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Hey, my favorite! - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Hey, my favorite!
Nicked from logansrogue

Indeed, you are 75% erudite, 29% sensual, 50% martial, and 54% saturnine.
Another virgin Goddess (Diana or Artemis being the other), Minerva was, just like her Greek counterpart Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom and Freedom as well as an all powerful Goddess of War, which made her a most formidable opponent indeed.

Among the many disciplines that fell under her control were: writing, the sciences, architecture, embroidery, and just about anything else dealing with artistic skills, wise counsel, and of course battle and warfare.

Like Athena, owls were considered sacred to Minerva, representing wisdom. She was a very wise warrior, respected by the Roman legions.

She was also, no kidding, the Goddess of Women's Rights and patroness of career women.

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:

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You scored higher than 26% on erudite

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You scored higher than 0% on sensual

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You scored higher than 26% on martial

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You scored higher than 43% on saturnine
Link: The Mythological Goddess Test written by Nitsuki on OkCupid Free Online Dating

And on the subject of martial goddesses (er, well, sort of), I was reading an article about women in combat and so on--the article was biased against--and while a single argument made sense, the rest didn't.

The argument that did make sense--and makes sense in terms of all physical jobs--is that women do not have the same physical strength as men, and there's a lot of gear to be carried and possible hand-to-hand. That I could postulate a fight between Angelina Jolie and Bob Newhart doesn't change the general trend, and I definitely believe that there needs to be an absolute standard for the physical training, not a relative one. The task, after all, is going to be the same and require the same skills and strength, no matter who is doing it, and I wouldn't want people out there who can't do it. If Ms. Jolie can pass the physical tests at the same level as a man, more power to her. But not every man can pass those tests, and I wouldn't want guys who can't do it out there, either. So the whole feminist issue of making the tests more suited to passing women just makes me roll my eyes. The job is the job.

That said, the other arguments didn't make sense.

1. Women don't have a 'battle ethos.'
See yesterday's post on aggression, but even with that aside, we have a volunteer force. The women in the force are there because it seems right to their individual temperaments. Even if they are in the statistical minority (whatever), these individual women obviously have a personality type that can work just fine, otherwise, they'd have gone to look for a different line of work.

2. Men, trained to protect women, will freak out if they're in battle.
A very nice idea, I'm sure. Maybe it's the fact that my own father couldn't be bothered to check up on me even once in my entire life, but I find myself cynical about just how widespread this undefeatable altruism is. More to the point, is it really gender based? Girls are taught to defend other people too, these days. Shouldn't soldiers all have one another's backs?

3. Egalitarianism is a feminist position.
Okay, it's not linked to the actual theme, but that one kind of makes me shake my head. I turned away from feminism because I'm an egalitarian and they were coming up with things like "women's ways of knowing" and the great Earth Mother stuff, not to mention, "Logic is a tool of the patriarchy meant to undercut the intuitive knowledge of women." Not exactly egalitarian. Hence, my sharp right turn away from feminism during college, and my penchant for calling myself an equalist or an egalitarian.

Now, to me, all of this is entirely trumped by the physical strength issue, and I think that absolute expectations in that area probably will exclude the vast majority of women from ground combat... but it's not because they're women, per se.

The other point that the article made that made me want to scream was against training in combat, even though female soldiers are already pilots, drivers, engineers, and so on. Whether they are deliberately sent into battle or not, they could find themselves in battle if it comes to them. I'd just as soon they had a pretty good idea of what they were meant to be doing.
9 comments or Leave a comment
leeflower From: leeflower Date: May 9th, 2005 03:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
In my renaissance re-enacting organization, there is a small minority of men who don't believe women have any place on the field, because "They don't want to hit girls, so it's not fair." They also argue all the standard ones-- women cry when they lose, women don't have battlefield instincts, yadda yadda yadda. The funny part is the guys that say this are generally the ones who get their butts handed to them by female fighters in tourney.

I have to agree with you on the strength thing, though. It's a little rediculous the way people demand that the standards be lowered for them in the name of 'leveling the playing field.' Now, personally, this doesn't even make sense to me where games are concerned-- how does playing by easier rules prove that you're as good as or better than the competition? But applying it to professions, especially life-and-death ones, is just plain right out.

My dad's the recruiter for the local fire department, and he gets scores of people-- women, people with physical handicaps, etc-- demanding that the test standards be lowered to "level the playing field." Massive, massive headdesk. The test is designed to see if someone is physically capable of performing the duties required of a firefighter. If you can't run up a flight of stairs wearing a hundred pounds of gear at the air-conditioned test center, what use are you to a toddler trapped on the tenth floor of a burning highrise?

No one's trying to say that they're useless or somehow less of a person for not having the physical strength to run in turnout gear, but if you can't do the job, you can't do the job.
gabrielladusult From: gabrielladusult Date: May 9th, 2005 04:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Speaking as a woman who was an Officer in the Navy (and still work in the reserves) -- I have to agree there are certain aspects of combat that I'm not suited for. When I was still attending the US Naval Academy, one of my summer "cruises" (a pseudonym for real life navy experience) was a German exchange. Basically it was a tour of different things that young Germans did to train in their Navy. One was a firefighting/damage control thing that required wearing a lot of heavy gear (oxygen tanks and the like). I had been through similar training in the US, but our tanks were much lighter. I couldn't stand with all the German equipment and had to sit out. I was a bit mortified and annoyed at the knowing looks that said, "This is why we don't let women do these things." Mostly because Germans are great engineers and if the US tanks were lighter, why couldn't theirs be (all due respect to my German friends)? Of course, as long as they weren't, women should not be doing anything they can't physically hack. I would be equally mortified to have someone carrying my share of the gear on a hump (long hike).

Anyway -- my husband, and many of my male Navy friends would argue the "men want to protect women" point with you. It may be singular to the individual male -- but it's more than just training or how they were raised. It's a basic instinct/propagation of the species thing. Only women can have babies (so far). Granted, they can't do it without men, but men somehow that doesn't fit into their pea brains -- or perhaps it is a truly Darwinian thing -- if the man can't survive, you don't want to have his babies anyway. Plus, lots of men can father children at an older age than women can bear them. So some otherwise rational men, who are all for equality in every other thing, go wonky at the idea of women at war.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: May 9th, 2005 04:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, reproduction-wise, their physical contribution is of short duration, while ours is longer and requires more physical care (which is why we seek the ones who can protect us when we're sort of in an awkward physical position). There is some biological basis for the cultural norm, but it is something that's learned, and the extent to which they're discussing it is the problem. Yeah, protect. Sure. That's a good instinct on the battlefield, used intelligently, and I would hope women on the battlefield would extend the same courtesy (after all, they're not going to be there to protect us when we're in a delicate state if we casually let them get blown up when we're not). But like all biological urges, one would hope that they have the ability to use logic about it--I don't accept the "We Have An Urge To Protect Them!" rationale for being flakey on the battlefield any more than I would accept "We Have An Urge To Impregnate Them" as an excuse for raping a captive.
subsidaryforge From: subsidaryforge Date: May 9th, 2005 04:42 pm (UTC) (Link)


The implication that women are just not aggressive has always bothered me. Partly because the people who will happily assert this are sometimes the same people who will also happily assert that aggressive women have some kind of hormonal disorder. I also love it when "aggressive women" ends up applying to "any woman who doesn't like dolls and enjoys violent video games or trucks or stuff."

That said, I've known a lot of individual guys who are easy to freak out in, not only military matters, but on women doing anything "in the wrong bracket" and if the average gal couldn't handle the strength requirements of the army (I know I couldn't), the cultural tendency to Freak Out doesn't neeed to be there, I don't think.
story645 From: story645 Date: May 9th, 2005 11:19 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Mm.

What about girls who do both? As a lover of hack and slash video games and my barbies, what label would I be stuck with?

"Logic is a tool of the patriarchy meant to undercut the intuitive knowledge of women."
=That made me want to cry. As both someone who has some skill with logic, and a sane human being, my gut reaction is wtf? Cries again, this attitude is supposed to be good for women? Gender equalizing or some nonsense? Just shaking my head at how some people can be so stupid in the name of a theoretically good cause.
subsidaryforge From: subsidaryforge Date: May 9th, 2005 11:59 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Mm.

Extremely disturbed, I'm sure. I mean, how dare you like both! That's just maladaptive and weird. :P

And that is maddening. Why do feminists want to do this to themselves?
jetamors From: jetamors Date: May 9th, 2005 05:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think the only time it makes sense to challenge strength requirements is when they're excessive for the task at hand. If firefighters have to carry at most 100 lbs of gear up a flight of stairs, it doesn't make sense to make the strength requirements, say, 200 lbs in order to qualify.

Other than that, though, I totally agree. Who was it that said that there's nothing crueler than a pack of 5th grade girls?
drujenn From: drujenn Date: May 9th, 2005 05:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
The whole "women don't belong in combat" argument is entirely different from the "women don't belong in combat arms MOSs (Military Occupational Specialties)" argument. The first one is moot at this point - women are in combat, and acquitting themselves well, by all accounts. I haven't heard any instances of men being put in additional danger because they were trying to defend or protect their female counterparts. When the rubber meets the road, training kicks in automatically, and male soldiers are not trained to go protect the female soldiers. All soldiers are trained to protect themselves and each other, regardless of gender.

The second argument, IMO, should read "Any soldiers who cannot meet the physical demands of a combat arms MOS should not be allowed to hold that MOS." That alone will leave out the vast majority of women. The average combat-loaded rucksack weighs about 100 pounds. That's a heck of a lot of weight to carry around, and I know from experience that I can't do it for any length of time, although I max out the physical fitness test for women my age, and my overall score is about the same as that of the average male soldier in my age group.

The problem comes in trying to separate combat itself from the jobs whose primary functions are to "close with and destroy the enemy." If Iraq has shown us nothing else, it is that "front lines" are non-existent, and that every soldier, regardless of MOS, needs to be trained exhaustively in basic combat skills. I hope the lessons from the fiasco with the 507th Maintenance Company (Jessica Lynch's unit) will not go unheeded.

bluemeanies4 From: bluemeanies4 Date: May 9th, 2005 11:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
The only arguement that really makes me consider that women shouldn't be in combat is the PoW argument. Because, as a trend, a woman who's a PoW might be subjected to much harsher punishment.
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