I got my Vision Forum catalogue in the mail. Talk about stereotypes...


Jessica, you subscribe to that hooey? I'm impressed. I wouldn't want it anywhere near my mailbox.

Anyway, you forgot one. Women don't look pretty and feminine when they're wearing fatigues, combat boots, and helmets! Remember that article about why women shouldn't play sports... that was their primary argument, was it not? Call me crazy, but a muddy, bleeding, sleep-deprived woman who hasn't bathed or brushed her teeth in days would probably be less attractive than an enthusiastic soccer player, so it's WRONG and UNGODLY. Come on, HF, I thought you were more thorough than that. ;-)


LOL, Ann!

HF, this post is just one more reason that I love your blog. Looking forward to the next installment.


My curiosity is killing me. My boyfriend took one look at it and said he wanted it out of the house. He said it was killing the good vibes and karma in our house. So now it's here with me at work.

I've razored out pictures and am creating a little battle scene with the kids in cosume. I've thoughtfully added well placed holes and red magic marker to the images.


Jessica-- you MUST post the results of your artistic endeavor, PLEASE!


I feel like a little heathen tearing up the magazine...I will post pictures


Where are these guys that want to protect women? When I was getting sexually harassed back as a civilian, they were nowhere around. When I joined the Army, I saw guys who were determined to make it has hard as possible for me, even while they were all buddy/buddy with the guys. When I was in combat, I was the one doing the protecting. In short, I've never met a guy worth knowing in the service who had that attitude. Then again, maybe I'm not the sort of 'girl' who arouses this feeling. But if they don't feel it toward every woman in every situation, then it's not real, is it?


So that leaves the only three arguments against women in combat that I think could potentially have some merit: 1) Women weaken military effectiveness because women are generally physically weaker than men; 2) Mixed gender units are less cohesive due to love affairs and sexual attractions among member of the unit; and 3) Women are often unable to deploy due to pregnancy. My challenge for tomorrow (at some point I hope) is to address these more legitimate arguments.

These are all ludicrous stereotypes without merit.
1. All men are not stronger than all women. Furthermore, combat no longer depends on strength---well, that type of strength that excludes female strengths.

2. ACtually, love affairs and things tend to occur more often amongst the people who buy into sexist myths,both male and female. The guys whine that they can't live without sex, and the 'girls' feel they have to please men. Meanwhile, you're living in close quarters with these people. Frankly, I liked the guys I served with, but it would have been like fucking my brother, frankly. The only people I could imagine attractive were people out of my unit.
3. A standard lie put out by sexists, basically. We had one pregnant female once in my unit. Everybody---everybody male, that is----remembered her to the point of forgetting the fifteen other females who did their jobs, and of course to the point of ignoring the guy who got her pregnant.

These myhts reflect and sometimes contrast with myths about civilian women. There's always the idea that women get pregnant irresponsibly, but because the woman gets punished for it in the military, the standard addendum of 'to trap a man' gets left off. If unit cohesion suffers, it's not beause of women it's because of men and women, and poor discipline. How much of unit cohesion suffers when it's men harassingwomen?

The Happy Feminist

I agree, Ginmar. The more I look at the pregnancy/physical disparity/unit cohesion arguments the less valid they seem. In my more recent post on the pregnancy myth I characterize them as "arguments that appear AT FIRST BLUSH to be the three strongest arguments against women in combat." They're the kind of arguments that sound like they make sense, especially for those of us who haven't served in the military, until you stop and really think about it or look at the facts.

Andy Ternay

Re: point number 4, that men will put themselves at risk to protect female soldiers...

I had always thought that soldiers were supposed to be willing to put themselves at risk to help one another. Isn't that part of the whole reason for trying to create cohesive units? Military history is replete with soldiers risking their lives to help other soldiers. Heck, Kerry got a medal for doing just that. I imagine that soldiers will always seek to protect fellow soldiers, regardless of gender.

That excuse has always grated on me.

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