Stephanie Gutmann wrote an article in The New Republic (2-24-97) called "Sex and the Soldier" that exposed the ridiculousness of women in the military.
She now has a book called The Kinder, Gentler Military: Can the New, Female-Friendly Armed Services Still Fight. Her book is excellent. She did her homework and shows very clearly how America's military has been weakened by feminism. Many times she had to wade through the official PR which she always saw through. She writes about them once saying: "... the most dutiful dispensers of the party line, and I gloomily prepared myself for an hour of exchanges in the 'Yes, comrade, the grain harvest is indeed the best it has ever been -- another tribute to Big Brother's wisdom' vein." I see this book as doing as she has done. I am exposing the false grain harvest's the UC dishes out. The truth is that feminism has almost destroyed our military just as it has almost destroyed the UC. The following are some excerpts from her book:
Five or ten years from now, if we find ourselves in an air and ground war with Iraq or North Korea or somebody else we haven't noticed yet, and we get utterly whipped, you can blame Presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton, Secretaries of Defense Richard Cheney, Les Aspin, and William Cohen, the Congresses who wrote and passed the bills they signed, and the Pentagon leadership who just ginned nervously and sat on their hands while all of this was going on.
One of projects mesmerizing the brass throughout the nineties was the integration of women. If they'd thought about this and kept their eyes on the readiness, war-fighting ball, things might have worked out OK. Instead, the nineties were a decade in which the brass handed over their soldiers to social planners in love with an unworkable (and in many senses undesirable) vision of a politically correct utopia, one in which men and women toil side by side, equally good at the same tasks, interchangeable, and, of course utterly undistracted by sexual interest.
To bring in more women the services doubled recruiting budgets and retooled advertising campaigns. In 1991 the Marine slogan "We're looking for a few good men" was replaced by "The Few, the Brave, the Marines."
'For reasons to be discussed later, the brass were so frantic for "numbers," and photo ops featuring women with stars on their sleeves, that they actually began to undercut the pillars -- trust, fairness, stoicism, and a concern for "the unit" over oneself -- on which a successful military stands. The thinking seemed to be "If the warrior culture frightened away women, then the warrior culture had to be changed," and over the decade, in hundreds of ways little and big, it was. The new policies big and small "have rendered a ready room atmosphere so different now that it is nearly unrecognizable," according to former F- 18 pilot Robert Stumpf. "The emphasis has shifted dramatically from how to administer death and destruction to the enemy, to how to 'get along,' and how to prevent killing each other in the air. Pilots are hampered in their ability to train as warriors by the policies of their senior leaders."
In the chase for women and to cajole them along once they managed to bag a few, the obsequious services (less so the Marines) allowed double standards (de facto, de jure) to influence everything from recruiting, to basic training graduation, to moral conduct, to promotion qualifications. Women were allowed to come into basic training at dramatically lower fitness levels and then to climb lower walls, throw shorter distances, and carry lighter packs when they got there.
In the Gulf War, physical disparities were often glaring: Men in many units took over tearing down tents or loading boxes because most of the women simply couldn't or wouldn't do these chores as fast. Moral standards were double-tracked, too, with women being able to do things that would (and did) get men court-martialed.
' At least one riddle had been explained -- why the brass had officially decided to use the word gender instead of the word sex. Gender; a trendy, academic word, has been used to mean behavior and self-image learned from one's society, a society determined to keep women "in their place." The word sex, on the other hand, suggests sex differences that are hardwired, basic, primal, dictated by chemistry and hormones, as stubborn as the tides.
Given the military's new project, it's very important that the folks in charge remain wedded to the idea that sex differences are just a societal construct, erasable with a few strong lectures and a bit of "sensitivity training." Achieving a force that recruits, assigns, and promotes in a "gender neutral" way means believing that (after the requisite amount of sensitivity training, of course) men and women can eat, sleep, tent, march, and haul loads together like a merry band of brothers without the fireworks and histrionics that have characterized sexual ... er, gender... relations throughout human history.
In other words, we are in the middle of a huge social experiment.
There is one iron rule governing military reporting these days: People on active duty do not tell reporters the truth if the truth is something they know their COs will not want them to say. Many, many service people have ruined or lost their careers testing this rule. "We live," one soldier commented, "in a politically correct fishbowl."
"It's becoming like Mao's cultural revolution," says ex-Army officer John Hillen. "Everybody knows it's a system built on a thousand little lies, but everybody's waiting for someone that's high-ranking who's not a complete moral coward to come out and say so."
We are particularly lulled because the last war, our first "coed war," seemed so easy -- at least from the TV screen. You push a few buttons on a plane and, bam, they're on the run! Proponents of putting women in infantry and artillery with men (i.e., "in combat") have spent the last decade saying serenely that "technology will level the playing field." Anybody can push buttons, right?
But our recent engagements in Iraq (limited by Saddam Hussein's mobility) and in Kosovo (where bombers had to wait for clouds to clear) showed we're decades and decades from a bloodless, push-button war. If we want women to be in direct combat this year or next, we will have to square our consciences and our desire to win with the prospect of putting them up against enemy soldiers like the hulking Serbian farm boys we saw on TV throughout the 1999 air war.
Still, the pro-women-in-combat forces were psyched. Schroeder and other activists all over the nation argued that if the Combat Exclusion Law was in place to protect women from danger, it was now obvious that they were already in danger, so why not just go all the way and ditch the law? "The Persian Gulf War," said Schroeder, "helped collapse the whole chivalrous notion that women could be kept out of danger in a war. We saw that the theater of operations had no strict combat zone, that Scud missiles were not gender-specific -- they could hit both sexes and unfortunately did." Said one pilot, "Women serving in combat is a moot issue. We were there."
"In the eyes of Congress and the nation, Desert Storm did more than vanquish the Iraqi Army," opined NBC producer Naomi Spinrad. "It wiped out cultural taboos that American women should not be wounded, captured, or killed facing an enemy." (The women-are-capable-of-dying-too argument, again.)
Of course, there were other issues to consider before deciding to put women on front lines as combatants (like whether as a whole they would make adequate support for the soldiers they flanked, whether they could march with an eighty-pound pack and an eight-pound rifle and still have the energy to hit the ground and begin shooting), but these questions traversed very dangerous territory indeed. The arguments that remained unsaid involved the real career-killing assertion that perhaps, just maybe, men simply make better soldiers than women and that the hassle of combing the ranks for that one woman who could perform to "male" standards would cost more in time and money than the services had to expend.
By then it was the summer of 1992 and Tailhook the news story got the personal focus it had been lacking in the form of Paula Coughlin, who decided to come out of the shadows. In press coup terms, her public debut was spectacular. On June 24, she appeared on the front page of the Washington Post; that night she began a three-part series about Tailhook on ABC's Nightly News with Peter Jennings. Jennings listened in his fatherly way as Coughlin wept and told her story.
Among the national audience was President Bush. He called Coughlin the next day to invite her to the White House and was photographed consoling her -- and, some reporters say, crying himself. The next day, Secretary of the Navy H. Lawrence Garrett III was told to pack his bags because he had visited the Rhino Room and had not exerted influence to stop the events under way.
In 1993, Paula Coughlin announced her intention to resign her commission because, as she stated in a letter obtained by NBC News, "covert attacks on me ... have stripped me of my ability to serve." She retired in the Virginia area and eventually won $5.2 million and $400,000 in suits against, respectively, Hilton Hotels and the Tailhook Association. By 1998, the Navy -- and a year later the Air Force -- began to experience what the Navy Times described as an exodus from the services.
The military's gender problems are heightened by the fact that training, drilling, and commanding soldiers is a rough process. It needs to be -- you are, after all, preparing a person to accept an order that could end his life. Hazing is much maligned these days, and now forbidden in the services, but it is a key part of that rough culture, and the services drive it out at their peril. Young men challenge each other. That's the way they are. They thrive on competition and that is useful for an army. Doing something like jamming metal wing pins into one another's naked chests is, among other things, a response to conditions of the battlefield. It's a way a unit tests its own strength, a way to identify weak links and to ensure that one's buddies can be trusted.
But when the new gender-integrated military tries to mimic the cold, spartan military discipline, it runs right up against the SH problem once again. As C.J. Chivers puts it: The "institutional intimidation" of military life can often appear to "kind of overlap with sexual harassment." There has always been an objectification in military life -- that state modern women are trained to resist body and soul. But about three quarters of the military experience is all about objectification --about turning oneself into a faceless, identical soldier, part of what Air Force pilot Kelly Flynn called a "seamless unit," a gear in a mighty machine, a dark hangar filled with rows and rows and rows of men sitting on what appear to be shelves, numbered below them, like tools waiting to be taken down off a shelf, like chickens sitting passively in a darkened hatchery. There is no room for emotion in this process, no room for histrionics, no room for negotiation, no room for consensus; it is inexorable; it is the essence of war. Being a soldier is an inherently invasive process: The Army takes your life; it takes your body; it makes you its chattel. Paratroopers on a plane line up and shuffle toward the open door; the pace must move steadily and they must jump at precisely the second they are told to jump. A well-trained group of paratroopers looks, in fact, like a line of bottles on an assembly line, moving at nice, regularly spaced intervals, then off, off, off, into a bin. Nothing about this process takes notice of the individual; in times of war, "refusing" a jump, and therefore throwing off troop placement when the unit is reassembled on the ground, is a court-martialable offense.
Much of the way military elders have handled and spoken with their troops is an arrogant tone of ownership. "What are you little runts doing on MY bus!! If you're going to put your sad little asses on MY BUS, you follow MY RULES," roars the first drill instructor the new Marine recruit encounters when he gets off the bus at Parris Island. The Marines particularly -- the service that has best retained the old traditions -- still hew to the politically incorrect, invasive, concept of training as transformation. They even had a recruiting slogan about it: "The Marines build men --body, mind, spirit."
But when an older male commander grabs one of "his men" by the scruff of the neck, it has one meaning -- fury, rough affection, everything mixed together. If he does the same to a young woman of eighteen or nineteen who is considerably shorter, and lighter, it feels like a different act. Suddenly it is freighted with meanings, none of them good, some abhorrent. When a man physically dominates a woman, there are connotations that are worrying to both the discipliner and the disciplinee.
Dress inspection, where the drill sergeant walks down the line of soldiers standing at attention, used to be a demonstration of the ownership and of the recruit's acceptance of his status as chattel. The drill sergeant would grab a belt buckle to see if the private had stenciled his name inside. He would yank a shirt that wasn't tucked into the pants ....
unjudgmental sixties. For the military recruit or new convert, searching, as youth so often is, for a new world, a new start, a new role to try on, the sheer physical starkness of military and monastical life was what set it apart -- empty, undecorated halls; narrow pallets; long communal eating tables; unvarying uniforms -- and was exactly what signaled, "This is a new place; we do things differently here." And, of course, a life of collective renunciation, of shared miseries, cements a group's bonds-- "We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; / For he today that sheds his blood with me / Shall be my brother," were the words Shakespeare's King Henry V used to rally his troops in the hours before a battle.
But the brass have responded to their "image problem" by simply pouring gas on the fire. There are very few ads -- some aired during the NBA playoffs, for instance -- that show a man's world; most are scrupulously gender-balanced In some of its displays and literature the Army even uses the image of a woman wearing a helmet, BDUs, army boots, carrying a rifle, walking forward, shoulders hunched menacingly. The Army is about 22 percent female and none are "ground-pounders," but the Army still uses a lone female looking very much like an infantryman to represent itself to the world!
As we have seen in our "engagements" in Vietnam, Kosovo, and Somalia, morale is everything.
Right now, morale is at rock bottom.
Amazon books has the following reviews of her book:
When the Marines dropped their famous slogan, "We're looking for a few good men," and replaced it with "The few, the proud, the Marines," they weren't just eliminating a worn-out ad campaign -- they were pursuing a controversial social agenda. "The nineties were a decade in which the brass handed over their soldiers to social planners in love with an unworkable (and in many senses undesirable) vision of a politically correct utopia, one in which men and women toil side by side, equally good at the same tasks, interchangeable, and, of course, utterly undistracted by sexual interest," writes journalist Stephanie Gutmann. The Kinder, Gentler Military -- an expanded version of a cover story Gutmann wrote for The New Republic -- is a devastating critique of the military's sex-integration efforts. She reports of women "allowed to come into basic training at dramatically lower fitness levels and then to climb lower walls, throw shorter distances, and carry lighter packs when they got there." This has led to problems in the field: during the Gulf War, says Gutmann, "men in many units took over tearing down tents or loading boxes because most of the women simply couldn't or wouldn't do these chores as fast." Liberals will accuse Gutmann of hostility to feminism, but her strong blend of reporting and analysis overcomes that charge by describing the frustrations of women who want to contribute to the military's old-fashioned warrior culture, not its newfangled Peace Corps mentality. The Pentagon doesn't want you to read The Kinder, Gentler Military; that's all the more reason why you should. --John J. Miller
Francis Fukuyama, author The End of History and the Last Man, Commentary, February 2000
Stephanie Gutmann's new book, The Kinder, Gentler Military, debunks the received wisdom [that resistance to raising the proportion of women in the military is inherently sexist] through first-rate reporting on the reality of the contemporary military. There is, as it turns out, a simple reason why academic studies and official commissions cannot get at the truth in this area: in the wake of the 1991 Tailhook scandal, which ended the careers of many navy officers who were found to have been insufficiently vigilant in rooting out sexual harassment, the military has become one of the most politically correct of all American institutions.
Publishers Weekly, February 7, 2000 ...Gutmann offers a strong set of firsthand observations as well as military studies to make the case. She begins her expose with visits to co-ed training camps... ....Elsewhere the author presents startling statistics on the new, gender-integrated physical training....Gutmann is not in the camp of those who would ban women from the services altogether....She presents common-sense solutions, such as returning to the separation of the sexes in training and the elimination of sex-based recruitment quotas.... Gutmann is not subtle in making her argument: if ten years from now the U.S. gets utterly whipped in a war, she says, Americans will know who to blame: presidents Bush and Clinton, as well as the Congress that authorized todays integrated armed forces.
The Kinder, Gentler Military is a devastating critique of how and why the military -- the most tradition-bound, masculine institution in the United States -- spent the 1990s in a tortured attempt to reform its time-proven warrior culture in favor of a new, politically correct value system, a system that is decimating morale in our armed forces.
"Our armed forces are deeply mired in an expensive, resource-draining, time-consuming, morale-flattening project, one that has nothing to do with military readiness and everything to do with politically correct politics," charges Stephanie Gutmann. "That project...has used quotas, double standards, and coercive policies to recruit greater numbers of women, promote them faster, and put them closer to combat with little thought to the fact that this is, in effect, an attempt to meld two dissimilar populations -- men and women -- in an institution that requires sameness, interchangeability, standard issues, known quantities."
In The Kinder, Gentler Military, Gutmann scouts the field -- the bases, the boot camps, the ships, and the flight lines -- to observe what is often called the "New Military." She then shows why the complete integration of women into the military is physically and sociologically impossible and how the pursuit of this unrealistic ideal is profoundly demoralizing to soldiers of both sexes and a sure setup for battlefield disaster. While the politically correct stance on this hot topic is pro-integration, Gutmann's fresh and informative take on the practical and political inner workings of the nation's military will command national attention.
Unflinching, compassionate, and balanced, The Kinder, Gentler Military is a persuasive argument in a compelling public debate.
From the Inside Flap READ THIS BOOK Stephanie Gutmann is an acute observer, with an impish ability to poke fun at hypocrisy and farce that reminds one of Tom Wolfe at his best. The careerists may squirm, but thousands of active-duty military--including, I predict, many women -- will be thanking her for saying what needed very much to be said. --James Webb, former Secretary of the Navy, author, Fields of Fire and The Emperors General
Stephanie Gutmann fires a fully-charged broadside at feminist zealots and social engineers in The Kinder, Gentler Military. The book is bound to trigger a fierce counterattack. ---- Lt. General Bernard E. Trainor, U.S.M.C. (Ret)
Gutmanns brilliant book must be read by all caring Americans and its cogent message be urgently transmitted to all lawmakers. -- Colonel David Hackworth (Ret.), author of About Face and Hazardous Duty
This book long over due Reviewer: A reader from I'm in the best country in the world, the U.S.A. March 9, 2000
As the wife of a retired Marine Corps Warrior and the mother of a female Marine, and two sons in the Navy I believe the military under the clinton Administration has gone to hell. This books explains the many failures now thriving in today's military. The worse thing that happened was the feminization of the military along with the political correctness. My husband was allowed to be a man, not a castorated G.I. Joe. This book needs to have a major push on exposing it to the public so the public can be aware of it's truthful contents. A must read for every citizen. Reviewer: Kelly Dermody from Plano, Texas March 8, 2000
Ms. Gutmann's book is an exact accounting of how the world of 'political correctness' has destroyed our military. Ms. Gutmann also exposes the many politicans and military brass that betrayed the military man and woman. As a former Women Marine, I find this book essential reading for every citizen who loves this country. What has happened to our armed services? Reviewer: Steven L. Waterman from South Thomaston, Maine March 4, 2000
There are a few words I can use here to describe this book: sickening, appalling, shocking. Not the writer, not the book, but the SUBJECT is seen in that light. Stephanie Gutmann has taken a politically taboo topic and hammered it into perspective in a way that damn well better shock the reader. Those of us who have put it on the line in combat, or in other dangerous situations created by military service, take our hats off to her. She has written what should be required reading for every hand-wringing liberal politician who, for politically correct expediency, has helped create these policies which have turned our fighting forces into nothing but uniformed day care centers and our ships into different versions of The Love Boat. Somebody MUST step forward and pipe up before it's too late. THE EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHES. Thanks, Stephanie. I wish you luck in getting this book into the hands of those who need to read and heed what you have said.