Women in Combat

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Cain Marko
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Re: Women in Combat

Postby Cain Marko » 16 Feb 2010 22:38

Surya wrote:: :eek: Oh boy - This is where some woman jingo needs to jump in.


They are most welcome (and so are you saar). I doubt though that women will be offended if one sees purity, compassion and beauty in them. My whole point is simply that only when society fails in its moral and legal obligations (or when such a calamitous proposition is inevitable), would a need arise for women to carry arms for prosecuting war. As far as I know Indian society, for the most part, has not reached such a nadir just as yet.

Personally, I simply refuse to swallow all the refuse that post-renaissance western education tries to push with a supposed objective of equality, liberty and whatnot. Making all things look equally ugly hardly brings about egalitarianism, and if it does, such egalitarianism is more systematically dehumanizing than any medieval law could hope to achieve (the horror stories in communist countries would make a fine example).

CM.

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby biswas » 16 Feb 2010 22:50

A question that someone asked me about women in the forces. Are standards relaxed for female counterparts for the IA jawans? Also what would be the equivalent for the word Jawan for female soldiers? Jawaness? Jawanisk? Jawanamazon? Please pardon the cynical tone.

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby Sachin » 16 Feb 2010 22:57

biswas wrote:Also what would be the equivalent for the word Jawan for female soldiers? Jawaness? Jawanisk? Jawanamazon? Please pardon the cynical tone.

There are no women in Indian Army in the rank of Enlisted, NCO and JCO ranks. If they join, they join in Officer ranks. Jawan is used as a generic term for a soldier, and in majority of cases it means an 'enlisted' soldier. Since women don't join that group the Army is not very much bothered about the term to be used here :).

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby chetak » 16 Feb 2010 23:00

Cain Marko wrote:
Surya wrote:: :eek: Oh boy - This is where some woman jingo needs to jump in.


They are most welcome (and so are you saar). I doubt though that women will be offended if one sees purity, compassion and beauty in them. My whole point is simply that only when society fails in its moral and legal obligations (or when such a calamitous proposition is inevitable), would a need arise for women to carry arms for prosecuting war. As far as I know Indian society, for the most part, has not reached such a nadir just as yet.

Personally, I simply refuse to swallow all the refuse that post-renaissance western education tries to push with a supposed objective of equality, liberty and whatnot. Making all things look equally ugly hardly brings about egalitarianism, and if it does, such egalitarianism is more systematically dehumanizing than any medieval law could hope to achieve (the horror stories in communist countries would make a fine example).

CM.


I readily concede that women can fight just as well when the need arises. The Russian Red army had a lot of women foot soldiers as well as successful fighter pilots.

But at that time there was a crying need for female soldiers as the males had been decimated by horrendous losses in battle.

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby chetak » 16 Feb 2010 23:02

Sachin wrote:
biswas wrote:Also what would be the equivalent for the word Jawan for female soldiers? Jawaness? Jawanisk? Jawanamazon? Please pardon the cynical tone.

There are no women in Indian Army in the rank of Enlisted, NCO and JCO ranks. If they join, they join in Officer ranks. Jawan is used as a generic term for a soldier, and in majority of cases it means an 'enlisted' soldier. Since women don't join that group the Army is not very much bothered about the term to be used here :).


There are some women in arms in the para military forces though.

Wonder what they are called? :)

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby Surya » 17 Feb 2010 01:05

CM


Depending on who you talk to and which stats you read (take violence against women in India for example) society may have already failed in its legal obligations them.




While agreeing to all the practical issues Ray and Chetak bring about - that does not mean one does not push for it where feasible little by little.

Maybe at a slower rate, without a slippage in standards etc - but you have to continue to move in that direction.
not 200000 of them in the next 2 yrs but 10000, maybe not infantrywoman yet but maybe arty or tank trainers etc. and so on






Anything else is chauvinistic and patronizing

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby Gaur » 17 Feb 2010 02:14

Surya wrote:
Cain Marko wrote:Aside from the impracticality of it all (as pointed out by Ray and Chetak),

What a shame! Can the men not fight well enough that now we need our women to do this work? This agenda is the perfect example of modernism at its very worst. It prevents women from excelling in those areas that they naturally do - compassion, beauty, purity. And prevents men from excelling in virtues that they naturally do - strength, nobility and chivalry.
:eek: :eek:

Oh boy - This is where some woman jingo needs to jump in.

Exactly my sentiments. This is incredulous to read such statements in this time. I myself am in favour of not inducting women in infantry. Not because of any social, ideological or moral issues. But simply because it is a fact of nature that women have disadvantage in the areas of strength and endurance.
But apart from IA infantry, I do not see how women can be found lacking to perform any other duty.
For eg; I am totally in favour of women fighter pilots. It is a physically demanding job, but not so much that women cannot do that. Women athletes have achieved far greater physical standards. I do not see any quality which the women lack to become fighter pilots.

CM,
You say men are natural in "strength, nobility and chivalry". I agree with the strength part, but how did you come to the conclusion that women lack nobility and chivalry? From Websters online dictionary, one of the definition of nobility is "superiority of mind or of character". You feel women are inferior of mind and character? I do not know where you live, but as far as I have seen the world, I find women superior regarding these traits. At least the lewd behavior of men in general at govt buses, metros and trains do not point towards any greater "nobility" of men.
And I do not know about others, but on reading "chivalry", what comes to mind are things like "courtesy, politeness and gallantry". I fail to see how men are superior in this regard.
If "compassion, beauty, purity" were the main traits of women, how do you explain the excellence women have achieved in virtually every field in the world? Can you name one field where women are in any way found to do inferior work as compared to their male counterparts? The only fields that you could possibility name are that require extra ordinary strength and endurance. Other than that, squat.

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby shiv » 17 Feb 2010 07:28

Surya wrote:Hmm so how come whether it was partisans or resistance in WW2 or LTTE or Naxalites in India or Nepalese rebels - women seem to have no problem in being ruthless or brutal??? What causes that adjustment??



It's not about women's inability, but men's inability to control aggressive sexual urges. Societies such as those we see in India, Sri Lanka and Vietnam have a different method of dealing with female and male sexuality based on a frank recognition of physical differences. I believe that the US style of accommodating women is based more by legal decree and less on acceptance of natural and well known biological differences. The US model would be a disaster for India.

No matter which way you cut it, young men get randy with or without women about. If women are nearby special rules must exist to prevent men from forcing themselves on "available" women. Those "rules" are ideally rules that are already followed in society regarding "no touch" of women who are married or otherwise attached, and not rules created in courts of law that seek to impose femininity on men and masculinity on women where that does not exist in society. There are honor codes followed in India and many other societies that do not exist in the US. And these honor codes are fundamentally unsuitable for mixed units. These include the idea that an unmarried girl should not be going around with a group of men (expecting that she will not be preyed upon by someone) and that married women should be respected and not touched, alongside the principle that she too must not be camping out for months with a group of men minus her husband. A woman who camps out like this will have to have some attachment to someone in the unit that is recognised and respected by others. That sort of attachment is bad for an army unit but may be fine for a unit of rebels/revolutionaries. Neither Western nor Indian psychologists have studied the sexuality of rebel units (Viet Cong, LTTE, Naxals, dacoits) in detail. Papers do not exist that clearly document the ground rules so all the facts are not known about how the groups work and where they fail

The requirements are difficult to meet. Imposing an artificial code is useless and unworkable. Accepting the fact and not taking western mores as the way ahead while getting our own sociologists and psychologists (Indian) to lay down guidelines regarding male female interaction that can be used in feasibility studies for mixed units or all female units is the way forward. First do the studies. Don't experiment with putting 1 unmarried woman with 9 unmarried men and say "Army discipline will make sure everything is alright. If Naxals can do it so can the army". The army has no idea what honor codes were followed by those rebel units and whether they were applicable to army units. No explanation exists to show why most rebel units are still predominantly male if women are equal to men and can fight alongside men without creating new issues that do not exist in all male units.

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby RayC » 17 Feb 2010 08:40

shiv wrote:

It's not about women's inability, but men's inability to control aggressive sexual urges.

No matter which way you cut it, young men get randy with or without women about.


Suite for Punjab jail inmates

In this context read this and also the rationale! :mrgreen:

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby RayC » 17 Feb 2010 08:49

Selection Process

As recently as the year 2006, women’s selection in the Indian armed forces was done by an initial short listing of applications by the Service headquarters. This was followed by the Services Selection Board (SSB) interview process. This was in stark contrast with the procedure adopted for male candidates, who prior to the SSB interview had to clear the Combined Defence Services Examination (CDSE) - a written examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). The practice of short-listing the applications of women aspirants by the three Services headquarters merely on the basis of qualifications and class obtained therein, without a written examination, definitely compromised standards......

Minimum Acceptable Physical Standards

One of the earliest selection yardstick to be reviewed by the Army was the minimum acceptable physical standards for women in terms of height and weight in the year 2002. Compared to the Air Force, Navy and the CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force), the Indian Army had the lowest minimum acceptable physical standard for women. The military profession by its very nature requires certain minimum physical standards, and women who do not adhere to the minimum standards, have difficulty in coping with the privations of training. Their weight lifting capacity is hampered, which in turn affects their weapon training, rifle drill, route marches and other outdoor training activities. Moreover, it also does not portray a good soldierly image and compromises the bearing and manner of an officer, especially if a woman has a tendency to put on weight at a later stage. This common point of concern also emerged in all the interviews conducted with Army women officers. Since March 2002, the Army has become aware of this shortcoming and revised their minimum acceptable height and weight standards from 142 cm to 152 cm and from 36 kg to 42 kg respectively. The new standards are closer to the minimum physical standards of other sister Services.

Increase in Training Duration

A landmark change for women in the Indian Army, has been the making of training duration at par with gentlemen cadets. Women officers are trained at the Officers Training Academy (OTA), Chennai alongwith other Short Service Commission Officers (SSC).

Till the year 2007, women cadets at the OTA trained for a shorter duration as compared to SSC gentlemen cadets. The training duration for women was a mere 24 weeks as compared with the 44 weeks for gentlemen cadets. There was no organisational rationale offered for this difference.
Winds of Change


From USi Journal.


Interesting, what?

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby RayC » 17 Feb 2010 08:55

Press Trust of India
Chandigarh, July 11, 2009
An army court martial has ordered “dismissal” of a woman officer who a year back had accused her seniors of sexually harassing her, but her allegations were found false.

“The court martial has ordered her dismissal from service. Captain Poonam Kaur had been charged on 11 counts including disobedience, making false allegations against superior officers and addressing the media pertaining to service matters,” Kaur’s counsel, Col (retd) S.K. Aggarwal said on Saturday.

Kaur had a year ago alleged that three officers of her unit, the Army Supply Corps (ASC) in Kalka, Haryana had physically and sexually harassed her and confined her illegally when she resisted their advances.

A court of inquiry (COI) had then been ordered to investigate the allegations of physical and mental harassment leveled by Capt Kaur against her superior officers.

She had accused three of her seniors, including her commanding officer, the unit’s second-in-command and adjutant, a Colonel, Lt Col and a Major rank officer respectively, of harassing her over the past few months.

However, in an immediate reaction then, the army had denied the charges.

“The court martial proceedings, which were initiated last year against Capt Kaur, in its order at Patiala on Friday have ordered her dismissal from service, which will be subject to confirmation by the Western Command chief, a process which may take two months,” Aggarwal said.

Antony orders probe into woman army officer’s allegations
Indo-Asian News Service
New Delhi/Chandigarh, July 16, 2008

Defence Minister A.K. Antony on Wednesday ordered the Indian Army to probe into the allegations of “physical and mental torture” levelled by a woman captain against three senior male officers, even as the army said the investigations had begun.

“The minister has taken a serious view of the matter and ordered that it be thoroughly investigated and a report presented to him,” a defence ministry official said in New Delhi.......



“We have to determine who is guilty and for that we have formed a committee that has already started its investigations,” Major General Kamal Mohe told reporters.

“The officer has charged three of her seniors but we cannot take this case at its face value and have to take into account both sides.

“Only after analysing every minute detail of the issue can we reach some conclusion,” said Mohe, Major General Army Service Corps (MGASC) at the Western Command headquarters at Chandi mandir, adjacent to Chandigarh.

“The officers charged by the woman officer also have a social dignity and family life and we owe our fair support to both the parties,” he added.

Captain Poonam Kaur of the Army Supply Corps, based at the Kalka military station, 30 km from Chandigarh, had on Tuesday levelled the allegations before the media and had also complained that she was under house arrest.

Mohe flatly denied this, saying Kaur was free to move anywhere she wanted to.

However, Kaur’s going to the media and giving statements went against the Army Act and this aspect would also be taken into account in the investigation.

The army had immediately denied Kaur’s charges on Tuesday, saying she had a history of making complaints and her “mental weakness” had been recorded in her official profile........



“During December, the officer requested for allotment of married accommodation on compassionate grounds. Though she was unmarried and not authorised married accommodation, her case was sympathetically considered and a married accommodation was allotted to her for her mother to stay with her. Instead her grandmother has been staying with her at present,” the statement said.

On June 30, Kaur was ordered to move to Pathankot for commanding one of the detachments of her unit located there.

“She accepted (the transfer) but citing personal reasons, requested that her move be delayed till July 11. On July 11, when she was again instructed to move, she requested that she be permitted to leave on July 12, which was also agreed to,” the statement said.

On July 12, Kaur “refused to move to Pathankot thereby disobeying legal and legitimate orders. On July 13, she asked for an interview with the Major General ASC at the Western Command headquarters.

“Her request was accepted and she was granted an interview on July 14. She was asked to give her grievance in writing. She refused and returned to her unit,” the statement said.

“On July 15, Major General ASC visited the ASC battalion at Kalka to meet the Commanding Officer as also Kaur. She refused to come out of her quarters to meet the Major General ASC or the Commanding Officer,” the statement added.

Women in Army



Imagine the situation for the CO, who has to also attend to such issues apart from his real duties. Imagine this happening in a combat unit!!

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby RayC » 17 Feb 2010 08:58

I read some post that stated that Israel allows women in combat.

In On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society, Lt. Col. Dave Grossman briefly mentions that female soldiers in the Israel Defence Forces have been officially prohibited from serving in close combat military operations since 1948.

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby Sachin » 17 Feb 2010 10:14

RayC wrote:Imagine the situation for the CO, who has to also attend to such issues apart from his real duties. Imagine this happening in a combat unit!!

A few years back there was also a similar case with a woman Air Force officer. She too levelled false charges, and finally was kicked out after a court martial. The standard excuses for all these women have been "sexual harassment, mental harassment" etc. etc. I feel these women wants the Army to work in their way, and behave according to their whims and fancies. Our army already has lots of problems, and these are just adding onto the troubles. I feel the Army needs to put its feet down, and reconsider recruitment of women into its ranks. "Gender equality","being liberal minded" all look good in books (and make the politicians happy), but what matters on the ground is different.

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby K_Rohit » 17 Feb 2010 10:45

To me, a change in the attitude of men in India towards women (in and out of combat) is necessary and one of the indicators of progress in society. We need to be able to look at them as people first and not only as objects of sexual desire!

One of the ways (and I know this sounds heartless) to bring about this change in attitudes is to take the plunge. Let women into combat, and figure your way out of the problems. Yes. its a difficult path, difficult to implement and it will have short-term consequences. But according to me, the only way to bring about this change in the long-term.

Over time, men in India will get used to the idea of seeing women in such roles and the attitudes will change. What is needed though, is socio-political will to handle the short-term problems.

very difficult, IMHO, but necessary.

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby Craig Alpert » 17 Feb 2010 19:35

RayC wrote:I read some post that stated that Israel allows women in combat.

In On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society, Lt. Col. Dave Grossman briefly mentions that female soldiers in the Israel Defence Forces have been officially prohibited from serving in close combat military operations since 1948.

Women at war: How roles are changing
Yael Kidron is 21 years old and a combat soldier in the Israeli Defence Forces' mixed-sex Karakal Battalion, based in the Negev desert. She argues that it is only fair to allow women to take on physically challenging army roles.

I decided to come and serve in a combat unit, because for one thing I grew up with five brothers and I needed to do something physical. It's not just sitting down and doing paperwork. I wanted to do something more challenging, and this is why I am here.
...........................

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby RayC » 17 Feb 2010 19:46

Craig Alpert wrote:
RayC wrote:I read some post that stated that Israel allows women in combat.

In On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society, Lt. Col. Dave Grossman briefly mentions that female soldiers in the Israel Defence Forces have been officially prohibited from serving in close combat military operations since 1948.

Women at war: How roles are changing
Yael Kidron is 21 years old and a combat soldier in the Israeli Defence Forces' mixed-sex Karakal Battalion, based in the Negev desert. She argues that it is only fair to allow women to take on physically challenging army roles.

I decided to come and serve in a combat unit, because for one thing I grew up with five brothers and I needed to do something physical. It's not just sitting down and doing paperwork. I wanted to do something more challenging, and this is why I am here.
...........................


That was not to be! Or was it?

I had a harrowing time with a woman doctor!

I wonder what was important - a woman doctor's bathing modesty or winning the war?

You decide!

Yet. I will be the first to admit there were excellent women doctors and dentists who gave me no hassles (of course not in the Kargil War).

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby Craig Alpert » 17 Feb 2010 19:58

RayC wrote:That was not to be! Or was it?

I had a harrowing time with a woman doctor!

I wonder what was important - a woman doctor's bathing modesty or winning the war?

You decide!

Yet. I will be the first to admit there were excellent women doctors and dentists who gave me no hassles (of course not in the Kargil War).

Winning the War takes precedence in my directory. Ofcourse I would like to do it modestly, but as the famous saying goes "ALL FAIR'S IN LOVE AND WAR" :wink:

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby Surya » 18 Feb 2010 06:08

It's not about women's inability, but men's inability to control aggressive sexual urges. Societies such as those we see in India, Sri Lanka and Vietnam have a different method of dealing with female and male sexuality based on a frank recognition of physical differences. I believe that the US style of accommodating women is based more by legal decree and less on acceptance of natural and well known biological differences. The US model would be a disaster for India.


I don't think we are advocating the US model. Everyone has diff models - the Scandinavians\Dutch, US , Israelis etc all differ. Our model too would have to be somewhat diff.

No matter which way you cut it, young men get randy with or without women about. If women are nearby special rules must exist to prevent men from forcing themselves on "available" women. Those "rules" are ideally rules that are already followed in society regarding "no touch" of women who are married or otherwise attached, and not rules created in courts of law that seek to impose femininity on men and masculinity on women where that does not exist in society. There are honor codes followed in India and many other societies that do not exist in the US. And these honor codes are fundamentally unsuitable for mixed units. These include the idea that an unmarried girl should not be going around with a group of men (expecting that she will not be preyed upon by someone) and that married women should be respected and not touched, alongside the principle that she too must not be camping out for months with a group of men minus her husband. A woman who camps out like this will have to have some attachment to someone in the unit that is recognised and respected by others. That sort of attachment is bad for an army unit but may be fine for a unit of rebels/revolutionaries. Neither Western nor Indian psychologists have studied the sexuality of rebel units (Viet Cong, LTTE, Naxals, dacoits) in detail. Papers do not exist that clearly document the ground rules so all the facts are not known about how the groups work and where they fail


There is enough reporting that mentions the strict rules enforced by the LTTE on relations between the sexes.

On Vietnam there are a few books example
Vietnamese Women at War: Fighting for Ho Chi Minh and the Revolution by Sandra C. Taylor

If anything an argument can be made that the role of Vietnamese women in their wars propelled them in society breaking the confucian chains. (essentially the point Rohit is making)

And then the explanations of unit cohesion, societal mores etc are more problems men have and using that as a reason (essentially penalising women for it) would be silly. Would you stop women working in call centers in odd hours because well all sort of hanky panky happens. Similar reasons (unit cohesion, relationship with another combat man etc) have been given for not allowing gays in the Army openly by many in US. contrast that to how Israel handles it (http://www.newsweek.com/id/233132) If anything these are more reasons to have solid rules and gradually increase the role of women in areas where feasible (and there are enough areas) and make it more normal in the coming years. It will not be perfect and there will be the odd issue here and there but overall it should move forward.

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby shiv » 18 Feb 2010 06:21

Surya wrote:
And then the explanations of unit cohesion, societal mores etc are more problems men have and using that as a reason (essentially penalising women for it) would be silly. Would you stop women working in call centers in odd hours because well all sort of hanky panky happens. Similar reasons (unit cohesion, relationship with another combat man etc) have been given for not allowing gays in the Army openly by many in US. contrast that to how Israel handles it (http://www.newsweek.com/id/233132) If anything these are more reasons to have solid rules and gradually increase the role of women in areas where feasible (and there are enough areas) and make it more normal in the coming years. It will not be perfect and there will be the odd issue here and there but overall it should move forward.


Strawman alert

You say:
gradually increase the role of women in areas where feasible (and there are enough areas


Where have I disputed that? I don't think anyone disagrees with you here. Not even the IAF/IA/IN

On the other hand you are asking (rhetorically) if I would stop women working in call centers at odd hours. My equally rhetorical reply would be to ask you to check with call centers and find out if I have made such a ruilng. You will find that I have not.

However, please check the toilets in call centers and facilities for privacy for women. And please check if there are strict rules against having sexual intercourse with colleagues in call centers and compare that with what rules you are going to apply for the mixed army combat units you envisage, and then state what is feasible and what is not feasible.

All I have done is to state what is feasible and what is not feasible. It is not feasible to enforce separate toilets for women or avoid sexual liaisons/relationships between men and women of a mixed unit camping out in some rough country. Discipline or no discipline. That is the very reason why call centers have not even bothered to try and keep common open air toilets and prevent male-female liaisons. Please explain the feasibility of applying call center morality to a combat unit. I am willing to learn.

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby Surya » 18 Feb 2010 06:50

err

where did I say that you said it. That was my summation to say thats the way forward -




One would expect a professional army to enforce discipline a lot more severely than a call center - wouldn't you.

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby shiv » 18 Feb 2010 08:26

Surya wrote:
One would expect a professional army to enforce discipline a lot more severely than a call center - wouldn't you.


You are trying to say "enforcement of discipline" is good for the army. Who can disagree with that? But I would like to be educated on how the discipline of not being sexually aroused by women living and sleeping next to young men
a) Can be enforced
b) How it adds to the fighting potential and cohesion of the unit
c) What evidence is there that it will not add to the serious problems the leader of such a unit is supposed to face.

Do you really know what happens when you throw a group of young men and women to live together out in the wild. What training modules do you envisage to prevent sexual arousal and liaisons of lonely men and women living together in a dangerous forward environment. Did you read the link that RayC posted about the pregnancy rate of women in US submarines? Do you believe that the US is unable to enforce discipline among its soldiers? What extra training effort can be put in by India to stress the soldiers with sexy babes and hunky dudes who are supposed to be their mates at hand and then ask them to keep off during long boring nights?

This is not about roles in which women can be given their separate needs. But I am asking you if you are demanding that men and women should camp out together for days or weeks as a fighting unit with no separate toilet/changing facility and then demand "severe army discipline" so it does not degenerate into a call center like environment? Is this some Gandhi like experiment with abstinence that you want to impose on an army or is that not what you mean?

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby Cain Marko » 18 Feb 2010 09:00

Gaur wrote:Exactly my sentiments. This is incredulous to read such statements in this time. I myself am in favour of not inducting women in infantry. Not because of any social, ideological or moral issues. But simply because it is a fact of nature that women have disadvantage in the areas of strength and endurance.
But apart from IA infantry, I do not see how women can be found lacking to perform any other duty.
For eg; I am totally in favour of women fighter pilots. It is a physically demanding job, but not so much that women cannot do that. Women athletes have achieved far greater physical standards. I do not see any quality which the women lack to become fighter pilots.

CM,
You say men are natural in "strength, nobility and chivalry". I agree with the strength part, but how did you come to the conclusion that women lack nobility and chivalry? From Websters online dictionary, one of the definition of nobility is "superiority of mind or of character". You feel women are inferior of mind and character? I do not know where you live, but as far as I have seen the world, I find women superior regarding these traits. At least the lewd behavior of men in general at govt buses, metros and trains do not point towards any greater "nobility" of men.


Interesting that it was this aspect of my post to which you take exception. The larger point that I alluded to seems to have escaped you entirely, ditto with Surya. Anyways, in answer to your comments above, all I will say is that - where exactly did I conclude that women were in any way inferior to men in aspects of nobility or chivalry? In fact, as far as I can remember, I don't believe the word inferior was used in any of my posts, strange that you bring such things into the equation.

It should be obvious that these virtues are not restricted to men, in the same way that purity is not restricted to a woman.

And I do not know about others, but on reading "chivalry", what comes to mind are things like "courtesy, politeness and gallantry". I fail to see how men are superior in this regard.

Bhaiya (or is it Bahen?), read up on chivalry again. It is largely associated with medieval knights in armor, mostly men. Ditto with "gallant". Of course, the rare J of A is always there but like I said, the rare exception only proves the rule.

If "compassion, beauty, purity" were the main traits of women, how do you explain the excellence women have achieved in virtually every field in the world? Can you name one field where women are in any way found to do inferior work as compared to their male counterparts? The only fields that you could possibility name are that require extra ordinary strength and endurance. Other than that, squat.

Other fields in the world are not even remotely analogous to fighting a war. As such, the above mentioned qualities can contribute to the excellent performance of women in these fields. It could be said for example, that the field of medicine (in which women often excel) is certainly conducive to a compassionate nature.

What I refered to were quilte broady, the archetypes of a man and a woman, there is no doubt that they can overlap. But there are distinct qualities that can be largely associated with the feminine and the masculine. Does not prevent exceptions, only establishes a sort of framework.

As a rule, The profession of soldiering is conducive towards the fostering of those qualities that are predominant in men - strength, power, chivalry (yes, chivalry, because it is only possible to be chivalrous if you are in a position of strength) to name a few. Conversely, the extremes in war are hardly conducive to the promotion of qualities that are predominant in women - compassion, motherhood, purity, beauty, gentleness, grace. This does not make a man superior to a woman or vice versa, just different (and I hope that it stays that way).

The idea of the Army as an avenue to adventure might be tempting, as perhaps, in being a fighter pilot; however, the main purpose of an army is to fight war, and pardon me for sounding "backwards", but I find little warring for women to do in the frontlines. The women might help in varied fields associated with the army (deskjobs, logisitics, communications, nursing, medicine and so on), but please leave the fighting to the men.

What next, men wanting to become midwives and surrogate mothers? or breast feed babies? Or lining up to sell lipstick, tampons and other sundry female products?
More importantly, why do people want to screw around with things that work? Especially when dealing with something as critical as national security? Nuckin futs!

CM
Last edited by Cain Marko on 18 Feb 2010 09:32, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby Cain Marko » 18 Feb 2010 09:14

Surya wrote:CM
Depending on who you talk to and which stats you read (take violence against women in India for example) society may have already failed in its legal obligations them.

Where necessary, that is where all options have failed, it would be good to have women armed and ready. However, I hardly think that the Indian Army lies decimated and the entire civilian population facing certain violation at the hands of an enemy so as to warrant women joining the Armed Forces in the capacity of a combatant.


While agreeing to all the practical issues Ray and Chetak bring about - that does not mean one does not push for it where feasible little by little.Maybe at a slower rate, without a slippage in standards etc - but you have to continue to move in that direction.
not 200000 of them in the next 2 yrs but 10000, maybe not infantrywoman yet but maybe arty or tank trainers etc. and so on


Why?

Anything else is chauvinistic and patronizing

Sorry, screwing up age old institutions in the name of democracy, civilization or equality sounds diabolical to me, a continuation of a legacy created by supposedly, "civilized" imperialists.

CM

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby shyams » 18 Feb 2010 09:27

First off, pardon me if I am reiterating what some of you may have already mentioned here. My fingers were just itching to type, before I could read most of the posts on this thread.

K_Rohit wrote:To me, a change in the attitude of men in India towards women (in and out of combat) is necessary and one of the indicators of progress in society. We need to be able to look at them as people first and not only as objects of sexual desire!


While I agree wholeheartedly with you there, the fact is man is a social animal, and the baser instincts in humans would show up, no matter how much control is exerted. I don't think it would be practical or even reasonable to expect men and women to function without sexual tension in close quarters (especially in the front line), where very close support and physical closeness comes into play.

I have had an acquaintance in the past who served in Iraq. During the Jessica Lynch episode, I asked him a question about women in combat. Especially about relationships... . He answered in affirmative that while there are lot of people (both men and women), who 'play the field' (basically sleep around), there are also a lot of them who take their relationship back home seriously. But relationships that happen due to working in close quarters are not uncommon. And yes, even in the US military, there are allegations of sexual abuse brushed under the carpet. Now, would you say that the US society is not a 'progressed' society? (I guess 'progress' needs to be defined and agreed upon first, since the govt in Saudi Arabia would consider women walking in burkha, with a 'close' male relative always with them to be a distinction of the most progressive society.)

IMO, any sexual assault against any person in a society is not only about progress in the society, its much more fundamental than that...its about respect. While in India we are bought up to respect elders, a lot less emphasis is given regarding respecting a fellow human being, and in particular women (this statement is a very general one, I am sure there are people who were lucky enough to have guardians to impart the right knowledge). And of course no mention of respect of basic human rights. Once those things change, rest everything would fall in place.

Expecting men and women who work in close quarters for long durations to not to develop a relationship is as futile as telling a teenage guy to not to get aroused on seeing some skimpy pics of women :) Recently US army has started distributing the 'morning after' pill in all overseas stations. The rational behind it is the same that prompted the US govt to give out free condoms in universities. They realized that no amount of law can prevent people from engaging in carnal pleasures. Its written into our DNA.

I would never question the ruthlessness of women (especially India women, I can still feel the spankings my mom gave me when I was a kid :)). While I would like to see women in combat, I certainly would not be in favor of seeing them in the front line, in the trenches. When Indian soldiers get captured as PoW by pakis they are given the worst torture possible. I can think of a 100 things to do to a woman's body before the torture begins. And pakis would not waste any time in doing them. I just hate to see women (especially Indian women) being put in a precarious position.

Another thing is physical fitness. If women are inducted into the army, I don't think there should be any compromise in fitness/weight etc. Our enemy would not go easy on our soldiers by looking at their physical characteristics. And in particular, women in combat should be able to lift/move heavy equipments etc with the same efficacy as men. If not they should be trained until they reach that level before being let loose on our enemies.

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby nachiket » 18 Feb 2010 09:40

Cain Marko wrote:
While agreeing to all the practical issues Ray and Chetak bring about - that does not mean one does not push for it where feasible little by little.Maybe at a slower rate, without a slippage in standards etc - but you have to continue to move in that direction.
not 200000 of them in the next 2 yrs but 10000, maybe not infantrywoman yet but maybe arty or tank trainers etc. and so on


Why?


CM


Because they would like to and want to do it? After all that is why men join the army isn't it? Because they want to be the ones fighting to protect our country from our enemies. So if women want to do the same thing, don't you think we should give them a chance to prove themselves without reducing the fitness and other qualitative requirements? If women want to be on the frontlines fighting the enemy and they prove themselves to be physically and mentally capable of doing so during the training course (just like their male colleagues) why should anybody stop them?

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby Cain Marko » 18 Feb 2010 10:44

nachiket wrote:
Because they would like to and want to do it? After all that is why men join the army isn't it? Because they want to be the ones fighting to protect our country from our enemies.

Not so simple imho. If that is all they want to do, jobs in support functions are just as important and should be eminently satisfactory. The "want" here is to be a combatant, and I am afraid, that is a dangerous stunt to pull.

So if women want to do the same thing, don't you think we should give them a chance to prove themselves without reducing the fitness and other qualitative requirements?

And waste resources to find out what you've always known? That there are physical (and likely psychological) limitations to what a woman can do in certain roles. Why pitch an age-old wisdom just for the sake of questioning it? It hardly makes society more intellectual or free or open or modern, only establishes its penchant for stupidity.

If women want to be on the frontlines fighting the enemy and they prove themselves to be physically and mentally capable of doing so during the training course (just like their male colleagues) why should anybody stop them?

Because they simply cannot do everything in a battlefield (which is likely to throw up a number of factors that are not accounted for in a training course) that men can. Then there are numerous other issues including maternity and those brought out by Shiv and Ray. Its a bloody can of worms and to what purpose?



CM

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby nachiket » 18 Feb 2010 11:12

Cain Marko wrote:Not so simple imho. If that is all they want to do, jobs in support functions are just as important and should be eminently satisfactory. The "want" here is to be a combatant, and I am afraid, that is a dangerous stunt to pull.

Um, how can you decide what is "satisfactory" for them?

Cain Marko wrote:And waste resources to find out what you've always known? That there are physical (and likely psychological) limitations to what a woman can do in certain roles. Why pitch an age-old wisdom just for the sake of questioning it? It hardly makes society more intellectual or free or open or modern, only establishes its penchant for stupidity.

This has nothing to do with the society being open or modern. It is a question of equal opportunities. If a woman has physical or other limitations she won't pass the test. There is no reason not to allow her to try though. Interestingly women seem to be able to fly fighter jets and lead infantry troops in other armies around the world. So there are some women at least who don't have these limitations you speak of. I am sure we can find some in India too.

Cain Marko wrote:Because they simply cannot do everything in a battlefield (which is likely to throw up a number of factors that are not accounted for in a training course) that men can.

This is again a chauvinistic assumption.

Then there are numerous other issues including maternity and those brought out by Shiv and Ray. Its a bloody can of worms and to what purpose?

Yes, maternity is a practical problem. I admit. It is the other tripe about women being too pure, compassionate or beautiful to be fit for combat duties that I find disturbing.

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby RayC » 18 Feb 2010 11:14

Surya wrote:err

where did I say that you said it. That was my summation to say thats the way forward -




One would expect a professional army to enforce discipline a lot more severely than a call center - wouldn't you.


I would not take being professional to being without having libido. The forces are of all types of people. Some are very upright and others are grey.

While in other walks of life, people can escape as in the Tehelka case etc, it is not feasible in the Forces. Hence, it would be awful to the image if there are sex scandals. But more importantly, one would be really humiliated if a colleague (woman) was captured and violated.

This is possibly the reason why the Forces are cautious about employing women in combat!

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby RayC » 18 Feb 2010 11:16

Interestingly women seem to be able t
lead infantry troops in other armies around the world.


Examples?

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby nachiket » 18 Feb 2010 11:28

RayC wrote:
Interestingly women seem to be able t
lead infantry troops in other armies around the world.


Examples?


Off the top of my head, France, Germany and Finland. Germany started accepting women into combat roles after 2001. There are probably more countries. I will look it up.
There are several countries where women can be fighter pilots though including the US.

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby Tejas_SP » 18 Feb 2010 11:34

I remember a discussion on NDTV regarding this issue. There was an Israeli woman on the panel who had been a combat chopper pilot in the Israeli Airforce. Her viewpoint(IMO very reasonable) was that having a system in place for women in the infantry would not work because of the physical requirements. She mentioned statistically there will be a few women who could meet or exceed the requirement, but to put in place a system to induct women in such roles would simply not work as there would never be women in enough numbers. However she was for the induction of women as combat pilots as the physical requirements are not that tough.

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby Cain Marko » 18 Feb 2010 12:18

nachiket wrote:Um, how can you decide what is "satisfactory" for them?

I thought it was all about protecting our country and defending it from the enemy, if so, jobs that provide the soldier what he needs are just as important.

This has nothing to do with the society being open or modern. It is a question of equal opportunities. If a woman has physical or other limitations she won't pass the test. There is no reason not to allow her to try though. Interestingly women seem to be able to fly fighter jets and lead infantry troops in other armies around the world. So there are some women at least who don't have these limitations you speak of. I am sure we can find some in India too.

Why would you want to? In the countries you speak of - recruitment centers are not gheraoed/stoned by aspiring soldiers who are not selected. Au contraire, in countries where women are quickly recruited, ROTC types hang around campuses selling their wares. Here needs (at least to some extent) dictate policies. In india, where there is no dearth of fighting men, such policies can only be an exercise in pretentious attempts at democracy, freedom etc not unlike some of the motoramas you see in uniform in the neighboring country. An awkward attempt at something you simply are not (and thank Heaven for that).

This is again a chauvinistic assumption.

Sorry, there is little (factually) that tells me that a woman can excel male counterparts in carrying 50lbs of equipment more or longer, something that grunts often need to do.

Yes, maternity is a practical problem. I admit. It is the other tripe about women being too pure, compassionate or beautiful to be fit for combat duties that I find disturbing.

I daresay Natchiket, that what you find disturbing is largely due to my inability to put forth certain principles more clearly. And possibly an educational environment that we have grown up in, one that will not allow us to acknowledge even the most practical and basic principles (which have stood the test of time) without unreasonable amounts of questioning.

Take for example the ideas of beauty or compassion (which no doubt, you will be inclined to call tripe). Traditionally, humans have more or less associated these with women (rather than men) whether in literature, scripture or art. Of course, these qualities may have other associations such as - nature (which too we often refer to in the feminine), but by and large, a battlefield would hardly endure such descriptions, wouldn't you agree? In fact, a war and scenes that are associated with it have mainly hideous connotations, so why then is the modern man so interested in equating such polar opposites - sort of incongruous one would think?

The only reason to do so imho, is to take away that which is distinctly feminine and blend it with something so diametrically opposed to it so as to disallow any sane person an ability to distinguish between the two. I guess the trend in attire that we see today is just one example. This has in fact been the primary impetus behind almost all modern, western philosophy, take that which is lofty and reduce it to a degree of pedantry. All in the name of equality and liberty to boot! Whether it be political, social or educational institutions, this has been the end result. No surprise then that most modern architecture can hardly hold a candle before a Chartres or Konark. Of course, religion and spirituality were the first victims whereby erstwhile heroes and household role models were slowly relegated to annals of myth and legend.

As a great saint once said, " there are those who try to grow taller by cutting off others' heads!". Modern philosophy and ideology that tends to drive such efforts at "equality" ( Equal opportunity in this case) are good examples. In fact, the imperialist ambitions that resulted from such ideologies quite literally followed the above quote.

When I think of Indian women wanting to emulate their western counterparts so blindly, I cannot help feeling a tinge of sadness and bitterness. Hence my gripe at what is no less than a grave attempt to reduce the stature of women by morphing them into cheap imitations of men. Sorry for the rant, JMT of course.

CM.

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby Surya » 18 Feb 2010 21:30

RayC

agree I have no problem with cautious approach as long as there is constant movement in new areas (adhering to standards, making sure they understand all ramifications etc.).


there will be the transgressions but that occur with men too in many ways and in those cases the hammer comes down.

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby shyams » 19 Feb 2010 05:11

Cain Marko wrote:When I think of Indian women wanting to emulate their western counterparts so blindly, I cannot help feeling a tinge of sadness and bitterness. Hence my gripe at what is no less than a grave attempt to reduce the stature of women by morphing them into cheap imitations of men. Sorry for the rant, JMT of course.


I concur. Indian women are IMO looking at this from an equal opportunity angle and with a blind desire to ape the west, rather than looking at the real issues being in a combat. Even in US, I don't see women in actual combat. Most of the women who are in combat in US are in the role of providing logistics cover/driver, which is technically a little riskier than being in the assault team. But of course, the kind of openness that is there between men and women in army, I don't think it would be socially acceptable in India.

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby RayC » 19 Feb 2010 10:16

Just a minor issue worth note.

There is perennial shortage of accommodation. Officers have to share accommodation. If there are women, they cannot be expected to share accommodation with a male.

In bunkers, there is hardly any space. In a combat situation, men sleep almost cheek by jowl while someone else is keeping the weapon at stand to. Male and female in close proximity may not be ideal for a variety of reasons.

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby Carl_T » 19 Feb 2010 12:38

RayC wrote:Let us not be PC. On one side we sing hallelujah of Indicism and on the other hand we are ready that our women are OK to be raped by the same ones who we feel has raped our nation!

RayC wrote:I wonder if one saw the outrage when Capt Kalia was brutalised by the Pakistanis. What would be the national reaction if there were women subjected to those conditions and worse?


Why is a woman soldier being raped any worse than what happened to Cpt. Kalia? Especially when we are talking about a case when women themselves volunteer for the situation.

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby ASPuar » 19 Feb 2010 13:00

This is an issue driven by a small feminist agenda, because the Army is an easy target for their badgering. The idea is not to improve the army, or raise commitment to the nation, its simply to get their way, and to prove their point. This is not even being driven by people who actually have any respect for, or desire to, join the army.

And for all those bra burners who cite the US, the US Army officially and because of Congressional Statute, does not allow women in combat billets (Infantry, Armour, Field Artillery, Combat Engineers, etc). I will go further, and state that the US Navy does not allow women on submarines either, or even on Nuclear Engineering billets, because of concerns of infertility caused by the effect of radiation on ovulation (Yes, gross, but true).

And frankly the affirmative action manner in which women are being given entry to the armed forces is disturbing. Even at the very basic Services Selection Board level, where there are walls which men are required to climb using their bare hands, there are support ropes for lady candidates. The standards physically are also lower, despite these aids all over the place.

Womens advocates (this awkward all encompassing term, generally IMO under the aegis of "Self Styled"), further claim that these things are necessary, because women are inherently different from men. So. They then claim that all soft postings, peace postings, etc should be given to them, instead of men, because they cant handle hardship, and men can fill all billets in hardship areas. How is that fair? How does it compensate the career army man, who wants to spend at least a few years of his service not on top of a glacier, never seeing his kids grow up? Their demand is not for "equal rights", but for "special treatment"! That is the great fraud of this push for women in "combat", In my opinion. It is no such demand. It is a demand for special treatment, plain and simple.
Last edited by ASPuar on 19 Feb 2010 13:12, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby sombhat » 19 Feb 2010 13:07

RayC wrote:Just a minor issue worth note.

There is perennial shortage of accommodation. Officers have to share accommodation. If there are women, they cannot be expected to share accommodation with a male.

In bunkers, there is hardly any space. In a combat situation, men sleep almost cheek by jowl while someone else is keeping the weapon at stand to. Male and female in close proximity may not be ideal for a variety of reasons.


Reminds me of the situation in "Enemy at the Gates" with Jude Law and Rachel Weiz.

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Re: Women in Combat

Postby RayC » 21 Feb 2010 13:26


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Re: Women in Combat

Postby VinodTK » 04 Mar 2010 17:47



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