W. Thomas Smith, Jr

The basic nut-graph of Save the Males is Parker’s on-point, commonsensical argument: Manliness and the unique characteristics of men really do matter.

Of course, this argument essentially skewers political correctness, angering the extreme Left, and forcing moderates to consider revisiting the approaches taken by unwavering old-school feminists, who would argue that in combat – for instance – a woman can push a button as well as a man.

Problem is, it’s not that simple.

Which brings me to what I – and surely others like me who have served in-and-with ground combat units in peace and in war – have found most interesting in Parker’s book: That is, there is a crystal-clear reason why – for instance – the U.S. Marine Corps continues to train men and women separately during boot camp, and why infantry and the other ground-combat-arms fields (including ground-based special operations teams) remain all male.

Of course, Hollywood's portrayal of females in action – Demi Moore basically whipping-up on a Navy SEAL in G.I. Jane or some 120-pound female martial-artist kicking a trained male-assassin nearly to death in an episode of Walker Texas Ranger – would lead those who scoff at maleness and who don't understand the actual dynamics of the battlefield, the football field, or the lockerroom for that matter to cheer; even believing the utter nonsense they see in movies and on TV, which according to Parker, helped spawn the myth of the heroism of real-life U.S. Army private Jessica Lynch.

Save the Males covers everything from how we got to this point culturally, the unfortunately related “porning of America,” why boys need men, to the increasingly popular notion that men and masculinity are simply irrelevant.

What is however relevant – particularly to active and former military guys like myself who clearly understand how the continued track of gender-norming in the armed forces could ultimately erode national defense – is that, as Parker writes, "As a rule, most women are physically weaker than most men" and “There’s a reason there are no women in the NFL.”

I know: We're not supposed to actually say those things. But it's critical when one considers the fact that in the infantry – even the modern infantry – physical strength (along with high-tech equipment and great leadership) is key to dominance on the battlefield. But don't take Parker's or my word for it: Ask any rifleman who had to slug it out tooth-to-eyeball with the enemy during the Battle of Fallujah – thus far the Super Bowl of the Iraq War – which by the way, Parker examines in Chapter 7.

As I previously said, the truth hurts: and this book is going to sting some, especially those who do not want to let men off the hook. For the rest of us – men and women – willing to take a good hard look at why men matter – looking at the issue as objectively as Parker has – it is a very important read.


W. Thomas Smith, Jr

W. Thomas Smith Jr. is a former U.S. Marine rifle-squad leader and counterterrorism instructor. He is the author of six books, and he has covered war and conflict in the Balkans, on the West Bank, in Iraq, and Lebanon. Visit him online at http://www.uswriter.com.
 
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