As published at The Stream, June 7, 2016.
We can all be proud and happy that a member of our military became Miss USA 2016. But that doesn’t mean we have to agree with her. Deshauna Barber is a first lieutenant in the Army Reserves and is getting a flurry of attention for her comment during the Miss USA pageant about women in combat roles. Her statements demonstrated little forethought on the issue, but, hey, why let the reality of direct ground combat against the likes of ISIS ruin a good “I am woman, hear me roar” moment? And hey, getting on the women-in-combat feminist bandwagon may have clinched her the Miss USA crown.
When asked about her thoughts on women in combat roles, the IT analyst from North Washington D.C. said, “As a commander of my unit, I am powerful. I am dedicated and it is important that we recognize that gender does not limit us in the United States Army.” And “I think it was an amazing job by our government to allow women to integrate to every branch of the military … We are just as tough as men.”
I confess that I don’t know what being an IT analyst in the weekend-warrior Army Reserves is like. I do know about IT in the Marines, and both being a Marine and supporting communications for deployed Marines is much harder, but it still ain’t direct ground combat. I’ve no doubt that Lt. Barber is powerful and dedicated, and a valuable — not to mention beautiful — addition to our Armed Forces. But she hasn’t trained and competed with male infantry. Her job in the Army reserves does not include orders to serve with men in the combat arms, and she knows nothing about it.
We have ample empirical data on the question of women in combat roles from recent testing, not to mention hundreds of years of experience learning what helps and what hinders victory in battle.
Barber will never bear the consequences of what she so mindlessly advocates. She’d be the one they shoot first as an easy target. And so beautiful, in her bikini and dangly earrings, or her be-makeuped soft-focus selfie in uniform. Not distracting at all. ISIS is not just laughing at us. They’re licking their chops at our self-imposed weakness. But we have our Charlie’s Angel delivering the Obama party line. She’s won the beauty pageant; just wait ‘til she starts her acting career.
Firebrand Gunnery Sergeant (Ret) Jessie Jane Duff, who served two decades in the Marines and advocates strongly that we should not diminish our combat readiness, had some choice tweets for the young LT:
In a recent interview Duff added this:
This was an ideal opportunity for her to stand up and stand for the enlisted women who will die in mass quantity in combat … She’s missing the entire data … Yes, we’re as mentally tough as men, but all data demonstrates that the women are performing at the bottom 25th percentile with men in infantry units. We’re setting them up for failure. Her speech, what she said was perfect if she had just closed with, “We should not lift a blanket policy without evaluating this closer because this isn’t about equality … this is about combat readiness and the mission is first.” That would have gotten just as much applause and people would have celebrated her for defending the women that have to go out there and perform with these men … Hand to hand combat? There is no equality in it. The men will decimate women in hand-to-hand combat.
This week we commemorate the 72nd anniversary of D-Day. Our reflections on young men storming the beaches of Normandy should remind us of the importance of defining precisely what is involved in “direct ground combat.” It’s great that Barber feels powerful, but the truth is that physically she’s a twig, and ISIS, or Iran or North Korea would make mince-meat out of her in five seconds.
She may be as tough as other keyboard commando Army Reservists, but she has no credibility on killing our enemies at point-blank range. She is no authority in comparison to three years and over 50 documents’ worth of scientific testing data submitted by the Marine Corps to the Pentagon, which showed that integrated units underperform on 69% of tasks and women get injured more than twice as much as men. Dedication has little relevance against these realities, which would severely degrade the lethality and survivability of our most elite fighting units.
In our upside-down “now,” where the Left is trying to hammer at us that one’s biological sex is meaningless, Nature simply will not comply, especially in the most violent activity known to mankind. As we’re fighting the most barbaric enemy we’ve ever faced, we need the manliest, most powerful, aggressive, testosterone-laden American alpha males that our taxpayer dollars can buy in order to destroy our enemies and come home quickly and in one piece. Miss USA is a beautiful stick who’d have no chance killing ISIS fighters in hand-to-hand combat.
Deshauna Barber makes a great poster, and now we all know what she looks like underneath her uniform. It’s Combat Barbie Miss USA. But direct ground combat is not a beauty pageant stage. Barber is the media’s latest darling for being a satisfactorily diverse and pretty package delivering the government-approved party line. Meanwhile technology has not alleviated the need for brute strength and speed that women simply don’t provide, and they bring with them serious additional risks that men simply don’t.
Meanwhile, too, the Senate is voting on whether to subject America’s young daughters to mandatory registration for the draft as combat replacements. The girl next door will not have stunt doubles to fill in for the bloody parts, and for her it won’t be about “a few women who want to.”