Sunday, February 3, 2013

Eliding the Truth about Women in Combat

I'll let this Kathleen Parker column stand in for a huge raft of right-wing commentary on the decision to allow women to serve in combat units. Parker:
Arguments favoring women in direct combat are perhaps well-intentioned, focusing on fairness, opportunity and pride in certain women’s abilities. Unfortunately, most people who make those arguments are operating on false assumptions. And, shall we say, mis-truths.

It’s not their fault. For the past several decades, the media and popular culture have relentlessly advanced the fantasy narrative of women as groin-kicking, martial-arts divas of doom. Where are all the brave men and women who know better? Would that lawmakers could stop preening for cameras long enough to examine the issue more closely.
Notice that she doesn't mention the people actually behind the move, the senior officers of the Army and Marines. This move was proposed and promoted by the service chiefs, not liberals in Congress. Conservatives can't seem to get their minds around this reality. In their view of the world, the military is a bastion of right-thinking toughness and it leaders know the truth about things like the stupidity of feminism and the importance of tradition. The mis-truths on display here are conservative beliefs about the gigantic career ladder known as the American military, not liberal beliefs about gender.

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