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'Controlling People and Changing Behavior'
On "Changing the “Macho” Male Culture of the US Military"

Sam Finlay,commented on 'What Did These Geniuses Expect?'

On what the geniuses expected; F/The Small Wars Journal - "Changing the “Macho” Male Culture of the US Military"


...Early this year I talked to another military buddy who had just left the Pentagon. His comments were even more troubling. “I used to think the Pentagon was divorced from the reality of the combat arms side of the military- that it was so out of touch with the average infantryman that it made me sick to work there,” he let on. “But that was when I first got there,” he continued. “Today it is times a hundred. The advocates of the women in combat arms are basically part of a larger effort to change the military culture- which they call a “rape culture”- and these folks are really linked close to the wider effort to change American culture.”

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Since I’m quick to suspect things that sound conspiratorialist, my BS-ometer started to go off. But, then I heard the same from two other friends of mine. In essence, the idea of many of these advocates is that the American male is a, mostly unconscious, misogynist, and that it comes from our culture: movies that hype physicality, combat, aggressiveness, and the treatment of women as objects. It also comes from our military: males dominate the services, are the only ones allowed in combat arms, and thus make up most of the higher ranks. The cure for all of this is simple: change the culture.

The “change the culture” movement has manifested itself in many ways and has taken on different efforts as well as groups that are loosely aligned towards fundamental change. On college campuses it has largely taken on the shape of the movement to end sexual harassment and sexual assault. As one professor from a prominent campus told me recently, “It isn’t really about ending sexual assault; it’s about controlling people and changing behavior. Men have the advantage in almost every way, so we have to find ways to cut into that advantage. Making traditional male behavior something that is socially unacceptable will cut their advantage. We have to make it unacceptable for men to talk the way they talk now, act the way they act now, and interact the way they do with women now, and have traditionally.” Hyping sexual assault statistics, making women fearful of men, and building a system that finds men guilty until proven innocent are simply means to the greater end of “cutting male advantage.”

In the movie industry, change has been slower, but increasingly children’s movies depict a smart and physically strong heroine and a weak and unintelligent male. In some action films, one-hundred pound women amazingly punch two-hundred pound males so hard they kill them. The message is clear: women can do anything that men can do and it is acceptable for women to be physically aggressive and strong- men, not so much.

Breakfast with the Dirt Cult Paperback – October 12, 2012

Add Comment
ShepMarch 19, 2017 5:39 PM UTC

Lynn, that is an excellent analogy. Women should be admitted into the combat arms of the military on the same day that a woman starts at middle linebacker in the National Football League.
IshmaelMarch 18, 2017 6:18 PM UTC

Sam, it's bad enough to sacrifice my sons to the modern ideals, and reasons for war in our current state of affairs,

Women in my family are stout hearted, buy why sacrifice my most precious daughter's to the most vile, and criminal humans to ever walk this earth.
BobMarch 17, 2017 10:53 PM UTC

"Haywire" (2009) comes to mind. Knocking out body-armoured SWAT guys, easy work for our heroine.

Then I see - real world - Gina Carano getting absolutely thrashed by "Cyborg", who isn't even a guy (as far as I know).
responds:March 18, 2017 4:15 PM UTC

I would spar—and most definitely grapple—with Gina. But I'd only touch Cyborg with a stick.
ShepMarch 17, 2017 5:19 PM UTC

Isn't it odd how all the controllers everywhere are singing the same tune with the same lyrics?
LynnMarch 17, 2017 3:45 PM UTC

Why are women allowed in combat but not the NFL? Because in the NFL it is really important to win. That is paraphrased from either Steve Sailor or Greg Cochron.
responds:March 18, 2017 4:24 PM UTC

Because NFL teams are in the business of winning and the US military is manifestly not.