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Women on the Front Lines?

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posted on Jul, 19 2010 @ 04:28 PM
I apologies if this post goes in circles for a few, but my mind got to wondering a couple things today and it kept branching off into different thoughts...

First off I shall lay the ground work at least.

My daughter is in the National Guard and is being deployed in September. Now that I have joined the ranks of many mothers before me, I have the usual mothers worries about how safe will my baby be. I happened to ask this question in the chat when I realized a soldier was in chatting with us. He mentions she should be OK as she was being deployed to Kuwait. He then went on to mention it is pretty much a fact that more of the males die then the females.

Now this in all its ugliness, struck me as rather unfair as much as I hate to say that. I asked if the guys resented that and he said no. Something to the effect that it is pretty much expected that some women just don't have the strength for some of the jobs. Well that makes sense to me obviously. (I am not posting this members name just out of respect to his privacy. He is more then welcome to let it be known on his own.)

So, first, it is unfair considering the equal rights issues?

I will be the first to admit I have no idea if the American women soldiers have actually made it to the down and dirty front lines, so please excuse my ignorance on this point. I am pretty sure they have in other countries armies though. Israel perhaps? Just to name one?

I guess I have two questions here., Well maybe three.
I am guessing with the basic training one thing taught is respect of your fellow soldier, or your battle buddy, buddies. I know men of higher caliber have a nature instinct to protect women. Then we have the other men which we read about that have no qualms of abusing them, IE. rape etc.

How do the good guys feel about that?

Now I myself really don't think women have any place being on the front lines as it is really a mans world. Not that women can't do it, I just don't think it is really in our put together to have to do it in the bigger picture of things. I am sure many women will argue with me on that point, and I'm pretty sure I would agree with their arguments as well. I just don't feel that is what the higher realms intended for any of us really, but I also don't see women really starting wars either. Women are strong and will do what they have to do though.

So, would the higher caliber of men find women distracting on the front line or do they treat them the same as any other soldier? Do you feel safe with a woman as a battle buddy, watching and covering your six?

Which led me to more thinking and questions.

Would you rather a women fight by your side or a known gay man?

I have more thoughts on this, I just want to see where it goes first...
Thanks for listening so far... the floor is yours!

[edit on 19-7-2010 by yigsstarhouse]

posted on Jul, 19 2010 @ 05:02 PM
reply to post by yigsstarhouse


This is a very interesting topic.....a star & a flag for your well expressed & thoughtful post!

I shall have a think about all of this.....

Kind regards
Maybe...maybe not

posted on Jul, 19 2010 @ 05:06 PM
reply to post by Maybe...maybe not

Thank you so much Maybe, lol you do know you can call me Yig eh? I am looking forward to your deeper thoughts on this as I do respect your opinions for some odd reason

posted on Jul, 19 2010 @ 05:32 PM
reply to post by yigsstarhouse

Uh. It has nothing to do with being a woman or being a gay man. I am neither, but there have been plenty of women in history who fought with distinction. It makes no difference, I only care about the dedication and the abilities of the person.

I hope your daughter is safe and gets out asap. Soldier rape in Iraq is widespread unfortunately.

posted on Jul, 19 2010 @ 05:34 PM
This is a tough discussion. No matter what a poster says it is sure to upset someone. Just suck it up and read on if anything I post bothers you.

There are some men and women I would not trust to have my back because they were no physcially able to do so.

I believe the meanest creature living is the female human. No question about it.

But I do not like the idea of having women on the front lines in infanntry positions.

Jet or helicopter pilot is another issue. Women could do this work with no problem.

The problem comes when a person must carry 50 or more pounds of equipment. And, it is still ingrained in the male population to protect the females. So, this protectionist position could easily cost lives.

In order to make it even a little fair would be for the women to be given fittness evaluations before being put on the front line of battle.

My neice was in the Air Force for 12 years. She weighed about 105 lbs. and worked repairing radar. Excellent job for her and one she did well.
I would't think she could go far in the desert or jungle in full gear.

Women would have no problem developing the ability to kill the enemy. However, I feel we should not be on the ground with troops on the front lines.

Why do the nasty, hard work if we can send a man to do it.

[edit on 19-7-2010 by dizziedame]

posted on Jul, 19 2010 @ 05:41 PM
reply to post by yigsstarhouse

Great post. It highlights (whether you intended to or not) a certain modern "heresy", the notion that men and women actually have different innate aptitudes. To the non-brainwashed, this is plainly obvious from everyday experience; nevertheless it is non-PC and thus a "heresy".

If you ask me, first I have to give my obligatory "I hate war" caveat (because I do). But say for the sake of argument I were a partisan for such a cause as kicking terrorist butt. Then we still have to distinguish between my intellectual opinion and my gut feeling. My gut feeling is that women aren't supposed to do deadly combat. You can say that gut feeling comes from either nature or nuture, but it's there. Intellectually, on the other hand, I say let them who want to (as even if they are not naturally cut out for it as a generalization, there are always degrees and exceptions, and I'm all for respecting people as individuals), but the squads themselves really need to be segregated sexually. Having men and women side-by-side in combat will definitely make the men less rational by arousing their protective instincts which could, if they override rational thought, end up in the long run having more casualties than a segregated squad would have.

Men and women are different animals, equipped with complementary sets of instincts. That doesn't mean there's no room for valor for women; brave woman nurses dragging wounded men from the line of fire is a somewhat unsung heroism of the history of war. But my gut tells me that (in general) they are just not cut out for kicking ass and taking names (physically anyway). That's always been the man's domain (despite Hollywood), and I'm sure one can come up with an evolutionary explanation for this.

[edit on 19-7-2010 by NewlyAwakened]

posted on Jul, 19 2010 @ 05:45 PM
reply to post by yigsstarhouse

Maybe this will be offensive, but I'd prefer a gay man by my side. Why ? Because I'm not gay.

I think that women shoot, fight or do anything just as good as men, they are actually brave, we (men) are sometimes just to scared and desperate that we do brave things.

The problem is I predict that at least 2 men will fall in love with her and try to protect her. This is a problem because it would cause tension and also because other soldiers will be envious on the attention she is getting.

If I would be in a similar situation in the army and find myself in love with a girl (and this might happen no matter how she looks, acts or treats me) I'd spend most of the time trying to jump in front of bullets to protect her and just looking if she's ok.

She'll be ok, don't worry, any man in her squad would have to die before anything happens to her, and they just might.

edit because I can't spell.

[edit on 19-7-2010 by randel]

posted on Jul, 19 2010 @ 05:47 PM
There are many dangers for troops today no matter what their gender. These may come in the form of hostile action by a perceived enemy of your nation or those closer to home. As an ex-British male soldier, where female troops are restricted to selective positions, I can not comment with too much accuracy buy I have worked closely alongside US forces in Iraq.

Sexism will be here main hurdle to overcome and rather than seek solace in the arms of the 'rule book', she would be better placed to confront the situation herself. Equal rights were not in evidence, according too those that I have spoken to, with regards to Jessica Lynch. Many male soldiers questioned weather they would have received the same treatment or was SHE a special case.

It can be a tough environment for somebody of any sex but certainly not as arduous as can sometimes be perceived by those back home. The US military are earning their wages but they are also supported by a good infrastructure. Hopefully she will gain some good life experience for her efforts and put it to use in the future.

[edit on 19-7-2010 by Extreme Pilgrim]

posted on Jul, 19 2010 @ 06:02 PM
reply to post by yigsstarhouse

Hello Yig and thanks for making this thread so I can answer some questions from chat. Here is from experience in the front lines. When we conduct contract missions with civil affairs, there is one female with us and she is as brave as any man that goes out to risk their neck to get the job done. She is army reserve and she likes to hang out with us after missions and just chill. There is no distraction since we know what is at stake if we are not focused on our duties and fail to watch each others back. Although she is not direct combat arms like my crew and I, she still does jobs that would otherwise be done by a man like driving a MRAP or humvee and even be a gunner. I'd say she is very talented and if any female can do half as good as her then there would be no fear in the battle field.

I would rather have a female by my side then a gay person because women are naturally nurturing and provide comfort from loneliness and rape doesn't always happen, they just say that to get out of Iraq as quickly as possible when they can't handle it anymore but real rape still does occur from time to time. If you have any more questions from me Yig then feel free to ask and good luck to your daughter. $&F

[edit on 19-7-2010 by Stop-loss!]

posted on Jul, 19 2010 @ 06:08 PM
reply to post by Stop-loss!

Im so glad you saw this Stop, and thank you for responding. I didnt want to throw you out there. I am happy to hear from someone that has actually been side by side with a woman in the ugliness.

I can understand how they could offer a small amount of comfort only a woman can...

So many great responses here so far...I really hope to hear more as it is interesting to me what parts of the post people are responding too.

posted on Jul, 19 2010 @ 06:48 PM
ops sorry

[edit on 19-7-2010 by yigsstarhouse]

posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 12:18 PM
reply to post by yigsstarhouse

The Israeli Defense Force tried using women on the front lines. But gave up on that idea. It wasn't because of prejudice against gender. It was because of men's nature/instinct -- protect mother, daughter, sister mentality.

During combat men would help women first despite how minor their injuries were compared to other seriously wounded men. Men would also throw themselves into crazy, suicidal situations in combat just to save a fellow female soldier.

So the IDF decided not to keep women on the front lines. But women still train in case the front lines require them.

In my opinion, if the women want to be front line soldiers, let them. War is blind. Same goes for gay people.

As for your daughter, just pray for her. And make sure she knows how to handle her issued firearm in case she needs to use it.

posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 02:32 PM
reply to post by guppy

Thank you for sharing that about Israel. I thought at some point they had women on the front lines. I wonder if China or Russia follow the same guidelines?

I guess it is good chivalry is still alive in this day and age, though I can see clearly how it might be a bad thing in war.

I am curious about something else while we are here. How do the guys feel about the other guys that do abuse the women? Do they take care of them later or is it just a sort of secret boys will be boys sect kind of thing that goes unspoken?

posted on Jul, 20 2010 @ 02:51 PM

Originally posted by yigsstarhouse

I am curious about something else while we are here. How do the guys feel about the other guys that do abuse the women? Do they take care of them later or is it just a sort of secret boys will be boys sect kind of thing that goes unspoken?

Acts like that are not common in the British military, indeed they are very rare, but it would be fair to say that dealt with 'in house' before being hand over to the authorities. It has to be said though that indecent same sex acts are, surprisingly, less likely to be dealt with so harshly.

posted on Jul, 26 2010 @ 03:03 PM
reply to post by yigsstarhouse

A unit's discipline is dependent on their commanding officer (CO). With that said, there's always other avenues a person can complain:

1) Supervisor
2) CO
3) Base Commander
4) JAG
5) President (if it ever gets that far)

There are more but you get the gist. Its wise to complain from bottom to top. You don't want to burn unnecessary bridges.

Most problems/crime are handled swiftly and quietly. Military has plenty of problems to deal with and would like to settle things quietly in fear of bad press.

posted on Jul, 26 2010 @ 03:40 PM
I have mixed feelings regarding females in combat. Females have most certainly fought in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan ... a female MP squad leader was awarded the Silver Star for bravery in combat not that long ago. Due to the nature of Iraq and Afghanistan, females are finding themselves in combat much more so then in the past and by all accounts many of them perform very well.

I widely believe that women can just as vicious and brutal as men ... if not more so. The ability to kill is there. An angry woman is the deadliest weapon on the planet!

My main concern is in regards to upper body strength. In a support unit like supply, MP, transport, etc they are mostly motorized and are not carrying 50+ pounds of gear so it's not that hard to react in an ambush. In infantry units they are lugging around over 50 pounds and I don't think that most women can handle that and still in fighting condition.

posted on Jul, 28 2010 @ 04:01 PM
reply to post by ChrisF231

I disagree. A human body is very adaptable -- male and female. Given a female the same training as men do, and I guarantee she will perform just as well. But I believe in the beginning it'll be very difficult for women while their bodies adapt. Once that hump is reached, women won't have a problem.

Check out women's body building. Pretty scary. But those women can easily handle 50 lbs of gear, weapon. and armor. Luckily, to pass training for frontline position, women don't have to get muscled up to a point of looking like a man.

posted on Jul, 29 2010 @ 11:13 AM
We have a few women who work with us when deployed. They tend to work in the role of searchers (for females) and some medics. We also have the odd terp (interperator) attached sometimes. These girls patrol with us and have to carry much the same loads, particularly the medics who have some heavy kit. However the fact is that the average woman is less physically built to perform the same tasks that their male counterpart is.

We now need women to be working with us to allow for the hearts and minds part of our doctorine, particularly when working with middle eastern communities. The British have streamlined our army to the extent that certain trades (such as medical and Int) are in high demand and these trades have many women in them. This means we have no choice but to have females fill the operational roles.

The comment regarding female numbers of deaths being lower than males is pretty dodgy ground as there are significantly less females on the ground than males, so less get hit.

The requirements of ground warfare have changed almost beyond recognition since the end of the Cold War. There is no front line. We work asymetrically. Supply and other previously 'rear echilon' jobs are now subjected to attacks and IEDs. These roles are filled with females due to the previously held logic that they would be 'behind the lines' as it were. This is no longer the case and logistic roles are now almost as much at risk as the more traditionally teeth arms jobs.

There are gender biased physical selection standards for females. Pelvic bone structure in females is less capable to carry weight than that of the male. Testesterone levels are less in females, meaning muscles are less able to adapt to changing physical requirements, and so on.

There is a political aspect to this as well. Iraq and Afghanistan are not particularly popular wars, and it is never nice to see the coffins come home. However it is much more of a political blow (rightly or wrongly) if the coffin is filled with a woman. This goes to highlight the bodies in the press and brings the spotlight back on to the government who are forced to justify more deaths.

In short, we need women on the 'front line' in order to carry out gender specific tasks. Many women are capable of performing these tasks. However I do not feel that women are suited for infantry roles due to the issues of average physical ability, the potential damage caused by constant load bearing on womens anatomy etc and the increased chance of in-unit conflict.

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