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United States Armed Forces finally recognizes combat duty of women

HenroidHenroid Radio DemonInternet HellRegistered User regular
The Pentagon ended a ban that prohibited women from serving in combat in the military. Actually, that's not entirely accurate. Women have been serving in combat ever since the ban was officially put into effect back in 1994. Despite participation in combat, because of the ban, women would not have their service in combat recognized because it officially never happened. Such as the case below, noted in the article the New York Times has about this news.
As recently as two months ago, four servicewomen filed a federal lawsuit against the Pentagon challenging its combat restriction, saying they had all served in combat in Iraq or Afghanistan but had not been officially recognized for it. One of the women, Maj. Mary Jennings Hegar, an Air National Guard helicopter pilot, was shot down, returned fire and was wounded while on the ground in Afghanistan, but said she could not seek combat leadership positions because the Defense Department did not officially acknowledge her experience as combat.

Combat duty is also linked to advancement in the military as well, so the allowance and recognition for women in combat now opens the doors for them to attain higher ranks in any given branch. So the military as a career path for women has been given way to equalize.

My reaction to this news is the same as when DADT was thrown out. There are people way the fuck braver than I willing to lay it on the line. There's your qualifier for military service. And the fact that we're allowing these people to serve as who they are, and recognize everything they do now, is a big step. And that said, as always, I give my thanks to anyone who has served in the military or continues to at this time (we have many forumers who have and do so).

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Posts

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    This is good to hear.

    I did read that branches will have time to apply for "special exceptions," I guess we'll see what that ends up meaning.

    I'm also a but curious about this whole "failure to recognize combat" thing. Never heard of it before. I've seen females with CABs (and I think CMBs), and obviously with campaign ribbons.

    I guess there are special positions that have some kind of other distinct recognition of combat? That's dumb. And if so, I'm glad that piece of the glass cieling in the military is being broken as well.

    I'll likely have more to say on this later, when I have time.

  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    It's bound to be for various command positions. I've seen plenty of women with combat action ribbons.

    Now they just need their own fast attack subs and I'll be significantly happier.

  • ChanusChanus Sugoi! ^_____^Registered User regular
    mcdermott wrote: »
    This is good to hear.

    I did read that branches will have time to apply for "special exceptions," I guess we'll see what that ends up meaning.

    I'm also a but curious about this whole "failure to recognize combat" thing. Never heard of it before. I've seen females with CABs (and I think CMBs), and obviously with campaign ribbons.

    I guess there are special positions that have some kind of other distinct recognition of combat? That's dumb. And if so, I'm glad that piece of the glass cieling in the military is being broken as well.

    I'll likely have more to say on this later, when I have time.

    From what I understand as a non-military person, it's that women tend to be passed over for promotions to upper echelon ranks because their service wasn't technically combat-related.

    And I may be oversimplifying.

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  • GnomeTankGnomeTank Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    Women have been in combat support for a decade: aka in the combat zone. We also have several female fighter pilots and attack chopper pilots.

    They haven't been in direct combat action, aka infantry units, but they still earn combat ribbons in combat support.

    And for that matter, the fact that they aren't in DCA is also sort of shaky. For instance, commanders in Afghanistan tend to take a female NCO or officer with them when going on combat patrol, so they can deal with women and bridge that cultural gap.

    It's good to see the armed forces finally recognize that women are already in combat, you might as well just lift the barrier and let them be in infantry units and be combat leaders.

    I am most interested to see how this plays out in the special operations commands.

    e: I am also curious to see how long it takes for some knucklehead GI to come out with some "open letter" about how his female commander got people killed, and if she had been a man it wouldn't have happened. That WILL happen at some point.

    GnomeTank on
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  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    GnomeTank wrote: »
    Women have been in combat support for a decade: aka in the combat zone. We also have several female fighter pilots and attack chopper pilots.

    They haven't been in direct combat action, aka infantry units, but they still earn combat ribbons in combat support.

    And for that matter, the fact that they aren't in DCA is also sort of shaky. For instance, commanders in Afghanistan tend to take a female NCO or officer with them when going on combat patrol, so they can deal with women and bridge that cultural gap.

    It's good to see the armed forces finally recognize that women are already in combat, you might as well just lift the barrier and let them be in infantry units and be combat leaders.

    I am most interested to see how this plays out in the special operations commands.

    Yeah, me too.

    As for support soldiers, I found it amusing that "officially" we didn't have females (in the Army) at the battalion level or below in combat units. But we reorganized our brigades (at least the heavy brigades) so that forward support companies were attached to the combat arms battalions. So a female couldn't serve in the HHC of a heavy battalion, but could serve in the FSC in a role that was previously part of the HHC before reorganization. Because she wasn't technically in an infantry battalion, she was in the FSC's support battalion. So dumb.

    e: I am also curious to see how long it takes for some knucklehead GI to come out with some "open letter" about how his female commander got people killed, and if she had been a man it wouldn't have happened. That WILL happen at some point.

    Of course it will. But really, I'm not sure how broad the audience for that shit even is anymore. Probably broader than we'd hope, but less than we'd fear?

    mcdermott on
  • YallYall Registered User regular
    Do we all agree hat women in combat roles should be held to the same physical standards? Cause aside from that, it's about the only problem I have with it.

    I also would want awards/commendations/citations/medals to be given without regard to gender. That being said don't forget that a female infantry person would be eligible for EIB/CIB whereas a female artillery operator would not.

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  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    Yall wrote: »
    Do we all agree hat women in combat roles should be held to the same physical standards? Cause aside from that, it's about the only problem I have with it.

    I also would want awards/commendations/citations/medals to be given without regard to gender. That being said don't forget that a female infantry person would be eligible for EIB/CIB whereas a female artillery operator would not.

    Well yeah, that's no different than male. It's always cool when (male) cavalry scouts spend a year attached to an infantry unit, performing the exact same duties in the exact same conditions, and are ineligible for CIBs. This was, of course, the reason the CAB was created (though it veered pretty hard from that original purpose).

    And yeah, I can definitely see holding females in combat arms MOSs to gender-blind physical standards. Or at least to some higher standard than the status quo.

  • YallYall Registered User regular
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Yall wrote: »
    Do we all agree hat women in combat roles should be held to the same physical standards? Cause aside from that, it's about the only problem I have with it.

    I also would want awards/commendations/citations/medals to be given without regard to gender. That being said don't forget that a female infantry person would be eligible for EIB/CIB whereas a female artillery operator would not.

    Well yeah, that's no different than male. It's always cool when (male) cavalry scouts spend a year attached to an infantry unit, performing the exact same duties in the exact same conditions, and are ineligible for CIBs. This was, of course, the reason the CAB was created (though it veered pretty hard from that original purpose).

    And yeah, I can definitely see holding females in combat arms MOSs to gender-blind physical standards. Or at least to some higher standard than the status quo.

    As a 19D, that pissed me off to no end. In fact we had to often act as cadre during the EID course. "Hey dipshit, you know you have to charge that thing before you enage the safety, right? Enjoy your shiny badge."

    My band: https://youtu.be/rw2ersccCsQ[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • CarpyCarpy Registered User regular
    The Corps has already started putting women through some infantry courses. They had 2 go to infantry officers course in the fall. The class had 107 candidates, one of the women and 26 of the men failed the first combat endurance test. The second was unable to complete 2 required events due to medical reasons.

    none of the articles I saw mentioned the two candidates pft or CFT scores heading into the course. They also said there hasn't been any more volunteers yet.

  • MuddBuddMuddBudd Registered User regular
    Re: the topic

    Good.

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  • KalTorakKalTorak Way up inside your butthole, Morty. WAAAAY up inside there.Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    A couple of my professors and my wife worked on one of the lawsuits that pressured the Pentagon to make this change.


    Pretty happy.

    KalTorak on
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  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    That's good to see. At this point I can't really think of any other major 'controversies' with regards to the military other than contracting/budgetary ones that are unlikely to be impacted by anyone for the foreseeable future. Also killing the wrong people, but that's not something you can fix with a policy change.

    So what do we think, ~25 years to seeing a female Chief of Staff?

  • CabezoneCabezone Registered User regular
    As long as they have to meet the same standards as the men, and don't lower them, it's a good thing.

    A Dabble Of Thelonius
  • MortiousMortious The Nightmare Begins Move to New ZealandRegistered User regular
    Cabezone wrote: »
    As long as they have to meet the same standards as the men, and don't lower them, it's a good thing.

    Standards should also be relevant to the role.

    Move to New Zealand
    It’s not a very important country most of the time
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  • KalTorakKalTorak Way up inside your butthole, Morty. WAAAAY up inside there.Registered User regular
    I mean, since women were already serving in combat roles but were barred from getting any official recognition for it because of these antiquated rules, I'm not too worried about women meeting the physical requirements of combat.

    Chanus
  • AeneasAeneas Registered User regular
    I'll be the bad villain in this thread and voice some objections.

    First, what guarantee do we have that the physical standards will not be lowered? I'm guessing not a lot of women will volunteer for these jobs (not a lot of men do either), and out of the ones that volunteer, even fewer will pass. As mentioned earlier, only two women volunteered for the Marine Infantry Officer course and both washed out. If years and years go by without a single successful female candidate, will people start clamoring that the standards are sexist and need to be revised?

    Second, unit cohesion. This is already a big problem in the military right now. I don't blame women for this. I blame youth, hormones, and general stupidity. Still, the fact remains that this is a problem that has not been successfully dealt with, no matter how many Power Point presentations are thrown at it.

    I personally know many people who were kicked out due to fraternization. In my unit alone, three women were pulled out of a deployment because they got pregnant. This is highly disruptive, especially if they performed valuable jobs with no back-fills. Not to mention all the stupid relationship drama that happens when young people start hooking up in strange places.

    I remember my CO once gave a speech about how we're all a family, and if you start hooking up with someone, that'd be like hooking up with a member of your family. I thought it was a pretty good speech. Still didn't work.

    Hear about the cow that tried to jump over a barbed-wire fence? It was udder disaster.
  • ChanusChanus Sugoi! ^_____^Registered User regular
    Look up.

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  • So It GoesSo It Goes We keep moving...Registered User regular
    moniker wrote: »
    That's good to see. At this point I can't really think of any other major 'controversies' with regards to the military other than contracting/budgetary ones that are unlikely to be impacted by anyone for the foreseeable future. Also killing the wrong people, but that's not something you can fix with a policy change.

    So what do we think, ~25 years to seeing a female Chief of Staff?

    Cmon let's hope for sooner than that!

  • ChanusChanus Sugoi! ^_____^Registered User regular
    Also, "unit cohesion" has been the excuse against blacks, gays, and now women serving in these roles.

    So, I'll believe that one when it happens.

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  • So It GoesSo It Goes We keep moving...Registered User regular
    Aeneas wrote: »
    I'll be the bad villain in this thread and voice some objections.

    First, what guarantee do we have that the physical standards will not be lowered? I'm guessing not a lot of women will volunteer for these jobs (not a lot of men do either), and out of the ones that volunteer, even fewer will pass. As mentioned earlier, only two women volunteered for the Marine Infantry Officer course and both washed out. If years and years go by without a single successful female candidate, will people start clamoring that the standards are sexist and need to be revised?

    Second, unit cohesion. This is already a big problem in the military right now. I don't blame women for this. I blame youth, hormones, and general stupidity. Still, the fact remains that this is a problem that has not been successfully dealt with, no matter how many Power Point presentations are thrown at it.

    I personally know many people who were kicked out due to fraternization. In my unit alone, three women were pulled out of a deployment because they got pregnant. This is highly disruptive, especially if they performed valuable jobs with no back-fills. Not to mention all the stupid relationship drama that happens when young people start hooking up in strange places.

    I remember my CO once gave a speech about how we're all a family, and if you start hooking up with someone, that'd be like hooking up with a member of your family. I thought it was a pretty good speech. Still didn't work.

    Racial integration faced similar detractors. But it's too hard! But problems and tensions and people will never be able to follow rules!

    One of the women that testified in front of congress talked about how not being considered equal undermined the ability of women in the military to be free of sexual harassment and sexual assault. Recognition empowers women and will prevent some of the behavior you're talking about.

    Plus they're already in combat. Now they just get recognition.

    ChanusArdolBastableGennenalyse RuebenHacksawQuidPLAEvigilantzagdrobHakkekageCambiataHonk
  • AeneasAeneas Registered User regular
    Chanus wrote: »
    Also, "unit cohesion" has been the excuse against blacks, gays, and now women serving in these roles.

    So, I'll believe that one when it happens.

    When someone makes a racist or homophobic remark, he or she gets written up. I personally took people aside and told them to cut that shit out.

    When a woman gets pregnant, she gets sent home, which is way more disruptive to the unit.

    Hear about the cow that tried to jump over a barbed-wire fence? It was udder disaster.
  • poshnialloposhniallo Registered User regular
    Cabezone wrote: »
    As long as they have to meet the same standards as the men, and don't lower them, it's a good thing.

    That's a tricky one. How do we decide what the requirements of the job are? By seeing how much men can run, carry etc, and then setting the standards at the upper limit of those. Maybe the standards could stand to be changed, particularly in the modern age when warfare is so much more technical and less about marching.

    I know in the UK we have gradually reduced, and I believe now eliminated, the height requirement for a police officer over the years. Some senior officers decried this, as they felt it was essential. But the police force survived just fine with shorter people doing the work.

    I figure I could take a bear.
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  • So It GoesSo It Goes We keep moving...Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    Aeneas wrote: »
    Chanus wrote: »
    Also, "unit cohesion" has been the excuse against blacks, gays, and now women serving in these roles.

    So, I'll believe that one when it happens.

    When someone makes a racist or homophobic remark, he or she gets written up. I personally took people aside and told them to cut that shit out.

    When a woman gets pregnant, she gets sent home, which is way more disruptive to the unit.

    And so does the soldier that got her pregnant, right?

    oh wait.

    and what does that have to do with combat vs. regular serving? why let babyfactories in the military at all then?

    So It Goes on
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  • KalTorakKalTorak Way up inside your butthole, Morty. WAAAAY up inside there.Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    So It Goes wrote: »
    Aeneas wrote: »
    Chanus wrote: »
    Also, "unit cohesion" has been the excuse against blacks, gays, and now women serving in these roles.

    So, I'll believe that one when it happens.

    When someone makes a racist or homophobic remark, he or she gets written up. I personally took people aside and told them to cut that shit out.

    When a woman gets pregnant, she gets sent home, which is way more disruptive to the unit.

    And so does the soldier that got her pregnant, right?

    oh wait.

    boys will be boys durr hurr

    KalTorak on
  • So It GoesSo It Goes We keep moving...Registered User regular
    And to the people saying "AS LONG AS THEY HAVE TO DO AS MANY PUSHUPS"

    it's hard for me to not think you are assuming women won't be able to cut it and thus won't be allowed in combat anyway.

    Gennenalyse RuebenPLA
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    Aeneas wrote: »
    Chanus wrote: »
    Also, "unit cohesion" has been the excuse against blacks, gays, and now women serving in these roles.

    So, I'll believe that one when it happens.

    When someone makes a racist or homophobic remark, he or she gets written up. I personally took people aside and told them to cut that shit out.

    When a woman gets pregnant, she gets sent home, which is way more disruptive to the unit.

    When someone gets shot they generally are shipped out as well. I don't see how a somewhat more foreseen medical absence is all that different.

  • AeneasAeneas Registered User regular
    So It Goes wrote: »
    Aeneas wrote: »
    Chanus wrote: »
    Also, "unit cohesion" has been the excuse against blacks, gays, and now women serving in these roles.

    So, I'll believe that one when it happens.

    When someone makes a racist or homophobic remark, he or she gets written up. I personally took people aside and told them to cut that shit out.

    When a woman gets pregnant, she gets sent home, which is way more disruptive to the unit.

    And so does the soldier that got her pregnant, right?

    oh wait.

    and what does that have to do with combat vs. regular serving? why let babyfactories in the military at all then?

    Depends on the case and commander, but usually no unless the guy was married. Keep in mind that for some people, they don't see it as a privilege to fulfill the rest of their deployment.

    And I already mentioned that this is a big issue right now, regardless if a woman is in a combat arms position or not. It's a big issue that we have yet to figure out.

    Hear about the cow that tried to jump over a barbed-wire fence? It was udder disaster.
  • ChanusChanus Sugoi! ^_____^Registered User regular
    I think what you need to figure out is it's something that happens and it's, as stated, not fundamentally different from any other medical leave.

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  • YallYall Registered User regular
    moniker wrote: »
    Aeneas wrote: »
    Chanus wrote: »
    Also, "unit cohesion" has been the excuse against blacks, gays, and now women serving in these roles.

    So, I'll believe that one when it happens.

    When someone makes a racist or homophobic remark, he or she gets written up. I personally took people aside and told them to cut that shit out.

    When a woman gets pregnant, she gets sent home, which is way more disruptive to the unit.

    When someone gets shot they generally are shipped out as well. I don't see how a somewhat more foreseen medical absence is all that different.

    When you get shot, you don't get in trouble. When you and some other dipshit are playing with a gun after being warned about not playing with the gun and one of you gets shot you both get into trouble, but only one gets to go home. :p

    As long as both parties are held accountable (assuming the male is in the military as well) it should be no problem.

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  • CabezoneCabezone Registered User regular
    So It Goes wrote: »
    And to the people saying "AS LONG AS THEY HAVE TO DO AS MANY PUSHUPS"

    it's hard for me to not think you are assuming women won't be able to cut it and thus won't be allowed in combat anyway.

    Most won't and that's the point, only allow in the few that can. I served in a military police unit and only a handfull of the women in it could even pass the men's test. Some of the roles women are currently in..ie military police..should have a single standard, but do not.

  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    Yall wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    Aeneas wrote: »
    Chanus wrote: »
    Also, "unit cohesion" has been the excuse against blacks, gays, and now women serving in these roles.

    So, I'll believe that one when it happens.

    When someone makes a racist or homophobic remark, he or she gets written up. I personally took people aside and told them to cut that shit out.

    When a woman gets pregnant, she gets sent home, which is way more disruptive to the unit.

    When someone gets shot they generally are shipped out as well. I don't see how a somewhat more foreseen medical absence is all that different.

    When you get shot, you don't get in trouble. When you and some other dipshit are playing with a gun after being warned about not playing with the gun and one of you gets shot you both get into trouble, but only one gets to go home. :p

    As long as both parties are held accountable (assuming the male is in the military as well) it should be no problem.

    I didn't realize that the military was full of a bunch of softies when it comes to disciplinary action.

  • poshnialloposhniallo Registered User regular
    Cabezone wrote: »
    So It Goes wrote: »
    And to the people saying "AS LONG AS THEY HAVE TO DO AS MANY PUSHUPS"

    it's hard for me to not think you are assuming women won't be able to cut it and thus won't be allowed in combat anyway.

    Most won't and that's the point, only allow in the few that can. I served in a military police unit and only a handfull of the women in it could even pass the men's test. Some of the roles women are currently in..ie military police..should have a single standard, but do not.

    I'd agree there should be a single standard, but I'm not sure that it should be the same as now.

    I figure I could take a bear.
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  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    Cabezone wrote: »
    So It Goes wrote: »
    And to the people saying "AS LONG AS THEY HAVE TO DO AS MANY PUSHUPS"

    it's hard for me to not think you are assuming women won't be able to cut it and thus won't be allowed in combat anyway.

    Most won't and that's the point, only allow in the few that can. I served in a military police unit and only a handfull of the women in it could even pass the men's test. Some of the roles women are currently in..ie military police..should have a single standard, but do not.

    Some will definitely pass, to be sure.

    But at the same time, you can find the numbers of medians and standard deviations on PT score...the bulk of women can't pass the men's test, and few can exceed the minimum (which is generally an expectation in infantry units).

    Still, more power to them.


    Also, pregnancy and the increased nonavailability to it is a serious issue for the Army. It's one of those issues that the military largely doesn't even want to touch. It's also unavoidable, given the age demographics. But, for instance, current Army policy allows a woman an honorable discharge, period, on demand if she becomes pregnant. I can't think of any other circumstances, offhand, where a soldier (male or female) can similarly get an honorable discharge without any negative repercussions. And it already causes problems across the force, even with women restricted from the bulk of units.

    Still, not like there's no solution to that problem.

  • CabezoneCabezone Registered User regular
    What do you think it should be? If you think it should be lower than it already is, for combat MOS's, you are wrong. The current minimum is already easy enough.

  • YallYall Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    poshniallo wrote: »
    Cabezone wrote: »
    So It Goes wrote: »
    And to the people saying "AS LONG AS THEY HAVE TO DO AS MANY PUSHUPS"

    it's hard for me to not think you are assuming women won't be able to cut it and thus won't be allowed in combat anyway.

    Most won't and that's the point, only allow in the few that can. I served in a military police unit and only a handfull of the women in it could even pass the men's test. Some of the roles women are currently in..ie military police..should have a single standard, but do not.

    I'd agree there should be a single standard, but I'm not sure that it should be the same as now.

    The minimum (at least in the Army, Navy, and Airforce) isn't unreasonably high. For the marines, I think it's somewhat challenging, at least in comparison.

    But that's just for standard roles. More specialized roles may have more stringent physical requirements, and generally with good reason. If a woman can do it, more power to her.

    Edit; Huh, hadn't even considered the implications on registering for selective service.


    http://news.yahoo.com/women-combat-register-draft-225900518.html

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  • KrieghundKrieghund Registered User regular
    So It Goes wrote: »
    And to the people saying "AS LONG AS THEY HAVE TO DO AS MANY PUSHUPS"

    it's hard for me to not think you are assuming women won't be able to cut it and thus won't be allowed in combat anyway.

    I think it's more is this person going to be able to pick me up and drag me away from where I got shot/blown up by themselves. If the standard ruck weighs 75 pounds, is she going to only be able to lug 60? That is what people mean by the same physical standards. Being in an infantry unit is different than just being in a combat zone being shot at just cuz you're there.

  • spacekungfumanspacekungfuman Poor and minority-filled Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    I think this is unequivocally good news, but agree that standards should not be lowered for women unless we honk that standards should be lowered for all soldiers.

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  • KalTorakKalTorak Way up inside your butthole, Morty. WAAAAY up inside there.Registered User regular
    I don't get where all this fear of lowered standards is coming from.

    Before this change, the women who could meet the same standards as men were professionally fucked over for no reason other than their vaginas. Now they're not. I'm sure those women want their fellow combatants to be just as qualified as they had to be.

    So It GoesBastableShadowhopeGennenalyse RuebenPLAzagdrobHakkekageMelokuCambiataHonk
  • ChanusChanus Sugoi! ^_____^Registered User regular
    KalTorak wrote: »
    I don't get where all this fear of lowered standards is coming from.

    Before this change, the women who could meet the same standards as men were professionally fucked over for no reason other than their vaginas. Now they're not. I'm sure those women want their fellow combatants to be just as qualified as they had to be.

    Grasping at straws to justify "just feeling this is wrong".

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  • So It GoesSo It Goes We keep moving...Registered User regular
    Chanus wrote: »
    KalTorak wrote: »
    I don't get where all this fear of lowered standards is coming from.

    Before this change, the women who could meet the same standards as men were professionally fucked over for no reason other than their vaginas. Now they're not. I'm sure those women want their fellow combatants to be just as qualified as they had to be.

    Grasping at straws to justify "just feeling this is wrong".

    Yes. This is exactly my point.

    Hakkekage
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