Skip to comments.Female Marine Pullup Failure Doesnít Mean Women Arenít Strong
Posted on 01/04/2014 2:41:29 PM PST by nickcarraway
More than half of female Marines in boot camp can't do three pullups, the minimum standard that was supposed to take effect with the new year, prompting the Marine Corps to delay the requirement, part of the process of equalizing physical standards to integrate women into combat jobs.
The delay rekindled sharp debate in the military on the question of whether women have the physical strength for some military jobs, as service branches move toward opening thousands of combat roles to them in 2016. Beginning this week, all female Marines were supposed to be able to do at least three pullups on their annual physical fitness test and eight for a perfect score. Men have the same minimum requirement but need 20 for a perfect score. The previous minimum standard for women was a timed flexed-arm hang. The new requirement was tested on female recruits at Parris Island last year but only 45 percent of women could do even three.
Now, some might say that this proves women arent strong. Hogwash. Women are very strong. To give just one important example, more than 100 million women give birth each and every year. It is an impressive feat of strength. Women also nurse their babies, which is fraught with problems ranging from mastitis to thrush. Women display physical strength in many ways, from athletic prowess to working jobs requiring them to be on their feet all day.
And it doesnt prove that men are physically superior in every way. To given just one unimportant example, some large percentage of men have such a hard time dealing with the common cold that fantastic comedy sketches are written about it. (For Gods sake, woman, hes a man, hes got a man cold!)
But to state the obvious, by which I mean Im about to say something extremely controversial, the average female is not as strong in the upper-body region as the average man. (Again: Please dont demand I be written out of polite society for noting this truth that was universally acknowledged until roughly 15 minutes ago.) Even at my Crossfit gym, which is full of freakishly strong humans of both sexes, the men routinely outperform the women. And one of the things I love about my gym is that everyone is simply encouraged to do their work to the best of their ability.
So the problem with the fact that most female Marine recruits arent meeting even the minimum requirement for upper-body strength isnt that women arent strong. In fact, the problem is not even that men and women have different physical strengths.
The problem is that we are all supposed to pretend that men and women are identical. It doesnt help men, women, children or the institutions they inhabit to pretend natural differences dont exist. And here, its actually dangerous. We may have forgotten in our rush to drone warfare what actual combat entails. Its grueling and requires tremendous physical and mental strength and discipline.
Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos wants training officials to continue to gather data and ensure that female Marines are provided with the best opportunity to succeed, according to a statement from the Marines. The Associated Press then goes on to characterize the truth that pullups require the muscular strength necessary to perform common military tasks such as scaling a wall, climbing up a rope or lifting and carrying heavy munitions simply as a belief held by the Marine Corps. I wonder where they got that crazy idea. I mean, I cant scale a wall or climb a rope but Ive noticed that everyone at my gym who can do these things can also do a pullup. Or 20 pullups. One can read these statements and the backtracking on pullup requirements as a precursor to watering down the skills required to be effective in a Marine combat situation. The story states that if the military decides to keep some positions closed to women, they must explain why.
Success for women should not mean being viewed, contrary to reality, as interchangeable with men in all things. Men and women are both strong but strong in very different ways, both of which contribute mightily to human flourishing.
No no no no no no no....
And going swimming doesn’t mean you are going to get wet.
I don’t think anyone ever said women are not “strong.” I am sure most, if not all, men could not stand the pain of childbirth (although many women are foregoing that these days — who knows what the long-term implications of THAT are).
BUT women are not strong WHERE IT COUNTS when on the battlefield.
Leaving her buddy to die (or dying with him/her) because of PC is a pretty awful ending.
America demands Justice for the Fallen of Benghazi!
Ya, they beat up men all the time on TV....
And cold weather means the planet is warming up.
It’s gravity’s fault.
This author confuses tough with strength.
If at 200 lb person is upstairs overcome with smoke in a house fire, we should all hope a woman fireperson arrives on scene to carry them out...
Pull! Pull, Pyle, Pull! One Pull Up, Pyle!
When it comes specifically to doing pull-ups, yes. Yes it does.
But it does prove they can't do a pull up.
This is really pretty stupid.
Boy, did I read that wrong. This piece doesn't make any statement. She, like most pundits today, equivocates her topic to the point the piece is pointless.
Gee, she’s comparing apples and oranges. Childbirth has nothing to do with battlefield survival.
So the new standard of strength is giving birth and nursing someone?
A person (male or female) who cannot pull his or her own weight up is W-E-A-K!
I almost puked when I read the part about women being strong because many are on their feet all day. Marines have to be on their feet all day where all day may literally be all 24 hours of a day and part of the next standing while marching and fighting. Strength tests for Marines must be based on strength required in combat.
Frankly, women should stick to giving birth and nursing babies.
I think woman should be allowed to compete in male professional boxing matches...
Why aren’t women allowed in the NFL??
They’d do so well...
Semper Fi, Brother. Been wanting to say that for a while.
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