Edmonton Sun

August 18, 2002

Feminists fight natural differences

By TED BYFIELD -- Edmonton Sun

There's a new report in from the battlefront on the feminist campaign to change the biological nature of the human animal. A new study by the British Ministry of Defence shows that 99.9% of women who try to enlist in the armed forces cannot meet the marching-load requirements. Of the women already in that army, only one in 100 can meet them.

For this reason and for a number of psychological ones, says the report, there is no place for women in combat roles.

Those psychological reasons are equally informative. Putting women into small infantry and armoured units like firearms teams or tank crews seriously reduces combat effectiveness. "The inclusion of small numbers of women adds to the difficulty of creating the necessary degree of cohesion," says the report.

Since precisely the same conclusions were long ago reached by the Israeli army as the result of direct experience, you have to wonder about Canada where one in nine people in the armed forces is female and the U.S. where the ratio is one in seven. Both allow women in combat, though very few women actually apply for it. Nonetheless, military's public relations section tries to evidence their presence, prominently displaying women in recruiting photos intended to portray combat activity.

So you wonder: Is there some physical difference between British women and their North American counterparts? Or are we simply sacrificing the security of the country on the altar of political correctness? Are Washington and Ottawa in effect saying: "Frankly, we don't give a damn whether it damages the combat effectiveness of our troops - and thereby endangers their lives - we stand firmly for the principle of equality, fairness and openness. We are opposed to discrimination." Though they would certainly never put it that way, this seems to be the thinking.

And it is not confined to the armed forces. Firemen, for instance, must be ready to lug very heavy hoses up icy, slanting roofs in highly dangerous circumstances with the safety of whole neighbourhoods depending on them doing it fast and efficiently. What percentage of women cannot do this? Is it the same 99.9%, and are city fire departments therefore rejecting nearly all the applicants?

Or, as is far more probable, have the standards been quietly reduced for women, so that one member of the team can't carry the hose, thereby endangering all the other members and setting the neighbourhood at risk? Again, we see the same principle is at work. We stand for equality, fairness and inclusiveness above all else. We do not discriminate. So let the neighbourhood burn.

I've called this the feminist war on biological nature because that's what it is. It's a fact of nature that men are physically stronger than women. It's a fact of human existence that, despite all our technology, some essential jobs remain that require great physical strength - fighting wars and fighting fires, for example. We may all hope and pray that the day will come when there will be no more wars and no more fires, but it hasn't arrived yet.

Therefore, if we diminish our ability to perform these tasks, we are not being fair, just and non-discriminatory. We are being jackasses and we will almost certainly suffer for it, for that's the way things eventually work out.

Moreover, these differences between the male and female human animal are not limited to the physical. There are deep psychological differences as well.

That means that there are some jobs women will do better than men - like raising and nourishing infants and young children - and some men will do better than women, like fighting wars. As the British study also observed, women have a generally lower capacity for aggression, and in fighting wars aggressiveness is at least as essential as physical strength.

The feminist response to all this is to rage against nature, to ignore it, or seek to pervert it and we as a society have adopted that response.

But nature is a very powerful adversary. You can co-operate with it, but if you fight it, you'll lose.

And we're fighting it.

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