“Thou shalt defend the weak and make thyself their protector.” – From the Ten Commandments of Chivalry
Leftists constantly remind the world about how much they care for the “oppressed classes,” while accusing conservatives of striving to perpetuate their “exploitation.” One such group that liberals claim to defend is women and during the 2012 Presidential campaign, the media loudly denounced the so-called war on women supposedly being waged by conservatives.
But liberals’ cynical hypocrisy was exposed for all to see on January 24 when outgoing Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta announced, without any public debate or forewarning, that he was lifting the 1994 Pentagon ban on women serving in direct combat positions. Women will now be allowed to serve as infantry, tankers, fighter pilots, platoon commanders, and the thousands of other positions that expose them to direct enemy fire. Yet the same media and liberal establishment that decried the Romney campaign’s “war on women” were elated with the decision.
Just as the “war on women” has nothing to do with true femininity and everything to do with the promotion of abortion, contraception, and homosexual sin, so also the push to allow women in combat has nothing to do with “military readiness” or “combat effectiveness” and everything to do with “the dictatorship of equality.” The clamor for equality goes so far that its proponents are more than willing to sacrifice the dignity, honor and the very lives of America’s daughters, wives, and mothers on the battlefield rather than admit the reality that men and women are not equal. Indeed, the left is truly engaged in a “war on women,” an ideological war that declares its utter rejection of human nature and the natural inequalities between the sexes. Their war is a total one and aims to burn to the ground the last remnants of chivalry and the true expression of masculinity and femininity.
Men and Women Are Not Equal
Men and women share the same human nature, and as such have an equal share of the inalienable, perfect rights that stem directly from it, such as the right to life, the right to worship God, the right to constitute a family, the right to property, etc.
But the equality stops there. In numerous other things, however, the sexes are not and should not be equal. Men and women have a myriad of natural, inherent, physical and psychological differences which give them their respective roles, vocations, and duties toward God, each other, and society. Like the different organs of the human body, the sexes have unique, harmonious, complementary, and irreplaceable functions that sustain the body of society.
Physical strength and endurance is the most obvious human sex difference. It is well documented that the vast majority of women cannot match the physical strength of the vast majority of men. If the military did not significantly lower its standards to accommodate women, virtually none would even make it through boot camp, much less qualify for combat service. Women are not required to do any pull-ups in the Marine Corps Fitness Exam, for example, as even fit women are often unable to do a single one.1 No woman could ever carry a wounded 200 lb. male soldier five miles through a jungle while under fire, or carry a 75 lb. pack up a 10,000-foot mountain in Afghanistan, and fight a battle when she gets there.
Although these obvious physical differences are a legitimate objection to women in combat, they are not the most important, since one might find the very, very rare woman who could meet the physical requirements for a man.
A War on True Femininity
Women are ideally suited to the role of wife and mother. This beautiful and noble calling – to bear and form new souls for society – is the axis around which woman’s whole being revolves. Woman’s unique qualities, her unique ability to empathize with suffering, to emotionally bond with others, to resolve conflicts, her feminine intuition, her nearly unlimited patience, all point to her unique role: to nurture new life, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Psychologically, women generally abhor conflict. When disputes or arguments break out, they instinctually try their best to smooth over differences and harmonize the warring parties. This mentality has a valuable role in society and in the family, when men and especially boys are often willing to fight for less-than-worthy reasons. The Roman poet Horace described this mentality well with his adage bella detesta matribus (mothers abhor war).
But these same qualities that define true femininity are the exact opposite of those qualities necessary for combat. Indeed, to send women off to war is really more a war waged against the women themselves than a war waged against an enemy.
For the sake of defending his country, the soldier does not nurture life, but eagerly and unflinchingly destroys it. He does not empathize with the enemy, but blows him up. He does not wonder how if he could just talk and dialogue with the enemy commander, he could convince him to cease the fighting. In war, the soldier must be willing and eager to utterly destroy the enemy, to take the war to him with all his strength, day after day, and to endure unspeakable scenes of violence, blood, and death.
This reality of combat will serve only to brutalize women and strip them of their authentic femininity. For example, the filth and savagery of combat conditions make privacy completely impossible. Soldiers often are unable to enjoy minimum hygiene for weeks, sometimes even months on end. Such miserable and primitive conditions would serve to further brutalize women and the men forced to serve with them in such close quarters. In his article in the Wall Street Journal,2 Ryan Smith describes in detail the prosaic conditions he experienced in Iraq, and how the presence of women, in conditions with no privacy whatsoever, would undermine morale, unit cohesion, and the mutual respect between the sexes.
Destruction of True Masculinity
Christianity elevated woman to a dignity never seen before in human history. In past eras filled with the spirit of the Gospel, she was truly man’s companion and helper, not his slave. She was recognized as the child of God that she is, created in His image and likeness, with an immortal soul destined to serve Him in this life and be happy with Him forever in the next.Her dignity inspired men to protect and defend her from danger and from the more coarse, vulgar, and prosaic realities of this life. Indeed, one of the Ten Commandments of Chivalry — the code of honor that every knight swore to defend — was “Thou shalt defend the weak and make thyself their protector.” For more than a thousand years, we have considered it the solemn duty of all Christian men to fight, suffer, and die, if need be, to protect the weaker sex. No one asks, for example, whether the men who died on the Titanic were wrong-headed. Rather, it was Bruce Ismay, jumping into a lifeboat at the last minute, who was scorned as a despicable coward. This masculine code of conduct runs so deep that as recently as the 2012 Aurora, Colo. movie theater shooting, three young men died shielding their girlfriends from gunfire.3
This chivalric code of conduct must be abandoned if men are to serve in combat side-by-side with women. They must become accustomed to women bleeding, screaming, and dying without reacting any differently than they would for a brother-in-arms. Moreover, sexual misconduct, already a problem in a military that is 15% women, will inevitably increase when it is subjected to the extreme intimacy and lack of privacy of combat.
The Religion of “Equality”
The arguments in favor of women in combat all boil down to one: “equality.” Those in favor ignore the natural inequalities that exist between men and women and seek to impose their egalitarian hatred of those inequalities on the military and the rest of society. This feminist hatred of inequality prefers that women be violated — something that will inevitably happen if female soldiers are captured — rather than admit they do not belong on the battlefield.
Men and women have unequal strengths and weaknesses. They were made by God with specific roles. The rejection of these roles by feminists for the sake of “equality” has done much to destroy the family, create confusion and uncertainty about the proper roles of the sexes, weaken morals, and undermine our social institutions. Allowing women in combat positions will only serve to exacerbate this process and destroy our military, one of the few institutions in America that is still honored and respected.