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Poll
Question: Should females be allowed to fight in combat alongside men?
Yes, it's a women's rights issue   -20 (64.5%)
No, it's a distraction for men   -11 (35.5%)
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Total Voters: 31

Author Topic: Women in combat  (Read 2919 times)
Ebowed
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« on: April 11, 2005, 11:33:42 pm »
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Proponents say that it's an issue of women's rights and equality.  People against it say that it is a distraction for the men in combat.

Discuss.
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A18
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« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2005, 11:37:25 pm »
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They shouldn't be in the Armed Forces at all.
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« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2005, 11:43:04 pm »
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yes. plenty of communist guerilla insurgencies are 30-40% women and they have no problems. Hell, the Vietcong included women in combat, the US didn't, and the Vietcong still kicked the US's ass.
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« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2005, 12:09:11 am »
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Let women into the military and subject them to the exact same standards as men.  Kick them out if they can't cut it, same as men.  No reason to keep the women out who honestly can fight alongside the men perfectly well.

I favor equality of opportunity, not of numbers.
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« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2005, 12:13:14 am »
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what I find hilarious are the people who would likely say no are also the people who tell me that female communist guerillas are probably ruthless killers who'd like to beat the crap out of me and are not attractive since they aren't attracted to people who'd want to kill you. Isn't that hypocritical?
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AuH2O
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« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2005, 12:20:38 am »
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Guerillas are a lot different from regular troops.

Men have a biological tendency to protect women, which is bad in combat. Guerillas are usually hard up for troops and even they try to avoid actually using women significantly in primary actions.

It's also inefficient to some degree because of organizational and infastructure problems (i.e. different bathrooms, etc.).
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« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2005, 12:23:46 am »
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You can't keep men and women together (without it becoming a huge distraction), so keeping separate facilities for the very few freakish women who are actually at the same physical level as men is just impractical.
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« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2005, 12:29:43 am »
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Colombia's communist guerrillas take on feminine face
By Karl Penhaul, Globe Correspondent, 1/7/2001

 AN VICENTE DEL CAGUAN, Colombia - The pink nail polish was chipped on her
trigger finger. A Russian AK-47 assault rifle hung on her lean shoulder.

The sun glinted off her small gold earrings, and off the brass tips of the
7.62-caliber bullets stuffed into her ammunition pouch, as she squatted amid
the tall grass of this sprawling savannah and jungle region of southern
Colombia.

Twenty years old and a veteran of at least seven battles with Colombian
security forces, this Communist guerrilla fighter, Lorena Nastacuas, seemed
to give a new twist to the term ''femme fatale.''

Nastacuas is one of thousands of women warriors serving in the Revolutionary
Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, Latin America's largest guerrilla army.

''Everybody feels fear in a firefight; we're all human,'' Nastacuas said
solemnly before breaking into giggles as her pet parrot, Hamil, began
pecking at her necklace of bright plastic beads. ''But it's all a question
of destiny. We're here to triumph or die.''

When the FARC took up arms against the government in the mid-1960s, two of
the original group of 48 combatants were female. Rebel leaders now say that
30 percent to 40 percent of the combat force, which has grown to about
17,000 fighters, is made up of women.

The sharpest rise has come since mid-1997, when fewer than one-in-five FARC
guerrillas were women.

By comparison, only about 2 percent of the Colombian Army are women, and all
of them perform administrative tasks, not combat duties.

For a rebel commander, Joaquin Gomez, the head of the battle-hardened
Southern Bloc division, women have a key role to play in Colombia's 36-year
guerrilla war.

''A woman perceives injustice through every pore in her body; from the
moment she's born, she is discriminated against,'' he said, referring to the
machismo that is rife in Latin American society.

Colombian government statistics attest to stark inequalities between the
sexes. Pay levels are as much as 70 percent lower for women than men,
illiteracy rates are higher among females, and more than half the women
polled in a government survey said they had been beaten or abused by their
partner.

An economic slowdown during the last three years has further skewed the
picture.

Unemployment rates, now the highest in Latin America, are on average 40
percent higher among Colombian women than men. The situation is worse in the
countryside, creating potentially fertile ground for rebel recruitment.

''The economic crisis has meant that women cannot find a suitable place in
society and see greater possibilities in the armed struggle,'' said Olga
Marin, one of a team of guerrilla envoys that travels the world trying to
curry international support for the uprising.

Nastacuas, born to a peasant family, enlisted in the guerrillas four years
ago because she could not find a job and her father's plot of land in
southern Putumayo province did not provide enough food for her five brothers
and sisters.

She is stationed in a Switzerland-sized zone of southeastern Colombia that
President Andres Pastrana cleared of government troops in November 1998 to
create a forum for peace talks.

The pace of negotiations to end the conflict, which has claimed 35,000 lives
in the past 10 years, has been glacial. But the demilitarized zone has
provided a safe haven for the guerrillas, who have stepped up their training
and recruitment drive. Many of the new arrivals are women.

One of them is a 19-year-old, Andrea Saenz. She joined the guerrillas two
months ago in the cattle-ranching town of San Vicente del Caguan, at the
heart of the demilitarized zone.

''The first weeks of training were difficult; I got tremendous bruises from
the recoil of the rifle,'' she said as she sat in an abandoned farmhouse,
straightening her T-shirt, emblazoned with the logo ''No More Yankee
Soldiers.''

The Colombian military has accused the guerrillas of pressuring hundreds of
teenagers, many of them minors, into service. It also has accused the
guerrillas of fitting female fighters with contraceptive coils and forcing
them to perform sexual favors for their commanders.

But Saenz and Nastacuas rejected allegations of sexual exploitation and
insist they carry out the same duties as their male counterparts. Absolutely
no concessions are made for gender when it comes to hiking over rough
countryside with backpacks weighing up to 75 pounds, or frontline combat
duties.
Despite the influx of female fighters, the FARC's seven-person ruling
council is still an all-male domain.

But women are gradually working their way up the ranks, and many are now
mid-level field commanders, say rebel leaders.

Adriana Rondon, 27, the daughter of a peasant family from central Huila
province, commands a 20-member unit operating the rebel radio station inside
the demilitarized zone.

''There's a lot of machismo in Colombia, and as a woman you grow up
accepting what the man says and feeling inferior,'' Rondon said. ''But women
don't have to be submissive.''

She said she took up arms 15 years ago, when she was just 12, after troops
burst into her home and beat her father on suspicion of being a guerrilla
collaborator.

''I just wanted revenge, and I begged the guerrillas to let me go with
them,'' Rondon said.

That revenge came in August 1996, when she took part in a rebel raiding
party that stormed the Las Delicias army base in a remote corner of Putumayo
province. In the ensuing battle, 31 soldiers were killed, and 60 more were
captured - one of the guerrillas' biggest victories to that date.

At the height of the 14-hour battle, she said, her Israeli-made Galil
assault rifle jammed, and she had to advance under enemy fire to seize
another weapon from one of the dead soldiers.

Unlike many regular armies, the FARC does not frown on love in a time of
war. But male and female guerrillas are told not to begin a relationship
without first seeking permission from their superiors, who issue them
birth-control pills and condoms.

''The guerrilla movement says that women are free here,'' Rondon said. ''But
that means free to learn and act. That doesn't mean, though, that she's free
to have five or six partners. If we're carrying out the armed struggle,
things have to be well-ordered.''
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« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2005, 12:35:42 am »
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Yes, as long as they can meet the exact same physical standards as men and don't demand seperate accomadations.  I'd guess that relatively few women could meet the physical demands of combat soldiers, but I don't see any reason to keep those who can out.
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« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2005, 12:38:31 am »
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Yes, as long as they ... don't demand seperate accomadations.

Are they going to use the same bathrooms, etc.?
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« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2005, 12:59:08 am »
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Option 2. But not for the reason listed in option 2. I am not worried about them being a distraction in so much as I am worried about them not being able to cut the mustard.
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« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2005, 07:46:24 am »
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Yes, but if and only if they can meet the exact same training requirements that men have to go through - don't dull down the course just because they are women, if they are going to fight they better be able to show that they are just as able as the men.
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« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2005, 09:50:47 am »
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Yes - provided they meet the requirements.

Women's rights should take precedence over potential distractions.
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« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2005, 10:22:20 am »
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There is no right to put your country in danger by screwing over the Armed Forces.

Everyone saying "make them meet the same requirements" is just being stupid. You going to have separate facilities just for the tiny percentage of women who are just as capable as men? Or the women going to shower with the guys?
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« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2005, 10:26:20 am »
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Yes, because they provide a distraction for the men.

Okay, that was cheap.
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« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2005, 11:26:00 am »
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I'm loathe to call anything a "women's rights issue" but I do think they should be allowed to serve in the military in combat positions.    Though, if the interjections are separated from the rest of the answer, and you only look at the independent clause part, then the stuff that's written after NO is truer than the stuff that's written after YES.  But I'll assume that the interjections take precedence when answering, so I vote yes rather than no, since I feel that women can make fine servicemen, better even than some of the scrawny men I know, and that the spirit of the law is one of egalitarianism, if not the letter as well.
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« Reply #16 on: April 12, 2005, 11:28:21 am »
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Scrawny men should also be banned, of course.
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« Reply #17 on: April 12, 2005, 11:30:34 am »
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Scrawny men should also be banned, of course.
 
   Smiley

well, I'm no Arnold, but I wouldn't let a Commie or a Talibaan kick sand in my face!
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I only had 3 sandwiches instead of my normal 4.  The malt I had at lunch kind of upset my stomach a bit.
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« Reply #18 on: April 14, 2005, 06:21:44 am »
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I feel that women can make fine servicemen
Servicewomen. Smiley
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« Reply #19 on: April 14, 2005, 06:40:11 am »
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Yes, but if and only if they can meet the exact same training requirements that men have to go through - don't dull down the course just because they are women, if they are going to fight they better be able to show that they are just as able as the men.

I agree.
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« Reply #20 on: April 15, 2005, 02:47:26 pm »
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I voted yes, but I think women should have separate divisions as a compromise to #2 who would fight against the women of the opposing army.
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« Reply #21 on: April 15, 2005, 05:08:42 pm »
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what I find hilarious are the people who would likely say no are also the people who tell me that female communist guerillas are probably ruthless killers who'd like to beat the crap out of me and are not attractive since they aren't attracted to people who'd want to kill you. Isn't that hypocritical?

Not me. I voted yes.
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« Reply #22 on: April 15, 2005, 05:13:42 pm »
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I voted yes, but I think women should have separate divisions as a compromise to #2 who would fight against the women of the opposing army.

Are you completely oblivious to how war works ?  You don't set up a conference and discuss what troops will fight the others.
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« Reply #23 on: April 15, 2005, 08:44:00 pm »
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If you want to turn down perfectly capable women who want to serve, don't kvetch about how there aren't enough troops. If they want to defend us, why the heck not?
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« Reply #24 on: April 15, 2005, 08:45:41 pm »
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let me just put it very simply:

Vietcong = women fighters
US Army = no women fightrers (at th etime)

who won?
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