You've Come a Long Way, Baby — or Have You?
Given the Leftist drive to annihilate the differences (and there are many) between the sexes, this was inevitable. But what's amusing about it is the latest blow for "equality" came not from the harpies and the Furies but from a group of men who just might be doing a signal service for the women of America:
Even though America hasn’t had a military draft since 1973, men — but not women — are required to register with the Selective Service. A federal judge Friday said that must change — calling the system unconstitutional but not requiring women 18-25 to register.
U.S. District Judge Gray H. Miller in Houston agreed with the San Diego-based National Coalition for Men and granted its request for summary judgment in a class action suit. “The male-only registration requirement of the Military Selective Service Act, 50 U.S.C. § 3802(a), violates the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution,” says Miller’s “final judgment.”
“Women are now allowed in combat, so this decision is long overdue,” said Marc Angelucci, attorney for NCFM. “After decades of sex discrimination against men in the Selective Service, the courts have finally found it unconstitutional to force only men to register.”
What's interesting about this decision is that it was decided on "discrimination" grounds. For decades, even a century, American women have pushed to be allowed within formerly male-only precincts: at the ballot box, in the Yankees' locker room, in sex-restricted clubs and even in the Boy Scouts. They haven't made it into the NFL, the NBA or Major League Baseball just yet, but no doubt one of these teams is just itching to do something "historic" and break the gender line.
They've been allowed into the Navy, into combat roles in the Army and, alas, even the Marine Corps. Naturally, physical standards have had to be effectively lowered, and female officers promoted beyond their physical and emotional capacities. Many female sailors return home pregnant, but who cares? The only thing worth caring about these days is "equality" -- a slogan one might have thought died on the guillotine along with Robespierre during the French Revolution, but here we are.
In a long and harrowingly detailed takeout on the wreck of the USS Fitzgerald, which was T-boned by a giant cargo ship off the coast of Japan in 2017, ProPublica reports:
Sarah Coppock, lieutenant junior grade, was the officer of the deck, responsible for the safety and navigation of the ship while [Captain] Benson slept.
Sixteen minutes after the collision, at 1:46 a.m., Benson staggered onto the bridge. Adrenaline, fear and anger shot through him. The ship was listing, wheeling in the dark uncontrolled. The electricity was out. The screens were off. Only emergency lanterns and moonlight illuminated the bridge. Benson found the officer who had been in charge of the ship sobbing. “Captain, I fucked up,” she told him.
It turns out that the ship was largely under the control of a group of young female officers at the time of the collision, which took place in the middle of the night in one of the busiest waterways in the Orient.
At 1:25 a.m., the Fitzgerald was 6,000 yards from the Crystal, 5,000 yards from the Wan Hai 266 and on a collision course with the Maersk Evora, approaching from 14,000 yards away. There was still time for the highly maneuverable Fitzgerald to get out of the way.
But Coppock disobeyed Benson’s standing orders. Rather than call Benson for help, she decided to continue on her own. Coppock didn’t call down to the combat room to ask for help, either. “I decided to try and handle it,” she said. At around 1:30 a.m., time had run out....
To avoid the Crystal, Coppock decided to order a hard turn to the right, the standard action for an evasive maneuver under international navigation rules. She shouted the command to [Ensign Francis] Womack to pass on to the helmsman. But Womack did not immediately understand her order. After Womack hesitated, Coppock decided that she was not going to clear the Crystal by going toward the right. Such a turn would put her on a possible collision with the Wan Hai 266.
“Oh shit, I’m so fucked! I’m so fucked!" she screamed.
Still, this very junior officer could have saved the ship. But she panicked:
Coppock could have ordered the Fitzgerald into reverse; there was still time to stop... Instead, Coppock ordered a move that disregarded the very basics of her training. She commanded the helmsman to gun the destroyer’s powerful engines to full speed and duck in front of the Crystal by heading left. “All ahead flank,” she ordered. “Hard left rudder.”
Helmsman-in-training Simona Nelson had taken the wheel of a destroyer at sea for the first time in her life 25 minutes earlier. Nelson froze, unsure of how to respond. Petty Officer 1st Class Samuel Williams noticed Nelson struggling. He took control of the helm and did as Coppock ordered: He pushed the throttle to full and turned the rudder hard left. The ship’s engines revved to full power.
The move put the Fitzgerald directly into the path of the oncoming Crystal. Coppock did not sound the collision alarm to warn sailors of the impending risk. “I just got so wrapped up in trying to do anything that I had to just drop the ball on everything else that I needed to do,” she said.
Seven male sailors died in the wreck. The captain was relieved of command and faces serious charges. Coppock is still in the Navy.
To the riposte that a man, especially another Lt. j.g., might not have done any better, the only proper response is that a young woman should not have been in charge of a Navy destroyer in the first place. But she was, with fatal results. What's worse, the Navy under Clinton, Bush, and Obama embarked on a conscious policy to promote female officers as quickly as possible in order to satisfy the lust on the Left for weakening the military in the name of "progress" and "equality." Conservatives, unable to effectively stand on the side of history and tradition and articulate a moral defense against the coarsening of women as a matter of national policy, instead just rolled over.
The result has been a victory for "inclusiveness" in warfighting -- odd that no one ever asks why, like "diversity," that should be a factor -- at the expense of standards, unit cohesion, effectiveness, and readiness. The argument is made that differences in physical strength, bellicosity, and stamina are less important than they once were. It is impossible to imagine female centurions in the Roman army, or women in the trenches during World War I. On the battlefield, every woman sees in her enemy a symbolic son; every man sees an actual son of a bitch.
Today's remote-controlled drones and satellites mean that some battles take place in cyberspace, or on a computer screen. The vast majority of them, however, are in the air, on the ground, or on the high seas, at the tip of the spear. And in this, we are no different than the Greek hoplites, the legions, the Army of the Potomac, or Patton's Third Army. We may never again witness the clash of giant hosts on the field of battle, as there have been since Alexander, but there is no way to know that. Should that day come, is an army of women likely to defeat and overwhelm an army of men? When your women are forced into hand-to-hand fighting in the streets, and slaughtered like men, you've lost the war.
And yet, what the National Coalition of Men has done is a very good thing, because it's forced us to take a good long gander at the law of at least semi-intended consequences. Forcing the young women of America to register for the draft is now inevitable; the only thing that had prevented it was their exclusion from combat, in part for physical reasons but in larger part for moral and cultural reasons: women, as the bearers of future generations, needed to be protected and sheltered from the violence of war. It was no accident that a lost battle or war would result in widespread rapine, as a revenge and a humiliation upon an enemy literally not man enough to prevent it. Just ask the Sabines.
What started the push for women in the military and then later (something they assured us would never happen) in combat was the profoundly anti-female "feminist" notion that the Platonic Form of a woman is a man: a gorgeous 120-pound kick-ass lethal weapon that can take out a score of hombres with practically her bare hands, and then look great that evening in a cocktail dress, high heels, and a diamond choker. Nobody really believes in such a creature, of course, but such is the power of the Narrative (what ought to be) over human nature (what really is) that Hollywood has swallowed the fantasy whole; then again, fantasy is Hollywood's stock-in-trade.
The "feminist" war is not with men, but with God. And yet we will go on indulging this fantasy until it becomes impossible to maintain, in which case it will quickly become a luxury we can no longer afford. As long as we have women playing at being soldiers while the U.S. plays at being at war in such places as Afghanistan (17 years and counting), not wishing to lose but not wishing to win, either. Grant, Sherman, or Patton would have disposed of our famously cowardly foes in the Middle East in a few horrifically punitive yet dispositive months with nary a woman at arms among them. This is not to denigrate the fighting abilities of our troops, nor their courage, commitment, or patriotism. No doubt some women have fought valiantly, and yes, the Israeli girls do their part; still, war is not a woman's game, and never has been.
In Virgil's Aeneid, there appears the lovely and brave warrior, Camilla. As I wrote in my most recent book, The Fiery Angel, Camilla takes up arms against the invading Trojans. "What an entrance she makes, and how powerfully the poet draws her, in some of the most beautiful and descriptive verses in any literature. In an epic that features the lives and deaths of countless warriors, Camilla stands out for her beauty, her bravery – and her femininity. Leading a cohort of Amazons, she is, in fact, the original wonder woman."
Ah, but the poet's famous opening incantation goes, Arma virumque cano. "I sing of the arms and the man." Not the woman.
Last, from the Volscians fair Camilla came,
And led her warlike troops, a warrior dame;
Unbred to spinning, in the loom unskill’d,
She chose the nobler Pallas of the field.
Mix’d with the first, the fierce virago fought,
Sustain’d the toils of arms, the danger sought,
Outstripp’d the winds in speed upon the plain,
Flew o’er the fields, nor hurt the bearded grain:
She swept the seas, and, as she skimm’d along,
Her flying feet unbath’d on billows hung.
Men, boys, and women, stupid with surprise,
Where’er she passes, fix their wond’ring eyes:
Longing they look, and, gaping at the sight,
Devour her o’er and o’er with vast delight;
Her purple habit sits with such a grace
On her smooth shoulders, and so suits her face;
Her head with ringlets of her hair is crown’d,
And in a golden caul the curls are bound.
She shakes her myrtle jav’lin; and, behind,
Her Lycian quiver dances in the wind.
Alas, Camilla is soon killed in battle; the Trojans are bound to win the day and found the Eternal City of Rome, and there's nothing a girl can do to stop them. She is also... entirely mythological.
Maybe, baby, you haven't come such a long way after all.