Dog Brothers Public Forum
Return To Homepage
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
April 23, 2014, 08:29:14 AM

Login with username, password and session length
Search:     Advanced search
Welcome to the Dog Brothers Public Forum.
79224 Posts in 2227 Topics by 1037 Members
Latest Member: DCoutinho
* Home Help Search Login Register
+  Dog Brothers Public Forum
|-+  DBMA Martial Arts Forum
| |-+  Martial Arts Topics
| | |-+  Women and the breakdown of discipline
« previous next »
Pages: [1] Print
Author Topic: Women and the breakdown of discipline  (Read 4092 times)
Anonymous
Guest
« on: May 13, 2004, 03:44:44 AM »

Unsettling close-ups


By Linda Chavez


They make you want to turn away, those awful pictures of naked men piled into human pyramids while smirking American soldiers give the thumbs-up sign or grin inanely into the camera. Then you look closer, not at the humiliating jumble of naked flesh but at the American soldiers, and you realize that some of them are women. What is already a shocking tale becomes even more obscene and unsettling.

    Clearly there has been a terrible breakdown in order and discipline at Abu Ghraib prison and elsewhere in Iraq, and perhaps Afghanistan and Guantanamo, Cuba. The officer in charge of the facility at the time the apparent abuses took place was Reserve Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski, who has now gone on national television to defend herself. Speaking on ABC's "Good Morning America," Gen. Karpinski says that she "did not know anything about it. And had I known anything about it I certainly would have reacted very quickly."
 

    But that's the point. She didn't know what was going on, and she should have.

    It is hard to know what led to this breakdown in discipline. But one factor that may have contributed ? but which I doubt investigators will want to even consider ? is whether the presence of women in the unit actually encouraged more misbehavior, especially of the sexual nature that the pictures reveal.

    Before you dismiss the suggestion as some sort of raving misogynistic fantasy, let me explain why this possibility should at least be explored.

    Although the military brass has been loath to admit it, the increased presence of women in the military serving in integrated units has made military discipline more challenging. While some advocates of women in the military have argued that women's presence would improve behavior, in fact, there is much evidence to suggest it has had the opposite effect. For years now, the military has ignored substantial evidence that the new sex-integrated military interferes with unit cohesion and results in less discipline.

    Putting young men and women at their sexual prime in close proximity to each other 24 hours a day increases sexual tension. Allegations of sexual harassment, even rape, have become commonplace. In February, the Pentagon reported that it had received 112 complaints of sexual assault or rape in the previous 18 months from women in military units in the Central Command unit of operations, which includes Afghanistan, Iraq and Kuwait.

    In addition, the pregnancy rate among female soldiers serving in Iraq, most of whom are unmarried, is rumored to be unusually high. The Pentagon has resisted releasing precise figures, even when pressed to do so. Last year, one female Marine actually gave birth on a warship deployed off Kuwait. But while we don't know what the overall pregnancy rate is among female soldiers serving in Iraq today, in Operation Desert Storm it reached 15 percent and was the single largest cause of evacuation from Bosnia during U.S. deployments there.

    Military service has become heavily sexualized, with opportunities for male and female soldiers, sailors and Marines to engage in sexual fraternization, which, though frowned upon ? and in certain circumstances, forbidden ? is almost impossible to prevent.

    So what does this have to do with those pictures of mistreated prisoners? Take a look at the faces of those soldiers again, especially the female soldiers. They look less like sadists than delinquents. They look like they're showing off at some wild party trying to impress everybody with how "cool" they are. What they are doing is despicable, but they seem totally oblivious.

    The men and women who engaged in this behavior abused and humiliated their captives, dishonored their country and deserve severe punishment. But if we want to prevent this type of conduct from ever occurring again, we not only need to punish those responsible but also look at all the possible factors that might give occasion to such abuses ? including the breakdown in discipline and unit cohesion that have gone hand in hand with gender integration in the military.
     
    Linda Chavez is a nationally syndicated columnist.
Logged
Tiny
Guest
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2004, 11:29:41 AM »

> Linda Chavez is a nationally syndicated columnist.

...and a Judas to her gender.


This is ridiculous.  On the surface, yes, it appears to make sense.  However, many of us in the martial arts experienced situations in which the presence of women in class has done much to discourage so-called nontrivial pissing contests, and has helped quell the brimming-over of testosterone.  The statistics speak of pregnancy rates within the  military, however it is equally plausible that male soldiers who may have previously been engaging in sexual conduct with civilian females have now, with the same amount of energy, simply redirected their attentions to the more accessible women within their ranks.  The number of pregnant women or promiscuous conduct may not have increased, but simply changed location.  Furthermore, to look at the situation solely with regard to gender proclaims a pre-existing bias:  certainly these are not the first war crimes committed -- the Nazis did not have similar coed ranks (though there were separate women's roles) and they had plenty to answer for, as did Napoleon's men (whose troops mutilated and often crucified enemy soldiers for "fun") and well, just about any battalion, etc. dispatched to various chaotic and not-well-supervised locations throughout the whole of history.  As for modern examples, most certainly, Iraqi women were not allowed in Abu Ghraib, and it has become clear that serious crimes against humanity were committed there prior -- the crimes carried out by Slobodon Milosevic (now rotting somewhere in the Hague) and his "army" did not appear to have any female influence.  I think the greater problem in all of this is youth, impressionability and the ease with which weak minds can be influenced -- along with whatever emotional baggage people happen to be carrying and happen to have in common.

However, I will admit that physical cruelty in women is always shocking as, even I believe, that women tend to be more nurturing, empathic (though no less lethal--women tend more towards psycho-emotional than physical ruination, in my humblest of opinions).

We always want to find a concrete reason for such atrocity:  the why of it all.  While it's encouraging that the human mind finds such suffering unimaginable and so searches for a direct cause and effect, it's unfortunate that some are pointing fingers at the mere presence of their sisters as an end-all explanation.  Ah, the old Adam approach...she gave me the apple.  Come on, aren't we all a little bit smarter than that? wink
Logged
Tiny
Guest
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2004, 12:25:04 PM »

Sorry, I can't help but post this as an addendum to my reply.  Much quoted as of late is Phil Zimbardo, head of the Stanford Experiment (1971).  For those living in the dark, the Stanford Experiment involved a group of all male college students.  Screened prior to acceptance, to weed out psychological issues and histories of abuse, a group of boys was divided randomly into prisoners and guards for a scheduled two-week, role-playing scenario.  This website chronicles the fascinating study of the human mind operating under extraordinary circumstances:

http://www.prisonexp.org/index.html

   
Quote
I ended the study prematurely for two reasons. First, we had learned through videotapes that the guards were escalating their abuse of prisoners in the middle of the night when they thought no researchers were watching and the experiment was "off." Their boredom had driven them to ever more pornographic and degrading abuse of the prisoners...


The abuse became such that the experiment was ended after only six days.
Logged
Anonymous
Guest
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2004, 05:40:41 PM »

Woof Tiny:

"Traitor to her gender?"  All she asked for was that the idea be considered-- a very moderate and reasonable tone, yet your response is this?  C'mon!  Must one's sex determine their position?  Cannot men say when women are right and vice versa?  Ditto blacks and whites?  etc etc etc?

OTOH I'll go further than humbly ask for consideration.

It is not easy, but it is simple.   The issue is not what a given woman wants.  It is what is best for the military.  

Fornication within the ranks, and even more so between the ranks, is destructive of discipline and efficiency. This standard applies to both women and gays and under battlefield conditions this outweighs the benefits that women and gays bring to military service.

Rules against fornication under such conditions are a form of peeing into the wind. Fornication can no more be outlawed than the law of gravity and the law of supply and demand.

At this point the military has been intimidated by the political power of the femi-nazi religion of the Democratic Party.

Speak truth to power.
Logged
Anonymous
Guest
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2004, 05:16:24 PM »

And in a tangential vein, this tidbit:

"BASRA, Iraq — A senior aide of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr (search) told worshippers during a Friday sermon in southern Iraq that anyone capturing a female British soldier can keep her as a slave."
Logged
crimresearch
Newbie
*
Posts: 20


« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2004, 07:23:29 AM »

When the US Navy first went coed aboard ship, the official line was that there had been no cases of unauthorized sexual conduct during the first cruise, and yet no explanation was provided for the pregnant female sailors that popped up.

People have sex. People ignore regulations. People screw up. Even military people.  Even our military people.

Yeah, it would be far better if things like this didn't happen, but to expect them not to happen is perhaps as naive as those Navy officials...certainly as naive as expecting those in charge of large organizations to not only know about, but have absolute control over all the actions of every member of their group.

The military (and law enforcement, and the church, and the schools, and the martial arts...) is made up of people...full of good intentions, and capable of failing to live up those good intentions at every turn.

So the realistic thing to focus on, is whether any meaningful changes get made which address the factors that allowed this particular problem to get out of hand.
Logged

"Take away paradox from the thinker, and you have a professor"

Soren Kierkegaard
Tiny
Guest
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2004, 01:18:03 PM »

"Guest,"

Despite the fact that I agree wholeheartedly with crimresearch, my main disagreement with this article is not the notion that sexual (mis)conduct within ranks is problematic -- sometimes same-sex groups of learning/working have great benefit -- my beef is with the notion that recent war crimes (and yeah, that's what they are...) have anything to do with the presence of women.
Logged
Anonymous
Guest
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2004, 11:50:10 AM »

Fair enough Tiny-- but it also seems fair to me that someone say "Lets take a look at this variable."  Men act differently in all male and mixed groups (ditto women) why not ask what that is about?  Without being called a "traitor to gender"?  rolleyes

Tommy Paine
Logged
Tiny
Guest
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2004, 10:09:52 AM »

It's unfair to both men and women to state that this cruelty arises because men are men, or women, well, you get the idea...

In short, I think history has proven that men and women in situations of absolute power become corrupt -- war crimes have existed since the age of humans, without gender being a factor, so why should it be the determining element here, when the results are the same as within same-sex groups?  I think this is not a gender issue, but a human issue.

Why is it that women blame men for the existence of all social ills simply because they are men, and vice versa?  ...this seems to lack all Common Sense to me, Paine.

Then again, I always did like what my uncle (two tours in Viet Nam) had to say on the matter:

Quote
War crimes?!?  Don't talk to me about war crimes...war is a crime...
Logged
crimresearch
Newbie
*
Posts: 20


« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2004, 12:32:00 PM »

"Let's take a look at these variables"

Tiny has already used one of the standard tests for variables.
If you remove it, does the situation change significantly?

And in the case of women in warfare, without women in combat were there war crimes, cowardice, etc? When women went into combat, did these things change drastically?

Seems like the answers should allow us to observe that war is what it is, and those involved in warfare are more likely be influenced by war, than to change war itself.

Paul
Logged

"Take away paradox from the thinker, and you have a professor"

Soren Kierkegaard
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 29653


« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2004, 04:51:28 PM »

I like that technique of changing the variable.  Lets see how it applies.

Factoids:

1) Is Bosnia, with no US casualties at all, 5% of all women stationed there got pregnant.   I read an article which inferred, in a way which seemed reasonable to me, that many/post of these pregnancies were terminated upon return to the US.

2) In the Gulf War, the USS Arcadia lost 22% of its crew due to pregnancy.

3) The data does not spring to mind, but apparently there has been an unprecedented number of accusations of rape (who knows how the hell they have defined it though) and sexually related "crimes".

=======================================

(AP) NEWPORT NEWS, VA (March 29)

The US Navy, amidst lavish celebration, launched the newest addition to the Fleet today: the USS William J. Clinton. The Clinton, according to a Navy spokesperson, will add a new twist to the Navy's capabilities and will solve a number of problems that have arisen in the years since women were added to the complements of Navy vessels. USS Clinton, designated AGH(M)-1, is a brand-new, state-of-the-art Maternity Hospital Ship. Navy Spokesman Ben A. Mittlesteadt, briefing reporters before the christening ceremony (the ceremony for the "ship," not its occupants) stated that the new vessel is designed to alleviate the serious challenges associated with the ever-increasing incidence of shipboard pregnancies.

"We are concerned that the necessity of evacuating female sailors from fleet units has become a difficult operation, given the number of evacuees that we have to deal with on a weekly basis. USS Clinton will be equipped with its own helicopter airlift wing in order to relieve the maternity transportation burden on existing combat units."

The Clinton is to be the first of a twelve-ship class, each 80,000 ton ship costing $230 million. A Clinton-class ship will be added to each of the Navy's carrier battle groups to ensure full combat-readiness in the face of the increasing number of expectant naval personnel.

Each AGH(M) will be provided with a fully equipped OB/GYN staff, a complete birthing facility (staffed by Navy medical personnel trained as midwife/Lamaz specialists), and a neonatal clinic. A comprehensive day-care center will be included in order to allow new sailor-mothers to return to duty as quickly as possible, which will greatly increase the efficiency of Navy operations, Mittlesteadt told reporters.

In a departure from Navy tradition, the ship's sponsor, NOW president Patricia Ireland, christened the vessel by breaking two bottles across the ship's bow: one containing infant formula, symbolizing the services to be provided to a new generation of Navy juniors, the other filled with kiwi/orange/cucumber nectar, representing the Navy's commitment to fulfilling the needs of its pregnant crewpersons. The second ship of the class, the USS Murphy Brown (AGH(M)-2), is scheduled to be launched next year.
Logged
Howling Dog
Power User
***
Posts: 392


« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2004, 06:25:41 AM »

Whimper....guro crafty....please tell me that thing about the ships is a joke! shocked  Sad
      sb
Imagine new born babys in a combat zone..... thats just sad
Logged

Howling Dog
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 29653


« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2004, 07:14:56 AM »

Woof SB et al:

Yes it is a joke, but scary that you were not sure, yes?

Anyway, at

http://dogbrothers.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=156

several points related to this thread were discussed.

Woof,
Crafty
Logged
Tiny
Guest
« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2004, 10:58:04 AM »

Yes, but the variables discussed were in argument for a different point.  There are two issues within this article (though they are slyly presented as one):

a)  That sexual misconduct and pregnancy has increased due to mixed-gendered units/ranks/what-have-you

b)  That the presence of women was a factor in causing acts of cruelty against Iraqi POWs


I do not disagree that mixing genders, at so young an age is not problematic (dig the double-negative, eh?).  Housing both sexes together IS a problem (though, realistically, ANY group of women, whether from the local civilian population or within ranks housed near troops will experience such increases...we learned that from Vietnam and WWII)...pregnancy and sexual misconduct within the armed forces will increase with mixed-gendered groups.  I agree that in such situations, gender segregation is best.

However, it's that second point that I have a problem with, especially when history proves it wrong on so many occasions.  Men may act differently in the presence of women, but when has the presence of women driven anyone to torture another human being for extended time?   Normal, healthy groups of men (and women) have been driven beyond the limits of what their consciences deem acceptable in such circumstances -- without the influence of the opposite gender.  This business of men and women blaming the other gender for every failing of humanity has got way out of hand...
Logged
crimresearch
Newbie
*
Posts: 20


« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2004, 11:50:43 AM »

"... That sexual misconduct and pregnancy has increased due to mixed-gendered units/ranks/what-have-you "

And I'm not so sure that we can point to increased pregnancies as indicating there was less sexual misconduct before women were allowed to serve onboard ships.

While it is true that prior to that time, no one got pregnant from being shown the golden rivet, it doesn't mean nothing untoward was happening.
 embarassed

Paul
Logged

"Take away paradox from the thinker, and you have a professor"

Soren Kierkegaard
Crafty_Dog
Administrator
Power User
*****
Posts: 29653


« Reply #15 on: May 25, 2004, 08:10:41 PM »

Woof All:

Tiny (I knew a 300 pound bouncer by that name many years ago-- where are you from?  cheesy ) wrote:

"Yes, but the variables discussed were in argument for a different point. There are two issues within this article (though they are slyly presented as one):

"a) That sexual misconduct and pregnancy has increased due to mixed-gendered units/ranks/what-have-you

"b) That the presence of women was a factor in causing acts of cruelty against Iraqi POWs" :

I would suggest that the issue is like the heading says: "Women and the breakdown of discipline".  Apart from pregnancy (whether as a prelude to abortion after being removed from danger or to completion) similar questions arise with gays.

The issue has many facets, but all ultimately relate to military efficiency.

For example, it seems pretty obvious to most people that if a ship of war in harm's way loses 22% of its crew due to pregnancy that military efficiency and discipline suffer dramatically.

For example, if an officer screws the husband of an enlisted man that too hurts morale and discipline.  This was the fact in the case of the woman nuke bomber pilot who was punished for adultery only to have the femi-nazis in Congress in an uproar and the military frantically backpeddle.

For example, it is bad for morale and discipline if, as was the recent Air Force Academy case discussed at length on this forum, a woman cadet breaks rules and goes to the room of an upper classman and gets drunk to the point of passing out and gets laid and then destroys the cadets career for "rape".

For example, it should be pretty clear that when troops are in harm's way that there should be no taint of favoritism due to sexual favors or morale will suffer.  Do you want the sergeant deciding who goes through the mine field first getting blow jobs from some members of the squad? In that many/most young people will f*ck, it makes sense, as the US Military held for centuries prior to the impositions of President Clinton and his femi-nazi crew, that the best solution was to have hetero-sexual men.  Readily granted that there has been much stupid hate of gays, and readily granted that the capabilities of some women have been overlooked and/or demeaned, but the military is not a democracy.  It is there to defend this democratic republic and broad generalizations have their place.

For example, it should be pretty clear that standards should not be changed for reasons of affirmative action.

As for the possibility raised by the article that started this thread that the presence of women may have altered behavior, I fully agree it is not proof--nor did the article present itself as such!  But I also think it unassailable that men and women both act differently in mixed and unmixed company.   The PC fascism of our times (e.g. calling people "traitors to their gender" wink ) makes difficult what should instead be a lively conversation in search of truth.  

Do you think women and men act the same or differently in each others presence?  If so, how?

Forward, in search of truth!
Crafty Dog
Logged
Tiny
Guest
« Reply #16 on: May 26, 2004, 11:27:35 AM »

Hmm...

While I didn't disagree that sexual (mis)conduct of any kind makes military discipline more complicated than it should be, and brings too many issues to the war time table,  I can't be persuaded to believe that this particular article (which began by noting the abuse of Iraqi prisoners in conjunction with women) wasn't attempting to link women in combat with recent war crimes.   As such, calling the author a Judas isn't much of a stretch for me, if she is truly blaming the existence of women for human cruelty.  In an escalating manner, it seems to me, especially as of late, that a great deal of mistrust and hatred is fostered between men and women; that the genders are caught in an unending blame game -- probably mainly to do with social conditioning.  Frankly, I'm tired of it, and I see it manifested everywhere.

As for men and women acting differently in front of each other, I think that they unquestionably do -- how many bar fights have we all seen due to an unchecked display of misdirected testosterone...?  And, in fairness, how many of those desperate women have we seen make "the rounds" to each man's lap (whether he's married or not) at a party?  Let's face it, men and women do some pretty ridiculous things when they feel they are being watched by the opposite sex (we'll take heterosexuality as the prime example, for now).  Interestingly enough,  in situations of mixed-gender, many women become increasingly psychologically and emotionally cruel to each other, as though they're expected to despise one another in order to gain favor with men.  While at the same time, some groups of men seem to experience a tighter bond in the presence of women, even if their behavior becomes machismo.  Interesting, eh?  Women turn on each other, and men turn to each other.  Of course, there are always those scenes where two men experience conflict over the same woman, and the situation becomes physically violent...however, I think this evolves into a conflict of masculinity and the woman becomes a secondary issue (just a guess).  

However, bizarre and cruel acts toward other humans (aside from anti-female aggression that is sexual/psychological in nature) usually take place in same-sex groups; same-sex groups are safer for acting out questionable behavior.  I've heard more mysterious hints at events involving human cruelty that begin with, "Me and the guys went out for a few drinks," or "I was out with the guys cruising around when we spotted..." etc.  I think that's part of the reason we're so shocked by incidents at Abu Ghraib -- I would not at all be surprised at torture instigated by a group of men against men, nor women, against women...but in this case, there were mixed ranks and they conspired together; masculine and feminine did not serve to balance each other.

Uh,  I seem to be on a ramble...so I'll stop now.   Smiley
Logged
Pages: [1] Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!