Thursday, June 08, 2006

Women in Combat - Bad Idea

Every so often we hear about someone beating up or even killing their spouse. And when we do, it’s almost always the man who’s the abuser and the woman who’s the victim. It almost never happens the other way ‘round - with the woman as the abuser. Maybe men are more prone to violence than women. Maybe they possess more of a killer instinct. Maybe they lose control more easily. Whatever the case, one thing is indisputable – men are generally bigger, stronger and faster than women and can, in almost all cases, dominate them physically.

That’s why the sexes are separated in sports. There isn’t a unisex Master’s golf tournament or Wimbledon tennis championship. Females don’t box against Mike Tyson. They don’t even Curl against men (for some silly reason, I find that particularly amusing). Most notably, they don’t compete against males in the Olympics. Why? Because they can’t, that’s why. Women cannot compete physically against men. They are weaker and slower. Their centre of gravity is lower. They are more easily injured.

Every time the fabulous Canadian Women’s hockey team wins a tournament, the press is awash with stories bemoaning the fact that Canadians don’t seem to be interested in Women’s hockey. Never do they mention that watching women play hockey is like watching a bunch of talented 14 year old boys play. The level of physicality in lady's hockey is almost laughable. They are less agile and less aggressive than men. In fact, I'd bet that the Canadian National women's team would have a hard time beating any run-of-the-mill senior men’s team from any small town in Canada. The reason people don’t watch women’s hockey is because it’s not anywhere near the same caliber as men’s hockey. The best men players are the best in the world. The best women’s players are, well, pretty good for a bunch of girls playing a boys game.

Everyone knows that women cannot compete against men in any sport measured by speed or strength. If they could, they’d be doing it already.

So why, in God’s name, do we send them into combat to fight against men? Have we lost our politically correct minds?

War is not a game. The winner doesn’t get a trophy and the loser doesn’t get a second place ribbon and honorable mention. The winner gets ownership of the land and control of the people on it. The loser gets to crawl home, if (s)he’s lucky. If (s)he’s not lucky, (s)he is crippled, mutilated, brutalized, tortured, enslaved, or maybe killed. The welfare and future of entire nations rest in the hands of the people fighting their wars.

Don’t roll your eyes at me. Maybe all you’re used to are bully wars where your nation slaps a smaller, weaker nation around, launches missiles from afar and eventually saunters home when the war threatens to affect political careers. Maybe you’ve never experienced the fear and dread that comes with the prospect of having your nation overrun by foreigners and your very way of life destroyed. (And I’m not talking about Canada’s immigration system, either, although I could be.)

Arguments can and have been made on many levels supporting the exclusion of females from combat roles. The sexual tension that arises when testosterone driven alpha males are confined with women in small areas on submarines or other sea-faring craft has caused many problems in the US navy. Each year, a large percentage of females take pregnancy leave from such assignments. Pregnant women make poor soldiers.

And then there’s the innate reflexive instinct that real men have to protect women. Men in uniform are not pencil pushing metrosexual boys who cringe pitifully when swatted with a swath of employment equity pamphlets. Regardless of what they are told to think, many of them will still revert to a protective stance when women are in danger. And that puts everyone in the battle at risk.

In the end, the real reason females should not be in combat roles is that they are not physically capable of defeating men in hand to hand combat. Only in the movies can a 140lb woman beat up a man.

And if you think I’m a sexist idiot, I’ll make a deal with you. Best two out of three. You choose ten female names blindly at random from a list of Canadian soldiers serving in battle in Afghanistan and I’ll choose ten names blindly from a list of Iranian soldiers. We’ll seal them, unarmed in a gymnasium and open the door only after everyone on one side or the other has been killed. In the second round, we’ll remove the bodies of the Canadian women, replace the hurt Iranians with fresh soldiers, pit them against another ten randomly chosen Canadian women soldiers and arm them all with knives. Winner gets the other’s country.

Someday, we may have to rely on our soldiers to defend our freedom and our very way of life on a physical battlefield. Or, maybe someday we’ll need them to quell a violent internal uprising of an entrenched and militant Canadian ethnic tribe. You may trust women to do this. Me, I’m thinking of buying a Koran and getting a head start on what will be the inevitable outcome of such folly.


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