Monday, November 19, 2012

An Officer and a Lady . . .

From the Fayetteville Observer (via

AF General Touts Women's Role in the Military

Let’s assume for a moment that the “touting” herein is in good faith.  The problem I have with these kinds of speeches and the reporting of them is that the first sentence reporting a contrariwise speech – “AF General Criticizes Women’s Role in the Military” – inevitably says that the general was relieved of command by the end of the day.  So notwithstanding their knowledge of the truth of the matter, what else is an AF general likely to say about women in the military except to “tout” it?

[AFMC commander Janet C.] Wolfenbarger, the U.S. Air Force's first female four-star general, spoke about the advancement of women in the military Monday night as part of the Fayetteville State University's Chancellor's Distinguished Speaker Series.

To the best of my recollection, I have never heard a female cleric speak on any subject that wasn’t a variant of, “Look at me!  I’m a woman preaching!”  That may not be strictly true in the case of female generals, but it’s pretty close.

Wolfenbarger was among the more than 150 women who entered the Air Force Academy in June 1976, the first time women were allowed in the U.S. service academies.

Several male cadets were concerned about the admission of women into the academy, Wolfenbarger said.

"Their fear was that standards would somehow be lowered as a result of women being a part of the student body and that consequently their experience would some how be diminished," she said. "I, along with my female classmates, spent the next four years proving that the standards did not have to be lowered . . . ."

Um . . .  yes they were.  And there are no end to the USAFA alumni who assess the current kinder ‘n’ gentler regimen as being much easier than it was.  These changes are advertised as making the training environment more “professional”.  Maybe, but if a general is saying it then I assume it’s a lie.

Army ROTC cadet Tara Jaime, a junior majoring in sociology, said the general's comments about the advancement of women in the military were profound.

Yup, sociology.  Just the sort of education the future leaders of our high-tech military need.


Elusive Wapiti said...

You're missing the whole point, Dr. Phi. Sex-normed standards aren't lower- or double-standards, see.

They're standards set at the level that ensure women can be accessed and retained in the armed services while still saying they are soldiers or Airmen or Sailors or Marines with a somewhat straight face.


Anonymous said...

Headline: General supports political policy that has been in place her entire career.

Profound, indeed.