Arizona Congressman Trent Franks has a message for subscribers of "radical feminism": you need a penis to serve in military combat roles (cue the feminist outrage).
Franks penned an article for Roll Call last week, in which he argues that gender differences between men and women should keep the ladies off the front lines.
"As much as some feminists may begrudge biology for undermining their
arguments, the fact remains that men and women are different," Franks writes. "It may
surprise some of these feminists to learn, for example, that women can
get pregnant while men, it turns out, cannot."
Franks cites pregnancy rates on two Naval ships after they returned home from the Gulf War as proof that soldiers are getting busy while they should be fighting. He says mixing the genders in combat situations "further complicates the situation by providing one more component that can negatively affect morale."
"Consider the examples of the USS Acadia and USS Yellowstone during the Gulf War," he writes. "The Acadia was especially notable for having a high percentage of women aboard (about one-third of the crew). When the ship returned home from service, 36 female crew members (1 out of 10 women aboard the ship) were pregnant. Likewise, the Yellowstone returned with 20 pregnant crew members."
Franks goes on to say the physical differences between men and women could create a lower standard for the physical requirements of combat troops because women -- biologically -- aren't as strong, or as fast, as men.
"It simply isn't expected that a female soldier should be able to move as fast or carry as much weight (consider that combat gear can weigh 50 to 100 pounds) as her male counterparts. Not based on sexism, but based on decades of results, the tests assume that such parity is not the case," he says.
Unlike his draconian stance on gay marriage, Franks may have a point here -- much to the dismay of "radical" feminists, we're sure.
See Franks' column here.