Saturday, May 29, 2004

Women in military

I'm not a great fan of our current policies of the role of women in the military. But neither am I a great fan of illogical arguments. Believe me, there are plenty of those to be found in the numerous diatribes against women in the military. Just one out of many is proposed by Phil Lancaster in his article "Female Warriors and Feminized Men":

It's not just combat readiness that is negatively affected by having women in the service; there are broader social costs as well. Sending married women overseas creates hardships for the husbands and children they leave behind. A married woman soldier has two masters -- her husband and her commander -- and there is no doubt about whose claim on her is primary when push comes to shove. So the God-given domestic focus of a wife and mother is abandoned as she takes on the calling of national defender.

Does Phil Lancaster honestly believe that sending married men oversees doesn't create hardships for the wives and children left behind? Does he believe that these hardships matter less, because it is women, and not men, who must endure them? Does he believe, like some feminists, that families really don't need fathers, and that the father has little to contribute in the home of any significanse? Or, to be logically consistent, does he oppose married men and fathers serving in the military?

As for the two masters theory...that particular twisting of Jesus' words is a common illogical "prooftext" against women placing themselves under any authority besides their husbands. I wonder why men like Phil Lancaster aren't worried about poor wives trying to serve two masters, God and husband, or why they aren't excited about the real meaning of the verse as a warning against trying to serve God and materialism. But I digress. To be logically consistent, Mr. Lancaster must also oppose the military reserves, which causes a man to have two masters, his employer and his commander.

Apparently, Mr. Lancaster also believes that the God-given focus of a husband and father is not abaondoned when he becomes a national defender. Perhaps he sees national defense as the truly godly focus and does not see husbands and fathers as having any sort of domestic focus at all.

I guess these sort of leaps of logic shouldn't surprise me from men like Mr. Lancaster, who also wrote about Pfc. Jessica Lynch, in the same article, "However, the media does not seem to have been as fascinated as I over the gender of the soldier.". That could be. The news stories that I saw, however, seemed to focus almost solely on the gender of Pfc. Jessica Lynch. I doubt that there would have been such a media interest in the story if Pfc. Lynch had not been female, young, blonde, and pretty---attributes which we were constantly reminded of each time the story was reported. The sordid and almost eager speculations about rape grew to the point of being sickening, when various doctors were hounded by the media to release private medical records and information.

But, I would not be surprised that Mr. Lancaster was even more fascinated by Pfc. Lynch's gender than the frenzied media was. An interesting choice of words..."fascinated"...

Enough said.

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