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Women serving on the front line-woman on radio 5

(128 Posts)
PenelopePitstops Fri 19-Dec-14 08:48:50

Listening to the radio this morning and they are discussing women fighting on the front line. A woman is on there arguing that women shouldn't be allowed to serve shock

Otoh a fabulous man is arguing against her very well saying that women are equal and why on earth can't they do the same job.

An interesting debate.

meditrina Fri 19-Dec-14 08:53:35

BBC article here

It sounds like the commentators on the programme you were listening to were woefully under informed.

There is no qualms on about women on the front line in the British military They have been there for years and in many roles.

This is specifically about women joining the infantry, and that is not the same question as women in combat roles (which has already been answered with 'yes')

PenelopePitstops Fri 19-Dec-14 09:08:43

That clears it up somewhat. Still disagree with the woman, if women are able to serve in the infantry then why not?

stargirl1701 Fri 19-Dec-14 09:14:08

R4 were explaining it as all roles, including special forces, to be available to all based on ability not gender.

But...there was talk to 10-20 years 'research' to check women wouldn't be harmed by carrying loads and the training regimes. Gah!

SirChenjin Fri 19-Dec-14 09:18:30

The BBC interview earlier with a former Army Officer was very <ahem> interesting. Apparently, this isn't the time for "political correctness", whatever the hell that means.

Of course women should be allowed to fight on the front line with the Infantry - why not? I can imagine that the Army will be secretly quite nervous of ticking every single box to protect themselves against future law suits, but otherwise I'm all for it - absolutely. Should be based on ability not gender.

TheCowThatLaughs Fri 19-Dec-14 09:35:05

I'm not sure it's much of a step forward for women to have the right to be included in wars or combat that causes untold misery and death and horrible injuries to lots of civilians all over the world? Not what feminism is about for me. I would be quite happy for us not to achieve "equality" in this area. And if I had daughters I would prefer them to have higher aspirations tbh.

SirChenjin Fri 19-Dec-14 09:55:38

You could say that about many things though. I wouldn't want my daughter to work as a Director for a company which consistently evades or avoids paying tax in the UK, or that doesn't pay a living wage to its employees, or that tests cosmetics on living creatures, but that's my own personal view - and whilst I don't agree with war generally I do agree that women should be treated equally and fairly in the workplace, whatever and wherever that workplace is.

TheCowThatLaughs Fri 19-Dec-14 10:01:26

Yes I agree with that and it is my personal opinion. It's just a shame that anyone wants to kill other people, and now women have got the opportunity to get their hands bloody too.

TheCowThatLaughs Fri 19-Dec-14 10:02:49

And does the right to be treated equally trump the right of other people not to become "collateral damage" ?

kim147 Fri 19-Dec-14 10:13:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Polyethyl Fri 19-Dec-14 10:20:23

How many women have the ability to be effective at infantry fighting. Have any of you tried it? Do you understand how hard, relentless and exhausting it is and the rates that women soldiers doing infantry training (sandhurst, Chilwell, phase 1 training etc) get injured?
In my time in Iraq I didn't meet any female soldiers who would have been good infantry.

SirChenjin Fri 19-Dec-14 10:30:28

No, I haven't tried it - had never any desire to join any of the armed forces. The point is that women should have the same opportunities in the workplace as men, providing they have the ability irrespective of whether we agree with the role of the forces or whether you or I could do the job. There may be women coming through at some point in the future who could do the job - they should be considered on merit alongside their male colleagues, as they should be in all workplaces.

Polyethyl Fri 19-Dec-14 10:44:47

Jessica Ennis-Hill might be capable of passing Infantry Battle School, Brecon, but there aren't many women like her. So I think this change is daft.

SirChenjin Fri 19-Dec-14 10:48:29

Why is it 'daft' to give women the same right as men to be considered on merit as opposed to gender (as they already do in other countries)?

cailindana Fri 19-Dec-14 10:53:07

Polyethyl do you believe that because you didn't meet a woman who'd make good infantry, that no woman ever would?

Women aren't asking to have standards lowered so that they can qualify, they are saying don't exclude us simply because of our genitalia. What's wrong with that? If a woman isn't good enough to become an infantry soldier, she won't become one. As it stands, even if she is good enough, she can't, simply because she's a woman. That makes no sense. Don't you agree?

Polyethyl Fri 19-Dec-14 10:56:16

But the army's basic fitness test isn't equal now. Women pass rates are lower, so they can run slower than men and do fewer situps and press ups. True equality would mean an equal fitness test. (Which I and many of my female comrades would not have passed.)

scallopsrgreat Fri 19-Dec-14 10:57:57

"Do you understand how hard, relentless and exhausting it is and the rates that women soldiers doing infantry training (sandhurst, Chilwell, phase 1 training etc) get injured?" Women the world over are used to hard, relentless, exhausting work. For example 70% of the world's farming is done by women. If women are getting injured in training then that needs to be addressed by the trainers. That isn't a problem with women as you are insinuating, it is a problem with the training.

And your example of someone who could pass the training is laughable. But typical.

cailindana Fri 19-Dec-14 10:59:54

"Women pass rates are lower, so they can run slower than men and do fewer situps and press ups."
Sorry could you clarify this. You say women's pass rates are lower, which implies that fewer of them pass the fitness test, but then you go on to say that this means they can do fewer sit ups and run slower. Which one is it - is their fitness test easier, or do fewer of them pass?

scallopsrgreat Fri 19-Dec-14 11:01:05

Why does true equality mean the same fitness tests? I don't think anyone is saying that men and women's physiology is the same. There are more ways than one to skin a cat i.e. To get the basic fitness and strength required.

Men as default. As always.

scallopsrgreat Fri 19-Dec-14 11:06:41

What are the army trying to achieve? Soldiers that can run fast and do loads of sit-ups? Or those that can cope with hard, relentless, exhausting days? One does not make the other.

SirChenjin Fri 19-Dec-14 11:08:30

So - if they made the tests the same and women passed on merit, then presumably you'd have absolutely no problems with them having the same rights in the workplace as their male colleagues?

SirChenjin Fri 19-Dec-14 11:10:57

Perhaps I'm missing something very obvious here, but women are already allowed to fight in close combat roles in other countries, aren't they? confused.

HaroldsBishop Fri 19-Dec-14 11:11:23

Why does true equality mean the same fitness tests?

Wait, what? hmm

Of course equality means the same tests.....and a woman who passes the test should have the same rights.

scallopsrgreat Fri 19-Dec-14 11:17:57

No it doesn't Harold. Women and men are physiologically different. Again it depends on what your end goal is? Providing the test ensures a path to the end goal then the. What would be the issue with having different tests. Providing you have soldiers capable of doing their jobs what would be the issue?

Equal does not mean the same.

HaroldsBishop Fri 19-Dec-14 11:20:40

The test IS the way of determining if the person in question is capable of doing their job.

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