A Gender-Neutral Army

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


2b323e83e5a77802270f6a7067009493“Political chaos is connected with the decay of language,” George Orwell wrote. If language is meaning, then political chaos is the destruction of meaning. Political language exists to destroy meaning and to make unpopular policies seem popular by associating them with the very opposite of what they are.

Taxes are opportunities. Spending is stimulus. Amnesty is reform. The left is as good at language as it is 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.

The proposal to put women into combat is a transparently bad idea for reasons of common sense. Without an ongoing conflict and with deep cuts to the military, there is no shortage of manpower that requires desperate measures and compromised standards.

There is no reasonable reason for it all except the need to transform the military from a warfighting force into a beacon of liberal values. The new military does not exist to win wars, but to show up in beards and burqas and win the hearts and minds of our enemies with gay marriages and abortion clinics. Thousands or tens of thousands may die, but their deaths will be a chance to show how restrained we are in our lack of retaliation. How determined we are to lose the strategic high ground while claiming the moral high ground.

In preparation for giving the green light to female infantrymen, another term that will have to be changed, and female Army Rangers, General Martin Dempsey, who had previously cheered on the introduction of homosexuality to the military, promised “clear standards of performance for all occupations based on what it actually takes to do the job”.

These standards, General Dempsey said, will be “gender-neutral”. 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 that 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.

That would be a sensible, if doomed approach. Soldiers in Afghanistan may have to carry 127 pounds on their backs. A study in the heyday of the manpower crunch, when the Army was looking for a few good men, women or anything in between, still found that women could not meet male upper body strength ratios

Captain Katie Petronio, who led combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, wrote, “There is no way I could endure the physical demands of the infantrymen whom I worked beside.”

The British version of gender-neutral, gender-free, replacing gender-fair policy, attempted to ignore gender in military training and resulted in a doubling of injuries for female soldiers. In gender-fair training, women only suffered four times as many injuries as male soldiers. In gender-free training, women suffered nearly ten times as many injuries as male soldiers. An absurd term like gender-free could be coined, but it couldn’t be implemented because no one can be free of their gender. Gender is not open to regulation or deregulation. It is an absolute reality.

Gender-neutral may sound like gender-free, but it’s actually more like gender-fair. Our leaders may be stupid enough to insist on female Army Rangers, but they aren’t stupid enough to insist on standards that are neutral in the objective sense. Rather they are neutral in the subjective sense.

What does that mean? The gender-neutral standard is embedded in regulations, but it isn’t interpreted to mean identical objective physical metrics, but identical subjective physical metrics within each gender. The gender-neutral standard is actually a partisan gender standard. And it is arranged so that the politicians can have their gender-neutral cake and eat it too.

As the Congressional Research Service explains, “The use of the term ‘gender-neutral physical standards’ raises questions depending on how it is defined.” How do you define gender-neutral so that it isn’t neutral?

“The Services have used this and similar terms to suggest that men and women must exert the same amount of energy in a particular task, regardless of the work that is actually accomplished by either.”

Examples include, “if a female soldier carries 70 pounds of equipment five miles and exerts the same effort as a male carrying 100 pounds of equipment the same distance, the differing standards could be viewed as ‘gender-neutral’ because both exerted the same amount of effort, with differing loads.”

Or, “The Air Force Fitness Test Scoring for males under 30 years of age requires males to run 1.5 miles in a maximum time of 13:36: the female maximum time is 16:22. A female who runs at this slower rate would actually receive a higher score than a male who runs nearly three minutes faster.”

There’s nothing gender neutral about that. But gender-neutral really means neutral to the gender. And neutral to the gender is another way of saying that there are two differing standards. The standard changes to accommodate the gender.

It’s not what most people imagine that gender neutral means and it’s not what it is supposed to mean because Congress defined gender-neutral as being “evaluated on the basis of common, relevant performance standards, without differential standards of evaluation on the basis of gender.” But by leaving “relevant” in there, the door was open for a debate on the meaning of “is”, and the clear meaning of the rule was inverted so that instead of the standards neutralizing gender, gender neutralized the standards.

“Lifting a 95-pound artillery round must be done by a Marine, either male or female,” a Marine Corps memo noted. 95-pound artillery rounds are a gender-neutral standard. Like anything else on the battlefield, they are a true standard that cannot be graded on a gender curve. Training is meant to prepare soldiers for the reality of the battlefield. And the battlefield does not discriminate.

Affirmative action has lowered standards in most professions, but there are professions where lowering standards is impossible. Colleges can accept poorer students and companies can reserve jobs based on quotas. The cost of unqualified employees in the workplace is financial, but the cost of unqualified soldiers on the battlefield is lethal.

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  • http://www.adinakutnicki.com AdinaK

    The upside down world of language manipulation has made many affirmative action devotees giddy with delight, yet the proof of this disaster can be found in several key professions. A doctor who is unqualified to perform surgery is lethal, as are others who perform highly delicate and risky tasks. But if having a woman ( or another aggrieved "victim" of white, male "oppression") helps even the scales, then many are okay with said risks and results.
    To be sure, the army is one place where brute strength and size matters, as does logical and incisive thinking, which many women do have a leg up on their male counterparts. And all people can never be considered "equal" and this is a fact of life. So a woman who can't cut it on the battlefield is a clear & present danger. Simple as that.

    But never mind, the left has their rules – http://adinakutnicki.com/2012/07/01/leftist-dogma

    Adina Kutnicki, Israel http://adinakutnicki.com/about/

    • Max

      Women should be in the infantry when the NFL starts drafting women

    • Smitty

      I volunteered to teach at a U. of California dental school for two years in the early 1980s. The experience was enlightening. The Affirmative Action policy was new at the time, and there were several students who joined the student body as a result. The dismal results could be seen at the get-go, yet we instructors were almost mandated to turn our heads when blatant and obviously stupid decisions were made by those students, while students who had been admitted on the basis of the former standards of excellence in pre-dental education and by having to pass a specific U. C. pre-dental examination illustrated that there was a vast difference in abilities between the two groups. It made no difference.

      Shockingly, one of the AA students actually graduated and passed the State Board examinations, even though she was far below the minimum level of competence throughout her four-years in dental school. Tenured professors shrunk at the thought of having to go before the AA board that was formed to scrutinize their decisions being made on the dental clinic floor that might have reflected poorly on AA students. Since I was basically a volunteer prof, I took photos of certain—shall I dare say—questionable practices by AA students. Naturally, I was never called before that Board, but if I had, you can bet that they would have received an earful. Sadly, I seriously doubt that it would have made a difference, and no AA students would have been asked to leave.

      U. of California is run by liberals who share the same PC philosophy we see in the Army, resulting in the possibility of accepting similar sub-par personnel. Give the kid a D and some ghost bureaucrat will change it to a B; no muss, no fuss. Use a similar policy in the Army and someone is likely to return home in a body bag.

  • HiPlainsDrifter

    "The cost of unqualified employees in the workplace is financial, but the cost of unqualified soldiers on the battlefield is lethal."

    Great post Daniel….the ending prolific …
    Thanks for all you do…

    • Daniel Greenfield

      thank you

    • FrontPgSubscr

      Could NOT have been better said!!!

      • HiPlainsDrifter

        Thanks or your support of FPM….imagine a world without these fighters for liberty…

  • objectivefactsmatter

    Examples include, “if a female soldier carries 70 pounds of equipment five miles and exerts the same effort as a male carrying 100 pounds of equipment the same distance, the differing standards could be viewed as ‘gender-neutral’ because both exerted the same amount of effort, with differing loads.”

    No. Unless they mean same effort relative to their capabilities. Otherwise the man obviously had to work harder. Come on idiots. But again, the article is about lying by abusing our language. So, that's just another example.

  • objectivefactsmatter

    “The Air Force Fitness Test Scoring for males under 30 years of age requires males to run 1.5 miles in a maximum time of 13:36: the female maximum time is 16:22. A female who runs at this slower rate would actually receive a higher score than a male who runs nearly three minutes faster.”

    Obviously NOT gender neutral then!!! What is this BS? How stupid do they think we are? They realize most people won't investigate this until it's too late. Like everything else 0'Bama does.

    • kasandra

      I've tried to make this point before on FPM but to answer your questioni "What is this BS" you have to understand the role that narrative plays for the left. Objective reality means relatively little to these people. Objectively, a gender neutral standard would mean that male and female recruits would have to run the same distance in the same time. But the narrative is that women can do anything a man can do and as well. If objective reality doesn't support the narrative leftist either has to jettison the narrative, which for the leftist is unthinkable as he/she lives by these narratives, or monkey with the test scoring to achieve a simulation of the validity of the narrative.

      • kasandra

        In this case, they do it by a method similar to that used in academia. In academia it is done by what is called "racial norming." That is, you measure each group against the performance of that group so that, for instance, a minority with 145 on the LSATs is in the top 10% of blacks taking the LSATs and so is admitted, while a white has to have a score of, say 155 to be in the top 10% of whites applying and be admitted. Thus, the leftist claims, the applicant with the 145 is as qualified as the white with 155 because both are in the top 10% (but only of their racial grouping – which they omit). In this instance, they achieve the same result by concluding that a man running 1.5 miles in 13:36 is "equivalent" to a woman running the same distance in 16:22. By abusing language and statistics, for the leftist, the narrative becomes valid.

        • objectivefactsmatter

          "racial norming."

          In other words, "good racism."

          • kasandra

            Well, it's just a way for them to say that 145 is equal to 155. After all, both the minority student with 145 on the LSAT and the white student with 155 are both in the top ten percent (with an asterisk) and the slight of hand doesn't upset their narrative that every group is the same. It's racist but, as you say, in the left's view "good racism." In "Annie Hall" there is a scene in which the main character is giving a comedy routine at a fundraiser for Adlai Stevenson. He tells one of the organizers, played by Carol Kane, that he's a bigot but it's okay because he's a bigot for the left. So there is no neutral principle that bigotry is bad. It all depends on who and what your bigotry serves.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            "Well, it's just a way for them to say that 145 is equal to 155. "

            Right. All numbers are equal to one another when we divide them by zero. It's all deceptive rhetoric and the scary part is some of the people who speak this nonsense actually believe it.

            "It's racist but, as you say, in the left's view "good racism.""

            Which they call "anti-racism." Like stimulus spending is "anti-spending." Sure.

            "He tells one of the organizers, played by Carol Kane, that he's a bigot but it's okay because he's a bigot for the left. "

            Well yeah. Those bigoted Bible believers claim to have an objective source for morality when there is no objective standard. What matters in terms of morality is whether you're for or against "progress." That's how evil is defined. To them. They're "anti-evil" the way they're "anti-racist."

            "So there is no neutral principle that bigotry is bad. It all depends on who and what your bigotry serves."

            Precisely. This is their worldview and this is what they preach to our children captive in the schools they corrupted.

  • objectivefactsmatter

    "“Lifting a 95-pound artillery round must be done by a Marine, either male or female,” a Marine Corps memo noted. 95-pound artillery rounds are a gender-neutral standard. Like anything else on the battlefield, they are a true standard that cannot be graded on a gender curve. Training is meant to prepare soldiers for the reality of the battlefield. And the battlefield does not discriminate."

    Continued: "Which is why we're developing ultra-light gender neutral artillery ammunition."

    Social justice is so awesome.

  • Bimbam

    It’s time to stop listening to liberals and just start throwing their ideas out. It use to be funny, but not anymore.

    I believe we should start registering liberals and remove them from any position of authority.

  • tagalog

    There is no gender neutrality in war. Women, whether civilian or in uniform, will be treated worse than men. In addition to the traumas of combat and wartime conditions in general, women will have a special status as sex objects and as targets for cruelty that men in war do not usually experience. As Edward Cline, below, points out, women in uniform even in peacetime are affected adversely in ways that men typically are not.

    That fact, taken together with the obvious historical fact that in Western civilizations (as in most civilizations), women do not serve the nation in combat as a matter of civilized behavior, ought to teach us not to put women in combat . But we of the current age of course know better than our predecessors. There have been any number of times in history when societies have said that, usually just before they suffer disaster.

    Once women served in uniform in womens' branches of the armed forces, and mistreatment was much less. Today, the rush to eliminate all differential treatments, however salutary and protective of individuals they might be, has vanquished our good sense. Alleged spokespeople for women say they want this. Somehow I doubt it, given the flaps over sexual mistreatment that we have been hearing ever since women and men started serving in the same units.

    • Steve Fraser

      But won't homosexualizing the Armed Forces help protect female "soldiers".

  • Edward Cline

    Leave it to Daniel to open the gender-neutral box and sift through all the excelsior of Leftist semantics and demonstrate that there's nothing there but Orwellian language. Then there are the issues, now wafting their way through the headlines, of sexual assault charges being levied against men (any against female soldiers against men or other women? I doubt it), and the inevitable problems of coed units in the field and the kind of "bonding" that can cause casualties and death. Finally, the Left has hated the military for a very long time, and "gender-neutering" it is its way of emasculating it. Literally. To the Left, the military shouldn't exist to defend the country; it should exist as an experiment in social work.

  • Jerry G

    To be brutally honest I believe most men in the military would prefer women to be their sexual partners,not their combat partners. I say that as a veteran of WWII.

    • Drakken

      That is as true today as it was back then.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      "To be brutally honest I believe most men in the military would prefer women to be their sexual partners,not their combat partners. I say that as a veteran of WWII."

      This is also a crucial point but that ship already sailed. Now they're just launching more of the same stupid ship in to more dangerous waters.

  • Paul Blase

    “if a female soldier carries 70 pounds of equipment five miles and exerts the same effort as a male carrying 100 pounds of equipment the same distance….”

    The problem is that because the soldiers are carrying essential equipment, the woman carrying only 70 pounds of equipment results in the males carrying 120 lbs – theirs and the remainder of hers.

    A friend of mine who served several tours with the Army in the Mid East noted that there were two kinds of Army women over there: those who were trying to get pregnant (and thus sent home) and those who were running prostitution rings. If you mix genders in the battlefield there will be sex involved. Any woman has an instant out of combat: she has only to get pregnant. We will end up with senior members pressuring junior members for sexual favors (the argument against homosexual members also, BTW) as well as favoritism for lovers. This has all been tried before and resulted in disaster.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      "The problem is that because the soldiers are carrying essential equipment, the woman carrying only 70 pounds of equipment results in the males carrying 120 lbs – theirs and the remainder of hers."

      And in theory the men can sue for equal pay for equal work. They get proportional raises. Hah. Right.

      Communist principals apply so equal pay for equal work uses the same bogus math as "in proportion to one's abilities."

      These communists need to go. It's shocking we tolerate them as teachers. Any teacher promoting communist principals outside of the scope of critical inquiry should be jailed. Seriously.

      Get rid of the communists and then we can probably arrive at a rational solution for the other totalitarian problem. Before they issue any more visas.

    • jubilee

      this is too much….todays young people 18=29 are looking strange. women arent feminine, or less they look like hookers, and men arent masculine unless they are thugish, and its across the board–we've hit bottom…it would help for women to start being ladies again, starting with wearing skirts below the knee

  • Randolph Tamarind

    But the battlefield does, indeed, discriminate; against the physically weak, the slow, the inexperienced, the inattentative, and the stupid. The truth is that women are, relatively speaking, physically weak—despite all their other very fine and admirable qualities.
    Sadly, we are also finding out that women are not even able to defend themselves against sexual assault by those who should be their brothers-in-arms!

  • Moishe Pupick

    W. ,05/22/13

    Radical egalitarianism is harmful enough in civilian life; but it can be deadly in war. General Patton once said that the purpose of the military is to kill the enemy and break things. Now, however, "diversity" has become an idol of the ruling elite, with an overall dumbing down on American society.

    • davarino

      The US Navy, a global force for good. I love that TV ad. It gives me a warm fuzzy.

      That is such B$. The Navy or any of the other forces are not a global force for good. They are as Patton said, "killing the enemy and breaking things".

      ITS NOT A JOB OPPORTUNITY. ITS SERVING YOUR COUNTRY AND ITS INTERESTS.

      • objectivefactsmatter

        "That is such B$. The Navy or any of the other forces are not a global force for good. They are as Patton said, "killing the enemy and breaking things". "

        US military hegemony can be a force for good. It generally was before the Democratic Party was completely infiltrated. Killing the enemies of liberty is a good thing to do. Too bad we don't' have any naval strategy for rooting out enemies among the domestic politicians.

  • Drakken

    As we used to say in the Marine Corps, more sweat in training means less blood in war. The lowering of standards will fill lots of body bags later on. These social engineers,femanazis, liberals/progressives of course will be sending their own daughters to war right? Or is that only for the regular people?

  • Leland64

    There are many critical military occupation specialties in which women can perform with distinction. Being a rifleman (rifle person?) in an infantry platoon is not one for which 99.99% of women cannot perform.. We're not talking about a female machine gunner on a VIP vehicle or flying an attack aircraft. Prince Harry described his job as a Apache gunner in Afghanistan as like a video game. To the infantry supported by Harry's helicopter, war was not a video game. It is life and death in the worst conditions imaginable. It is days and weeks of humping 100 lb loads including weapons, ammunition, food, and water in oppressive heat and stunning cold with little rest, comfort with minimal personal hygiene and no privacy. The weak, male or female, become a burden to the strong in infantry combat. Sustained infantry combat is an exercise in social Darwinism in which the strong inevitably win. Someone has to take up the slack, someone has to carry extra belts of machine gun ammo, someone has to hump the machine gun or the Carl Gustav. Someone stands watch while others sleep and some one walks point. Virtually all those pushing women in the infantry, have never served in the infantry in combat. They are pushing a distorted view of gender equality which, if realized, will ensure a horrify butcher's bill the next time we go to war.

    • ADM64

      In fact, the armed forces are in their entirety supposed to be about combat. A woman sailor may sit in front of a computer and push buttons 90% of the time, but if she can't carry a wounded, unconscious male sailor up a ship's ladder, she hasn't actually met all of the job requirements and has no place being there, no matter how well (or equally) she pushes buttons. It's the same with damage control. And, all of those integrated areas have seen standards reduced, changed or redefined. This problem is nothing new; the desegregation of the "combat" branches is just the final straw.

  • digdigby

    Our worst enemy is in charge of the economy, of our natural resources and even our military.

  • FrontPgSubscr

    The little at the very beginning that I read was -just … EXCELLENT -exposes
    sophistry at its best!!! It's not JUST the left, but subversives in general can come
    with myriads of 'different hats'!!

  • Snorbak

    I've said it elsewhere & I will say it again, women in infantry combat units do not work…period. Forget your PC niceties, reality is reality, women simply do not posses the physical attributes to be effective in extended ground combat operations.
    If women are to be integrated into ground combat units, the mental & physical standards that need to be maintained for males MUST BE THE SAME for females. The reduced physical benchmarks for women by & of themselves make it plainly obvious that a female combat unit is going to be less capable than a male equivalent or in a mixed unit, will be the limiting factor in measuring combat effectiveness.
    Any adversary, knowing that a percentage of opposing forces are women will exploit the vulnerability to their advantage.
    Further issues relate to simple human nature, the good whereby men need to rescue a woman in danger, & the bad such as sexual prejudice & harassment. Both will compromise a units cohesion & war fighting ability.
    Gender Neutrality is an oxymoron however, within the military it is just plain moronic.

    • HiPlainsDrifter

      Hey …I think you're full of it. I saw Demi Moore in GI Jane….so it's obviously possible…no?

  • Willy Rho

    Now that we can genetically alter DNA to produce soldiers, maybe they could be No Gender, but have the Strength of a Man and the usefulness of a Vagina to bribe enemy males.

    • Steve Fraser

      Can't we just use Bots?

  • Steve Fraser

    The most important goal of the Inner Party is the destruction of Common Sense: "Homosexuality is normal; Islamists are not engaged in Jihad; Obama cares; The Tea Party are violent extremists; etc., etc., etc". The destruction of common sense signals the end of the Individual and the complete victory of the State.

  • http://www.zombie-guide.com/ Frank Diepmaat

    I remember when I was in the army woman could skip a few obstacles, could run slower and their exercise grenades were lighter.. Good thing most of them said: “yea, well F that, I’m doing the same as the guys”

    • john walsh

      And what was net result, with these male wannabes? I also thank god I wasn’t the drill sgt. that had to train females for throwing greandes, but I knew one that did. Same weight as themales would throw. LIVE. She ended up as patient in the post hospital.

  • cvr527

    “The Services have used this and similar terms to suggest that men and women must exert the same amount of energy in a particular task, regardless of the work that is actually accomplished by either.”

    Examples include, “if a female soldier carries 70 pounds of equipment five miles and exerts the same effort as a male carrying 100 pounds of equipment the same distance, the differing standards could be viewed as ‘gender-neutral’ because both exerted the same amount of effort, with differing loads.”

    The thought process behind this is solely designed to facilitate female soldiers and will unquestionably result in unnecessary KIAs and WIAS in wartime, if not outright mission failure. The only acceptable standard for any task, is the minimum standard required to accomplish any mission required, with no respite in between. Any officer who supports gender compromised standards, is incompetent by definition and should be relieved of duty.

    • john walsh

      You might as well face the fact, that men and women are created physically different. Always was, currently still that way, and always will be. Women make-up about from 55 % to 65 % of men. Therefore, women performing as good bulk of them, to perform as a net result like the men, is like a horse flying, birds swimming under water, and fish pulling stage coaches. God not only created Adam and Eve, and not Adam and Steve, but he created Eve, from Adams RIB, and NOT from some false image of women’s LIB. That is why women are on the average are 55 % to 65 % of men. That is where the rubber meets the road. Equality? Only with fellowship with god. But two distinct roles. And role reversal will not work. Equality between the genders, other than fellowship with god. It’s like 7-up. The UNcola. Never had it, never will. Get the picture????