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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » New Gender Thing To Fight About (Page 1)

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Author Topic: New Gender Thing To Fight About
theamazeeaz
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They've actually gone and done it. Women are now allowed in combat roles.

http://security.blogs.cnn.com/2013/01/23/military-to-open-combat-jobs-to-women/?hpt=hp_c1

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Stone_Wolf_
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Great! If you can hack it, it doesn't matter your gender.
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stilesbn
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Does anyone know if the physical requirements will be the same or will they be lowered for women?
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Lyrhawn
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The military will take into account the physical capabilities of individuals before putting them into specific assignments.

A lot of this was recognize what is already fact: thousands of women already serve in combat positions but weren't being paid combat pay because of the ban. If the Armed Services decides they can hack it and puts them in whatever role it deems necessary, it's fine with me.

How about adding women to selective service now?

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vegimo
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
The range of human variation in almost all categories is wider than the range of variation between the sexes. In other words, the difference in strength between two randomly-selected women is statistically likely to be larger than the difference in strength between a random man and a random woman. The same goes for things like height and weight. While it is true that women, on average, tend to be smaller and weaker than men, it does not follow that a typical woman is necessarily weaker than a typical man.


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stilesbn
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quote:
Originally posted by vegimo:
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
The range of human variation in almost all categories is wider than the range of variation between the sexes. In other words, the difference in strength between two randomly-selected women is statistically likely to be larger than the difference in strength between a random man and a random woman. The same goes for things like height and weight. While it is true that women, on average, tend to be smaller and weaker than men, it does not follow that a typical woman is necessarily weaker than a typical man.


All the more reason that the physical requirements should be the same. I was just wondering if anyone knew anything about it.
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Rakeesh
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Something else to consider: even it it were true that women interested in combat military roles couldn't hack it to the standards of men, physically speaking (a case which has never actually been made, really, beyond asserting it as a fact of life)...

Our military, specialized and interconnected and reliant on all sorts of equipment and technical training, already turns away quite a lot of applicants who meet or even exceed the minimum physical requirements by a wide margin.

This isn't a statement made, btw, to suggest that the physical requirements should be lowered. It's only to point out that it is not necessarily the holiest of holies for all combat roles. Or at least not the *only* hugely important factor.

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theamazeeaz
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:


How about adding women to selective service now?

I'm okay with that. I'm too old now. [Taunt]

Honestly, I don't remember hearing about any young man being particularly happy about signing up for the draft or getting their number called. Just that it's their duty. Given that signing up for the draft is largely a symbolic gesture anyway, and it's generally agreed that actually drafting people is a bad idea for the morale of the people in the military and the country as a whole, why not make women do it?

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stilesbn
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Something else to consider: even it it were true that women interested in combat military roles couldn't hack it to the standards of men, physically speaking (a case which has never actually been made, really, beyond asserting it as a fact of life)...

Our military, specialized and interconnected and reliant on all sorts of equipment and technical training, already turns away quite a lot of applicants who meet or even exceed the minimum physical requirements by a wide margin.

This isn't a statement made, btw, to suggest that the physical requirements should be lowered. It's only to point out that it is not necessarily the holiest of holies for all combat roles. Or at least not the *only* hugely important factor.

I would imagine that physical ability has rapidly decreasing marginal returns once a certain threshold is met. I can't see much of a case being made to argue that women's requirements should be lower. Anyone want to make one? Even if just to play devil's advocate?
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theamazeeaz
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quote:
Originally posted by stilesbn:
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Something else to consider: even it it were true that women interested in combat military roles couldn't hack it to the standards of men, physically speaking (a case which has never actually been made, really, beyond asserting it as a fact of life)...

Our military, specialized and interconnected and reliant on all sorts of equipment and technical training, already turns away quite a lot of applicants who meet or even exceed the minimum physical requirements by a wide margin.

This isn't a statement made, btw, to suggest that the physical requirements should be lowered. It's only to point out that it is not necessarily the holiest of holies for all combat roles. Or at least not the *only* hugely important factor.

I would imagine that physical ability has rapidly decreasing marginal returns once a certain threshold is met. I can't see much of a case being made to argue that women's requirements should be lower. Anyone want to make one? Even if just to play devil's advocate?
Devil's Advocate? Okay. How about the requirements are meant to distinguish between "able-bodied person" and "couch potato" and the requirements reflect a certain percentile of the general population, not absolute ability. Or, for example, I don't weigh very much. I'm not considered underweight, but anyone who is "large" could easily be literally twice my weight. Thus, even though what I might be able to do at the gym is laughable, it might not be, pound per pound. You might want me because I'm in the small and sneaky business, and by all accounts I'm pretty strong, subjectively speaking.
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stilesbn
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This is only tangentially related but it came to mind.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWN13pKVp9s

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
How about adding women to selective service now?

Why bother? It's not like we actually use selective service for anything, except a way to eliminate a small fraction of the population from eligibility for federal financial aid.
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Stone_Wolf_
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Because it's equality! [Razz]
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stilesbn
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
How about adding women to selective service now?

Why bother? It's not like we actually use selective service for anything, except a way to eliminate a small fraction of the population from eligibility for federal financial aid.
What kind of resources would it take. Would adding women to it be an extra burden?

I suppose if we were to ever get into another world war like WWII that wipe out a whole generation of men the population bounce back would be more difficult if a whole generation of women were wiped out as well.

I suppose it wouldn't matter if the population followed a general rule of monogamous relationships when it came to child bearing. (i.e. non monogamous - 2 women:1 man = 2 babies/year vs. monogamous - 2 women:1 man = 1 baby/year)

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Aros
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Of course women's requirements should be lower. They're lower for Special Agent jobs in the government. The physical requirements don't guarantee absolute combat performance -- they're just a screening methodology. If we're going to ask women to meet the same requirements, NONE of them would pass.

Case in point: the pull up test requirements for both FBI Agents and the Marines.

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stilesbn
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
How about adding women to selective service now?

At first I thought you were talking about the secret service and I thought, "But Myka was on the Secret Service!"
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by stilesbn:
quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
How about adding women to selective service now?

Why bother? It's not like we actually use selective service for anything, except a way to eliminate a small fraction of the population from eligibility for federal financial aid.
What kind of resources would it take. Would adding women to it be an extra burden?

I suppose if we were to ever get into another world war like WWII that wipe out a whole generation of men the population bounce back would be more difficult if a whole generation of women were wiped out as well.

I suppose it wouldn't matter if the population followed a general rule of monogamous relationships when it came to child bearing. (i.e. non monogamous - 2 women:1 man = 2 babies/year vs. monogamous - 2 women:1 man = 1 baby/year)

Yeah, Card talks about this in one of his stories. I want to say it's the short story about Ender's parents, but I may be wrong.

He says that, historically, monogamous societies that lost lots of men in war did not suddenly adopt non-monogamy. Many more women simply went unmarried and childless. If that's true (sounds true to me, but I never checked to see if he was accurate) then it completely refutes the idea that only men should serve because we must preserve the wombs.

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theamazeeaz
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quote:
Originally posted by stilesbn:
quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
How about adding women to selective service now?

Why bother? It's not like we actually use selective service for anything, except a way to eliminate a small fraction of the population from eligibility for federal financial aid.
What kind of resources would it take. Would adding women to it be an extra burden?

I suppose if we were to ever get into another world war like WWII that wipe out a whole generation of men the population bounce back would be more difficult if a whole generation of women were wiped out as well.

I suppose it wouldn't matter if the population followed a general rule of monogamous relationships when it came to child bearing. (i.e. non monogamous - 2 women:1 man = 2 babies/year vs. monogamous - 2 women:1 man = 1 baby/year)

Did any society encourage polygamous marriages in the name of population growth after WWII?
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Aros
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Woman need to be volunteers and can't be mandated to serve. I was in the Navy. When a woman doesn't wants to go, she really DOESN'T have to go. She just has to get pregnant.

Selective Service for woman (in action, if actually exercised) would be utterly futile.

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stilesbn
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quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
Of course women's requirements should be lower. They're lower for Special Agent jobs in the government. The physical requirements don't guarantee absolute combat performance -- they're just a screening methodology. If we're going to ask women to meet the same requirements, NONE of them would pass.

Case in point: the pull up test requirements for both FBI Agents and the Marines.

So if a woman can perform just as well at a certain physical level why then can't a man perform at that level?
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stilesbn
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quote:
Originally posted by theamazeeaz:
Did any society encourage polygamous marriages in the name of population growth after WWII?

Not that I know of, which is why I added in that last part.

Edit: The large block of quoted quoted quoted text was unnecessary.

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theamazeeaz
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quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
Woman need to be volunteers and can't be mandated to serve. I was in the Navy. When a woman doesn't wants to go, she really DOESN'T have to go. She just has to get pregnant.

Selective Service for woman (in action, if actually exercised) would be utterly futile.

When a man really doesn't want to go, he just leaves the country, pretends he likes boys*, or decides that it's a great time to get that degree he's always wanted.

*Now obsolete. Sorry.

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Aros
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quote:
Originally posted by stilesbn:
quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
Of course women's requirements should be lower. They're lower for Special Agent jobs in the government. The physical requirements don't guarantee absolute combat performance -- they're just a screening methodology. If we're going to ask women to meet the same requirements, NONE of them would pass.

Case in point: the pull up test requirements for both FBI Agents and the Marines.

So if a woman can perform just as well at a certain physical level why then can't a man perform at that level?
Not sure what you're saying here. The Feds and the Marines have different statistics for women because women can't physically meet those that are laid out for men -- especially in upper body strength.

I had a girlfriend training for the DEA, and she was top tier -- but she was barely able to do the modified pullups (let alone the real ones). The men have to crank out around 12 at a minimum. There MIGHT be some women that can do that. But they'd be really elite. But why should they have to be that fit? The real goal is just to keep it to the top percentile of applicants.

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Aros
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quote:
Originally posted by theamazeeaz:
quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
Woman need to be volunteers and can't be mandated to serve. I was in the Navy. When a woman doesn't wants to go, she really DOESN'T have to go. She just has to get pregnant.

Selective Service for woman (in action, if actually exercised) would be utterly futile.

When a man really doesn't want to go, he just leaves the country, pretends he likes boys*, or decides that it's a great time to get that degree he's always wanted.

*Now obsolete. Sorry.

Draft dodging is illegal. Getting pregnant isn't. Seriously, when a deployment is coming, you'd sometime see half of the women serving aboard get pregnant. I suppose you could force them to go, but it'd be a nightmare to actually try and implement. Just from a personnel management / logistics perspective.
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theamazeeaz
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quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
Woman need to be volunteers and can't be mandated to serve. I was in the Navy. When a woman doesn't wants to go, she really DOESN'T have to go. She just has to get pregnant.

Selective Service for woman (in action, if actually exercised) would be utterly futile.

As much as people complain about women having kids to gain monetary advantage, they discount the part where they have to have the kid, and then take care of it for a couple of decades.

I know of a woman in the navy who has two children. That hasn't stopped her from being deployed fairly soon AFTER she gave birth for a rather long time. Repeatedly. I don't remember the exact numbers, but we'll say months after the birth and being on the boat about a year.

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stilesbn
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quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
I had a girlfriend training for the DEA, and she was top tier -- but she was barely able to do the modified pullups (let alone the real ones). The men have to crank out around 12 at a minimum. There MIGHT be some women that can do that. But they'd be really elite. But why should they have to be that fit? The real goal is just to keep it to the top percentile of applicants.

So your argument is that physical performance doesn't matter that much towards combat performance. So let's say combat performance readiness has 3 tests. (Simplified and honestly I have no clue what is required) Pull ups, Shooting accuracy, and snap judgments (i.e. things popping out at you like in Men in Black). Your girlfriend is top tier and performs the second 2 outstandingly, but she can only do 5 pull ups. Luckily the requirement for women is 5 so she's good. Bob is also top tier at everything else, but like your girlfriend, he can only do 5 pull ups. Not good enough he needs 12.

If physical fitness doesn't matter then why does it matter in this case?

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theamazeeaz
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quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
quote:
Originally posted by theamazeeaz:
quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
Woman need to be volunteers and can't be mandated to serve. I was in the Navy. When a woman doesn't wants to go, she really DOESN'T have to go. She just has to get pregnant.

Selective Service for woman (in action, if actually exercised) would be utterly futile.

When a man really doesn't want to go, he just leaves the country, pretends he likes boys*, or decides that it's a great time to get that degree he's always wanted.

*Now obsolete. Sorry.

Draft dodging is illegal. Getting pregnant isn't. Seriously, when a deployment is coming, you'd sometime see half of the women serving aboard get pregnant. I suppose you could force them to go, but it'd be a nightmare to actually try and implement. Just from a personnel management / logistics perspective.
Only the first one is illegal, but irrelevant if you were up for living abroad. I spent three years living with someone who is currently dodging the Taiwanese draft by virtue of emigrating to the USA.

College deferments were quite common in the Vietnam era, and I know someone who took a college course with someone whose Divinity School Doctoral education was very much inspired by the Vietnam war. As for being gay, the feeing was mutual.

For Vietnam, Wikipedia tells me that 27 million were eligible, 11 million went (the vast majority as volunteers) and of the 16 million who did not go, a whopping 96% were ineligible. Meaning only 4% of the people who did not go, did not go because they had lucky numbers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conscription_in_the_United_States

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Stone_Wolf_
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quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
Of course women's requirements should be lower. They're lower for Special Agent jobs in the government. The physical requirements don't guarantee absolute combat performance -- they're just a screening methodology. If we're going to ask women to meet the same requirements, NONE of them would pass.

This seems wrong to me. Either the physical requirements are actually based on something useful, or they are not. If they are as you suggest, simply to screen out the lessor competitors then they should change to a more relevant testing criteria. And it should be a universal one. If you can do the job, you can do the job. Gender irrelevant.
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
How about adding women to selective service now?

Why bother? It's not like we actually use selective service for anything, except a way to eliminate a small fraction of the population from eligibility for federal financial aid.
Then why not abolish it entirely?

Either we say we're never going to ever have a draft again under any circumstance, or we make it equal. I don't have a problem with either one, but the status quo is silly.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by theamazeeaz:
quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
quote:
Originally posted by theamazeeaz:
quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
Woman need to be volunteers and can't be mandated to serve. I was in the Navy. When a woman doesn't wants to go, she really DOESN'T have to go. She just has to get pregnant.

Selective Service for woman (in action, if actually exercised) would be utterly futile.

When a man really doesn't want to go, he just leaves the country, pretends he likes boys*, or decides that it's a great time to get that degree he's always wanted.

*Now obsolete. Sorry.

Draft dodging is illegal. Getting pregnant isn't. Seriously, when a deployment is coming, you'd sometime see half of the women serving aboard get pregnant. I suppose you could force them to go, but it'd be a nightmare to actually try and implement. Just from a personnel management / logistics perspective.
Only the first one is illegal, but irrelevant if you were up for living abroad. I spent three years living with someone who is currently dodging the Taiwanese draft by virtue of emigrating to the USA.

College deferments were quite common in the Vietnam era, and I know someone who took a college course with someone whose Divinity School Doctoral education was very much inspired by the Vietnam war. As for being gay, the feeing was mutual.

For Vietnam, Wikipedia tells me that 27 million were eligible, 11 million went (the vast majority as volunteers) and of the 16 million who did not go, a whopping 96% were ineligible. Meaning only 4% of the people who did not go, did not go because they had lucky numbers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conscription_in_the_United_States

You can't hide in school anymore. Selective Service reform eliminated the school deferment. You can finish a semester if you're called up for service, but you can't hide there for the entire time it takes to get a degree.
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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
Then why not abolish it entirely?

Fine with me.
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
Then why not abolish it entirely?

Fine with me.
Excellent. [Smile]
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Stone_Wolf_
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Can someone with lawyery knowledge explain to me how the draft is constitutional?
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Lyrhawn
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Selective Draft Law Cases in 1917. Court ruled unanimously that the Constitution gave the government the power to declare war and raise armies, and that citizenship includes a duty to defend the nation.

quote:
The highest duty of the citizen is to bear arms at the call of the nation. This duty is inherent in citizenship; without it and the correlative power of the State to compel its performance society could not be maintained. Vattel, Law of Nations, Book III, c. 2, §§ 8, 10. It is a contradiction in terms to say that the United States is a sovereign and yet lacks this power of self-defense. Hence, the power was expressly granted by the Constitution. Art. I, § 8. It is found in the power to declare war, which means a power to carry on war successfully, i.e., with the means necessary. Vattel, Book III, c. 2, § 7; United States v. Sugar, 243 Fed. Rep. 423, 436; Kneedler v. Lane, 45 Pa. St. 238. Also in the power to raise and support armies, which is conferred broadly, and without limitation, other than the restriction that appropriations to support armies shall not exceed two years. There is no provision limiting the means to voluntary enlistment. On the contrary, Congress is expressly empowered to use all means necessary and proper to carry out the express grant. Hence, the power to resort either to voluntary enlistment or to enforced draft is express. Selective draft is not only an appropriate means but under the conditions of modern warfare the most prudent, just, and equitable method which can be employed. That the power to compel military service is an incident of sovereignty appears from the custom of nations. Compulsory service is now exacted by practically all the nations of the globe. The compulsory draft was a normal method of raising armies in the United States in 1787 when the Constitution was adopted. It was expressly recognized in many state constitutions, was enforced by the States for local purposes in calling out the militia, and also for obtaining levies to fill the ranks of the Continental Army. The constitutions of five States during the Revolutionary War period express the principle of universal military service. Militia duty was imposed upon all arms-bearing citizens of the original thirteen States during the eighteenth century. The Continental Congress recommended it to the States as a means of recruiting the Continental Army; and the numerous statutes enacted pursuant to those recommendations [space will not permit of their citation here] conclusively determine the meaning which the framers of the Constitution attached to the power to raise armies. The history of this clause in the Convention shows a definite intent not to limit the nation to voluntary enlistments. Supp. Elliot's Debates, vol. 5, pp. 378, 379, 443, 510, 511, 553; Farrand's Records of the Federal Convention, vol. 2, pp. 323, 330, 505, 509, 570, 595. Several of the States, in ratifying the Constitution, proposed amendments to limit the power of Congress to raise armies by draft, Journals of Congress, vol. 13, appendix, pp. 176, 184, Folwell's Press, 1801; Elliot's Debates, vol. 1, p. 336; vol. 3, p. 659; vol. 4, pp. 242, 244, 251, 252; and their rejection shows not only that the language employed was intended to include the power to draft but also that this was the contemporary interpretation. A prime object of the Constitution was to cure the impotence of the Continental Congress directly to require military service from the citizens of the States. Articles of Confederation, 7, 9 (1 Stat. 6, 7); Federalist, No. 22, p. 143, No. 23, pp. 152, 153; 7 Sparks, Writings of Washington, pp. 162, 167.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
This seems wrong to me. Either the physical requirements are actually based on something useful, or they are not. If they are as you suggest, simply to screen out the lessor competitors then they should change to a more relevant testing criteria. And it should be a universal one. If you can do the job, you can do the job. Gender irrelevant.
Why must it be a universal (and pass/fail) standard? Serious question.

I mean, suppose for the sake of argument that physical reqs comprise, say, 50% of soldiering in a modern military. That's not an argument, just an easy fraction. The other 50% are either mental qualities whether they're previous training, grades, or otherwise measured aptitude, or other less tangible traits such as high degrees of toughness or pain tolerance or maybe you hiked your way alone out of the Amazon or something.

Anyway, let's say a hypothetical applicant scores 75% of the minimum standard on the physical aspects when they try to enlist. The recruiter (absent the usual lust for recruits) in their experience estimates that with a solid commitment in boot camp, the applicant could bump that up to 90% of the minimum physical reqs of someone graduating from boot camp, but anymore would be unlikely.

This applicant, however, scored off-the-charts excellent in those other areas. Already speaks fluent Arabic and Farsi, perhaps. Brilliant marksperson. Marathon runner. Shall this person be excluded from a combat role, or should perhaps the standards be less a blunt and more a surgical instrument for selecting recruits?

Half the population we as a culture basically don't even consider by default, regardless of other aptitudes. Tough sell to demonstrate we're not throwin' the baby out with the bath water.

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Stone_Wolf_
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Thanks Lyr...it kinda boggles my mind a bit, but...I guess the 13th Amendment isn't applicable somehow.

Rakeesh: I don't mind at all if the branches of the armed forces use a little wiggle room to determine these things, especially when there is a situation as you described, where someone brings more to the tale in other areas.

What I mind is a broad spectrum double standard (no pun intended). Imagine for a moment that the two standards were not for gender, but race. That blacks, being more athletic had to exceed higher standards then their white counterparts, because after all, it isn't about a simple requirement of the job, it's "just a screening methodology".

Either the requirements are just that and should be one standard, or...well, um...no or!

People talk about wanting equality, well, there it is. Here is what the job requires...if you can do the job, you can have the job. If the job requires "male" upper body strength, then, it is what it is. If a woman can lift enough, she can do the job.

I'm only arguing for fair requirements.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
Thanks Lyr...it kinda boggles my mind a bit, but...I guess the 13th Amendment isn't applicable somehow.


quote:
Finally, as we are unable to conceive upon what theory the exaction by government from the citizen of the performance of his supreme and noble duty of contributing to the defense of the rights and honor of the nation, as the result of a war declared by the great representative body of the people, can be said to be the imposition of involuntary servitude in violation of the prohibitions of the Thirteenth Amendment, we are constrained to the conclusion that the contention to that effect is refuted by its mere statement.
Basically, being a citizen inherently entails military service in defense of the state. Also, if a representative government declares war and calls for a draft, it's not entirely involuntary, since you voted for the people who enacted the law.
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Swampjedi
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
How about adding women to selective service now?

Why bother? It's not like we actually use selective service for anything, except a way to eliminate a small fraction of the population from eligibility for federal financial aid.
Then why not abolish it entirely?

Either we say we're never going to ever have a draft again under any circumstance, or we make it equal. I don't have a problem with either one, but the status quo is silly.

And we might even save some millionth of a percent of the budget by getting rid of it entirely. If we're ever to the point where it's required again, then it should be created anew.
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Aros
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
Thanks Lyr...it kinda boggles my mind a bit, but...I guess the 13th Amendment isn't applicable somehow.

Rakeesh: I don't mind at all if the branches of the armed forces use a little wiggle room to determine these things, especially when there is a situation as you described, where someone brings more to the tale in other areas.

What I mind is a broad spectrum double standard (no pun intended). Imagine for a moment that the two standards were not for gender, but race. That blacks, being more athletic had to exceed higher standards then their white counterparts, because after all, it isn't about a simple requirement of the job, it's "just a screening methodology".

Either the requirements are just that and should be one standard, or...well, um...no or!

People talk about wanting equality, well, there it is. Here is what the job requires...if you can do the job, you can have the job. If the job requires "male" upper body strength, then, it is what it is. If a woman can lift enough, she can do the job.

I'm only arguing for fair requirements.

Define fair.

Let's say the XYZ agency gets 1000 applicants a year. Unfortunately, there are only 20 openings. They set physical screening requirements in place to narrow down the pool to 100 applicants. The final candidates will be selected based on interviews.

Assuming this is the case and that we have the same standard, the top 10% will be all male. If upper body tests are omitted, there will be a handful of women that make it, but they will have had to work WAY harder than the men. If upper body tests are included, there will be no women admitted.

I can do 25 pullups. I've only put in a moderate amount of work over the last year to reach this goal. For a woman, assuming it is possible, would take an immense amount of training.

So, what's fair? The goal is to screen people and find the best recruits. Are they the people who are, on paper, able to do the most pullups and have the fastest run times? Or do you want the people who have demonstrated a commitment to training, who can perform in the top 10% of candidates? Because, statistically speaking, the top female contenders are completely outclassed by men who barely have to train. Obviously, aerobic exercise is a (somewhat) exemption.

Right now, a woman has to train WAY harder to pass the DEA physical test. Pass rates are ridiculously low compared to men. And the scores required are drastically lower.

Maybe you're right. Maybe we should be fair. Then nature keeps chicks out of dangerous jobs? And we don't have to look like misogynists.

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/25/why-women-cant-do-pull-ups/

http://www.bodytribe.com/2013/01/17/how-women-can-do-pull-ups/

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theamazeeaz
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I go the gym with my friend Sonia, and we were talking about pull-ups. We're just starting out at gym, and I don't think we could do them, but we haven't tried, but we were having the "can most women just not do pull-ups?" discussion. Anyway, Sonia tells me that on her wedding day, someone walked in on one of her bored bridesmaids cranking out pull-ups using a door frame or something (don't ask me how, I wasn't there) while waiting in her DRESS, which startled some people at the time.

[ January 24, 2013, 02:53 PM: Message edited by: theamazeeaz ]

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stilesbn
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Aros,

Do you see any inequality in a test for women being less stringent than a test for men?

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MattP
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quote:
This seems wrong to me. Either the physical requirements are actually based on something useful, or they are not.
Well, they could just be a handy way to screen general fitness. I man who cannot manage a handful of pull-ups is not in great shape. A man who can manage 12 has been taking care of himself and can be assumed to be in excellent physical condition. That doesn't mean that combat roles necessarily requiring lifting your body weight and lowering it down again 12 times consecutively while deployed.

Because of the difference in upper body strength for women, pull-ups are not as good of a gauge of general fitness. On the other hand, some research suggests that women may have a higher pain threshold and more endurance. Attributes like these may offset those where they fall short.

(Please sprinkle "generally" and "on average" liberally throughout the above.)

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Stone_Wolf_
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What I'm arguing for is to not use physical requirements as a screen. Do force recon marines have a reason to require pull ups, or not. If it is a real life requirement that they can lift themselves up so they can navigate broken terrain, then it makes sense. If we are simply determining that applicants are *fit enough to apply* then double standards don't bother me a bit.

All I'm saying is, make the physical requirements real world applicable and only one standard. If you want the screening prerequisites to be different for different genders, great.

As a side note, if I had been able to do a pull up, I would have been a marine at the age of 22. I'm a big guy, both heavily muscled and my fair share of chunk, both tall and with long arms. I'm also fully trained in martial arts and a certified marksmen. So I brought a lot to the table, but, no pull up, no sign up. *shrug*

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Aros
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
What I'm arguing for is to not use physical requirements as a screen. Do force recon marines have a reason to require pull ups, or not. If it is a real life requirement that they can lift themselves up so they can navigate broken terrain, then it makes sense. If we are simply determining that applicants are *fit enough to apply* then double standards don't bother me a bit.

All I'm saying is, make the physical requirements real world applicable and only one standard. If you want the screening prerequisites to be different for different genders, great.

As a side note, if I had been able to do a pull up, I would have been a marine at the age of 22. I'm a big guy, both heavily muscled and my fair share of chunk, both tall and with long arms. I'm also fully trained in martial arts and a certified marksmen. So I brought a lot to the table, but, no pull up, no sign up. *shrug*

So you recognize defeat? Raise the white flag?

Physical requirements ARE the same. Everywhere. Period. No major health conditions, good vision, no major disabilities. What you call a "screening prerequisite" is what is currently different, except for there is often rescreening required in some fields -- (military, some federal service). Most police agencies don't require rescreening.

So, you're in favor of the current systems and you acknowledge that different "screening prerequisites" for the sexes are applicable?

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Stone_Wolf_
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There is a difference between a prerequisite before you can being training and a requirement before you graduate training. We are talking about elite, special forces here.
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Darth_Mauve
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The requirement thing, as well as entrance into special forces has not been decided yet. It will take at least a year for such decisions to be made by experts in the field.

I am reminded of one of my first debates in High School (in the 80's). It was on the ERA (Equal Rights Amendment, not Earned Run Average). The evil's of the ERA were, as proclaimed by one young woman, that eventually women would be sent into combat. Why can't they just be in the military to serve non-combat roles, protected from the real dangers.

I responded, "You are suggesting that in case of war, women fill all the safe non-combat jobs so that I have a greater chance of going into combat, being shot, wounded or killed. Thank you. I really appreciate that."

Hopefully I'm still not as snarky in debates.

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Lyrhawn
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I feel like that's the appropriate level of snark given what you were responding too.
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Kwea
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quote:
Originally posted by stilesbn:
Does anyone know if the physical requirements will be the same or will they be lowered for women?

According to all my sources, in order to serve in front line roles women will have to meet the same physical standards. Just like women firefighters, which to me is a very good thing.

My main issue as a medic in the Army was that the women I served didn't meet anything CLOSE to what men had to. I had to run an obstacle course with 3 women, all of whom got PERFECT scores on their PT tests.....because their test was a cake walk. They couldn't even lift THEMSELVES over the walls, let along the stretcher. I was in good shape, but never got more than 282/300 on a PT test, and they all got 300/300?

IRL, they would have gotten me killed.

If we are going to do this, they HAVE to be able to meet the same standards. Anything less puts them, and anyone they work with, at great risk.

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Aros
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
There is a difference between a prerequisite before you can being training and a requirement before you graduate training. We are talking about elite, special forces here.

I think I know what you're saying. But there still is not an issue.

Assume I am assessing aerobic health, upper body strength, and core strength. I test with a run, pushups, and situps.

I determine that there will be a minimum requirement and a screening requirement. There is no prerequisite. Women will be tested to the minimum requirement for all three areas. Men will be tested to the screening requirement. Follow up testing will will be at the SAME levels -- why should we reduce the numbers that we screened to?

I guess there is an argument to be made for reducing men's numbers to that of women for a retest. But nobody has (or probably will) do it.

This is how it's already implemented. And it's already ridiculously hard for women to meet the physical requirements for Federal Agent positions.

Hopefully, they take the federal system and apply something similar in the military. Sure, it will be tough for women to get into some of these combat roles -- but at least they'll be able to carry a stretcher and drag a buddy to safety. But since we're screening them to our supposed minimums and screening men higher, they still won't be as tough on average. And men will still complain.

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Darth_Mauve
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I overheard a no-name radio host explain why he was upset with this.

1) It was a smoke screen to cover up the Bengazi hearings--even though the timing was a day late.

2) He once went camping with a woman who failed at camping, so obviously all women fail at being real soldiers.

3) We have the NBA and the WNBA, so what we need is an Army and a Woman's Army--so that at the next war our women can fight their women while our men fight their men in the real battles.

4) This is all a plot to increase the size of the army. We don't need more soldiers in Iraq or Afghanistan, so Obama must be building an army to take all our guns.

5) When the 1st woman soldier is killed, the people will revolt at this terrible idea. Never mind that 140 women soldiers have died in Iraq and Afghanistan in the last 10 years.

6) Women will run and hide when they get drafted. Just you wait and see.

7) Why do we need woman at the front? We have enough men. Not once was there any consideration that women soldiers are wanting to fight for their freedom, their country, and their service, and willing to risk being killed to defend them.

At this point my brain exploded. And you wonder why conservatives have trouble with the women's vote. They assumed that all women in the military were 2nd rate, had no career plans, and were cowards.

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