Marine Corps opens combat school to women [Trigger warning]

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Re: Marine Corps opens combat school in Quantico, Va. to wom

Postby Ghostbear » Sat Apr 21, 2012 12:44 pm UTC

Hawknc wrote:The ADF only announced last year that it will allow women in infantry and other "grunt" positions and won't have the plan fully phased in for at least another few years, so we're probably not the best comparison. That said, it means we've just had this exact debate here recently, and the government made the right choice.

Ah, my bad. Well, the Swedish, Russian, and Vietcong examples still stand.

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Re: Marine Corps opens combat school in Quantico, Va. to wom

Postby BattleMoose » Sat Apr 21, 2012 3:53 pm UTC

Soldiers fuck, and they fuck a lot. An examination of armies fielded throughout history does reveal this (in more recent times records of soldiers unfit for combat due to venereal diseases have been kept). This is something that fundamentally won't change.

The only real question is if the female soldiers are safe from their fellow comrades in arms. And I guess the only real way to find out what the risks are is to do it. The risk for them would be greatest during an actual all out war. I think we should include women, assuming they both want to and are fit enough to be valuable soldiers that being said I also think they would be taking a great personal risk but this is their choice.

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Re: Marine Corps opens combat school in Quantico, Va. to wom

Postby stevey_frac » Sat Apr 21, 2012 7:12 pm UTC

Based on the discussion found here:

It would seem as though the strongest fastest woman is much stronger and faster than the average man.

However, If we start looking at the true elite for the entire population, that group is going to be dominated by men, with perhaps the odd 1 in a million female outlier.

I think this is suggesting that there is plenty of room with regards to physical fitness and capability to include women in general batallions, however, the special forces will probably remain mostly men, with perhaps the odd genetic superwoman.

For proof that there exist woman who could physically 'hack it' in the infantry? Becca Swanson. She squatted 854 lbs. That's approximately 3.5 times her body weight. The U.S. military wants their soldiers to be able to squat twice their body weight, as a general sign of athleticism. Granted, she's an extreme outlier, but there are plenty of women who could trivially train up to military standards.

As for the sociological issues... I believe they could be worked out, especially if these women are strong enough to cut it in the infantry. These will not be your average woman, walking down the street. They'd be the top 20% of women in the world. And they could kick your ass.

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Re: Marine Corps opens combat school in Quantico, Va. to wom

Postby sourmìlk » Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:50 pm UTC

Ghostbear wrote:Just because it is a different expression of bigotry does not change that the type of issue (soldiers not properly respecting their fellow service members), nor even the approximate severity of that issue, has not already been encountered in military integration. It was able to be solved then. The biological argument is not a convincing one for me, because it's still not particularly dissimilar to the arguments against previous integration efforts (e.g. "Blacks shouldn't serve because they're innately inferior!").

Initial moral issues due to prejudices (for which "we must protect the women first" would count as one) have been dealt with in military integration before. Militaries (mostly Russian) have successfully used women for combat roles in the past. The Australian military had difficulty at first with integration, but managed to iron them out. Sweden allows women to serve in any role -- including combat roles -- with no restrictions. I don't think we can say that the issue of military sexism is biological at all -- if there is an issue, it's with American culture. If so, then we sure as fuck aren't going to fix it by treating them as second class citizens for the purposes of military service.

These examples are sufficient to convince me that women can be integrated into the military safely.
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Re: Marine Corps opens combat school in Quantico, Va. to wom

Postby nitePhyyre » Sun Apr 22, 2012 4:30 am UTC

Gears wrote:The standard WILL lower to avoid washouts. It's inevitable. Look at the US Army's new PT test. Its gender neutral and easy as fuck.
A hypothetical slippery slope in the future is no reason to not do something worthwhile now.

Hawknc wrote:
Gears wrote:Angry grunt/experience killer who doesn't give a fuck + females at his disposal = trouble.
Putting aside for the moment the fact that these women are Marines and hardly at anyone's "disposal", it sounds like the problem here is the men in the infantry battalions, not the women.
Red Hal wrote:Agreed. The onus is not on the women to "stay out of trouble"; the onus is on the men to not rape their fellow infantrymen treat their fellow infantrymen like the equals they are.
Ghostbear wrote:I'm going to agree with Hawknc and Red Hal here. If the way the men will treat women serving alongside is a problem, then the problem is the men, and needs to be solved through them.
It isn't about who is to blame. It is about how to get the most effective fighting force.

omgryebread wrote:Huh, where have I heard this before? Oh, maybe DADT and blacks in the military?
Ghostbear wrote:The biological argument is not a convincing one for me, because it's still not particularly dissimilar to the arguments against previous integration efforts (e.g. "Blacks shouldn't serve because they're innately inferior!").
Right, because sucking dick or having pigment is comparable to being a foot shorter and lacking 50 pounds of muscle. Derp.

Ghostbear wrote:You're only looking at it from the short term. In the short term, sure, there will probably be issues with getting the system to force people to treat their fellow service members as human beings, but in the long run we gain the skills and abilities of the new group of people we've allowed to serve.
A) That's easy to say when you aren't the one who is putting their life on the line during this 'short term' period.

B) What long term gains? Other than increased numbers that aren't needed, what are women going to bring to the table? I'm not seeing anything.

Shivahn wrote:
Arrian wrote:Aside from the fact that racism and homphobia are socially conditioned responses while the differences between men and women are physiologically and psychologically very real and very powerful?
...Socially conditioned responses aren't psychologically real?
Nature vs nurture. But you probably already knew that and were just being a pedantic jerk.

sourmìlk wrote:If Gears is right and there is likely to be a very high incidence of rape and misogyny, then that's a legitimate argument against integrated women in grunt units. Is he right? What do the data say about areas in which women are already integrated with men in the armed forces?
http://newsjunkiepost.com/2010/01/26/13rd-of-women-in-us-military-raped/ wrote:According to NPR, “In 2003, a survey of female veterans found that 30 percent said they were raped in the military. A 2004 study of veterans who were seeking help for post-traumatic stress disorder found that 71 percent of the women said they were sexually assaulted or raped while serving. And a 1995 study of female veterans of the Gulf and earlier wars, found that 90 percent had been sexually harassed.”
...
Another study concluded that 90% of all women serving are sexually harassed. Another one estimates that 90% of all the rapes do not get reported, despite supposedly easier ways to report the crime with confidentiality since 2005. Either way, this appears to be an epidemic that needs to be dealt with.
@ !sourmilk:
There are, at least, TWO pages on wiki about women in the military. Imagine how awesome it would be if people started by at least skimming some source material before spouting their mouth off. Just imagine, it would be awesome.

Ghostbear wrote: Militaries (mostly Russian) have successfully used women for combat roles in the past. The Australian military had difficulty at first with integration, but managed to iron them out. Sweden allows women to serve in any role -- including combat roles -- with no restrictions.
Canada as well.

Ghostbear wrote:I don't think we can say that the issue of military sexism is biological at all -- if there is an issue, it's with American culture. If so, then we sure as fuck aren't going to fix it by treating them as second class citizens for the purposes of military service.
Actually, the "we must protect the women first" problem people keep refferring to comes from data from the IDF. So no, not an american culture problem.
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Re: Marine Corps opens combat school in Quantico, Va. to wom

Postby sourmìlk » Sun Apr 22, 2012 4:33 am UTC

nitePhyyre wrote:
Gears wrote:The standard WILL lower to avoid washouts. It's inevitable. Look at the US Army's new PT test. Its gender neutral and easy as fuck.
A hypothetical slippery slope in the future is no reason to not do something worthwhile now.

That's not entirely true. If an action will have long term consequences, that is a reason not to take that action, even if it provides immediate benefits.
sourmìlk wrote:If Gears is right and there is likely to be a very high incidence of rape and misogyny, then that's a legitimate argument against integrated women in grunt units. Is he right? What do the data say about areas in which women are already integrated with men in the armed forces?
http://newsjunkiepost.com/2010/01/26/13rd-of-women-in-us-military-raped/ wrote:According to NPR, “In 2003, a survey of female veterans found that 30 percent said they were raped in the military. A 2004 study of veterans who were seeking help for post-traumatic stress disorder found that 71 percent of the women said they were sexually assaulted or raped while serving. And a 1995 study of female veterans of the Gulf and earlier wars, found that 90 percent had been sexually harassed.”
...
Another study concluded that 90% of all women serving are sexually harassed. Another one estimates that 90% of all the rapes do not get reported, despite supposedly easier ways to report the crime with confidentiality since 2005. Either way, this appears to be an epidemic that needs to be dealt with.

Holy shit, 30% of women in the military are raped? That's actually quite serious. Is it actually safe to let women into grunt units if there's a 30% chance that they're going to be raped?
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Re: Marine Corps opens combat school in Quantico, Va. to wom

Postby lutzj » Sun Apr 22, 2012 4:35 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:Holy shit, 30% of women in the military are raped? That's actually quite serious. Is it actually safe to let women into grunt units if there's a 30% chance that they're going to be raped?


You can't really fix the rape problem without having women to protect from rape.
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Re: Marine Corps opens combat school in Quantico, Va. to wom

Postby Hawknc » Sun Apr 22, 2012 5:09 am UTC

Not to mention that if we're more worried about the danger our soldiers face from their own squad mates than we are about the dangers they'll face against enemy combatants, that indicates there is something seriously wrong with either the perception or reality of the culture within the military (and that 30% figure suggests the latter).

nitePhyyre wrote:It isn't about who is to blame. It is about how to get the most effective fighting force.

I'll buy that, but do you think we can get the most effective fighting force by ignoring 50% of the population? Do you really think that no woman, anywhere in the US, is more capable than any man currently serving in a frontline role? Because if there's even one, then the message being sent about what matters to the US armed forces is "genitalia first, fighting ability second".

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Re: Marine Corps opens combat school in Quantico, Va. to wom

Postby sourmìlk » Sun Apr 22, 2012 5:11 am UTC

lutzj wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:Holy shit, 30% of women in the military are raped? That's actually quite serious. Is it actually safe to let women into grunt units if there's a 30% chance that they're going to be raped?


You can't really fix the rape problem without having women to protect from rape.


I'm not sure what you're saying here.

Hawknc wrote:Not to mention that if we're more worried about the danger our soldiers face from their own squad mates than we are about the dangers they'll face against enemy combatants, that indicates there is something seriously wrong with either the perception or reality of the culture within the military (and that 30% figure suggests the latter).

Well certainly the problem is the people who are, you know, actually doing the raping. But it seems like letting women go into the military when we know there's a high chance of them being raped is essentially condoning rape.
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Re: Marine Corps opens combat school in Quantico, Va. to wom

Postby nitePhyyre » Sun Apr 22, 2012 6:27 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:
nitePhyyre wrote:A hypothetical slippery slope in the future is no reason to not do something worthwhile now.
That's not entirely true. If an action will have long term consequences, that is a reason not to take that action, even if it provides immediate benefits.
Definitely agreed. Although, If I had meant 'will have long term consequences' I wouldn't have said 'hypothetical slippery slope'.

It is the difference between discovering fossil fuels and saying "let's burn this shit! who gives a damn about that pollution garbage" and saying "sure, we could burn this stuff responsibly, but in 4 or 5 generations our children might choose to be irresponsible, so let's never burn it at all."

Hawknc wrote:Not to mention that if we're more worried about the danger our soldiers face from their own squad mates than we are about the dangers they'll face against enemy combatants, that indicates there is something seriously wrong with either the perception or reality of the culture within the military (and that 30% figure suggests the latter).
What's really, really bad is how women are treated when they come forward. You know those stories about how women rape victims are treated in those really bad muslim countries? Kinda the same thing.

Hawknc wrote:
nitePhyyre wrote:It isn't about who is to blame. It is about how to get the most effective fighting force.
I'll buy that, but do you think we can get the most effective fighting force by ignoring 50% of the population?
Considering the US currently ignores > than 99.5% of the population? Yeah, I think they could manage at 50%.

Hawknc wrote:Do you really think that no woman, anywhere in the US, is more capable than any man currently serving in a frontline role? Because if there's even one, then the message being sent about what matters to the US armed forces is "genitalia first, fighting ability second".
It is simply a question of whether or not this person will help or hinder their squad.

In any group, each individual contributes with their skills and by how they change the group dynamic. If the negatives they bring to the group dynamic outweigh the advantages of their skills, their skills are irrelevant.
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Re: Marine Corps opens combat school in Quantico, Va. to wom

Postby sourmìlk » Sun Apr 22, 2012 6:56 am UTC

nitePhyyre wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:
nitePhyyre wrote:A hypothetical slippery slope in the future is no reason to not do something worthwhile now.
That's not entirely true. If an action will have long term consequences, that is a reason not to take that action, even if it provides immediate benefits.
Definitely agreed. Although, If I had meant 'will have long term consequences' I wouldn't have said 'hypothetical slippery slope'.

It is the difference between discovering fossil fuels and saying "let's burn this shit! who gives a damn about that pollution garbage" and saying "sure, we could burn this stuff responsibly, but in 4 or 5 generations our children might choose to be irresponsible, so let's never burn it at all."

Okay. Maybe it was just my reading, but I didn't think you clearly defined the distinction. Would you agree that what you said is equivalent to "Just because an action could be abused in the future doesn't mean we shouldn't do it now"?
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Re: Marine Corps opens combat school in Quantico, Va. to wom

Postby Hawknc » Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:25 am UTC

nitePhyyre wrote:Considering the US currently ignores > than 99.5% of the population? Yeah, I think they could manage at 50%.

What's the 99.5% that gets ignored as a potential recruitment pool? Genuinely interested, because I can't pick it from these requirements.

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Re: Marine Corps opens combat school in Quantico, Va. to wom

Postby nitePhyyre » Sun Apr 22, 2012 8:51 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:Okay. Maybe it was just my reading, but I didn't think you clearly defined the distinction. Would you agree that what you said is equivalent to "Just because an action could be abused in the future doesn't mean we shouldn't do it now"?
I didn't define the terms. They've been around for longer than I have.
Slippery Slope: A 1% tax will lead to a 10% tax, A 10% tax will lead to a 20% tax, A 20% tax will lead to a 50% tax, A 50% tax will lead to a 100% tax, there fore we shouldn't have even a 1% tax. The 'gateway drug' theory is another example of the slippery slope. If you smoke weed eventually you will smoke heroin, if you smoke heroin you will inject heroin, if you inject heroin you will become a drug prostitute, if you become a drug prostitute your pimp will beat you to death.

When you say "an action will have long term consequences" or "Just because an action could be abused in the future doesn't mean we shouldn't do it now" you aren't describing anything resembling the slippery slope.

Hawknc wrote:What's the 99.5% that gets ignored as a potential recruitment pool? Genuinely interested, because I can't pick it from these requirements.
The everyone who isn't in the military combat forces because the US is an effective fighting force with no draft.
sourmìlk wrote:Monopolies are not when a single company controls the market for a single product.

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Re: Marine Corps opens combat school in Quantico, Va. to wom

Postby Hawknc » Sun Apr 22, 2012 9:23 am UTC

Except that women are allowed to join the armed forces. But okay, let's play it that way - now you want to prevent ~15% of the potential recruitment pool from trying out for no reason other than a physical attribute that has no bearing on their combat capability. We've had this debate before about other protected demographics regarding race and sexuality; the armed forces do not get a free pass on discrimination just because of a vague, nebulous argument about fighting capability. In twenty years when the military culture has adjusted and women are serving alongside men in frontline roles, we're going to look back and wonder what the hell the problem was.

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Re: Marine Corps opens combat school in Quantico, Va. to wom

Postby sourmìlk » Sun Apr 22, 2012 9:28 am UTC

I think this ignores the issue of rape. We can't, in good conscience, allow a situation in which we know rape will happen a lot. That's a problem that needs to be solved before substantially more women are admitted into the military.
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Re: Marine Corps opens combat school in Quantico, Va. to wom

Postby johnny_7713 » Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:24 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:I think this ignores the issue of rape. We can't, in good conscience, allow a situation in which we know rape will happen a lot. That's a problem that needs to be solved before substantially more women are admitted into the military.


I'm pretty sure in that case we should ban women from a lot more than just military service. But is the appropriate answer really to tell women: 'No you can't join, because the other soldiers might rape you'? Should we also not allow women to walk on the streets after dark, since that will increase their chance of being raped? [at least that is what is often claimed, not sure if actual data confirms this]

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Re: Marine Corps opens combat school in Quantico, Va. to wom

Postby sourmìlk » Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:29 am UTC

If 30% of women who walk on the streets after dark were raped, yeah, I would not find legislation regarding that entirely unreasonable. Mind you, I still think there's a difference between removing a person's right to walk on a street and not granting them the opportunity to be in the military.
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Re: Marine Corps opens combat school in Quantico, Va. to wom

Postby Ghostbear » Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:37 am UTC

nitePhyyre wrote:It isn't about who is to blame. It is about how to get the most effective fighting force.

Those posts weren't about blame, they were about identifying the source of the problem -- once the source is located, you can then attempt to fix it. The problem here is the attitudes and actions of some of the men in the armed forces. So the solution is to get them to not be sexists or rapists to women serving with them (or at all).

nitePhyyre wrote:Right, because sucking dick or having pigment is comparable to being a foot shorter and lacking 50 pounds of muscle. Derp.

It's too bad they aren't making the physical requirements for women identical to those for men then. Oh wait, that's exactly what they're doing.

nitePhyyre wrote:A) That's easy to say when you aren't the one who is putting their life on the line during this 'short term' period.

B) What long term gains? Other than increased numbers that aren't needed, what are women going to bring to the table? I'm not seeing anything.

And your (A) is easy to say when you aren't a woman being excluded from serving in the armed forces in a combat role if she wishes to. Lots of things are easy to say "that's easy to say" to -- that doesn't make it a particularly good reason to not do it. Your rebuttal in (A) would have worked exactly the same with previous integration in the military: why is it a valid defense now, when it wasn't valid then?

As for (B).. really? You don't see the benefit of doubling the size of the talent pool you can draw from? You don't think the top 5% of female soldiers could quite possibly be superior to the bottom 5% (or 10% or 20% or whatever) of male soldiers? You haven't considered that their are certain tasks that a female soldier will just be plains superior at? In WW2, the Soviets found that women were superior snipers to men due to their physical traits. In many parts of the world, a terrified group of civilians is going to be more likely to talk to an armed foreign soldier if they're female. You'll be better able to expect women doing body searches of female civilians won't raise a shitstorm. There's a huge number of potential benefits, and the fact that you couldn't think up of any of them is baffling.

nitePhyyre wrote:Actually, the "we must protect the women first" problem people keep refferring to comes from data from the IDF. So no, not an american culture problem.

The issue we're talking about is women in the US marines. The objections we're getting is the attitudes of male soldiers in the US marines -- if those issues exist, then yes, it is an issue of american culture, because everyone involved in the issue is american. That other westernish cultures might share that issue does not mean that the problem is not specific to ours.

nitePhyyre wrote:
Hawknc wrote:What's the 99.5% that gets ignored as a potential recruitment pool? Genuinely interested, because I can't pick it from these requirements.

The everyone who isn't in the military combat forces because the US is an effective fighting force with no draft.

"Recruitment pool" does not mean what you think it does. It's the group of people from which you are able to recruit soldiers from. Without changes like this one, the recruitment pool for combat roles in the US is cut in half, as it only includes males. Opening it up to females doubles (approximately) the number of people that you can possibly recruit. This allows you to be more selective with who you recruit, improving the quality of your fighting force.

What you are talking about is the number of people that end up being recruited, not the number of people that can be recruited. We do not ignore 99.5% of the population for establishing our recruitment pool. Our current pool of people "fit for military service" for combat roles is ~60,620,000 (males 18-49 years old) as of 2010. There are an additional ~59,420,000 females between the age of 18-49 that are potentially fit for military service. Our recruitment pool is being cut in half by excluding women.

sourmìlk wrote:Holy shit, 30% of women in the military are raped? That's actually quite serious. Is it actually safe to let women into grunt units if there's a 30% chance that they're going to be raped?

If 30% of women in the military are already raped, maybe it's a problem that we already need to fix and that allowing women to serve in combat roles might force the military to actually confront and fix that disgusting statistic?

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Re: Marine Corps opens combat school in Quantico, Va. to wom

Postby Thesh » Sun Apr 22, 2012 2:26 pm UTC

If the worry is that the female soldiers will be raped, maybe the military could start taking allegations seriously, instead of covering their ears and yelling "LA LA LA I AM NOT LISTENING".
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Re: Marine Corps opens combat school in Quantico, Va. to wom

Postby sourmìlk » Sun Apr 22, 2012 5:42 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:If the worry is that the female soldiers will be raped, maybe the military could start taking allegations seriously, instead of covering their ears and yelling "LA LA LA I AM NOT LISTENING".

Yeah, I don't get this attitude of ignoring incidences of rape.

Ghostbear wrote:If 30% of women in the military are already raped, maybe it's a problem that we already need to fix and that allowing women to serve in combat roles might force the military to actually confront and fix that disgusting statistic?

Certainly it needs to be fixed, but in the mean time, I don't think it's ethical to allow situations in which we know substantially more people will be raped. I think we have to fix it first, unless you think that 30% of women being raped is acceptable collateral while the military hopefully tries to successfully fix the problem.
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Re: Marine Corps opens combat school in Quantico, Va. to wom

Postby Ghostbear » Sun Apr 22, 2012 6:26 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:Certainly it needs to be fixed, but in the mean time, I don't think it's ethical to allow situations in which we know substantially more people will be raped. I think we have to fix it first, unless you think that 30% of women being raped is acceptable collateral while the military hopefully tries to successfully fix the problem.

You're assuming: (1) Female soldiers that are in combat roles will be raped significantly more, and (2) that they are no more likely to fix this issue when it is affecting combat troops.

There might be a decent argument to (1), but if the rate is similar to that for non-combat role females, then all you have is an argument against women serving in the military at all, not against women serving in combat roles. That figure also needs to be compared to women in general as well -- hypothetically, what if the figure for women in general was 35%, and thus being in the military reduced the likelihood? You need to compare it to some baseline, otherwise you're misinterpreting that data. All of that said, I would be surprised to see that the rate is significantly (emphasis on significantly) higher for women in combat roles compared to women in general.

I think (2) is a poor assumption though -- I expect that the more "front line" soldiers that are exposed to this reality, the more likely it is that the military will stop pulling the "LA LA LA I AM NOT LISTENING" that Thesh has highlighted. I think that, as part of integrating them into combat units, they're going to be forced to find ways to reduce those figures -- which will benefit all women in the military, and not just those in combat roles. It might even filter out and benefit women outside of the military as well. Even if it they don't do that, having more women in the military would shift the gender imbalance and could begin a (probably unfortunately slow) self-correction of its own. Other countries have been able to integrate women into the military without this being anywhere near as much of an issue.

Even with both of those, shouldn't that just mean that we'd be obligated to inform women these figures before signing up, then letting them make their own choices, instead of denying them the right to do so outright? Denying them that right is punishing them for something that they might suffer, instead of punishing the people that would make them suffer it or the system that allows those people to do so.

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Re: Marine Corps opens combat school in Quantico, Va. to wom

Postby sourmìlk » Sun Apr 22, 2012 6:40 pm UTC

Ghostbear wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:Certainly it needs to be fixed, but in the mean time, I don't think it's ethical to allow situations in which we know substantially more people will be raped. I think we have to fix it first, unless you think that 30% of women being raped is acceptable collateral while the military hopefully tries to successfully fix the problem.

You're assuming: (1) Female soldiers that are in combat roles will be raped significantly more, and (2) that they are no more likely to fix this issue when it is affecting combat troops.

I'm assuming neither of these things. By more woman being raped, I mean approximately 30% of the additional woman admitted into combat roles. I'm also not assuming that they're no more likely to fix the issue when it's affecting combat troops, just that they're not sufficiently likely to fix it quickly or effectively enough that we can justify allowing 30% of new recruits to be raped in the meantime.

Even with both of those, shouldn't that just mean that we'd be obligated to inform women these figures before signing up, then letting them make their own choices, instead of denying them the right to do so outright? Denying them that right is punishing them for something that they might suffer, instead of punishing the people that would make them suffer it or the system that allows those people to do so.

I think our responsibility exceeds simply informing women. While it's not up to the government to force women to engage in safe behaviour, neither is it ethical for the government to create a situation in which rape is going to happen very often.
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Re: Marine Corps opens combat school in Quantico, Va. to wom

Postby Ghostbear » Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:07 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:I'm assuming neither of these things. By more woman being raped, I mean approximately 30% of the additional woman admitted into combat roles. I'm also not assuming that they're no more likely to fix the issue when it's affecting combat troops, just that they're not sufficiently likely to fix it quickly or effectively enough that we can justify allowing 30% of new recruits to be raped in the meantime.

If (1) is not being assumed by you, then your argument falls apart completely unless you're against letting women serve in the military at all, combat roles or not. If the rate was 30% for non combat roles and 20% for combat roles, any argument based on that rate would also be a stronger argument against letting women serve in the military at all. If the rate doesn't change, or goes up insignificantly, then your argument is also an argument against letting women serve in the military at all. Are you against letting women serve in the military outright? If you aren't assuming (2), then you're accepting a long-term negative in order to avoid dealing with a short term one, when the long term negative, over its total lifespan, is much larger than the short term one.

Also, you keep highlighting the 30% number, but you're ignoring part of my post -- you can't just use 30% in a vacuum, you have to compare it to the base rate:
Ghostbear wrote:That figure also needs to be compared to women in general as well -- hypothetically, what if the figure for women in general was 35%, and thus being in the military reduced the likelihood? You need to compare it to some baseline, otherwise you're misinterpreting that data.

I do not know the base rate myself, but there was a thread here a while back (2-4 months?) about how 25% of women will suffer such in their life, but that wouldn't be the best comparison, as one figure is over 4 years and the other is over several decades.

sourmìlk wrote:I think our responsibility exceeds simply informing women. While it's not up to the government to force women to engage in safe behaviour, neither is it ethical for the government to create a situation in which rape is going to happen very often.

The situation is created by not denying women rights. Denying them rights because of the disgusting actions of someone else is wrong, because you're punishing the wrong person.

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Re: Marine Corps opens combat school in Quantico, Va. to wom

Postby sourmìlk » Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:12 pm UTC

Not allowing women into the military because they will very likely be raped isn't punishing women, as it's not negative reinforcement to get them to avoid performing some action. If anything, the net result would be helpful to women. That is, were the baseline not 25%. Honestly, I wouldn't have thought that the baseline could possibly be so high as to even approach 30%. The fact that it is about there tells me that it's fine to let women in the military because they aren't substantially more likely to be raped. But holy fuck, 25%? What is wrong with us?
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Re: Marine Corps opens combat school in Quantico, Va. to wom

Postby Ghostbear » Sun Apr 22, 2012 7:36 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:That is, were the baseline not 25%. Honestly, I wouldn't have thought that the baseline could possibly be so high as to even approach 30%. The fact that it is about there tells me that it's fine to let women in the military because they aren't substantially more likely to be raped. But holy fuck, 25%? What is wrong with us?

Yeah, we live in a pretty terrible world at times. Even with that rate as a guideline, there's still many other complications, such as the specific situations of individual women. Someone signing up from an area with a greater crime rate will have a different base rate, as will different income levels, educations, and I think even ethnicities. Someone signing up that's in an abusive relationship could very well be better off no matter what the expected military rate is. We can't reasonably filter through all of those variables (not least of which because not many of them will be known to us!) during recruitment, but we can trust those women to make a decision for themselves if we give them the right information beforehand.

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Re: Marine Corps opens combat school in Quantico, Va. to wom

Postby BattleMoose » Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:32 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote: What is wrong with us?


The military is a very artificial construct, socially its just now how we are geared to relate to one another. And often the soldiers don't have the opportunity to get laid. Its just not a good mix. Especially if you are confronted with your own death every other day. The french army, during WWI (and other wars too, later also) supplied its own brothels to its front line soldiers. One might expect that this would cause a large spike in the transmission in STDs, but the counter was true, the prostitutes had the benefit of army medicine.

I don't think its necessarily something that is wrong with us, but rather its an outcome of the fucked up situations we put young men in. (not an excuse)

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Re: Marine Corps opens combat school in Quantico, Va. to wom

Postby sourmìlk » Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:09 am UTC

BattleMoose wrote:
sourmìlk wrote: What is wrong with us?


The military is a very artificial construct, socially its just now how we are geared to relate to one another. And often the soldiers don't have the opportunity to get laid. Its just not a good mix. Especially if you are confronted with your own death every other day. The french army, during WWI (and other wars too, later also) supplied its own brothels to its front line soldiers. One might expect that this would cause a large spike in the transmission in STDs, but the counter was true, the prostitutes had the benefit of army medicine.

I don't think its necessarily something that is wrong with us, but rather its an outcome of the fucked up situations we put young men in. (not an excuse)

Yeah, but even outside of the military, 25% of women are raped. That's what really surprised me.
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Re: Marine Corps opens combat school in Quantico, Va. to wom

Postby Ulc » Mon Apr 23, 2012 6:18 am UTC

[Probably obvious, but trigger warning for pretty much everything to do with rape culture, rape, rape description and general unpleasantness]

sourmìlk wrote:
Even with both of those, shouldn't that just mean that we'd be obligated to inform women these figures before signing up, then letting them make their own choices, instead of denying them the right to do so outright? Denying them that right is punishing them for something that they might suffer, instead of punishing the people that would make them suffer it or the system that allows those people to do so.

I think our responsibility exceeds simply informing women. While it's not up to the government to force women to engage in safe behaviour, neither is it ethical for the government to create a situation in which rape is going to happen very often.


YES! This Argument so much, we should not create a situation where women can be raped, we must prohibit women drinking alcohol! And we certainly can't allow them out the door without being accompanied by a male family member! Or at least a proxy of one, where the male family member has agreed that the proxy can be trusted! And no showing bare skin either! We reduce the chance of rape!

In case anyone didn't notice, the above is irony.

We cannot in any ethical way deny women rights that men have, without enforcing a culture where each individual woman's agency are taken away from her, and she's left without the ability to hold a independent agenda - and that's exactly the culture that we call rape-culture, a culture where women are property, and taking the sex you see them "owing you", against their will, is an common act that a lot of people nod at and say "sure, I can understand him" (even if they publicly criticize him). In the short term, denying women the right to enter the military might seem like it's combating rape, but in the long term, it's exactly the kind of rules that directly lead to the base-line rape incident rate being 16-25% (depending on studies and estimates of dark numbers).

When dealing with a sick culture that thinks it's okay to ignore people's consent, the worthwhile action is not to make sure that women are kept from that culture, but to fix that culture! If nothing else because the male service members are not kept strictly in the military, they are members of society, and do you really believe that a man willing to rape while on the job, is unwilling to rape when he goes on vacation?

What is wrong with us?


People like you is what is wrong with us. It's people like you that make well intentioned arguments that directly works against women, it's the idea of "we must protect women, even against their will" that in a few steps gets twisted into "women are not capable of protecting themselves" which in a few more steps means "doing things to a woman without her consent is okay" - and the next step should be so obvious that I'm not even going to show it.

It's people saying "All rapists are irredeemable evil monsters" - because the logical step is "pat is not a irredeemable evil monster, he has two kittens and he gives money to the poor, ergo he can't be a rapist, she must be lying". It's people saying saying "Surprise butt sex!" and expecting everyone to laugh.

It's people being offended of the concept of schrödingers rapist, and saying "no one I know is a rapist", when all odds say that unless you have a social circle of <10 men, at least one of them is a rapist, likely more than one.

People like me is what is wrong with us. Because despite being a well informed individual, who is generally thought to be rather obsessive with being respectful towards others, I still occasionally laugh when my friends describe yet another run-in with the administration as "then I got bent over, and the bastards didn't even use lube!". It's people like me that talk about rape culture - and yet are more protective of my female friends than my male friends! Even worse, I think I can defend that with a call to "but the danger is greater"!

Rape culture, it exist, we're all part of it.
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Re: Marine Corps opens combat school in Quantico, Va. to wom

Postby elasto » Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:11 am UTC

In US prisons, around 30% of prisoners report being raped. That's not a good reason to stop sending people to prison. It is a good reason to put efforts in to reducing it.
If 30% of female army recruits are being raped, likewise, it's not a good reason to prevent women joining the army, but it is a good reason to put efforts in to reducing it.

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Re: Marine Corps opens combat school in Quantico, Va. to wom

Postby ShortChelsea » Mon Apr 23, 2012 1:31 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:If 30% of women who walk on the streets after dark were raped, yeah, I would not find legislation regarding that entirely unreasonable. Mind you, I still think there's a difference between removing a person's right to walk on a street and not granting them the opportunity to be in the military.


Most women who are raped know their attacker. They're friends, relatives, SOs. We should keep women in little huts away from the rest of the population because the rest of the population is so rapey. That's all I'm getting from your argument.

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Re: Marine Corps opens combat school in Quantico, Va. to wom

Postby BattleMoose » Mon Apr 23, 2012 3:39 pm UTC

elasto wrote:In US prisons, around 30% of prisoners report being raped. That's not a good reason to stop sending people to prison.


Perhaps not, but certainly I feel the US government is liable. Forcing people into essentially an unsafe environment is just not acceptable.

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Re: Marine Corps opens combat school in Quantico, Va. to wom

Postby kiklion » Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:55 pm UTC

BattleMoose wrote:
elasto wrote:In US prisons, around 30% of prisoners report being raped. That's not a good reason to stop sending people to prison.


Perhaps not, but certainly I feel the US government is liable. Forcing people into essentially an unsafe environment is just not acceptable.


Corollary? I could see people arguing that by keeping the criminals in the public you would be forcing the law abiding half into an unsafe environment. And if we had to choose one half to be in an unsafe environment, it would be those who broke societies rules.

elasto wrote:In US prisons, around 30% of prisoners report being raped. That's not a good reason to stop sending people to prison. It is a good reason to put efforts in to reducing it.
If 30% of female army recruits are being raped, likewise, it's not a good reason to prevent women joining the army, but it is a good reason to put efforts in to reducing it.


My marine friends seem to be of the mind that the qualities that make a marine good at his job are also qualities that you wouldn't want to be in the people in your society. Having no combat experience myself, I can't attest to it either way.

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Re: Marine Corps opens combat school in Quantico, Va. to wom

Postby sourmìlk » Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:44 pm UTC

ShortChelsea wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:If 30% of women who walk on the streets after dark were raped, yeah, I would not find legislation regarding that entirely unreasonable. Mind you, I still think there's a difference between removing a person's right to walk on a street and not granting them the opportunity to be in the military.


Most women who are raped know their attacker. They're friends, relatives, SOs. We should keep women in little huts away from the rest of the population because the rest of the population is so rapey. That's all I'm getting from your argument.


You've misinterpreted my argument in the same way Ulc has. And I quote:

sourmilk wrote:it's not up to the government to force women to engage in safe behaviour


I totally agree that the government shouldn't start passing laws forbidding women from entering any situation in which they could encounter harm. That doesn't mean that the government should create situations in which women are likely to encounter harm.
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Re: Marine Corps opens combat school to women [Trigger warni

Postby ShortChelsea » Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:53 pm UTC

So the government shouldn't open up jobs to people who are qualified because there's an element of danger? That doesn't make sense.

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Re: Marine Corps opens combat school to women [Trigger warni

Postby sourmìlk » Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:54 pm UTC

ShortChelsea wrote:So the government shouldn't open up jobs to people who are qualified because there's an element of danger? That doesn't make sense.

If there is a substantial element of danger? Yeah. Now, unfortunately, the relative level of danger here is too low to justify that in this specific case, but were the increase in danger substantial (like the >25 percentage points I thought it probably was), then yeah.
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Re: Marine Corps opens combat school to women [Trigger warni

Postby ShortChelsea » Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:32 pm UTC

Women are being raped in the military right now. Do you suggest that all women who are currently in the military be kicked out or that no women should be allowed to join from now on? Or are you only suggesting that the marines change their mind about opening combat training to women? That won't change what you're concerned about, it will only make women who care about this angry.
My suggestion is to dishonorably discharge people who are convicted of rape from the military and to take rape allegations seriously.

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Re: Marine Corps opens combat school to women [Trigger warni

Postby sourmìlk » Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:33 pm UTC

Well obviously we should do that too. And as I said in the post literally just above that, I no longer think the situation in the military is such that women should be barred.
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Re: Marine Corps opens combat school in Quantico, Va. to wom

Postby Ulc » Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:26 pm UTC

kiklion wrote:My marine friends seem to be of the mind that the qualities that make a marine good at his job are also qualities that you wouldn't want to be in the people in your society. Having no combat experience myself, I can't attest to it either way.


Interesting. One of my good and close friends in the danish military has repeatedly stated that the kind of people with anti social qualities are the worst soldiers in the world. But then, he's also someone that is of the opinion that soldiers should be fighting to create peace, even if peace isn't possible right now - so it makes sense that he dislikes the kind of people that fight in wars to create more wars.

I totally agree that the government shouldn't start passing laws forbidding women from entering any situation in which they could encounter harm. That doesn't mean that the government should create situations in which women are likely to encounter harm.


We're not misreading you. You're getting through load and clear, and what you are saying is "The government should not allow women to enter combat roles due to the danger of being raped". Which is directly the same as the government choosing to deny positions to women to keep them safe, that the government should dictate, for their own safety, what a woman can do. There is NO difference between the two statements, and both of them are horrible when you stop to consider the implications for more than 10 seconds.

There is no misinterpretation here, there's just you perpetuating a horrible pierce of misogyny, namely that it's society's role to deny womens right for their own safety, and all the while you're trying to appear like the knight in shining armour. Seriously sourmilk, read what the fuck you're writing! And while you're at it, stopping moving goalposts across international borders might be a nice idea as well.
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Re: Marine Corps opens combat school in Quantico, Va. to wom

Postby Ghostbear » Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:13 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:I totally agree that the government shouldn't start passing laws forbidding women from entering any situation in which they could encounter harm. That doesn't mean that the government should create situations in which women are likely to encounter harm.

Beyond what Ulc has already covered, what of the various scenarios I listed in my earlier post?:
Ghostbear wrote:Even with that rate as a guideline, there's still many other complications, such as the specific situations of individual women. Someone signing up from an area with a greater crime rate will have a different base rate, as will different income levels, educations, and I think even ethnicities. Someone signing up that's in an abusive relationship could very well be better off no matter what the expected military rate is. We can't reasonably filter through all of those variables (not least of which because not many of them will be known to us!) during recruitment, but we can trust those women to make a decision for themselves if we give them the right information beforehand.

Should we tell all of the women for whom it is lowering their chances of harm "too bad, we already decided this was best for you"? Why should you get to tell women what is best for them? Refusing to trust women to make the right decision for themselves in the same way that we do trust men to make that decision is exactly the kind of attitude that helps foster this issue in the first place. Women are people; we should trust them to make their own decisions as much as we trust any person to do so, instead of coddling them with reduced rights for their own "good".

Also, I find the argument of not allowing certain people to join the military because they might suffer harm kind of ironic -- everyone joining the military is at a greater risk of suffering harm! Death, injuries, PTSD and other issues are all potential risks for letting someone join the military, and not hugely uncommon ones at that. Should we prevent anyone from doing joining the armed forces, because we're creating a situation that puts them at greater risk of harm? It's a silly notion, but you've been arguing in such a way that it would be a valid extension of such.

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Re: Marine Corps opens combat school in Quantico, Va. to wom

Postby sourmìlk » Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:58 pm UTC

Ulc wrote:We're not misreading you. You're getting through load and clear

Oh, then you're just making a slippery slope argument, i.e. that by not allowing women into the military (were it substantially more dangerous) then we must logically take all action to prevent women from making unsafe choices.
and what you are saying is "The government should not allow women to enter combat roles due to the danger of being raped". Which is directly the same as the government choosing to deny positions to women to keep them safe, that the government should dictate, for their own safety, what a woman can do. There is NO difference between the two statements, and both of them are horrible when you stop to consider the implications for more than 10 seconds.

The government deciding what women can do for their own safety comprises a much larger set of actions than the government refusing to create situations that are going to be unsafe. Thus the two are not equivalent. For example, passing a law telling women that they can't go outside a secluded women-only area is an element of the former set but not of the latter.

There is no misinterpretation here, there's just you perpetuating a horrible pierce of misogyny, namely that it's society's role to deny womens right for their own safety, and all the while you're trying to appear like the knight in shining armour. Seriously sourmilk, read what the fuck you're writing! And while you're at it, stopping moving goalposts across international borders might be a nice idea as well.

My argument has never been that we should deny women rights for their own safety: see above. Before you accuse me of misogyny and not "read[ing] what the fuck [I'm] writing", perhaps you should ensure that you understand my argument. Contrary to popular opinion, I tend not to hold egregiously immoral and bigoted views. If you think I am holding one, please consider it more probable (or at least equally possible) that you misunderstand me and not that I'm a maniac. I think you're reading in attitude from superficially similar arguments you've heard into what I'm saying, but I can't say for sure. And when have I moved goalposts?
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