TK writes: Vox,Big fan — read your column every week. This week, man, you’re just wrong. As a ten-year veteran of the Marine Corps (a grunt and a veteran of the first Gulf War), I don’t know where you came up with the notion that “it’s been clear for years that women cannot measure up to the physical requirements of military duty.”If that were the case, then the whole controversy could be solved by requiring all military personnel to take the same Physical Fitness Tests and discharging anyone, male or female, who didn’t pass them.
TK is correct, the controversy could be easily solved that way. And it would be solved by eliminating nearly every woman from the military, if the old Physical Fitness Tests were used. There’s a reason that they were modified and special female versions were developed, after all. As the Center For Military Readiness reported, the tests were modified as part of the Gender Integrated Basic Training program instituted in 1994, involving: “Re-defined or lowered standards, gender-normed scores, and elimination of physically demanding exercises so that women will succeed.”
A few women would pass, the vast majority would wash out. I’d be delighted with TK’s solution, but the champions of women in the military would go ballistic in opposition – that should be all anyone needs to know in order to determine the truth of the matter.