In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 8, 2005 / 28 Adar II, 5765

Some girl soldiers just wanna have fun

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker
Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It's been 25 years since Goldie Hawn played the unlikely military enlistee, Pvt. Judy Benjamin, who discovered the Army wasn't what she'd had in mind when she signed up for travel and adventure.

But that was then, and it was fiction besides. Now, we know that women soldiers are just like men soldiers. Or so we're supposed to believe.

Flashback to two weeks ago: I'm washing my hands in an airport restroom in Columbia, S.C., wedged at the sink between two blondes gleefully applying makeup. When I ease past one to reach a paper towel, she apologetically blurts:

"You'll have to excuse us, we haven't seen makeup in three months!"

Revlon should have had a hidden camera. Rarely has anyone enjoyed the feminine joys of lipstick and mascara with such unabashed relish.

The two were "soldiers" just out of basic training at Fort Jackson. Both were leaving the Army because of medical problems — one with arthritis, the other asthma — that hadn't been diagnosed when they enlisted.

If they had looked like soldiers earlier in the day, they didn't now. They looked more like sorority sisters, giggly and equally excited to let down their hair, which they'd had to keep pulled in a bun during training. They confessed to having spent the morning binging on candy bars and other junk food they'd missed.

I took their names and numbers, explaining that I might write about them, but have decided to protect their identities out of consideration for their privacy and in light of what I'm about to say. With apologies:

If these two were what the U.S. Army considers soldiers, we're in trouble. The gals probably would agree.

When I asked why they had joined the Army when we're at war, which can flat-out ruin a manicure, they reported wanting to escape their small towns and earn college tuition. Both now were headed home to minimum-wage jobs. One hoped to save enough money to go to cosmetology school, which seemed like an inspired idea.

Obviously, two young women escaping the mistake they'd made three months earlier are not representative of the military as a whole, but these giggly-girl soldiers may be symbolic of a larger problem — not so much recruiting promises that fall short, but the Army's stubborn insistence on gender-based recruiting quotas for women and coed training.

Here's the problem, as explained to me by Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness: When boys and girls join the Army, they must be transformed from what they are into soldiers, a process that requires concentration and focus. Recall the purpose of a soldier is to kill people and break things.

Not that most of us need reminding, but boys and girls tend to be distractions for one another. The Marines understand this, which is why they separate males and females during basic training. And the Army knows it, as evidenced by its own research, but chooses to ignore the facts in deference, apparently, to feminist goals.

As long as men and women are seen as interchangeable, then feminist theory survives — even if some of our "soldiers" don't. Never mind that coed training was found to be "not efficient" according to a 2002 "Gender Integrated Training" report presented to the secretary of the Army. The briefing also reported that coed training negatively affected "rigor" and "standards" (translation: women couldn't keep up with men), and that women suffered a disproportionate number of injuries, especially stress fractures to the shins and feet.

Nevertheless, the Army concluded that coed training was "effective" because women were accepted more readily, and men and women "shared" training experience. In other words, the Army defines military "effectiveness" in sociological terms of acceptance and sharing.

If we could break for a moment from roasting s'mores and singing "Kumbaya," we might focus on the contradiction that it is "not efficient" but "effective."

The point is not that women don't belong in the military — though given women's statistically diminished "rigor" and "standards," they inarguably don't belong in the infantry — but that women can't be properly trained (or men either) in a distracting, hormone-rich environment.

If the Army were serious about transforming girls to warrior-soldiers with a capital "S," the theme of the Army's post-Jessica Lynch "warrior ethos" training program, the brass would follow the Marines' lead and separate the sexes.

The fact of human nature, as opposed to feminist theory, is that girls will be girls when guys are around, and vice versa. This maxim produces beneficial results when population growth needs a boost, but otherwise leads to something less than military readiness.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Kathleen Parker can be reached by clicking here.

Kathleen Parker Archives

© 2005, Tribune Media Services