The libertarian economics professor has some issues with the proposal: "A senior Defense Department official said the ban on women in combat should be lifted because the military's goal is 'to provide a level, gender-neutral playing field.' I'd like to think the goal of the military should be to have the toughest, meanest fighting force possible. But let's look at 'gender-neutral playing field.' The Army's physical fitness test in basic training is a three-event physical performance test used to assess endurance. The minimum requirement for 17- to 21-year-old males is 35 pushups, 47 situps and a two-mile run in 16 minutes, 36 seconds or less. For females of the same age, the minimum requirement is 13 pushups, 47 situps and a 19:42 two-mile run. Why the difference in fitness requirements? 'USMC Women in the Service Restrictions Review' found that women, on average, have 20 percent lower aerobic power, 40 percent lower muscle strength, 47 percent less lifting strength and 26 percent slower marching speed than men."
He continues his commentary: "In a January report titled 'Defense Department 'Diversity' Push for Women in Land Combat' Elaine Donnelly, director of the Center for Military Readiness, points to U.S. Army studies showing that women are twice as likely to suffer injuries and are three times more undeployable than men. Women are less likely to be able to march under load — 12.4 miles in five hours with an 83-pound assault load — and to be able to crawl, sprint, negotiate obstacles with that load or move a casualty weighing 165 pounds or more while carrying that load. Plus, there are muscle-challenging feats, even for men, such as field repairs on an M1A1 Abrams tank."
More commentary from Dr. Williams, about women in combat: "Here are a couple of what-if questions. Suppose a combat unit is retreating in mountainous terrain in Afghanistan, where a person's aerobic capacity really makes a difference, and the women in the unit can't keep up with the men. What would you propose, leaving the women behind to possibly be captured by the Taliban or having the unit slow down so the women can keep up, thereby risking causalities or capture? What if a male soldier is washed out of the Army's Advanced Infantry Training program because he cannot pass its physical fitness test whereas a female soldier who can't perform at his level is retained? Should male soldiers be able to bring suit and be awarded damages for sex discrimination? How much respect can a male soldier have for his female counterpart, who is held to lower performance standards?"
Booker Rising response: I agree that the performance standards should be equal across the board. However, I fail to see why women who can meet the currently-male-only standard should be barred from combat due to the "pregnancy issue" (Dr. Williams' words....never mind that not all women desire to be mothers) or because she has less testosterone ("physical aggressiveness", as Dr. Williams puts it).