The Assault on Gender Distinctions: Women in Combat

Our society’s war on gender roles is nearing its final stages. One of the last redoubts of male exclusivity, the role of ground combat warrior, has been leveled. In case you missed it during the later Obama years, the U.S. military has begun trying to integrate women into combat units. It has forged ahead with this policy despite the fact that it compromises national security. Heather MacDonald writes:

“In September 2015 the Marine Corps released a study comparing the performance of gender-integrated and male-only infantry units in simulated combat. The all-male teams greatly outperformed the integrated teams, whether on shooting, surmounting obstacles or evacuating casualties. Female Marines were injured at more than six times the rate of men during preliminary training—unsurprising, since men’s higher testosterone levels produce stronger bones and muscles. Even the fittest women (which the study participants were) must work at maximal physical capacity when carrying a 100-pound pack or repeatedly loading heavy shells into a cannon.”

“Ignoring the Marine study, then-Defense Secretary Ash Carter opened all combat roles to women in December 2015. Rather than requiring new female combat recruits to meet the same physical standards as men, the military began crafting “gender neutral” standards in the hope that more women would qualify.”

The physical demands of the ground combat warrior are not, of course, the only problem with trying to integrate women into combat units. When you’re rebelling against nature, you simply have to ignore the facts of life—all of them—to include not only the physical differences between men and women, but ultimately the point of those created differences:

“A more serious effect of sex integration has become taboo to mention: the inevitable introduction of eros into combat units. Putting young, hormonally-charged men and women into stressful close quarters for extended periods guarantees sexual liaisons, rivalries and breakups, all of which undermine the bonding essential to a unified fighting force.”

“A Marine commander who served in Afghanistan described to me how the arrival of an all-female team tasked with reaching out to local women affected discipline on his forward operating base. Until that point, rigorous discipline had been the norm. But when four women—three service members and a translator—arrived, the post’s atmosphere changed overnight from a “stern, businesslike place to that of an eighth-grade dance.” The officer walked into a common room one day to find the women clustered in the center. They were surrounded by eager male Marines, one of whom was doing a handstand.”

The point of putting women into combat is to qualify them for certain high-level Pentagon posts that require combat experience. In other words, we are compromising national security in order not to discriminate against women in higher level military hiring.

Obama Sec-Def Ash Carter also okayed transgenders for the military, but President Trump tried to roll back that policy, largely on the fiscal rationale of not wanting to bear the considerable costs of gender reassignment surgery and hormone therapy. (That Trump decision, along with many others, has been blocked by the courts.) So far, however, Trump has not tried to reverse the decision to integrate women into combat units.

This is the larger developed-world culture within which the SDA female ordination debate is taking place, a culture whose leaders blithely degrade national security in order to ensure that women are equally eligible for every job or position, without exception.

Given this larger culture, is it any wonder that the North American SDA leadership is willing to disregard the clearest admonitions of Scripture and rebel against a vote of the church in world session in order to achieve ordination without regard to gender? It is very difficult for people to buck the mores and values of the dominant culture in which they live.

UPDATE: The article states that President Trump’s decision to roll back a policy accepting transgenders into the military has been blocked by the courts. On January 22, 2019, the Supreme Court reversed a trial court’s preliminary injunction, meaning that the administration’s policy can take effect while the case is being litigated in the lower courts.