Women in the front line
very subject four years ago. Obviously I had more time on my hands then but the comments are an interesting overview of the debate. The subject is cyclic, comes up every few years and so is service in Infantry. The Roman Centurion carried similar weights to what I carried in Vietnam and the soldiers in Afghanistan, and I’ve met a lot recently, are still struggling with a 100 lb plus pack. If their mate is wounded they then have to carry him and his gear in a ‘fireman’s carry’ as well for short distances so treble that for short bursts. But then it isn’t all physical, although that fact alone would stop most women successfully finishing infantry and special ops courses. It’s the whole physcological and social considerations that make me wary. Bob Baldwin who is Shadow Minister for Defence Science, Personnel and the Assisting Shadow Minister for Defence said psychological aspects of battle made the frontline unsuitable for women.Mate, says my mate Jack, can you imagine having women in our bunkers? Don’t put the hexy stove there – it should go in the corner here and for God’s sake clean up your mess…tidy up your spent rounds…No! try the hexy stove in the other corner….God you stink – at least try and keep yourself clean..and…and Jack, of course is joking, but Combet isn’t as he pushes the subject and I can only begin to imagine those behind him pushing as well. Women libbers, gender equality at any price ideologues and other assorted left wing ‘divorced from reality’ nutters. I wrote on this
“The coalition believes in the equality of opportunity for women in the defence force,” he told reporters today. “The coalition, however, doesn’t agree with the placement of women into forces such as the SAS, clearance divers, commandos or frontline combat engineers.”Fair enough too! But Labor MP Yvette D’Ath said the issue of serving on the frontline should be “irrespective” of gender.
“I’m very strong on equality and basis on who can do the job,” she told reporters. “If you can pass the course, you can meet all the criteria, you should be allowed to perform that job irrespective of what that job is.”Which totally ignores the social and physcological aspects of women in combat. My local Priest nails it in letters to The Australian today;
AS well as being dangerous and impractical in many cases, the push to put women on the front lines would erode something valuable in our civilised society. It would diminish the dignity and special status of women as life-givers and nurturers (“Now is the time for our women as well”, Editorial, 10/9). Women wielding machine-guns and bayonets as the aggressors in war seems to defy the natural law. While I’m all for equal pay and equal opportunities in education and the professions, sending women to the front lines in the name of equality diminishes rather than enhances their status. While nobody is forcing them to go now, it would be a different matter in the event of conscription or a ballot if we faced a major war. Young women and the hard-boiled feminists who claim to have their interests at heart in supporting this move should consider such implications carefully. Father Tim Norris St Kevin’s Parish, Geebung, QldIn Vietnam I did a forty day patrol; that is forty days without stopping in a safe base like Nui Dat. Think about that – in the dry season there was insufficient water to wash so no showers, no body wash for forty days!. Gave up on wearing socks and jocks (can’t carry or resupply) and a bout of dysentery didn’t help. Defecating and urinating publicly without any privacy. Blood and bits of enemy flesh on my filthy uniform, skin diseased and abraded from thorns and the prickly heat making every step painful. And then there’s the enemy. Do you want your daughter there? I don’t and Yvette D’Ath would have vomited if she ever got downwind of me. You see, us conservative chaps think women and kids need protecting and they are harder to protect when they’re close by and how the hell are they going to nurture the next generation if they’re in the combat zone. As Father Tim says;
…sending women to the front lines in the name of equality diminishes rather than enhances their status.I’m happy for girls to do most things military but I want them protected from the filth, terror and mind boggling physical and physcological aspects of infantry service. I’ve been there but I see no combat infantry service in the CVs of people advocating that women should be able to join me. Keep the home fires burning sweetheart and hopefully I’ll be back soon.