For the reason I mentioned earlier: it’s dishonourable to put women in a position where a male enemy is forced to kill them. This is nothing to do with ‘construed gender roles’; it’s a deep-rooted, reptilian-brain thing. Every human male will hesitate - unless indoctrinated otherwise - to kill a woman.
Like it or not, we live in a violent world, and however much we try to sublimate human violence into other pursuits, it will surface somehow. It doesn’t do any good to pretend that humans are something we’re not. A whole load of grief has been caused by the idea that humans are somehow above and outside nature, or have transcended it.
However, I agree it’s a bit pointless to conscript people who just aren’t going to make good soldiers. It’s just a waste of time and money. If some young lad is going to spend his 14 months (or whatever it is) whining that he’s missing out on valuable DOTA2 time, you might as well just send him back to the internet cafe, where’s he’s happy.
So, you’re on the front line, and you’d be a-OK to blow off xiao hua’s head same as you would xiao ming? Not with one second’s hesitation? The latter is bad enough. The former is likely to send a whole lot more young men back with PTSD.
Like I said earlier, wars have to be fought with some sense of honour. Otherwise, anything goes. We can justify dropping mustard gas on people again, because, hey, all that basic decency thing is all just so 1940s.
I’m saying there are less-bad ways. Humans are vile, and they invent ways to keep that vileness within bounds. Are you saying that, yes, it’s quite OK to douse people in mustard gas because, hey, it’s a war, and they’ll be dead regardless?
Concepts like ‘honour’ arose, IMO, because people figured out that if you don’t have them, you end up with, say, Sierra Leone or Cambodia.
I’m with Rocket on this one. If I’m facing off against someone with a gun who wants to kill me, the fact that it’s a woman isn’t going to be a factor in what I do next…unless she’s really hot. I admit, I used to have fantasies about those super-sexy FARC guerrillas with their AKs and tight, sweaty jungle khakis.
sorry Dr, I think you’re not in touch with your instincts. Humans are animals, and most of what we do is a conditioned reflex. It would certainly be possible to train you to kill anything that pops into view. However, I’d say that’s a form of equal opportunities we can well do without. Men killing each other is degradation enough. If it’s fine to shoot women and children too, I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.
I think it’s just the next step in our evolution (becoming peaceful is still a few steps away). Women are increasingly able to complete special forces training, and the thought that she won’t hesitate to pull the trigger (she won’t) should be enough to rid you of your own hesitation. And increased use of technology on the battlefield will continue to narrow any advantages in speed and strength that men may once have had.
That’s not really the way evolution (biological or technological) works, regardless of the size of our brains. I guess it’s a good thing that you’re well past draft age, because in a future war, given your sensibilities, you might be “selected against” rather quickly.
I don’t really see ISIS fighters having the slightest hesitations killing female Kurdish soldiers. And women are already allowed to fill combat positions in the ROC armed forces (as in many other countries). I see a dissonance between your argument and reality.
And again: why force anyone to spend several months of their life learning how to kill? The only other group in society forced into labour are prisoners.
I wouldn’t have had so much of a problem with the above statement if you’d written “should be” instead of “have to be.” I remember pulling this one from the hooks under the mailbox when I was 16 years old, but I don’t remember the text, just one or two of the pictures:
THE LINK IMMEDIATELY BELOW CONTAINS PICTURES THAT ARE NOT SUITABLE FOR WORK:
You’re right. Poor phrasing. There is no ‘have to’. We can only make decisions, and we should decide how far we’re prepared to debase ourselves in no-win situations.
I think I can live with that
And ISIS represent the pinnacle of human evolution, do they?
Humans will stoop to anything given the right incentives. My point was that someone, somewhere, has to say: thus far and no further. Whether some violate that line in the sand doesn’t negate the principle; if anything, it reinforces the need to draw that line.
The ROC army has never actually fought a hot war since WW2: just because those women are nominally in combat positions is a bit of a moot point if there’s no actual combat going on.
Well, I agreed with you earlier that it’s pointless to force someone to learn something they’re incapable of or unwilling to do. Waste of time and money. I don’t see anything inherently wrong with putting a bit of pressure on young people (men or women) to learn self-defence skills. I seriously considered joining up in my 20s before I got too old; not because I wanted to go swanning off defending, um, whatever it is the army defends these days, but for the same reason I like learning how to fix the plumbing. Might never need it, but I’ll be glad of it if I do.
My beef is only with the idea of placing women (or people who look like women) on the front line during an actual war. If we can write (completely arbitrary) rules about chemical weapons into the Geneva accords, I don’t see how this idea could be any more contentious.
ah, I wondered what on earth you were talking about.
The point of wearing camouflage is to avoid getting killed. I don’t see anything inherently dishonorable about that, any more than a strategic withdrawal (ie., running away) is inherently dishonorable.
A woman might be less likely to get shot at (assuming the enemy even has a clear view of who or what he’s shooting at), and I don’t have a problem with that either. All I’m saying is that one should not put the enemy in a position where he is forced to do something that will (how do I even describe this?) offend his sense of decorum. There is a very practical reason for this: armies that don’t have any obvious code of honor (or have one that is incomprehensible) are treated with contempt by the enemy side. Engaging in immoral behavior therefore reduces your chances of winning. Consider Japan’s behaviour during WW2, and the reaction of the Allied forces to it.
Worth point out: 90% of modern military training is concerned with not getting yourself or your colleagues killed, maintaining discipline, and with not killing the wrong people. Moulding young men into heartless killing machines is Hollywood movie nonsense. There are usually very specific and sometimes complex rules of engagement, for the simple reason that a soldier is there to play a part in a much bigger game, not simply to blast away at the enemy. Soldiers can be demoted or tried for criminal acts if they violate those rules.
This entire farcical line of “reasoning” you’re employing, dear boy, positing that there are “honourable” and “dishonourable” ways in which to wage war, I really thought you were taking the piss.
But, I suppose, given that you are a loyal son of the Crown, it’s fathomable that you’re sincere.
Which doesn’t ameliorate the friggin fact that this paradigm belongs strictly to a discussion over a couple of stiff gin and tonics, after a rough day annihilating hordes of crazed bloody Sepoys, eh wot old chap??