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Thursday, January 24, 2013

War Is Hell, but Peeing in Front of the Opposite Sex Is Worse

Posted by on Thu, Jan 24, 2013 at 11:08 AM

ThinkProgress points out that the Wall Street Journal published the dumbest argument against women on the front lines of combat in an editorial this morning:

Societal norms are a reality, and their maintenance is important to most members of a society. It is humiliating enough to relieve yourself in front of your male comrades; one can only imagine the humiliation of being forced to relieve yourself in front of the opposite sex.

Despite the professionalism of Marines, it would be distracting and potentially traumatizing to be forced to be naked in front of the opposite sex, particularly when your body has been ravaged by lack of hygiene. In the reverse, it would be painful to witness a member of the opposite sex in such an uncomfortable and awkward position.

Of course, the Wall Street Journal seemingly had no problem with the pain, traumatization, and ravaging that befell soldiers when they made the case for Bush's war in Iraq. I suppose it's nice that they finally developed a conscience.

 

Comments (31) RSS

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1
Who the hell is "humiliated" by peeing? They don't make everyone gather round the bush you choose.
Posted by The CHZA on January 24, 2013 at 11:27 AM · Report this
Jaymz 2
Got to change that headline to "shitting" which is the focus of the article and the comments there - lots and lots of expected scatological comments you can click through to read since I won't steal that thunder here (ha).
Posted by Jaymz on January 24, 2013 at 11:32 AM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 3
It is extremely insulting to our servicemen and servicewomen to assume that they are so unprofessional, and so poorly trained, that they can not handle serving next to a person who is of the opposite gender, or race, or sexual orientation, or whatever.

Especially on the front lines, where they are in such danger and must rely on each other. The idea that a soldier would stop and think about a fellow soldier's gender before doing their combat duty is ridiculous.

I am having a hard time thinking of a graver insult to our soldiers than implying they would let other soldiers die, or the mission suffer due to their own personal bullshit.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on January 24, 2013 at 11:38 AM · Report this
4
Women have already effectively been involved in combat in Iraq, Afghanistan (and, I believe, Kuwait during the Gulf War.)

American women been shot and killed in combat: the only change is an acknowledgement of that courage and work, with the benefits (combat pay?) that come with that service.

When U.S. women were killed or wounded in combat, I don't recall one article about the humiliation of peeing.

Somehow that escaped my notice,

No less the notice of

Ladda Tammy Duckworth (born 1968) is an American politician and the U.S. Representative for Illinois's 8th congressional district. She is the first Asian-American woman elected to Congress in Illinois, the first disabled woman to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, and the first member of Congress born in Thailand...

An Iraq War veteran, Duckworth served as a U.S. Army helicopter pilot and suffered severe combat wounds, losing both of her legs and damaging her right arm. She was the first female double amputee from the war.

Go ask Congresswoman Duckworth about the humiliation of peeing in a combat zone, you lily-livered cowards at the Wall Street Journal.

Posted by judybrowni on January 24, 2013 at 11:42 AM · Report this
fletc3her 5
I always wonder if people who write editorials like this have met any actual marines. They are not as a rule very body conscious.
Posted by fletc3her on January 24, 2013 at 11:42 AM · Report this
6
Soldiers are such delicate flowers, known the world over for their picky personal manners and easily offended sensibilities. Remember that shocking scene in "The Green Berets" where John Wayne freaks out over an improperly-placed dessert spoon during the Paratroopers' Garden Brunch?
Posted by Pope Buck I on January 24, 2013 at 11:43 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 7
Look, anyone who spends their time watching you relieve yourself in the field is a perv.

They were before.

They still are.

Doesn't matter if they're the same or a different gender.

But, hey, that's just my observational recollection of being in the field in the Army.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on January 24, 2013 at 11:44 AM · Report this
8
Can you imagine how bad war movies are going to suck now? I mean, they'll have to show women as soldiers and not merely as nursy love interests.
*zing

"Dear N Korea:
The people of the united states are tots about to attack your country. We're only waiting for our all-lady army to sync up their menstrual cycles so they'll be really bitchy when we unleash them upon you.

Please make sure you're country is free of bears by then. You know about bears and vagina blood, right?"
*yucka yucka yucka

Man, I thought things were gonna be way worse once Susie joined the front. Now I'm glad she's here. No one bakes up rations like little Susie does. The latrines have never been cleaner. What's her secret?
*ba bump bump

Stupid.
Posted by six shooter on January 24, 2013 at 11:52 AM · Report this
9
War is hell, but could you imagine "being in the field" with W-i-S?
Posted by six shooter on January 24, 2013 at 11:54 AM · Report this
raku 10
I don't understand how gendered restrooms are constitutional (state constitution).
Posted by raku on January 24, 2013 at 12:05 PM · Report this
very bad homo 11
But men peeing in front of each other is totally gay.
Posted by very bad homo on January 24, 2013 at 12:14 PM · Report this
camlux 12
Regarding peeing, a "Sani-fem Freshette" (or similar product) enables women to pee standing up. As for taking a dump, that's equally "demeaning" (if you want to call it that) for both men and women. Either way, it's not a big deal.
Posted by camlux on January 24, 2013 at 12:15 PM · Report this
COMTE 13
Is it just me, or are these big, burly, he-man soldier-types beginning to sound like whimpering little six year-olds?

"Sergeant, I can't go Number 1, 'cuz Cpl. Ladybits might see my pee-pee!"

Have these tough-guys never been on a week-long hiking trip with a female before? Because, IME these sorts of pre-adolescent inhibitions disappear pretty fast once you get a few miles down the trail.
Posted by COMTE on January 24, 2013 at 12:15 PM · Report this
Sir Vic 14
So is the WSJ worried that lady Marines won't be able to piss on dead enemies as easily as their male colleagues?

Sounds like the author suffers from embarrassing tiny dick syndrome and assumes everyone wants to hide their willy at all costs.
Posted by Sir Vic on January 24, 2013 at 12:16 PM · Report this
brandon 15
Confirmed: The Wall Street Journal is run by 12 year olds.
Posted by brandon on January 24, 2013 at 12:25 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 16
@6,
Brilliant!
Posted by Urgutha Forka on January 24, 2013 at 12:36 PM · Report this
The Max 17
I say that any warfighter who's going to be counting on a teammate in combat but is unable to shrug off any bad feelings about peeing in his or her presence just like that unfit for duty regardless of gender.

Remember Adam Baldwin & Dorian Harewood in Full Metal Jacket? Animal Mother "I am Become Death: The Shatterer of Worlds" would just spew this racist garbage and 8-Ball loved him. He came back with, "Under fire, Animal Mother here's one of the finest human beings around. All he needs is someone to throw grenades at him the rest of his life." That's the kind of comradeship you can and should expect of members of a fireteam.
Posted by The Max on January 24, 2013 at 12:48 PM · Report this
Josh Bis 18
This is a ridiculous argument, but it wasn't written by the WSJ editorial board. It was written by Ryan Smith who "served as a Marine infantryman in Iraq. He is now an attorney." [WSJ]
Posted by Josh Bis http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/Author.html?oid=3815563 on January 24, 2013 at 1:14 PM · Report this
ScienceNerd 19
So...I'm a veteran. I never went to war, but I did pee in front of men. There was one bathroom in the male barracks, and I got drunk once in a while and wanted to pee, so I did (no door on the stall). :)
Posted by ScienceNerd http://stanichium.tumblr.com/ on January 24, 2013 at 1:14 PM · Report this
zivilisierter Wurm 20
@17: No offense to you personally, but "warfighter" has to be one of the most bullshit euphemisms of the new army. What's wrong with soldier? Does it imply too much professionalism and ye olde rules of engagement?
Posted by zivilisierter Wurm http://peregrinari.tumblr.com/ on January 24, 2013 at 1:19 PM · Report this
21
There is this awesome thing I use backpacking/camping/backcountry snowboarding called a Go Girl that enables ladies to pee just like the bros. Some people need to get over themselves.
Posted by erly on January 24, 2013 at 1:23 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 22
@18 look, the people who resisted women in combat the most, at least in the Canadian Army, were the oldest people. Everybody else didn't have a problem with it. People stuck in their paradigm of what "should be".

Change happens. Deal with it.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on January 24, 2013 at 2:20 PM · Report this
23
On NPR this morning they interviewed a female soldier who said she understood the concern because women would have trouble taking care of their "lady business" in the field. How shitty is the military's health education that no one has mentioned to female soldier 1) The Diva cup et al. (empty every 12 hrs) and 2) just going on the pill full time to prevent menstruation? Yikes.
Posted by gnot on January 24, 2013 at 3:40 PM · Report this
24
@23 I don't know what The Diva cup is, nor,as a gay man, do I particularly care to, but I will say that going on the pill full time implies a reliable supply line to get it to you.

Also, are you suggesting that service ought to be conditional on going on contraception? Not that I'm saying it would be such a bad idea, but I can imagine the political brouhaha over that one.
Posted by Corydon on January 24, 2013 at 4:26 PM · Report this
25
If you've ever run marathons or ultra marathons you know that at certain events the facilities are few or non-existent, as is cover. My M/F running group has no problem with mixed peeing.
Posted by IzzytheDog on January 24, 2013 at 4:36 PM · Report this
26
Doesn't make a real difference, but they were referring to pooping, not peeing. Reading is fundamental.

Posted by bigyaz on January 24, 2013 at 6:13 PM · Report this
27
Two words: "About...FACE!"

@24: The services started offering Norplants to female troops >20 years ago when I was in. One of my female friends, who was a cargo plane crewchief and therefore deployable, went to get it and was warned (properly) "If you go on this, you probably won't have periods for one to two years." Her response was "Where do I sign?!"

And frankly, for someone who purports to be a gay man and a veteran, you're throwing a huge hissy here and elsewhere on Slog over women being allowed into combat positions while ignoring the fact that your ostensible sexual orientation would have been grounds for immediate discharge up to a bit over a year ago. (And a General or Bad Conduct discharge prior to Clinton and DADT.)

I can't figure out if you're taking the piss or if you're actually blind to the fact that you're tossing out variations on the same bullshit arguments that barred gay people from the military for decades. And I honestly can't decide which of the two options is nastier.
Posted by DonServo on January 24, 2013 at 6:23 PM · Report this
28
@20: While I agree the term 'warfighters' is a little contrived, it's shorter than "soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen." And a bit guttier.
Posted by DonServo on January 24, 2013 at 8:10 PM · Report this
29
By "relieve yourself" they mean masturbate, right?
Posted by Curtis Interruptus on January 24, 2013 at 9:40 PM · Report this
30
@24: You know they got other birth control methods other than the pill, right? Like, hormonal implants? IUDs?

Are we really talking about worrying how women's periods can be managed in a civilized manner? We've been bleeding for millennia. If we can't get tampons or pads, shit can be improvised. It's fine.
Posted by Gloria on January 27, 2013 at 8:17 PM · Report this
this guy I know in Spokane 31
Yeah, I guess it would be kind of awkward, since women don't poop.
Posted by this guy I know in Spokane on January 27, 2013 at 11:39 PM · Report this

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