The other night on the Tucker Carlson Show, Mr. Carlson claimed that the Biden administration was “feminizing” the military while adversaries like China were doing the opposite, seeking to make their own male population more masculine as a matter of their own national security. In pointing out that contrast, Carlson said that the feminization of the military, including pregnant women “fighting our wars for us” new hairstyles and maternity flight suits, made a “mockery” of the military.
As one might expect, social media exploded in fury.
The commanding general of the Army’s Maneuver Center for Excellence, Maj. Gen. Patrick Donahoe took to his Twitter account posting a re-enlistment video of a female servicemember and saying, “This is me, yesterday, conducting a re-enlistment for one of the tens of thousands of women who serve in our Army. Just a reminder that @TuckerCarlson couldn’t be more wrong.”
— Patrick Donahoe (@PatDonahoeArmy) March 11, 2021
Lt. Gen. Ted Martin, who is deputy commander at the Army Training and Doctrine Command, also took to Twitter and posted a picture of his daughter who is a serving soldier.
Contrary to what you may be hearing this 🇺🇸WOMAN & 1000's of 🇺🇸WOMEN like her are NOT "making a mockery of our military". You WISH your daughter was as AWESOME as MINE! so BACK OFF. #ARMY #Navy #USMC #USAF @16thSMA pic.twitter.com/h98tpKXPJn
— LTG Ted Martin (@TradocDCG) March 10, 2021
Sergeant Major of the Army, Michael Grinston also weighed in on Twitter: “Women lead our most lethal units with character. They will dominate ANY future battlefield we’re called to fight on. @TuckerCarlson’s words are divisive, don’t reflect our values. We have THE MOST professional, educated, agile and strongest NCO Corps in the world.”
U.S. Space Command Senior Enlisted Leader Master Gunnery Sgt. Scott Stalker on his official Twitter account stated that Carlson’s remarks were coming from someone who had zero days of actual service in the military and represented TV drama.
Finally, as reported in various news outlets, DoD’s spokesman, John Kirby, spoke to reporters off-camera at the Pentagon, “We still have a lot of work to do to make our military more inclusive,” he said. “What we absolutely won’t do is take personnel advice from a talk-show host or the Chinese military.”
As is all too typical of the times we currently live in, others on social media demanded that Carlson be taken off the air and that Fox News be banned from the televisions of military bases and installations. (Decisions about which TV channels appear on DoD facilities is based on their respective ratings and thus popularity.)
What is odd about the criticism of Carlson in this case (and he is criticized for virtually everything he says on-air) is that it seems to be saying that feminizing the military is a bad thing, doesn’t it? Carlson’s remarks are based on a Biden administration policy that seeks to expand the role of women in the armed forces. It must be said that Biden seeks very specifically to feminize the military. If you are increasing the number of women in the armed forces, and they possess the traits generally considered to be “feminine,” how could including more women not make the military more feminine? So one would think that instead of Carlson being criticized for saying feminization is increasing in the military the generals would all be saying, “YOU’RE DAMN RIGHT WE ARE!” and be done with it. Unless there is some underlying subconscious belief that there is something wrong with being feminine in the military?
I mean, to object to Carlson’s claims would be to assert one of three things in rebuttal:
Either that women who enter the military are not feminine.
Or that there is no gender in the military at all that can be called either feminine or masculine.
Or that being feminine does not mean you cannot fight.
So which will it be?
It cannot be said that women who enter the military are not feminine when the services are going to some pains in the new grooming standards to specifically allow women to display a more feminine appearance in uniform. This is said to be aimed at the retention of women, who apparently complained about surrendering what they consider the outward appearance of being feminine, in their uniforms and therefore left the military short of a full career.
It is the fashion right now in the military to say that physical standards are “gender-neutral.” But there is an actual gender standard, a male one that has been met for decades; women have to meet it to serve in combat units. If the military was truly after gender neutrality there would be a physical standard that the majority of both men and women could pass. That won’t happen, because it would involve lowering that physical standard below what is required to field an army that can fight and win.
Can it be said that being feminine means you cannot fight? No, there is ample historical proof that puts any notion of women not being willing and able to fight to rest. But a willingness to fight and being effective in that fight are two different things. And that may have been the point Carlson was attempting to make.
I think it’s also specious to claim that since Carlson himself has no days of service in uniform that he is unqualified to make any remarks or have any opinion about those who do. The U.S. military is under civilian authority. There are a combined 535 members of Congress in the House and Senate right now. Only 91 have served in the military. They make every important decision about the military branches including which weapons systems to buy, how large the military will be, what the pay, and who the officers will be. President Biden is the Commander in Chief whose orders will send soldiers, sailors, Marines, and airmen into battle, and he has never served a day in uniform.
And it was our government’s civilian authorities, who also never spent a day in uniform, that advocated for women to serve in the military. Were they told their opinions did not matter because they had not served?
Carlson, it seems to me, touched a live wire by mentioning how far the military seemed to be willing to go to appear “inclusive,” which it is also doing at the behest of a president who has not served in uniform. He did not call anyone any names in doing so but seemed to be called plenty of names in rebuttals by various people outraged that he even expressed an opinion at all. And those people also called for him to be fired for expressing his view, and for Fox News to be banned from DoD facilities. It should be pointed out that Carlson is not a person holding the power of elected office either: he is just a civilian on TV talking to those who actually do hold great power in their hands, our elected leaders and members of the military.
Watch the Tucker Carlson response segment below and let us know what you think in comments!
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