Phyllis Schlafly

The simultaneous news coverage of the war in Iraq and the rape scandal at the U.S. Air Force Academy exposes again the feminist double standards and hypocrisies.

Feminists complain about sexual harassment by American men, but if committed by ruthless enemy men, feminists applaud it as progress made toward a gender-neutral military.

Most Americans were shocked to learn that at least one U.S. servicewoman, Army Spc. Shoshana Johnson, 30, of Fort Bliss, Texas, is a prisoner of Saddam Hussein. One more servicewoman, Army Pfc. Lori Piestewa, 22 of Tuba City, Ariz., is listed as missing in action. Another, Army Pfc. Jessica Lynch, 19, of Palestine, W.Va., was held captive for several days before being rescued.

Feminists see this as proof that women are advancing toward equality with men on the battlefield. In point of fact, women under Saddam are not equal, whether they are Iraqi women or U.S. prisoners of war.

Johnson is a single mother of a 2-year-old daughter. She was part of an Army maintenance unit ambushed and captured after the convoy she was traveling with made a wrong turn. Johnson had enlisted to be an Army cook and never dreamed she would be sent into a situation where she could be captured in combat.

This is not only a tragedy for Johnson, it is a humiliation for the United States and a step backward for civilization. No crisis or threat requires our government to send mothers of 2-year-old babies across the seas to fight brutal terrorists.

Army regulations have always exempted women from direct ground combat. But the feminists in the Clinton administration opened up more "career opportunities" for women in 1994 by getting the Pentagon to eliminate the "Risk Rule," a regulation that had exempted women in noncombatant positions from assignment with the "inherent risk of capture."

I wonder if the recruiting officer explained this to Johnson when she enlisted to be a cook, or if the sales pitch was confined to Army job opportunities and day-care benefits.

A New York Times editorial brags that Johnson's capture shows how the U.S. military has "evolved" and "the case for equal footing is gaining ground."

But, the Times bemoans, the military is "a laggard on the topic of women in combat" and still retains "glass ceilings" that bar women from direct combat.

The editorial writer must have been a fan of one of the feminists' favorite fantasy films, "G.I. Jane," in which Demi Moore proves she can take it like a man by getting herself savagely beaten and almost raped. Her fellow servicemen are required to watch this travesty as part of sensitivity training to accustom them to abuse of women by the enemy.

Phyllis Schlafly

Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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