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July 17, 1980 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1980-07-17

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Page 4-Thursday, July 17, 1980-The Michigan Daily

Women incapable of
serving in combat


Returning, to the
hostage issue
free man and is expected to return to the
United States tomorrow. With mixed emotions,
Americans watched as he-wrapped in a blanket
and secured to a stretcher-was carried from a
plane to the Zurich hospital. On the one hand, we
are happy that one -of our citizens has been
released from Iran. But on the other hand, the
issue of 52 hostages held captive in another country
is again brought to the forefront of the American
consciousness., And it was no accidental matter
that Americans deliberately put out of their mind
the issue of the hostages.
It is a bewildering, frustrating issue, and because
of this, many see that it is senseless to discuss it.
We are angry. We are bitter. We want to do
something, but we know how tragic the last attem-
pt to free the hostages was. We are puzzled as to
our next step. We even tried to blame Iranians
living in this country, which reflected a disgusting
aspect of America. It was uncomfortable to dwell
on it, and the less we talked about Iran, the better.
And for a short time, we were freed of thinking
about the hostages. The media had appeared to cut
down their coverage, and we recently have been
preoccupied with the November election, the
economy, heat waves, and Mount St. Helens..
But now, with the release of Queen, we are again
forced to consider the plight of the 52 hostages.
Again, we'll keep track of 'how many days they
have been held, and the media will continue to con-.
centrate on the Queen issue. Again we will talk
about it. And again we will feel frustrated and

Women would be a great asset
to our defense should war break
out, but how they are utilized
should be a major concern. One
facet of the military from which
they should be exempt is combat-
duty, simply because they are not
physically capable of performing
many of the duties infantrymen
must perform during conven-
tional warfare.
In one argument for the use of
women in combat, Deborah
Shapley, a senior associate at the
Carnegie Endowment for Inter-
national Peace, writes that: "Ac-
cording to Army Research In-
stitute studies, the number of
women in an army unit has no
import on its performance in field
General Elizabeth Hosington was
asked why she, opposed the
assignment of women to combat
units. She replied: "I get fed up
with all the studies about whether
or how many women would be
assigned to combat unita. Studies
,annot duplicate the-realism of a
battle ina vietnam jungle, or the
cold Korean hills, the trauma
from killing, witnessing death
and terrible wounds.
"I do not doubt 'the army has
women who can complete a com-
bat course, endure three days or
three weeks under field con-
ditions, and shoot as straight as
any man. But in my lifetime, I
have never known ten women
whom I thought could endure
three months under conditions in
an army unit."
I find the basis for Shapley's
argument unfounded. She refers
to obscure events in history, such
as Molly Pitcher's manning of
her husband's cannon at the bat-
tle of Monmouth after he was
overcome by heat. She also men-
tions Margaret Corbin, who did
the same after her husband was
killed at the battle of Fort
Washington in 1776. She even
goes so far as to use Beth Heiden
as an example of women's
equality, saying that she
regularly outskates her ,gold

By Mark Sherman
medalist brother Eric. What she
doesn't say is that the female
Heiden is a trained athlete, a one-
in-a-million case who worked all
her life to get where she is today.
Would the same results prevail
with women from the general
public? I think not.
superior to women. After years of
studies, the Pentagon has
declared that women have only
fifty-five per cent the muscle
strength and sixty-seven per cent
the endurance as men. Also, men
have superior upper, body
strength,uarerbetter equipped to
handle severe temperatures, and
are taller, faster, and heavier
than women.
Because of this, the military is
forced to change some of its stan-
dards to sccommodate the
women. For example, at the Air
Force Academy at Colorado
Springs, women are given an ex-
tra minutetto complete the three-
mile run. It was a choice of givingt
them the extra minute or failing
81 per cent of the cadets. The
women at West Point do flexed-
arm hangs instead of chin-ups,
take karate instead of boxing,
and train with eight pound M-16
rifles instead of eleven pound M-
At Fort Jackson, the men have
two minutes to do 35 push-ups, the
women must do only half that
number, and the rifle range is not
required of them. For the women
at the Marine Corps boot camp at
Paris Island, S.C., infantry field
training is virtually non-existent,
as is the treacherous obstacle
course. They don't have to wear
full regalia, but they do get to
look at a fully-dressed Marine,
taste his C-rations, and pass his
helmet around-all this because
they are not equipped physically
to perform the same tasks as a
JAMES WEBB, an ex-Marine
and author of the combat novel
"Field of Fire," put it in a nut-
shell when he said: "You can

take football and modify the rules
so women can play. That's
fine-until they play the Dallas
Cowboys and get slaughtered."
Women can be useful, however,
in the more technical aspects of
warfare. There are, in fact,
women who can pilot the KC 135
refueling plane, which refuels jet
fighters in flight, women who are
very adept with radar and other
types of communications
devices, women who can train
combat troops, women doct6rs,.
nurses, etc.
Retired Air Force Major
General Jeanne Holm, when
asked "Should there be a limit on
the use of women in combat?"
replied: "I see no reason for any
restrictions of the use of women
as members of combat air crews.
I see no reason why they should
not serve aboard combat-ships."
She draws the line at infantry,
saying that particular aspects of
combat have special problems
for women, and that the army is
now conducting tests to see how
far they can go in the use of
In the future, women will prove
to be a valuable asset to our
nation's defense. It is my hope,
however, that Congress will con-
cur with President Carter who
said, "Women are not (now)
assigned to units where
engagement in close combat
would be a part of their duties,
and I have no intention of
2hanging that policy."
The fact is certain people are
adept at some jobs while others
are not. It is not a chauvinistic at-
titude, but one of common sense,
that compels me, to say that I
would not mind having a woman
watching a radar scope for me,
but under no circumstances
would I want a woman fighting
along side me in a battle.
Mark Sherman is a fresh-
man in liberal arts at Wash-
tenaw County. Community

Editorial irresponsible
To The Daily: dment misses the key question: exercise in moral solipsism.
What is the value of a human Is it ever morally permissible -R. C. Rice,
being? Should we put a price tag to directly kill an innocent Education Chairman
on human life? Or should we not-' human being? Evasion of this Right to Life-Lifespan
admit that each human being's question in discussing abortion is Washtenaw County
value is-beyond calculation? intellectually dishonest and an July 9
If human life is indeed
priceless, more valuable than the City strikers get support
rarest work of art or the most
precious metal, how can we To The Daily: that it can to support the TEU
weigh that value against any We, the Campus Labor Support workers. We see TEU's strike as
economic value or temporary in- Group, are dedicated to part of a fight against the
convenience? providing concrete support to. growing wave of attacks by
There is no measure whereby campus labor and the labor management on labor-attacks
we can compare the good of an movement in general. We wish to such as sexist and racist
unborn baby-or conversely, the register our wholehearted sup- harassment, unfair working con-
evil of killing it-against the good port for the struggle of the Tran- ditions, and union busting.
of avoiding embarrassment or sportation Employees Union Workers are fighting back and
financial difficulties. (TEU) against the Ann Arbor they need support now!
The Daily editorial (July 8, Transportation Authority -DonnaStern
k ,1980) decrying the Hyde Amen- (AATA). The Campus Labor Campus Labor Support Group
Support Group (CLSG) will do all July 14

_, "Oi
IC i" "ti t' 1 1 1" R"" GNiF +t' T K' 5' i'7N t1flR'°1

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