In a recent Facebook post, former Republican congressman, Allen West, really put his opinion out there. He outrightly pointed to women in combat as being the main force behind repeated sexual assault issues in the military.
Specifically, he says:
I find it completely hypocritical for everyone to be up in arms about military sexual assault, but then want to cast women into high stress small unit combat elements. The objective is obvious: destroy the last bastions of American warrior culture all for the advancement of a misguided vision of fairness and equality. There is no equality in close combat.
Women, apparently, are destroying America’s so-called “warrior culture.”
He is getting mixed reviews. One Facebook commenter said “God designed us differently and with good reason to be sure. Women can serve their country in combat, however, this is a huge mistake.”
Another comment reads that “everyone in the military knows the risks of being a pow. Passing training is passing training regardless of gender. And we have effectively doubled the size of our potential military.”
The Huffington Post explains, in lieu of many concerned and seemingly confident commenters, that the military will not, in fact, be lowering its testing standards to accommodate for women. Rather, “everyone training for the roles must pass the same rigorous physical and mental tests.”
ThinkProgress comments that West’s “dismissal of sexual assault claims, despite extensive data supporting them from the military, is reflective of the same kind of rape culture that discourages victims from reporting their assaults in the first place.”