ANYONE who believes that the lifting of the ban on women in combat will eliminate or even diminish feminist resentment toward the Armed Forces is ignorant of the simplest premises of modern feminism. The decision to lift the ban will enhance, not lessen, feminist grievance — and for very good reasons.
Obviously the ban will create resentment that women are and always will be the victims of sexual assault or harassment in the military. In the eyes of feminists, all unwanted sexual advances, even those occurring in close combat, can be prevented by administrative oversight. Obviously the ban will also create perpetual, unending resentment that there are not, and never will be, as many top female commanders or decorated heroes. The more the military opens itself to women, the more it opens itself to their dissatisfaction.
Less obvious is the fact that the decision is an admission that women were the victims of a male conspiracy in the past. What could have motivated the establishment of an all-male military — both in America and virtually every society in recorded history — if women were fully capable of fighting all along? Only enmity toward women by men could explain it. Thus the lifting of the ban affirms the feminist belief in this historic injustice.
In short, all of history is tainted with the claim that women can fight as well as men.
Notice this recent article in The New York Times which comes on the heels of Leon Panetta’s announcement that women can now fight. Three women who have successful careers complain. Why? Because they were excluded from combat before the ban and would have had even more spectacularly successful careers if they had had combat experience. Note their unashamed conviction that a major purpose of the military is to offer them career opportunities.
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