A female Marine with combat experience argues against the admission of female Marines into the Infantry officer program. In doing so, she makes a number of points Cassandra has often made, but one that I think may be new to the discussion. The author's own experience with medical attrition as a combat engineer includes a harrowing list of symptoms including infertility: and that is from a successful tour, without injury from enemy action.
This said, we need only to review the statistics from our entry-level schools to realize that there is a significant difference in the physical longevity between male and female Marines. At OCS the attrition rate for female candidates in 2011 was historically low at 40 percent, while the male candidates attrite at a much lower rate of 16 percent. Of candidates who were dropped from training because they were injured or not physically qualified, females were breaking at a much higher rate than males, 14 percent versus 4 percent. The same trends were seen at TBS in 2011; the attrition rate for females was 13 percent versus 5 percent for males, and 5 percent of females were found not physically qualified compared with 1 percent of males. Further, both of these training venues have physical fitness standards that are easier for females; at IOC there is one standard regardless of gender. The attrition rate for males attending IOC in 2011 was 17 percent. Should female Marines ultimately attend IOC, we can expect significantly higher attrition rates and long-term injuries for women....
Opening combat arms MOSs, particularly the infantry, such observers argue, allows women to gain the necessary exposure of leading Marines in combat, which will then arguably increase the chances for female Marines serving in strategic leadership assignments.... Even if a female can meet the short-term physical, mental, and moral leadership requirements of an infantry officer, by the time that she is eligible to serve in a strategic leadership position, at the 20-year mark or beyond, there is a miniscule probability that she’ll be physically capable of serving at all. Again, it becomes a question of longevity.When we were talking about Ranger school, some of us noted that the odds were that there would be a loss to the force of excellent officers by putting them in such a physically demanding situation. However, the issue of longevity is new: even the ones who do survive the training may not be able to survive twenty years of active service to attain admission to the general officer ranks. If we are doing a cost/benefit analysis in terms of the good of the force, then, the costs are even higher than I had thought; and the expected benefit begins to vanish entirely.
The second article is over at National Review, a writer named David French does something that I know Elise and Cassandra both wish we did more often: he attacks the problem set that conservatives often attack as arising from "feminism," but without attributing it to (or even mentioning) feminism or feminist groups. Rather, he attributes the problem set to "the sexual revolution."
This strikes me as kind of a good point. What's really objectionable is the destruction of the family, the prevalence of abortion, the translation of 'pursuit of happiness' to mean 'chasing after desires by adults, regardless of the cost to their families and children.' It seems natural to look to the foremost defenders of unfettered abortion when you go to complain about abortion; but it may be that the underlying issue he identifies is the real source of the problem.