Marine Survey raises Concerns about Allowing Women to Serve in Combat Zones

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 2nd, 2013

Week in Review

Men and women are different.  They notice that difference during school.  In the workplace.  In single bars.  And they will probably notice that difference in a combat zone.  Where normal actions between men and women anywhere else could have drastically different consequences in a combat zone (see Marine survey lists concerns on women in combat by JULIE WATSON, Associated Press, posted 2/1/2013 on Yahoo! News).

Male Marines listed being falsely accused of sexual harassment or assault as a top concern in a survey about moving women into combat jobs, and thousands indicated the change could prompt them to leave the service altogether…

Among the other top concerns listed by male Marines were possible fraternization and preferential treatment of some Marines.

Respondents also worried that women would be limited because of pregnancy or personal issues that could affect a unit before it’s sent to the battlefield…

Some, however, said the survey shows the need for sensitivity training and guidance from leadership so the change goes smoothly, as occurred when the military ended its policy that barred openly gay troops…

Just as the Marine Corps adjusted to the end of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” despite being the most resistant among the military branches, troops will likely fall in line again with this latest historical milestone, said Frakt, a visiting professor at the University of Pittsburgh.

Gay men and heterosexual women are different.  Heterosexual men may be attracted to the heterosexual women in their units.  They’re not going to be attracted to gay men.  And no relationship that can result in a pregnancy is going to result between heterosexual men and gay men.  So this is not the same as repealing ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’.

About 17 percent of male Marine respondents and 4 percent of female respondents who planned to stay in the service or were undecided said they would likely leave if women move into combat positions. That number jumped to 22 percent for male Marines and 17 percent for female Marines if women are assigned involuntarily to those jobs, according to the survey.

Interesting.  Some 17% of active duty female Marines would leave the Corps if assigned to a combat position against their will.  Like they assigned men to all of the time.   So not all women are on board with putting women into combat.

Both sexes mentioned intimate relationships between Marines and feeling obligated to protect female Marines among their top five concerns about the change.

Female Marines also said they worried about being targeted by enemies as POWs, the risk of sexual harassment or assault, and hygiene facilities, according to the survey, which did not give specifics.

One can guess.  Marines in a combat zone are in the field.  They sleep on the ground.  They don’t bathe.  And don’t use bathrooms.  The ground is their toilet. Where there are no toilet stalls with disposal bins for soiled feminine hygiene products.  Or dispensers for new ones.  So all of those things women do when they go off to powder their nose behind closed doors they will be doing in the field.  At a very short distance from their fellow Marines.  Many of whom will be men.

Over the past decade, many male service members already have been fighting alongside women in Iraq and Afghanistan. Women who serve in supply units, as clerks and with military police have ended up on the unmarked front lines of modern warfare.

Some active duty women have gotten pregnant.  So there is some fraternization going on.  Also, pilots, air crews, supply personnel and military police typically work out of bases.  Where they have segregated living quarters, toilets and showers.  Things you don’t have when deployed in the field.  So you can’t really say that women are already serving in combat zones as if they are already serving in the infantry.

Yes, women are serving heroically in combat zones.  Some have been wounded.  And some have died.  But they haven’t served in the infantry.  Where they live and fight like animals.  With no propriety about any bodily functions.  Where you may have to poop in your helmet while hunkered down next to someone in a foxhole.  Then risk getting your hands shot off while dumping your helmet outside of your foxhole.  Or you just crap in your foxhole.  For the filth and stench in your foxhole is a whole lot better than what is happening outside of your foxhole.  Unable to go someplace to powder her nose a woman would have to do this next to whoever is in her foxhole with her.  As well as attend to her other needs.  Such as her feminine hygiene needs.  No doubt a concern of some female Marines who were concerned about hygiene facilities.

In a combat zone there is strength in numbers.  And individuals cut off from the main body of troops are easy pickings for the enemy.  So while some ladies would like a modicum of privacy to powder their nose they do so at their own risk.  For the farther she wonders off the greater the chance the enemy will capture her.  Unless a detail of women go with her to provide protection.  Which could weaken the unit.  Or cause an unnecessary rescue mission should the enemy capture them all.  Especially when her fellow Marines worry about what the enemy may do to them.  Which could weaken the unit even more should the rescue mission fail.  Things that just wouldn’t happen if there were only men in combat zones.  Even if some of those men were gay.

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