All-Out ‘Equality’ in the Military Is an Ideological Fallacy

Hannah Ellis | February 10, 2016 | 2:40pm EST
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Spc Karen Arvizu, left, puts on her hydration pack in preparation for her role as a volunteer in a physical demands study. (AP Photo)

The GOP candidates were prepared for anything the moderators might throw at them at last week’s debate in New Hampshire. From immigration to what toppings Megyn Kelly likes on her pizza, they were ready. But when asked about whether they agree with instituting a female-integrated draft, they started to squirm. The question arises since, in 2015, the Defense Department officially extended women the opportunity to occupy all combat jobs. While contentious, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller and Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley stated before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday that women should be forced to register with the Selective Service.

These leaders made a point — but in a way, it was the opposite of what they’d intended. By ceding to feminist pressure, they resurfaced the dangerous prospect of sacrificing military readiness in the name of “total gender equality.” 

In the hearing, congressmen cited the study done by the Marines’ Ground Combat Element Integrated Task Force, where 400 men and women were tested over a nine-month period on combat effectiveness. The group compared all-male combat units to female-integrated units in the areas of speed, tempo, lethality, readiness, survivability, and cohesion. The results were overwhelmingly telling. In 69 percent of the tests, the all-male units outperformed the integrated units. In body composition, compared with women: males, on average, had a higher bodyweight with less body fat, greater amount of anaerobic power and capacity, and a higher aerobic capacity. Females were six times more likely to be injured during training than their male counterparts. Tests included upper-body feats, such as scaling an eight-foot wall or carrying a 200-pound dummy — both for which the women needed regular male assistance.

God created males and females with distinct compositions and diverse strengths for a reason. Not only is it biological fact, your preschooler could confirm it (and probably does through unfiltered commentary). Once again, however, the political-correctness culture today is threatening to trump biological fact. Some argue the fallacious means to an end of feigned gender equality everywhere, including a unique place like the military.

The results from the combat analysis aren’t meant to downplay the sacrifice of the courageous, talented women who have served or are serving our country; they merely demonstrate that females are gifted in other capacities. Women across America are thankful and proud of how females have represented in such an unprecedented, high-quality way. They have progressed in military ranks — earned through hard work and incredible resilience. It is noteworthy that female troops performed remarkably well at other tasks that were less focused on strenuous physical lifting … meaning females are more than capable to serve in the military, but wisdom says leadership has the duty to place women in the positions where they best excel.

There are exceptional women who are more than adept in meeting the necessary qualifications to serve in combat. But what we forget is that a draft would include all women ages 18-26, typically chosen randomly by birthdate. If selected by that method, statistically speaking, the likelihood of female majority draft is probable. Wisdom shows the precariousness of a forced female draft when military analyses confirm there are some tasks that men are biologically (on average) more aptly equipped to complete.

Our homeland security is imperative; our nation must deploy the strongest defense system possible, even if that means stepping on a few feminist toes. Penny Nance, President and CEO of Concerned Women for America, put it well:

“American women have a distinguished history of serving a very important role in the defense of our nation.  When women feel called to serve in the military, we fully support them as long as they meet all necessary standards. The most important thing is combat readiness. Our military’s only job is to protect our nation. There should be no gender norming of standards to serve … However, it is very different to suggest that women should ever be forced to serve in combat roles or become part of a mandatory draft to combat service.  Feminism cares more for political correctness than it does for women.”

Are we, as a nation, really willing to risk our security because a few women feel they’re being victimized by society?  Questions of military readiness and effectiveness are not something to toy with in the name of political correctness or the so-called “war on women.”  Feminists want aggregate equality, and now they could have it by having an equal chance to be drafted. Yet, for some reason, many are staying silent on the matter. Why is that? Maybe they aren’t speaking up on the draft issue because they’re too busy attacking Doritos commercials for calling a human a “baby” — or maybe it’s because they know all-out “equality” in the military is an ideological fallacy.

Hannah Wegman serves as policy analyst for Concerned Women for America.

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