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 Post subject: Women in Combat
PostPosted: 15 Sep 2007 19:14 
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Exactly, Shankar.

What I was trying to underscore in my earlier post was that men in the forces need to react to women like they would to any other guy doing his job.
This happens when they train together to the SAME standards, face the same dangers together and come out seeing that each individual, regardless of gender, is capable of contributing in his/her own way.

It needs to go from

"she's a brave woman"

to

"she's a brave soldier".

It's possible - there are plenty of other armies that use female combatants, and I think that we will all agree that Indian women are certainly not lacking anything that foreigners have.

If we are worried about 'society' and 'cultural' issues - don't the LTTE use female combatants? Aren't they culturally similar to Indians? Agreed, they're not an army but they are a fighting force. Their women are as respected as their male fighters.

And it has to come from the top - if the Generals lead by example, then why won't the jawans follow? Our jawans' loyalty to Army and Regiment has been so strong that once they fought under Englishmen (1857 Revolution, Afghanistan, WW1, WW2), right or wrong. Why can't they fight alongside Indian women?

BTW Shankar, could you kindly point out what you thought was wrong about the rest of my post?

Quote:
This is the only valid point in the entire chain of argument .


What was invalid?


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PostPosted: 15 Sep 2007 19:25 
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Jaeger wrote:
You've got to be kidding me! It's so freakin' pathetic that such an explanation could even be used!

Why do discussions of this type invariably end up going the "hint-hint-nudge-nudge" way? You think Sonia hasn't trained with men and vice versa to be comfortable with each other? If they haven't, whose fault is that? The army's, of course.


as i said, sonia may be very comfortable with it. But think about her male compatriots - not the officers - but the jawans. Is it the army's job to sensitise its 970000 jawans to the needs of 900 women officers?

Quote:
Will Sonia be the only lady in the team/platoon? How about at least 2 women in a unit together? Does that satisfy your bullshit logic about taking a dump in Siachen? That's only one solution; are you telling me that the Army brass can't sit down for 15 minutes and come up with at least 5 more?


900 officers in a 1 million strong army. all the best in finding five like minded women officers who would like to be posted to the same location. Oh, another thing. a post at siachen is typically a platoon strong. thats one officer and about 20 to 30 men. you mean to say to accomodate women officres, the army should come up with new combat deployment and posting rules - like posting two to five officers (women) to a platoon just to provide them company - which is a massive wastage of resources?
in the final reckonging It would just be easy not to post them there at all rather than make all these special arrangements.

Now if we find women officers who wont give a damn about being posted there alone, wonderful. all the power to them. But be prepared from the hollers and cries from the women empowerment agencies against the armfor 'not providing' minium facilties to women and 'discrimination' against not providing these etc etc..

Quote:
And oh man if my female colleague is wounded and if I'm thinking about 'those places' - who's got the head problem, me or the wounded woman? I don't think someone who is badly wounded is even going to be able to coherently tell what is happening. What utter crap.


Correct. you will find a number of 'head problems' - India isnt america yet. A jawan hates being shouted at by women. Havent we come across an example, where a jawan preferred to be put in jail than be shouted at by one of the women officers?
Quote:
In the matter of physical parameters, I agree. You cannot relax parameters because 'she's a woman'. Women must be expected to be as hard, as strong, as tough as any male, no doubt about it.

But look at the joke: on one hand people are complaining that the women aren't tough enough and on the other they're saying that the army is letting in just about any decently fit woman! Whose fault is that? Let the army raise standards to the MAXIMUM and THEN take the women who
qualify without reservation. Let the army challenge the women!


and lets wait for the womens empowerment agencies to raise a hue and cry about it as well...

all the rest (institutional inertia, male attitude) etc are not the army's doing, but either society's or the governments.


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PostPosted: 15 Sep 2007 19:29 
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Shankar wrote:
With the induction of high technology systems and computers in a wide scale the shortage of trained man power is a real issue .Not every combat operation needs muscle power .For example breaking open and loading a 155 mm shell sure calls for some brute strength but programming the fire computer and firing the big gun do not call for same level of muscle power .


and who said this is not happening? Havent we seen women being posted to air defence artillery regiments? arent they already doing less 'muscle power required' jobs already? all this hullabaloo is about the jobs on the frontline - with the grunts.


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PostPosted: 15 Sep 2007 20:08 
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Jagan wrote:
Jaeger wrote:
You've got to be kidding me! It's so freakin' pathetic that such an explanation could even be used!

Why do discussions of this type invariably end up going the "hint-hint-nudge-nudge" way? You think Sonia hasn't trained with men and vice versa to be comfortable with each other? If they haven't, whose fault is that? The army's, of course.


as i said, sonia may be very comfortable with it. But think about her male compatriots - not the officers - but the jawans. Is it the army's job to sensitise its 970000 jawans to the needs of 900 women officers?


What is a special 'need', one that is too difficult to 'cater to' - the fact that women shouldn't be objectified? That women should be treated like any other trooper/officer?

It's not the IA's job to 'sensitise' anyone. It IS the IA's job though, to ensure that a jawan doesn't decide whether he 'likes' orders based on who's giving them.

So what if a Muslim jawan doesn't like to take orders from a Jewish officer or a Rajput jawan doesn't like to take orders from a Dalit? Is it OK for him to throw a tantrum? I would think that the strength of the Army lies in it's egalitarian ethos - what's the problem here?

Jagan wrote:
Quote:
Will Sonia be the only lady in the team/platoon? How about at least 2 women in a unit together? Does that satisfy your bullshit logic about taking a dump in Siachen? That's only one solution; are you telling me that the Army brass can't sit down for 15 minutes and come up with at least 5 more?


900 officers in a 1 million strong army. all the best in finding five like minded women officers who would like to be posted to the same location. Oh, another thing. a post at siachen is typically a platoon strong. thats one officer and about 20 to 30 men. you mean to say to accomodate women officres, the army should come up with new combat deployment and posting rules - like posting two to five officers (women) to a platoon just to provide them company - which is a massive wastage of resources?
in the final reckonging It would just be easy not to post them there at all rather than make all these special arrangements.

Now if we find women officers who wont give a damn about being posted there alone, wonderful. all the power to them. But be prepared from the hollers and cries from the women empowerment agencies against the armfor 'not providing' minium facilties to women and 'discrimination' against not providing these etc etc..


You're saying '900 women' NOW but I'm sure you realise that if we open up the combat roles the IA will take in a lot more women? Right now the roles are limited so the numbers are limited. If the roles available grow, won't the numbers? It won't be just 900 women and you know that.

Jagan wrote:
Quote:
And oh man if my female colleague is wounded and if I'm thinking about 'those places' - who's got the head problem, me or the wounded woman? I don't think someone who is badly wounded is even going to be able to coherently tell what is happening. What utter crap.


Correct. you will find a number of 'head problems' - India isnt america yet. A jawan hates being shouted at by women. Havent we come across an example, where a jawan preferred to be put in jail than be shouted at by one of the women officers?


Like I said earlier - is this a buffet? "I'm OK if that officer there shouts at me, but not this one." If the man prefers to go to jail - send him there.

And why assume that women will only be officers? Why not NCO's and troopers? Then what?

This attitude CAN be changed. As soon as a Jawan enters training, he needs to get a feel of the Army's 'culture'. It already happens - so why can't the basic training itself reflect the change?

When you join the IA, you must be ready to work WITH and UNDER ANYBODY who is higher ranked than you. Is that not already a part of the IA ethos?


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PostPosted: 15 Sep 2007 21:38 
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No women JCOs and NCOs yet because there is no shortage of manpower at that level (there are stampedes at recruiting events). There is however a shortage of personnel at the Officer level. so I wouldnt count on Women NCOs and JCOs for some time to come - unless some huge shortage of men at that level happens.

Quote:
It's not the IA's job to 'sensitise' anyone. It IS the IA's job though, to ensure that a jawan doesn't decide whether he 'likes' orders based on who's giving them.


and the IA is doing its stuff on that front. I was giving examples of the problems that the IA has faced in the implementation.

Quote:
What is a special 'need', one that is too difficult to 'cater to' - the fact that women shouldn't be objectified? That women should be treated like any other trooper/officer?


all noble thoughts - if it is so easy to achieve it, wouldnt it already be done by now?

Quote:
You're saying '900 women' NOW but I'm sure you realise that if we open up the combat roles the IA will take in a lot more women? Right now the roles are limited so the numbers are limited. If the roles available grow, won't the numbers? It won't be just 900 women and you know that.


Can you be more specfic and tell me what combat roles do you envisage? I give example of an infantry officer on siachen and suddenly shankar and you start coming up with a rear echelon combat job of an arty officer. I give you an example of an ADA woman officer who is already on the job and you come up with a vague combat role. Be specific and i will tell you the problems the IA might face.

We talk about men changing their attitudes and the IA to faciliatate this. This wont happen overnight.

To throw more fuel into the fire, what do you think of this article?
http://www.usiofindia.org/article_Jul_Sep05_12.htm



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Are Women Officers Willing to Lead the Male Troops on a Patrol or Ambush Duties?

The response was mixed. Women officers with lower age and in the service group of one to four years felt thrilled considering it an adventure activity. Married women officers with higher age and in service group of five to eight years considered this out of context, felt nervous and bewildered at the thought of a single woman amongst male soldiers. Family, children and husband remained their major concern. Young soldiers felt their responsibility will increase in such a situation – given a choice they will not prefer such a situation. Some senior officers were evasive and non-committal while majority were not in favour of sending women officers on night duty or on missions of patrols, ambush and convoy protection duties in counter insurgency areas. Junior Commissioned Officers (JCOs) regarded the idea of a woman officer leading a patrol in counter terrorism operations a dangerous situation and gave a firm "no" to the proposal.

A study of women officers as convoy protection officers between Jammu and Srinagar was carried out. All ranks were asked if they felt secure under the protection of a woman officer as convoy commander. The response was mixed. Women officers took the job seriously. Some troops felt that in case of an eventuality it is they who will come to the forefront rather than asking a woman to do the job and were generally not in favour of such assignment for women. They felt that women soldiers must be able to protect themselves. Some soldiers felt that it did not matter whether if their commander was a woman. Young male officers who carry out similar duties felt that women officers show enthusiasm initially, however, realising that getting up at three o'clock in the morning and having a strenuous travel schedule for 12 hours as routine, throughout week, is inhuman. Problems are further complicated for married women with small children. Commanding officers have trouble in employment of women officers in operational duties, although they are posted in appointments to be occupied by male officers. Commanding officers wanted to have a free hand to treat women officers in field areas as equal to other officers. The view is shared by women officers who want professional equality and do not want to be treated with kid gloves. In some cases women officers in outdoor training tended to overdo to prove that they are physically fit and can undertake stress like men.

Uncomfortable Situations

Some of the uncomfortable incidents experienced by women officers are men looking at them in shorts during physical training and sports sessions with penetrating and leering looks, peeping toms, appearance of other ranks at odd hours as messengers. Jokes after drinks by some officers and cases of unwarranted attention towards women in service or related to service figured occasionally. The study found that women officers including women medical officers find themselves in an awkward situation while visiting unit lines and toilets or when they have to conduct lectures on acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and sex education as part of routine job.

On Being Prisoner of War (POW)
Women officers had no idea of being taken hostage by terrorists as in Iraq or becoming POW in enemy country and how to escape and save themselves. The troops were surprised when asked about a woman officer being taken as a prisoner; most of them recalled mutilation of bodies of Indian soldiers in Kargil War, rape and molestation of women in East Pakistan in 1971 by the Pakistan Army and treatment of US women POWs by Iraqi troops in the Gulf Wars. Some soldiers refreshed the memories of Border Security Force (BSF) personnel cut into pieces by Bangladesh Rifles few years back. As regards treatment of women hostages and prisoners by terrorists, the troops felt that worst could be expected from fundamentalists.

Work Place and Stress

Sources of stress for women soldiers are society, organisations and women themselves. Perception, attitude and belief of male soldiers that women soldiers do not possess the essential attributes of soldiering add to the stress. Women officers react emotionally to work problems, due to which they are unable to cope, perform and compete well in conflict situations. Women were of the opinion that revealing of the fears, secrets and doubts to another person at the workplace, or otherwise in competitive arena can lead to exploitation and unhealthy competition between genders. Some of them were highly critical of each other. Working women are likely to be prone to heart attacks, blood pressure, paralysis and high cholesterol and kidney problems due to dual stress of working at home and office, which affect the quality of life. Stress has led to consumption of alcohol and tobacco in some cases. In nuclear families, women hide or delay the treatment and live with the problems of stress.

Non-acceptance of women as soldiers by men is due to physical, physiological, psychological, biological, masculine, social and logistical reasons specific to women. Women officers share good communications with younger age group of officers and maintain a work oriented relationship with others. Some cases of tomboyish behaviour noticed amongst women officers were to the dislike of troops. Some women officers contest that they should be free to mix with male friends in off parade hours as in the civil society, being equal, independent and responsible in all respects. Women officers feel that Army requires time to understand women's competence and professional skills. Women officers are of the view that Army is a one-way road, very traditional and follows formal work culture. Women officers want opportunities to prove their competence in the colliding ideals and attitudes between genders. Majority of women officers agree that work atmosphere in the Indian Armed Forces is safer and conducive for women as compared to foreign armies and civil organisations except for some teething problems of adjustment.

Conflict Management

An instance of harassment or maltreatment of women in military attracts more attention and sends a wrong message to youth and society that Army is an unsafe place to work in. All ranks are unanimous that media sensationalise, advertise and humiliate victims and the organisation for its benefit. An aspirant for commission who refused to undergo medical examination by male surgeons caused enough embarrassment to the organisation due to wide media coverage given to this matter. Media is of the view that these incidents cannot be dealt behind closed doors in a democratic set up and hence media acts as an indicator of happenings in society.

----------------------

I am sure you will come up with enough points and counter points - to which I can also continue - and this will go on forever and I am sure you have important things to do (and so do I). and all this will lead to zero.

If you do want to make a difference, you will do better in making a paper out of it and getting it published - either in the mainstream press or even with the USI journal itself where it will have more impact than a thosuand posts over here.


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PostPosted: 15 Sep 2007 21:42 
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Jagan, your patient and well considered responses to the idealistic demagoguery shown by Shankar & Jager are admirable!
Its not the IA's job to "change" Indian society, its their job to fight and win wars, as effectively as possible. As it stands today, the IA is in no position to induct women for the heck of "==" and so be it.


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PostPosted: 15 Sep 2007 22:01 
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Quote:
Women in the Military:
Combat Roles Considered

There are approximately 32,000 women in the U.S. military, comprising about 13 percent of the total U.S. Armed Forces (Defense Almanac 1995). In 1970, only 1.4 percent of the total military was comprised of women, a number that more than tripled to 4.6 percent in 1975, nearly doubled to 8.3 in 1980, rose to 10 in 1985, 11 in 1990, to the current 13 percent (Government Executive March 1994).

When discussing the history of women in combat, one might think of Joan of Arc who in 1429, at age 17, successfully led French troops into battle against the English. Hundreds of women disguised themselves as men to fight in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. Beginning in 1942, separate military services for women were established, but women did not gain professional military status until 1948 when President Truman signed the Women's Armed Services Integration Act which limited their number to 2 percent of the total military. In 1991, the restriction of women from flying combat aircraft was repealed, but the 1948 law still bans women from serving on naval combat vessels (Minerva Spring 1994).

Some argue that, should combat slots be open to women, women may be subjected to the draft. The male only draft was considered to be constitutional in 1981 in the Rockster V Goldberg case, largely because the draft was viewed as a way to fill combat slots -- slots from which women were barred.

In the National Defense Authorization Act for the Fiscal Years 1992-1993, Congress rescinded female combat exemption laws and then the Clinton Administration opened a quarter million previously closed combat positions to women (GAO Report, July 1996).

On October 1, 1994, the Defense Department issued a policy that rescinded the so-called "risk rule" that gauges the specialties to which women can be assigned. The policy was backed strongly by Secretary of Defense Les Aspin and was the extension of the changes made in April 1993 that opened most aviation specialties, including attack helicopters, to women (Army, March 1994). The policy emphasized that no job will be closed to women just because it is dangerous, but fails to open direct offensive ground combat jobs to women (Army, March 1994). Even today, though, the official policy of the Army and Marine Corps excludes women from combat which precludes 12 percent of skilled positions and 39 percent of the total positions (GAO Report, July 1996).

Proponents of opening all positions in the military to women argue that military readiness is enhanced when there is a larger pool of applicants, whereas opponents insist that due to politics, quotas would be undeniable, thus allowing unqualified women into key military positions. Opponents of allowing women to compete for combat billets argue that it is too dangerous to put women in the position of becoming prisoners of war. Without a doubt, there is a much greater probability for acts of sexual molestation and rape with the addition of women to the front lines. The "front lines" in modern combat, however, are fluid. Although they were technically in support roles, two female U.S. soldiers were taken captive and one was sexually abused by the Iqaqis in the Gulf War. This situation made those who were already skeptical about putting women in such a compromising position further question whether women should be subjected to the horrors of combat. Many, however, argue that adult women who make the decision to join the military are aware of the consequences (Minerva, Spring 1994).

Another argument against women in combat is that they simply do not have the physical strength and endurance needed. Without a doubt, being in the military is a physically demanding job that not everyone is fit to handle. Despite this, all experts agree that there are some women, although perhaps small in number, who have the physical strength and endurance to be soldiers (Army Times, July 29, 1996). Concerning combat aviation some question whether women can handle the gravitational forces of an aircraft, but there is absolutely no evidence that says they cannot. It is interesting to note that everyone, including women, believe the physical standards for military occupational specialties (MOS) should be identical for both men and women.

Currently, all members of the armed services must pass fitness tests, which are scaled according to age and gender. There are no current tests that specifically measure the physical skills required for each military occupational specialty (MOS) -- the only way to test this is have the soldiers simply go out and perform their task. The goal is to create these gender-blind specific tests that more accurately predict a soldier's success in combat.

Another argument used to keep women out of combat billets is that they would disrupt the cohesive unit and undermine the espirit de corps. The effectiveness of the military hinges on a cohesion -- every member must completely trust and respect one another. Many argue men would not be able to trust women to be capable of accomplishing the physical demands of combat, which could lead to serious problems. In order to maintain cohesion, experts agree that all members of the military must be treated equally. A standard must be maintained to make every member feel as if he/she is part of one single unit, not separated by gender.

Romantic relationships and pregnancies also concern many experts. The argument is that romance may undermine espirit de corps and that pregnancies will hurt readiness. Although pregnancy is a major concern of many, statistics show it has little bearing on military readiness. In fact, women on the average spend a mere one fewer hour per month at work than their male counterparts. When one excludes pregnancy leave, women have a lower rate of lost time at work than their male counterparts (Minerva Spring 1994).

More than 40,000 American women served in the war against Iraq. The Marine Corps awarded twenty-three women the Combat Action Ribbon for service in the Persian Gulf War because they were engaged by Iraqi troops. Desert Storm was a huge turning point for women, much like Vietnam was for African-Americans, and it showed that modern war boundaries between combat and non-combat zones are being blurred. It makes no sense to cling to semantics (combat vs combat support) given the reality of war. Furthermore, allowing both men and women to compete for all military occupational specialties is not an equal rights issue, but one of military effectiveness. If the United States is to remain the world's most capable and most powerful military power, we need to have the best person in each job, regardless of their gender.

Authored by Jake Willens, 7 August 1996.

Reviewed by Daniel Smith, 29 January 1998.


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PostPosted: 15 Sep 2007 22:08 
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Shanker

I think the discussion is mainly centred around Indian Army and the role of women in it. This link that you posted is an attempt to obfuscate. As Jagan pointed there are a lot of cultural issues involved which the US army doesnt face


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PostPosted: 16 Sep 2007 03:00 
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There's theory, and then there's practice... :roll:

I second JCage... hats-off to Jagan-garu for his patient reponses :oops:

First things first, but what is the aim of having women in combat roles ?

Is it to:
(a) make up for manpower (people-power :P) in the case of shortages ?
(b) provide job opportunities for qualified women (the "women are 50% of the population, so they should have 50% of the jobs" argument) ?
(c) provide equal opportunity to a qualified woman in the same space as men (the "why can't she too play in Kapil Dev's team in the world cup" argument)
(d) provide women role models (the Jhansi-ki-Rani argument) ?
(e) make a political statement (the "if they can do it in Israel/US/Sweden/LTTE, why can't the MCP wife-beaters in Bharat too" argument)?
(f) the "let's change society by making an example of the army" argument.

Re. (a), as Jagan-garu has pointed out, there is no shortage of jawans. As far as officers are concerned, women are being recruited for various non-combat roles. Is the incremental benefit of getting a few women officers for combat roles (say, to tide over the officer shortage) commensurate with the additional dislocation/effort needed of an already over-stretched army ?

Re. (b), sure that's a valid argument. But again, why not start with easier cases, say, 33% of bus drivers in all SRTCs, or in the local police - which would be far more achievable because of the easier work conditions, than put an additional burden on the army ? Note that the IA actually fights, and the situation is bad enough with constant, back-to-back deployments without R&R, gadawful service conditions (6" X 6" rat-infested bunkers, occupied by 3-4 men, with zilch by way of facilities even for cooking or $hitting and 3 days walk from the nearest support), and the constant threat to life and limb. Might it not be better use of time/resources/energy to fix these issues first, than add another burden with possibly disproportionately low benefits ?

Also, surely there's a difference between fixing a Sukhoi's radar at Lohegaon, and carrying 50kgs up to a post at 5000m, 2 days walk from civilization, and then staying there for a week :roll:

Re. (c) and (d), how about putting together all-women-manned (womanned ? :P) battalions/squadrons/warships, such as the CRPF mahila battalions. Subject, of course, to technical or medical constraints (such as the ejection seat issue that shiv-ji has talked about earlier). All qualified women can be chanelled into such units. Would that make people happy :)

Re. (e) and (f), all I can say is :roll:
Might be a good idea to get a reality check at this point :) ... as the saying goes,
Quote:
In theory, theory and practise are the same... in practise, they are different


Are there other reasons, that I missed, to have women in combat roles ?


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PostPosted: 16 Sep 2007 06:14 
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Shankar wrote:
Quote:
Women in the Military:
Combat Roles Considered

There are approximately 32,000 women in the U.S. military, comprising about 13 percent of the total U.S. Armed Forces (Defense Almanac 1995).
Authored by Jake Willens, 7 August 1996.

Reviewed by Daniel Smith, 29 January 1998.


32000 women comprising 13% of the total US armed forces?

That puts the total US armed forces at 246,000.


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PostPosted: 16 Sep 2007 12:35 
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To purpose of having women in ANY role in the IA is not to 'make up for personnel shortages' or 'to change the way society thinks' or any of these things. I completely agree with other members that this is not the Army's job. The Army's job is to defend our borders and visit hell on our enemies, whoever they are.

HOWEVER, here's the point - there is no 'purpose' of recruiting women for ANY role in the IA. The idea is that "anyone who MAKES THE GRADE, REGARDLESS OF GENDER, should be assigned to ANY role, whether combat, rear echelon, logistics, engineer corps, etc.

Please read that again - it's important. There is NO more 'purpose' to having women in the Army then there is to having say, Gujarati or Malayali men. They are welcome to join IF they make the grade it's that simple.

This is the same sort of specious argument that has been advanced all throughout history by any dominant group that cannot accept the idea of a subordinate group in positions of power.
"They're not tough enough"
"They don't have the brains"
"Niggers make good porters, not good soldiers"
"I ain't serving under no nigger"

Ask yourself why so many Indian troops were used as porters in WW1, and not in combat roles, at least initially. Ask yourself why neither the North nor the South in the American Civil War were overjoyed to use Black men in combat roles. Yes, it happened, but after terrible losses took their toll on recruitment.

You think American society changed BEFORE 'niggers' became soldiers? You really think that? The whole society thing is bogus. Any Army uses the maximum potential of the recruit pool to the hilt, making sure that each and every individual is integrated enough to DO THE JOB.

And why? NOT to make an example or do '==' or any of these things. But to make sure that ANY potential world-beater, ANY potential Field Marshal, ANY great tactician, regardless of gender, makes it in so that the ARMY BENEFITS as an ORGANIZATION and does it's job better.

Oh yeah has everyone forgotten the entire unit of female PK's in Liberia? They are the combat arm of the whole damn operation - only they are armed on patrol! And when they patrol, do they go out only in 'female' teams? Please watch all those videos again - there would be 5-6 armed policewomen who are escorting MALE African & European P-Keepers and Monitors. If a firefight starts up and a woman gets shot in the thigh - tell me Jagan, what then?

Anyone who has followed the Liberian conflict knows that the women are not in some Disneyland. It may not be patrol in Kashmir, but it is at the very least a patrol in very dangerous, extremely unknown territory. What if one of the factions decides to take hostages one day? Then what? You think the women haven't thought about all of that? Or that they somehow know it can't happen?

And yes, you want specific roles for women? On patrol, village searches, house searches - you name it. Does it change the on ground situation if a female officer takes a scared female villager aside and talks to her? You tell me. Who is the female villager more likely to perceive as 'approachable'? A male officer or a female? You tell me. Check points, 'nakabandi' - all of these. You need to patdown a group of women in Burkhas - tell me these situations only happen once in 10 years, so we don't need to worry about them.

I too respect your inclination to talk this out Jagan. Those who find surprising are obviously disinclined towards discussing things with people of conflicting opinion.

As to your report, I will not dispute the findings. But just a couple of things I wanted to point out:

1. All who responded to the report were reacting in a manner appropriate to the way the IA is structured NOW. The jawans for the most part haven't trained with nor have they been lead by women in combat situations. What are they basing their answers on? "Intuition"?

2. The women who were asked about the 'leading patrols and ambushes' - did they join up as combat recruits? Did they receive COIN training? On what basis are they being asked? If you ask an AMC doctor about patrols and ambushes, what answer do you think you're going to get?

Like you said Jagan, you've got 500 points and I've got 500 points so this can go on forever. Let's just agree to disagree and hopefully we've both managed to get some neurons going in other people, FWIW.

I appreciate your suggestion as to publishing - print media i can probably manage myself, but how would I go about contacting and publishing in USI journal? I would be grateful for any help.


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Jaeger,

I can come up with half a dozen points on all-women units in the army, rear-echelon combat operations, recruitment to rejection ratios for combat only roles for women etc etc, but I will decline to comment now. Its not any reluctance to participate in discussions, but simply a question of whether this discussion is up there in my priority list of doing things - it is not right now. If this is something that is going to end soon, I would have , but I have been reading this go for several iterations now. And I am sure it wont end anytime soon.

reg USI this page has the details
http://www.usiofindia.org/usijour.htm

-Jagan


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The USAF Thuderbirds now have two women among the flying team. Dr. Shiv Sastry explained v.patiently what the problems are from the POV of ergonomics on modifying combat a/c cockpits to accomodate men as well as women in India. Please read the thread. So even if the Indian AF are trying their best to train women for all roles, there are certain technical problems they do not have the resources to solve. In India women have done very well in the police and CRPF, and of course we know about the all women CRPF team in West Africa (how come we aren't reading anything about them?). Can women shoot and kill as hard as the men? It would be silly to ask such a question. The terrorists didn't think highly of Santo Devi at Ayodhya but aren't alive now to tell the tale. But in the Armed Forces it is much morethan shoot and kill, and the variety of missions is vast. So less heat and more light priya yaar!


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Jaeger, with respect, do you think anyone in his right senses can disagree with you in any way?

You may be shadow boxing because I believe a large majority of people who post on this forum are with you on the question of women in uniform.

Can I make things a bit more difficullt for you?

Given that a lot of people agree with your points, why is it that what you suggest is not happening soon?

I believe you have already touched upon some answers to this question.

Can I ask you to argue against yourself and put hurdles in the way of the things that you suggest? The reason I ask is that we are facing a fundamental contradiction in discussing this topic.

Many of us agree that women should have an equal role. You have made powerful arguments of that yourself.

But women do not have that equal role. What are the hurdles that are being put in the way of implementing this laudable ideal? If the number of people opposed to it and the number of excuses being offered were as small as you suggest - the problem should really have been overcome a long time ago.

But it has not been overcome. There are deep fundamental hurdles. Some of those hurdles have been mentioned both as viewpoints and in articles. I note that you are choosing to criticize the hurdles and the hurdle-namers, but do not seem to have done an in depth study of the attitudes of hurdle creators.

Again, with respect, I am suggesting to you that you are asking for ice-cream to be supplied to a man marooned on a desert island. And you do not seem to either recognise this, leave alone suggest means of remedy.

Women are treated like crap in Indian society from birth onwards, and getting them an equal role in one small aspect of society (the armed forces) is hamstrung by a mass of grandfathers, grandmothers, mothers, fathers and mothers in law who choose to make life difficult for every girl in the 17 years she has to survive before she can even contemplate joining the forces.

You ideas are laudable and nobody can argue. But you have totally ignored institutional hurdles in India society that choose to screw women.

Please change your tack and educate us and show us that you have knowledge too and have put it to good use, apart from posessing strong views - views that we are quite familiar with and sympathetic. Hearing more of same is neither dispelling the worries i have about society nor educating me further. Please show me how years of study of Indian society that I have done are all wrong and that my fears are needless.

I agree with you, but I am less optimistic than you. Why are you optimistic? Or are you optimistic at all? If not, why not?

We can make this a useful thread yet - if we can use it to highlight the fundamental misogynistic attitude in India society from family unit upwards. An attitude that unites Indians cutting across barriers of caste, religion and class. I believe that if we ignore that and do not address that - we do not stand the chance of a fart in hurricane to make anything any better for woman in general - notwithstanding the extra special help you may give to your own wife or daughter to succeed based on one's personal clout.

If we learn something from this thread - we could even shift to a more appropriate forum - because the fundamental reasons do not lie with the armed forces alone, but with a biased Indian society that sees women in a particular role. Why do I see you failing to address that in your long but otherwise unimpeachable opinions?


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Long ago, long before anyone came up with any ideas of female equality, Indian society figured out how to keep females where they are. It is easy to observe the effects of that - which we need to look at before we can begin to see how it impacts on the special and small subset of women in the armed forces.

After centuries of evolution of societal habits, we now find that Indian society ensures that fewer girls are born rather than boys. This is going on despite governmental legislation and even in the last 1 year I have seen reports of doctors, those upholders of societal values being involved in sex determination/female foeticide scams. But you don't even need doctors for this.

In the last one week I have seen a report that says how, in some Indian states, not only are fewer girls being born, but those are actually born are less likely to survive past the age of five as parents are less likely to care for them during childhood illnesses.

We feed girls less, keep them anaemic and on low protein diets that makes them small built - just like their mothers and grandmothers and a line of female ancestors extending back centuries. Their muscle mass is small, but evolution ensures that the genes that enable girls to survive and produce children (i.e live past 14 or 15) are passed on.

India produces a population of anaemic, underfed girls in general. But some of them are better fed and in better shape. These are the lucky ones. Of these a few will have sympathetic families who will not force them into marriage by 16 or 18. Some percentage of these will qualify for the armed forces - and from this small percentage of girls - we are looking for equal performance with men.

Yes, this subset may be able to perform equally with men, but they are still considered unequal, both by their colleagues, and by society (read those articles!) and by other people whom we do not see. If you allow one of these girls to marry - she will then come under pressure from others, father, mother and parents in law to produce a grandchild, preferably a grandson. If she gets posted in a faraway place - away from her 1 year old child - she will be criticized by everyone in her family social circle - and not praised for her devotion to duty. This is enough to drive any woman into depression - and some do go that way.

Now that she has a baby - she will not even want to commit suicide - which she could if she was ill treated in this manner before she had that child. But nobody (certainly no man) will actually feel or understand the pressure she is under. We want to see her being "equal" to men. I don't give a sh1t if anyone blackmails her emotionally for being a "bad mother" - posted in Arunachal Pradesh instead of being with the baby in Bangalore, If that pressure makes her snap or even shed a tear - it will serve as proof that "women are weak"

Whichever way you look at it we are putting pressure on women in a way that men do not face at all. Why don't we look at what women themselves are saying and ask them exactly what they can cope with and how much leeway they need before we reach judgement about equal and unequal?

Without fundamental societal transformation (such as the US has moved towards achieving), nobody can wish away the pressures that women come under. The least we can do is to be sympathetic to different needs and see how that can gel in with operational requirements of a fighting force. India is a long way away from even feeding girls equally, leave alone treating them equally. We need to be democratic and fair about whom we select in the armed forces and how they are employed and we need to have inputs from women about that. But hey - we don't even allow equal representation of women in parliament - so forget about the armed forces.

And imagine the hue and cry if we were to reserve 50% of Engineering or medical seats for girls? Very few of us jingos would even bother about what happens to the armed forces - we would be too busy licking our own wounds I suspect.


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PostPosted: 17 Sep 2007 08:59 
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Jagan wrote:
No women JCOs and NCOs yet because there is no shortage of manpower at that level (there are stampedes at recruiting events). There is however a shortage of personnel at the Officer level. so I wouldnt count on Women NCOs and JCOs for some time to come - unless some huge shortage of men at that level happens.

That is not the case.It's simple only women==men sounds good only in books in reality they are not (god never made em so in the first place ).The kind of physical training and regimen required for a soldier cannot be fulfilled by a woman and that is the reason for no sailor/jawan entry scheme for women (name a physical activity/game where a female can compete with the men ).Look at the SSB and group tasks being assigned for female candidates under commissioned entry scheme they are far more easier as compared to the ones employed for males (for instance the time limit to run 2km ,rope climbing burma bridge all are relaxed for em).

btw Saar this shortage of personnel at the officer level is all Bakwaas (at least in terms of number of applicants) .As a thumb rule for every 100 candidates appearing for an SSB interview only 2-3 get selected so shortage of applicants is not an issue.To be honest opening the services for women folk is only a socio-political decision nothing strat/tact about it.


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PostPosted: 17 Sep 2007 09:32 
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Kim Campbell
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Campbell_(pilot)

Her A-10 was hit pretty badly over Baghdad in 2003 when she was flying a combat mission. Instead of ejecting over Baghdad, she decided to try and bring the plane back. After flying it for over an hour, she made it back to the airbase and managed to put her plane down in one piece, with no brakes or steering.

Quote:
On the ground it was discovered that her A-10 had sustained damage to one engine and to the redundant hydraulic systems, disabling the flight controls, landing gear and brakes, and horizontal stabilizer. A detailed inspection revealed hundreds of holes in the airframe and that large sections of the stabilizer and hydraulic controls were missing.

"She's one of the few pilots who ever landed the A-10 in the manual mode." General Richard Myers - Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff.


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PostPosted: 17 Sep 2007 10:45 
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And imagine the hue and cry if we were to reserve 50% of Engineering or medical seats for girls?

back in 1994, the AP Govt reserved 30% seats in engg for girls (dont know
about medical). rather than protest the guys were _delighted_ at this
massive influx and expansion of the G-hostel. all my 'dormant' AP classmates
changed into turbo drive and somehow managed to snap up gf's within
space of six months.


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PostPosted: 17 Sep 2007 12:30 
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Shiv: you have hit the nail right on the head - the only reason I haven't gone into discussing society etc. is because this is the Military forum, I didn't know how much leeway the admins would give so I stuck to topic as closely as possible.

If you would be interested in discussing this further I would be more than happy to take this to Strategic Forum or in fact any thread that you suggest. I expect I will have a lot to learn from your lifetime of study so that's certainly something to look forward to.

I'm tied up in work right now but I would be lurking from tomorrow morning IST so if you do post something, that's when I would reply, if it's OK by you.

Jagan, I would be happy to discuss this with you whenever you have the time or the inclination. Thanks for the USI link.


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PostPosted: 17 Sep 2007 18:48 
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Jaeger wrote:

If you would be interested in discussing this further I would be more than happy to take this to Strategic Forum or in fact any thread that you suggest.


Jaeger - the topic is vast, and I think it may be worth expanding the area of discussion on this thread rather than losing focus by trying to tackle a subject that is enormous.

Even the act of discussion and pointing out problems itself has pitfalls related to rhetoric and semantics.

For example if a person were to point out that there are fundamental problems in Indian society that should ideally be addressed concurrently - it is easy to destroy any further meaning by someone saying "Oh that is just an excuse - You are against women" etc.

Like the nuke thread in the other forum, it would be worth settingthe terms of debate and perhaps allowing people to have their say without argument.

In fact it is likely that a thread like this will bring out all shades of opinion, including a few who could be described as misogynists. In such cases I believe it is better to let the person have his say rather than opposing him or trying to convert his viewpoint. That is what leads to arguments because neither side will give in.

I tend to take the attitude that if someone posts a message that suggests that he is ignorant - why argue and try and change him? Let the opinion stay. Note that I am not referring to anybody in particular - but trying to define rules of debate that can bring opinions and problems across without losing focus by argumentative and "put down" posts that accompany arguments.

Women are treated the way they are in India because the sum total of opinions about women among one billion Indians tends to create the environment for making them financially, socially and physically weaker than they should be, and then uses that fact to keep them subservient.

In many ways - every one of us - even those on this forum who are enlightened about women - and even many women themselves are slaves to societal pressures and contribute knowingly or unknowingly to keeping women "in their place" - so to speak.

This kind of treatment of women is "sort of" common all over the world - but the West has gone to great lengths remedy that and the US is far ahead.

I have frequently read comparisons between women in the US and women in India and the suggestion that women are somehow "free-er" in India and are "used" more in the US. I do not believe that. The US is way ahead and has set some precedents that we should follow. If we follow the best precedents - I still think it will be 40 years before India can claim to have done well for its women. I will be dead by then.

But following US precedents is not necessarily starting off by getting 13% women in the armed forces. That precedent can only follow a whole slew of improvement in womens rights, empowerment, health and support. Or else it may well be tokenism.

I believe that our sole lady PM and our lady President are "token, one-off" symbols akin to Pakis having a RAPE speak good English and claiming that all of Pakistan==Shakespeare. The US may not have had a woman President but it has done much better for its women.. May not be the "best" - but certainly better than India.

We need grassroots empowerment in which a girl can boldly say bugger off (if she wants) to father/mother and and grandfather/grandmother and follow a career or even have a child that she can support with full societal sympathy for her individual viewpoint.

We are a yuga away from anything remotely parallelling that. We don't even have proper healthcare and education for girls leave alone facilities like support and creches for independent mothers.

We have to look at biological facts. We cannot dictate that a girl should or should not have baby. Whatever her choice - we should be able to accommodate - in whatever career she chooses.

In terms of a physically demanding job - pregnancy invariably makes a woman vulnerable for a short time. But many women (like animals in the wild) are tough cookies and that vulnerability is for a few weeks only. My wife gets to be pampered for months before delivery and for years after delivery (even when she does not want it) but the maidservant at home does not get that luxury. She is the tough cookie who gets a few weeks off and then its back to work - baby in tow - or with some family member.

However - after pregnancy the really vulnerable person is the baby - who is completely dependent on mother and that would qualify as a "special need"

In the armed forces we need to see how the US handles these things and I would love to read references.

Just a few thoughts.


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PostPosted: 17 Sep 2007 19:23 
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Shiv,
There you are. Hitting nail right at head. I fully agree with your logic. However the problem is with the male supremacists (MS) and women rights activists (WRA). While MS never fail to stress the physical strength to ridicule anyone who supports the equality for women, WRA paint everyone who advocates the process of social transformation to reach a critical threshhold before changing vital organisations like army in combat zone as MS.

The transformation is happenening but will take long time. The question is what can be done to strengthen this process. May be if we have a all women disaster management force. India is disaster prone and most of the calamaties encompass rural regions. Now imagine the impact villagers in deepest region of UP or bihar when women disaster management team is providing relief.

Some schemes launched by haryana state are really praiseworthy (Not that I like the congress). A monthly scholarship of thousand rupees for each girl child, free education, health insurance and special anganwadis for girls can go a long way to correct the current social imbalance.

Special incentives for girls for higher educations, to encourage girls for marrying after 24 yrs, and compulsory physical education in martial arts in schools and colleges (at all levels).

Special dietary support for example high protein diet for pregnant ladies below a particular income level. Prizes for correct weight babies in hospitals. Having a primary heatlh centre in all villages etc.

Well schemes can be made for comprehensive development of females but the problem is $$. How can such schemes be financed?
Any suggestions? Maybe an additional cess on diesel "for cars" for the women welfare fund (For sure I am going to be cricified for advocating the increase taxation).


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Remember the huge problem that occurred when a girl who had passed the SSB declined to be checked by a male doctor and demanded a woman doctor?

Just a tip of the iceburg!


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Remember the huge problem that occurred when a girl who had passed the SSB declined to be checked by a male doctor and demanded a woman doctor? And everyone went into a tizzy right up to Delhi?

Just a tip of the iceburg!

In the Kargil War, the lady doctor who was with us insisted on a more 'protected' bathroom since she felt that men could be watching her. At that moment of time, what do you think should have been done? Prepare a more 'protected' bathroom or plan the capture of Tololing?

I have nothing against women in the Army or even in combat (though I wonder if that is OK), but the problems that they create under adverse and combat conditions can be unnerving and difficult to implement!

And you can't really get tough with the women or else Renuka Chaudhuri will bring in another bill!


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PostPosted: 18 Sep 2007 18:55 
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It will be called as Armed forces women Superiority Act XXXX :D

In a camp for scouts and guides our demonstrator was giving a lecture on first aid and he asked for 2 voluntaries for mouth to mouth respiration. As he didnot specify scouts or guides a girl and me stood up he immediatly sent me back and asked for another guide. I would have loved the mouth/mouth respiration demo (The girl was a beauty :P ).

What if such situation happens on battel field??? Will the commander scout for another women officer?? or will such an act be considered socially, morally inappropriate (Like my demonstrator).

The problem again comes down to social perceptions/attitudes.....


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PostPosted: 18 Sep 2007 20:13 
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Quote:
n the Kargil War, the lady doctor who was with us insisted on a more 'protected' bathroom since she felt that men could be watching her. At that moment of time, what do you think should have been done? Prepare a more 'protected' bathroom or plan the capture of Tololing?

I have nothing against women in the Army or even in combat (though I wonder if that is OK), but the problems that they create under adverse and combat conditions can be unnerving and difficult to implement!


- was she good looking ?

Now on more serious note
Ray C Sir -please share your perception about indian women soldiers with respect to

-courage under fire
- team spirit
- behavior towards male superior officers
-behavior towards those who she gives orders too
-technical competence compared to males
- radio communication clarity and skill under fire
- ability to take harsh conditions in war


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PostPosted: 18 Sep 2007 20:20 
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Shankar wrote:
- was she good looking ?


I think this particular person was told the answer to that question - and I suspect she understood that there were fewer eyes on her than she had anticipated.


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Shankar wrote:
Quote:
n the Kargil War, the lady doctor who was with us insisted on a more 'protected' bathroom since she felt that men could be watching her. At that moment of time, what do you think should have been done? Prepare a more 'protected' bathroom or plan the capture of Tololing?

I have nothing against women in the Army or even in combat (though I wonder if that is OK), but the problems that they create under adverse and combat conditions can be unnerving and difficult to implement!


- was she good looking ?

Now on more serious note
Ray C Sir -please share your perception about indian women soldiers with respect to

-courage under fire
- team spirit
- behavior towards male superior officers
-behavior towards those who she gives orders too
-technical competence compared to males
- radio communication clarity and skill under fire
- ability to take harsh conditions in war


I think they would do fine in all respects provided they are serious about being soldiers.

However, if you read the stuff in the media, then one wonders.

One cannot compromise on physical and mental robustness; more so, mental robustness.

My experience is that they expect to be treated as ladies and not officers. This to my mind is a great handicap especially when the chips are down and there is no time for being PC.

I have no experience on how women PBOR would perform since they are not there.


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PostPosted: 19 Sep 2007 14:09 
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Quote:
My experience is that they expect to be treated as ladies and not officers. This to my mind is a great handicap especially when the chips are down and there is no time for being PC.


in that case I take back all my arguments supporting women soldiers /You cannot have a "ladies army" which can fight and win a war against Talibs


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Some BRF-ites have whined that if the US Army can allow women in combat, why doesn't the Indian Army? Here are some stories of American women soldiers in Iraq. Read about the the practical problems they face, and then decide whether it is a good idea in the Indian context.

Life as an American Female Soldier


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Social Class is the real issue here. Educated women are brought up around the themes of chivalry by men, about behaving "lady like", etiquitte.

Compare this with a woman originating lower down in the social strata.She grows up with a father and mother who ignore her, beat her up. Ditto the husband and in laws. Society will be quick to condemn her, so also other women around her. She is a fighter, has to survive each breathing second.

A Soldier's job requires one to be de-sexed from the problems that common individuals suffer from.

Compare the two examples above, who would make a better soldier in the indian context.


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PostPosted: 05 Nov 2007 17:35 
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All women like to be treated special by males irrespective of the social strata they come from only the expectation of support level may be different.


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Quote:
Svetlana Protasova is one of the few female pilots in Russian air force flying high performance jets. She is currently a member of the "Swifts/Strizhi" aerobatic team which performs their routine with MiG-29 and MiG-29UB. Ltnt. Protasova graduated from the Moscow Aviation Institute (MAI) and Zaporozh'e Aviation School DOSAAF. She logged more than 400 hours in various aerobatic aircraft (Yak-52, -55, Su-26) and advanced jet trainers L-29 and L-39 before making her first flight in MiG-29.


-so it looks like the female of the species can after all fly combat jets


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Kakkaji wrote:
Some BRF-ites have whined that if the US Army can allow women in combat, why doesn't the Indian Army? Here are some stories of American women soldiers in Iraq. Read about the the practical problems they face, and then decide whether it is a good idea in the Indian context.

Life as an American Female Soldier


Just my 2 paisa, even in the US the present concept of women in combat came after Op iraq freedom (especially the combat dedicated roles ex the lioness program of the USMC). Till then most women were in support roles but with the loss of frontlines almost all Iraq vetrans combat or support have experienced some combat. But the female combat roles came to garner support from the women and children. For that they had to put women front n center. RacC can give more clues but in insurgency areas like Kashmir and northeast especially NE the need for women in CASO's is being felt (no reference to this only word to mouth).


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PostPosted: 06 Nov 2007 05:42 
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Shankar wrote:
Quote:
Svetlana Protasova is one of the few female pilots in Russian air force flying high performance jets. She is currently a member of the "Swifts/Strizhi" aerobatic team which performs their routine with MiG-29 and MiG-29UB. Ltnt. Protasova graduated from the Moscow Aviation Institute (MAI) and Zaporozh'e Aviation School DOSAAF. She logged more than 400 hours in various aerobatic aircraft (Yak-52, -55, Su-26) and advanced jet trainers L-29 and L-39 before making her first flight in MiG-29.


-so it looks like the female of the species can after all fly combat jets



That women can fly fighters has never been in doubt. But why only a "few" female pilots even in the RuAF? I thinks the reasons have been spelled out fairly clearly in the last thread itself:

1) Anthropometry related design issues
2) Sexism
3) Conservative armed forces being unwilling to experiment with women

No 1 can be sorted out, and 3 can be addressed

But 2 may be a continuing problem as those stories of female US soldiers reveal.

When I was a boy in the late 1960s, I was exposed to the tail end of post world war 2 literature. Looking back now I realise that a lot of young soldiers who were in their twenties and thirties during WW2 would have been in their forties and fifties in the 1960s - reaching the prime of their careers as post war civilians. I recall either reports or anecdotes of the sensation young men (and perhaps women) felt just before going to battle. These stories dated from the time France was liberated and at a time when there were a huge number of horny young men in Britain and in liberated France.

The stories spoke of some anxiety and simultaneous intense sexual arousal leading to plenty of sexual liaisons just before the men left for the next battle. This was at a time when there were very few women soldiers and contact was with civilians.

I think issues regarding sexual intercourse, bonding/jealousy and pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease are going to be sociological issues that are going to receive a lot more attention and scrutiny as armed forces such as those of the US gradually increase the number of women in their ranks.

I personally do not rule anything out as a possibility when modern science is applied well, but I sometimes wonder about the fact that armies are as old as prostitution. Does the millennia old history of armies being male dominated have any historical pointers or indicators as to what science will understand in future about the social dynamics of mixed sex armies?


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PostPosted: 06 Nov 2007 08:11 
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Shiv: I think there is one more reason. Culture.

Speaking to an ex marine captain, over 12 years back, on the issue - I remember his answer well even today.

The men in the forces are conditioned by the culture of the larger society, they are part of. The culture in almost all societies is, a tendency to protect the women species. In the thick of battle, this tendency can be dangerous. Even simple things, like opening the car door for the woman is an act indicating certain cultural traits.

His view was, for women to be fully integrated into the armed forces and in combat roles on the ground or in the air, the larger cultural traits will have to change.

Here is the big question, will it ever change? For are we not differrent? Why this madness to prove that women and men are equal. I do not mean this in the sexist view but really why this rush for women to be like men. There are many things women can do better and they do not have to prove anything.


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PostPosted: 06 Nov 2007 08:37 
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Good point ShauryaT.

We need to have some insight into where biology ends and culture begins.

Most humans tend to think that the insights and intelligence we have today were absent before this day. But that is untrue. Humans have been modern, astute and intelligent for at least 5000 years. Non-Indian cultures may find it difficult to swallow but if you read the Mahabharata you find references to the whole range of modern human traits and emotions that we find today being described and dealt with in a 2000+ year old story.

I am certain there are deep biological and cultural reasons why women have consistently not been the primary or even 50 percent components of armies. We may want to put them in there. We may devise ways to do that, but 5000 or more years of human history seem to suggest that there is some hitch that keeps women out of armies.

It is difficult to make this statement in an environment where pointing out a curious historical fact is sometimes referred to as a sexist excuse to stop women from entering the forces.


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PostPosted: 06 Nov 2007 11:19 
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Quote:
Most humans tend to think that the insights and intelligence we have today were absent before this day. But that is untrue. Humans have been modern, astute and intelligent for at least 5000 years. Non-Indian cultures may find it difficult to swallow but if you read the Mahabharata you find references to the whole range of modern human traits and emotions that we find today being described and dealt with in a 2000+ year old story.


Well if we go back even further before the onset of so called modern civilization women were as physicaly strong and fighter like as men like all other animals that roam the face of the earth .There is no bilogical reason why women cannot fight and produce babies or have sex at the same time

A lioness does all the hunting though she is less strong than a lion but definitely more ferocious and aggressive,The mother crocodile will tear you into pieces if you approach her kids ,A tigress is always more feared by the hunters than a tiger -it is always the female of the species which is more dangerous in comabat and more brave . For example a lioness will challenge a male lion to protect her cubs even if she knows he is stronger and will win.It is the natural protective instinct that comes into play when the females trying to protect something they cherish .U sally it is thier kids but it may well be thier country or society .

The reason we do not see that in modern times is because we males very carefully manged to convert halh our population in decorative domestic properties to be protected and preserved from other males .

It was not so in Vedic Times -women were taught the art of archery ,saliowordsmanship and like and expected to take care of themselves. Why most of our female gods are portrayed as warriors (Durga/Kali )

We started treating women just as objects of sex and breeding machines and a piece pf personal property mainly after Muslims conquered us and that tradition was reinforced by the Victorian age British influence later on and stays till today

Even on an experimental basis if we have just one half/half mixed infantry battalion and ut them on CI duty in Kashmir you will see the effectiveness .

Why every time a discussion on women in combat gets reduced to their sexual vulnerability . If the army can enforce the right kind of discipline she has her own peer group for support - a female soldier or rather a mature strong woman can take care of ant so called male sexual advances any time - and by the way why do we assume she herself is an assexual creature


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PostPosted: 06 Nov 2007 11:50 
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Shankar ji your analogy does not portray the correct picture, examples from wild do not apply to us humans.In the jungle only the strongest survive and unlike human society females arent exception to the rule.

The problems which Shiv ji and Shaurya T sir have highlighted do not exist in case of animals.


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PostPosted: 06 Nov 2007 12:05 
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If I am not mistaken, Rajput women would sometimes ride out with the final sally out of the gates with the men rather than commit jauhar. So it is not entirely out of the Indian context. There are many other examples of Indian women in historical combat - the famous Rani being the best example.

i think that women in the armed forces should continue to be women - in all senses of the word, but be 'professional soldiers' first


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PostPosted: 06 Nov 2007 13:05 
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[quote]Colonel Lakshmi Sahgal, who is among the last Indian women to see active combat in the 1940s, said the decision “reflects the mindsets of the military top brassâ€


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