Something much more insidious and destructive to our military and our culture has also been going on. Clinton's famous "don't ask don't tell" regulations do not merely mean tolerance of gays in the military; they also mean that commanders' eyes are averted from all kinds of sexual misconduct and even fraternization, or sex between soldiers of different ranks.
The result is a breakdown of military discipline and a dramatic coarsening of women and of men's treatment of women. This has caused a critical diversion of time and energy away from the essential task of teaching men to be soldiers and into dealing with the problems caused by the powerful factor of sex when lonely, scared young men and women are crowded together in an environment where moral standards have been abandoned.
The current high percentage of women in the military has been achieved by gender quotas in recruitment and retention, and by affirmative action to promote women to higher ranks so they can command men. Nobody admits the existence of gender quotas, but everybody knows they explain why we have a 15 percent female military.
Social experimentation in the military includes generous subsidies to induce single mothers to enter and remain in the military. That's why we have had the shameful incidents of single mothers of infants being killed or taken prisoner, a byproduct of the Iraqi war that the feminists describe as equal opportunity for women.
Affirmative action for women in the military is a longtime feminist goal. It was even urged during in the 1970s by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in her book "Sex Bias in the U.S. Code," in which she also called for the sex integration of prisons.
In a fitting turn of fate, the officer in charge of the military police at the Abu Ghraib prison was a woman, Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski. Now back from Iraq, Karpinski has been riding the talk show circuit to disclaim knowledge and responsibility for the abuse of prisoners.
I suspect that the picture of the woman soldier with a noose around the Iraqi man's neck will soon show up on the bulletin boards of women's studies centers and feminist college professors. That picture is the radical feminists' ultimate fantasy of how they dream of treating men. Less radical feminists will quietly cheer the picture as showing career-opportunity proof that women can be just as tough as men in dealing with the enemy.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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