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May 23, 2004

Sexual Politics and Abu Ghraib

Cal Thomas insists on discussing the big moose in the Abu Ghraib scandal:

The one dirty little secret that no one appears interested in discussing as a factor in the behavior at Abu Ghraib is co-ed basic training and what it has done to upset order and discipline.
Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba observed in his report on the breakdown at Abu Ghraib prison that military police soldiers were weak in basic operational skills. Is that because 10 years ago, for political reasons, politicians and feminist activists within the ranks established co-ed basic training to promote the fiction that putting young women in close quarters with young men would somehow not trigger natural biological urges?
The fallacy of that thinking began to show up less than two years after the co-ed policy was implemented. Sex scandals were reported at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland and at basic training facilities around the country.
Former Sen. Nancy Kassebaum Baker headed an independent advisory committee in 1997 that studied co-ed basic training. The committee unanimously found that bundling men and women together in such situations "is resulting in less discipline, less unit cohesion and more distraction from training programs."
A year later, the House passed legislation to end co-ed basic training, but the Senate called for a congressional commission instead. Key findings of the 1999 commission escaped notice, but in 2002, an Army briefing concluded that gender-integrated basic training was "not efficient," and "effective" only in sociological terms. Should sociology be a concern of people who are supposed to know how to fight wars?

There's at least one other sexual politics issue here: are we perhaps reluctant to hold one of the few women in the general officer ranks accountable for what happened under her command? Interesting question.

- Cassandra

May 23, 2004 at 10:08 AM | Permalink


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I would offer some comment here but, as an American man, I've learned that my viewpoint is reactionary, patriarchal, intolerant and irrelevant where issues of gender or equality are concerned. Therefore I will save my remarks for the boys on the golf course.

Thanks for the popcorn.

Posted by: spd rdr at May 23, 2004 11:36:00 AM

Why mr. rdr:

Of course you can offer a comment...just so long as you understand that it will undoubtedly be wrong :)

Posted by: Cassandra at May 23, 2004 11:54:19 AM

Women should be kept barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen.

Actually the problem is that politicians never seem to research anything before they pass laws.
"It looks good on paper and the Wemyn like it so..I vote Aye"
Then when problems occur,as they will, congress passes the buck.
The simple fact is, that men are men and women are women. Feminists believe equality = sameness.
The truth is WE.ARE.NOT.THE.SAME.
Men are not like women and women (thank God) are not like men.
I see the results of the P.C. co-ed military everyday and while desired results have been achived, they are a small percentage and not enough to justify making the military wholey co-educational.
Men, being men, like having the women with them because they want to try to do what men have always tried to do to women since the dawn of time. P.C. congress seems to have ignored that simple basic fact.
Women on the other hand try to be accepted by the men and unfortunately seem to try to be more like men than like women.
The girls just want to be accepted as "one of the guys", and the guys just want to have sex with the girls.
Does anyone besides me see the potential problems that can (and has) result from this conflict of ideals?
The examples and attitudes above, while not a significant percentage of the military as a whole, are still significant enough to cause too many problems to justify sexual integration on the scale the feminist demand.
Why can`t congress leave well enough alone and just let us be what we are?

Posted by: joatmoaf at May 23, 2004 1:43:25 PM

This joatmoaf person is a prime example of why men are clearly unsuited to be in charge. They all think with their gonads, if you can call what comes out of their adorable little mouths "thought". [giggle]

He obviously has no understanding of the importance of blending gender roles in our modern world. What a Neandrathal.

Posted by: Gloria Steinham at May 23, 2004 3:12:36 PM

If I was allowed to comment I might say that I think the co-ed NAVY (as it applied to fighting ships) is the single stupidest thing that the United States has ever done. The idea of a UNIFIED fighting force is completely undercut by the crew being forceably separated by the dictates of biology. Of course I cannot comment without being pelted with large, oragami pantyhose spitballs, so I will save my remarks for beers with joatmoaf and jarhead dad.

Disclaimer: Nothing in this remark should be construed as denigrating or dismissive of the many many fine women serving proudly in our armed forces or their contribution to the nation's defense, which, quite candidly, America could not do without, as seemily half the men in this country have lost the will or the historical education to be (insert adjectives ans explicatives here)American "men."

I am proud of America's fighting women. But I think that....Oh sorry...I forgot. I'll save my screwball ideas for the Men's Club. Never mind.

Posted by: spd rdr at May 23, 2004 5:34:56 PM

Spd: I think you're preaching to the choir. I happen to agree with you. What kind of moron puts men and women together on a ship and sends them out to sea for God knows how many months?

Asking for trouble - and trouble is what they get.

Personally, I don't believe women belong in combat. I could kill someone (I think) if I had to to protect someone smaller or weaker than myself (like my children - which no longer applies since they are men now, but I'd still stop a bullet for either one. They'll always be my babies in my heart).

I don't think I could kill for abstract reasons. I believe women are wired differently * and that's a good thing * - it's what balances human nature. We need male aggressiveness, just as we need the female ability to cooperate and compromise. And it's great that we get married, because that helps us develop our other side as we learn from and grow with our spousal units.

I used to be a big supporter of expanding women's roles in the military, because I assumed all women would behave like I do and shared similar values. I assumed they'd more than pull their weight, out of pride if nothing else.

After listening to a group of female Naval officers at the Naval Postgrad School actually discussing becoming pregnant by a guy they weren't wed to, just so they didn't have to sacrifice motherhood for their career, I changed my mind. I also heard at least one theorize about how pregnancy (if well timed) could be used to influence career assignments.

I was shocked and appalled. The Unit has known one or two female Marines that he'd put up against any man, any day. They are tough, smart, professionals I'd be scared to mess with. But in the military, you're dealing with a broad spectrum of people and there are a lot of dirtballs out there. You don't make policy based on the best case scenario.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 23, 2004 7:52:42 PM

And you owe me an apology for your sexist remarks, mr rdr.:)

But being female and thus superior, I don't need one - I can take it.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 23, 2004 7:55:32 PM

I would give you recie you an apology, or an aggreement, but it would not mean anything. I y'am what I yam and that's all what I yam.
I leave it to you MALE VS. FEAMLE...am I wrong?

Posted by: spd rdr at May 23, 2004 8:45:47 PM

Oh My God!
I swear, She eats my vowels.

Posted by: spd rdr at May 23, 2004 8:48:36 PM

Thank God Cass isn't making spd apologize for a sexist remark (although I reread his post and can't find it). There is entirely too much apologizing going on these days, not to mention the fact that there are some days when that is all we would get done.

Posted by: Pile On® at May 23, 2004 9:11:27 PM


I have censored my own response since I'm not even sure what you just said.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 23, 2004 9:17:17 PM

Ok - now you have provoked me, and frankly I'm surprised you can't find it Mr. On.

The sexist part is the assumption that only joatmoaf or jarhead dad are capable of understanding/appreciating spd's comment.

It is perilous in the extreme (not to mention insulting) to assume you know how the female of the species will react, based solely upon the fact that she is female.

We do have minds - we can generally reason our way through an issue just as well as the next person.

And no, I'm not at all angry - I'm just 2 1/2 sheets to the wind and therefore not trying to be tactful. A horribly un-female trait, and one that will no doubt get me into lots of trouble.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 23, 2004 9:21:47 PM

Sexist? I wasn't included in the little beerfest either. And who can drink more beer and be a bigger pig than me? Ya don't see me getting all bent out of shape do you? No. I am sure it was just a minor oversight that you and KJ, Purple Raider, Masked Menace and I were not included.

Posted by: Pile On® at May 23, 2004 10:17:01 PM


Posted by: joatmoaf at May 23, 2004 10:20:10 PM

Mr. On:

First of all, I'm not bent out of shape. I'm mildly buzzed, which is another thing entirely. I said I wasn't angry to preclude any misunderstandings. I merely pointed out a flaw in mr. rdr's reasoning.

I am aware that a certain counselor is yanking my chain, big time :) Therefore he should expect to get yanked back - fair is fair. Being that he is a manly man, I know he can take it. And if he's serious, then he deserves whatever he gets, n'est pas?

As always, being female and therefore superior, my reasoning is flawless.

As to your list of those not invited to spd's beerfest ...I have a little song for you:

One of these things is not like the others
Which one is it? Do you know?
Can you tell me which thing
Is not like the others?
And I'll tell you if it is so...

Posted by: Cassandra at May 23, 2004 10:28:48 PM

I dunno, I am a bit different than anyone I know...I would have included Cat Cricket and MathMom, but I don't think they drink beer....hhmmmm.....Hey, look at that shiny thing.

Posted by: Pile On® at May 23, 2004 10:35:42 PM

Wow! It's really shiny!
Uh...where were we..?
Oh yeah, sorry for the fuss.

Posted by: spd rdr at May 23, 2004 10:44:45 PM

I think Phil Jackson may be the Anti-Christ...

Seriously, that guy is evil-looking.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 23, 2004 10:51:43 PM

Pile On:

You are already in trouble. Fortunately I will have forgotten all about this in the morning. Or maybe even tonite.

That's why I don't win fights - I'm too easy-going.

Phil Jackson is definitely the Anti-Christ.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 23, 2004 10:53:42 PM

I agree wholeheartedly with wimmin not being in the military. Especially since everything has been dumbed down so the older guys have to do more to take up the slack. I saw the PT requirements and was appalled.

So, Cass...you went up to the NPGS? Monterey is way cool.

Back to the discussion at hand, women are nurterers and sorry, but I see men in the role of protectors and providers, and in that aspect only, do I see women as 'equal.'
Does that make sense to anyone?

I hope I am making sense. The Captain's Quarters also has a DELICIOUS caption contest with Senator Horse Face...too too funny.

I take my Le Mon d'Ade neat.

Posted by: La Femme Crickita at May 24, 2004 12:41:06 AM

Ohh...Cricket. You poor dupe. You've obviously been brainwashed by those patriarchal oppressing sons-a-... well, nevermind.

Yes, we were at Monterey a while back - it was a nice tour. I love Northern California anyway - we go back a lot to visit and have a good friend in SF. Plus my oldest and his bride went to school in San Jose.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 24, 2004 8:24:03 AM