Former Defense Deputy Undersecretary Jed Babbin takes aim at Leon Panetta’s cowardly and disgraceful decision to put women into combat roles.
Panetta’s action will probably complete the destruction of the warrior culture on which the success of our military depends. That culture, developed over the past two thousand years or so, is not uniquely American but our brand of it is. Our warriors take pride in what they do because they do it for America and because they do it better than anyone else. Thus, one of the most important parts of that culture is the objective standards someone has to meet to qualify to join the combat arms.
Every Marine in a rifle platoon, every pilot in a squadron, every special operator has had to meet the standards set for all the others. At least they did until the services began to cave under political pressure to enable women to join combat units. ...
Eleven years ago I wrote about the danger of “gender neutralizing” the objective tests for entry into combat arms. That article reported on a British Ministry of Defence study authored by Brigadier Seymour Monroe. In that study, Monroe reported that when the British were trying to fit women into combat roles, they “gender neutralized” — i.e., lowered — their standards so that women who couldn’t qualify under the men’s standards did so under their own.
Who can doubt that the Obama Pentagon will do exactly the same? Why should the men accept anyone — woman or man — who can’t make the same grade they did? They shouldn’t, and they won’t. It will destroy unit cohesion and pride.
That is the principal objection to what the Obama Pentagon is up to. And it will have two effects, both of which are a threat to our national security.
First, by pushing standards down to enable women to qualify, Obama’s Pentagon will reduce the units’ ability to fight. Our guys — and I use the term with malice aforethought — win because they’re better trained and more capable than the enemy. Whenever you reduce the qualifications, you reduce the level of capability and the unit’s ability to win. To lower standards is to increase the risk of defeat.
Second, whether or not standards are relaxed, allowing women into combat arms will break the spirit of many of our warriors whether they be ground pounders, airmen, or sailors.
Our guys do what they do — and do it so well — in part because they’re guys who are members of the most exclusive club in the world: the warriors, the real 1%’ers. Their club’s membership has been 100% men since before Thermopylae. These men understand that they are different — mentally and physically — from women and want to stay that way. They have wives and girlfriends at home. They don’t have them as fellow warriors who they train and fight alongside.
To put women among them would force them to break with their ancient customs, traditions, and beliefs. In short, it would fundamentally change what they are and how they function in combat. The price will be paid in resignations, in declining re-enlistments, and in lives and battles lost.
There’s one more aspect to this, which is the strain Panetta’s act will put on military families. When he decided to allow women to serve on submarines, a lot of Navy wives were really angry. They know their men, and they know that our elite submarine force would become a fleet of submersible Love Boats, and, in too many instances, they have.
What higher price will more military families pay when women are allowed into the rest of the combat arms, serving in remote places in tough conditions with the men beside them?
Panetta’s decision has to be stopped by House Republicans. They can do it if they bar the use of any authorized or appropriated funds for DoD to implement the Panetta policy, a provision that should be in every bill they pass until it becomes law. If they don’t, we should throw the lot of them out.
Mark Steyn puts Sandra Fluke’s speech to the DNC into perspective, identifying exactly which plimsoll mark Fluke represents as civilization sinks beneath the liberal waves. He also rather amusingly compares her to Lola Montez.
Sandra Fluke… completed her education a few weeks ago – at the age of 31, or Grade 25. Before going to Georgetown, she warmed up with a little light BS in Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies from Cornell. She then studied law at one of the most prestigious institutions in the nation, where tuition costs 50 grand a year. The average starting salary for a Georgetown Law graduate is $160,000 per annum – first job, first paycheck.
So this is America’s best and brightest – or, at any rate, most expensively credentialed. Sandra Fluke has been blessed with a quarter-million dollars of elite education, and, on the evidence of Wednesday night, is entirely incapable of making a coherent argument. She has enjoyed the leisurely decade-long varsity once reserved for the minor sons of Mitteleuropean grand dukes, and she has concluded that the most urgent need facing the Brokest Nation in History is for someone else to pay for the contraception of 30-year-old children. She says the choice facing America is whether to be “a country where we mean it when we talk about personal freedom, or one where that freedom doesn’t apply to our bodies and our voices” – and, even as the words fall leaden from her lips, she doesn’t seem to comprehend that Catholic institutions think their “voices” ought to have freedom, too, or that Obamacare seizes jurisdiction over “our bodies” and has 16,000 new IRS agents ready to fine us for not making arrangements for “our” pancreases and “our” bladders that meet the approval of the commissars. Sexual liberty, even as every other liberty withers, is all that matters: A middle-school girl is free to get an abortion without parental consent, but if she puts a lemonade stand on her lawn she’ll be fined. ...
Any space aliens prowling through the rubble of our civilization and stumbling upon a recording of the convention compatible with Planet Zongo DVD players will surely marvel at the valuable peak airtime allotted to Sandra Fluke. It was weird to see her up there among the governors and senators – as weird as Bavarians thought it was when King Ludwig decided to make his principal adviser Lola Montez, the Irish-born “Spanish dancer” and legendary grande horizontale. I hasten to add I’m not saying Miss Fluke is King Barack’s courtesan. For one thing, it’s a striking feature of the Age of Perfected Liberalism that modern liberals talk about sex 24/7 while simultaneously giving off the persistent whiff that the whole thing’s a bit of a chore. Hence, the need for government subsidy. And, in fairness to Miss Montez, she used sex to argue for liberalized government, whereas Miss Fluke uses liberalism to argue for sexualized government.
But those distinctions aside, like Miss Fluke, Miss Montez briefly wielded an influence entirely disproportionate to her talents. Like Miss Fluke, she was a passionate liberal activist who sought to diminish what she regarded as the malign influence of the Catholic Church. Taking up with Lola cost King Ludwig his throne in the revolutions of 1848. We’ll see in a couple of months whether taking up with Sandra works out for King Barack.
If Nathan Harden is not working as a symbolist poet, he really needs a haircut.
My wife Karen was wondering what kind of critical reception Nathan Harden’s Sex and God at Yale was receiving.
Well, Gawker responded first, unleashing its most fearsome attack-pansy Hamilton Nolan to sneer and condescend all over it.
If you don’t have a book contract right this minute, you should very ashamed. Consider: Nathan Harden…, a 2009 graduate of Yale, not only got a book contract, but has already written and published his book, and that book is about how bad it is that kids are into sex things at Yale—a topic that a professional book publishing house presumably considered sufficiently interesting to pay Nathan Harden U.S. currency, to write it. ...
Yale has a Sex Week where they have panels that discuss SEX and SEX THINGS with COLLEGE STUDENTS. And… seems like a good topic for an outraged book by a young man, right? Sure, sure. But wait—there’s more:
Harden’s other examples of an institution run amok (an acting class run by a yoga fascist, a Spanish language class in which the professor shows a film with a lesbian sex scene) are revealing but not revealing enough to make one feel that an obsession with sex has turned Yale into a “great institution in decline – an institution of tremendous power and influence that is no longer aware of why it exists or for what purpose,” as Harden claims.
Not just sex discussion panels, but yoga and even very mildly racy films? Thank God someone has published this, in a book. The above paragraph is from a NYT book review, btw. Was your book reviewed in the NYT? No? Hmm.
The New York Times Hanna Rosin pegs Hardin as a rube and a naif, while simultaneously indicating that his book-length indignation is really just a cynical careerist pose.
The conservative movement loves an innocent. Better yet if he has attended an Ivy League college and witnessed the debauchery of the elites firsthand. For this particular position, Nathan Harden, the author of “Sex and God at Yale,” possesses impeccable credentials. He was home-schooled, was already married when he got to college and had worshiped the institution so blindly that he was bound to be disappointed. ...
Harden finds himself much in the same situation as Brad Majors at Dr. Frank N. Furter’s convention in “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”; that is, a choirboy type faced with a cast of characters he had not at this point in his squeaky-clean life imagined existed. He sits in on a lecture called “Babeland’s Lip Tricks,” given by a burlesque performer named Darlinda, who leads the students in chanting unprintable words, and then demonstrates with great care and enthusiasm her whole foreplay array of lip, tongue and hand techniques. The fact that Yale lends its name and its classrooms to such a display is too much for Harden to stomach. He sits in the back where a couple of pervy professors are lurking, and watches his dreams die. ...
Drinking the Ivy League poison is, of course, a great conservative tradition, a way for Young Turks to show they could be accepted into the elite even as they choose to set themselves apart.
Newsweek’s Daily Beast (a sort of anti-conservative punditocratic gay bar and home of Andrew Sullivan and David Frum) rustled up a couple of recent grad sophisters to pooh-pooh the significance of Sex Week at Yale (Harden’s central theme).
It doesn’t matter, you see, that the Yale Administration throws open its major lecture halls to sex toy demonstrations, bondage displays, and career talks by pornographers and porn stars. No undergraduates are actually in attendance. Everyone is at class.
Yale students go to class.
You wouldn’t get that impression reading the article by our classmate Nathan Harden. His is a Yale of “sex-toy pageants, porn-star lectures, sadomasochism seminars, and fellatio demonstrations.” Those things did happen, during Sex Week at Yale: a 10-day event held biennially that most students don’t really attend because they have other stuff to do. Like go to class.
And, besides, if anyone were actually there and attending these particular events, it would be an educational exercise in deconstructing their significance. Porn is a major part of every Yale student’s life, and like everything else in the universe, porn must be talked about and studied.
In 2012, however, most Yale students have watched approximately a billion hours of porn by the time they matriculate, from hentai (anime porn) to scat (poopy porn) to crying (porn where people cry). And because porn, we agree with Harden, “isn’t just fantasy, it’s a powerful force shaping our culture,” it needs to be unpacked, just like King Lear, the Illiad (sic), and Moby-Dick.
Sex (in every shape and form) is dignified and legitimated as a topic of interest and study on the basis of its political relevance to the struggle of a major victim group for liberation.
For feminists in particular, sex can’t be a private affair. And indeed, for women throughout history, sex never has been (see Anne Boleyn and her inability to give Henry VIII a son).
That’s because sex is the site of most of the struggles that women face as women: rape, sexual harassment, reproductive rights, the pressure to be impossibly skinny (so people will have sex with you), the pressure not to be too aggressive or loud or ambitious (so people will have sex with you), the pressure not to have too much sex so you’re not a slut, the fact that so many women never have good sex at all (college women have orgasms half as often as men on repeat hookups). ...
Public discussions of sexual culture don’t turn people sexist. They make them less sexist. And Yale gives lots of controversial issues a public airing, and controversial people a podium. ...
This year, a group of Yale students organized a “True Love Week” to run alongside “Sex Week,” with events like “The Person as Gift,” “Chastity and Human Goods,” and a traditional date night. ...
A “Sex Week” and a “True Love Week” vying for classroom space, and students talking and writing and caring about it—that’s a perfect expression of what Yale’s mission is today.
Donald Sensing observes that the great paid-for-contraceptives brouhaha is intended by democrats to persuade silly women to vote on the basis of group politics.
In the Democrat mind, sex without sex’s consequences are the only thing that women should think about when they approach a voting booth. Finney and Thompson, et. al., actually think that unless the government makes sure that women’s sex lives are unencumbered, then a woman simply cannot manage her job, housing or children. Sex rules all else.
The Democrat party truly cannot comprehend a woman going to vote who is more concerned about the dent in her paycheck caused by $5-per-gallon gasoline than finding free condoms, or who worries about the future impoverishment of her children and grandchildren because of Obama’s borrow and spend binges more than she worries about buying the Pill, or whose most pressing concern is not sexual liberty, but a college-graduate son or daughter who has moved back to live with mom because s/he can’t find a job and therefore can’t make student loan payments and rent at the same time.
Not in the Dems’ world view is a woman who pays her mortgage every month but who know that her home’s market value is less than the mortgage principal remaining, and stupidly thinks that this is more important to her future (and thus her voting) than getting morning-after pills. There is no room in Democrat gender-identity politics for a woman who has been married to one man for 35 years and so never thinks about getting free contraceptives or an abortion (that is, what Dems say is “basic health care”) but who is intensely concerned with her elderly parents’ net worth falling as inflation rises.
No, these women simply do not authentically exist in the Democrat universe. Such women simply have not heard the full message that there should be nothing more important to a woman than sex, sex, sex.
To the Democrat party, women are simply sex objects, though with political and statist rather than fleshly purposes. But objects is all they are. That’s the real message that countless women get very well and strongly reject.
The big brains at Slate discuss “The End of Men,” the topic of an impending debate to be held at NYU on September 20th, featuring Hanna Rosin. Slate never even tells us who (or what) will be debating the negative on September 20th.
Hanna Rosin’s 2010 Atlantic cover story, “The End of Men,” was one of the most talked-about magazine articles in recent years. “Man has been the dominant sex since, well, the dawn of mankind,” wrote Rosin, an award-winning journalist for Slate and the Atlantic. “But for the first time in human history, that is changing—and with shocking speed.” ...
Why are men finished, exactly? Rosin says they’ve failed to adapt to a modern, postindustrial economy that demands a more traditionally—and stereotypically—feminine skill set (read: communication skills, social intelligence, empathy, consensus-building, and flexibility). Statistics show they’re rapidly falling behind their female counterparts at school, work, and home. For every two men who receive a college degree, three women will. Of the 15 fastest-growing professions during the next decade, women dominate all but two. Meanwhile, men are even languishing in movies and on television: They’re portrayed as deadbeats and morons alongside their sardonic and successful female co-stars. ...
Rosin: The question I always have to respond to is, ‘[if women are taking over] why are there so many more men in power?’ If you look at Hollywood, or you look at the Fortune 500 list, or you look at politics, there’s a disproportionate number of men in the higher positions of power.
Slate: Why is that, then?
Rosin: Men have been at this for 40,000 years. Women have been rising for something like 30 or 40 years. So of course women haven’t occupied every single [high-powered] position. How would that be possible? The rise of women is barely a generation old. But if you look at everything else, like the median, the big bulge in the middle, it’s just unbelievable what has happened: Women are more than 50 percent of the workforce, and they’re more than 50 percent of managers. It’s just extraordinary that that’s happened in basically one generation. It seems like whatever it is that this economy is demanding, whatever special ingredients, women just have them more than men do.
This is the kind of analysis that is actually taken seriously by the scientific, intellectual American elite that is so much better qualified to make all the decisions for the rest of America.
Caroline May, at the Daily Caller, quoted several opinions: those of Doug Lanpher, the executive director of the national DKE organization; Amy Siskind, president and co-founder of the feminist New Agenda; Robert Shipley, senior vice president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE); and Hans Bader, Counsel for Special Projects at the Competitive Enterprise Institute on the peculiar action of the Yale University Administration in awarding new sanctions (banning the fraternity Delta Kappa Epsilon from the Yale campus for five years) in May in connection with a controversial initiation ritual last October. Despite denials by an obviously mendacious university spokesman, all agreed that Yale was acting in specific response to federal pressure.
So, why is the Federal government’s Department of Education twisting the arm of Mother Yale to beat up on DKE for a frankly sophomoric minor incident?
It seems that DKE was deliberately selected to serve as an example to demonstrate the renewed advance of Title IX federal enforcement, a key element of coercive social engineering fundamental to the strategic agenda of the democrat party’s radical leftwing base.
The complaint about an atmosphere at Yale allegedly hostile to ladies conveniently materialized early last month, from a small group representing in a Yale context the same strategic agenda at precisely the same time when the Obama Administration’s Assistant Secretary of Education for Civil Rights, Russlynn Haneefa Ali, issued a “Dear Colleague” letter to essentially every college and university in the land, declaring a federal witch hunt against “sexual harassment” to be underway, defining sexual harassment in the broadest possible terms to include “verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct” in any fashion connected with sex which is “unwelcome” to someone or anyone, and asserting that harassing conduct in general may create “a hostile environment” anytime the conduct is deemed “sufficiently serious” as to interfere with some student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the school’s program.
Instances of witchcraft presumably would be similarly worthy of federal intervention if someone engaged in verbal, nonverbal, or physical magic unwelcome to the alleged victim which created a hostile environment or interfered with a student’s studies.
Universities are not currently obligated to abjure witchcraft, to hire a particular person to receive complaints from persons claiming to have been hexed, and they are not federally required to conduct judicial inquiries into witchcraft complaints or to entertain spectral evidence, but Russlynn Ali’s Dear Colleague letter did decree that, in cases of sexual harassment, the federal government intends to require an official witch-hunter and an entire set of judicial apparatus and procedures be created, complete with victim counseling and support services. Additionally, universities are going to have to keep elaborate sets of records and keep Big Sister intimately informed about how many witches (Excuse me! sexual harassers) they have caught and punished and all the things they are doing to suppress heresy (Excuse me! sexual harassment).
With the threat of federal grant money potentially being withheld, you can count on the Yale Administration to jump eagerly through the hoops of political correctness and the Yale Executive Committee confidentiality policy be damned. The Yale Daily News reports the ultimate denouement of last October’s terrible fraternity initiation chant nightmare.
In an email to students and faculty Tuesday afternoon, Yale College Dean Mary Miller informed the University community about the Executive Committee’s actions concerning the controversial Delta Kappa Epsilon pledge incident Oct. 13. After a full proceeding, Miller said, the Committee found that the Yale DKE chapter had violated the Undergraduate Regulations by threatening and intimidating others that night, when pledges were instructed to chanted phrases such as “No means yes, yes means anal” on Old Campus. The Committee also found several DKE brothers had breached the same regulations, resulting in individual penalties.
“Although it is unusual to send a memorandum regarding a particular Executive Committee decision to the Yale community, a wide range of community members have been affected by this incident,” Miller said in the email. “As a result, I have decided to share the Committee’s decisions regarding this case.”
Although Miller revealed that the Committee issued individual sanctions to fraternity members, federal and University privacy policies prevented her from communicating further details about these disciplinary actions, she said. But Miller did disclose that the Committee imposed penalties on the Yale DKE chapter — despite its status as an unregistered student organization — that prevent it from recruiting new members or holding any events on campus for five years. The sanctions also limit the group’s ability to communicate with the student body and use the Yale name in connection with DKE. ...
The Committee has formally asked that the fraternity’s national organization suspend the chapter for five years. After the Old Campus incident, DKE’s national organization promptly directed the Yale chapter to stop all pledge activities, including the initiation of new members. But the ban was lifted in early November, less than one month after it was imposed.
If, after five years, the fraternity has adhered to these measures and registers as an undergraduate organization, the Committee suggests that the Yale College Dean’s Office lift the penalties.
Although the national organization has yet to receive a formal request for suspension from the University, Executive Director of DKE International Douglas Lanpher said the measures detailed in Miller’s e-mail to the Yale community were “excessive” and that the fraternity’s headquarters would want to appeal the decision if possible.
Indignant female surgeons force President of the American College of Surgeons to resign over Valentine’s Day editorial. New York Times:
Dr. [Lazar] Greenfield, 78, was the editor in chief of Surgery News when the editorial was published but resigned that position in the wake of the controversy; the entire issue of the newspaper was withdrawn. He is an emeritus professor of surgery at the University of Michigan School of Medicine.
The editorial cited research that found that female college students who had had unprotected sex were less depressed than those whose partners used condoms. It speculated that compounds in semen have antidepressant effects.
“So there’s a deeper bond between men and women than St. Valentine would have suspected, and now we know there’s a better gift for that day than chocolates,” it concluded.
The editorial outraged many women in the field, some of whom said that it reflected a macho culture in surgery that needed to change.
Yesterday, Yale alumni received from Richard Levin, Yale’s smarmy and unctuous current president, the following letter connected with the Title IX Civil Rights complaint made by 16 students and alumni associated with the Yale Womens’ Center.
April 15, 2011
Dear Graduates and Friends of Yale,
As you may know, Yale was recently informed by the Office of Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education that it will be investigating a complaint made by a group of current students and graduates alleging that the University is in violation of Title IX of the Higher Education Act. Title IX mandates that no one be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any federally supported education program on the basis of sex. We have not yet received a copy of the complaint, and the notification from the Office of Civil Rights does not provide details. We believe that the investigation will focus on Yale’s policies and practices concerning sexual harassment and misconduct.
It is imperative that the climate at Yale be free of sexual harassment and misconduct of any kind. The well being of our students and the entire community requires this. Should transgressions occur, they must be addressed expeditiously and appropriately.
We will cooperate fully with the Office of Civil Rights in their investigation, but the Officers, the Dean of Yale College, and I believe that we should not await the investigation before asking ourselves how we might improve the policies, practices, and procedures intended to protect members of our community. I write to describe some of the measures we are taking immediately.
I have appointed an external Advisory Committee on Campus Climate, chaired by Margaret H. Marshall ‘76JD, the former Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts and a former Fellow of the Yale Corporation [famous for contriving to have heard, and writing the infamous opinion in, Goodridge v. Dept. of Public Health which produced the ruling that the Commonwealth of Massachusett’s 1780 Constitution, adopted at a time in which sodomy was a capital offense, required Massachusetts to recognize Gay Marriage—JDZ]. The other members of the Committee are Seth P. Waxman ‘77JD, former Solicitor General of the United States and a partner at WilmerHale LLP; Kimberly Goff-Crews ‘83BA, ‘86JD, Vice President for Campus Life and Dean of Students at the University of Chicago; and Elizabeth (Libby) Smiley ’02BA, former president of the Yale College Council and a director at Barbary Coast Consulting in San Francisco.
I have asked the Committee for advice about how sexual harassment, violence or misconduct may be more effectively combated at Yale, and what additional steps the University might take to create a culture and community in which all of our students are safe and feel well supported. The Committee will spend time listening to members of our community about the situation as they live it and will make its own assessments. We have policies in place, and a number of recommendations developed during the last year are being implemented. Nevertheless, I am confident that there is more that we can do, and I am grateful to the members of the panel for contributing their time and wise counsel.
The Committee will advise me directly, and I will review its recommendations with the Yale Corporation after the report is completed early in the fall semester. After review by the Corporation, the Committee’s recommendations will be made public.
Even as the Committee does its work, I want to take advantage of the remaining weeks of this semester to ensure that student concerns are heard directly by the senior leadership of the University. I am grateful to the Women’s Center for initiating this week a series of dinners with students and administrators. Following this lead, I have asked senior administrators to join with masters and deans over a meal in every college dining hall and in Commons in Reading Period, during the days following Spring Fling when classes do not meet, and when I hope students will take the time to engage in a conversation about the campus climate and our policies governing sexual misconduct. These will be informal opportunities to engage with Deans Mary Miller and Marichal Gentry, Provost Peter Salovey, and Vice President Linda Lorimer, along with your master or dean. I have asked the Provost, Vice President, and Deans to report back to me on the suggestions for improvement that they receive and to share what they have learned with the external Committee as well.
I have also asked the Deans of the Graduate and Professional Schools to ensure that similar conversations occur in each school.
The deepest values of our institution compel us to take very seriously the issues raised by the complaint brought to the Office of Civil Rights. We welcome this opportunity to learn from our community and from best practices elsewhere to protect all who study and work here.
Those deepest values being sanctimony, cant, and conformity to fashion.
Glenn Reynolds (another Yale alumnus) observed with justifiable disgust:
[Y]ou used to be able to punish the sort of behavior complained of here on the ground that it violated general principles of decency and acceptable public behavior. But after a half-century or so of attacking even the notion of general principles of decency and acceptable public behavior — especially where sex is concerned! — that doesn’t work.
Universities have long told the larger culture that it must simply put up with whatever is said, however offensive, in the interest of free expression. Now we see more evidence that that was always a lie, a self-serving cover story that was really meant simply to protect speech that the larger culture didn’t want to hear, with no intention to protect speech that people at universities don’t want to hear. Universities, meanwhile, have become some of the most hostile environments for free speech anywhere in America.