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Women in combat: Who put sand in your vaginas?

Good soldier? Not with that vagina she ain't!

MRAs often complain bitterly that men have to register for the draft and women don’t. Ironically, many MRAs – sometimes the very same people – also think that women shouldn’t be allowed in the armed forces at all, or at the very least should be barred from direct combat.

One MRA who’s staunchly against women in combat is a Redditor calling himself Demonspawn. In a recent comment he sets forth “four huge reasons” why. The first is a doozy:

The vagina. You can’t keep it clean in battlefield conditions. Military regulations state that women on extended training exercises must have access to garrison or equivalent facilities for hygiene at least once every X number of days (usually 7). Why? Because otherwise you run a very high risk of a vaginal infection and can die from it. Those facilities cannot be guaranteed on the battlefield and therefore it is an even greater risk to women’s lives to use them as battlefield troops.

I’m surprised he forgot to mention the chronic problem of centipedes in the vagina.

The rest of his reasons are equally stupid, if not quite as amusing. Number two:

Public Relations. … Have you not read the articles when women soldiers die and it’s a big deal, while more dead male soldiers is just business as usual? Public support for war cannot be sustained in the face of massive female soldier casualties.

And three:

Men get themselves killed overprotecting women. This is the #1 reason Israel deintegrated their troops.

Yeah, it’s a terrible thing when soldiers try to protect one another.

His final reason returns us once again to the whole vagina thing:

Women tend to “get pregnant” when leaving for overseas trips… That destroys unit cohesion. Research the “pregnant navy” syndrome. One ship had over 40% of it’s female sailors suddenly become pregnant before an overseas trip.

I did a Google search for “pregnant navy.” In 2007, according to one article I found, roughly 11 percent of female soldiers had to be shifted to shore because they were pregnant; it’s usually less than that.

Women: trouble when their vaginas are infected, trouble when they’re clean. Why do we even let them leave the house?

Thanks to MuForceShoelace for posting the link to Demonspawn’s comment on the AgainstMensRights subreddit.

EDIT: I misread an article I originally cited about female crew members on a supply ship getting pregnant during the Gulf war. The percentage who got pregnant was 10%, not more than half. (In my defense, the article was badly worded.) I’ve removed the erroneous material.

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mythago
9 years ago

Why is it okay to kick day hypothetical 20-year-old woman out because she can’t do everything a 20 yo man can, but the 40 yo man is fine even though he ALSO can’t do everything a 20 yo man can do?

Because “they have certain physical limitations and it would be unfair” is totally logic n’ shit when “they” refers to middle-aged men, but is coddling, wrong and will sap America’s precious bodily fluids when “they” are vagina-people.

Pecunium
9 years ago

Brandon @Pencunim: The “mechanism” I was talking about was the actual regulation barring women from enlisting into combat roles.

That’s not a rational mechanism. It’s an arbitrary one. You implied (even if you didn’t flat out state) that the Services had a reasoned mechanism, which had made it plain women were unsuited (as opposed to legally forbidden) from filling a combat MOS.

Since I didn’t have a degree, I wasn’t eligible for a lot of other perks. The point is that yes scandals happen but they aren’t the rule…they are the exception.

Which is why one of the most common things people get told is, “your recruiter lied to you.” I can’t count how many people I know who were told things like, “your drill sergeant will take care of that,” or some variation. There’s also the issue of non-Asvab Skills tests, which somehow don’t get given to everyone who is interested in a job.

I’ll wager I’ve spent a lot more time at MEPS than you have. I shared office space with recruiters. I’ve had, in the career; not single tour, I did; working on Joint Missions/Operations, spent a lot of time, talking to a lot of people; in a lot of MOS/Ratings/AFSC (one of the perks of having been an instructor, and with a school the Sergeant Major’s Academy gave permission to travel, so we could go to Reserve Component Elements who needed to get soldiers qualified, as opposed to being in the hip-pocket of the Proponent Command; as well as it being a discipline everyone but the Navy needed. That was for interrogation [the Navy uses the Marines for that]. Everyone did counter-intelligence).

So I have a lot of experience with how recruiting goes; in part because I worked on recruiting people. The regs, and the real world, are related, but there are a lot of corners which get cut.

One of the “interesting” quirks is that, every couple of years, those, “exceptional” scandals makes minor waves. In 2007 all of Recruiting Command was shut down for a week, to deal with one of those, “exceptions”, because it was more than a little bit widespread. it involved people being told that because they had come into talk to a recruiter, they were obliged to join the Army. Oddly enough, they were also told they were obliged to become an 11Series MOS.

The present PT standards for the Army is that men and women have to do the same amount of situps but only have to do a third of the push ups and they get something around 3 minutes extra for their 2 mile run. (for the 17-21 age range)

You say different standards, I say lower standards. Either way, women get more slack on PT.

And the difference is called, “norming”. What is the purpose of the test? To see is one has the simple strength, and the endurance, for the Army, as a whole. 60 points, per event, is all anyone has to do. Interestingly, having served in mixed units, a lot of the males do the minimum, almost all the females were in the 75-80 range.

But, since you are the one implying that fitness for a combat role is based on the PT test, why should there be, as you put it, age based assessments? If it takes 42 push-ups to be fit, then it takes 42 push-ups to be fit, right?

I am not able, because of my build, to do more than about 50 push-ups, no matter how much I am working out (my record push-ups was 55). There were more than a few women in my unit, always, who could do more push-ups than I can.

And that’s fine. The APFT is a test of ,b>general fitness, not specific. Which means norming for standard morphological differences is perfectly acceptable, as well as for age based changes in muscle density and O2 uptake.

If a guy goes to Ft. Sam Houston to be a medic, and he can’t do a field carry, he’s cut. The interesting thing, the same is true for the women. Because the people who are going to be X-ray techs, have to become Field Medics first, because every single medic, no matter what specific hospital function they may be looking to fulfill (respiratory therapist, analytic phlebotomist, etc.) has to be a Field Medic first; and all of them have to be able to pass the course.

That’s the mechanism the Army uses, for everything. Take the couse, meet the standard.

Essay question? Who do you think you are my teacher? You condescending dolt.

I think I understand rhetoric. As seen by your attempt to mock VoiP for showing attention to the subject (the European Theater), and real expertise; you don’t. This is just more evidence to support that impression.

I said essay question because 1: You don’t show any serious grasp of the way recruiting works in practice (as opposed to any good fortune you may have had, esp. in a peacetime enlistment) and 2: because any substantive answer (as opposed to parroting the idea that women are given slack) would have required some attempt to into depth.

But you want to call me condescending, feel free. I’ve been called worse (and with about as much effect, see EWME’s attempt at “shaming language” above). However I may, at my pleasure, choose to actually condescend.

As for Dolt, well it’s got some charm, four letters, a nice sort of dental to dental set of stops, with that semi-plosive at the end, but really, there are better retorts, as that one isn’t really accurate.

Twit would be good:dismissive with an imputation that I was being poncey, or overblown, without the implications of stupidity, or atopicality that associate to dolt. Keep working on it though, use makes master.

Rutee Katreya
9 years ago

I’d like to point out that until we have a major cultural or technological shift (The latter of which obsoletes WMDs, and assumes we aren’t at the forefront of it, which is a fair assumption itself), the draft is a complete nonissue for any USian or European. Conscription can still affect the latter, but that’s not quite the same as the draft. USians are no longer willing, as a whole, to die to project imperial power. Nukes have obsoleted defensive wars for states that have them.

Hide and Seek
Hide and Seek
9 years ago

It’s very likely someone has pointed this out already, and if so, sorry to retread, but civilian women *live* in all of the places troops fight. It’s some first-world bullshit to believe that our lady soldiers, backed by extensive training and a massive and expensive supply chain, aren’t as tough as the lady civilians in other countries.

mythago
9 years ago

@Pecuniam: it was a great wonder to me and former servicepeople who are friends of mine that, when I enlisted in JAG reserve, that *everything my recruiter told me checked out*. (In fact, he actually drew a *worse* picture; I was told I’d have to do regular basic instead of the two week ‘shoot and salute’ school for officers going straight into JAG, which turned out not to be the case.) Of course, that was also slightly before the second Gulf War really got ugly and recruiters got desperate – but somehow I think that guy didn’t lower his standards.

Bagelsan
Bagelsan
9 years ago

It’s very likely someone has pointed this out already, and if so, sorry to retread, but civilian women *live* in all of the places troops fight. It’s some first-world bullshit to believe that our lady soldiers, backed by extensive training and a massive and expensive supply chain, aren’t as tough as the lady civilians in other countries.

If it hasn’t been mentioned yet then thanks for doing so; I’ve been meaning to but haven’t.

Though I suppose I wouldn’t put it past MRAs to claim that certain (brown) vaginas are different or hardier than other (white) vaginas, and that non-USian women have evolved, like, sand-resistant snatches or something. …Is expecting that kind of reflexive racism cynical of me, or realistic? :p

Bagelsan
Bagelsan
9 years ago

(Also all US lady troops would be delicate white upper class flowers of femininity and stuff. But also bitches, probably, too. But also incapable of fighting? Whatever. Long story short, go overseas for your dating and raping needs; for subservient vaginas try East Asia, for sand-resistant try the Middle East, for white-but-desperately-poor try Eastern Europe… it’s the MRA way!)

Dracula
Dracula
9 years ago

I think it or something similar has been mentioned already, Hide and Seek, but in my opinion, it bears repeating.

Pecunium
9 years ago

mythago: @Pecuniam: it was a great wonder to me and former servicepeople who are friends of mine that, when I enlisted in JAG reserve, that *everything my recruiter told me checked out*. (In fact, he actually drew a *worse* picture; I was told I’d have to do regular basic instead of the two week ‘shoot and salute’ school for officers going straight into JAG, which turned out not to be the case.) Of course, that was also slightly before the second Gulf War really got ugly and recruiters got desperate – but somehow I think that guy didn’t lower his standards.

I have found the two places where the recruiters are least likely to play at all fast and loose with things are JAG/AMEDD (doctors/nurses) assessions of already practicing individuals.

In the first place they have low requirements (an AMEDD recruiter has a quota of one per annum). In the second these are people who are either familiar with the law, and not afraid to dig into it, or are really used to getting their own way/old enough to look into things.

I was 25 when I enlisted, and I looked into the details, a lot. My recruiter didn’t shave any corners, and the only things which I’d say I was misinformed about were because she didn’t know (my training took 18 months, and was a bit more arduous than either of us had any reason to expect.

It’s the poor bastards with problems meeting quota: which is to say guys with Combat Arms in the mix, or who have been tasked with filling MOSs which have clearance requirements. My enlistment was simple, for an MI MOS. I knew I wanted to enlist, so I wasn’t a hard sell, but the testing meant I was at MEPS for three days, one to get my physical, one to get my secondary aptitude tests, one for the actual oath. There were also about ten pages more of background paperwork; as compared to the run of the mill job.

Brandon
Brandon
9 years ago

@Pecunium: I never said it was rational…just that it existed.

The list of PT requirements for 17-26 year olds:
http://www.military.com/military-fitness/army-fitness-requirements/army-basic-training-pft

They seem to have forgotten the 26-35 range (since you have until 35 to enlist).

The differences between an 18 year old and a 25 year old is roughly 6% less on pushups and situps for both men and women. However there is roughly a 50-60% drop for pushups between men and women in the same age bracket. That isn’t just norming…that’s slack.

The entry requirements for men to enter basic training when I enlisted was 12 pushups while women were only required to do 1. That sounds like more than just taking into account women’s general lower upper body strength. It sound’s like the Army was lowering the standards so that more women would pass so they can turn around and say more women were completing basic training.

Again, I also am not denying recruitment fraud. My recruiter wasn’t completely honest with what to expect when I enlisted. There were a handful of new privates that complained about this very thing when I was going through basic. A lot of them were pretty petty though, like how many hours of sleep they would be guaranteed every night.

If a soldier can prove that they have been defrauded my their recruiter, I think they should receive something for it or at least be able to break the enlistment contract.

Again, I have no problems whatsoever with opening up all MOS’s to women. I just think they should perform to the same standards the men have to. If anyone is entering 11B can’t keep up or perform the job functions, then I think they should either be discharged or allowed to choose another MOS.

mythago
9 years ago

That isn’t just norming…that’s slack.

Oh, Brendan. When will you learn that other people can fact check?

1) According to your chart, while females need to do fewer pushups, the number of sit ups required for males and females is exactly the same. The 2-mile run is also not a 50% drop.

2) Minimum passing score on pushups for a 32-36 year old male is 16 reps. That’s HALF the minimum passing score on pushups for a 17-21 year old male.

First you were telling us that there should be a single standard. Then you said okay, there’s a different standard based on age, but that’s OK because old farts have weaker bones. Now you’re saying that it’s “norming” when we do it for the aged but “slack” when we do it for girls.

Keep digging.

mythago
9 years ago

And yes, I know I misspelled your name – sorry about that, was not intentional. If I want to insult you by mangling your name it will be a lot funnier.

Pecunium
9 years ago

Brandon: Again with the, “that’s not the exact language I used, so you’re wrong”. @Shora: Well that’s a completely different argument. Women don’t go through the same training requirements than men go through.

Which is true, only for the PT test.

As to the mechanism, these are (shades of the past) your exact words: Also, the military does have a mechanism in place already and it says that women don’t meet the requirements for combat roles

This is untrue. The military is prohibited from making that decision, because Congress has made a law which prohibits the military from letting women into Combat Arms branches, no matter what number of push-ups they can do, nor how fast they can run. As I said, I served with a number of women who could do more push-ups than I did (which was more than passing for a 17-21 year old male) and run inside the requirements for 17-21 year old males.

But those aren’t the requirements. The requirement is, “be male”. So it’s not as if women are being denied because of something they can do, nor not do, but rather because they are women.

As to the 1 vs. 12 issue. The requirements to leave basic are 50 points (and passing to leave AIT), so it was 32 for the men, and, IIRC, 13 for the women. So the needed increase for the women who entered at the minimum, was 12, for the men it was 20. Seems the men, relative to the end requirement were being given a lot more “slack”.

Also, I rememeber the assessment PT test when I got to basic. There were a lot guys who had, “passed” the 12 push-ups to begin training when they were in reception, who failed it a week later once they were actually in training.

All of which fails to address the actual argument I made, the PT test isn’t at all indicative of actual duty requirements, it’s a test of general fitness. So I don’t care if they can’t do 1 push-up when they enter basic, so long as they can hit the gradution criteria when they leave.

cynickal
cynickal
9 years ago

If some task requires a ton of upper body strength women will likely be underrepresented numerically, although they would still be present, while for other tasks like shooting very accurately or pulling a dozen G in a cockpit men would likely wind up in the minority.

I wrote a short story that used this as a vehicle when the NASA study on women being able to withstand higher G-forces came out.

cynickal
cynickal
9 years ago

Wait… For a 17-21 year old male you need 42 push-ups, 53 sit-ups and two miles in 15:54?

That’s it? I’m almost 40 and can do that!
Why am I not allowed free room and health care?!

mythago
9 years ago

Probably because you have sand in your mangina, cynickal!

Pecunium
9 years ago

Cynickal: It’s a little harder than it seems. The push-ups are graded on form. From the extended position (arms locked, feet no more than 12″ apart, body in a generally flat plane from shoulders to ankle), lower the body; as a unit, until the shoulders and elbows make a line parallel to the ground; as a unit raise the body until the elbows are locked.

Any push-up which fails to meet this standard will not be counted. If, after the end of ten repetitions you have not performed a valid push-up, the scorer will stop you, explain your errors and send you to the back of the line to start over. After the first ten repetitions no restart is authorised, and the event will be scored.

Repeat. You have two minutes. A modified front leaning rest position; with the belly sagging, or the hips elevated is permitted; so long as the bodies weight is maintained on the arms. The body must be returned to, and stop in the start position, prior to recommencing the exercise.

Lifting the feet, or either hand from the ground, or resting the upper body on the will result in termination.

Sit ups are a little easier. With the legs bent at 90 degrees, hands behind your head, and hips on the ground, you have to lift your upper body until your shoulders have moved to being above the base of your spine. You may rest in the up-position, but your arms may not touch your legs. So long as a continuous effort is made to rise the event continues.

Sit-up are counted when the back touches the ground. Any repetition in which the hands come off of the head will not count (which is better than when I enlisted, when such a separation terminated the event).

The run is 2 miles, with a no more than 3 percent overall grade, and no portion with more than 6 percent.

These are done back to back to back, in that order. There is a ten minute break between events.

Brandon
Brandon
9 years ago

@mythago: For one, I was just mentioning the possible rationale for older men having to do less pushups and have a slightly longer time to complete a 2 mile run.

I am perfectly fine with making one standard across ALL ages and genders. If the Army/Navy/etc.. one day just said all ages and genders have to do 30 pushups, 40 situps and do a 2 mile run in 15 minutes…I would be perfectly fine with that.

I have been called worse than ‘brendan’,,,so no worries.

cynickal
cynickal
9 years ago

@ Pecunium,

It’s a little harder than it seems.

Perfect practice makes perfect. 😉
I’m testing out the test that if I work vigorously I’ll achieve immortality. We’ll see if Bodhidharma was right.

Pecunium
9 years ago

Cynickal: I don’t know how many APFT I took in my time, more than two a year; and I was always sweating it, even though I was in good shape, and working at being able to do it.

My best for push-ups, 55, for sit-ups, 72, for the 2-mile run, 10:56.

That was with lots of practice. In normal training, I was more on the 45-50, 60-65, and about 13:00.

I confess, I don’t like running, so I tended to let that slip, and I’m not good at push-ups, so it takes a lot of effort to get to the 50 level.

cynickal
cynickal
9 years ago

Well, I admit I spent the first 18 years of my life following my father from base to base, so I kinda got used to exercising. My older sisters’ boyfriends thought it was cute to watch me try and keep up with their PT routine.
In Jr. High we averaged 3.5 mile runs every week.

Wait, you did 2 miles in 10:56… That’s damned good!

Hershele Ostropoler
9 years ago

mags:

David – you believe an eleven percent attrition rate is insignificant?

What’s the overall attrition rate? I found a source for 14%, but it doesn’t appear to have been talking about the same thing.

Brandon:

So if all jobs are open to women and a woman selects being in a mortar squad, then I expect her to be able to move, aim and fire mortars and any other requirement of that job without her saying “but the men can lift more and are stronger than me so they should carry the mortar boxes”.

And exactly zero people here have expressed disagreement with this. Which is why people are puizzled by the vehemence with which you are making the argument.

Amused:

After all, the rectum is a much more spacious cavity than the vagina.

Indeed, Brandon’s managed to fit his entire head up there.

I do wonder, suspicious and passive-aggressive as I am, if anti-feminist elements in formerly gender(-presentation)-segregated organizations forced to desegregate are deliberately going to more trouble than necessary, either to be able to say “look how much trouble this is putting us to” or to foster resentment.

Samuel:

The current sytem of drafting only men in a war to me is sexist. True equality between genders would involve more that the current sytem mostly men dying in war for both men women and children but men and women sacrificing their lives for men women and children.

Here’s another example of what I’m seeing on this thread that I never thought I’d see anywhere: MRAs advocating for men’s rights — or at least for equal treatment, which is close enough.

mythago
9 years ago

@Brandon: Yes, and I’m sure that is the rationale. The problem is that you were arguing that a disparate standard could be justified by naturally lower physical abilities….based on age. But such a disparate standard was absolutely inexcusable based on gender. Why? What made you argue for a purely merit-based standard, then do a quick about-face when age was the issue?

I understand that you’re now saying you’re perfectly fine with a single standard. But the problem is that the disparate standard is the correct one. As Pecuniam says, the point of the standard is not that X situps or pushups is necessary to do a particular MOS; the point of the standard is to make sure that soldiers are very physically fit, and what is “physically fit” for an 18-year-old female is not “physically fit” for a 45-year-old male.

Brandon
Brandon
9 years ago

@Mythago: I wasn’t really arguing for an age based system. I was just merely pointing it out as the status quo.

I can see and sort of understand the rationale for both age and gender based standards.
However, I can’t see how a woman doing 13 or so pushups is even remotely “as fit” as a man that does around 50. The man has by far has more upper body strength than the woman. Let’s not forget that a lot of weapons systems are heavy: M249 SAW (22lb), M224 Mortar (44lb), SMAW (16lb), M60 (22lb) and so on and so on. Combine that with 20-30lb of armor and a pack weighing up to 80lbs. That could be a total weight load of 130-150lb of extra weight. I am sure there are a lots of women that couldn’t carry that amount of weight. I also think that it is unfair to expect the men of the unit to shoulder that extra weight burden. Why have they have to shoulder more weight so you can join infantry?

I hold the same opinion for 2 men within different age groups. I can’t see a 27 year old man being “as fit” as a 18 year old. when the older person is required to do less.

I don’t really care if we throw out the current PT tests and replace them with something else, possibly more suited for each MOS (e.g and infantry obstacle course). Even though you are required to complete an obstacle course in basic training.

Also, I wouldn’t quite care if someone was going into an office job (e.g office work), but we are talking about combat roles. These roles require far more strength and stamina and also require soldiers to be in top peak fitness.

I have seen small men being unable to do simple infantry tasks like breaching doors or handling a shotgun. My main concern is that each soldier can keep up with other soldiers, follow through on orders, handle the equipment properly and most importantly, not place other soldiers at risk because they can not do these tasks. Soldiers that can barely do what is required of them puts other soldiers at risk. Even the most asinine blunder can be very damaging while in a war zone. So as long as the addition of women doesn’t degrade unit performance…I am fine with it.

Just as Pecunim has stated before, I have seen women kick ass and take names. I have seen them score very well on the range and beat out men in things like rappelling. I have also seen the reverse where women were dropping out of marches because they couldn’t do the long marches that are standard while in a lot of combat roles (infantry, calvary scout, special forces).

A lot of these issues are but speculation right now since women are currently not allowed in combat roles. Once women are allowed to enlist in those jobs, then the military will be able to collect hard data on how well women are doing in those roles.

Bagelsan
Bagelsan
9 years ago

I also think that it is unfair to expect the men of the unit to shoulder that extra weight burden. Why have they have to shoulder more weight so you can join infantry?

Where in the world are you getting this idea that men would be carrying things for women? Seriously, who has suggested that?

Brandon
Brandon
9 years ago

@Bagelsan: My point being is that if an infantry unit goes out and they are carrying 20-30 pounds of armor, a 75 pound pack and carrying a weapon and a woman can’t carry that weight…then what is the alternative? We either remove her from the unit, have her carry less weight and make the men carry it or have her carry the weight and go into a fight without needed materials.

It is not uncommon to be carrying more than 100lbs, so what would you like to do when she is unable to carry that extra weight?

Brandon
Brandon
9 years ago

*have her carry less weight and go into a fight without needed materials.

katz
9 years ago

Brandon, of course women should meet the physical standards for what they need to be able to do for their job. But not every member of the armed forces carries around 100+lbs; the idea was that therefore not everyone in the armed forces needs to meet that physical standard, just as not every member of the armed forces needs to meet the visual standards of a fighter pilot.

Brandon
Brandon
9 years ago

@Katz: Yes every member of the armed forces doesn’t carry 100+ pounds. But jobs in the “combat roles” category often do. And those jobs are the ones we are discussing. No one here is saying that women shouldn’t be in the Legal, Intelligence or Public Affairs MOS’s. We are mainly talking about combat roles: infantry, armor, artillery, special forces and a few others.

katz
9 years ago

Ah, we may not all be on the same page. We’ve generally been discussing the physical fitness standards for all the armed forces.

Still, you’ve said that it’s OK for older men to have to meet lower fitness standards, so is it OK for older men to be unable to carry the necessary amount of equipment?

Brandon
Brandon
9 years ago

@Katz: Did you actually read my comment above? Just because I mentioned the different age brackets doesn’t mean I support it or advocate for them.

http://manboobz.com/2011/10/01/women-in-combat-who-put-sand-in-your-vaginas/comment-page-4/#comment-66517

Comrade Svilova
Comrade Svilova
9 years ago

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe the feminists are arguing that women who are able to successfully take on the duties of combat shouldn’t be barred from doing so based on gender alone (as is currently the case). No one is arguing that someone who cannot do a certain job should be doing that job. You’re arguing with a strawfeminist, Brandon.

Brandon
Brandon
9 years ago

@Comrade: I am not arguing, I am stating my opinion.

Bagelsan
Bagelsan
9 years ago

@Comrade: I am not arguing, I am stating my opinion.

…vehemently, and apparently to a strawfeminist. But okay, sure. :p

Shora
9 years ago

@Comrade: I am not arguing, I am stating my opinion.

Branon,

I’m sick of you arguing with strawfeminists in this thread, and then looking at us all wide eyed and saying you weren’t arguing at all when we call you on it. Contribute to the discussion or gtfo.

Brandon
Brandon
9 years ago

@Shora: Ok mommy do you want me to do the dishes too?

Shora
9 years ago

Yes

Brandon
Brandon
9 years ago

@Shora: Oh youre a hoot

Pecunium
9 years ago

Brandon: Show me the person advocating that any person be allowed to do anything; independent of ability.

Really, I mean it. Because you are making a straw-man when you imply it.

Just as the APFT is a straw man. Because, as you admit, there is no correlation to the PT test and the requirements of the job. So why did you bring it up?

Yes, everyone is humping a ton of shit. I’ve been moving with 2/3rds my body weight draped about my person. I’ve hit the dirt, and lurched to my feet and run with it. I’ve done it in MOPP4. Guess what, the belts of 7.62 I was carrying weren’t for my M-16. They were for my 60-gunner. When I was humping the 60, someone else was carrying the extra belts.

When we got hit, guess what… the poor bastards who were carrying those belts had to see to it the 60-gunner was kept fed.

Because, as I so clearly recall being told, “there is no ‘I’ in Army.” A lot more damaging to unit performance, in my experience, is the dumbshit who refuses to admit an inability/injury/weakness, and tries to cover it up, so that they end up out of action, when it was preventable. Mortars get broken up into pieces when they have to be humped (and these days, they get moved on vehicles, barring being some poor bastard in the 7th, 10th, the 173rd, or the 82nd, and only the first two even have a METL that requires more than a few days without vehicles. The time the 82nd/173rd are without them is rare, since an actual combat drop against postionally stable forces, which doesn’t include an airfield hasn’t been done since 1944.

Is brute strength important? Sort of. Being able to move something large/heavy/awkward happens. It happens in any role the Army has. Endurance is more important. Common sense is more important too. I can say that, when the shit hits the fan what one can do, vs. what one thinks one can do; based on training experience, is incredible.

And push-ups never was the thing which gave one a clue as to who was going to rise to the occasion, and who was going to fail. It’s attitude, and esprit de corps, and a host of intangibles.

If I had to pick a sqd, to go outside the wire with; again, it would; just like the last time, include women; not because they are women, but because I know them. I saw them in action, and they didn’t fail the test. I trust them to keep me covered, bring me ammo when I need, not lose their heads, maintain comms, situational awareness and eyes on their sector.

Those are what I want when I’m dismounted. I’d put Zawacki on the turret, anytime. I’d let Kingsbury take point, and put Cohen on the radio. I’d let Atkinson hump the SAW.

Because I’ve seen them in action. I’ve humped with them. I know they can do it. You can say, “well they are exceptions.” To which I say, if they can do it, so can others. Just as I have a list of women I’d be willing (I can’t say glad) to go to combat with, I’ve got a list of men I wouldn’t, not in any way, shape or form.

And you seem to be agreeing, so what is it you aren’t happy about with our position?

Brandon
Brandon
9 years ago

@Pecunium: For the most part, I agree. But I am just stating my opinion. I am not getting all hot and bothered by this at all. In fact, I am pretty calm right now. If you want an argument we can go back to how absolutely pointless marriage is. 🙂

I brought up the PT tests because they are the current method of assessing soldiers going through basic training. While you and I have served, not everyone has. So I thought it was prudent to at least link to it so people could actually see what is required of new recruits. Just because I mention something doesn’t mean I am supporting or not supporting it.

As it stands now, that is the test we have. So I think it is only fair to have everybody do the same amount of push ups, situps and runs. However I am not opposed to the armed forces scrapping the PT test for something different (if it is more effective).

All of the things you mentioned are important: common sense, unit comradery, etc… They help keep the units morale high.

mythago
9 years ago

I brought up the PT tests because they are the current method of assessing soldiers going through basic training.

Yes, they are the current method of assessing soldiers’ overall fitness level. Not assessing whether they are qualified for a particular MOS.

So I ask again: why did you insist on a merit-based, one-standard-for-all system for gender, but quickly did an about-face when it comes to age?

Pecunium
9 years ago

Brandon: If you agree; that there is no reason to keep women out of combat arms, much less the military, what is your complaint?

That an irrelevant test exists? Because, as I pointed out, the PT test has damn-all to do with who gets what MOS; the MOSQ courses do that. If one can’t meet the standard, one doesn’t get the MOS.

So you’ve been making a big deal about something you don’t care about? Why?

I also wonder, with mythago, why you changed your tune on disparate standards (not once, but twice).

If you want to talk about marriage, we can talk about the real issue, which isn’t the merits of marriage; but the replicability of it, and the way you insult people who choose to get married.

Brandon
Brandon
9 years ago

@mythago: And you don’t think someones overall fitness level is is anyway relevant to being in the infantry? I would rather go into a war zone with a soldier that can do 100 pushups as opposed to a someone that ways 250lb and can’t do 2 pushups.

Again, I only mentioned the age based system and pointed out rough percentages that older soldiers have to do less against younger soldiers. My pointing that out is in no way my advocating to keep that current system in place. I would rather have a standard PT test across all ages and genders.

Brandon
Brandon
9 years ago

*weighs

mythago
9 years ago

@Brandon: Again, you’re not answering my question: When it was pointed out to you that the military norms on age as well as gender, you excused age-norming while continuing to criticize gender-norming. Why?

BTW, you didn’t mention the age-based system. Pecuniam and I brought that up in response to your ‘military coddles them broads’ argument. Suddenly, norming was OK! For age, anyway. When applied to gender it became ‘slack’. And now that nobody’s buying this some-norms-are-more-equal-than-others tactic, suddenly PT tests are bad all over and we should stop norming or probably replace them entirely.

I notice that your war-zone example suddenly brings up weight as a confounding factor. If that 250-pound soldier is 6’6″, that’s not really a problem, is it. And I’m thinking if they can carry all their gear, shoot their weapon with accuracy, and go for miles without running out of wind, I’m not going to be thinking “Yeah, but how many pushups can he do?”

Pecunium
9 years ago

mythago: As to slack: A female who is 5′ isn’t allowed to weigh more than 120 lbs. Oddly enough the measurements used to measure the acceptable amount of body fat are based on male points of deposition, so the women are more likely to be, “overweight” when they have muscle, then the men are.

mythago: As to slack: A female who is 5′ isn’t allowed to weigh more than 120 lbs. Oddly enough the measurements used to measure the acceptable amount of body fat are based on male points of deposition, so the women are more likely to be, “overweight” when they have muscle, then the men are.

Males are allowed to be 132 lbs at 5′. In theory men aren’t allowed to enlist at less than 5′, but waivers are available. A male who is less than 5′ is allowed to be the same weight as someone who is 5′, but women are allowed to be 4’9″. At 4’9′, they max out at 109 lbs (aged 17-21, as with all else, there is age norming for wieght).

I have an ex, who was 4’10. At 23 years of age, in good shape (ballet) she had trouble with the run, and was perennially in danger of being flagged for weight; because she was about 119.

Trust me when I tell you, she was, by no standard of objective measure, overweight, much less fat.

She also had trouble with the run, not so much because she didn’t have the wind, as the extra work required to get any distance. She has to take more steps to go the same distance, which is more work, and demands more aerobic energy.

Despite this she did two tours in Afghanistan. She’s a nurse, doing both treatment and research (I see, taking a quick look, that she’s got one paper published). She didn’t do the “Shake’n’bake” after she got her degree, but went the gamut of ROTC, with all the focus it has on infantry skills. I was one of two NCOs she invited to her commissioning, and I don’t think the Army got anything but a great deal out of it.

But she’s always had to be obsessive about her weight, and her running, to avoid the repercussions that come of not passing a PT test/making weight.

But the guys… yeah, being heavy is a problem, but the standards are different.

At 40 a 5’4″ inch man is allowed to weigh 160 lbs. Women are allowed to be 145. There is no allowance for bust size.

Bagelsan
Bagelsan
9 years ago

I would rather go into a war zone with a soldier that can do 100 pushups as opposed to a someone that ways 250lb and can’t do 2 pushups.

Not if that first person was one of the Jersey Shore dudes you wouldn’t…

‘Sides, I’d rather go into a war alongside fucking Miles Vorkosigan than practically anybody, and he couldn’t bench a dwarf hamster. 😀

mythago
9 years ago

@Pecunium: I don’t disagree with you; I just thought it was pretty silly that Brandon suddenly decided he needed to make this theoretical wimpy soldier overweight on top of everything else.

Brandon
Brandon
9 years ago

@mythago: I didn’t excuse it, I pointed out the possible rationale for age based tests. (e.g poorer heath). You keep thinking that I excused it when I didn’t.

I also posted a link to the PT requirements from military.com.

The point of the OP was about gender not age. Hence I focused more on gender than age. I clearly pointed out that I am perfectly fine with one test for all recruits regardless of age or gender.

The only acceptable group of soldiers that can be over 250lb’s is men over 40+ and 6’6″. So for that very small minority of people it is ok. Most men aren’t even close to 6’6″. Even still, the point was choosing a fit soldier over a borderline fit soldier. I would still take the fit soldier over a 40+ 250lb 6’6′ soldier.

Another point is that a soldier that can run 2 miles faster, do more pushups and situps and is generally fit overall has a better chance of not running out of wind on long marches.

Bagelsan
Bagelsan
9 years ago

I just thought it was pretty silly that Brandon suddenly decided he needed to make this theoretical wimpy soldier overweight on top of everything else.

Brandon’s concept of the ideal feminist soldier: chubby, physically weak, and demands that she gets a combat position so that male soldiers can carry her stuff for her.

…Did I miss anything?