Talk:Women in the military

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Where is the evidence?

Ed, while obvious statements like "the sky is blue" don't need citations, in an encyclopedia website it's wrong to make assertions like some the ones here and not back them up with valid references. Where is the evidence that women are less effective in fighting than men, or the reference for stating that their use by the Polish military was a failure? --DinsdaleP 11:11, 1 May 2008 (EDT)

You can fact-tag any assertion which requires a citation. --Ed Poor Talk 11:13, 1 May 2008 (EDT)
More to the point, using Kelly Flynn as a representative example of women pilots is an insult to the skills and accomplishments of the many fine, dedicated women putting their lives on the line for us each day. (No male serviceman was ever discharged for adultery? There are no female pilots who are qualified without retests?) Support the troops, Ed. They deserve better than this.

I'm going to do some research and add to this article, if that's okay with you. I want to point out where women have made significant contributions to the military, and add cited references to their effectiveness in the Israeli army to provide an objective counterpoint to the Polish statement. --DinsdaleP 11:19, 1 May 2008 (EDT)
I don't understand how (1) this is an insult or (2) how it being insult means it is untrue or irrelevant. Are you trying to improve the article, or are you just making a point? --Ed Poor Talk 11:37, 1 May 2008 (EDT)
You're repeating old, unproven stereotypes about women in combat roles, which many women serving in those roles would find insulting, I'm sure. As you can see by now I'm adding valid-sourced comments to the article, and not just talking.
Also, I have to question the validity of the sources you're using. You back up your comment about women being ineffective in the Israeli army by citing an essay, where that assertion is made but not backed up with any evidence. The same goes for your reference for men being better soldiers than women - linking to an essay that makes generalizations does not make those generalizations credible. --DinsdaleP 12:02, 1 May 2008 (EDT)

If you continue to avoid answering my question, I'll have to ask you to stay away from the project. And if you want to debate the points made in the article, you surely know where our Debate Topics are. --Ed Poor Talk 16:11, 2 May 2008 (EDT)

Women in the Israeli Army

I had deleted the comment about Israeli women being pulled from combat over being ineffective, because the source used had no references itself that validated the assertion. In response, I found the following source showing that the Israeli military itself is recommending that women serve in combat roles: Israeli military study calls for opening all combat roles to women --DinsdaleP 12:29, 1 May 2008 (EDT)

Interesting I never realized that women served in the Israeli army-- 50 star flag.png User:Deborah (contributions) (talk) 15:39, 1 May 2008 (EDT)

There are differences in how they're allowed to serve, but the core principle that the country belongs to every citizen, so every citizen should have a part in its defense. --DinsdaleP 16:02, 1 May 2008 (EDT)

Kelly Flynn

I've edited the section that mentions Kelly Flynn because it's not fair or respectful to the hundreds of women aviators who earned their positions fairly to hold up an isolated incident as representative of their collective skills and professionalism. If it can be shown that Captain Piro, Lt. Parker, or any significant percent of the hundreds of female combat pilots in the service today got to fail multiple times before earning their wings, then that should be cited as fact. Otherwise it's just innuendo, and these dedicated Americans risking their lives for us deserve more respect than that. --DinsdaleP 15:34, 1 May 2008 (EDT)

The Flynn case casts a pall over all women. If you want to show that it's an isolated case, go ahead - if you find facts to support it. But it's common knowledge that gender norming is rampant in the U.S. military. If you think otherwise, the burden of proof is on you. --Ed Poor Talk 15:01, 2 May 2008 (EDT)

Should this Article be Renamed, or just Restructured?

The more I think about it, it seems that the original purpose of this article was to present an opinion piece that would show women to be unsuited for close-combat positions in ground forces. It's obvious that women have been and will continue to serve in all branches of the military, and will always be appreciated for serving their country. There's a lot of value in having an article titled "Women in the Military" expand on the history of how women have served since the Revolutionary war, and the changing nature of how they've been able to serve.
One section of the article could then be titled "Controversy over the suitability of women for combat roles", and Ed's points expanded on there. --DinsdaleP 20:48, 1 May 2008 (EDT)

Lynndie England

Proves that women can be just as MEAN as men, anyway. --Gulik5 23:20, 1 May 2008 (EDT)

...and that stupidity is gender-neutral ;-) --DinsdaleP 09:47, 2 May 2008 (EDT)
Her commanding officer was a woman who was incompetent - never should have been put in charge of a prison. --Ed Poor Talk 14:59, 2 May 2008 (EDT)
Doesn't that, in turn, make the next-level commander up the line incompetent as well, and was that person female, too? The "incompetence comes from being female" line of reasoning is a non-starter; gender has nothing to do with leadership.--DinsdaleP 15:18, 2 May 2008 (EDT)

Liberal opinion

I deleted a section and a paragraph, because

  1. Lack of parallism in the "myths" section. I couldn't tell whether it was meant to be a list of assumptions found to be false, or what.
  2. It read like a lawyer's brief: completely one-sided, intended to support the feminist desire to put women in combat.
The legitimate source I cited in the paragraph you deleted was a study commissioned by Congress to determine the suitability of women for military service, based on objective medical testing and research. The goal was to provide fair evidence either way in deciding if and how women should serve, instead of relying on opinion alone as had been done in the past. It did dispel many myths, and at the same time it acknowledged that some accommodations in equipment and training were required due to the physiological differences between women and men. That reality in no way means that women are unfit to serve, even in combat roles. In an all-male army, people are still assigned to roles based on their abilities - shorter men with less muscle strength are not going to do as well as a guy built like a linebacker, but no one's telling him he'd be a bad fighter or that he couldn't hold his own in the field. Since the study showed that there's no difference between the abilities of stronger women and weaker males when both met the qualifying standards of enlistment, then there's no reason to exclude on gender alone.
Is a statistically-average woman going to do as well as a statistically-average man in hand-to-hand combat? Probability says no, and the survey didn't dispute that. However, there are many combat roles that do not focus on hand-to-hand fighting ability, so ruling women out of all combat roles based on gender alone is wrong. I thought Conservatives believed in achievement through merit, so why not let women earn any role they qualify for fairly, instead of holding them back based on a misogynist agenda?
If you believe an encyclopedia article titled "Women in the military" should emphasize a subordinate and supporting role for men, count me out. My objective would be to recognize women in the military for the contributions they made, period.
What I'd suggest instead is that it's appropriate to have the article dedicate a section to the question of roles where women may or may not be suitable for, but those roles need to be defined better than generic terms like "combat". After reading the article about Captain Piro, I'd challenge you to claim she's not a skilled and valued combat veteran. --DinsdaleP 15:55, 2 May 2008 (EDT)


However, as Dinsdale suggests above, we can improve the article by dividing it into:

  • How woman do help men win wars - and historically have helped them.
  • Why women ought not serve in combat

Anyone (say, Dinsdale) with a keen appreciation for women's service to their country could write the "women helping men" article. --Ed Poor Talk 14:58, 2 May 2008 (EDT)

I am confused as to why an encyclopedia is covering ought rather than is. Typically, aren't the oughts part of blogs? Even Conservapedia:Commandments covers this: "Everything you post must be true and verifiable." and "Do not post personal opinion on an encyclopedia entry. Opinions can be posted on Talk:pages or on debate or discussion pages." The very nature of an ought is opinion rather than fact. --Rutm 16:17, 2 May 2008 (EDT)
I think you nailed it, Rutm. This article should be about the history and present state of women in the military, and while the issues of acceptance are part of the historical component, opinions as to whether women should or ought to serve belongs on a debate page instead. Thanks for the succinct clarification.--DinsdaleP 19:05, 2 May 2008 (EDT)
I Disagree. Opinions of note can be in the article if they are sourced and attributed. HenryS 21:37, 3 May 2008 (EDT)

The article lacks description of the history of women in the military. HenryS 16:38, 2 May 2008 (EDT)

History, you say? I think I can help out with that.--Frey 21:14, 12 October 2008 (EDT)
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