The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Remember: Radio Feminist Fight With Little Miss Attila 10 a.m. ET Today

Posted on | April 2, 2011 | 47 Comments

The three-week-old feud begun by Little Miss Attila — “oversimplified fiddle faddle”! — will get an airing today on Da Tech Guy’s radio show on WCRN 830 AM (click the link to listen live online) at 10 a.m. Eastern. Attila is boasting that she’ll put me to flight.

UPDATE: The consensus of the in-studio guests was that Attila “won” our debate — which troubles me not at all. An interesting caller from Rhode Island referenced his sisters, self-declared feminists, who despise Sarah Palin.

My point all along: Feminism is and always been a movement of the Left. Ergo, efforts to re-define feminism as mainstream will tend to empower the Left. Conservatives trying to drape Gov. Palin in the garments of “feminism” are engaged in a project that is wrong-headed, because Gov. Palin’s biography — happily married mother of five and political leader — in fact refutes feminist ideology.

UPDATE II: In conclusion:

“Those who attempt to level never equalize. In all societies some description must be uppermost. The levellers, therefore, only change and pervert the natural order of things; they load the edifice of society by setting up in the air what the solidity of the structure requires to be on the ground.”
Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France

UPDATE III: Well, I thought that would be the last word, but I see that Darleen Click in the comments has asked that I clarify some remarks I made in reference to women in combat.

In 1995, Newt Gingrich was widely ridiculed and condemned for saying: “If combat means living in a ditch, females have biological problems staying in a ditch for thirty days because they get infections . . .”

Gingrich went on to talk about upper-body strength and men supposedly being “biologically driven to go out and hunt giraffes” (a sort of Darwinian heredity-is-destiny argument), but what was he saying about women and infections? Where did that come from?

It turns out — and this got obscured in the furor over Gingrich’s remarks — that he was referring to actual Pentagon studies about health problems of women soldiers deployed in combat-type situations. One report on these problems was the so-called “Lady J” study which found:

“Lack of suitable bathroom facilities and sufficient privacy pose a problem for timely urination. Active duty females in the field will decrease their oral hydration to diminish the frequency of urination as well as voluntarily suppress urination as long as possible. Subsequently, these women may induce prolonged bladder distention and increase their risk of urinary infections.”

These are simply medical facts, and not some sexist ideological oppression imposed by the patriarchy (or Newt Gingrich). The Pentagon found that women had more health problems than men when deployed, which imposed additional costs for medical care and undermined combat-unit readiness (i.e., units were under-strength because troops were absent on sick leave).

Leaving aside entirely the whole “giraffe-hunting” silliness, these studies highlight a basic question: Is the U.S. military supposed to be used for the purposes of national defense, or is it a vehicle for social engineering, to provide “equal opportunity” for women to advance to positions of leadership?

If women officers are to hold command rank, they must have experience serving as leaders of combat troops. Therefore, feminists insist that the military must bend the rules (and suffer the health costs and impairment of readiness) to put women into combat units. If you are a feminist — that is to say, if equality of the sexes is the be-all, end-all of your political involvement — then you must say, “To hell with readiness, and to hell with the costs of additional medical care, make it happen!

I am not a feminist, and oppose such a policy. It is incumbent on those who call themselves feminists to explain why the U.S. military should be twisted like a pretzel to accommodate their ideological fanaticism.

For a very informative account of issues surrounding women in the military, I recommend Stephanie Guttman’s 2000 book The Kinder, Gentler Military: How Political Correctness Affects Our Ability to Win Wars.

UPDATE IV: Facts Are Stubborn Things.



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