Sally C. Pipes - Contributor
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C. Pipes is President and CEO, Pacific
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Scandal Sparks Feminist Confession
The logical result of PC policy...
[Sally C. Pipes] 6/9/04
The Abu Ghraib
prison scandal, for all its horrors, has become the latest
of the confused state of feminism. Consider “Prison
Abuse: Feminism’s Assumptions Upended,” by Barbara
Ehrenreich, a high-profile feminist author, in a recent edition
of the Los Angeles Times.
strategy, Ehrenreich wrote, “rested on the assumption,
implicit or stated outright, that women were morally superior
to men. We had a lot of debates over whether it was biology or
conditioning that gave women the moral edge -- or simply the
experience of being a woman in a sexist culture. But the assumption
of superiority, or at least a lesser inclination toward cruelty
and violence, was more or less beyond debate.”
That assumption made strategy easy. Given the moral superiority
of women, one simply puts as many women as possible into positions
of power and, by some strange invisible female hand, we will
have a better society than the version offered by morally inferior,
inherently violent men. That also applies to the military.
“Secretly,” confessed Ehrenreich. “I
hoped that the presence of women would, over time, change the
making it more respectful of other people and cultures, more
capable of genuine peacekeeping.”
In other words, in the feminist vision, the mere presence of
women would change the very role of the military from a fighting
force to a kind of glorified Peace Corps. As for the vaunted
sensitivity to other cultures, check out this confession.
“Although I opposed the 1991 Persian Gulf War,” says
Ehrenreich. “I was proud of our servicewomen and delighted
that their presence irked their Saudi hosts.”
Now there is cultural sensitivity for you. Doubtless Ehrenreich
was also delighted that female prison guards irked Iraqis. Having
females guard male prisoners would be an insane policy in California
or New York. In an Islamic nation such as Iraq, it is absolute
madness. Such lunacy is the legacy of the feminization of the
American military. Here Ehrenreich can enlighten us further.
“Like most feminists,” she supported full opportunity
for women in the military because “I knew women could fight” and “because
the military is one of the few options around for low-income
young people.” Both are false or misleading.
There are plenty of options other than the military for low-income
people but Ehrenreich, a socialist, prefers government solutions.
Women can fight, but not nearly as well as men, which is why
men do the heavy lifting on the front lines.
women get pregnant, which means they are not deployable. Any
who tries to find out how many soldiers have become
pregnant will run into the true policy of “don’t
ask don’t tell.” Barbara Ehrenreich isn’t going
to tell us, though she does note the obvious, that women don’t
necessarily make the best prison guards.
What feminists like Ehrenreich and former congresswoman Pat
Schroeder really found attractive about the military was that
it is not a democracy but a command structure. Their politically
correct policy and notions about gender roles could thus be imposed
from the top down and enforced. Criticize the double standards
or express doubts about co-ed basic training and you are out.
Those double standards continue.
Soldiers Megan Ambuhl, Lynndie England, and Sabrina Harman were
not the first to be prosecuted for abuses. A man was, Jeremy
Sivits. A woman, Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski, was in charge of
the Abu Ghraib prison during the time of the abuses. But Karpinski,
the first woman general to command soldiers in a combat situation,
was not dragged before the Senate Armed Services Committee like
her male counterparts.
Meanwhile, it is good that Barbara Ehrenreich and fellow militant
feminists have their illusions shattered. It would be much better
to have a policy based on hard reality. CRO
2004 Pacific Research Institute