Putting women in military combat is the cutting edge of the feminist goal to force us into an androgynous society. Feminists are determined to impose what Gloria Steinem called "liberation biology" that pretends all male-female differences are culturally imposed by a discriminatory patriarchy.
History offers no evidence for the proposition that the assignment of women to military combat jobs is the way to win wars, improve combat readiness, or promote national security.
Women, on average, have only 60 percent of the physical strength of men, are about 6 inches shorter, and survive basic training only by the subterfuge of being graded on effort rather than on performance. These facts, self-evident to anyone who watches professional or Olympic sports competitions, are only some of the many sex differences confirmed by scholarly studies.
Denial of physical differences is an illusion that kills. That's the lesson of the March 11 courtroom massacre in Atlanta's Fulton County Courthouse. That's where authorities have returned a murder indictment against 6-foot, 210-pound Brian Nichols, a former college football player. Nichols is accused of overpowering a 5-foot-1, 51-year-old female sheriff's deputy, taking her gun and going on a crime spree that left four people dead, including the deputy, a judge, a courtroom reporter and a federal agent.
Every country that has experimented with women in actual combat has abandoned the idea, and the notion that Israel uses women in combat is a feminist myth. The armies and navies of every potential enemy are exclusively male; their combat readiness is not diminished by coed complications or social experimentation.
The 1992 Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces voted to maintain the exemption of women from assignment to combat in ground troops, combat aviation, amphibious ships and submarines. But already 33 servicewomen, including mothers, have been killed and 270 wounded in the war in Iraq.
The Army is wondering why it can't meet its recruitment goals. It could be that the current 15 percent female quota is a turn-off to men who don't want to fight alongside of women who can't carry a man off the battlefield if he is wounded. Forcing women in or near land combat will hurt recruiting, not help.
No country in history ever sent mothers of toddlers off to fight enemy soldiers until the United States did this in the Iraq war. We hope this won't be the legacy of the Bush administration.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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