24 April 2015


by Andy Weddington
Friday, 24 April 2015

"Distrust of authority should be the first civic duty." Norman Douglas

On occasion I receive comment from a reader whose words, I believe, need the public eye and ear. Such a note came the other day in reply to my recent commentaries about women in ground combat. 

What follows is from a parent, grandparent, and one who - though not a Marine nor having served in the military - knows a little something about Marines.  

Published, with permission, with a couple of minor edits - italics [with explanation] - to protect identity (as requested)...

"I have watched the clip of General Barrow's testimony each time you have included the link in one of your posts.  Each time I have watched it, I am impressed by his eloquence and dismayed by those who refused then and refuse now to heed his cautions.  He spoke truth based on actual facts, not a truth based on an agenda that needs no facts to support it.

My conclusions on male and female bonding are based on empirical data, observed over my many years of living.  I have not one learned treatise to back me up as I have never once wanted to read any psychology books.  So, beginning with watching children play, boys play differently from girls.  Boys like to play in a group, the bigger the better, and they run around like a pack of beagle puppies.  Girls like to play in small groups, with a group of two being the apparently preferred size.  Add one or more to the group and squabbling is almost instant, with the group quickly becoming a group or groups of two or even each of the group deciding to go it alone.  Up to a certain age, the boys will let a girl or a few girls join their pack to play and appear to give deference to that girl or those girls in their play as long as the girl(s) want(s) to play what they are playing.  Adolescence changes everything because everyone goes a bit crazy for a while.  After adolescence, the patterns of early childhood appear to kick back into the dynamics.

Those early dynamics reflect (at least to me) the differences in human gender group dynamics and indicate that boys tend to be at ease with and gravitate to what is unit cohesiveness, that male bonding identified eloquently by General Barrow.  Girls do not naturally form a unit that is cohesive and bonded.  I remain amazed and grateful that my office staff has been and stayed together since I first took office but I think that is because I picked them carefully and laid down the pecking order from the moment they started working for me.  Also, it is a small unit of three: me, my secretary and one other [my two words to replace three]. Early on someone asked me what it was like to have an all female office and I said that I saw no difference, other than I did not have to close my door to pull up my pantyhose.  The other parts of the arena [my word and edit to replace a phrase] are all men, picked purposefully by me so as to not add another female to the mix.

I just do not see unit cohesiveness as a real possibility with women in combat, unless it would be an all-female combat unit, and then the women would be forced to bond and to pick their natural leader in order to survive.  

I suspect your wife could speak with more precision and credibility on this issue and if she has a different opinion than mine, I would defer to it.  However, right now, based on what I know and what I have seen, I am sticking to my position."

In closing...

My undergraduate degree was in behavioral psychology. Laboratories are one thing. Reality another. And there is no replacement for observations of reality - the ultimate laboratory. The reader has lived that of which she speaks. And with that there is credibility, there is truth. 

Post Script

The Solomonic words of General Robert H. Barrow, USMC

Better engage, my fellow Americans. Otherwise, soon your daughters and grand daughters will be equally subject to military draft and involuntarily assignment to ground combat units to include the infantry. Think not? Think again. That is the ongoing agenda. And those driving it have no intention of theirs being so subjected. It's your daughters and grand daughters they are after. 

No comments: