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  1. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    Women in the Military

    Discussion in 'Debate Room' started by JJ_Maxx, Dec 28, 2013.

    Right now, female marines are not required to do a single push-up, whereas their male counterparts are required to do three. Now a mandate to make things more 'equal' has been delayed.

    According to this article:

    Also, this is mentioned as well:

    "Pull-ups have been used to test Marines’ upper body strength for over 40 years. The ability to pull-up one’s own body weight over a bar shows the upper body strength that, in combat, is needed to lift fallen comrades, pull one’s self over a wall, and carry heavy munitions. Combat Marines also carry a pack that weighs around 90 pounds, with gunners carrying an additional 50 or 60 pounds."

    Since women biologically have around 50% less upper body strength then men, should it be acceptable to exclude women from such a life-or-death physically demanding job?

    If we wouldn't accept a man with the strength of a woman, why would we accept a woman with the strength of a woman?

    Discuss...
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I think women should have to meet similar physical requirements, but I don't expect it to be the same requirements as for men. I would say that being able to do at least one pull-up is fair.
     
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  3. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    But if the requirement is for the same task why would the requirement be less? If the job is to carry 100 pounds, what is the point of hiring someone who can only lift 50 or 75? You can't choose who becomes wounded in combat and if you have to carry a wounded comrade, shouldn't they be able to carry the person no matter the gender?
     
  4. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Well, I do think the physical limit for women needs to be taken into account. If the requirements were the same for both genders, it would exclude a lot of women from enlisting in the military, and I don't think that's fair. Being able to carry/drag a wounded soldier, though very important, is not the only duty a soldier has when in battle.
     
  5. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I think the requirements should be the same if the women want to do the same jobs as their male counterparts. Especially since the requirements aren't even close to insurmountable.

    Women can do 3 pull-ups, easy. Kat can do it, so can my mom (a 58yo office worker with no hard or even regular training regimen), and I've known a 13yo girl who could do 3 as well and she smoked like a chimney and didn't exercise. If you can't do it, learning to do it is just a matter of training, nothing more. If you can't be arsed to train enough to get 3 pull-ups...

    Seriously, it's not even close to an unobtainable goal, even for a girl, much less a woman. Is it really so hard to train diligently (and shed excess weight if that's the problem)? Why would the Corps even want people, men or women, who aren't willing to put in the hours to meet their standards? To fill quotas?
    Personally, I find it demeaning towards women that the bar is lowered for them, as if they couldn't do it, when everyone knows full well they can.

    I know women generally have less upper body strength, but the Corps isn't demanding 30 pull-ups (although even that doesn't require world-class conditioning). 3 is nothing, even for a moderately athletic female.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2013
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  6. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Wait, are the pull-ups done with or without all the equipment? Because 3 pull-ups with 90 lbs of gear seems hard, though certainly doable with training. On the other hand, 3 pull-ups without any gear sounds too easy.
     
  7. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    @thirdwind, no gear, just t-shirts, shorts, socks, and shoes. Gloves are allowed. And so is jumping, being lifted to the bar, or getting a step-up.
     
  8. Tara
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    Tara Contributing Member

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    I basically agree with this. If you don't want to put some time in training why on earth would you want to be in the military in the first place? In my opinion that's kinda like saying you want an office job, but you don't want to do the work that comes with it.

    If I'd be in the military I'd probably insist on either passing with the "regular" standard or not at all, but then again I'm known to be very stubborn...
     
  9. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I agree with this. Having served in the military myself and observed woman who are every bit as physically capable as most of their male counterparts, I see no reason that the requirements should not be attached to the job, and not to the gender. I think this should actually be offensive to women that the requirements are different (less) for them on the assumption that they simply can't. I served with women who could beat the crap out of me and not break a sweat.
     
  10. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    I saw this story, and this issue has bothered me for quite some time. I agree that if there are truly physical requirements that must be met in order to do the job, it doesn't make sense to have disparate requirements -- I mean, if the conditions are such that it really is necessary to have the strength to do 3 pull-ups (or run a distance in a certain amount of time, etc), then why have them? What of the man who is otherwise capable but can't meet the standards set for men, yet could meet those for women?

    I am, of course, concerned, though, about the sexism, particularly since it is so strong in the military. But I agree that having lower requirements for women can contribute to the idea that women are less capable, when certainly there are women who can meet the requirements set for men. I guess the biggest danger is in setting arbitrary physical standards that really aren't required for the job, which would exclude women who would otherwise be well qualified (or even the best qualified) for certain positions (including leadership positions.)
     
  11. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I feel that, at least in part, the two are intertwined. The disparity in requirements feeds the sexism. I'm not saying it's the cause (seriously, I'm not saying that, I know better) but it definitely is feeding it. In combat, soldiers need to know that their fellow soldiers will perform as expected, both physically and from a standpoint of discipline. It has to be a knowledge, not a belief. A military doesn't function with anything less than that. It's a thing I call the Contract. I think every citizen - male, female, transgendered, gay, straight, whatever - should be allowed to do any job in the military for which they have proven themselves physically, mentally and disciplinary capable and for which there is a need. This is how the Contract gets fulfilled. If I'm sitting in a combat situation, I need to know that my squad or group consists of people who are each in sync with what I can, will, and must do. I don't care if the person at my side is a woman; I only care that she is capable of correctly handling, firing and moving the M60 behind which she is squatted or splayed, and that she will handle it, use it, and move it when the time comes, without an iota of hesitation, question or doubt. If all of that is fulfilled, then her gender is invisible to me, I see only a soldier, which is exactly what I should see for everything to function as it should.
     
  12. TessaT
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    TessaT Contributing Member

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    The requirements should be completely equal. If it's what the job requires, then it's what the job requires.
    The only thing that I see as being sexist about it, is the fact that they're currently allowing females to do zero compared to their male counterparts.
     
  13. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    Maybe you can't choose the wounded but you could narrow the odds by putting all the women in one battalion and sending them out to the battlefields together. Better still if you could synchronize their cycles - there isn't an Al Qaeda cell in the world who'd stand up to a battalion of men-hating, premenstrual women running at them with kitchen knives, steak tenderisers or even wooden spoons yelling and screaming just because...
     
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  14. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    What century do you hail from? That misogynistic argument has no place in today's world, if it ever did.
     
  15. Patra Felino
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    1. Surely the requirements should be the same for men and women. In my view, positive discrimination is short-sighted and, in the long run, generally hurts those it is intended to protect.

    2. Three pull ups? Ha ha ha! I can't help thinking that some people on this thread don't realise how easy that is. Even I can do three pull ups, and I shouldn't be let anywhere near the military with the shape I'm in. What other requirements are there? Being able to shoot a cow from 20 yards? Running 100 metres in under 30 seconds?
     
  16. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    Agreed, it is perfectly reasonable to create requirements that are rooted in the physcial demand of the job itself.

    If I needed a roofing worker to carry 100-pound shingles onto rooftops, it would be rediculous of me to hire someone who can only lift 50 pounds, regardless of sex.
     
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  17. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I'm not sure I understand the connection between the sad excuses of 3 "pull-ups" that's required and being strong enough to carry your gear and possibly a fallen comrade, especially if you have to work on the battlefield. I can't do 3 from a dead-hang, by the way, but sure as hell can do 3 if I jump or am helped. But I can't e.g. fireman-carry a +200lbs dude -- I've tried! I think I could if I had a stronger lower body which, by the way, is good news for women (women tend to have lesser upper body strength in relation to men).

    However, we have held different physical standards for men and women for ages, and while I think it's unfair, it seems to be the only way to fill quotas in certain fields. Guess it comes down to politics, but nevertheless, I'd encourage every woman to look in the mirror and go the distance if they really want to serve.
     
  18. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm befuddled by the test. If the test is to lift your own body weight, then surely smaller people who complete it just fine might still not have enough strength to perform the tasks that it's intended to test--except, of course, for real-world tasks that are also based on one's own weight. Yes, this is a question that could cause more, not less, trouble for women. (At least for women who are smaller than the average man.)
     
  19. the1
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    I feel female marines should be required to do the same amount of push ups and pull ups as their male counterparts.

    Females generally weigh less than males so the training required for each individual to be able to lift or push their own body weight is comparatively relative.

    I also feel that 3 push ups is not enough. If 3 push ups is the minimum requirement for males then that is not difficult at all.
     
  20. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah. It's been a while since I was in uniform, but when I read that article I was rather underwhelmed at the requirement for even male marines, let alone female marines. I was under the impression that for the Marine Corp the minimum requirement would be something a bit more... daunting. Some of this may simply come from misperception imposed by media (thanks again Hollywood!!) that under every military uniform is this:

    [​IMG]

    A number of years of shared barracks showers says the above is present, but not in the majority at all. Regardless, I did serve with female soldiers who would easily surpass the current minimum for male soldiers. They are there. There's no reason the standard should not reflect this.
     
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  21. Gallowglass
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    Gallowglass Contributing Member Contributor

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    A uni friend of mine once explained that, as part of the application process of becoming an officer (through a pre-commitment outfit affiliated with the military), she had to complete an exercise routine in her underwear in the presence of superior officers. A lot of the people in the room gave her a look as though she really ought to tell someone, then her boyfriend confirmed he had to do the same and that was totally fine.

    That knee-jerk aversion to women being put through the same things as men - especially when they involve physical exercise or a hint of skin - is a large part of the problem, imo.
     
  22. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Why did she have to do it in her undies?
     
  23. Gallowglass
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    Gallowglass Contributing Member Contributor

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    So they can check for deformities (in the spine mostly) and proper muscle function. All recruits do, regardless of gender, it's just something about women in their underwear/doing physical exercise that makes society reach for the panic button.
     
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  24. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I see. And yeah, I think it's got to do with how men and women view each other and themselves in our culture: female nudity is almost always sexy, male nudity can be sexy just as easily as it can be silly or mundane.

    Lately I've been wondering if a physically gifted girl started training at, say, 13yo with the goal of becoming the first female SEAL, could she pull it off if she'd dedicate hours per day for training / preparation, grow to be 6,1, muscular with low body fat, skilled in all areas of the SEAL "entrance exam" a civilian can train for (endurance, strength, empty hands fighting, small arms use, small unit tactics, diving, swimming, parkour etc)...

    A bit OT: I'm gonna google what exactly it takes to get into SEAL training, but if anyone here knows or knows where to find that information, I'd appreciate it 'cause I need the info for a story.
     
  25. yagr
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    yagr Contributing Member

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    T.Trian: If you still need the information, you can PM me. What is available online is not completely accurate.

    Regarding your question about a thirteen yr old girl who began training with the intention of becoming a SEAL: Based on my experience, I would say 'no'. I wasn't a SEAL but was tested by the Naval Special Warfare Command and picked up by another outfit. I did participate in joint missions however and can't imagine a woman being able to meet the requirements as they stand.
     
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