Should We End Sex Segregation in War and Sports?

Any discussion of women's "place in society" surely ought to touch on the two places in society where women remain distinctly unequal.

The last few weeks we've heard a lot about women—their reproductive rights, their economic circumstances, whether Ann Romney ever worked a day in her life, whether Augusta National should drop its men-only policy, whether Republicans are waging war on anyone with two X chromosomes, etc.

Any discussion of women's place in society—the phrase reeks of sexism; we would never speak of "men's place in society"—surely ought to touch on the two places in society where women remain distinctly unequal: (a) war and (b) war's peaceful analogue, competitive sports.

In February the Pentagon eased some restrictions keeping women out of combat — or, more accurately, out of certain combat-related job specialties; women in the services already get put in harm's way. (More than 1,000 have been killed or injured in Iraq, for instance.) But women remain barred from ground combat units.

There are two arguments for the policy, and neither is terribly persuasive. The first says women are not up to the job. That might be true of the statistically average woman. But then it might also be true of the statistically average man. Anyway, statistical averages do not perform tasks; individuals do. And some individual women may be physically capable of the rigors of combat. If they are capable, then they should be allowed to serve. We would not say a gifted 9-year-old cannot study calculus simply because the average 9-year-old can't.

The other argument says male soldiers might be overprotective of females. So what? We train soldiers to overcome even more basic instincts—such as running from danger.

Both of these arguments rest on the premise that women should not be placed in combat because it would cost lives. But the U.S. rarely fights wars of survival. Usually it commences hostilities for the sake of a principle, such as defending democracy or thwarting communism. If the U.S. is willing to sacrifice lives for the sake of those aims, then it seems odd to balk at sacrificing the occasional life for the sake of another aim, women's equality.

It seems even harder to justify segregating the sexes in sports—where nothing remotely as important as human life is at stake. If a woman can compete in (say) the NBA, then surely she should be allowed to. Three years ago, NBA commissioner David Stern said it was a "good possibility" that a woman would play for the NBA within a decade. There has been talk of Baylor's Brittney Griner declaring for the NBA draft (though sports aficionados say she isn't NBA material). Ann Meyers signed a contract with the Pacers in 1980 but didn't make the final cut.

And there are plenty of sports besides hoops. Danica Patrick competes with men in auto racing. Nine years ago Annika Sorenstam acquitted herself well at the PGA's Bank of America Colonial, though she missed the cut in the second round. Many sports that require as much finesse as raw power — bowling, diving, archery, fencing and so on—would do well to let men and women go head to head. (The Swedish Bowling Federation is doing just that.)

But letting women compete in men's sports raises a complication. We can't very well say women should be allowed to participate in men's leagues but men should not be allowed to participate in women's. And if all the women's leagues are thrown open to men, then it's likely some of them soon would cease to be women's leagues at all—because men who narrowly missed the cut for men's teams would switch to the women's leagues and muscle most of the women aside.

One isn't supposed to say this, at least not publicly, but many people will readily admit it in private: Elite male athletes tend to outperform elite female athletes. (Just compare world records if you doubt.) So desegregating the leagues, or combining them, would lead to disproportionate representation of men.

Is this a problem? Disproportionate racial representation in sports doesn't seem to be. Example: The 10 fastest records for the 100-meter dash are held by 14 men (because of ties). There is not a single white, Asian or Hispanic among them. Yet no one has suggested segregating the short-distance races to account for this, and nobody in his right mind would dream of doing so.

The notion of proportional representation is a question of fairness, and sports have little to do with fairness in that sense. It is not fair that no woman could possibly go toe-to-toe with boxers like Evander Holyfield or Sugar Ray Leonard. But then, it is not fair that almost no man could possibly do so, either. Neither is it fair that no woman—and almost no man—could possibly outrun Carmelita Jeter, or beat Steffi Graf on the tennis court. Sports is about equal opportunities, not equal results.

But there is another issue. Ending sex segregation in sports could deprive many girls of sports idols, thereby discouraging them from playing. Women's sports may serve a different — a larger — social role than men's sports, just as women's universities, of which there are many, are thought to serve an important purpose different from that served by men's universities, which are almost extinct. That possibility invites us to ask why we have sports in the first place.

Big question. While you're chewing on it, keep in mind something Duke University president Richard Broadhead said in a rather different context, when he identified "the primal insult of the world we are trying to leave behind" as "the implication that persons can be known through a group identity that associates them with inferior powers." When is that implication justified—if ever?

A. Barton Hinkle is a columnist at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, where this column originally appeared. 

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  • sarcasmic||

    Usually it commences hostilities for the sake of a principle, such as defending democracy or thwarting communism.

    Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

    That's a good one!

    Whew. I needed that.

  • Formerly Almanian||

    Raptorman: At least he died for a good cause.

    Animal Mother: What cause is that?

    Raptorman: Uh....freedom?

    Animal Mother: Smarten up, New Guy. Freedom's just a word. If I'm gonna die for a word, my word is "poontang".

  • ENDelt260||

    ROFL Raptorman? Really?

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    I would be for ending the segregation of the sexes in both sports and war IF I thought that both sexes would be held to the same performance standards. I understand that physical standards can be skewed to exclude women on bogus grounds, but women who can't keep up are a hazard in war and ridiculous in sports. Work out some reasonable standards, don't accept anything that compromises the ability to do the job, and let the chips fall where they may.

    And get ear protection. The screeching from the Old Line Feminists would be epic.

  • WTF||

    When segregation is to women's advantage, we get segregation, when segregation is not to women's advantage, it is considered wrong.

  • TELLMOFF||

    Women can't be competitive in bowling or chess. They only thrive in subjective areas such as class rooms and court rooms.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Bullsh*t. My experience has been that SOME women can be competitive in areas nominally considered non-subjective. But because the Old School Feminists are more about payback than fairness, they aren't given the opportunity to prove it much.

  • Drake||

    1. No way does our leadership have the guts to kick out the 99% of the women who aren't strong enough for Infantry service. Most of them can't carry their combat gear into the barracks in one trip.

    2. I never once met an enlisted women in the Marines or Army who wanted to be in the Infantry. When I was in a non-combat unit in the Marines, the WM's were more than happy to sit in the office while the men went to the field or did a forced-march. This is nothing more than a ticket-punch for female officers.

    3. Combat units are where the manly men go - telling them not to protect women in a classroom in Camp Pendleton doesn't mean it won't happen on the battlefield. It will. Do women really want men trained to stop protecting them? Why?

    4. Men in combat units are returning home with PTSD after seeing their male friends killed. How much worse will it be when they see women die in agony?

    5. The military has buried what a disaster women have been on deployments. Prostitution, pregnancies, fraternization, dereliction of duty - I saw it all in '91.

  • dehaul||

    After reading this ... sometimes the most optimal behavior just simply isn't fair. It seems like when less optimal means death it should rule over fairness... ?

    I have heard stories like this... one guy was telling me how he had to move a woman's 100lb tool box around for her while she was working on trucks in the military because she couldn't move it herself.

  • KDN||

    sometimes the most optimal behavior just simply isn't fair.

    That's pretty much all that needs to be said. It's stupid how we keep trying to force otherwise, though. The NYFD has dumbed down their entrance exam roughly a thousand times over the last 40 years so that it resembles the following:

    1) Are you a NY state resident? (10 points)
    2) Are you a military veteran? (10 points)
    3) Basic arithmetic questions (10 points)
    4) fitting a hose to a fire hydrant (10 points)
    5) Personality profiling: fireman / team x did y. How strongly do you agree with the action taken in this situation or which of these actions would you have taken? (50 points)
    6) Memorize a landscape (10 points)

    They've done this in order to boost woman and minority enrollment, but still get their test thrown out every two years due to disparate impact claims. At this point they're probably better off putting together a legitimate test for white men while accepting any woman, black, or Hispanic candidate with less than 25% body fat.

  • TELLMOFF||

    Women are only equal when there are men around for help.

  • Pain||

    I'll echo this. Even woman who are at the height of their physical maximum are still at the very low end of the male maximum. Jobs like the infantry, and even vehicle MOSs like tankers, require a great deal of strength and endurance. When I was in the infantry the times our unit interacted with other "coed" army units was always eye opening. It was not uncommon to see women have their gear being moved around by men in their units because they were physically unable too.

    And the social realities of the sexes relationship trump army doctrine almost all the time. I can think of one example in particular. My unit was loading up on some trucks after an exercise. The trucks were from a unit that had a mix of men and women. While waiting to go on the back of the truck one of the guys in my unit went to take a piss and ended walking past a one of the female drivers taking a squat between two of the trucks. He apologized and then walked away. A few minutes later a number of the male drivers are accusing him of doing it on purpose. A heated argument ensues and only ends when the drivers finally realize their about to have a entire platoon get off the back of their truck and kick their asses.

    Having that kind of nonsense happen in the rear is bothersome but to take that kind of BS into combat is completely unacceptable.

  • Robert||

    Heh..."nonsense happen in the rear"...heh.

  • hk||

    You could platoons of super strong women. I think that would mitigate a lot of the troubles here.

    Also all our lives are equal imo, war is a tragedy overall.

  • hk||

    *You could have

    The military shouldn't mourn one soldier's life over the other either. Unless this is a highly decorated person, but even then, meh.

  • Pain||

    If such a thing existed as "Super Strong" women, in appreciable numbers, I would have no trouble with that. But if their performance is off by any percentage from the lowest male unit's the problem will just become a macro version of the same problem. The women's unit will not be used for anything that is considered of high importance and will be relegated to guarding ammo dumps. Or worse politics will intervene (despite certain depictions the military is ate up with it) and the women's unit will be used for something it is not cut out for and people, in the unit or others, will be needlessly killed.

  • hk||

    Hmm We're talking about a Libertarian state, so I don't really worry about the politics.

    People here need to relax, if a woman is strong enough to pass the test, why would I worry about her performance being even slightly off?

    And no, there wouldn't be that many female infantry troops, this is true.

  • ||

    ... And then you're right back where you started with segregated units and people bitching about equality. Funny how sometimes the "enlightened" solution to a problem is exactly the same as the original problem.

  • hk||

    It isn't the same because at least women can go to the battlefield, even if it is in a segregated context.

  • hk||

    And the reason they are segregated, is moreso to prevent romance and such.

  • Brandybuck||

    Good arguments for getting rid of war!

  • Live Free or Die||

    1)I served in the Army and knew several women that wanted to be in the infantry. A few women in my unit in AIT outperformed most of the males in PT tests (maxing the male PT standards).

    2) I don't know any woman who couldn't carry her gear in one trip if she had to after basic.

    3. I met plenty of lazy men and women in the Army. Women who would voluntarily join the Infantry would probably not be the lazy sort.

    4. Maybe I'm a cold-hearted bastard and just don't understand but why would seeing a woman die be worse? Death sucks whether it's a man or a woman.

    5. Women who engaged in prostitution are not reflective of all women and the men that agreed to it are just as guilty. Dereliction of duty is gender-neutral. Fraternization is a problem but not the end of life as we know it.

    Women can be amazing soldiers. The ones I knew hated being treated different from the men and worked harder than the men to prove themselves. I served as a medic and served with women who were motivated, hard-working, and very tough. I doubt all women are like that, just as not all men in the military are equal. The women drawn to the Infantry are not going to be the prissy types. The women weren't the disaster- it was the climate of low-expectations and double standards that caused the problems in the first Gulf War.

  • Drake||

    I disagree with your opinions, but that's fine. But, the units with women in the Gulf War were a disaster.

    My first-hand experience with includes - a SSgt. in a key slot purposely getting pregnant to avoid deployment. And having to radio up the chain of command that our scouts were watching two Marines (a man and woman) from 1st Division HQ fuck each other while they were supposed to be guarding our perimeter in a combat zone.

    The women in our unit who deployed were all sent to Riyadh and came back with horror stories of the shit that went on.

  • k2000k||

    I had this conversation with my girlfriend last night. She kept saying that women shouldn't be held to the same physical standards as men as soldeirs since their bodies were biologically different, and that women were just as capable of men. I kept saying that such a statement was stupid and contradictory. I cannot fathom how a level of fitness that would people consider a man to be a liability is somehow acceptable for a women in the same position.

  • wareagle||

    your girlfriend's thinking is why a growing number of folks see the military as a social petrie dish rather than a fighting force. The job of soldier or Marine does not differentiate between genders.

    What is really jaw-dropping is that your girlfriend uttered THE most malicious truth of all - men and women are different - but followed it with a nuclear lack of self-awareness. If women were just as capable, there would not be two sets of standards.

  • ant1sthenes||

    your girlfriend's thinking is why a growing number of men think the 19th amendment was a terrible idea.

  • Zeb||

    -1. Really?

  • Ramjet||

    Sorry, but your girlfriend is an idiot, at least regarding this.

  • Andy Dufrane||

    A family member was a Navy fighter pilot. In training, he said that standards were lowered to allow for more women to pass the program. Why don't women shave their heads in ARMY basic training? They want equality of results, not equality of opportunity.

  • dehaul||

    I think if women want to be in the military they should let them. I am not sure about the men wanting to protect the women more element - I would worry more about pregnancy on the battlefield.

    I really do think private groups, such as sports league should continue to be segregated by gender. I actually got into an debate with my lesbian sister about this after the controversy about Augusta was in the news... I said so should I (straight male) be allowed to go to your lesbian group then?

    Of course she wouldn't like this, so I won the debate.

  • Bam!||

    "I think if women want to be in the military they should let them. "

    So the goal of the military isn't to maintain a fighting force, but to fulfill wishes?

  • ||

    Cuz that's totally what he said right?

  • Bam!||

    Yes, it is. Whether someone wants to be in the military is irrelevant to whether the military should accept them.

  • wareagle||

    that is exactly what he said. "If women want to be in the military, they should let them." So, if I want a six-figure federal job that requires no real work and provides a cushy pension, should they let me have that, too?

  • dehaul||

    Sorry, not what I meant. Women should have the opportunity to be in the infantry but if they cannot perform the same specifications they should fail.

  • wareagle||

    fair enough...unfortunately, the writer is not making a case for equal standards for the same job. He has fallen into the military-as-petrie-dish argument. Who knows; maybe he's having writer's block and this was the best he could do.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Yes, it exists to fulfill the wish of Congressholes to bring defense pork to their districts.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    A Democratic State should have a place in its military for anyone who wants to serve, within very broad limits. While I agree that the "two standards" model is bad, it is an outgrowth of pigheaded males setting unrealistically high standards to keep women out, and getting caught at it.

    Yes, a very athletic woman from our culture is equal to a median level male. But we equip and fight alongside peoples with much lower levels of bulk, muscle mass, and fitness, and they aren't considered a drag.

    Example; one of the commonest objections to women was that they didn't have the upper body strength to throw an offensive grenade to a safe distance. And it sounded like a solid objection. But a friend of mine who was IN the military clued me in; "It doesn't matter. There is a word for people who throw a fragmentation grenade without getting behind solid cover, and that word is 'casualties'".

  • T||

    Not so much. Here's the objection: women can't keep up physically. Every thing else is window dressing. Good bad or indifferent, what we considered necessary as a baseline in an airborne armor unit is not doable by most women, even most of the ones in the military. Are the standards unrealistically high? Maybe, but as we used to say "better to sweat in training than bleed in combat".

  • ||

    Yes, clearly the reason why the military has rigorous physical fitness requirements is to keep women out. It's got nothing to do with readiness to perform a very physical job.

    Your example really cinches it though. Just because a woman can't throw a frag grenade far enough doesn't mean she should be excluded. After all, frag grenades are always thrown in isolation, and inadequate proficiency in this area only affects the individual doing the throwing. Friendly fire mode is off, right?

  • Drake||

    There are infantry units performing patrols in Afghanistan right now that resemble to marches we did up "Mount Motherfucker" at Camp Pendelton. One of those high standard things that keep women out.

    p.s. The South Vietnamese, Iraqi, and Afghan Armies were / are all big fucking drags.

  • dehaul||

    Let me clarify: I think women should be in the military as long as they can perform to the same specifications as men. They should have the opportunity to fail. That is what I think is fair.

  • Amakudari||

    I really do think private groups, such as sports league should continue to be segregated by gender. I actually got into an debate with my lesbian sister about this after the controversy about Augusta was in the news... I said so should I (straight male) be allowed to go to your lesbian group then?

    I think 9th graders should be allowed to play varsity sports, but 12th graders should not be allowed to play junior varsity. Men's sports aren't really designed to showcase the best men but rather the best talent, while women's sports are designed to let women compete by adjusting for the lower physical capabilities of women.

    The difference is that some of the best women want to compete with men because it's a higher level of competition. If they can make the cut, I have no problem with that, especially in non-contact sports.

    Golf clubs are of course free to discriminate -- they could revive the silly all-black caddie policy too -- but I don't really see a point to saying "we allow the best male golfers" rather than "we allow the best golfers."

  • hk||

    It is called the private sector. People do whatever they want.

    In the public sector we can have this debate, but it is easily fixed imo. Just have different standards for people who want to be in the infantry, but if you want some other type of job in the army there is a different litmus test.

  • dehaul||

    Agreed - but I think it is the sport league/club's right to discriminate if they like.

  • Amakudari||

    I said they're free to discriminate. I'm just saying it's stupid if (and only if) a woman is capable of playing at the same level as a man without disturbing its physicality (like wrestling). That case is all but nonexistent for most sports at their highest levels, of course.

  • Robert||

    Even wrestling goes wrong by having weight classes. They should have strength classes.

  • Robert||

    There may be social reasons to segregate by sex, but for the sake of the sports they'd be better off segregating by ability class.

  • hk||

    In sports no one here should have any say. It is a private decision that has nothing or little to do with the government.

  • Major Johnson||

    I have no issue with women in roles as firefighters, police or soldiers. I do have an issue with lowering the standards in order to get women into those roles.

    We see what that's done for education. In order to increase the diversity they've lowered the standards. Now a college degree is barely as valuable as a high school degree was 40 years ago and a current high school degree doesn't even mean you can actually read.

    As far as sports, what business is that of government to begin with? Maybe it's a consideration in public educational facilities since they seem to be more about sports than education anyway, but in private sports teams who cares? Blacks didn't become baseball players because government forced it, they became baseball players because sports franchise owners saw potential to be more racist teams. And blacks recognized that they had to be better than whites in order to succeed and gain acceptance so they achieved that, unlike today when you can become POTUS despite your lack of accomplishment and solely because you're black. A bad black first is the worst thing blacks can do for their futures, but why bother being the best when you're 'entitled' anyway?

  • Mo||

    Actually, admissions standards are lower for men. Athletics is used as a sort of "affirmative action" for men.

  • hk||

    Athletics makes money, it has nothing to do with admissions standards.

  • Zeb||

    It does if you accept students for their athletic ability.

  • hk||

    They don't intend to accept minorities, but they tend to be better in certain sports.

  • dehaul||

    I saw this in college... I have a computer science degree. A woman in my class could not pass Calculus 2 - which was required for the degree. She tried three times... so they gave her some kind of independent study that counted for Calculus 2 and she now has the same degree as I do.

  • TELLMOFF||

    Calculus is about as useful to computer science as first aid.

  • dehaul||

    I've actually used it in my job... and it isn't the point. The standards should be the same.

  • Zeb||

    Every degree should require at least one year of calculus.

  • Broseph of Invention||

    I've seen the same thing. I'm a chemical engineer, and the dumbest students in the class were the women. Most refused to work in dirty factories as process engineers, and instead either tried to get into med school or worked at desk jobs for consulting firms. There are good reasons for unequal pay for women within occupations.

    But guess who had the biggest scholarships?

  • hk||

    Most women are pretty smart, I don't think your analogy is that good.

    People are getting emotional because women are not as strong as men, I don't question their intellect.

    I have a problem with affirmative action though, and title IX.

  • Broseph of Invention||

    People are getting emotional because there are different standards in a field, whether by inherent physical traits or institutional encouragement. They're held to different standards because of the mistaken belief that ability is independent from other factors.

  • hk||

    Women get paid less because they take care of children and care more about having a family.

    Their IQ and GPA on average are on par with men, your example was incomplete.

  • Broseph of Invention||

    Sure they're as smart, but not necessarily the ones that go into the engineering sciences. My point wasn't that women are dumb, but that women who wouldn't ordinarily choose a profession did so because they were encouraged by scholarships and a false belief that the only thing holding them back is the patriarchy. The problem is the same; people encouraging women to do something because the numbers should work out.

  • hk||

    The median strength of males and females are not even close. So the analogy was not savvy, imo.

    You're also leaving out a pretty important detail, men are ice cold and much less likely to pay for the marginal cost of raising a child.

  • Amakudari||

    GPA's not really as relevant, but what I'll point out is that while the median IQ for men and women is the same, the variance is not. The sciences required above-average intelligence (they do), broadly you could expect to see more men than women.

  • Amakudari||

    *If the sciences

  • hk||

    Yes I have heard this before, men are higher and LOWER on the bell curve.

    Very interesting, I would guess women pick safe careers (again look at their lifestyle) whereas men have a wider variety of careers.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Actually, Baseball started integrated and would have stayed that way if it weren't for Kenesaw Mountain Landis and the power granted to him by the Government via the MLB's legal monopoly.

  • ||

  • robc||

    The segregration occurred before Landis. But he did prevent it from coming back earlier.

  • robc||

    1888 looks like the last year blacks played in MLB (Frank Grant and Fleet Walker).

    In 1911, the Reds signed Cubans Armando Marsans and Rafeal Almeida. They were "light skinned" but had been playing negro ball before the Reds signed them. The Reds passed them off as white hispanic somehow.

  • anon||

    Pretty much all any sane person would say.

    Now, the exception would be prostitutes. Hookers should be allowed in any position to increase everyone's happiness.

  • Major Johnson||

    That should be 'beat more racist teams', not be. Where's an edit button when you need one?

  • NotSure||

    It depends who the author means by "we". If he means "we" implies people voting for a law that forces a boxing association to have men box women, then I say no. If he means "we" are the owners of the boxers association saying they want women to fight men, then I say yes, it is their choice to make, not mine.

    Personally I don't want to see women fight men in boxing, or have to watch women trying to compete in the 100m sprints against men, but if they want to they should.

  • mybarber||

    After watching 2 mins of a W.N.BA. game It's obvious how large the talent gap is.As far as the military.There are many things women can and should be allowed to do.Being a ranger or a S.E.A.L isn't one of them

  • TELLMOFF||

    Women make good nurses and prostitutes.

  • ||

    The other argument says male soldiers might be overprotective of females.

    Right. I would have never, like fought to the death for one of my male comrade in arms. I especially wouldn't have died for Greenfield. Not after I had to fucking drag his fucking dense, corn-fed, Nebraska fuck ass out of the bed of my pick up and into the barracks. Fuck, that would make me gay.

  • Drake||

    Israel got most women out of combat roles after men suffered far higher casualties in mixed units.

  • ||

    ReallY?

  • R C Dean||

    Got a link for that?

  • Drake||

  • R C Dean||

    Interesting.

    What may be even more interesting is this finding:

    However, there remains a tiny minority of women estimated at 0.1% of recruits and 1% of
    trained soldiers who could probably achieve the required standards and perform the job effectively
    without sustaining higher rates of injury.

  • Drake||

    Yep - saw the biggest toughest Woman Marine in our unit try a spider-drop in the urban warfare course after all the men did it without a problem. I heard her leg snap from 30 yards away.

  • Randian||

    "who could probably"

    That sure isn't a high enough standard for me to change the way we do business, especially because we do business relatively effectively.

  • hk||

    We do "that" business effectively?

    I'm not really sure. I think you could have an all female-troop (if they could pass the same kinds of tests).

    At the same time people choose to sacrifice their bodies for their friends, that is their problem as well.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Do any of the professional leagues even have segregation?

    The article makes it clear that women are allowed to play for the NBA, and as far as I know there is nothing stopping a woman from playing in the NFL besides the fear of being broken in half by freakishly athletic 23 year old men hitting you at a full sprint.

  • Mo||

    Not that I know of. There have been female kickers in college football and female goalies in minor league hockey.

  • Rasilio||

    There have also been women who played Minor league baseball although in the case of baseball I believe there are actually rules against females playing in the majors.

  • Zeb||

    A female friend of mine played on my high school football team. She was built for it.

  • Fat Man & Little Boy||

    Brittney Griner would do just fine in the NBA.

  • Mo||

    No she wouldn't. She'd be lucky to be the 12th man.

  • AuH2O||

    Uh, no she wouldn't. She'd go from the Kareem of the women's game to an undersized power forwards, and as such would have to totally change her game. She would no longer be an inside defensive presence the way she is for the women, and her game would need a lot more upfakes and herky jerky type moves to get around bigger defenders.

    Kevin Garnett would also destroy her- mentally, physically, and emotionally.

  • hotsy totsy||

    Be interesting to see her try to block Blake Griffin when he's going for a slam dunk. Or take an elbow from Javale McGee, which knocked Kevin Love senseless last week.

  • KDN||

    If that were true she would enter the NBA draft and prove it. But no, she wouldn't; there's no room in the NBA for a 6'8, 210 lb center. She'd be annihilated in the post.

  • KDN||

    As a point of reference, my boss when I worked for the intramural dept in college was a two-time all-Conference point guard. She played in the men's league and was merely an above average player, certainly not anything special.

  • Loki||

    6'8", 210 is pretty typical size for an NBA wing, so if she could change her game to be a wing player (SF or SG IOW) then maybe she'd have a chance.

    It's doubtful that anyone could change their game enough overnight to go from playing in the post to a wing though. It's totally different skillsets. Plus as AuH2O pointed out, it's one thing to dominate when you're the biggest player on the court, it's another thing entirely when you're (at bet) just average height/ weight.

  • Lyle||

    Nonsense.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    No way--even the scrubs would destroy her. She might be pretty athletic, but she wouldn't have the endurance or strength to go toe-to-toe with men night after night for a whole season.

    She'd be the Eddie Gaedel of the NBA if someone signed her--put her in for 2 minutes, let the lesbians and beta-male goons ooh and ahh and think women are the same as men, and that would be it.

    The press creams their pants because she dunks. At 6'8", she better be able to dunk, because if a man that size couldn't do it, he wouldn't even make the high school team.

    Spud Webb > Brittany Griner

  • Mo||

    The best chance a female player has to make an NBA roster is as a three-point specialist. There are plenty of those in the league with tons of other holes in their game. She's have to shoot an absurd 3FG% to do it and would have to be ok at D, but a specialist role is probably the best shot.

  • hk||

    Steve Nash doesn't strike me as the most athletic person.

    There are women with amazing track speed, and if they could keep their weight up (and not worry about defense maybe), maybe then she has a shot.

  • hotsy totsy||

    STEVE NASH doesn't strike you as the most athletic person? Have you actually watched an NBA game with Steve Nash in it? Like, last night?

  • hotsy totsy||

    Honest to Christ, hk, please look up the word "athletic" in the damn dictionary. It doesn't mean "biggest" or "fastest" or "scowles the best". And there's no woman basketball player in the world as athletic as Steve Nash. Jesus.

  • ||

    fwiw, most sport scientists think if there is one metric that best predicts athletic success across a broad variety of sports, it is explosiveness (iow speed-strength as correlated with bw). after that, proprioreceptive ability and reaction time.

  • hk||

    Ballhandling is not athletic ability. I respect Nash though.

    Athletic markers in the NBA are FTA, Rebounds, Blocks, and Steals. All the advanced studies allude to this, and Steve Nash does not seem to dominate in these areas at all.

    The point is I could easily imagine a situation where a woman is more athletic than Steve Nash. This would be an outlier, but one I could envision.

    Steve Nash has one of the highest FT% in the history of the NBA, his killer jumpshot isn't just "great", it is historic. This is covering up for his other deficiencies.

  • hk||

    The situation would be an extreme outlier, it still seems unlikely. But having watched earl boykins play I think that's the only way a woman can make the league. She can't worry about playing defense.

  • hotsy totsy||

    Steve Nash just today had 13 assists against the Denver Nuggets, and passed Oscar Robertson for fifth place NBA all time number of assists with 9,897. He's behind Magic Johnson, Mark Jackson, Jason Kidd, and John Stockton.

    Not bad for a guy who "lacks numbers"

  • hk||

    Because he has a historically strong skillset, and is an offense-oriented player.

    None of my previous points are incorrect. In fact many players in the NBA (Shannon Brown for example) are more athletic than Steve Nash.

    Nash is better because of his skills, and almost unprecedented jumpshot.

  • AZ||

    Steve Nash doesn't strike you as the most athletic person because when you see him, he's sharing the court with 9 people on the top end of a group of the top one-millionth of basketball players in the USA.

    (assuming 360 NBA players, and 8-12th men are usually not sharing court with Nash, starters are)

  • hk||

    There are many many inferior players who are much more athletic than Steve Nash. He's in his late-30's and he looks much slower than Olympic female athletes.

    My point is clearly that speed, ball handling, and passing are extremely important in that NBA. Not just size.

  • hk||

    Earl Boykins completely solidifies my point too. He is not considered a hall of famer but he's a legitimate veteran.

  • Aresen||

    Steve Nash?

    Well, if you are going to let Canadians in, you might as well abandon any standards whatsoever.

  • SKR||

    Well, if they are held to the same standard, we won't be seeing many women in combat roles. http://www.heretical.com/miscella/frcombat.html

  • Drake||

    Great link - and it understates the case. Once you get to Marine Infantry school, nobody cares about the fitness test crap like jogging. It is all about being able to carry a lot of gear (like 80+ lbs) a long way (20 to 40 miles a day), fast like 3 miles an hour - then dig, run, fight, etc...

  • SKR||

    Yeah, those navy numbers really illustrate that point, i think. My buddy who posted this link to FB a couple of days ago definitely has an opinion with regards to women and heavy gear loads. But then he was a Ranger in Somalia so...

    Also, it sounds like female fighter pilots and SERE training don't go together too well, from the stories I've heard.

  • ||

    It is all about being able to carry a lot of gear (like 80+ lbs) a long way (20 to 40 miles a day), fast like 3 miles an hour - then dig, run, fight, etc...

    For me, that was the songle hardest physical thing I had to do as an 0311 - the humps with full gear. From what I remember, though, most humps are a lot faster, like 4 to 4.5mph. At least that's the pace they told us we were keeping, and it sure felt like it.

  • Pain||

    Yeah when I was in the standard was a 15 minute mile with ruck. Of course if you were in the rear you are probably going quite a bit faster with the way most marches worked.

  • ||

    Of course if you were in the rear you are probably going quite a bit faster with the way most marches worked.

    Yep, the "accordian effect" - I remember it well! I fell out of my very first hump in boot camp, but I was able to hang in every one thereafter. My feet always looked like hamburger afterward, though.

  • Drake||

    I'm 45 now and have to go to a Podiatrist once a year to laser out my old calluses that never healed right.

  • Ramjet||

    When was Lucy in the army?

  • ||

    Duke University president Richard Broadhead

    Brodhead. And quoting him on anything is a huge mistake, IMO. He's an administrator (cf. bureaucrat), not some deep thinker (his work in English notwithstanding) and someone who managed to display moral cowardice both at Yale & Duke.

  • ||

    The military age norms the physical fitness tests so why not sex norm them?

    If them didn't age norm the tests there wouldn't very many senior NCOs left.

  • SKR||

    How many senior NCOs that can't run from here to there are there in active combat roles?

  • ||

    Because they age norm the tests. The tests are worthless.

  • SKR||

    That doesn't make any sense at all.

    Regardless I know NCOs that are over 40 that run circles around the young guys.

  • k2000k||

    Many aged NCOs end up taking positions as drill sergeants, roles in which they will not be sent into combat, but are to use their knoweldge and expertise to train the next generation of soldiers.

  • Drake||

    They do "sex norm" fitness tests - driving home the fact that women are weaker.

  • ||

    So are old NCOs.

  • Drake||

    Look at the charts - the old males minimum fitness is still way over the female max. A lot of old NCO's I've know are out by the time they are 40 because their knees are shot - one reason I'm a civilian these days.

    Serving in a combat unit is for young men. Only a few older guys are resilient enough to keep up in the field.

  • Virginian||

    Except a 20 year E8 makes up for less raw strength and stamina with a shitload of knowledge and experience. He might not run as fast, but he's going to be a hell of a lot better with his weapons. Not to mention the vital function of leadership. A female recruit is like a male recruit in her knowledge and skills, but is completely outclassed on the physical side of things.

    There's a shitload of things women can do in the military. The vast complex of admin and intel work that needs to be done. The growing number of drones that need to be operated via satellite. But anything that puts them out in the mud on the sharp end is a very bad idea, for a whole shitload of reasons.

  • Drake||

    E8's are in HQ units, generally not leading long-range recons.

  • Randian||

    As noted, we have different physical standards for men and women in the military. For example: in my age group, the minimum standard push-up number for men (42) is maxing the test for females.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    If difference between women in sports and women in the military is that when two sports teams compete, the winners don't attempt to rape the losers.

  • Drake||

    The loser's country doesn't cease to exist.

  • hotsy totsy||

    Otherwise, Charlotte NC would be razed to the ground.

  • Sams||

    Just imagine the Headline :

    ''Female US Marines captured by Taliban insurgents endured rape - Why didn't the Top Brass deviate all available means to stop it''.

  • hk||

    The difference is it is her body she wants to risk.

    I don't accept this argument at all, you don't get to decide what supremely athletic women can do.

  • daveInAustin||

    This is a good solution to the whole Title IX debacle. Declare all the "mens" sports to be co-ed sports.

  • hk||

    The solution is to privatize the whole scholastic system.

    Then let the chips fall wherever.

  • Tim||

    I'm glad there were no women on the Bataan Death March, or the retreat from the Chosin Reservoir, or in the Hanoi Hilton.

  • hk||

    That's not what people are saying. Fit women that are probably stronger than you, should be able to fight imo.

    If Libertarians were president we wouldn't invade other countries either, just defend the USA.

  • ||

    If there was a woman who could be competitive in a major professional sport they would already be doing so. It would be a goldmine.

  • o3||

    danica patrick

  • Randian||

    She isn't competitive.

    And, by the way, did you ever admit how terribly wrong you were about Prop 19 yesterday? You got PWN'D pretty fast.

  • ||

    Actually I thought of Patrick and my objection is that car driving doesn't count. She is competitive enough for my standards here. I think a woman golfer tried to compete in a men's tournament as well. That's probably the sport where it is most likely to happen.

    There are some Olympic sports where it seems to me that gender should be irrelevant such as archery or shooting (tool based sports, kinda like car racing). And of course there are sports where being female is an advantage like diving or gymnastics.

  • anon||

    Actually I thought of Patrick and my objection is that car driving doesn't count.

    Not to bring out the redneck in me, but you go out there and try to drive 200 mph for 2 1/2 hours without hitting anything, then tell me it doesn't require a specific skillset.

  • Randian||

    But not necessarily a skillset that requires the same kind of physicality.

    And, yeah, don't bring the redneck out, because seriously, it's NASCAR and no one cares.

  • R C Dean||

    Race car driving is definitely an athletic activity at least on par with many other sports.

    Reflexes, fine motor control, endurance, toughness - its all there.

  • Mo||

    All of that is also true of ballet.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    By that standard, my marathon games of Grand Theft Auto count as athletic activity.

  • ||

    I'm not saying its not a sport, I'm saying its not a major professional sport. That's why I referenced the Olympic sports and tool based sports. The advantages a man has over a woman in racing is somewhere between golf and archery/shooting. Still far below team sports. Pure physical sports like track or swimming is where the advantage is highest.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    I'm saying it's not a sport.

  • hotsy totsy||

    Skillset is not the same as athleticism. How about making pole dancing a sport? THAT requires a skillset.

  • anon||

    They do have stripper competitions.

  • KDN||

    I love to bring this up when women claim to be better drivers as a group. They have an innate advantage as a group, being lighter than men, but the amount of women racecar drivers is next to nothing. Some of it is surely culture (I doubt very many daughters want to get into midget), but driving (and video gaming) is a physical skill and the median and maximum for men is at a higher level than women.

  • Amakudari||

    There's a difference between safer and faster. Reckless driving, DUIs, speeding, etc. are all considered dickish for a reason.

  • KDN||

    speeding

    Largely because of how unrealistically low speed limits are, not speeding is considered dickish.

    And DUI really should be revisited. There's many ways too disincentivize that behavior without being so punitive; I really hate the idea that I can operate my vehicle safely and legally but get my license revoked over an arbitrary distinction.

  • ||

    lol. never fails

    one thing is clear. people THINK they can operate their vehicle safely at a given bac, but when actually tested in controlled conditions, performance suffers.

    been shown over and over and over again in skid pad etc. tests.

    i agree that where the level is - IS arbitrary in a sense, for any individual, but so are age of consent laws.

    there are advantages to such bright line rules. better than making it purely subjective, especially in the case of statutory rape

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    but when actually tested in controlled conditions, performance suffers.

    Suffers compared to what? Their baseline? Are there people who can blow a .08 and drive at least as well as some others who are .00?

  • ||

    of course there are

    but the arbitrary standard is the only standard that can work - logically

    the alternative would be ludicrous. it would create a situation where one would not even know if one was violating the law, and could not know.

    situations like that are far far far worse, and allow way too much govt. power and subjective discretion

    it's not that there are not problems with a (somewhat) arbitrary line, it's that the alternatives are a worse choice

    to go back to your question, again...

    danica patrick could probably drive better at a .08 than the vast majority of people at a .00

    however, how do we set these standards prior to the act?

    think about it.

    instead of just kneejerking, propose a solution that would be better than the arbitrary standards we have.

    imo, every alternative i have seen is far worse.

    this is of course with the implicit understanding that there is no 'right' to drive a motor vehicle at a given bac.

    it is such a substantially dangerous activity (statistically, by far the most dangerous activity most people engage in) AND one that affects others. as a libertarian, if you want to put yourself in danger, more power to you. but this affects others. innocents.

    furthermore, i think the empirical evidence is overwhelming that setting a limit AND enforcing it saves immense amounts of lives and injuries.

    the stats are compelling

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    but the arbitrary standard is the only standard that can work - logically

    So if someone blows a .06, you always let them go, right? I mean, they're under the bright line so they must be OK to drive, right? If you let an obviously impaired driver with a .06 go, then I will accept your bright line rule, otherwise you need to let an obviously capable driver with a .08 go.

    it would create a situation where one would not even know if one was violating the law, and could not know.

    Are you suggesting that people could reasonably know their BAC? Or, further, that even if they knew their BAC in the parking lot, they know their BAC at every point on the drive home? Depending on my drinking pattern and the length of my drive home, I could be under .08 when I got in my car and over it when I got pulled over, right?

    instead of just kneejerking, propose a solution that would be better than the arbitrary standards we have.

    Pull people over for impaired driving. Don't pull people over to see if they have "too much" alcohol in their system. If the goal is to reduce impaired driving, focus on the impaired driving.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    That last paragraph should have "reckless" everywhere it has "impaired." Dammit.

  • terriblearious||

    the stats are compelling

    I agree, it has been ovewrwhelmingly proven that BAC is nearly useless when measuring impairment.

    I know that's not what you meant, but it's what the stats show compellingly.

    And before this goes any further, this was my favorite subject to work on when I was at the Substance Use Research Group.

    If you're going to cite studies, do so honestly and intelligently please.

  • Zeb||

    I'd bet that being over 80 years old, or having young kids in the car, negatively affects one's driving at least as much as having .08% BAC.

  • terriblearious||

    one thing is clear. people THINK they can operate their vehicle safely at a given bac, but when actually tested in controlled conditions, performance suffers.

    This is at best, a half truth. Studies have shown repeatedly that one gains expertise at driving under the influence, i.e., you get much better at it, to the point where impairment is often not noticeable (see the dizzy rat experiment).

    The idea that BAC is a measure of impairment has been disproven so many times, and so effectively, that I'm surprised anyone still regurgitates it.

  • Amakudari||

    Largely because of how unrealistically low speed limits are, not speeding is considered dickish.

    While true, when you see some asshat going 120 on the highway, do you assume it's a man or a woman?

    As for DUI, again, whatever the BAC is, men are overrepresented.

    I think there's a big difference in attitudes toward risk. That can pay off in auto racing, but it's not as great for commuting.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    While true, when you see some asshat going 120 on the highway, do you assume it's a man or a woman?

    Back when I had my bike, every single person who was doing 120 when I passed was a man.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    I think a woman golfer tried to compete in a men's tournament as well. That's probably the sport where it is most likely to happen.

    You're thinking of Annika Sorenstam--and she finished 96th out of 111.

  • RBS||

    Didn't Michelle Wie attempt a few men's tourney's and suck pretty spectacularly?

  • Loki||

    Didn't Michelle Wie attempt a few men's women's tourney's and suck pretty spectacularly?

  • RBS||

    Is that what it was? Basically she kept bragging about competing with the men while sucking on the LPGA? All I really remember is Steve Czaban mercilessly mocking her.

  • BakedPenguin||

    She hasn't been doing well on the women's tour recently.

  • Ska||

    She's cute and Asian though, so watching her suck isn't all bad.

  • ||

    But with the ups and downs in golf I imagine the best women golfers could make the cut at times.

  • Amakudari||

    Yes.

    The only valid argument I've ever heard is that even if they can make the cut on a good day, they could never win. Most men who make the cut, however, could.

    It still rings hollow to me, but it is true.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Possibly--La Wik said that it was her putting that day that killed Sorenstam, not her driving ability, even though she was way below the average men's drive.

    What's notable about Sorenstam's choke job is that she was far and away the best female golfer on the tour at the time--no one else was even close. The press was hoping for some Billie Jean King-style comeuppance of BIGOT MALES UGH and their narrative was completely destroyed.

  • Truculent Resistor||

    Not irrelavant in olympic level shooting either. http://www.olympic.org/shooting

  • ||

    danica patrick

    I tihnk we're talking about athletic endeavors here.

  • ||

    It ain't running and jumping, but you have to be athletic to drive race cars. It is physically demanding: Heat, vibration and concentration along with reflexes.

  • Loki||

    Heat, vibration and ...

    No wonder she got into racing. Kind of makes you wonder why there aren't more female race drivers.

  • Randian||

    It cannot be the same kind of athleticism, otherwise there would be more black NASCAR drivers.

  • hk||

    Gymnastics buddy.

  • ||

    I would pay good money to see a large, tough female running back slammed by Ray Lewis.

  • Another David||

    The comparison between racial divisions in sports and gender divisions breaks down for me because even if they aren't going to set world records in sprinting or go to the Football Hall of Fame as running backs, athletic white, Hispanic or Asian people can still be competitive in other sports - hockey, baseball, even basketball has substantial racial diversity. Integrating pro sports with respect to gender would effectively make every top-level sports league a male league (to the extent that the modern WNBA and LPGA count as "top leagues," of course), locking out women from the entirety of pro athletics instead of just particular leagues.

  • Aresen||

    *shrug*

    If they can do the same job, why not? But in power and speed sports, the outliers at the top of the range are male, due to simple biology, so a separate class for women is appropriate.

    In skill sports, such as javelin catching, let women compete equally.

  • Loki||

    Javelin catching? Is that a real thing?

  • Aresen||

    Old, old Polack joke.

  • Randian||

    The first says women are not up to the job. That might be true of the statistically average woman. But then it might also be true of the statistically average man. Anyway, statistical averages do not perform tasks; individuals do. And some individual women may be physically capable of the rigors of combat.

    Why implement duplicative processes for the rare exception? In other words, there is a cost-benefit analysis at play: for the few women you get who are physically equal to her male counterparts, you have to provide a different set of services (i.e. latrines and sleeping facilities, primarily). That's why averages matter when you're trying to set up a process that is efficient for your average soldier.

    This article is terrible, from top to bottom.

  • Another David||

    Average soldier != average person.

  • Randian||

    What does this even mean?

  • ||

    Have you ever even seen the average person?

  • hk||

    It means some women are tough and some people here are acting like emotional weenies.

    Let athletic women enter, the article is written just fine. Women outliers easily qualify.

  • robc||

    After the LPBA folded, a few women competed on the PBA circuit. One of them did okay.

  • robc||

    And that one won the Tournament of Champions.

  • ||

    Elite male athletes tend to outperform elite female athletes.

    Tend to? I think it's more than a tendency. Hold a game between the best WNBA team and the worst NBA team. I submit that it would a blowout, if not a shutout.

  • robc||

    It wouldnt be a shutout. The Bobcats dont have enough D.

  • Randian||

    I didn't know it had gotten so bad:

    Bobcats on Track to be Worst Team Ever.

  • Amakudari||

    Being a fan of Charlotte sports has its ups and downs. Mostly downs. Almost all.

  • anon||

    I might agree about the NBA, but I think Baylor women could beat a significant number of male college teams.

  • Lyle||

    Highly doubtful.

  • ||

    College athletes aren't elite. They are better than almost everybody but not elite. I disagree as well depending on your definition of significant. Of course we'll never know because what men's team would play that game on the off chance of losing and with the real chance of being vilified if they put a beat down on them.

  • robc||

    I doubt it.

    I have a running argument with a friend who is a women's basketball fan over whether a top boys HS team could beat a top womens college team.

    Specifically, Oak Hill Academy vs UConn. But Baylor vs whoever is #1 this year would work too.

    The boys win by double digits.

  • anon||

    Come on.

    Did you see Duke play this season?

    Cause I sure didn't.

  • wareagle||

    give me a break. Duke has several kids bigger, faster, and better than the Baylor gal, and that does not even factor in the rest of the squad. And my kid's college fund was spent in Chapel Hill. The game would not even be competitive.

  • KDN||

    The boys would annihilate them. Your garden variety varsity player from any urban school is on par with an elite women's player. I've seen it up close a umpteen times.

  • robc||

    Agreed. And everyone the scenario has been presented to has said the same thing. I think the guy I was originally arguing it with as come to accept it.

    The problem is, too many set shots from the women. The chick at Delaware is the only women's player Ive seen that really plays the game "like a man". Her jump shot looks like a jump shot, etc, etc. And she would be slow and get dominated by guys her same size.

  • Dan||

    That's because she used to be a man.

  • k2000k||

    I don't think they would. If only because they wouldn't play at full physicality. It isn't like these young men are not aware of the hellstore that would be heaped upon them if the bruised on those girls boobies.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    That would really be the key--if the men treated the women like they treated other guys.

    Look at those chicks that fought guys in the Army Combatives tournament--they're given a 10 pound weight advantage over their male opponents, and they still get smoked as long as the guy doesn't clown around or hesitate to lock the girl down right away.

  • Amakudari||

    The Lady Bears would give up about 50 pounds (a guess here; women's rosters don't include weight) and 4 inches at every position.

    Brittney Griner is their tallest player at 6'8" and I'm assuming their heaviest at 208 pounds. Oak Hill's center is 7' and weighs 275 pounds. Baylor's point guard, Odyssey Sims, is 5'9" and weighs 155 pounds, and would be up against 6'4" guards weighing 190 pounds. It's very difficult for a men's team to make a game competitive when they're giving up size like that, especially when those taller, bigger guys are faster.

  • Nick M||

    What is a "significant" number? And what are "college teams?" If the college teams we are talking about extend down to NCAA division 3, NAIA and crappy junior colleges then there are probably some that would lose a head-to-head match up. D-I football programs lose to the occasional I-AA team every season too. I don't think Baylor's women could hang at all with any D-I team though. And over a full season of playing with the boys, Baylor's women's team would have a terrible overall record.

  • anon||

    Well, I think sports are already segregated appropriately. Of course women (generally) won't be able to play competitively in the NFL or NBA; too much upper-body strength required that can only be achieved by a relatively small percentage of females. Most other sports also require exceptional hand/eye coordination and 3d situational awareness that females on average are less likely to possess; which lends itself to less females being able to compete with their male counterparts at top-tier play.

    That said, the best female athletes can still whoop my ass at just about any sport.

    Other sports, like billiards, already have great top-tier female competition

  • Dan||

    That and steroid use by women is just way more obvious.

    You're kidding yourself if you don't think every single sport is riddled with PED users. And the NFL really? Sorry but human beings simply don't develop like that no matter how much you work out.

  • wareagle||

    it's not just the physical development. It is the combination of speed retained with all that size.

  • hk||

    I don't agree, in a country of 300 million there will be some genetic freaks.

  • ||

    true this. usada is hella strict for olympians (the NAN program), but in general, the NFL, etc. (which doesn't have NAN testing) is full of guys juiced to the gills

    as it should be imnsho

  • T||

    You know who wants women in combat arms? Female officers. The vast (99%)majority of enlisted women could give a shit. But if you want one of the top slots in the org, you have to have command of a combat unit. Period. I don't know about the other services, but in the Army the big three (Infantry, Armor, Artillery) and their bastard drunken brother (SF) run the show. Everybody else is an also ran, no matter how essential they might be. If you don't have command of one of those kinds of units on your resume, you will stall out career-wise.

  • Pain||

    This is a good point. If you haven't been in charge of a combat arms unit in the military you will have a very real glass ceiling (male or female) and may not even have a job after a certain rank.

    Honestly I don't see a good way around this for women as I would generally agree with that policy, as unofficial as it is.

  • ||

    There's a third reason for supporting this policy:

    In the end, you realize you giving a bunch of teenage women rifles, and telling them to go into hellish combat with a bunch of teenage guys with rifles.

    Movies like Saving Private Ryan do not capture the actual age and maturity level of the people engaging in these brutal activities, and it's not entirely unreasonable for someone to be a bit squeemish about the possibilities that could occur when teenage women are thrown into the mix.

  • anon||

    Add to this the fact that the women will eventually get on the same cycle.

    A new hell awaits those poor young men.

  • Dan||

    That is a fair point. The movies do severely distort things. The movies don't depict the squad of kids that just graduated high school, most of which shaved for the first time in boot camp.

    It's sort of like high school themed movies where there isn't a single person in the movie that looks less than thirty.

  • Loki||

    One of my dad's "bootcamp stories" from his Navy days is about how on the first morning of basic, the DI throws a garbage can down the middle aisle at 4:00am, screaming obsenities. One of the other recruits sat up and said "mom?"

    The ensuing scream-fest was something out of Full Metal Jacket. Also kind of makes you wonder what kind of mother that kid had.

  • Lyle||

    We should protest the Olympic Games in London this summer and demand that women be allowed to compete against the Usain Bolt and the other men in the 100m dash.

    Women are just as fast as men in 2012... lets show the world what women can do... higher,faster, stronger!!!

  • Randian||

    This is not a bad point. Are we actually doing women a favor by segregating physical sports so the competition is fair?

  • ant1sthenes||

    It's important to remind women how physically inferior they are. Humility is a virtue.

  • Loki||

    Then they'll just demand a 2 second head start for every 100m of race length. And they'd probably bitch and moan until they get it. Just don't you dare ever insunuate that women are athletically inferior!

  • Incredulous||

    "it seems odd to balk at sacrificing the occasional life for the sake of another aim, women's equality."

    How insane. Men and women ARE NOT equal. Period.

    "Elite male athletes tend to outperform elite female athletes."

    A true statement except I would leave out "tend to" or change it to "almost always."

    Why limit this observation to sports?

    Elite male mathematicians outperform elite female mathematicians.

    To elaborate on my first point, men and women are different or unequal both physically and cognitively. Any sane person who has not been living in a cave can tell you this. By and large, women are more interested in fashion, arts and cosmetics than sports, science, math or politics. This difference in interest appears to correlate with a difference in aptitude. Men are far more violent than women while women are far more likely to suffer from certain psychiatric conditions. I could go on and on. That's reality. There are exceptions but they are only that - exceptions. But it's become taboo to admit this basic reality. Harvard even fired its President for noting this reality (and he's become persona non grata at other "schools of higher learning"). We create a whole lot of unfairness by trying to deny this basic reality.

    Equal opportunity should be the goal - not equal outcomes or equal participation.

    As for the military, potential pregnancy alone has proven to be a HUGE problem.

  • ||

    imo, the evidence is pretty compelling that there is a great standard deviation in intelligence between women and men (note larry summers got crucified for even mentioning that there was CONTROVERSY in this area-iow it was a possibility)

    thus you will see more men at the extremes of iq ON BOTH SIDES. men are far more common in stratospheric IQ'S just like they are at very low ones - iow a flattened curve

    i also think the evidence is compelling that men (again, this is about on average, but on average matters) are better with math/spatial perception

    of course your other point holds true with gender, race, ethnicity, etc.

    the only way to have equality of condition/representation is to have INequality of opportunity

  • Incredulous||

    Great points. The Summers debacle revealed the intellectual bankruptcy of our "elite" universities. Honest and open discourse has become extinct due to political correctness. I refuse to donate money to my alma mater (UC Davis) since they caved into women's pressure groups and canceled a Summers speech there. Truth, free speech and free thought are apparently no longer welcome there.

    As you point out, the only way to have equality of outcomes/representation among different genders and races is to have inequality of opportunity - in other words, sexism and racism. I believe that is fundamentally immoral.

  • hk||

    Sorry but this is bullshit for academics.

    Everyday I watch financial analysts on television that are smarter than 99% of the D-bags on here. Men are at the extremes of intelligence maybe, but women's IQ adjusted for those that quit school because of children, is just fine.

    Sports is an entirely different thing.

  • Incredulous||

    IQ only measures potential intelligence. In reality, women, on average, are significantly less intelligent than men in matters of finance, politics, science and mathematics. This translates into a lower percentage of women employed in jobs utilizing these disciplines.

    Have you ever tried to have an intelligent conversation with women in these matters? I've tried - believe me I've tried.

    I don't know whether it's due to a lack of aptitude or interest. But does it really matter?

    Remember, I'm talking about averages - some women are quite brilliant and some men are complete morons.

  • hk||

    Your completely unscientific study is very underwhelming.

    The median IQ of men and women is about 100, in fact there are probably more total smart women than smart men.

    Men tend to be hit or miss, women pick safer careers for some reason......

    ....

  • Zeb||

    Men and men are not equal either. No one is, except for morally and in the eyes of the law (ideally, anyway).

  • ||

    I was looking around after reading this article, and found this link about myths about women in the military. Some, though not all of it, is sourced. You can decide for yourself what to make of it.

  • Formerly Almanian||

    Hasn't anyone noticed that separate standards are a way of life in the rest of the world? Professional golf has the PGA and the LPGA - different strokes for different folks. Basketball has the NBA and the WNBA - neither sex is expected to play the other's game. The Olympics has men's events and women's events - so what's the big deal about the military creating different sets of standards for age, sex, and as qualifiers for particular jobs?

    Ah, of course. Perfect analogy. Because there was Men's World War I and Women's World War I, and Men's Korean War and Women's Korean War...

    The other arguments were much better. This one's just silly. Stupid, really.

  • R C Dean||

    what's the big deal about the military creating different sets of standards for age, sex, and as qualifiers for particular jobs?

    Umm, because doing it that way gets people killed?

  • ||

    agree. both police and fire dept's have done the same thing in many cases, which is an obscene double standard imo

    i recall fire dept's actually using LIGHTER DUMMY'S for women in their dummy drag tests for applicants

    i don't give a flying fuck about the gender of a firefighter. but if they can't dummy drag the same weight as men, they should not be a firefighter.

    because of their strength deficit, they have to train much harder than men to meet the same standard.

    life aint fair in a cosmic sense.

    i've worked with a few women firefighters and tons of cops. they should have the same standards, as long as those standards are related to job requirements (strength and explosiveness tests should absolutely be required for cops, firefighters, and military)...

    my friend, who is a female MMA fighter, JUST failed the swat pt test, but i have complete confidence she CAN pass it given adequate training

  • ||

    the standards should be based on what is needed/optimal for performing a job. thus, gender differences should not apply.

    that also should be true in police and fire tests, although some police and fire agencies have lower standards based on gender and age.

    which is abhorrent imo

  • Broseph of Invention||

    I think that's right. I don't mind having different standards when general fitness is the goal, as opposed to actual work-related skills, though even general fitness standards can be skewed to ensure an even representation. I guess the solution is to focus tests as close to actual practice as you can which, as we've seen, is pretty much illegal/disparate impact.

  • ||

    yes. fortunately, fire dept's have generally moved back to tests that are the same regardless of gender, with police depts ime doing so, but to a lesser extent

    the reality is that , since women are weaker and slower than men on average, that they have to work harder on average to meet those standards

    but that's life. it's not cosmically fair, as sowell points out

    clearly, it would not be rational or imo constitutional for an accounting position to have such a test.

    but cops, firefighters absolutely have a strength and endurance component to their job that is directly related to effectiveness

    also, according the FBI LEJ, cops who are more physically capable are less likely to use excessive force, incur civil liability, incur sick leave, etc.

  • Formerly Almanian||

    Agreed

  • Formerly Almanian||

    I look forward to the women's Caber Toss and Farmer's Walk at the next highland games I attend.

  • ||

    i am saying this as somebody who has been a strength athlete for over a decade, and who is friends with and trained with (for years) the strongest woman
    (lb for lb and/or by sinclair) in the country - melanie roach, and who also has trained extensively with lea foreman/hendrix, ashley perkovich (imo ashley has a great chance at the 2016 olympics), etc.

    women are substantially weaker than men.

    given that, the elite CAN get strong as fuck. i have seen melanie, at 115 lb bodyweight, squat well over 350 lbs ass to the ground, no wraps or belt, high bar style, clean and jerk well over double bodyweight (the first american woman to do so) etc.

    i have seen lea, blow minds at our local chrome n tone, while at about 150 lbs bodyweight, do EASY sets in the deadlift of 3 reps at 405 lbs (that's 4 plates per side at the chrome n tone),etc.

    but they are outliers, and elite men can still do way more

    the very best men (in the lowest weight classes) have done triple bodyweight in the clean and jerk (mutlu for example)

    women are about 70% as strong lb for lb as men are in the posterior chain prime mover muscles , and about 60 and MAYBE 65% in the shoulder girdle musculature

    that's a substantial deficit.

    i am pretty confident melanie was not on PED's since she was on the NAN program.

    it's not politically correct, but women are way way weaker and slower than men. that's why we discriminate on account of gender. because they could never compete with men.

  • ||

    marion jones' best 100 meters time (setting aside that she was juiced to the gills, because likely most elite 100 meter runners are) wouldn't even make the top college sprint squads for men. she'd be WAY behind them.

    about the only sports where women can arguably compete with men are cold water swimming (women are more efficient swimmers than men... note more EFFICIENT, NOT BETTER) and considering that, and their bodyfat etc. they have generally done very well on channel swims without wetsuits ... and also ultra distance stuff. they might be as good in that, but the jury is out

  • hk||

    There is still too much debate on here for something that should be left up to private individuals.

    Interesting analysis though, I accept it for public sector workers only.

  • Robert||

    The solution is to have class competition rather than sex categories. In basketball or whatever, have class A, class B, class C, etc. based on players' abilities. Girls could never be muscled out of the game by boys that way, just pushed down to lower classes of competition.

  • Sams||

    ''If the U.S. is willing to sacrifice lives for the sake of those aims, then it seems odd to balk at sacrificing the occasional life for the sake of another aim, women's equality.''

    Great sophistry there man.

    War is not philosophy major coffee talk, it is brutal and we have yet to see any irregular army have forces of women, because war is though has hell.

    If women can't stand a remake of the Saigon Embassy siege or Dien Bien Phu siege, they aren't up for war.

    The day we get power-armor then we might consider the question again.

  • Tony Stark||

    The day we get power-armor then we might consider the question again.

    For the last time, the Iron Man suit is my private property. YOU CAN'T HAVE IT!!!!

  • Dan||

    I'm all for it as long as they can meet the requirements.

    Which means no more seperate lower standards for women. No window dressing women that are the result of affirmative action rather than actually qualifying.

  • hotsy totsy||

    "Elite male athletes tend to outperform elite female athletes"

    Hell, mediocre male athletes tend to outperform elite female athletes. And I thought women were all about cooperation and the warlike menfolk were all about competition.

  • Sams||

    "But the U.S. rarely fights wars of survival"

    That is surprisingly stupid to say, since every single soldier is told to assume that stuff can go south pretty quick.

    Do the author think that the Marines in Somalia where told that they would be under siege by 1000 militias and have RPGs fired on them for hours without any hope of rescue ?

  • RBS||

    So basically, you can't tell the difference between the reasons we go to war and the shit that happens during a war?

  • ant1sthenes||

    He meant survival of the U.S., I think. Truly all-out defensive wars, rather than aggressive or retaliatory wars or peacekeeping missions.

  • R C Dean||

    I think you've got it backwards, Sam.

    In a true war of national survival, everyone fights, and the problems created by women on the front lines are secondary to those created by losing the war.

    Absent a war of national survival, there's no reason to lower standards to meet some quota. The problems created by lowering standards should not be secondary to meeting the quota.

  • Sams||

    Applies to ant1sthenes & RBS :

    No matter the cause of the war (Peace-keeping, aggressive, defensive), every combat mission is a survival scenario for the troops involved.

    Why in the fuck do you think that soldiers are trained to the edge of their capacity if they never going to be put in a "survival scenario".

    A bad rotor can ruin your day or an ambush can ruin your day, and even though the rest of America is doing fine, you are in a survival scenario.

  • ant1sthenes||

    "A bad rotor can ruin your day or an ambush can ruin your day, and even though the rest of America is doing fine, you are in a survival scenario."

    Sure. Your life is on the line -- not because it has to be, but because a politician somewhere wants to make a buck, make a point, or make a name for himself. Making you rely on women in combat is just another case of putting your ass in deep shit for the political benefit of some asshole in Washington.

    I'm not saying it's not a stupid argument, only that it seems to be the one the writer was making.

  • Sams||

    Ok then, you mean that He said that ''Women are to be allowed in Combat because all of these dangerous Combat situation are the result of DC Vampires''. I got it.

    However even if you adopt Ron Paul foreign policy today, nothing prevents an angry mob of storming you Embassy like they did in Egypt with the Israeli Embassy ... it wasn't exactly a safe day for the Israeli soldiers who had to be exfiltrated from the building. Or are you willing to bar women from Embassy assignements ?

  • wareagle||

    dude, take a break from your job on the Obama straw man campaign team. Of all the silly arguments made in this article, you are attacking the one that was NOT made. The US has not found itself in a fight for national survival; there has been no "every man, woman, and child" scenario since the Revolution and, even then, war was pretty much male dominated.

    Most folks here think that pretending men and women are the same is stupid. That women CAN do some jobs is not up for debate; the assertion that the job itself is immaterial IS being debated and the writer is getting his ass kicked.

    An embassy being stormed does not equal the shores of the US being stormed. And embassies are typically protected by male Marines, not female bureaucrats. A survival scenario and a war of survival are not the same things.

  • ||

    it really has to be said:

    WOLVERINES!!!!

  • ||

    I think the real point he was making is that it's immaterial to the troops on the ground whether they were sent to war to protect the world against expansionist Nazis, or sent to an African shithole to serve police duty, or sent to the sand box ostensibly to "steal oil" or whatever the conspiracy theory du jour is - the reality on the ground for the soldiers is that they are fighting for their survival, and so it makes sense to train them and treat them as such. In other words, losing your life because of double standards in terms of physical fitness isn't any more or less pleasant whether you've been called up on to repel an invasion at America's shores or whether you just got ambushed delivering bags of rice to malnourished children in a 3rd world country.

  • Zeb||

    "every combat mission is a survival scenario for the troops involved."

    I don't think anyone has claimed otherwise. They're talking about the survival of the nation, not individual soldiers. Of course soldiers face deadly danger in combat situations.

  • ||

    it's interesting to look at use of force disparities in women vs. men in police forces, etc.

    it's pretty well accepted that women can, ceteris paribus, 'get away' with more force than men

    in the rodney king case, for instance, it's notable that the officer seen drawing her GUN in the incident vs. the officers using batons and taser was a female officer.

    it's a lot easier to win a civil suit etc. and imo probably less likely to get criminally charged as well, if a woman uses X level of physical force in response to the same situation as a man.

    from the perspective of a criminal, it's lose/lose when in a physical confrontation with a female officer. there is little to no cred in the perp 'beating' the woman in a fight, and substantial downside to losing.

    it's kind of like the (descartes or was it pascal?) argument about belief in a deity.

    the one group of cops that is still OVERWHELMINGLY male is SWAT

    most swat's have pretty intense pt tests.

    my friend, who is a female mma fighter, and pretty fucking strong, failed it recently, although i have zero doubt she can pass it given adequate training

    it's primarily the upper body strength deficit that gets them

    10 dead hang pullups for example.

  • jdgalt||

    Relaxing the physical standards of the armed services (or for that matter, police, fire fighters, and prison guards) to let women in is dimwitted, and will only cause harm both to the women involved, and to those who are depending on them to be able to do their jobs. If women insist on jobs in these fields, then let's exempt certain rear-echelon jobs from the standards while continuing (or resuming) their full application to the "real" fighters on the front lines.

    As for sports -- yes, let's desegregate, even though it will mean that just about all women athletes will be out of their jobs. Sports by their nature are *supposed* to discriminate against the less skilled. Making exceptions for anybody is as senseless as the "Special Olympics," which no one ever watches unless he knows a participant.

    These topics are just two of the many examples of the ways in which the 1964 Civil Rights Act has taken us to absurd conclusions without the leftists raising one word of protest. Yes, the Act did some good, but it also has left us with a less effective military and with college sports mostly destroyed. We need a reform bill that will alleviate those effects.

    While we're at it, the reform bill should make it expressly legal to fire (or not hire) someone for good cause (such as committing violence, or driving customers away) even if this turns out to have a "disparate impact" on certain races or handicapped people.

  • Richard Faircloth||

    In case anyone noticed, the gifted nine year old not studying calculus because the average nine year old can't is an example of egalitarianism.

  • johnd2||

    War and sports attract men a heck of a lot more than they attract women. And most men are way better than most women for lots of reasons.

    Same thing in reverse for elementary school teachers and various service jobs.

    We should open doors but not get upset when few walk through.

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