A Voice for Men: we’ll support women in combat only if the proper percentage of women get killed.


Woman officially not in combat role.

As everyone reading this blog no doubt already knows, feminists have hailed the Pentagon’s decision to open combat jobs to women, which will allow women the same opportunities to serve as men. The decision is also a backhanded acknowledgement that, for all intents and purposes, women are serving in combat today already. (Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth lost both of her legs in combat in Iraq – but officially, what she was engaged in wasn’t combat.)

It seems inevitable that, as a result of this decision, young women will be required to sign up for selective service alongside men. While virtually all feminists I know oppose the draft, most agree that as long as registration is going to be required, it should be required for both men and women. Indeed, when selective service was reinstated in 1981, the National Organization for Women brought a lawsuit demanding this sort of equality.

Reaction amongst Men’s Rightsers to the Pentagon’s announcement has been mixed. Some have welcomed the change, as a “what’s good for the goose” acknowledgement of equal rights and responsibilities. Others, like most of the regulars on The Spearhead, predict catastrophe, as inherently unqualified women are sent to the front lines. Regular Spearhead commenter Uncle Elmer joked:

After this experiment runs its course, how many men will have died while bringing tampon supplies up to the front?

Can anyone tell me the additional garbage load from tampon-related issues on all-women submarines? Could a mission fail if some gal flushed her tampon down the toilet instead of following the proper mil-spec procedure?

But the most telling reaction has come from A Voice for Men, which in an editorial suggested that it would only support the move if women were required to die as often as men.

No, really. Here’s what the editorialist, presumably site founder Paul Elam, wrote:

AVFM supports the spirit of the new Pentagon Directive …  However, any blanket approval of the new measure thus far would be premature. …

[T]he only way this new policy will have any meaning will be if it is mandatory that women face combat on the front lines. With 20% of the military being comprised of women, that means roughly 20% of combat related fatalities should be female. 1 in 5 of body bags being filled overseas should contain the bodies of mothers, sisters, daughters, wives and girlfriends.

AVFM isn’t alone in hoping that one result of the Pentagon’s new policy will be increased injury and death for women. On his blog the self-designated “counter-feminist agent of change” Fidelbogen quoted – with a weird sort of semi-approval – one comment from an unknown person he says he found online:

I know this isn’t a laughing matter but this is pretty fucking sweet. Now those very same women who complain about how hard childbirth is get to experience real pain and misery by getting their arms blown off by enemy fire or their legs blown off by mines. Or getting infections when they have to stay at their post for days at a time without taking a bath. Those same women who say all men are rapists can now see what real rape is when they are taken as POW’s and gang-raped by foreign men at gun point and passed around like a piece of meat and then their heads blown off when they are done. This is real war ladies, are you ready for your cup of true equality?

In the comments on AVFM, meanwhile one Rick Westlake helped to make clearer the vindictive subtext of the AVFM’s editorial, suggesting that the Pentagon’s decision could be good for men if it served to

rub …  some high-ratcheted, ‘entitled/empowered’ noses in the misandric, disposable-male double standard of the Selective Service system.

Our current society, including our military, makes mock of ‘equality’ by divorcing ‘opportunity’ from ‘consequences,’ ‘choices’ from ‘costs,’ and ‘benefits’ from ‘responsibility.’ Princesses are awarded all of the opportunities, choices and benefits and are excused from all the responsibility, costs and consequences. ‘Draft-pigs,’ meaning men, are made to shoulder all those dirty, nasty, dangerous and demeaning responsibilities, consequences and costs on behalf of the Entitled Empowered Princesses.

Putting women on the combat line would be disastrous for the military … But the fact remains, enough Princesses have clamored for the ‘opportunities and benefits’ of serving in the front line, heedless of the consequences and the costs.

By requiring Princesses to register for Selective Service, before they can claim the benefits that ‘draft-pigs’ can only receive if they’ve registered – and by declaring them liable for the same fines and penalties as the draft-pigs, if they don’t – we at least remind them that freedom isn’t free, that choices have costs, and that true equality includes responsibility and consequences.

I can already hear the thin, reedy screeches from the Princesses. Fine. Let them learn what it is to hump 35-pound fifty-cal ammo cans to feed Ma Deuce in a firefight. Or let them scuttle back to the home and the hearth, and give thanks for (and to) the Brave Men who will defend them.

Elam himself echoed this vindictive “let them eat equality” stance in a sneering comment posted under his own name suggesting that in the wake of the Pentagon’s new policy plenty of women won’t find the “aroma” of equality to

be so sweet … This is what feminism was always about, and now, after three waves, the chickens are going to come home to roost. Because feminism never was about anything but creating tax paying, laboring, consuming, bleeding and dying servants to the masters of corporatocracy.

They lured women in with visions of corner offices and autonomy, and now that they have fully taken the bait, the doors are going to be slammed behind them and locked. They will be left to languish in their “freedom” as corporate wage slaves, and when needed they will be forced to contribute to the rivers of blood required to keep it going.

NOW and others will likely succeed in keeping the last part “optional” for while, but it won’t last.

The grand daughters of today’s college woman is as fucked as any man in history.

To which every feminist I know would say: bring it on. Feminists are well aware that equality, along with its many benefits, brings certain costs.  Putting more women into combat roles means, inevitably, that more women will be injured or killed. The feminists supporting the Pentagon’s decision are aware of this. Unlike many MRAs, though, they look at combat injuries and deaths as one of the sad but inevitable consequences of war — not as something to rub anyone’s face into.

Here’s a hint to any MRAs who think that either AVFM or the more blatantly sadistic commenter quoted by Fidelbogen has a point: Civil Rights activism is about uplifting everyone, not making others “pay.”

When the American civil rights movement took up the issue of voting rights, civil rights activists demanded that black people be allowed to vote without harassment or other obstacles like “literacy tests” standing in their way.

Civil rights activists didn’t demand that whites be kept from voting.

The Civil Rights movement called for historically all-white colleges to be opened up to blacks. It didn’t call for white people to be banned from these colleges too.

This is how you can tell that the Men’s Rights movement, as it stands today, is not a true civil rights movement. Because insofar as it is about anything other than complaining about (and sometimes harassing) feminists and women in general, it’s about tearing down rather than building up.

Instead of trying to build domestic violence shelters and other services for men, for example, the MRM is more interested in defunding shelters for women – even when their efforts in this area directly harm male victims.

It’s telling that when Father’s Rights activist Glenn Sacks had an issue with the advertisements being run by one DV shelter, he encouraged his followers to bombard the shelter’s donors with phone calls in order to cripple the shelter’s fundraising efforts – even though the shelter in question also provides services for men. It’s telling as well that MRAs rail endlessly against the Violence Against Women Act, and have celebrated Republican opposition to it – even though the act is officially gender neutral in everything but its name, and would provide funding for men’s shelters if MRAs got off their asses to build any.

Instead of fighting for the rights of male victims of rape, the Men’s Rights movement is more interested in downplaying the rape of women, wildly exaggerating the number of “false rape accusations,” and in endless discussions about whether or not having sex with women incapacitated with drinks or drugs is really rape. All of these things contribute to a “rape culture” that harms male victims of rape as well as female.

Not that most MRAs actually care about male victims of rape except as a debating point — perhaps because that would require acknowledging that the overwhelming majority of their rapists are other men.  (MRAs do get outraged in the rare cases in which women are the culprits.) The group that does more than any other to fight for male rape victims is the anti-prison rape group Just Detention. Try to find even a mention of this group on any of the leading Men’s Rights sites. (The only mention of the group on AVFM is a comment in a post attacking a feminist writer noting that it isn’t part of the Men’s Rights movement.)

There are endless other examples, because this is in essence the way that the so-called “Men’s Rights” movement does business.

When you take a certain pleasure in the notion of women being “made to pay” or otherwise harmed when they seek equality, you’re about as much of a civil rights movement as the Klan.

About David Futrelle

I run the blog We Hunted the Mammoth, which tracks (and mocks) online misogyny. My writing has appeared in a wide variety of places, including Salon, Time.com, the Washington Post, the New York Times Book Review and Money magazine. I like cats.

Posted on January 26, 2013, in a voice for men, antifeminism, are these guys 12 years old?, douchebaggery, feminism, gloating, hate, men who should not ever be with women ever, misogyny, MRA, paul elam, princesses, reactionary bullshit, taking pleasure in women's pain, the spearhead, women in combat and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1,143 Comments.

  1. @katz: And Aviation Group 122 flew planes that seemed like the last survivors of the last war: canvas skin, wood structure, open cockpit… other aviation groups at least got something like a modern fighter. The Night Witches were just awesome, and every time I think about them I think about the maxim of how a woman has to work twice as hard as a man to earn half the praise.

    There’s another gender-related aspect to the obsolete-aircraft bit. Yes, the night bombers flew trainer biplanes. But the fighters got new Yak-1s, and the dive bombers flew the Petlyakov Pe-2, one of the most advanced and physically demanding planes of the war.

    But, both then and now, the Nachthexen have gotten far more attention than the other regiments. And a big element of that is because they can be cast in a damselish “those poor defenseless women in their obsolete aircraft” narrative (thus allowing the audience to feel protective towards them), whereas women successfully flying complex and powerful aircraft can’t really be shoehorned into a those-poor-women narrative.

  2. If Mr. Big Bad Army Man comes back somebody email me and I’ll send out the pecunium-signal!

    He’s been absent thanks to a half dozen things including con follow up chaos and AHH THE WEDDING IS IN TEN WEEKS!! I can poke him with my poking stick of pokery if needed though. Just want to see if this one was a driveby before I bug him.

  3. heyheyhey: Previously, women could not enlist for a Combat Arms Specialty (11M, 11B, etc). Now they can. That’s it. Combat arms specialties are the worst in the military for promotions and careers, they’re the most physically and emotionally demanding and they represent the vast bulk of casualties. So – whoever tells you this was done to help women, well, if it’s a matter of career, safety, pay and opportunities, Combat Arms doesn’t offer any….

    What were your MOSes?

    Because the idea that Combat Arms MOS are limited in promotion… is laughable. Not only are they rarely points limited (which my CS MOS was, for all but one cycle in my entire career: because there was an Early out incentive for the 1994 RIF: so that everyone who was maxed out (a large portion of the MOS) was competing for the openings; which didn’t really change much, since the number of overqualified E5-E6s outnumbered even the sudden pool of openings; so that the points were once again at max, but I digress), but having held one is seen as a benefit if one leaves them for a CS, or CSS MOS.

    If one is an officer NOT having done at least one tour branched Combat Arms is an active limit to promotion past O5.

    As someone who did a career in a CS role, one which had me spending significant time in the field with the Infantry, as well as being in mixed units; the number of women in “admin” slots whi just, “suck up promotions” is also at odds with my experience. Esp. as promotion past E5 are not at the commander’s discretion, and are done by remote boards evaluating NCOERs, service schools, outside ecudation, and Correspondence Courses. I have a mixed opinion about this, as the limits a commander has to control the middle ranks of NCOs can lead to problems in morale and unit cohesion, as first line supervisors with no experience in the unit are assigned in.

    But standard rotations can lead to that same problem (rotating into Korea to discover I was the Field First, from Day one was… interesting).

    The entire focus of the Army, in fact the entire Mission is to see to it that Combat Arms is able to do its job (i.e. killing people and breaking things). As such there isn’t a single avenue to promotion which is closed to them (and some aspects, such as Q-Course, Air Assault, Airborne, and Ranger School; all of which are like gold when someone is being screened for promotion) were previously closed to women.

    In plain english, you are full of shit.

    Especially as the issue is one of choice. Men have had the ability to choose any MOS; and the concomittant privileges which attach thereto: women haven’t. Now that’s being corrected: which is good for women, and good for the Army.

  4. Cat: There was rumors that women were better snipers than men were. I am not sure if that’s true, could be just a myth, but there were many women snipers. Most of combat medics were also women. I am not talking about nurses I am talking about combat medics.

    As a rule when I teach marksmanship women are better at picking up the basics. I think this is because they have fewer ideas that, “I know this already”, and so do the things they are told. Since shooting is fundamentally simple (so is knitting, that doesn’t mean it’s easy to master), and the trick to being a good shot it to internalise those fundamentals…

  5. Kiwi girl: How *fascinating* that the US military has so many people in it and so much money to burn* that women in trades don’t actually do their trade.

    This is actually sort of true*. The Military (around the world) is one of the last of the “labor” economies, where there are more people on hand then there is work to do. This is MOST true in the Combat Arms branches; because when they aren’t in a war, or in the field, a lot of the things which they do are repetitive, and not all that needed; so there are a lot of things which are done by them; police call, lanscaping, KP, etc., which are mostly to keep them occupied in some useful way, so they don’t blow off steam in anti-social ways.

    *there isn’t money to burn, in that way. Also the same ranks gets paid the same; the only place where men are likely to get more pay is that there are more men on jump status, because to be on jump status requires jumping out of a military aircraft at least once every 90 days, and that not as easily arranged if one isn’t in an Airborne unit, and most of them are Infantry)

  6. @pecunium, I agree with what you said. The original comment implied strongly that women *never* actually do their trade. I suppose they do paperwork because the Army refuses to supply bonbons and scented fucking candles for them.

    With your comment on rank and pay, that sounds a little different from how it has been in NZ, where there have been some pay differentials, pretty much around trying to attract people into hard-to-fill trades. There were lots of allowances too, but they’ve had an aggressive effort to try to reduce those down, which means some have been subsumed into base pay rates.

    But yeah, the military have been known for being so progressive in their treatment of women, let alone any other subgroups.

  7. Huzzah, pecunium heard our call!

  8. Kiwi girl; The only way there are incentives to military specialties are incentives to enlist into a specific job (usually with requirements, such as attaining a skill, or serving a given amount of time; sometimes both) or re-enlist (those are usually duty assignments, or the promise of a change of job).

    Some jobs (e.g. the one I had) have specialty pay, but that’s flat. If you meet the requirements to earn the pay, you get it.

    LBT: yep. And for this sort of thing, never hesitate. That shit is pernicious, and dressing it up as, “I was in, so I know,” makes it moreso. Even if he never comes back (likely) he needs to be refuted.

  9. @pecunium, you’re probably already gone but this got posted on Reddit and I was curious what you thought:

  10. And if you’re still here, hope the wedding planning is going well — when’s the big day?

  11. May 18th. All in all, the message (that things like PT tests aren’t what make someone good in the military) is correct but she has some errors, which make it vulnerable to people who will want to discount the actual argument.

  12. TIL The pecunium-signal is totally a thing.

    As someone who did a career in a CS role, one which had me spending significant time in the field with the Infantry, as well as being in mixed units; the number of women in “admin” slots whi just, “suck up promotions” is also at odds with my experience. Esp. as promotion past E5 are not at the commander’s discretion, and are done by remote boards evaluating NCOERs, service schools, outside education, and Correspondence Courses.

    I doubt heyheyhey wants come back and face this onslaught of facts. You were clearly an instructor, because you explain the shit out of everything. That’s a compliment, you use tons of a Army jargon I’ve never heard before, yet I can always follow what your saying.

  13. Blockquote monster: *burp*

  14. I’ve managed to avoid the blockquote monster for a long while, but the bastard has finally hunted me down.

  15. Ninja’d right after falling victim to the blockquote monster. I blame Cloudiah’s poster.

  16. And I wrote “what your saying” instead of “what you’re saying”. I blame Cloudiah’s poster again.

  17. Aw, now I want a big fuzzy dog to cuddle.

    …OMG, it’s working. I am not currently experiencing any desire to oppress men by refusing to have sex with them at all, I just want to go pester my neighbor about playing with his Malamute. Curse you, cloudiah!

  18. Are we just going to blame Cloudiah’s poster every time we do anything wrong from now on?


  19. I think it’s only fair. It’s the power of those olive toned falsies that’s doing it.

  20. Agree. The troll olive skin-toned un-boobs are terrifying in their wrongness.

  21. And they’re so perky! Perky olive-toned falsies!


    Also, good morning.

  22. Brooked: Yeah, I got on a bit of a tear. I could have unpacked the acronyms, but 1: didn’t think about it (it was late) and 2: it would have broken things up.


    MOS = Military Occupational Specialty (Army and Marine Corps, in the Navy it’s called a Rating, and the AF calls it an AFSC, for Air Force Speciality Code).

    CS = Combat Support. Jobs which are directly in support of Combat Arms, often also in harms way. Generally just behind the BattleSpace, often inside the area of active combat, all the way up to the FEBA (Forward Edge of Battle Area). Two of my fellows were tasked to the Third Infantry during the Invasion: they were on the 3ID’s tenth vehicle. They were at the very pointiest part of the sharp end.

    CSS = Combat Support Services, which is everybody else. Some CSS jobs can overlap to CS (e.g. doctors)

    RIF = Reduction in Force, which is what Hagel is talking about starting.

    Points = points, what matters is the Cutoff score. 798 = max points. You get points for things like Time in Service (TIS) Time in Grade (TIG) [which is how long you’ve held your present rank). Military Schools (5 points per week of resident schooling, to a max of 95) Army Correspondence Courses (5 points per module, to a max of 95), Civilian Education (moderately complex, and I forget the scales), Awards, etc.

    Combat Arms cutoff scores are usually between 400-500 points. I had that many by the time I got my MOS Awarded (between the 47 weeks of Russian, civilian education, TIS, TIG, some minor recognition (things like being “soldier of the cycle [i.e. top of my class in Basic, which puts a Letter of Commendation in your jacket, which is 15 points] Battalion Soldier of the Month, etc).

    Combat Arms promotes slowly not because the points are high (they aren’t), but because 1: the soldiers don’t work to get them, and 2: there are so many Combat Arms soldiers. It’s also the case that you want someone fairly level headed to be a junior leader, because if they end up in a spot where they have to take charge, it’s going to be stressful (and often life or death). So they need to be proficient, and steady. So most won’t get recommended for promotion to Corporal, until they’ve been in for at least three years. Unless they are hard chargers, they won’t see Sergeant until 6, or even 8.

    Part of that is because the hard chargers fill the slots.

    But being in Combat Arms is hard work, so a lot of guys leave it before they hit the ten year mark (esp. if they are stuck at Sgt). which clears the way for the average Joe to make it to E5 (i.e. Sergeant). Outside Combat Arms (e.g. Intel) promotion can be a lot slower. 1: The people who are good at it, don’t leave for other jobs in the Army, so the promotion by attrition is lower. 2: There are a lot fewer soldier in those slots (my MOS has about 3,500 people, in the entire Army. That’s fewer than the Infantry in one division). 3: The points are hella difficult to get, once you get past the 500-600 level (everyone in my MOS was maxed out on residential schooling, a lot were maxed on civilian education, it’s not that hard to get the Correspondence courses, after that it’s awards, letters of commendation, and time).

    As I said, the Combat Arms soldiers got the chance to go to some schools which counted, even if you had maxed the schools aspect of the system. And they were more likely to have the chance to get things like Achievment medals, etc.

    As well as Combat Arms being raison d’étre of the Army.

    Here endeth the (long) unpacking of what I said in my rant to him.

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