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View Diary: Panetta said to be lifting military's ban on women in combat (147 comments)

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  •  So test the elbow crawl. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, DSPS owl

    Or at least something biomechanically similar to it.

    Pushups and pull-ups don't measure generic 'upper body strength' for women, if, in fact, there is any such thing. You can't count how many pushups a woman can do and guess how much weight she can carry or how long she can elbow-crawl or whether she can climb a rope or a wall. Nor can you watch her do any of those things and guess how many pushups she can do.

    The vast and overwhelming majority of healthy, fit women, including the ones successfully serving in non-combat-but-really-combat positions, can do 20-40 pushups and zero to maybe one pull-up. In other words, they fail the male PFT standards so badly that they'd never have made it out of boot camp, if they made it in in the first place. But they don't perform anywhere near that badly on realistic physical challenges. Most of them pass, and some men - men who met the PFT standards - fail.

    I know that's terribly inconvenient. But women are built differently, and so they approach real physical challenges differently. The PFT doesn't give you that option; there's one 'right' form for pushups and pull-ups, and it's the form designed to test men.

    "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

    by kyril on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 02:11:57 PM PST

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    •  There are quite likely to actually be times (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Stratton

      particularly in urban combat environments, where a soldier will have to pull themselves up and over a wall or pull themselves up using the hand-rail of a damaged stairwell, ect.

      It's relevant.

      If they start raising any of those standards just to exclude women, that's a problem.

      "I have often seen people uncivil by too much civility, and tiresome in their courtesy." Michel de Montaigne

      by JesseCW on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 02:42:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sure, it's relevant (0+ / 0-)

        whether a soldier can pull herself up over an obstacle.

        Watch a woman actually do that, though, and you'll see that her movements bear almost no resemblance to a pull-up or chin-up.

        Pectoral and bicep strength might be good proxies for men's overall upper body capability, but they're all but irrelevant for women. If you want to know if a woman can climb over a wall, you want to know about her leg, core, and hand strength. Flexibility might be a plus too. Really, though, it's easiest just to see if she can climb over a wall. It's not like the military is short on obstacle courses.

        "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

        by kyril on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 03:28:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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