Bill Murchison

Score another triumph for modern American culture -- the sexual assault scandal now racking the military. A "scourge," Defense Secretary Charles Hagel called it, speaking at West Point. "A national disgrace," says Speaker John Boehner, reacting to the Pentagon's estimates of 26,000 assaults typed as sexual last year.

Naturally, President Obama had plenty to say, lecturing Pentagon leaders on the matter: a crime made worse by making the military "less effective than it can be."

The elements of the matter have been all over the news: Ironically enough, in the weeks leading up to Memorial Day, when ancient convention calls for Americans to celebrate, rather than deplore, their warriors. Of whom, yes, a distinct minority are at the center of the scandal.

The look of the whole thing, even so, is awful, and not necessarily for the reasons adduced by Hagel and the rest: Namely, the undermining, within the military, of that "culture and respect and dignity" the military owes its members.

How did we get to where we are? We got here, I hate to inform the secretary and the speaker and the president, by pretending a non-existent equivalence between men and women. In other words, as the feminist movement sees it, ain't no reason a woman can't do exactly -- exactly, buster -- what a man can do in what we used to call a man's world.

The idea of pretending male and female personnel are the same in military terms and deserve the same status is the loopiest idea of our loopiest century, the 20th. The military profession, I am sorry to inform our scandalized officials, is a male profession. It has always been so. There are no precedents for thinking otherwise.

The military ought to have been kept all-male. It won't -- alas -- get past present dilemmas like sexual assaults, and the nefarious idea of incorporating mothers and sisters into combat, until it becomes all-male once more. Whenever that may be: probably no time soon. Alas, again.

I mean, look, you start with a warrior culture, the military culture, geared to the achievement of deflecting or hurling back your country's enemies. This is not the Wednesday Morning Poetry Society we are talking about. It is a society, rather, that specializes in force and violence for the sound reason that force and violence are required for military success.

Here, then, come the professional feminists. Professional feminism says we want doors to spring open miraculously to every job in the world. No exceptions. Watch your back, Pope Francis! Feminism says to nutty males who see the killing enterprise as a male preserve, shut up, Jack! The sisters need a piece of the action.


Bill Murchison

Bill Murchison is the former senior columns writer for The Dallas Morning News and author of There's More to Life Than Politics.
 
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