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Women in Combat Is Civilizing?

5:17 PM, Feb 5, 2013 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
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In his ongoing zeal to remake American society according to the playbook of those who reside in the faculty lounges of the nation's most liberal colleges, President Obama now wants to engage women in combat with no apparent thought of the wider societal effects of such a decision.  It therefore falls upon Republicans -- senators, congressmen, and governors alike -- to do the thinking that Obama is eschewing, and to make the case to the citizenry why this is such a terrible idea not only for America's military preparedness but for American civilization as a whole.

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At PJ Media, Paula Bolyard offers them some help in making the case. She begins by quoting Hillsdale professor and former Marine Corps officer Terrence O. Moore, who writes:

"Manhood is not simply a matter of being male and reaching a certain age. These are acts of nature; manhood is a sustained act of character. It is no easier to become a man than it is to become virtuous. In fact, the two are the same. The root of our old-fashioned word 'virtue' is the Latin word virtus, a derivative of vir, or man. To be virtuous is to be 'manly.' As Aristotle understood it, virtue is a 'golden mean' between the extremes of excess and deficiency. Too often among today’s young males, the extremes seem to predominate. One extreme suffers from an excess of manliness, or from misdirected and unrefined manly energies. The other suffers from a lack of manliness, a total want of manly spirit. Call them barbarians and wimps. So prevalent are these two errant types that the prescription for what ails our young males might be reduced to two simple injunctions: Don’t be a barbarian. Don’t be a wimp. What is left, ceteris paribus, will be a man."

Describing her and her husband's efforts to raise their boys to avoid these all-too-observable extremes, Bolyard writes of their attempts to strike the balance between restraining the boys' unruly natures too much and too little.  However, as she explains, certain rules of conduct were plain:

"Through all of this, we clearly taught our boys that they were never, ever to play roughly with girls. We knew a time would come that they would be bigger and stronger than the girls and they needed to know that they were to never lay a hand on a girl....If we want[ed] them to learn to treat a woman with respect, [we knew] they must be taught that overpowering her with their physical strength is never acceptable."

She continues:

"As we find ourselves on the cusp of women on the front lines of combat, we must ask some important questions about how we will raise boys in the future....

"If we as a country insist on pushing through [natural barriers] and throwing our women at the enemy by placing them on the front lines in combat, some important cultural and sociological changes will need to occur. We will need to raise a new generation of men who will be willing to stand by and watch women being shot, stabbed, tortured, raped and battered. They will need to be desensitized to the realities of harm befalling women. Additionally, once the United States crosses the barrier of women in combat, other countries will likely follow, so our men will need to learn to stand face to face with a woman, look her in the eye, and kill her in hand-to-hand combat.

"To accomplish this radical change in the psyches of male soldiers will require massive re-education. Will it fall upon parents to teach boys to stop playing gently with the girls? Will they teach their boys that girls must be treated the same — that it’s now OK to rough the girls up a bit? Somehow male soldiers are going to have to learn to stop protecting women."

The alternative, of course, is for the GOP -- and perhaps a few sensible and independent-minded Democrats -- to step up and fight for notions of civility and common sense, and to persuade our still-reasonable citizenry that Obama's prescribed course of action is foolish and shortsighted in the extreme.

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