Can We Talk?

During last night’s debate Carly Fiorina, whose chances are roughly equal for the Republican nomination and Prva HNL Player of the Year, suggested that we ought to make her President because she’s a woman.

Let’s leave aside the reaction were a male candidate to try such a thing, and try to get the gist of her message — which can only be that women, qua women, are generally different from men in ways that matter.

Brava! Braviss’!! What a thing to say, in these times! All of us here on the Dissident Right completely agree. So now, if we accept her premise, we can focus on the job she’s applying for, analyze its requirements, and decide whether it’s the sort of job we’d really want a woman for. That is to say, maybe we do! — and maybe we don’t, but at least now that Ms. Fiorina’s cleared the way, we can consider this question openly, and without fear of opprobrium.

And it isn’t just Ms. Fiorina: Hillary Clinton helped to blaze the trail too, just a few weeks ago at the Democratic debate. When asked how she’d be different from President Obama, she gave one of those “Duh” looks and said: “I’m a woman!!!”

So we have it on real authority here — actual Presidential timber even — that our own intuitions on this topic, not to mention the wisdom of the ages and the traditions of every society that has ever existed anywhere on Earth throughout all of human history, were right all along. (Sure, it’s surprising, because how often does that happen these days, but it’s really good to know.)

While we’re on the subject, attentive readers of the news will recall that just the other day the Department of Defense announced a major expansion of the role of women in combat operations. (Actually, you might not have noticed, because for some reason I can’t fathom, the White House chose the day after the San Bernardino jihad to drop this major story.)

We’ve commented on this sort of thing before, but in this giddy new climate of openness about the glorious differences between the sexes, I expect people will now feel freer than ever to point out the many reasons why this is such a stupendously awful idea. Like:

‣   Women can’t perform at anything like the physical level men can under battle conditions;

‣   Women are far more easily injured or disabled by physical attack, and by the hazards and stresses of combat duty;

‣   Given the points above, units will now worry about their new “weakest links” (experienced soldiers know, as one once told me, that women “cause drama”).

‣   Recruiting valiant young men will be far harder once the ground-combat unit is no longer a sacred warrior Mannerbund, but something more like the cast of Grey’s Anatomy, whose purpose seems more to be the self-actualization of women and sexual misfits than victory in battle;

‣   Male soldiers of the traditional type will be torn between protecting their female comrades and unleashing fury upon the enemy;

‣   There will be sexual affairs and rivalries within units, lowering cohesion;

‣   All the usual PC prissiness regarding crass humor, “offensive” remarks, and the myriad other ways males relieve stress amongst themselves will immediately go into effect, lowering morale;

‣   Intra-unit “beefs” will not be soluble by the most ancient and effective of means, namely duking it out;

‣   Promotions will inevitably arouse resentful suspicions of “affirmative action”, further lowering morale and unit cohesion;

‣   Pregnancies, already a big problem in the military, will interfere with unit deployments;

‣   The suspicion (and frequent reality) of sexual infidelities will corrode military marriages.

I could go on and on, of course, but you get the picture. (Or, to capture the tone of the current campaign: “Terrible, terrible idea. A complete mess! I mean just really a total disaster.”)

But how nice to be able to speak frankly about all of this, now that brave Carly and Hillary have paved the way!


  1. This should be fun. Pass the popcorn, please — I think I’ll just lurk for a while.

    Posted December 17, 2015 at 1:41 am | Permalink
  2. ” Assuredly, Secretary Carter believes that “diversity” makes us stronger, which he stated, but here’s the truth – selecting the best qualified people for military positions and maintaining high standards makes our military stronger. So, selectivity, not diversity makes our military stronger and that means assessing the qualifications that best meet the mission. In grueling combat jobs, where even most men fail to meet the physical standards, common sense and endless research can pinpoint with reliable accuracy where the female anatomy falls short on meeting these standards.”

    Malcolm, all of the things you’ve listed have been occurring for decades in the US military. The last bastion within the US military where true military ethos and where actual combat performance come before any PC strictures were combat units, which btw produce the finest officers and soldiers. The crusade to open combat positions to women was driven by feminists and Leftist social engineers, ostensibly to smash the last ceiling in the military. Within the military the push comes almost exclusively from female officers whining about their career advancement, not about improving combat effectiveness. There is not one single military advantage or benefit to adding females to combat units – NONE. Invariably, the standards will either lower in fact, where new reviews determine certain requirements weren’t necessary, or by stealth, where in practice, pressure to get more women into these jobs, will lead to fudging on performance to get them through the training. Either scenario leads to a weakening of the unit.

    Aside from the obvious differences between males and females, do you think that the wide disparity in personality types might affect the domination of men in certain fields? On that Myers-Briggs Personality Indicator ENTJ and INTJ personality types, both abundant among military officers, are rare in females. I am an INTJ, btw.

    Posted December 17, 2015 at 2:18 am | Permalink
  3. ave trumperator says

    @Presidential timber

    saw each candidate in half.
    count rings.
    greatest number wins.


    Posted December 17, 2015 at 2:37 am | Permalink
  4. JK says

    Posted December 17, 2015 at 11:01 am | Permalink
  5. JK says

    The suspicion (and frequent reality) of sexual infidelities will corrode military marriages.

    DARPA is getting close to a solution for that last one too.

    Posted December 17, 2015 at 11:16 am | Permalink
  6. the one eyed man says

    I think this was after Carly Fiorina said that the retirements of General Keane (who left in 2003) and General Patreus (who left after being found guilty of divulging military secrets to his girlfriend) were because “they told President Obama things that he didn’t want to hear,” and before Chris Christie waxed eloquently about how he would stand shoulder to shoulder with King Hussein of Jordan, despite the fact that Hussein has been dead since 1999. These Republican debates are so much fun!

    (Christie’s blunder recalls a salesman I worked with, who put a buyer on his expense report after taking out his girlfriend. It turned out that the buyer had recently passed. His boss called him in.

    “So Jerry. How are things going with Bobby Buyer?”

    “Great, boss! Big order soon.”

    The boss shows Jerry the obituary. “So Jerry. Bobby has been dead for two weeks. How could you possibly have taken him out to lunch last Thursday?”

    “Well, boss, he sure didn’t talk very much.”

    Jerry kept his job.)

    I agree with you! I could not care less what the President’s gender is. I think that Margaret Thatcher, Golda Meir, and Indira Gandhi were all capable leaders, but not because they were women.

    However the more interesting question is this: how many standard deviations from the norm is it that men were the most qualified person for the job 44 out of 44 times (and white men 43 out of 44 times)?

    And an even more interesting question: why is that?

    Posted December 17, 2015 at 11:20 am | Permalink
  7. … how many standard deviations from the norm is it that men were the most qualified person for the job 44 out of 44 times …

    Completely irrelevant question — as if the “most qualified person” is ever the principal consideration for the electorate. American Presidential elections are like elections in junior high school — popularity contests.

    I can only count our first President as having been the most qualified person for the job, which is why he was our only President to be elected unanimously.

    Posted December 17, 2015 at 12:51 pm | Permalink
  8. One-eyed, I believe in building upon individual strengths, but in fields that reguire talents particular to a specific sex or characteristic – for interest height or size, then I see nothing wrong with being selective. You would call this discriminating, but I would call it picking the person who has the skills sets to accomplish the mission. The US Armed Force’s MISSION is to protect the United Stated of America and to defend The Constitution, from all enemies, both foreign and domestic and frankly, I want the US Armed Forces to be selective and discriminating in selecting the best people to accomplish THE MISSION!

    Women add a great deal of talent to our armed forces and serve with honor and distinction, however they, due to biology, will add nothing to combat effectiveness. For instance in the military in Vietnam, they needed soldiers to descend into labyrinths of tunnels, which were built to accommodate Vietnamese people, who are much smaller than average Americans. The Army picked smaller stature men for this task, not ones built like linebackers.

    My husband served almost 25 years in the US Army as an infantryman and he was in the 82nd Airborne early in his career and I can tell you very few (if any) women can do the grueling physical tasks these men do. In playing this stupid feminist game in the military, I was a guinea pig for a short time – I was told I needed to train as a M60 machine gunner, while assigned to a Pershing missile battalion as a public affairs specialist. I was trained to work as an Army journalist. My first sergeant tasked my husband with training me and yes, I became proficient at being a machine-gunner. There are caveats to this though – for instance if I had been in combat and had to pick up that machine gun, tripod and ammo box, I could not have moved very fast or very far with it, because I lack the upper-body strength of most men. Seconds can mean the difference between living and dying. And in combat, if our guard post had been overrun, I was no match in hand-to-hand combat with Soviet spetsnaz, who is likely who I would have faced in that Cold War showdown.

    You can train the most physically fit women in America to be combat soldiers, while other armies are training the most physically fit men and continue the delusion that men and women are equal, but in the real world – everyone else in the world knows (even the Israelis, the favorite example the Left uses) that’s a suicidal belief! Adding women to these units does absolutely nothing to add to the military effectiveness of these units, as the careful study the Marine Corps did earlier this year showed and which the Secretary of the Navy ignored, adding females does much to undercut military effectiveness, morale and a factor that the civilian world does not even understand – esprit de corps, which is vital to perform well in combat. When the boots hit the ground, I’ll choose reality over political ideology any day.

    Posted December 17, 2015 at 1:18 pm | Permalink
  9. whitewall says

    Liberals have always looked for ways to corrode institutions that work well and hold a great deal of respect within society. The military is the prime target and its male centered “warrior spirit” a prime target of liberal disgust. A working effective hierarchy is a ripe target. Infuse this target with liberalism and we get a flattened “cooperation by committee” of brass who are expected to arrive at PC outcomes. Not fight to kill the enemy, but fight to uphold “cultural expectations”.

    Having said all that, when it comes to drama and sensitivity issues in the military, this current generation of Pajama Boys and Crybullies might be the same as too many women in combat.

    Posted December 17, 2015 at 1:41 pm | Permalink
  10. Malcolm says

    To be fair, I should point out to you all that Peter said nothing here about women in combat.

    how many standard deviations from the norm is it that men were the most qualified person for the job 44 out of 44 times…?

    Because strict factual accuracy is our watchword here, I can’t say, until we define “the norm”.

    And an even more interesting question: why is that?

    That’s easy: because of tradition and preference. (Women didn’t even have the vote until 1920.)

    Now you can argue that all of this was just benighted foolishness; it is of course the conceit of every era to imagine the past as a great, darkling Sahara of knavery and unwisdom, and that thanks to us, at last, a great Enlightenment has dawned.

    Well, maybe it has, and maybe it hasn’t; I don’t feel like arguing about it today.

    I’ll say this: we’ve only now begun to taste the pudding.

    Posted December 17, 2015 at 3:29 pm | Permalink
  11. Malcolm says

    I should say also that the differences between men and women in those qualities that might be relevant to the choice of a President will, of course, for the most part be a matter of statistical distribution.

    As I’ve said before, seven-foot-tall men vastly outnumber seven-foot-tall women, but that doesn’t mean that they tower over them. It does mean, though, that in general, if being seven feet tall matters in some way, and your ability to scrutinize candidates is limited (as the abiity to scrutinize Presidential candidates was until the mass-communication era), you’ll greatly improve your chances by choosing a man.

    Posted December 17, 2015 at 3:55 pm | Permalink
  12. … until we define “the norm”

    As the question was posed by the OEM, there is no “norm” that can be defined based on only 1 of the 44 who could have plausibly been deemed to be “the most qualified person for the job”. The other 43 (including Lincoln) could not have been thought (a priori) the most qualified, though, of course, Lincoln turned out to be after the fact of his election. Before his election to the Presidency, Lincoln’s only experience in the Federal government was as a one-term Congressman who failed to be reelected to a second term.

    Posted December 17, 2015 at 7:28 pm | Permalink
  13. … it is of course the conceit of every era …

    Most especially among the conceited Left of every era. These people, if you’ll pardon the expression, believe they can selectively gather together the best and the brightest among them to improve, nay to solve(!), the problems that the benighted masses cling to — tradition and preference.

    It is gross arrogance to think that a committee of “Einstein-level geniuses” among the Left can come up with societal policy superior to that which has come down to us via the collective practical experiences of millions of humans over thousands of generations. Except for hermits and Robinson Crusoe, people’s activities in densely gathered society are seldom without effect on other individuals. The resulting non-linearity of such interactions is enormously complex. Even such geniuses as Karl Marx and Joseph Stalin couldn’t make their concepts function as they thought was inevitable.

    Only incremental attempts at improvement on an experimental basis, with the guidance provided by the fact that people who are not insane will respond to incentives, have any hope of succeeding. This is what a conservative worldview is based on. Everything else is rubbish.

    Posted December 17, 2015 at 9:09 pm | Permalink
  14. Epicaric says

    While most observers – or at least those not entirely pickled in equality’s brine – will be rightly concerned with the practical effect of this decision on the efficacy of the military, there is another important element which we may have overlooked: this decision clears the way for women to serve in combat roles; it does not appear to dictate that they do so wholesale. Women’s inclusion in combat roles will likely be voluntary. Women will have equality at their individual discretion.

    Posted December 17, 2015 at 9:10 pm | Permalink
  15. Malcolm says

    That was your best comment ever, Henry. Concise and exactly right.

    Posted December 17, 2015 at 9:33 pm | Permalink
  16. whitewall says

    Henry, I agree with Malcolm and I tremble in awe.

    Posted December 18, 2015 at 8:08 am | Permalink
  17. Thank you, Malcolm and Robert. Your affirmation means a lot to me because I am passionate about the thoughts I expressed.

    Posted December 18, 2015 at 10:44 am | Permalink
  18. Asher says

    Iirc the male distributions is shifted 5 to 6 standard devs to the right from the female distribution. If “presidentialness” were a singular quantifiable trait it might have similar distributions.

    Does it? Not the point. The point is that we have hard evidence for massive trait based differences in distributions between the sexes. Iow, its entirely plausible that a man has been the best candidate for every single election.

    Posted December 18, 2015 at 2:57 pm | Permalink
  19. Dom says

    What have you heard about more in the media?

    1. That Obama said he did not appreciate the anxiety after the Paris attacks because he did not watch it on tv news shows.

    2. That a CNN reporter coordinated her tweets with the Clinton state department.

    3. That Christie confused Hussein with Abdullah.

    The first two were uncovered by bloggers. NYT actually discovered the first in its own interview, then removed it.

    Posted December 18, 2015 at 10:47 pm | Permalink
  20. whitewall says

    NYT–Pravda on the Hudson

    Posted December 19, 2015 at 7:36 am | Permalink
  21. antiquarian says

    What I have a problem with is the idea that anything as subject to scrutiny and contest as the Presidency can be made a matter of sensibility and meritocracy. That is, what you wind up with is a selection bias toward people who are good at appearing the way enough voters think they want a President to be. (Naturally, OEM, when voters themselves are all men, or all white, they’re going to perceive that differently.) The thing about men and women is that they have a natural spread of talents and drives. There are women who have gotten into power who have turned out to be excellent, just as there have with men (Lincoln being a prime example of someone whose election and whose publicly perceived merits, both beforehand and after his record was done, were unconnected) but I don’t see that it’s been any better than random chance would have done for either gender.

    Combat’s a bit different. The requisite qualities tend to be more out-in-the-open than those of the Presidency, since combat qualities involve dealing with the physical world, and there’s no particular competition for the job, which means that there’s no incentive to try to appear any particular way. (Nor is it easy in combat to skew appearances.)

    Posted December 19, 2015 at 6:49 pm | Permalink
  22. antiquarian says

    Just by the way, LB, I posted this at your place, but thought I might post it here too…you all might be interested in this, if you haven’t read it already.

    Posted December 19, 2015 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

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