With the recent declaration by the military's Joint Chiefs of Staff, it would seem that there is now an indisputable decision to allow women to serve in combat units in the future. To argue to the contrary might be an exercise in futility—much like closing the barn door after the horses have bolted—but this is not so. A decision that would have been unthinkable fifty years ago (and thus a waste of time in discussing) is now upon us, striking a large segment of our population as deeply wrong, but for reasons that are difficult to put into words. It is for that reason that I'd like to explore the main problems with such a policy, and to harness the elusive arguments that we need to counter it.
The reasons against sending women into combat are many, but the decision flows organically from the sweeping changes in western culture over the last century—changes that are unhealthy humanly, socially, and spiritually. Given the modern-day consensus concerning the foundational vocations of men and women, the understanding of human sexuality, and the mission of the military, one is nearly tongue-tied in speaking out against the status quo, but it is the underlying premises that we should be disputing—that very consensus that is wrong.
Many Strains of Feminism
Feminism over the last century has brought tremendous change to the way that most women understand their lives. Much of the ground-swell support came in reaction to undeniable sexism and strains of misogyny that existed—one need only watch old movies and what passed for humor to get a taste of what many women had to put up with in everyday life. While many elements of the shift in attitudes have been welcome, there are also tenets in feminism that are violently destructive to the feminine vocation. To begin, it is important to make distinctions among the strains of feminism, which have differing objectives.
Early in the equal-rights movement, many feminists that we now call equity feminists believed that men and women share a common dignity, and should share an equal standing before the law. In terms of education, inheritance, and employment, this version of feminism provided a noble contribution to society overall, because there was no effort to dispute the fundamental differences between men and women. Because of the initial impetus, women gained access to many schools and jobs from which they had either been legally barred or discouraged from pursuing by cultural norms.
It must be noted that the Catholic Church has always delighted in the tremendous gifts of women. Even in the earliest centuries, the equal dignity of girls was firmly taught, and wherever the faith took root, Women Religious made possible the growth of schools, hospitals, orphanages, and other venues that allowed women to leave the home and enrich their communities. It cannot be disputed, though, that after the Protestant reformation—with the loss of the option for Religious profession for women—many opportunities for women were lost. While basic Christianity honored motherhood and the appreciation for femininity, marriage was the only option for most women, and there were fewer opportunities, especially for higher education. It was this setting that ignited the greater frustration with popular culture.
After the first wave of feminist reaction to sexism in society, a more radical form of thinking took root, which established a deeply problematic view. At the height of the sexual revolution, these radical feminists incorporated into their philosophy the express notion that sexual license is a fundamental human right. Despite their anger towards the double-standard that has often existed—allowing men to be promiscuous and irresponsible—they chose not to demand sexual purity for all, but to pursue those ends that would allow women to be promiscuous without public censure or consequence. Thus, widespread access to contraception and abortion were essential, and of such thinking Sandra Fluke stands as proud witness even today.
One more wave of feminism—which has prevailed in the last decade—has led us to the current situation. Gender feminism emerged, joining forces with many other streams of deconstructionist thought. Together, these groups have relentlessly pushed an androgynous view of humanity in which all cultural norms are dismissed as mere artificial constructs that inhibit human freedom. The next column will explore that philosophy, and expand on the other contributing factors that have led to this most deplorable decision.
The Marxist Roots of Feminism
Historically, there has been a close working relationship between Marxist and feminists, and thus the dialectic used to outline economic history has also been applied to the cultural evolution of society. Just as the workers have been encouraged to overtake those who own the means of production, leading to the socialist state, when women rise up against the patriarchy, a more peaceful androgynous society is supposed to follow. To this end, unrestricted access to birth control and abortion are non-negotiable elements of liberal policies.
Indeed, the society in which we live would not be possible without women's ability to control the “means of reproduction” (to put it crudely). For decades now, the lives of most women—married or not—have been arranged around that premise, as the majority opinion in deciding the 1992 court case, Planned Parenthood v. Casey indicated. Considering the importance of the precedent of the 1973 case legalizing abortion, the judges wrote: “An entire generation has come of age free to assume Roe's concept of liberty [sic] in defining the capacity of women to act in society, and to make reproductive decisions.”
Decades of unrestricted access to birth control and abortion have allowed promiscuity to flourish without censure. Furthermore, with sky-rocketing divorce rates and widespread cohabitation, no stigmas remain for single-parent households—for choice is not restricted to abortion, but applies also to household structure and family arrangements.
With this cultural anarchy—brought about deliberately by social Marxists—we now turn to its effects on the military. As increasing numbers of women swelled the ranks of all available units, there was the reasonable assumption that they would be sexually available in ways that wouldn't affect troop strength (meaning that the women wouldn't be sidelined by pregnancy, which is technically a court-martial offence in some circumstances).
Sexual Promiscuity Rampant in Coed Forces
For millennia, military men have been notorious for their need to work off sexual frustrations, and in this regard a particular sort of “camp follower” has been a perennial fact of life. Sailors visiting foreign ports and soldiers in from the field have been prey to exploitation because of this reality, and nothing in modern times indicates that a resurgence of virtue has occurred—rather to the contrary. Now, with the presence of sexually-available women in most venues, the situation has only become more complicated. The previous sort of sexual tension has given way to a non-stop flesh-and-blood soap opera—mostly in the enlisted ranks, but not unknown in the officer corps as well. Even beyond the widespread [consentual] “fraternization”—which has now been mainstreamed and accepted—there are hundreds of charges of rape and sexual violence each month—both hetero- and homosexual in nature.
Despite access to birth control (and regular presentations to the troops on “safe sex”) a large number of female soldiers and sailors are pregnant at any given time—whether married or not. In this, of course, they reflect the wider population, and yet unlike most jobs, a deployment is most incongruent with the whole process. As one Rear Admiral wrote in a detailed report, any pregnancy leads to a 20-month loss of the service member, which plays havok with schedules and training.
Already—given the realities of the sexual revolution—women (and homosexuals) in the military have led to sexual intrigue, jealousy, coupling and break-ups, and staggering rates of pregnancy. None of this helps readiness or mobilization efforts—or morale—in fact all branches of the military have been accused of masking the true situation in order to continue the politically-correct blending of women into the ranks.
And thus, since it cannot be ignored that those pushing for expanding the roles of women in the military are the same ones who decry “cowboy diplomacy,” “the evils of patriarchy,'' and “military aggression” around the world, is it any wonder that one is left to wonder at the end-game of deliberately creating situations that distract, disorient, and demoralize the military?
Since we know that the same feminists who insist that women are equally capable of any male task also believe that wars are caused by too much testosterone, is it unreasonable to suggest that undermining the ability to wage war would be a welcome outcome to some?Ideology cannot be ignored—even if the rank and file are unaware of the way in which they are being used.