John Robson | Why allow women in combat but not men’s sports

John Robson, National Post:

Later this month the United States will almost certainly approve women in all combat positions. It’s a mistake whose time has logically come.

I know, I know. Debate is closed on this issue. I’m not quite sure how that works in an open society though it seems to happen every time the left wins a policy battle, almost as though they were afraid of vigorous discussion. But questions thrown out the door have a way of climbing back in the window and this one just did.

While the U.S. Navy and Air Force are pledged to open all positions to women, and the Army is being coy, the Marines did a major study on hundreds of volunteers in simulated combat. The results, NBC reports, included “Women were injured twice as often as the men (40.5 per cent for women, 18.8 per cent for men); Men were more accurate at shooting on every weapon system except the M4 [rifle]; Women had trouble with combat tasks, including removing casualties.” But this study will be dismissed as outdated thinking rather than welcomed as important new evidence. And in one sense, indeed, it merely confirms what we all know already.

Why are we determined to put women in combat alongside men when we absolutely refuse to do it in sports? We would be horrified by a society where cheering crowds watched male safeties smash into female receivers and leave them writhing on the ground, or female forwards were ground into the boards by male defencemen five inches taller and 70 pounds heavier and given cracked ribs.

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