Never ones to shirk from ironic disrespect, the left-wing thinkers over at Vox chose Memorial Day, that single day each year in which the country pays homage to its fallen service members, to declare that the U.S. Marine Corps has a “toxic masculinity problem.”
In an attempt to discredit the Marines over the Corps’ recent social media scandal, in which nude photos of service members were posted online, Vox complained that only four women currently serve in the Marine infantry, a section of the Corps that’s only been open to women since the Obama administration first decreed it so back in 2015.
According to Vox, women who do try to join up are being bullied online (in this case, by having their naked photos posted online), all because the Marines “historically macho club” is too busy throwing themselves a big testosterone-fueled pity party over having to give girls the password to their tree house.
That may be what is at the core of the women-in-infantry debate among Marine ranks: the identity crisis of a historically macho club now being forced to let in women.
Now that the Marine Corps must allow women to serve in combat roles — and is putting out recruiting commercials highlighting that fact — it tears at the social fabric of the service. That has led many to act out, some anonymously, online.
The first thing that should be noted here is Vox’s outright lie: of the more than 150,000 nude photos posted online by Marines (and, later, members of other military branches), more than half were of men. The vast majority were “selfies” and photos that were voluntarily shared with others, according to Fortune.
Strike one for Vox.
However, the unashamedly liberal rag did accidentally include one tidbit of truth in their otherwise skewed and insultingly erroneous hit-piece:
Marines already have been asked to fight overseas during the Trump administration, and if men and women in the service distrust one another, it’s going to make their high-stakes deployments even harder.
“If men and women in the service distrust one another.” I’d say that’s about right.
For the Marine Corps to work as it should, servicemen – and now women – must head unflinchingly into battle shoulder-to-shoulder, every single one willing and able to meet the daunting physical and mental challenges of such a moment. It’s no small feat, and requires extensive training to be able to pull off successfully – training that has taken the Corps years to hone and perfect.
And so far, thanks to basic biology, most women just can’t hack it.
The AP reported last June that while the Marine Corps infantry had been open to women for nearly a full year, more than 85 percent of all female recruits had failed to pass the basic entry-level physical test for combat jobs.
By comparison, less than three percent of all male recruits had washed out during that same time frame. Here’s what the AP said:
In the last five months, six out of seven female recruits — and 40 out of about 1,500 male recruits — failed to pass the new regimen of pullups, ammunition-can lifts, a 3-mile run and combat maneuvers required to move on in training for combat jobs, according to the data.
The high failure rate for women, however, raises questions about how well integration can work, including in Marine infantry units where troops routinely slog for miles carrying packs weighed down with artillery shells and ammunition, and at any moment must be able to scale walls, dig in and fight in close combat.
On top of that, no woman to date has managed to complete the Marines’ Infantry Officer Course, which includes a conditioning hike that requires the aspirant to carry large amounts of weight for long periods of time. Only about 30 women have tried.
As for the Marines, well, they can’t win for losing. On the one hand, the Corps has sought to assuage critics’ fears over the dangers of lowering the physical standards for women by imposing gender-neutral standards for certain combat jobs. After all, you can’t have women heading into battle alongside the guys if they can’t even carry their own gear.
On the other hand, the Marines have also been slammed for imposing a general annual physical fitness standard specifically for women – a standard they might actually be able to meet. For that, champions for women’s rights say the lower standards imply women can’t meet the same challenges as a man.
Which clearly, they generally can’t.
If Vox wants to bash the Marines for not rolling out the camo-printed welcome mat for the ladies, they’re going to have to look a lot deeper than combat requirements and the latest Facebook nudie scandal to find proof of any gender-based discrimination. Until then, I suggest they strap on about 80 pounds of gear and head off on a ten-mile stroll.
Preferably off a cliff.