NS woman, army major, partly responsible for women in US military


Evidently, a Nova Scotian woman, Major Eleanor Taylor, had a very large role in convincing the US military to finally allow women as combat units. The Province reports:

When the U.S. Marine Corps and army wanted advice about whether women should formally serve in combat units one of those whose expertise they sought was Maj. Eleanor Taylor of the Royal Canadian Regiment.

The 37-year-old Nova Scotian was uniquely qualified to speak to the senior American brass about this issue, which made front page news across the world last Thursday when U.S. defence secretary Leon Panetta announced a lifting of the ban on female service members in combat roles. Taylor was the only woman to lead a NATO combat unit in Afghanistan. She commanded an infantry company and attached units which frequently engaged in combat in 2010 while operating from a remote forward operating base in the notorious Taliban heartland to the west of Kandahar City.

“I think that it is fantastic that the policy has changed to reflect the reality that they (women) have earned through their hard work and blood. It is a very positive step,” Taylor said in an email from Toronto, where she is taking a staff course that is the logical progression for a combat arms officer being considered for battalion command.

“Clearly I am in the camp that believes that these trades (combat arms) should be open to women. I’ve been enjoying my service in the infantry for over 15 years now, so it sometimes surprises me that it is still an issue.”

Canada allowed women in combat units beginning in 1989. The first time they saw actual combat was in Afghanistan.

I absolutely and wholeheartedly agree that women should be allowed to be combat units if they so choose. I think they’re presented with a set of unique challenges though — on top of all the standard dangers that men face in combat situations, they also have to face potential rape. Not that they wouldn’t face this under normal circumstances on the homefront, but it’s apparently every bit as unlikely — more unlikely, even — that the perpetrators will be punished.

Meanwhile, despite this directly addressing one of their concerns, the MRA Manosphere only supports this initiative if an appropriate percentage of women are killed. Paul Elam says:

[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.

Yes, I think that’s what it means. It’s doubtful the ratio will be different, unless they are taken prisoner as high-value targets *because* they’re women. So really, the MRAs just want to find something to complain about before the numbers are even in — something that, even if different, might be different for other mitigating reasons.

Never mind that feminists — said manosphere’s boogeywomen(/manginas) — have been fighting for equal rights to take up arms for their country for a long time.

Comments

  1. says

    I’m pretty sure you didn’t mean to write that “it’s apparently every bit as unlikely — more unlikely, even — that the perpetrators will go unpunished“. That should be “every bit as likely”, shouldn’t it

  2. says

    The critical point is that US women soldiers were *already engaging in combat*, only without the requisite MOS, pay, recognition, and career advancement. American women have been fighting in “Female Engagement Teams” alongside men since the start of Afghanistan, just like Canadian women–except the Yanks haven’t been able to claim that experience in their career advancement, pensions, or even their VA benefits.

    So a man and woman injured in the *very same* IED blast could receive drastically different benefits because the man was in a combat-related role and the woman wasn’t–even though they were doing the same job and facing the same risks on the ground. It’s been obvious for over a decade now that women could fight in combat alongside men, because they’ve already been doing so. It’s about time the dipwads at the Pentagon saw fit to recognize that fact, and rectify the travesty of denying it for so long.

  3. djlactin says

    “I absolutely and wholeheartedly agree that women should be allowed to be combat units if they so choose.” (boldface mine).
    Sorry, Jason but this is faeces. I (male) consider myself a feminist: equal rights; equal opportunity; equal responsibility. I accept your statement ONLY if males have the same choice.

  4. says

    Being in the Army, myself, I’ve heard plenty of excuses as to why women shouldn’t be allowed in combat. The biggest complaint seems to be that women don’t have pt standards as high as men. For instance, the lowest amount of pushups I can do and pass would get a woman my age about a maxed out score. Given the almost religious reverence the military gives to apft scores, it rubs some guys the wrong way that women can get a more respectable score doing what would get a man a laughable score. So most guys I’ve talked to are of the opinion that only wome who pass their apfts on the men’s scale should be allowed in combat arms, because, I guess, it’s assumed that we shouldn’t have a woman who can only do half the pushups of tye weakest male soldier in the infantry or they won’t be able to pull their weight, or that of their downed battle buddies. I find that reasoning dubious as there’s a lot more to infantry than hauling heavy stuff, and of course women have been serving in a combat arms capacity. It really comes down to do they get the same pay and benefits for doing the same jobs as their male coworkers.

  5. robpowell says

    Welp, I had a comment, but FTB ate it.

    Short version: As long as they can carry their stuff and shoot straight, who cares who’s in what MOS? The only issue I’ve heard is APFT requirements, and frankly, I think those should be assigned by MOS, not gender.

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