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My opinion on random subjects.

Women in the military.

Ever seen GI Jane? While this movie is a worthless bit of self serving tripe, it raised a good point about women in the military. Do I think women should be in the armed forces? Yes, but with reservations. Female Sailors, Marines, Airmen and Soldiers in their present incarnation are dangerous and destructive to the integrity and morale of our military. Not because of their being in the military, but because of the divisiveness that they engender. Men aren’t stupid. At least, not as stupid as TV commercials would have you believe (more on this later). Men can see that the rules have been changed for women and it makes them bitter. What was the maxim of women’s/civil rights movement? Equal pay for equal work. A level playing field and simply the opportunity to prove themselves. Yet the current feminist movement is more "Animal Farm" than anything else. The military has quotas for promotion of women into higher ranks and the officer corps and relaxed fitness standards for women so that women would be able to promote alongside men. While many see this as simply making the system more fair to women and compensating for women’s biologically weaker bodies, it isn’t. Bullets don’t care what shape you are in. A sniper in Fallujah doesn’t care that women have %30 less upper body strength than men. From personal experience, the Marine Corps was full of men of all body types. Tall, short, skinny, fat, muscular, average, smart, stupid..etc. Yet every fat Marine out there knew that in order for him to be able to wear the EGA (eagle, globe and anchor for all the POG's out there), he had to work a little harder and try a little more to keep in uniform. This isn’t divisive, its motivational. Its not the boy scouts, its the friggin Marine Corps! Everyone who has been through boot camp knows that a team is only as strong as its weakest member. If the rules are relaxed for one person, the entire unit suffers. This is common sense, yet why should the rules be relaxed for women? "Well, women cant go into combat". This is bullshit. This tells women in the military that they will never be a REAL Marine or Soldier because they aren’t really expected to go into combat. That is the ultimate purpose of every member of our armed forces. To "Defend our country from all enemies..". Just because you are a medic or a truck driver or a mechanic doesn’t mean you wont be called on to fight. Look at who is dying in Iraq right now. Its the truck drivers and mechanics, not the grunts. Remember that girl that was ambushed and captured back at the beginning of Iraqi Freedom? The one that sat in a hospital with 2 broken legs and a concussion until she was rescued by special forces? Do you remember what she said about the ambush? I cant quote but ill paraphrase.... "I was so scared, all I could do was lay down and cover my head". "My weapon didn’t work so I just threw it down.." I didn’t know how to get my weapon to work cause it was full of sand.." WTF! I sympathize with her and I’m glad she was rescued, but that girl is not a hero. She was the unfortunate product of a system that told her that she didn’t have to try as hard as other soldiers to be their equal and found out that not only do foxholes lack atheists, they also lack feminists. Does this mean that women shouldn’t be in combat or fly fighter jets? Not at all. But telling female members of the armed forces that our enemies will "grade" us on a bell curve is ludicrous! There is no reason why a woman cannot be in special forces, the cockpit of a jet or in frontline combat. But they need to be trained to the same physical standards as men. There are good reasons why male members of the military have to conform to strict physical readiness standards. For women to accept these differences in readiness is a disservice to our military and its female members. And for those that would say that women are not capable of this level of physicality I would ask. What is the difference between a 5.2 woman and a 5.2 man? Not a whole lot. A smaller man in the military accepts that he has to try a little harder to do 20 pull-ups or train a bit harder to run 1.5 miles in the same time as a 6.0 tall man.

In addition, this double standard causes bitterness from men in the military. Scores on physical readiness testing are a large part of a service members ability to advance in rank. By making a double standard, women promote faster than men with less effort. Do you really think that men don’t see this? We did, and we hated it. But to admit it out loud makes you a chauvinist or misogynistic.

Another personal opinion is that women’s uniforms, grooming standards, haircuts etc. should be the exact same as the men’s. The militaries creed that there is no individual and that we are all cogs in the same machine is not well served when the average Marine in his high and tight sees a female Marine with long hair, makeup, fake fingernails, earrings and 40 lbs over weight promote faster and easier. We all knew that there were congressional quotas on the required number of females to be promoted to a given rank and we despised these women for it.

On the flip side of this coin, there are a few women in the military that I would have gladly followed into combat. And there were a few that I just wanted to beat with an axe handle.

The Pussification Of American Men

Where to begin? We as "American Men" have been attacked for years by the media. In print and on TV we are portrayed as being buffoons and fools. The Spanish word "pendejo" (spelling?) quickly comes to mind. For those not versed in Spanish slang, this word loosely translates into "the one everyone blames". When did men here in America change from being strong men like Ward Cleaver into the guy on the Dodge Hemi-Wagon commercials? Have you seen this commercial? Start with a tough looking guy, standing next to a rugged looking motorcycle on the side of the road in an inhospitable, desert looking environment. He is wearing faded riding leathers and looks just like what a man should be. Tough and self reliant. As you watch him, a bright red Dodge wagon pulls up and a self-righteous looking woman inside rolls the window down and gives the man "a look". She then proceeds to fold a few seats in the back of the van down, and watches as the man loads the bike into the back of the wagon. The commercial ends with the woman telling a small child in the back seat, "Daddy just had to buy a bike". Fade to black while we look at the sheepish, whipped look on the mans face. This commercial chaps my ass in so many ways. As I sit here with my cup of coffee (black), smoking my cigarette and listening to Pearl Jam, I am at a loss as to how to voice what I’m thinking. Let me just outline a few quick points.

1. A married couple should be a unified front to their children and the world. Any disagreements or conflict between Mommy and Daddy are the sole property of Mommy and Daddy and should never be voiced to anyone else, much less a small child. Part of being in a relationship is solidarity. One of my exes, for all of her faults, told me something that has stuck with me for years. Nancy (refer to "Hall Of Exes") told me once that "I’m down for whatever, i'll always have your back..". This is how it should be. Your partner is the one person who unquestionably supports you, right or wrong. Think Bonnie and Clyde. And another thing, for any women reading this, stop taking every intimate detail of your relationships to your girlfriends. Having close friends to confide in is a wonderful thing, but respect your man enough not to betray his trust in you to every lonely, bitter hag you run with.

2. Men are different, biologically, than women. No great shocker there, we all know this. I may not be the "date doctor" or a psychiatrist, but one thing I’ve learned about relationships is this. When you love someone, you love all of them. You accept their quirks, and allow them to be who they are. Men are designed to be hunter-gatherers, and are linear thinkers. We see a problem and our brains are geared to finding a solution. Think, "fastest way between 2 points is a straight line". Women are nurturers and problem solve in abstract ways. (this is straight out of multiple psych text-books, I’m not pulling this out of my ass) So many women that I know blithely run through life expecting men to behave in ways completely contradictory to our nature. I’m not saying that men don’t do the same thing, but as a group, we are far more pragmatic about the peculiarities of women. We don’t understand them, we know we never will, and we move on. Women, on the other hand, tend to want to "modify" men. This is a generalization, I know, but it has held true in %99 of the relationships I’ve been in and I’ve been in quite a few. Listen to me women. As men.. We are who we are and this will never change. You knew this when you met us, what makes you think there would be a point later in life that our personalities would change?

3. This last point is for men. BE A MAN! You are a man, act like it! I’m not saying that we should run around scratching and spitting, but for god's sake.. You are the product of millennia of evolution. You are the refinement of eons of selective breeding. Your nature is the crowning achievement of thousands of years of genetic trial and error. Stop being a little bitch! Stand Tall, Be Proud and never apologize for who or what you are! The greatest gift we can give women is to Be A Man! Pay the bills on time, kill the bugs that get into the house, open doors, give her your coat when its cold, accept her peculiarities but never forget that you are the man. I’m not advocating that we run around like a bunch of jackasses, crowing our masculine superiority to the skies. A strong man can admit that there are many things that a woman is better at, and is not afraid to defer to her when needed. I’m advocating that when we try to change ourselves, we cheat our women out of the wonderful things that masculinity can bring to a relationship. Strength, self sufficiency, reliability.... And the list goes on and on.

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