Posted on | December 26, 2013 | 46 Comments
Liberalism’s obsession with equality requires us to pretend that such distinctions as “male” and “female” are ultimately meaningless, and that any policy which recognizes these categories as significant must be abolished in order to prevent discrimination.
This is where the rhetoric of liberalism is exposed as a species of madness. While proclaiming their devotion to “diversity,” what liberals are actually striving for is homogeneity and conformity: All institutions must be equally diverse. Institutions that are not “diverse” — all-male clubs or all-female schools or all-black fraternities — are inherently discriminatory, by this logic, which is how the American Studies Association justifies boycotting Israel, making the Jewish nature of the Israeli state analogous to apartheid.
In this way, “diversity” becomes the enemy of pluralism, and the next thing you know, you’re nose-counting some more-or-less randomly selected category and denouncing the discrimination that results in the shocking shortage of Latino gynecologists.
“We must end this Social Injustice because . . . Progress!”
Perhaps the best example of this weird worldview is the crusade for “gender integration” in the military. Liberals believe women must have the “opportunity” to march 12 miles in full combat gear and engage America’s enemies in firefights or it’s “discrimination.”
Unfortunately, this “discrimination” can only be abolished by lowering standards, as the case of Kara Hultgreen demonstrated nearly two decades ago. Under pressure from the radical avant-garde of political correctness, the Navy and the Air Force had gotten into a competition to see which service could produce the first female fighter pilot, which resulted (predictably) in the destruction of a $38 million jet and the death of its unqualified pilot:
On approach to the USS Abraham Lincoln, Lt. Hultgreen made five major errors and ignored repeated wave-off signals by ship’s landing officer. One of those errors caused the F-14A’s left engine to stall, sending the plane out of control, because Lt. Hultgreen mistakenly jammed on the rudder. In the twenty years of F-14A’s service, no pilot had ever stalled an engine this way. . . .
Documents obtained by Elaine Donnelly, director of [the Center for Military Readiness], shows that Lt. Hultgreen not only had subpar performance on several phases of her training but had four “downs” (major errors), just one or two of which are sufficient to justify the dismissal of a trainee. The White House and Congress’ political pressure to get more women in combat is the direct cause of Lt. Hultgreen’s death.
So said Professor Walter Williams in 1995 and, whatever the number of female jet fighter pilots in the U.S. military today, every one of them is stained by tokenism, their status as aviators tainted by the knowledge that they “qualified” only because they were graded on the curve, so that qualifed male candidates were flunked out of training merely to make a way to fill a gender quota.
Nobody in uniform — and certainly no officer who aspires to promotion — can speak that truth out loud, however, and so there is a silent conspiracy of dishonesty, everyone going along with the androgynous myth that justifies the “gender integration” policy.
One can always say that, in a nation of 300 million people, there must be some women who are physically strong enough to endure the rigors required of candidates for elite military roles. But even if we stipulate this, the overwhelming majority of qualified candidates for those roles will always be male and therefore, even if you had no traditionalist objections to women serving in combat, only a fanatical obsession with “equality” could justify abolishing the all-male status of those roles.
Last month, three women became the first of their sex to graduate from the Marine Corps’ famously grueling Advanced Infantry Training Course. The Marine Corps was asking a simple question by running small groups through these courses in experimental test batches, two to five women at a time: Can the female body withstand the rigors of infantry training? The answer, these women showed, is that it can.
Well, congratulations, but I’d be interested to hear from other Marines in that AITC session whether they think these women got any special breaks, and I’d also like to hear from veteran Marine sergeants whether they think there has been any relaxation of standards, because (a) I’m just skeptical that way, and (b) the Kara Hultgreen Syndrome inevitably persists. But never mind that, because now they’re trying to revive the G.I. Jane fantasy:
So if the barrier to integrating women into the infantry isn’t a physical one then what is it?
It’s cultural. And that’s why the infantry may not be the best place to start in military gender integration. Instead, as counterintuitive as it might sound, the military should begin with its Special Operations Forces: elite units such as the Green Berets and SEALs. Although not the obvious move, starting here would likely make for a smoother transition over all. . . .
(Note that the inevitability of a “transition” to a gender-neutral military is assumed as the premise of the argument.)
So how do you responsibly alter the culture so women are accepted and the force remains effective?
The solution currently being proposed is to conduct these test cases and then, based on the results, add a small number of women to a 140,000-man infantry force in the Army, Marine Corps, and National Guard while leaving our much smaller 8,500-man force of special operators all male for the foreseeable future. This would drop a very small number of female infantrymen and infantry officers into a culture they’d be too small to affect, putting them at an enormous disadvantage. . . .
If the military were to integrate elite formations such as the SEALs, Marine Special Operations and Army Special Forces, a few highly capable women in those communities would provide cultural proof that females can hang with “the toughest of the tough.”
Yeah, good luck with that. Let us assume that, as with the three women who made it through Marine AITC, you were able to find some exceptional women who could scrape through SFAS with a little nudge-nudge wink-wink “adjustment” to the standards.
Fine. You’ve got yourself a handful of token Lady Green Berets, and then what? At what point does the calculus of this social-engineering project have more to do with fielding the most effective combat force than with satisfying your idol Equality?
Men and women are different in fundamental ways. Attempting to argue away the truth of this general observation by calling attention to exceptional examples is the same kind of dishonest intellectual gamesmanship which justifies the legality of abortion — the vast majority of which are simply matters of after-the-fact contraception — by talking about rape. At some point, public policy has to be based on common-sense general principles, and not twisted into pretzels to conform to intellectual abstractions.
No heathen sacrifice at the altars of Moloch required more fanaticism than does our latter-day devotion to Equality.