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Anyone else see the army idiot on BBC Breakfast this morning?

(37 Posts)
cailindana Thu 20-Nov-14 11:31:23

Apparently, women shouldn't be in infantry platoons because cohesion is essential for such groups and a "mixed agenda" (wtaf that is) group will lack cohesion.

In other words, men won't work with women, so women should stay away.

Oh and apparently we don't see women in premier league football games or playing rugby for England so therefore they shouldn't fight in wars. Excellent logic there.

ArmyDad Thu 20-Nov-14 11:37:29

Women already serve alongside males, although not capbadged infantry the Army considers all its troops Soldier 1st. Therefore the logic of cohesion does not stand up. The biggest issue will always be one of fitness (an infantry soldier will carry around 60kg) that is not to say a woman cannot carry that kind of weight of course. Hope that makes sense

slug Thu 20-Nov-14 12:09:56

But he never once referred to them as women. They were "females". I then proceeded to rant at DH about how he couldn't even give them the basic courtesy of treating them as fully human.

<<disclaimer, I was not watching closely, was in the bathroom performing femininity as I put my makeup on>>

ChunkyPickle Thu 20-Nov-14 13:41:31

I was looking for that study which was on the news recently about lighter people being able to carry more (or summat). But I agree, fitness is more of an issue than sex (I recently had to take one end of a 136kg load, and can't imagine having to carry it more than a few feet!)

totally unrelated, but while googling I came across this. It seems carrying on your head, with the right walk (even up to the 60kg loads!), is the most efficient way to carry stuff www.md.ucl.ac.be/iepr/loco_rec6EN.htm - I can just see them heading of on their fitness tests now!

ifyourehoppyandyouknowit Thu 20-Nov-14 14:10:48

Surely there is, by virtue of it being THE ARMY, no 'mixed agenda'? They're all meant to be fighting for the same cause?

Amethyst24 Thu 20-Nov-14 15:09:56

"Females" confused It probably took years of meeja training to get him to stop saying "ladies".

In Africa men and women carry heavy weights on their heads as a matter of course.

AuntieStella Thu 20-Nov-14 15:13:10

You'd need to have amazing balance to carry a heavy load on your head, whilst yomping over rough ground and with both hands free ready to fire your rifle.

Perhaps if you'd been brought up doing similar from toddlerhood, you'd stand a chance, but I doubt it's achievable for others.

ProbablyMe Thu 20-Nov-14 15:18:01

My DP is in the Army. He is not sexist in any way, in fact he is the opposite. We have argued this point before!! There are studies that show that in a high stress, life/death situation men will subconsciously behave differently in the presence of an all men team than in a mixed team. This unintentional behaviour can put the rest of the team/its objectives at greater risk. This does make me uncomfortable but if it is the case then where should the line be drawn? Should lives be put at increased risk just to prove a feminist point?

ohmychrist Thu 20-Nov-14 15:20:19

Oh, he was a total prat!

Lottapianos Thu 20-Nov-14 15:25:12

'But he never once referred to them as women. They were "females". '

This drives me batshit. I've never come across anyone who says 'males' and 'females' instead of 'men' and 'women' who wasn't a huge stinking misogynist. You're not talking about biological specimens, you're talking about people FFS!

confused at 'mixed agenda'. Sounds like he thinks women come from Venus

Amethyst24 Thu 20-Nov-14 15:33:48

Probably I would have thought that military training involves such bottom-up overcoming of people's natural instincts - to question orders, to obey their reflexes, to run away very fast etc - that overcoming the ingrained urge to pull out chairs for ladies would be relatively simple wink

I can totally understand that if you took a team of men who'd trained and worked together and then suddenly chucked a woman into the group, the dynamic would alter. But if they'd trained together from the off? And if women in frontline roles became routine? If there were an equal number of men and women in the team?

cailindana Thu 20-Nov-14 15:47:24

Probably surely the answer to that isn't "oh well nothing we can do"? People have a subconscious tendency not to want to get shot but generally that's a problem the army tackles pretty effectively.

zippey Thu 20-Nov-14 15:52:12

Glad to hear a major football team (albeit Liverpool) is doing the right thing. Its a bit like hearing that Hearts FC in Scotland is the first to introduce a living wage to all employees. On a more optimistic note, I think things are going in the right direction.

Wasn't it a Liverpool game where Andy Grey and Richard Keyes had insulted a Liverpool lineswoman? Maybe this provided the impetus to start changing their attitudes. However, they also showed OTT support of Suarez even though he was found guilty of racism. One step forward two steps back.

zippey Thu 20-Nov-14 15:53:48

Oops sorry wrong thread!

I havent seen the clip but if the OP is correct, the guy is a twat and I hope one of the interviewers pulled him up for it.

SpeverendRooner Thu 20-Nov-14 17:39:26

Is it possible you mis-heard "mixed gender", cailin? That would make more sense, if you assume he doesn't know the difference between gender and sex.

YonicScrewdriver Thu 20-Nov-14 17:54:42

Probably, that problem only gets overcome by having mixed groups, though.

And I daresay at one point it applied to groups of different racial background too.

If you've trained for years together then I imagine knowing Sergeant X runs fast and corporal Y has sharp eyes end up outweighing other factors...

QueenoftheRant Thu 20-Nov-14 18:02:24

He was spouting the usual british bullshit then. It's an excuse imo.

I draw your attention to the existence of Captain Ashley Collette www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-life/10363980/Meet-the-female-soldiers-proving-the-case-for-women-on-the-front-line.html

The last paragraph in that article says it all.

QueenoftheRant Thu 20-Nov-14 18:03:53

or last section of the article rather blush!

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SpeverendRooner Thu 20-Nov-14 18:28:55

I meant "make sense" as "is coherent with his other points", not "I agree with him", if that wasn't clear.

I agree it's basically a training issue, although the other side's guns add a certain immediacy to not screwing it up. I guess the question for the army is this: think of the worst infantryman you know. Are you really saying you'd be worse off replacing him with the best woman you can imagine?

PuffinsAreFicticious Thu 20-Nov-14 18:47:04

<steps quietly away from the thread> smile

prashad Thu 20-Nov-14 22:43:48

I can appreciate the argument of all-male cohesion/bonding, and the evidence that men act differently/worse in high stress combat situations where there are women present... but,

- You could have all-women units.
- Women already serve alongside men in high stress combat situations. A woman I know is an army medic who has treated dying infantry men mid gunfight. Med evac called in, but the heli couldn't take off because they were ambushed.

What I would like to see an end of though, is the different fitness standards for men and women in the military. Women can currently get into the military with a level of fitness that would see equal men rejected. The consequence is that a lot of people (particularly military leaders) automatically see women as less physically able and this is a barrier to accepting them in the hardest combat roles. It's interesting to note that New Zealand allows women to serve in Special Forces but no woman has ever qualified.

I do believe other countries admit women into combat roles, though, and alongside men too (I think)... so you've gotta question the evidence that the group will perform less well mixed gender than gender segregated. Norway and Sweden come to mind (no surprise).

Snow1 Thu 20-Nov-14 22:53:07

A lot of good points being made. It would seem likely that training (particularly with the strictness of the military services) would overcome any disadvantages. Plus completely ignoring any differences that would be a benefit.

"This drives me batshit. I've never come across anyone who says 'males' and 'females' instead of 'men' and 'women' who wasn't a huge stinking misogynist. You're not talking about biological specimens, you're talking about people FFS!"

As an aside, what is the reason viewing those terms differently? I'd never heard of this before?

PuffinsAreFicticious Thu 20-Nov-14 22:53:58

Nope, nope, not going to rise.

I'm channelling Buffy and being super reasonable and restrained and I want a badge.

stealthsquiggle Thu 20-Nov-14 22:56:41

haven't read the whole thread, but 12yo DS heard 30 seconds of that guy this morning and said "OK, so even if that is true, why not have all women units then?"

proud mother moment.

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