiene. I am against the move. BUT for the love of Athena and Minerva (goddesses of wisdom or at least common sense), what would be REALLY the End, will women be allowed in combat WITHOUT passing the UPPER BODY ETC. MINIMUM STRENGTH standard or ability? I presume not, but if so, Game Over, eh……..

  • Ghostwriter

    I've said it before and I'll say it again,I'm going to stay well clear of this one.

  • S. Crossfield

    We're going to need alll these new female fighter pilots to shoot down the 20 F16's Obama Hussein is giving to egypt when they attack us and female tan crews k to knock-out the 200 m1 tanks he's giving them so they can roll into saudi arabia or Israel.

  • BS77

    what army in history had young women fighting on the front lines? None. But now the liberal maniacs have determined we must be FAIR and let young women die in combat. We are in decline, a sick and doddering nation of fools.

  • S. Crossfield

    Since Moslem countries have no regard for women, how do you think Afghan tribal chiefs would respond to female special forces troops who try to win their hearts and minds? But female troops could use their looks and bodies to " move" them the same way they did to move up the ladder of command bypassing hundreds of more qualified, more competant males.

  • Oswald

    As well as physical the psychological differences are important. A unit of men committed to each others survival functions as a unit and each man will go to the aid of their comrades who are under threat.

    What will happen when a man is pinned down and taking fire and his comrade is a woman who has her man at home and a family. Will she put them aside and go to the aid of this other man? I doubt it.

  • Alan
    • tagalog

      I had to stop and roll on the floor laughing my ass off when I read the headline, followed by the first sentence of which, that says expressly that opposing women in combat is another front in the Republican jihadist "war on women." That was so unintentionally funny that I blew my morning coffee through my nose.

      That LA Progressive, they're kidding, right? This article was really an Onion article, surely.

      And THEN they finished the article with a bit of a non sequitur in which they claim that the "Tea Baggers," (do they mean gays?) and the Republican Party want women to fight in combat, but get no credit for it. I thought the mysterious Tea Baggers and the Republican Party were opposed to women in combat, so how could they want women to fight in combat? It's a good thing I put my coffee down before I went back to the article. Tom Hall wrote that little opus, did he? I need to watch the by-line before I read another progressive work to be sure I can miss his laser-like intellection.

  • tagalog

    Yes, it roiled my feeble bagger mind. That was clever; where did you get it? "Roiled," wow… Did you make it up yourself? Do you think Mr. Hall meant gays when he wrote about Tea Baggers? If I'm a bagger, am I gay? Is that supposed to be a bad thing or a good thing?

    It's now afternoon; no more coffee for me.

  • tagalog

    What whining?

  • Jim

    So will the women also have to register for the Draft ?

    Better let them know now.

  • All Contraire

    A single question clarifying the issue of Women In Combat that the Military and Civilian Leadership should have to answer; and that all men should ask themselves and discuss with their families:

    "Suppose, as recently happened at the movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, you're at a mall with your wife and grown daughter when a man – or woman – suddenly starts firing a gun at you. Will each of you now look straight at the news cameras and tell the American people that you, as a man, will not interpose your body to protect your wife, grown daughter, or any other adult women? That, after over 250 years of American men bravely and honorably risking and giving up their lives to protect women, the new valor in America has truly and officially been downgraded to:


    Well? Each of the Joint Chiefs? The Secretary of Defense? All the other Generals and Admirals and the Commandant of the Marine Corps? Every member of the Senate and Congress? … And most especially you, President & Commander-'N-Chief Obama. Please, look into the cameras and tell the American people that you would NOT take a bullet for the First Lady?

  • Eduard White

    corrupted mankind: utopias and dreams, debase the vile thoughts of the radical
    left. Politically, the liberal regime, will disappear from the stage of the
    civilized peoples. Depravity without limits not can be extended forever because
    it is the misfortune of the peoples. Leader Adolf Hitler knowing of a crazy
    Europe imposed its infernal criterion. The path is identical.

  • Eduard White

    corrupted mankind: utopias and dreams, debase the vile thoughts of the radical
    left. Politically, the liberal regime, will disappear from the stage of the
    civilized peoples. Depravity without limits not can be extended forever because
    it is the misfortune of the peoples. Leader Adolf Hitler knowing of a crazy
    Europe imposed its infernal criterion. The path is identical.

  • Max Price

    This was brilliant. Thank you.