This is no question that women are victims of war.
Their husbands, fathers, brothers, and sons are slaughtered. When the battlefront collapses and the invading force makes it to the homes of ordinary people – women are the ones raped and murdered in the last stand. It is left up to them to keep civilization running, heal wounds, and work the factories to make weapons of war when men become scarce. No one debates their immense contribution throughout history.
That is not to say that men and women enjoy ‘equality’ when it comes to war.
Political parties in the modern world have built their campaigns around female equality. The era of #MeToo speaks of little else – moving beyond equality into the realm of quotas and ‘positive discrimination’ which seeks to artificially restructure society in favor of women to atone for past injustices.
Conscription is the one area where feminists and social justice warriors remain awfully quiet. Global war is returning – should they die beside men in the spirit of gender equality?
‘Women and children first!’ is often seen as an outburst of affection from men.
The code of chivalry that prioritizes women’s safety is not a law, but a moral philosophy popularized by Victorians and Edwardians most often associated with maritime disasters. First recorded in 1840 when lightning struck an American ship, the sentiment was later romanticized to the point it was seen as ungentlemanly and cowardly for a man to touch a lifeboat while a woman or child remained in danger. Granted, these insults hold less weight in the emasculated world of 2022.
Prioritizing the safety of women is not strictly a European sentiment, but it is largely one, forged by ancient ideas from Greece and Rome that survived the centuries. Though it may make the average feminist recoil, the patriarchy is responsible for the privileged position that women hold, hiding behind the shields and swords of men.
With this in mind, the West has watched three million refugees pour out of Ukraine, most of them women and children with the exception of the old and sick. When new Ukrainian citizens – previously refugees from various African countries – attempted to enter Poland, they were shocked to find themselves turned back, including those who ‘identified’ as women. Citizenship of a European nation means that as a young, fit male, they must stay and protect their country to the death. Cries of ‘racism’ have fallen on deaf ears. Europeans have a strong sense of honor that does not allow men to abandon their military responsibility and newcomers have no choice but to acquaint themselves with this reality. Those who did not hold Ukrainian citizenship, such as students, were allowed to leave.
The result is a nation full of ordinary men fighting and dying while millions of women wait in neighboring countries, whispering prayers and consoling children. A feminist nightmare?
Until recently, war was an academic question and equality for feminists involved having Western armed forces accept women into their ranks (usually with reduced physical qualifications). To quote The Atlantic, ‘As Jean Bethke Elshtain argued in Women and War, military combat is, in some sense, the defining male role. Exclusion from combat, has, in turn, been one of the defining traits of femininity.’
Some feminists have argued against female conscription by insisting women have not waged wars or killed in them, and so they have no requirement to fight today. The assumption is that war is a creation of man, not humanity – an assertion easily proved fictitious. While women remain underrepresented in historical empires, they are not absent. Queens and empresses were as bloodthirsty as their male counterparts. Some found glory in their violence, others – such as Bloody Mary – were feared for their bloodthirsty predilections. Women have been empire builders and warmongers. In modern politics, there is little difference in policy between the men and women in power. Their presence neither prevents war nor promotes civil liberty. Indeed, it could easily be argued that German Chancellor Angela Merkel is responsible for the refugee crisis that crippled the European Union, destabilized the social order of its cities, and invited terrorism, religious extremism, and an unprecedented level of violence against women.
As for the battlefield, women were historically absent because men loved them, they were needed to look after the family heirs, and they were physically weaker. In this regard, nothing has changed.
The US Senate Armed Services Committee voted in favor of extending the military draft to women in 2020 by changing ‘men’ to ‘all Americans’. It was popular among feminists at the time, when there was no genuine risk of armchair activists ending up in the mud with a gun over their shoulder. Odds are it would be less popular today, especially if university ‘safe-space-clapping-too-loudly-offends-me’ types found themselves being shipped off to die.
Meanwhile, the Australian Institute of International Affairs republished an article that decided that they were more concerned about sexual assault within the military ranks rather than the terror of dying at the hands of an invading army.
‘Finally, formal socialization processes continue to promote concepts of masculinity, comradery, and ‘brotherhood’, which are the antithesis of policies designed to prevent sexual assault,’ said the article.
If this is what putting women in the armed forces leads to – a watering down of the essential emotional bonds between soldiers – then maybe women shouldn’t be there, for everyone’s safety.
Men kill each other faster when they are not worried about the safety of women. Like it or not, their biological instinct to protect the fairer sex is better contained to an abstract when bullets start flying. The short of this philosophical dilemma is that to save the most people in war, men die at a disproportionate rate.
Feminists in the modern age – and women in general – are left to accept that while they may wield politics with the same ferocity, carelessness, cunning, or stupidity as their male counterparts, the patriarchy will continue to protect their mortal flesh from war.
Is this equality?
No. It is a biological and emotional reality that will persist.
Feminists, when push comes to shove, are happy to waive their demands for equality in exchange for shelter, protection, and the privilege of womanhood – that’s if you can get them to define ‘woman’.
Alexandra Marshall (@ellymelly on Twitter) is editor of the The Spectator Australia, and a political opinion commentator for Rebel News Australia, The Good Sauce, Penthouse Australia, Caldron Pool, and is a Sky News Australia contributor. She is also an AI database designer for the retail industry and a Young Ambassador with the ACM.ALL AUTHOR POSTS