Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Military women

Echnide has a great post up about Specialist Monica Brown, who is only the second(!) woman since World War II to receive a Silver Star for valor. Brown was recently interviewed on CBS's 60 Minutes:

Echnide draws her readers' attention primarily to a part of the interview where one of the saved men makes clear how he feels about women in combat, despite the fact that he probably owes his life to Brown:
But both of those men, Smith and Spray, declined to give 60 Minutes an interview. When we asked why, Smith said flat out women have no business being on the front line. The men who did talk to us did not feel that way, and said Brown performed as well as any man on the battlefield.
Seriously? This is kind of thing where there's really not much more to say than "Fuck you." She saved your life. Do you really wish she hadn't been there?

Thankfully, most of Brown's fellow soldiers are more open-minded (at least those interviewed by 60 Minutes), although a few obviously had no qualms implying that Brown may have only gotten her medal because she's a woman:
But these men all questioned whether Brown acted any more heroically than the men that day, and they suggested she may have been awarded her Silver Star because she is a woman.

"People ask, you know, like, 'Was she a superhero? Did she do anything, you know, super woman, super heroic?' No, she did her job," Best says. "And she did a very, very good job doing it. Now, that fact that she was 18 and, you know, a female and all, you know, that adds something to it."
This excuse (the reverse sexism or reverse racism excuse) is used for everything nowadays and it is so tiresome. They get us coming and going. Women aren't [insert adjective here] enough to [insert traditionally male activity here], but if a woman does something extraordinary and gets recognition for it, she clearly only got that recognition because she's a woman. I mean, no one accuses men of falsely gleaned privilege(s) only bestowed because of their gender.

But isn't that a lot closer to the truth?

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