Women in Combat

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Shankar
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Postby Shankar » 06 Nov 2007 13:15

In the following paragraphs, we will take a look at the history of women warriors in Asia. Perhaps some portraits will not be palatable to the typical Western male with low self-esteem looking for an Oriental girlfriend/wife who argues less than "Western women" and who listens adoringly to his babble.
West Asia

In pre-Islamic times, Arab women served as warriors, administrators, and ambassadors. Zenobia, wife of Odenath the King of Palmyra (in modern Syria), rode with her husband on campaigns against the Persians and the Goths.1 After Odenath's death, Queen Zenobia seized Roman territories and rebelled against Roman rule.2 Chronicles say she was as daring as her husband in combat. 3

Poetess El-Khaansa, a comtempory of the prophet Mohammed, was also a renowned warrior. In 15th Yemen, Zaydi chieftain Sharifa Fatima, daughter of an imam , conquered San'a.4 And in the 18th century, amira Ghaliyya al-Wahhabiyya led a military resistance movement in Saudi Arabia to defend Mecca against foreign takeover. 5 The kings of Persia reportedly had female bodyguards.6
Central Asia

During the second Anglo-Afghan war, the Afghan woman Malalai carried the Afghani flag into battle after the soldiers bearing the flag were killed by the British. Afghan women played an active role in the fight against European imperialists.

Khutulun, daughter of a brother of Kublai Khan, was a legendary soldier. Her father held the Central Asian khanate while Kublai ruled from China. She was without dispute her father's best warrior. It was said that Khutulun would ride into enemy ranks and pluck out a captive as easily as a hawk picks out a chicken. No man had ever bested Khutulun in a fight. A Mongol prince who came to ask for her hand was beaten by Khutulun in a public wrestling match. Like Urduja of the Philippines, she never married.
South Asia

In Kerala, India, women, as well as men, train intensely in the indigenous martial art of Kalari Payattu. Young girls and mothers can kill or paralyze with one blow. The nizams of Hyderabad in the Deccan had female guards.7 The kings of Kandy in Sri Lanka were protected by archeresses.8

The Indian queen Jhansi Ki Rani Lakshmibai (Lakshmibai, Queen of Jhansi) practiced the arts of war since childhood. Born a noblewoman, she married the Rajah of the state of Jhansi and became an accomplished military leader. She led her armies into battle and resisted the British to the bitter end. Jhansi Ki Rani was reported to have manipulated her horse's reins with her teeth while shooting a pistol with each hand. She killed many European men in battle with her own hand. Yet such images are largely ignored by the Western media, which prefers to dish up images of submissive Indian widows committing sati in popular fiction such as The Far Pavilions and Around the World in 80 Days. In contrast to its prominence in Western fiction, sati only occupies a small place in the wide scope of Indian culture - its practice was limited to a few small castes in a particular part of India.9
Southeast Asia

Warrior queens and princesses were not uncommon in Filipino life prior to the Spanish conquest. It was said a blind princess resided on a island some way from Luzon. No man came into her presence except by passing through her formidable force of bodyguards. She was such a skilled fighter that even the one man who ever overcame the tests of her bodyguards could not touch her.

Another warrior, Princess Urduja, ruled over a vast area of the Philippine Archipelago in the 14th century. Urduja said she would only marry a warrior who was her equal or better. So she never married. Following in the tradition of Filipina women, 18th century warrior Gabriela Silang led the longest revolt against the Spanish. Teresa Magbanua (1871-1947) and other Filipinas fought in the Philippine revolution. M., a modern Filipino man of Spanish descent says, "The present day cultural machismo was introduced by the Spanish; old Filipino culture gave great respect to women".

In the early centuries of the 1st millennium, Vietnamese women warriors commanded armed forces. Sisters Trung Trac and Trung Nhi in the 1st century CE and Trieu Au in the 3rd century CE led uprisings against Chinese imperialists.10 Records of armed Vietnamese women astride war elephants still exist today.

In the 19th century the king of Siam was guarded by a battalion of 400 women armed with spears.11 They were said to perform drills better than male soldiers and were crack spear-throwers. A similar phenomenon was reported in a Javan princedom.12
East Asia

The earliest records of Japanese history are filled with accounts of warrior queens leading their armies against enemy strongholds in the land of Yamato or in Korea.13 The Heike Monogatari records a general Tomoe who served the warlord Yoshinaka. A famed rider of untamed horses, she was called "the equal of a thousand", capable of dealing even with "demons and gods".14

The medieval Chinese produced many formidable women warriors. The Chinese martial art of Wing Chun was developed by

Yan Yongchun and the Venerable Wumei - founders of the Yongchun (Wing Chun) martial arts system
. Daughters of military families trained in the martial arts and often served as military officers themselves. These women led armies and fought battles, even rising to the rank of General. Hardly the kind of material for The World of Suzy Wong. There were numerous such Chinese women. A few examples can be found at

Chinese women in history - soldiers, pirates, scholars, sages and rulers
.

Northeast Asia

Medieval Mongolian noblewomen were outspoken and had many opportunities for martial training. Their influence extended way beyond Northeast Asia, as in the case of Khutulun, described above. Mongol women fought as regulars in campaigns against Turks and Europeans.
Comparing women's roles in Asia and Europe


While there are certainly some Asian cultures which are oppressive to women, it is doubtful whether conditions in Asia were worse than conditions in Europe. In old Europe, most ordinary European women led fettered lives, denied the opportunities available to men. Some noblewomen and princesses had the chance to avail themselves of martial training and acquire certain skills considered to be in the domain of men. But few actually marched into battle. While there were some European warrior women, there is no reason to believe warrior women were any less common in Asia. In the following 3 sections we take a look at Asian and European female warriors through the ages.
Ancient Times (up to 476 CE)

In the ancient times, both Asian and European women were found among military leaders as well as rank-and-file warriors. Roman armies fought Germanic tribal forces of men and women.15 Uzbeks, Tajiks and Tartars -- Turkic peoples of Central Asia -- also had female warriors riding beside males.16 Boudicca (Boudicea) of the Iceni led a Briton revolt against Roman rule but the Bedouin Zenobia of western Asia led an even longer successful resistance against the Romans.17 Camilla of the Volscians (an Italic race) fought to the death against the Trojans18, as did the Trang sisters of Vietnam against the Chinese.
Medieval (476-1450 CE)

In the Middle Ages, Frenchwomen Joan D'Arc and Jeanne Hachette were military leaders in wars against foreign oppressors.19 Chinese lady general

General Liang Hongyu - the mighty drummer and Lady of the Nation's Peace
trained and led an all-female corps which fought in the war against Khitan invaders. Slavic women served as soldiers20. So did Mongol women.21

People in Albania still practice the 'sworn virgin' tradition - a medieval custom of allowing a daughter to become a "son" if a family has no son, or if the sons are handicapped, too young, or otherwise unable to serve as the head of the household. Such daughters take on all of men's privileges and responsibilities in their society, even dressing and living as men.22 Some of these "sworn virgins" were at the forefront of armed resistance against invading Turks.

The kinalakian, a force of militaristic women, staged military campaigns in the Philippine Archipelago. These warriors of the Shri-Visayan Empire were said to be masculine in appearance.23
Modern (1450 CE - )

In the 19th century, European women had to disguise as men in order to fight at Waterloo while Chinese women served openly at all ranks in the Taiping rebellion army.24 An estimated 400 American women enlisted in the American civil war.25 Hundreds of Filipina women joined the resistance against the Spanish. One of these women - General Gabriela Silang led a fierce armed revolt against the Spanish in the province of Ilocos.26 Other women fighters included Teresa Magbanua (Generala Isay) of Iloilo and Generala Agueda Kahabangan of Laguna and Batangas.27

Like women in Communist Europe, women in Communist Asia fought alongside their men at the frontlines. In North Korea, women served as special forces agents.28 In Vietnam, Viet Cong women and men battled American invaders. Many of the Viet Cong women were combat soldiers.29 In contrast, the vast majority of American women serving in Vietnam were not given combat positions.30 In China, women served as generals and combatants for both the Nationalist and Communist armies.31

The Muslim separatist movement of Aceh, Indonesia, also recruits girls and women to serve as fighters.32 Tamil women in Sri Lanka fight as members of the Tamil Tigers; some become suicide bombers, just as the men have.33

So, even in the allegedly more sexist of the Asian countries, opportunities for women at least paralleled Europe, and in many cases actually surpassed Europe. It appears at all times, Asian women were not necessarily more limited than European women in career opportunities.

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Postby shiv » 06 Nov 2007 14:10

Shankar wrote: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 .


Let me accept this as perfectly true. But this fact that you have stated is no more informative than the statistic that I stated - ie that armies have, for whatever reason, tended to be male dominated.

I accept that your statement that "males very carefully manged to convert half our population in decorative domestic properties"

But that is a statement, not an explanation of why humans males did that and why human females allowed that to happen. Societies get structured in a particular way because of internal dynamics in every society. Why did human society develop predominantly male dominated armies? War is bad for health and I am sure at least some guys would have welcomed the chance to live at home while some dames went and died. But that is not what happened.

There are specific dynamics that have fostered this quirk in society despite the theoretical truth that women are able to fight as well as or better than men. What are those dynamics?

I believe that the answers are going to be vital, because unless something is done to tweak those dynamics - we are unlikely to be able to change the tendency to develop male dominated armies among humans. just my thoughts. I shall be neither happy nor sad to find myself proven right or wrong.

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Postby Shankar » 06 Nov 2007 16:00

There are specific dynamics that have fostered this quirk in society despite the theoretical truth that women are able to fight as well as or better than men. What are those dynamics?


Having accepted women can fight as well as men as exemplified in my earlier post the question naturally comes why we donot see mre women in modern armies and like you pointed out what are the specific social dynamics that have caused such a situation to arise

To my mind there are several socio-religious and economic reasons ,each superimposing on the other like

1)lack of education leading to direct lack of opportunity to train for combat.Even if you are an ordinary foot soldier you have to have some skills like fire a rifle or atl east carry a radio,walk long distances etc which comes from equal share of food and right to play games which are responsible for development of muscle strength.

The tendency to deny education to female child and consequently deny her all the rights and privileges that are given to a male child came essentially from the conquering Muslim rulers .The orthodox Hindus followed suit since it helped them "assure" protection of property to some extent since the females were married off and only male childs would some day inherit the property

The females are themselves to blame in the matter too. Even today the female infanticide is encouraged maybe more by the mother than the mother who think the boy will take care of her better .The sex discrimination in a typical Indian home is a fact of life .Since a large majority of our adult female population are not educated in the true sense of the word they cannot think of a future for the girls anything but a marriage . The boys are encouraged to be soldiers and pilots where as the girls are expected to be house makers,or at the most non aggressive professions like doctors or lawyers but never fighter pilots or submarine commander even if this is a military family.

The plight of Indian female today is based on a baggage from the past ,that of an land ownership based agriculture society,a religion based on idols customs whose true symbolic meaning and knowledge base never cared to be understood ,domination by rulers of different religion who themselves were neither very educated or civilized

The social dynamics that we must trigger today if we are serious about developing the other half of the population instead of keeping them as carry on baggage for life are

1) compulsory education -if the boy get only class 10 level the girl gets the same
2)Compulsory participation of all girls in physical sports

3) no girls only sports -all games have to be equal opportunity ones

4)Female infanticide/pre natal diagonistics punishable by life imprison
ment same as any murder as per IPC

5)all schools should be co-educational -why do we have to bring sex discrimination in school too

6) Merit should be the only criteria in any employment that may include physical fitness criteria too as in armed forces but sex should never be the criteria

7) The so called british gifted "how to treat a lady" crap must go from all walks of life .alomg with ladies seats and ladies compartments.This does nothing but make the females feel weak and need of protection

8) Most important we males must change the way we look at a woman
when she is wearing the night dress she is an object of desire when she is wearing the pilots uniform she is a part of nations defense force .There is no shame in taking orders form a woman officer

The change is coming -even if many of do nt like the change and that includes our army top brass who simply are out of sync with times .

Most of the females now in their 20s do go to gym ,plan on having their own career and have already shed the emotional baggage of their mothers some where down the road of growing up.The village women will catch up soon and then the change will come like a landslide.

Look at a young woman on the streets of Bangalore today and then look at your wifes generation and then at the mothers generation -donot you see the change

Like the first lady prime minister who shocked the world we shall some day have the first full fledged induction of women in all arms of combat forces -smart and beautiful and deadly professional at par with the males in all areas -the world will watch in awe

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Postby shiv » 06 Nov 2007 16:43

Shankar - interesting points - but I believe that there have been, (apart from what you have listed) more fundamental sociobiological dynamics keeping women away from the firing line.

For most of us in settled civil societies "war" is a faraway occasional affair and these settled societies seem to make do with "male only" armies that constitute less than 1% of their population

I am thinking of an era when small community fought intruders or bands of intruders constantly. In that era it would seem likely that every capable individual had to stand up and fight - an that meant women too.

It would appear to me that the best chance of any community for winning any fight would be to throw in every single fighting fit person, male or female, into the fight.

Despite this obvious advantage of having women to fight, armies have evolved into male dominated organisms. What could explain this?

I believe the explanation lies in repeated community vs other community (or bandit) war.

Throwing everyone into a fight is great for at least one victory, but at least in some cases this tactic will leave too few people alive and fit to fight another war (normally just around the corner) and it may even leave too few women to propagate the community. I believe that communities that tended to throw in more than a select percentage of women into war tended to die away in the long term. On the other hand, communities that preserved the infirm, children and fertile women managed to pull though more often in the long term. Over a period of millennia, natural selection favored the organization of armies that were backed by baby-making factories to help make up numbers lost in war. I must point out that in that era, in such a community, every single fertile woman would either be pregnant or suckling and infant at any given point in time - and probably unfit to fight. Today's policy of "very few kids" would have been suicidal for communities of those days that had to fight repeated and long drawn out wars. But today's societies also maintain healthier women with fewer kids who can fight better. They spend a smaller percentage of their lives pregnant or suckling.

Islam makes some sense actually.

(Edited to correct typos)
Last edited by shiv on 07 Nov 2007 19:19, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby Shankar » 06 Nov 2007 17:09

hrowing everyone into a fight is great for at least one victory, but at least in some cases this tactic will leave too few people alive and fit to fight another war (normally just around the corner) and it may even leave too few women to propagate the community. I believe that communities that tended to throw in more than a select percentage of women into war tended to die away in the long term. On the other hand, comunities that preserved the infirm, children and fertile women managed to pull though more often in the long term. Over a period of millennia, natural selection favored the organization of armies that were backed by baby-making factories to help make up numbers lost in war. I must point out that in that era, in such a community, every single fertile woman would wither be pregnant or suckling and infant at any given point in time - and probably unfit to fight.. Today's policy of "very few kids" would have been suicidal for communitiesof those days that had to fight repeated and long drawn out wars. But today's societies also maintain healthier women with fewer kids who can fight better. They spend a smaller percentage of their lives pregnant or suckling.

Islam makes some sense actually.


Shiv - a very interesting point that of protecting the baby making factories
for the next war

At the same time it was applicable to propagation of Islam which was a comparatively new religion and needed to increase the population base .So we see multiple marriages and extra protective about women true even today

But Shiv today we live in a different world where numerical superiority no way assures victory in battle field rather the qualitative superiority of technical as well as human component

And surely today we do not have shortage of man/women power

In china I was impressed by the way their women are encouraged to do everything from managing the shop floor of a 500 male work force based factory to driving a heavy missile truck - a direct off shoot of one child policy .A far better utilization of human resources of the nation -first control the population boom then use the available population to best effect

If you ask me Chinese women have more power and freedom than even US women -and they are not big built or super intelligent but just treated equal by law that means business

Why we cannot emulate the example of this Asian neighbor.

All over middle east women are treated like sh-- and look where it has landed them even with so much money and then look at China

All ancient civilizations treated women as equal - like China,India ,Egypt

then Islam came and things changed - may be we should change it right back

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Postby shiv » 06 Nov 2007 20:34

Shankar wrote:
But Shiv today we live in a different world where numerical superiority no way assures victory in battle field rather the qualitative superiority of technical as well as human component

And surely today we do not have shortage of man/women power


While I see no fundamental problem with this view - I am of the firm belief that the success or failure of such a strategy can become known only in the medium to long term in human history. That means neither you nor I will live to see whether such a policy is permanently successful or not.

If we find, 500 years from now, that most armies are largely mixed, it means that the human race has changed significantly, as has war, for these 500 years would be the first 500 years in human history when women have come to form such a large percentage of the fighting force as opposed to the previous 2000 to 5000 years of human history.

If, on the other hand, we find 500 years from now that armies are still male dominated, it would mean that nothing has changed and that deep sociobiological factors still predominate.

Either way, we can try, but we won't know the result.

One thing I am certain is that war and armies will not be obsolete in 500 years.

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Postby KartikM » 06 Nov 2007 22:13

I think the only situation where society will allow large scale mobilization of women in the military is in cases of extreme national security and survival of the country. Case and point; WW2 Soviet Union where men and women fought side by side in the battlefield and made tremendous sacrifices to protect the country from the Nazi onslaught. Once the war was over, most of the Russian women were told to go back and take care of their families and have kids.

Personally I have nothing but the highest respects for any woman who is serving in the military but I know that I'm in a minority because men today, in the 21st century, in our so called "open minded" age bracket(18-35) still cannot countenace a woman in authority whether in the military or non military sector. The idea of a women in authority is emasculating enough but the fact that a women can be trained to defend herself and more shockingly defend her fellow male soldier in battle is too hard to swallow. It's completely irrational but even today, men cannot contemplate being saved/helped by a woman.

Frankly speaking, it will take a cataclysmic change in societal attitudes(and perhaps some fancy technology addressing women's hygeine needs) to do an about face on our chauvinistic attitudes.

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Postby Kakkaji » 06 Nov 2007 22:54

Re. the 'sociobiological differences' let me ask a question:

In a society as rich and advanced as today's USA, where educational and nutritional opportunities are nearly equal for the genders, why is violent crime mainly a preserve of males? There are exceptions of course, but study after study indicates a strong correlation between the number of young males of a certain age group in a geographical area, and the rate of violent crme.

If there are no gender-based differences, why do so many young males gravitate towards violent behavior, and why don't the young females in the same proportion?

Shankar says it is men who have forced women into a role as submissive, decorated, 'pieces of property'. Yet in the stories of American female soldiers posted above by me, when the US Army clearly instructed its women soldiers to dress in uniforms similar to men and wear no make-up, many women wore make-up whenever possible and wore 'lingerie under uniform'. Who forced them to do that?

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Postby Shankar » 07 Nov 2007 12:19

Shankar says it is men who have forced women into a role as submissive, decorated, 'pieces of property'. Yet in the stories of American female soldiers posted above by me, when the US Army clearly instructed its women soldiers to dress in uniforms similar to men and wear no make-up, many women wore make-up whenever possible and wore 'lingerie under uniform'. Who forced them to do that?


That I think is a reflection of female vanity which no can ever out .And then what is wrong if they decide to wear a fancy undergarments under uniform -how does it reduce their fighting effectiveness . Just like we try impress women even when in uniform so do they wear a fancy undergarment to assure themselves and may be an occasional male that they are still women.

When talking of women in combat how can we not discuss the Vietnam and its female soldiers who fought side by side the males and brought the arrogant superpower to its knees

Or for that matter soviet women in second world war

Or the the first generation of amrican women who fought alongside the men "when the west was won"

Or the british women in Kenya during mao-mao uprising

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Postby Shankar » 07 Nov 2007 12:28

housands of Russian women and girls courageously fought for their Rodina (Motherland), serving with the Voyenno-Vozdushniye Sily (Air Forces, in Russian). In 1942, three air regiments were formed from female volunteers:

* The 586th Women's Fighter Regiment (initially equipped with Yakovlyev YaK-1s and later YaK-7Bs)
* The 587th Women's Day Bomber Regiment (flying Petlyakov Pe-2 2-engined bombers)
* The 588th Women's Night Bomber Regiment, the famous "Night Witches" (flying Polikarpov Po-2 biplanes)

Many other women also served integrated with men with other aviation units. For example, in 1944, 1,749 girls served with Zabaikalsky Front, 3,000 women and girls served with the Far East 10th Air Army, 437 women served with the 4th Air Army of the Second Belorussian Front that comprised the crack 46th Guards Women Air Regiment that comprised 237 women-officers, 862 sergeants, 1,125 enlisted women and 2,117 auxiliaries. They also served flying and as gunners in the famous Il-2 and Il-2M3 Shturmovik tank busters, the "Flying Bathtub".

586th pilotsWomen-pilots of female air regiments engaged in dogfights, cleared the way for the advancing infantry and supported them in ground support missions. The fighter pilots of the all-women 586th IAP (Russian abbreviation for Fighter Aviation Regiment, same as Fighter Air Regiment) flew a total of 4,419 sorties (per pilot) and participated in more than 125 separate air battles, in which they massed a total of 38 confirmed kills. That is, the sorties when the enemy was actually encountered.

Sexism in the V-VS was high initially, male pilots refusing to fly with women as "wingmen", or fly airplanes that had been repaired or serviced by women mechanics and ground crew. But the demonstrated, and often superior, courage and great skill of these female soldiers proved their better than average competence to fullfil their duty. The USSR highly praised the combat deeds of female pilots: thousands won orders and medals. 29 won titles of Hero of the Soviet Union. 23 of these went to the Night Witches.

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Test of Reality

Postby Abhibhushan » 07 Nov 2007 19:09

Shankar

Let me start by agreeing fully that
    Some [Most?] women can perform well any task that a man can
    Women officers in the Services are performing well
    Problems related to their employment in roles accepted so far are administratively acceptable

Now let me accept your plea that their employment should be opened up for all roles. To let you smell the morning coffee well, let me now commission you in to the Air Force and promote you to the rank of an Air Commodore and post you to a fighter station with three fighter squadrons. You have about 160 officers of various branches under your command. Since you are well known champion of the cause for unrestricted employment for women, the air HQ has been good to you. You have about 25 women amongst the 160 officers. Fifteen of them are married while ten are single girls. Out of the fifteen married girls, four are at this moment pregnent. Three of the girls are Air Traffic controllers, one is an Engineer(Electronics), two are Engineer(Mechanical), two are in the Logistics Branch, there are two girls in the Administration branch, one is in the education branch, one is a medical officer. The remaining three are pilots. One pilot, one ATCO, one Logistics officer and one AE(L) officer are the expectant mothers.

One of your squadrons on base is the training squadron for the SU30MKI fleet. This unit has two of the three girl pilots including the one who is pregnant. You have 5 ATCOs. Apart from the SATCO(Senior ATCO) the other four run a two shift system for day and night operation. The training squadron has six instructor pilots including the expectant mother. She has been advised a G restriction of 2.5, her employability is therfore restricted to one or two basic sorties for the rookie pilots and one or two sorties for the weapon system operator.

One fine morning during your morning conference with your unit and section commanders, you are faced with a situation:
    The pregnant lady ATCO cannot climb the ladder to reach the controller's birds'nest perch
    One of the instructors in the training squadron has taken ill. With the restrictions on the lady instructor, the unit is onethird short of its training assets.

    The lady logistics officer is on prolonged meternity leave and another logistics officer needs relief for his routine annual leave. That imposes a 50 percent shortfall in the manning of the logistic section.
    In none of the affected units / sections there seems to be any short term possibility of relief.


You need to solve this problem. The situation painted is true to current employment of women in a peace station under peace conditions except for the girl in the fighter squadron.

Have a good day.

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Postby Raman » 07 Nov 2007 23:03

Abhibhushan,

You fail to account for the fact that the IAF already has women serving as air traffic controllers, engineers, logistics, administration, education, medicine, chopper pilots (including SAR) and transport pilots. I.e., everything except the fighter stream.

So, except for the "pregnant fighter pilot with a G restriction of 2.5," all the scenarios that you are painting are already being handled by the IAF today. To that extent, your arguments are not relevant.

With regards to IAF, the only issue is fighter flying, about which we have discussed that issue to death. The essential problem is cockpit ergonomics and anthropometry, which are also problematic for female transport and chopper pilots, but is critical for fighter pilots.

As newer platforms (like the JSF) are deployed whose cockpits are designed to be as adjustable as cars, this issue will continue to be problematic for the IAF. The current fleet of fighters was simply not designed to be comfortable for women.

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Postby JCage » 07 Nov 2007 23:03

Abhibhushan

Excellent post!!

:)

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Postby JCage » 07 Nov 2007 23:14

Raman,

And the IAF will be facing those problems with women. Fact is, India is not the US- you and I both know it. Men get deployed in primeval conditions to areas that will simply not be countenanced by many women, and men are told to STFU and get on with their lives even so. Such methods when applied on men themselves in conflict zones, lead to the occasional stress related "incident"- euphemism for far worse, one can only imagine the condition viz women.

While Shankars heart is in the right place, his posts are unfortunately propoganda. Russia deployed women because of a shortage of manpower in a fight to the finish, Germany otoh mobilized women for its war apparatus but not the frontline. Same for the US and the UK, who the occasional Noor Inayat Khan apart, depended more on Rosie the Rivetter and the "unsung heroines" of the WAC.

War in the subcontinent is dirty, grisly business fought by people with often very little of what passes for "acceptable" in the first world, obsessed as the former are with minimizing casualties and a limited population base.

I would like to see how many women volunteer for day in and night out in the Thar inside T-72s and get charcoal black in the desert.

So for a few women recruits, should India invest substantial resources into making the Army/AF "woman friendly"? Especially when our opponent is Pak, with a long history of rapine and other gentle pleasures- talk about a propoganda problem even if we dismiss the above as "sexist" and "the woman can take care of herself".

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Postby Raman » 08 Nov 2007 03:35

JC,

I don't contest your statements, except perhaps for:
And the IAF will be facing those problems with women.


All I'm trying to say is that the IAF must already be facing these problems with women in the transport, air traffic controller and helicopter streams, and all the other branches that women are serving in right now. After all, a pregnant pilot is not likely to be serving in active duty in a SAR sqn either.

I don't know how the IAF staff views or handles these issues. If they really are as problematic as they might seem to us from the outside, I would assume that they would not be allowing women into the helicopter or transport streams either. But they are indeed allowing them.

They must be having a way to deal with it. Perhaps it may or may not work in the fighter stream --- we don't know.

All I was pointing out was that in Abhibhushan's post, all the scenarios except the "pregnant fighter pilot" sceanrio, are current issues for the IAF and not a hypothetical. As such, it is a vast simplification to state them as reasons why women should not serve in the forces. The IAF is already facing these issues and seems to have some way to dealing with them.

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Postby ShauryaT » 08 Nov 2007 04:33

Raman wrote: As such, it is a vast simplification to state them as reasons why women should not serve in the forces. The IAF is already facing these issues and seems to have some way to dealing with them.
I do not think, anyone here is saying that women should not serve in the armed forces in general. If I may say so, the debate is restricted around women in front line combat forces in the air, on the ground or at sea.

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Postby k prasad » 08 Nov 2007 08:07

Hasn't the PAF started using women pilots for their Mirage-IIIs?

Being more conservative, that is surprising, isnt it.

Deccan Herald- Pakistan’s first women fighter pilots are excited
Pakistan gets women combat pilots

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Postby shiv » 08 Nov 2007 09:34

k prasad wrote:
Being more conservative, that is surprising, isnt it.


You need to look into the psychology of Pakistan to understand this.

Pakistan wants to be seen as an ultramodern, forward looking nation by the world and wants to be considered "leader of the Islamic world" by Islamic countries.

Many public actions and statements by Pakistan are related to this. One of the prime motivating factors for Pakistan remains "to shame India" and stay ahead of India - which is a backward, Hindu dominated, bigoted nation.

You will find an open discussion of the problems of women in the armed forces from the US or India. But in Pakistan, I predict that there will be no problems that are revealed in public - true to Pakistani character.

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Postby Shankar » 08 Nov 2007 11:20

And the IAF will be facing those problems with women. Fact is, India is not the US- you and I both know it. Men get deployed in primeval conditions to areas that will simply not be countenanced by many women, and men are told to STFU and get on with their lives even so. Such methods when applied on men themselves in conflict zones, lead to the occasional stress related "incident"- euphemism for far worse, one can only imagine the condition viz women.

While Shankars heart is in the right place, his posts are unfortunately propoganda. Russia deployed women because of a shortage of manpower in a fight to the finish, Germany otoh mobilized women for its war apparatus but not the frontline. Same for the US and the UK, who the occasional Noor Inayat Khan apart, depended more on Rosie the Rivetter and the "unsung heroines" of the WAC.

War in the subcontinent is dirty, grisly business fought by people with often very little of what passes for "acceptable" in the first world, obsessed as the former are with minimizing casualties and a limited population base.

I would like to see how many women volunteer for day in and night out in the Thar inside T-72s and get charcoal black in the desert.

So for a few women recruits, should India invest substantial resources into making the Army/AF "woman friendly"? Especially when our opponent is Pak, with a long history of rapine and other gentle pleasures- talk about a propoganda problem even if we dismiss the above as "sexist" and "the woman can take care of herself".




-when a woman joins the armed forces ,she is fully aware of the conditions in which her service is expected and that includes bad living condition ,male only kind of environment,hard physical labor etc etc

History both modern and medieval have shown females can condition themselves to this conditions and perform as good as men .

That is why we need to look at soviet women in second world war,North Vietcong female soldiers in Vietnam war ,both of which were far worse than any wars we have ever seen or likely to see .

In both the wars the women performed admirably as fighters ,surely some of them got raped ,some of them starved and many of them got killed just like their male friends - the end result was victory for the nation which put its trust on them .

Coming to India -women here is more adopted to difficult living conditions than males simply because even today right from birth males enjoy preferential treatment in all areas from food to education to better living quarters .

By the way The Maoists in Chatisgarh have started recruiting and deploying female cadres in large number in all the encounters with our security forces they have performed very well .

If a female soldier goes to war and gets raped that is bad so is a male soldier who gets his balls cut off by the Mujahideen . If a female soldier in peace time gets raped by a male colleague or superior officer -it is bad l
then it happens in all sectors of life -just day before a 21 yr old girl was raped and murdered by the cab driver of a cab company .She did not join the army and she was not posted in Siachin with 120 odd unwashed males

When we consider women in armed forces -first of all we need to get rid of our prejudices that women cannot take difficult conditions of army life .Which is an out and out falsehood propagated by people who never wanted women to share life on an equal footing .Rather people who are not comfortable with female sexuality .

Sure women get pregnant she does it when she is a doctor on 24 hrs call
or even in a battle field but that does not stop her from becoming a doctor inthe first place .

In case you have not noticed in the commercial aviation a large number of female pilots are flying wide bodied jets they are doing that despite being female ,despite getting pregnant and despite the chance of being raped when on overnight outstation halts

The self appointed moral brigade is one of our biggest baggage from British rule -they will not allow us to see fashion tv ,they will not allow women to wear jeans in college ,and they will put up all kind of moralistic assumptions to say why women cannot be in the army

By the way some of the best T-34 tank drivers were women

When you say women cannot take war condition -you seem to have forgotten Stalingrad

When you say women cannot fly high performance jets you forget some of the best Top Gun instructor pilots are women -they get their periods and get pregnant and still fly the F-15/18s usaly better than most pilots in the air force

A woman cannot join the armed forces because she will be raped if captured is a typical sexiest logic which has never no basic truth

A woman can get raped in war even if she is not part of the armed forces ,even if she is a house wife .It is happening in Kashmir ,it is happening in North east ,it is happening in Afghanistan ,It happened in Vietnam and In Iraq .

If there were more females in the army -surely these incidents would have been less

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Postby Shankar » 08 Nov 2007 11:33

Women were pulled into home defense units, staffing anti-aircraft batteries, learning the dangerous trade of disarming bombs, and serving in fire fighting and rescue squads. At the front, they served in frontline medical units, operated radios, drove trucks, and tended aircraft, which they sometimes flew in combat. They were not generally front-line fighters, but they would fight when the occasion demanded it. Many had lost family members to the Germans and were after revenge.

As mentioned, there were all-woman aviation units. Soviet women aviators became particularly famous as the "die Nachthexen (Night Witches)", as the Germans called them. The Night Witches flew sorties over German lines in the dark at low level in antique Polikarpov U-2 (later Po-2) biplanes, called "Sewing Machines", idling the engine to glide in silently on any group of Germans foolish enough to light a fire in the open and then plastering them with machine-gun fire and small bombs. The practice of using the low-and-slow biplane for night attacks had begun in the early phases of the conflict in the East, when the Luftwaffe had absolute air superiority and such tactics were the only useful way to strike back from the air. It turned out to work well and the Soviets became enthusiastic about it.

Of course males flew the Po-2 as well, but it was the "Witches" who established its legend. The Germans, with a certain grudging admiration, made up stories about how a Po-2 would fly into the window of a house, shoot it up, and then fly back out again. The intruders rarely caused major damage but they were an insufferable nuisance, the Germans calling the Po-2 the "Duty Sergeant" because of its nighttime "bedchecks" on them.

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Postby Shankar » 08 Nov 2007 11:39

Zoya Medvedeva (married name Smirnova), the author and principal heroine of this book, a creative documentary, fought with the famous 25th Chapayev Infantry Division. She has provided an authentic, eyewitness account of the desperate fighting in the trenches for Odessa and Sevastopol, as promised to her role model, mentor and friend Nina Onilova, a legendary machine gunner, before the latter died from her wounds in March 1942. Though half-blinded, eventually Medvedeva became a machine-gun company commander. Too modest to dwell on her own exploits, instead she writes about her former comrades-in-arms, many of whom were killed or hospitalized and some, like Medvedeva herself, had to wander across the enemy-occupied Stavropol Territory, after their release from various military hospitals, in order to break through to Soviet troops in the vicinity of Kizlyar to the south-east of Stalingrad. The excerpt cited below was extracted from Chapter IV, entitled "Breaking out of Encirclement":

"By daybreak, a sentry usually becomes less vigilant. He needs to relax after the tension of a nerve-wracking night, when each rustle, each shadow inspires fear in him and might become a harbinger of danger. The coolness of the morning forces him to shiver with the cold, so he has the urge to hide his head as deep as he can in his raised collar; he craves warmth and becomes sleepy. What’s more, if at some point earlier he had been scolded for raising a false alarm, he is not inclined to become overly vigilant.

"Such was apparently the frame of mind of the sentry who guarded the German tank at dawn on the day we attacked it. During the night the highway was deserted, but then came the first truck, slowing down at the turn by the crossroads. It appeared to stop momentarily and continued on its way. Soon afterwards two 'German' soldiers emerged from the shelterbelt into the steppe, crunching dry branches underfoot. Initially ignoring both the tank and the sentry, the soldiers sat down to have something to eat and drink. Then one of the soldiers noticed that the sentry was very interested in their food and bottle. Swallowing hoarsely with his dry throat, the sentry took several steps to one side. The soldier observing the sentry got up, moved away a few paces, and stopped, standing with his legs spread wide apart and a submachine gun slung over his right shoulder. The sentry took a few steps forward, in the direction of the two soldiers, and then and there he stopped, stamping in one spot. Then the soldier who was standing waved at the sentry with a benefactor’s gesture, calling him: 'Schnell, Kamrad!' The sentry came running. In a moment, the soldiers dragged his body, still twitching, into the nearest bushes.

"Afterwards, the two men, Volodya Zarya and Aleksey Plotnikov, set off for the tank, barefooted. ...Plotnikov had a couple of hand grenades attached to his belt, while Zarya was armed with a Schmeisser and carried a German helmet, full of water. Silently striding on the soft, dew-covered grass, the men made their way right up to the target. They listened carefully; it was quiet all around. So Plotnikov climbed onto the tank and Zarya handed him an unusual master-key, a mess tin filled with water. Then Zarya followed Plotnikov onto the tank with his submachine gun at the ready.

"Slowly, carefully, and trying to aim exactly into the groove of the closed hatch, Plotnikov began to pour the water Zarya had brought in the helmet. The little stream made a bubbling sound as it penetrated through the hatch. Those in the turret stirred and someone asked a question in German. So Plotnikov’s hand shook; a little stream of water missed its target, but it made no difference.

"The silence made the click of the bolt seem loud; the cover moved and was raised.... In that instant, Plotnikov... tore with both hands into the rim of the cover, and gave it a violent pull; then and there Zarya opened up with his submachine gun. Having inserted the barrel into the black hole of the hatch, he didn’t take his finger off the trigger until he used up the entire clip. Again there was silence."

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Postby shiv » 08 Nov 2007 16:16

There are obviously two sides to the story.

I still tend to believe that as long as war is a part-time occupation of a society and as long as wars can be kept away from about 60% (wild guess) of the population, a mixed men-women force may be as good as a male only force.

However if war becomes a full time, long term preoccupation of an entire population, part of wartime production will have to be babies.

You cannot fight a prolonged war without wartime production of food, materiel, logistics and communication. Workers in these areas also need to be energetic and healthy. The wartime contribution of women in these areas in the US, UK and Russia probably played as great a role in the war as the frontline soldiers. Industrial production incidentally is inherently more baby friendly than active combat.

Even if you look at biological analogies you find that only one male is required to fertilize many women and males are therefore inherently disposable assets in any population. And in humans, men tend to behave like they are disposable anyway - especially when they are young.

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Postby HariC » 08 Nov 2007 23:01

The Russians also used "Sucide bombing Dogs"* in the war - should we start traiing dog units now?

*Dogs starved and trained to find food under tanks. Then let out in packs in the battlefield with explosives strapped on their backs. They would go under german tanks and BOOM..

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Postby SBajwa » 08 Nov 2007 23:39

I think it is an good idea for husband wife team to serve in the armed forces that complement each other. State should take up the responsiblity of children of such armed forces couples by providing education, boarding and nutrition.

For example!! A soldier's wife can perform in a support role in kitchen (along with all the training and exercies to handle weapons and be physically fit), as driver or gunner (tanks, apcs, trucks, etc), with medicos and tons of other support role!! why do we need women to go up and lead the march when they can easily and efficiently (may be better than most men) support the march by being a backbone?

Each gender has a defined role when physical limit is concerned!! A woman who can bear a pain of a childbirth might bolt at the sight of flying body parts and vice versa.

Remember!! an army march on their stomachs and extended support lines (by recruitment of all possible human beings) is the key.

So!!.... IMHO A mixed regiment (both male and females) with well defined roles for each gender is the key.

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Postby Shankar » 09 Nov 2007 20:49

The Russians also used "Sucide bombing Dogs"* in the war - should we start traiing dog units now?

*Dogs starved and trained to find food under tanks. Then let out in packs in the battlefield with explosives strapped on their backs. They would go under german tanks and BOOM..


-You are comparing some of the most fearless female aviators with dogs -well something must be -very wrong with your thinking -please do not degrade the forum by this level of logic

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Postby HariC » 09 Nov 2007 20:55

Shankar wrote:
The Russians also used "Sucide bombing Dogs"* in the war - should we start traiing dog units now?

*Dogs starved and trained to find food under tanks. Then let out in packs in the battlefield with explosives strapped on their backs. They would go under german tanks and BOOM..


-You are comparing some of the most fearless female aviators with dogs -well something must be -very wrong with your thinking -please do not degrade the forum by this level of logic


Ah that shows your thinking.
:lol: :lol:
I was just belaying you for your "Lets do everything the Russians did in WW2 in todays Indian Army" mentality :)

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Postby rsingh » 10 Nov 2007 03:32

There is a Russian film on ladies in war ......something "ozer zdec tixi" or "silent lake". This film is must for any talk about heroism of Russian ladies.

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Postby Jagan » 10 Nov 2007 04:51

k prasad wrote:Hasn't the PAF started using women pilots for their Mirage-IIIs?

Being more conservative, that is surprising, isnt it.

Deccan Herald- Pakistan’s first women fighter pilots are excited
Pakistan gets women combat pilots


They most probably went to Helicopter or Transport streams. I aint seen any Pakistani woman combat pilot yet.. ! The press as usual completely lost it at that time.

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Postby derkonig » 10 Nov 2007 11:27

HariC wrote:The Russians also used "Sucide bombing Dogs"* in the war - should we start traiing dog units now?

*Dogs starved and trained to find food under tanks. Then let out in packs in the battlefield with explosives strapped on their backs. They would go under german tanks and BOOM..


whoa dude..those suicide dogs were not really helpful when the ruskies had to face the wehrmacht. infact the dogs were so scared of the german TFTA tanks that they often ran back to the more familiar SDRE russi tanks(the dogs encountered russi tanks onlee while training) & the ivans went BOOM....

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Postby p_saggu » 01 Feb 2008 16:29

Women as part of crew of Submarines
In 1995 the Royal Norwegian Navy became the first navy in the world to appoint a female submarine captain.[6] In 1998, the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) became the second navy to allow women to serve on combat submarines. Canada and Spain followed in permitting women to serve on military submarines with seamen.[7] The usual reasons for barring women that are given are lack of privacy and "hot bunking" or "hot racking", a common practice on submarines where three sailors share two bunks on a rotating basis to save space. The US Navy, which permits women to serve on almost every other ship in the fleet, only allows three exceptions for women being on board military submarines: (1) Female civilian technicians for a few days at most; (2) Women midshipmen on an overnight during summer training for both Navy ROTC and Naval Academy; (3) Family members for one-day dependent cruises.[8] The US Navy argues it would cost $300,000 per bunk to permit women to serve on submarines versus $4,000 per bunk to allow women to serve on aircraft carriers. However, this calculation is based on the assumption of semi segregation of the female crew, possibly to the extent of structural redesign of the vessel.[9] No studies of the feasibility of an all-female crew, which would circumvent the US Navy's objections, are known to have been carried out. It should be noted that a brand new submarine crew would have little experience in operating a modern nuclear submarine. Since most of the US Navy's work related training is on-the-job training, an all-female crew is not in the Navy's foreseeable future. :lol:

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Re: Women in Combat - 2

Postby vinayd » 24 Jun 2008 08:18

One point that is quite crucial to several armies not sending women into combat is the fate of women PoWs. We are facing an enemy that has kept our PoWs from 1971.

We know what happened to Capt. Kalia in captivity. Had it been a woman? We have heard what arab janjaweed do to women in Sudan. How would we deal with a situation where one of our women in combat was captured.

I am not for or against women in combat. I am proud of Gunjan Saxena, and in general have an open mind on this issue. We should debate it, but we should also insist on the debate touching upon this sensitive issue. This is something we have to think about.

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Re: Women in Combat - 2

Postby vinayd » 24 Jun 2008 09:33

Read an earlier post about Jhansi chi Rani: She was raised in the Peshwa court at Pune, and was trained in military arts from a very young age. Born a Tambay (Flt. Lt. Vijay Vasant Tambay also belongs to one branch of that same family), was married into the Niwalkar family which was the branch of the maratha confederacy that ruled Jhansi.

It is said that Field Marshall Hugh Rose - the british FM who fought her and Tatya (also spellt Tantia) Tope, was in love with her and respect her immensely. It is said that one reason that he never married was that he loved Lakshmibai, who perished fighting him. Also, from all accounts, Hugh Rose was an impeccable gentleman, very well bred.

Today we are not fighting such people. We are fighting the people who captured Captain Kalia. Would we be able to deal with our women being captive in the hands of the sort of people who tortured Captain Kalia? In the very least, this needs a serious debate.

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Re: Women in Combat - 2

Postby Jaeger » 24 Jun 2008 11:51

vinayd,

your logic betrays the fact that there's in an element of "we must protect our women or they will be despoiled", as well as "rape is equivalent to the worst possible torture or even death".

yes, the thought of rape is terrible - but is it worse that what they did to Capt. Kalia? hacking off pieces of him while he was still alive? gouging out his eyes? when we fight pukes, there is danger to both men and women who are captured - just the form of the danger is different.

vinayd wrote:Would we be able to deal with our women being captive in the hands of the sort of people who tortured Captain Kalia?


Let me ask you this: would you be able to deal with ANY of our soldiers being captive in the hands of the sort of people who tortured Captain Kalia? Are you saying it's bearable if it happens to male soldiers?

Of course you're not, I'm sure. But then you're ok with males fighting. It's the idea of "our women" getting raped that is the issue, isn't it? It all boils down to the idea that "the other" is despoiling "our women". It's an emasculating thought isn't it?

I would request that people not project their beliefs on to prospective female warfighters. You may think they can't stand the conditions, the pain, the hardship, the awkwardness. I suggest you at least give them a chance before making their minds up for them.

and one more thing, if people keep emphasising the fact that "rape is terrible, almost equivalent to death itself", then it will be. rape victims need care and empathy, not the knowledge that they have suffered something demeaning and traumatic. that they already know. what drives rape victims into hiding and often suicide in India isn't just what happened, but the fact that forever after society judges them to be "despoiled", "ruined", "unmarriageable" and in a lot of cases "they brought it upon themselves". it's the idea that they are now somehow worthless foisted on them by society itself that is the worst and most terrible part.

perhaps as some have said we need society to evolve before making the Army take the first step. fair enough; but then why can't the change in thinking start right here?

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Re: Women in Combat - 2

Postby Brando » 24 Jun 2008 12:44

Its all well and good claiming that we should give them a chance, not project our beliefs onto female soldiers etc. But the fact is even the most liberal the most open society will not be willing to have their women fighting in the front lines if they can help it. Take a country like Israel which actively requires all of their females to undergo military training. Even they do not allow their female soldiers combat duty in military operations. And this is a country where women have been in the trenches lobbing grenades before during the Six-day war etc. But today they dont even allow Israeli women to be fighter pilots, forget infantry. This is because they know from experience that some ideology of equality doesnt mean squat on a battlefield.

The reason quite simply is women are just not as physically capable as the male soldiers, our collective feelings of "emasculation" aside. Even today, in ALL the nations military in the world, the standards for women in physical ability requirements are lower than their male counter parts. However in combat there are no such distinctions. Being physically less able then the male combat soldiers will only get them killed sooner. So its not doing them or the military in general any favors letting them play GI Jane or advance the cause of feminism. Unless absolutely necessary there is no good reason to have women in combat. There are many roles for women in the military but front line infantry is not one of them. And please dont claim some Old Soviet sniper as an example. That was guerrilla warfare and she was a sniper. Front line infantry is completely different.

Besides even the US military which has the most amount of women in combat has tremendous problems with maintaining uni-sex facilities in their bases and camps. They might not want to let it be general knowledge but women in the US military face a LOT of discrimination as well, be it merely sexual innuendo or downright harassment. Ours being a much more conservative culture, its is downright impossible for there to be a situation where there is a smooth transition to women in combat. What we have today is a staged and feigned display of equality in the armed forces to appease the various wives and feminists around India. A charade .

Now, what ever I have said is without taking the whole "rape" issue into account! :|

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Re: Women in Combat - 2

Postby RayC » 24 Jun 2008 16:10

Interesting discussion.

In war, you have to use the open air to relieve yourself.

Would a woman do so?

Or should the war effort be stopped to organise sheltered areas for women soldiers?

We had a problem with a lady RMO over privacy during the Kargil War.

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Re: Women in Combat - 2

Postby Jagan » 24 Jun 2008 16:40

Ray, Tried emailing you on your vsnl id but it bounced back. Can you send me an email at jaganpvs at gmail ? need to discuss something.

-Jagan

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Re: Women in Combat - 2

Postby RayC » 24 Jun 2008 16:50

Jagan,

Sent.

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Re: Women in Combat - 2

Postby PaulJI » 24 Jun 2008 18:31

RayC wrote:Interesting discussion.

In war, you have to use the open air to relieve yourself.

Would a woman do so?

Or should the war effort be stopped to organise sheltered areas for women soldiers?

We had a problem with a lady RMO over privacy during the Kargil War.


You live in India, & you ask if a woman would relieve herself in the open? Have you ever been to the countryside? :rotfl:

Shy, shrinking, delicate women should not join the army. Any who try should be weeded out very quickly during training.

BTW, in my experience of female soldiers, such delicate sensibilities are entirely absent. They do what they have to.

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Re: Women in Combat - 2

Postby PaulJI » 24 Jun 2008 18:42

Brando wrote:...The reason quite simply is women are just not as physically capable as the male soldiers, our collective feelings of "emasculation" aside. Even today, in ALL the nations military in the world, the standards for women in physical ability requirements are lower than their male counter parts. However in combat there are no such distinctions. Being physically less able then the male combat soldiers will only get them killed sooner. ...


Two different things.

1. The difference in the average physical abilities of men and women. Both men and women have a wide range of physical abilities. Many women are stronger, faster, etc. than many men. Should a woman who can meet the same standard as a man be excluded because other women are weaker?

2. Lower physical standards applied to women applying for the military in many countries. This is not due directly to 1., but to PC attitudes which dictate that physical differences be ignored. If you ignore such foolishness, & apply the same standards to both, fewer women than men will meet them, but some women will pass.

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Re: Women in Combat - 2

Postby prahaar » 24 Jun 2008 18:57

PaulJI wrote:
RayC wrote:Interesting discussion.
In war, you have to use the open air to relieve yourself.
Would a woman do so?
Or should the war effort be stopped to organise sheltered areas for women soldiers?
We had a problem with a lady RMO over privacy during the Kargil War.


You live in India, & you ask if a woman would relieve herself in the open? Have you ever been to the countryside? :rotfl: Shy, shrinking, delicate women should not join the army. Any who try should be weeded out very quickly during training. BTW, in my experience of female soldiers, such delicate sensibilities are entirely absent. They do what they have to.


No need to be disrespectful of someone giving opinions based on 1st hand experience. There are certain things we do not like that exist in the society. A Lady officer in India attending to nature's call in front of her Jawan is likely to make both of them more uncomfortable than say for example the reactions in a Finnish milieu. This is ground reality.


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