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Good News, Ladies! The Military-Industrial Complex Is Ours Now!

No one wants to consider if casually blowing things up is a good idea in the first place.

Sipa USA/NewscomSipa USA/NewscomIs it good news that "the CEOs of four of the nation's five biggest defense contractors—Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics and the defense arm of Boeing—are now women"?

On Wednesday, Politico published an article called "How women took over the military-industrial complex." Though "military-industrial complex" always feels like a pejorative term, David Brown's piece strikes a positive note; it's written in that delicately faux-neutral fashion that presumes the institutions in question are swell, and that ladies in them sweller still. From helping to perpetuate a Yemen famine to spying on everyone, these ladies don't need no man, unless that man is military-aged and is underneath a Hellfire missile.

The recent midterms boasted a smorgasbord of diversity firsts. You don't have to be very old to remember when the idea of an openly gay governor would seem surprising. And yeah, straight white men dominating every other sexuality, gender, race, and creed isn't the answer to any good question. But the Hillary Clinton–ready logic of Wow, a WOMAN now runs the National Nuclear Security Administration feels, at best, like some serious wheel-spinning. And yet here we have women solemnly giving their lean-in tips on being in charge of a world-threatening nuclear arsenal.

When it comes to questions of institutional sexism, the Politico piece runs the gamut from A (Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson saying "We are the protectors; that's what the military does. We serve to protect the rest of you, and that's a very natural place for a woman to be") to B (National Nuclear Security Administration head Lisa Gordon-Hagerty assuring the author that it's not important when she's "the only woman in the room"). Both sentiments betray both the author's and his subjects' deeply conventional thinking about their gender and their place in the world and whether blowing up bits of it is a good idea.

It doesn't need saying that women who head Boeing or Lockheed Martin are not women who spend time questioning whether the U.S. should have a presence in 177 countries, or asking if the Department of Defense needs $686 billion for FY 2019. But weirdly, the idea that girls running the military would improve things has supporters beyond the Beyoncé-empowerment wing of feminism. No less than scholars Francis Fukuyama and Steven Pinker have argued that women could make the world a more peaceful place, and in Pinker's case, that they already have. Fukuyama more boldly suggested, "A truly matriarchal world, then, would be less prone to conflict and more conciliatory and cooperative than the one we inhabit now."

And perhaps he's right. Perhaps the ladies of Lockheed Martin and the rest will cooperate themselves into billion-dollar Pentagon deals for many years to come. Lockheed CEO Marillyn Hewson assures Politico that she intends to bring more women aboard, and hopes to keep this brave new world of Pentagon women as more than a diversity blip. True equality, however, might evade us until women have to register for the draft, just like men. Then we can all kill equally.

Photo Credit: Sipa USA/Newscom

Lucy Steigerwald is a journalist whose work has appeared in such publications as Playboy, The American Conservative, Vice, The Daily Beast, and The Washington Post. Previously, she worked as an associate editor for Reason and as a freelance editor for the New York Observer. She is currently a contributing editor at Antiwar.com.

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  • Mr. JD||

    Why should anyone care?

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Wait, who wrote this article? I don't see an author attribution anywhere.

  • Robert||

    We don't...oh, wait, you didn't. Never mind.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    unless that man is military-aged and is underneath a Hellfire missile.

    Wasn't expecting a Bad Dragon namedrop here, but okay.

  • Yellow Tony||

    The greatest thing Arizona is known for besides the greatest American war hero to ever live, John McCain.

  • Steve G||

    It doesn't need saying that women who head Boeing or Lockheed Martin are not women who spend time questioning whether the U.S. should have a presence in 177 countries, or asking if the Department of Defense needs $686 billion for FY 2019


    Someone doesn't understand the MIC at all. Part of running those companies involves creating a market, therefore need for the product you're selling. They damn sure question whether the US should have a presence in 177 countries...they wonder why it ain't higher

  • H. Farnham||

    Oh... My... God......

    If their menstrual cycles sync up, the world is doomed.

  • Banake||

    Lol

  • Dillinger||

    >>>Lisa Gordon-Hagerty assuring the author that it's not important when she's "the only woman in the room"

    it's not important. Lisa gets it.

  • Aloysious||

    Nice to have you back, Lucy.

  • a ab abc abcd abcde abcdef ahf||

    Don't mention L*cy!

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    What the hell are you guys talking about.

  • ||

    Apparently, the only solution to institutional sexism is institutional sexism.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    And to pretend it doesn't exist.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    They're just like us!

  • Yellow Tony||

    You identify as a power hungry GILF too?

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    You can't self-identify as a GILF. It is something that is granted onto you by another.

  • BigT||

    "Fukuyama more boldly suggested "A truly matriarchal world, then, would be less prone to conflict and more conciliatory and cooperative than the one we inhabit now."

    So less competition, more collusion, more price-fixing, more redistribution, more equal outcome policy. Without competition one gets mediocrity, laziness, lack of innovation. No thanks.

  • Fats of Fury||

    Will the Military Industrial Complex be color coordinated and covered by Vogue?

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Don't get me started on that green dress some security guard wanted me to wear.

  • Yellow Tony||

    This is just really sad.

  • Conchfritters||

    Fuck, if they can even get the F-35 to fly without crashing it might be worth it, but my guess is they'll ask for an additional $1 trillion dollars just to fix the problems that fucking state of the art piece of shit has (just like the men before them).

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    Great rant. Thanks Lucy.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Well look who decided to show up.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    "A truly matriarchal world, then, would be less prone to conflict and more conciliatory and cooperative than the one we inhabit now."

    Does Fukuyama show his work?

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

  • No Longer Amused||

    Based on how frequently women are made CEO only to be summarily discharged later once the SJW feel-good moment has passed, I'll check back in a year to see if any of these women are still at the same post.

  • ||

    Does "The company is already nose diving no one who isn't desperate to prove themselves would take the job, and it's not like a woman could do any worse." fit the definition of "SJW feel-good moment"? I feel like it does and it doesn't.

  • DenverJ||

    Anybody who assumes that a world led by womyn would be more peaceful and cooperative doesn't know any womyn.

  • Bubba Jones||

    Historical analysis claimed that queens had a higher rate of war than kings. Partly to prove themselves. Partly because they were able to delegate domestic policy to their husbands.

  • Banake||

    From the same article used as a source in this text (in the part that says 'No less than'): "All good—and kind of flattering!—in theory. But do biological or psychological differences between men and women translate to differences in how women might run countries? One recent working paper, by Oeindrila Dube of University of Chicago and S.P. Harish of New York University, found that in Europe between the 15th and 20th centuries, queens were more likely to participate in interstate conflicts than kings were. In 20th-century electoral democracies, as Pinker and Fukuyama both noted, female leaders have indeed waged war. Indira Gandhi, Golda Meir, Margaret Thatcher, and Chandrika Kumaratunga may well have been personally compassionate, yet thousands of soldiers killed and were killed on their orders. In Hillary Clinton, the United States may get its first female president this year. But she was a champion of violent intervention in Libya as secretary of state; if she becomes president, there's every reason to think she would continue, and perhaps escalate, America's war on the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria." (I didn't read the whole article, so I could be taking out of context somewhat. In any case, the idea that women are less violent sounds more and more like empty demagogy to me.)

  • Banake||

    Did you know, Emily Murphy, a woman who fought for women being accept in the senate in Canada, was one of the earliest proponents of the war on drugs? The reason she was against drugs? Non whites were using it to bring the end of the white race. (Seriously, google "Emily Murphy" and "The Black Candle" - The book she wrote.)

  • JeremyR||

    Visit Walmart on a Black Friday. This year we had a fight over Pioneer Woman measuring cups.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Women military leaders would be much less likely to blow each other up, that is true. All wars would be fought via lack of invitations to leader summits.

  • Bubba Jones||

    Madeline Albright: "What's the point of having this superb military that you're always talking about if we can't use it?" As Powell later recalled, I thought I would have an aneurysm.

    http://content.time.com/time/w.....93,00.html

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    No one wants to consider if casually blowing things up is a good idea in the first place.

    Hopefully especially not when I'm doing it for amusement on my own property. Ain't nunya business!

  • ||

    Ghostbusters was not the movie that needed an all-female reboot. It should have been Dr. Strangelove.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Annihilation > Ghostbusters

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Why would you subject Kubric to that?

  • Longtobefree||

    So any actual thoughts on the Eisenhower speech, or did they just stick with the tag line?

  • Eddy||

    His comments on hula hoops were particularly controversial.

  • A Lady of Reason||

    Nice... Now they can nuke the "patriarchy"! Uhhh..... Scary...
    https://aladyofreason.wordpress.com/

  • Rockabilly||

    "Give War A Chance!" Hillary

  • ||

    "Women have always been the primary victims of war." - HRC

    We assume she was just pig ignorant to wide swaths of reality. We should've known it was a secret policy prescription. The problem wasn't that women weren't the primary victims of war or that women *shouldn't* be the primary victims of war. The issue was that if women are going to be the primary victims of war, it should be other women doing the victimizing.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Lucy!!!

  • Banake||

    I don't know why your comment made me think of this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ijhilgbRtuM

  • Banake||

    "No less than scholars Francis Fukuyama and Steven Pinker have argued that women could make the world a more peaceful place, and in Pinker's case, that they already have." - If my memory is right, Pinker also thinks that rape is a thing only men do. When It comes to gender, I don't trust Pinker at all. =/

  • Liberty Lover||

    Peaceful women: Golda Meier - Yom Kippur War, Indira Gandi - Operation Blue Star, Margret Thacther - Falklands War.
    Yes peaceful like Peace prize winner Barack Obama!

  • Banake||

    I said the same thing in response of another commentary. =P

  • Banake||

    (Minus the the Obama part. Haha. ^^)

  • Banake||

    Do you think ever heard about the white feathers? en. wikipedia. org /wiki/ White _ feather #World_War_I - "The supporters of the campaign were not easily put off. A woman who confronted a young man in a London park demanded to know why he was not in the army. "Because I am a German", he replied. He received a white feather anyway." Women: "Men who doesn't go to war are cowards." Pinker: "Women made the world more peaceful."

  • Liberty Lover||

    Women are warmongers. Just ask any married man!

  • Mickey Rat||

    Of course, Fuyukama and Linked are not exactly immune to weird notions that flatter certain identity groups. On the other hand, if you believe that women in charge are going to produce a more peaceful world, then you believe women and men are fundamentally different in character.

  • ClosetedConservative||

    Nice! so now the radical feminists can nuke the "patriarchy"... *sarcasm*

  • Banake||

    You know, the only of these 'feminists libertarians' that wrote something cool was Wendy McElroy.

  • Banake||

    The only thing that I took from this article is that lucy is annoying. The MIC will as sh*t as it ever was, women are not these magical being made of peace and rainbows. Please reason, don't post more articles from her.

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