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Heather Mac Donald
Sisterhood and the SEALs « Back to Story

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No way will women ever be SEALS
It is a stupid idea waste of money.
Combat is rigorous. Women cannot pass Bud/s
Training get over it!
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Nice post :) Foken refs
Name Evan Cowart July 08, 2011 at 1:34 PM
Female SEAL,

If they are offended by the frat boys, then they will never make it in any Special Forces Group. The training for Special Forces is aimed at training them and challenging them, can they meet the stress and misery that will be heaped on them in the field. BUDS is aimed at testing their ability to tolerate misery and hate. They will be abused and made as miserable as the instructors can make it, they need to know if the trainee can handle the stress. It is easy to ring out of BUDS, they have a bell just for that, ring it, set your helmet in the "I quit line" and you are out. Very few complete BUDS. Their is no whine line for the girls, their are no quotas, if one can cut it you make it.

Most Special Forces groups are similar and make mammoth demands on the trainee, it is not a girl scout camp out, it is massive misery in an attempt to force one to quit. They don't need people with out the drive and ability to meet the requirements. Most women won't make it on physical requirements alone.

Presently, all military with the exception of special forces, have one standard for females and another for males. Females won't meet the standards for the male, which is required for special Forces.

I love it. Another stinging rebuke of "higher education". Keep feminist silliness out of issues of national security!
Une liste des sites de casino en ligne francais parmi les gain populaires de l'annee 2011. Sur quel casino en ligne la plupart des francais jouent-ils ?
Exactly right.

Special Forces, SEALs, Rangers - for MEN only. Get over it, girls.
MacDonald's assertion that the hypersensitivity of the feminists at Yale contradicts other feminists' push to admit women into special forces is perfectly rational. The two groups may represent women of radically different attitudes and strengths, but they share at least one trait: they are equally subject to the predatory behavior of randy men. Regardless of setting, women depend on the threat of social or legal reprisals more than their own physical strength to deter sexual assault.
If public expressions of sexually aggressive male attitudes are enough to break down those social and, to a lesser degree, legal barriers, than neither group of women are safe. If Yale continues to promote all forms of lust save those of heterosexual males, perhaps it should just stop admitting them.
@Jonathan: I'm not sure (admitted from a submariner's POV not an air POV) that Lt. Hultgreen was unqualified. Even when it hit the fan and Navy Times got the raw documents released that revealed just how much pilot error the Navy tried to cover it I got the impression that she was no more or less qualified than most. If I remember correctly most of the instructors at Pensacola couldn't recover the plane on their first shot in the simulator. Admittedly a big part of how she got there was a bad habit (overturning on her approach if memory serves) but I got the impression that was a bad habit, not a fatal flaw with further issues (engine in her case).

What annoyed me and I got the impression had the pilot community pissed off was the Navy refused to acknowledge her bad habit, ie pilot error, played any role at all. The Navy Times discussed how almost all fatal crashes, even one with systems failure, generally attributed some pilot error to the final result...that's part of life as a pilot.

If that's the case while PC or AA didn't kill her the craven PCness of not treating her like a pilot and giving her credit AND BLAME where it was due certainly killed moral in Navy Air.
I'm still trying to figure out what this article was about.. the navy SEALs or feminists at Yale?? Ms. McDonald should've focused this article solely on her Yale rant.

@Karl Magnuss - Affirmative action didn't kill Lt. Hultgreen. It was the Navy's negligence; they were desperately attempting to match the Air Force who had been making news producing qualified female pilots. Thank goodness the Navy has since come to its senses and only graduated qualified female pilots - still a vast minority in the air units.
Terrific article. Don't even go there on the SEALS. The lowering of physical standards for firefighters to include women has had serious safety repercussions in some firehouses and has lowered morale; nobody respects a double standard. Ditto lowering academic standards to include more minorities. (Just look at that case in New Haven, pace Justice Sotomayer.)

Hey if the blindfolded frat brats had been flashing their "No means yes, and yes means anal" signs during SWAY, they might have gotten cheers from the huge gay (male) population at Yale. Let's face it, if you're gay, it all comes down to anal at some point. Only fair to share.
Heather hit the nail on the head on this one. Could not have stated it any better. As a Yale Alum, hearing these feminist complaints is just ridiculous. Fortunately, I think this group represents a very small percentage of women who attend the university. Everyone just needs to quit thinking the entire world is against them and stop making excuses. Work hard, pursue your passions, and life will treat you well.
@Lew: "Somehow, I just cannot envision a Navy Seal or Army Ranger worrying that much about appearance in the field."

Somehow I can imagine them complaining about long lines for the mess hall or shower either. I imagine more they appreciate actually having a hot meal and a hot shower.

As for the bathroom, one of our ship's divers shared SEAL stories about just slitting the back seam on their trousers in the field to make relieving themselves a matter of squatting and moving on...niceties like TP didn't figure into it at all.
Reading this post, I am reminded of a 2007 article from Marie Claire concerning complaints from women who enlisted and found themselves in the midst of the war.

Among their complaints? “You can't wear earrings. Makeup can't be excessive. There probably aren't many times you can feel like a girl. You had to wait in long lines no matter where you were: in the mess hall, bathroom, shower”

Having served over 8 years active in the Army, including 18 months in Vietnam, I could only think Welcome to the United States Army, ladies. That's pretty much what we all had to put up with.

Somehow, I just cannot envision a Navy Seal or Army Ranger worrying that much about appearance in the field.
I'm a Navy vet. I was just in the submarine service, not a SEAL or anything demanding or rough.

If those Yale women are examples of the best women available I'd be amazed if they could survive boot camp much less submarine life.

The important thing to remember is they aren't the best women available. They're probably the worse. They are the worst of the slut and the bitch in a package where even what the frat boys chanted about is probably an over estimation of their value.

Instead, we should look to the women who do already make it through boot camp in all five uniformed services and who are a functioning part of the armed forces. While there are legitimate complaints about pregnancy rates and some feminist explosions from time to time (although these seem to be more the college education officer corps, conclusions about that left to the reader) these women are making it happen.

But isn't that the real story. Blue collar women have long worked as equals in many ways to men in their lives. Feminism is more and more just the bleating of the pampered white upper middle class too bored to be Martha Steward and too useless to even achieve what she has.
This is ridiculous. While supporting the exclusion of women from the SEALS based on biology is a sound, if unpalatable argument, your credibility is diminished by the outrageous claims you make about the Yale scandal. Men surrounding 18-year-old girls who have left home for the first time and chanting phrases like 'no means yes and yes means anal' is a lot more than just 'unchivalrous.' It's threatening and supports a culture of sexual assault, and for you to imply that women should expect and deserve this for not dressing more modestly is reprehensible.
Everything but chanting of 'no means yes' could be taken as pranks and probably would have been if not for that moronic chant. The old adage of sticks and stones has been used to dismiss the power of words, but let's not forget there are plenty of sayings on the other side of that little phrase, such as the pen is mightier than the sword. Words do matter and a group of educated men, whether hiding behind a frat or some other boys club, should be punished for chanting 'yes means no'.

The whole tone of the article confirms for me that women are womens worst enemies.
Well said! I am sick of feminists pretending to speak for me then acting like melodramatic, spoiled little children. Grow up already!
What's discussed here is not a women's issue at all but the propensity of wretched little girls towards rotten little boys. Note: a girl is no more a women than a boy is a man. I notice the mechanism elevating such children to credibility is public opinion. Doesn't say much about the general public's critical reasoning abilities either, now does it? That the government is involved at this point is equally juvenile and ... er, typical.
So because some women felt unsafe because of the frat's actions, all women are too sensitive to join the special forces?

This article is nonsensical. The women who want to join the special forces have nothing to do with the Yale controversy. Women are not a monolithic entity.

It's as if we pointed out the Naomi Cambell racist chocolate advertisement and concluded that black people obvisouly aren't fit for the special forces.
I found this piece to be pretty offensive and anti-feminist. My response is here:
I consider males should simply do as the Spartans did, simply abandon ship and divest their resources in more fruitful gains. After all Sparta as an exemplary and close historical analogy to the current political climate 'fell for the want of men'. It would appear males are increasingly vilified in all facets of society. It is no longer a matter of choice, it has become one of surviving the bureaucratic legal onslaught that raises not a question of existential legality but a simple what the hell. Let the feminists have their ways and do as their minds perceive is good, let them bring in the new world order and continue to revise history.

As we have passed memorial day let us at least remember just for a fleeting moment, the millions upon millions of male lives sacrificed to get us where we are today. Most in the belief that they served the greater good. Was it worth it and are we there yet ?
A woman could always enlist in the Navy and become a boiler technician or machinist mate on a warship. Work in the "hole" in 110 degree heat standing a six hour on/six hour off watchbill. Pay their dues first, then see if they can hack the SEALS.
This whole extended analogy is pretty simply invalidated by the observation that some women are mentally tougher than others.

To be a SEAL, you'd have to be among the very, very few toughest women (or men). You're not supposed to have to be as tough to be that tough to study at Yale.

The investigation at Yale is, in some sense, about whether the least mentally tough women were or are obstructed from learning. There's no generalizing from that small subset of women to the small subset who would be badass enough to be SEALs.

tl;dr even adopting a total misogynist jerk standpoint I can blow up the above argument.
Women will never be able to serve in spec ops (or most combat arms for that matter). The truth comes down to having a pussy and the likelihood of vaginal sepsis for extended field work. Because of said limitation, there are several types of missions a woman team member would not be able to go on, thus breaking the unit cohesion for the team or preventing that team from being considered for said mission.

So, beyond the points the writer raises (loved them, btw :) there are real biological reasons why women are rightfully excluded from combat branches of the military.
There is a link in the comments to a picture of Anna Holmes. One believes one detects the gleam of a steely fanaticism.

I recall the statement about the cause made by one of the early converts to feminism in the seventies: "It is not enough that women be willing to die, they must be willing to kill."
My apologies for not correcting "you're" to "your" before posting.
You're opinion seems to be the party line ate the MI. That said, I agree that those feminist who think that women need to be protected against every slight or perceived slight are, whether they know it or not, running a campaign to say that women are mentally and emotionally weaker than men.

They are wrong and not all feminists have bought into that nonsense.
Basic common sense and not sheltered view of life would tell us that it would be a rare woman who could meet the standards of SEAL team
There are very real reasons why women simply cannot be expected to shoulder the load in the infantry. The number of chronic stress fractures due to heavy battle space weight upwards of 150lbs has skyrocketed. It is a very real problem. In 2001 an Army Science study suggested that nobody carry even 50lbs for the amount of time that our people are carrying almost three times that. Even if a woman could carry 120lbs for 10-15 miles in 100F heat with only 55% of the upper body and 72% of the lower body strength of a man, there is the issue of a women's bones fracturing easier than men's due to bone density.

And it gets no easier in SF/SOF.
We are lost. Doomed.
Thank you! I love you! Sincerely, A Male
You lose us at that "wise precept." (sic) Does the word duh mean anything to you?
The armed forces generally have lowered or modified standards for women over the last 30 years, and especially since the majority of the combat exclusions were lifted in 1994. During that time, we have not fought anyone remotely close to being a serious so-called peer competitor. This has allowed proponents to claim the policy has been a success. Meanwhile, major fire departments across the country (especially NY and LA) have had to hold their standards because they have to be prepared to "fight" to the limit every time they answer a call. And, virtually no women serve in those departments. Judge accordingly.

Arguing public policy on the basis of exceptions - and there will be a very small minority of women who can outperform some men physically - is foolish. The far larger majority will determine the norms and thus the behavior of both the men and the women; the exceptions will be seen for what they are and full integration will suffer accordingly.

Where do we get people like Heather Mac Donald? We need more. Sanity and a sense of proportion are pretty much the same thing, I believe. If so, Anna Holmes and the incited ladies (love that word) at Yale are not well.
Sorry whores. I appreciate "Women's Lib" and what not, but you can't ever equal a man on the battlefield, no matter now many Angelina Jolie movies you've seen.
MacDonald's piece was not a "diatribe against women" who want to serve in the special forces. And the issue is certainly not about women at Yale having the "courage to push back against harassment by immature frat boys." Feminist organizations already run the Ivy League, their mandates are received with fear and trembling, and there is nothing courageous about spending Daddy's money on a roomful of lawyers.

MacDonald's piece brings up this question: What branch of the feminist movement speaks for women? Are women really tough enough to be Navy Seals, and yet so delicate that they can't continue with their studies when exposed to frathouse boisterousness? Which is it?

Among the comments here, some say that the women of Yale and the women who think they'd like to be in Special Ops are two separate groups, so comparisons are invalid. But academic feminists purport to speak for all women, everywhere, and so far their message is indecipherably garbled.

Apart from whatever reasoned arguments can be made on this subject, I'm inclined to think that this is really just another cynical power grab on the part of campus feminists. But what more do they want? Answer: As much power as they can get, and then some. The campus, and then the world, must be radically transformed. That sort of thing has already been tried a bunch of times. But good luck, ladies.
As a former member (1976-1980) of a lower-level "special forces" unit--the Ranger Batallion--I would guess that there are women somewhere in America that could withstand the physical, mental and psychological duress in serving in such units. To specify a number, I'd say two; perhaps, at most, five. I remember thinking while I was undergoing training back then that very few women could do even the most basic tasks--e.g., running flat-out for half a mile with 80-100 pounds on one's back. It certainly separates the men from the boys, not to mention the males from the females.
Edward Manzeer, PE May 29, 2011 at 4:49 PM
I'm a veteran reading on Memorial Day weekend this woman's (MacDonald) diatribe against young women who want to serve in US armed forces special warfare. MacDonald compares these patriotic young women to other women at Yale who have the courage to push back against harassment by immature frat boys. Freedom and opportunity for women is a long, hard road. Only recently have women cracked the patriarchal barrier to become US Navy nuclear submarine sailors. My hat is off to women who want to serve our country, and those who speak out for civil society - even at Yale. And a bouquet of stink weeds to Ms. MacDonald and to her sponsors Manhattan Institute and City Journal who want to hold American women down.
After racing through the much of the article, I was partway through the "Reality Check" segment before realizing that the writer was female. To me this suggests an even-handedness too often missing from current journalism. The terse summing up was a joy--the warrior ethos in essay form.

I am thrilled to see that someone from Yale can write, as well as opine.

An Old Blue
If all male military personnel just met the diluted low standards required of female military personnel, we would lose every fn battle we would ever fight.

That is the end motive for our enemies within.
Warning: horror at the other side of link:

Picture of Jezebel's Anna Holmes:

Aieeeeee! My eyes!!
One question Mrs. Heather Mac Donald. Have you EVERED served in the military? IF you have than you can right about this stuff, beause you know how hard and unusally job it is.
There are certainly reasons that women should or should not be in Special Ops. This unfortunate article does not provide any actual information about the issue.

Rather it discusses fat lazy union protected fire fighters and whiny politically correct Yale coeds. Rest assured Ms. MacDonald, neither group will be applying for the SEALs any time soon.

Please learn to formulate an argument, then learn to write, then get a job as a "reporter". Not the other way around.

Thanks, Heather.
Inviting the reader with a statement about the military fitness of women to compete, the author apparently finds the Yale travails more interesting and important.
Sorry, but biology and genetics dictate that women wouldn't last through one day of Spec Ops training, be it the SEALs, Green Beenies, or even Rangers.
And by the way, part of the training includes "waterboarding". Even though it isn't as brutal as it once was - been there - what woman wouldn't break down under the physical and emotional pressure? Most men do, so there exists no "sexism", neither here nor there.
All we heard for too many years was "all we want is equality". What they didn't say was - "All we want is equality of outcomes." That, my friends, is a deadly mindset for our current crop of combat G.I.s.

Sadly, Kara Hultgreen isn't still around to tell her tale of woe re: Naval Aviators and carrier landings. Affirmative action got her killed and cost us a $20 million dollar fighter plane.

Social Engineering.....ain't it great !!

Women can't be left alone to conduct their more traditional roles. Every society from the beginning of time understands what these roles are....but, we know so much better now?
Women (a select few) could be sent along as "comfort women" in SEAL bivouac areas!! The Japanese knew what a great "relaxation tool" women can be for young male troops to get the kinks out in combat area. But, never along on actual missions -----This is kind of like having cheer-leaders in football---only better !!
I have no problem with woman in any position so long as they are willing to meet all the standards that men meet. Basically, they have to be men with vaginas. Same attitude. Same physical standards. Same mental standards. Same meals. Same clothes with addition of different undergarments.

If a commanding officer has 10 soldiers they should not have to take into consideration that one of them is female. That needs to be not only officially irrelevant but actually irrelevant.

Thus far, there have been a lot of "issues" with women in the military. Among them, the phenomenon of sudden pregnancies when combat operations start. This allows women to get out of combat at will just by getting knocked up. I don't have a way to stop this short of mandating birth control, mandating abortions, or simply stating that it will result in a dishonorable discharge... but it's not fair to the male soldiers that must hold to their oaths. At the very least, this means men and women in the military are different. This might mean cultural adaptations in the military. A million unofficial little changes that happen to dynamically compensate for the official policy being nonsense.

Another issue is that while everyone agrees males and females in the military must meet the same physical standards, the standards keep getting lowered so more women pass them. That means the quality of male and female soldiers drops because they want more female soldiers to pass. That defeats the whole point of equal treatment. We'd be better off giving the women easy tests and still holding the men to the old standards. That way we'd at least get men worth a damn and the women can be kept in supply. Which is where most of the women are going in the military. They go to logistics. They drive trucks, cook meals, and sort ammo.

Unless people are willing to ACTUALLY hold women to the same standards as men... leave the special forces alone. All people will do if they impose modern hypocritical passive aggressive feminism on it is ruin one of the best portions of the military in the name of political correctness. People, we actually NEED a functional military. Lets not ruin it in the name of this nonsense.
When tough young men are put to the test of being trained as a Seal and the failure rate is high, what chance do you think a women would have under the same circumstances? In todays world correcting papers with red marks, letters and comments is taboo for the learning cycle and giving every excuse imaginable for the performance of the student to get through a programed course. This is not the prerequisite for a Seal.
So you are saying that ALL women are like this handful of women suing Yale? I'll be happy to tell my cousin that. She was the first Israeli fighter pilot and was given the most dangerous of the missions in the war with Lebanon because, quite simply, she was the best. I'll pass that along to my neighbour's daughter who is currently serving in one of our elite combat units -and the girls are held to the exact same standards and rigours as the guys to make the cut.
Nancy Kallitechnis May 29, 2011 at 2:23 AM
Regarding the sickening Yale incident, it's not about women being incapable of learning anything if they are victims of hate speech, it's simply that hate speech is wrong and therefore should not be tolerated.
As a 28 year veteran of the military with over half that in Special Operations Forces, I have no problem with females in SOF. If, and only if, they can meet the same standards as the males. I have served with numerous women who can exceed the standards and should be given the opportunity. I say this as the father of a 19 year old daughter who is considering military service.

Kabul, AFG
your article is unreadable snoooore!!!!
Women could never pass seal least not the way it is now. Maybe they could get it watered down the way they have regular boot camp which prompted Time to run a cover with a bootcamper getting his crew cut and the barber giving him a sucker. America is getting soft and we're going to get our teeth kicked in for it. We had better kill PC or its sure as heck going to end up killing us.
No, I'm not sexist but there is a certain physical standard which needs to be met and biologically women just don't have the same physical stature.
NO NO and NO!
and I am a woman!
In an earlier article Kay asked, cajoled and demeaned young men to marry young women. Why would any young man want to marry in today's millaeu? Female pigs are so much more equal than male pigs in contemporary Western society that there is NO incentive at all to do so. The fact that so many still do may be an indictment against male intelligence.
Men have grown up in broken homes for 40 years now where their fathers, in most cases, were filched of their monetary independance and, more devastatingly, time with their children. They have seen their fathar's "lucky" enough to be "allowed"
to stay in the family home by the "mother" on her terms. What else do you expect than men have had enough.
In absoluteley every measure of male/female interaction and social policy women and girls are treated as delicate flowers and boys/men are treated as perpetalately guilty of SOMETHING because they are male.
Please remind me why it is good for men to marry.
AbdulKareemaWheat May 28, 2011 at 11:35 PM
Zeavin, a single silver ring hanging from her nose, does not want to sound like a “prick.”

Nah...just an immature stink who thinks this will sell her "poetry".
She needs to get back in the kitchen and fix someone dinner.........
It isn't too much to demand that women be able to withstand frat boy razzing. Men withstand it. Why the double standard? No logical fallacy there at all.
SEALS for women? A bridge way too far. I don't know a single woman that could have made it through the standard Viet Nam era Army basic training I went through at Ft.Ord in 1966. Many men couldn't hack it. No woman could without a drop in standards. Period.
In the 60's blacks and women were oppressed and the environment was polluted. After 40 years of remediation, blacks and women are achieving parity in nearly every venue, and the environment is clean and getting cleaner. Yet you will never hear a black or female or environmental activist admit such. victimhood is their source of power, and they will always claim that we have oh so much further to go. The journey will never end as long as there is power to be had.
Stop the Whining May 28, 2011 at 9:18 PM
I am now firmly convinced that these girls and women will never be satisfied until they have the same sexual appendage as a male.

Is it any wonder why academia turns out little more than wimps and wussies who cannot think independently if that topic was not covered in women's studies?

All women are equal, but some women are more equal than others.
Just suppose there is a normal 170 to 180 lb. man wounded, and there is also a very strong woman weighing 140-150 lbs. How far will she be able to carry him. There you have it in a nutshell. Lives are at stake, if it matters to you.
Post hoc ergo propter hoc. The writer is all over the board. She all but states that because some women can't deal with sexual razzing that means no woman can make it in the seals. And that makes such razzing okay? I could go on through the article. Such logical fallacies are scattered throughout.
A friend recalled a joke that came out of the First Gulf War: The feminists were right, women make good soldiers. The feminists were wrong, women are not inherently peaceful. So, while the feminists were confused, the women had a good war.
The logic of SEAL training is pretty simple:

1. If a soldier marches to the point of exhaustion, he or she will collapse, and eventually recover.

2. If a SEAL swims (which they do a lot) to the point of exhaustion, he or she will drown. They will NOT recover.


3. SEALS must be trained to willingly endure more pain, work and hardship than any sane person would accept.

If any woman is willing and able to survive this training, I for one would be happy to welcome them into the SEALs.
Thank you for that! I need a cigarette...
It is remarkable that the Liberals and those who espouse their views do not understand that women in North America are among the most liberated on the face of the earth. At the same time that they complain about unequal standards here they support, as does the President and his party, the Muslim culture. Since the "Arab Spring" in Egypt women wearing western clothing are attacked, Christian churchs burn and intolerance is lifting its ugly head. Is that really the kind of culture we want to promote? Should we not know what values the incoming government of Egypt holds before we give them billions of our much needed and borrowed dollars?
Is Rachel an example of why America is in rapid free-fall actually, right before our very eyes?

To all of those who think there is an intimate connection between feminist concern that there are no women in the SEALs and feminist outrage at the "rape chants," let's flip the situation around. If the fact that women are angry at the way Yale men spoke of them means that women should not be SEALS, then what does the boys' "harmless" behavior mean? Do we want SEALs who blindly follow stupid orders? Do we want SEALs who find rape funny? Do we want SEALs who do not respect the value of others? Do we want more examples of "death teams" and prison torture? Our soldiers have a great deal of power when they go into other nations, and they represent us. Do we want the type of people who find chants about rape funny? If the connection between between Yale and the SEALs is really as obvious as all the commenters say, then I don't think immature, easily led, silly boys deserve to wield weapons. If we can admit, however, that different types of people make different life choices, then we can separate the sheltered Yale feminists from the potential female SEALs.
Great article but depressing. I'm glad I'm no longer young.
How do the Yale 16 feel about Ed Schultz's "slut" utterance on MSNBC? Seems the esteemed "Gang of 3" from "The View" might have a fundamental disagreement on use of vernacular with the Yale Grrrls.

Thank God I'm at the point in my life that I won't have to deal with these women incapable of dealing with life on LIFE"S terms in a supervisory position.
Seems to me Yale ought to go whole-hog and close their campus to males. That'd make up for the centuries women were not allowed to matriculate there. If other universities followed suit, we might finally have a true reformation of higher education. There wouldn't be enough women with degrees to take all the high-status jobs, so it's possible businesses would be forced to award them on some other basis, perhaps even ability, to some of the degreeless men. It's possible, too, that unaccredited schools more interested in teaching than in awarding degrees would come about, and that businesses would eventually recognize the value of hiring students from them.

Alas, by then the government would force such schools to take women. . . .

An impressive piece by an impressive writer. I sometimes wonder whether the achievements of this writer and other Yale grads are due to, or in spite of, their education at Yale.
@Robert Bustamante, who says he knows "some women that could handle a kid who's been running around some tires in the desert."

I doubt it, Robert. Apparently you have contempt for the training Navy Seals undergo, but you should know that it encompasses a bit more than running around some tires. I suspect that no woman, and all but a few very tough men, could "handle" a Navy Seal.

Women can do many things as well as men, but those women you know couldn't play in the National Football League, even pumped up on steroids. Don't look for a woman heavyweight boxing champion soon, either.

I have umpired women's college softball for years. People shouldn't sell the women short: they are gifted, talented, competitive, and ballfield savvy. They are vastly better players than the women of my youth and a treat to work with. They are good sports and seem to enjoy the game more than the men I umpire in softball and baseball.

But even the best women couldn't compete with a mediocre men's team. In slow-pitch softball, the women's fences are set at 200 feet, and home runs are rare. The fences for the men are 300 or more feet away, and limits have to be put on the home runs allowed. Same ball, same bats.

The men are faster, stronger, and tougher.(Surprised, anyone?) In the "co-ed" leagues, which contain some of the most talented women, special rules are put in place to accommodate the women (and neither men nor women complain).

Robert, ANYBODY--man, woman, child, black, white, gay, straight, intelligent, stupid--can point a gun at somebody's head and scare that person. What's your point?

As for Yale, American universities were hijacked long ago by "oppressed victims" with an agenda, with the Ivies at the extreme. This is one more reason that the next American "bubble" to burst will be the one that involves incurring a lifetime of debt to get a degree in a subject only radical ideologues care about.
Why are so many commenters determined to be dense, saying things like "Maybe different women besides the Yale 16 want to join the SEALs," or "Just because some women are foolish doesn't mean all should be banned! The author is a joke!"

You are MISSING THE POINT, which is NOT that women should no be SEALs, but rather that extreme feminists are behaving irrationally: let me go through Hell Week with the men, but a tastleless frat boy prank not only "encourages date rape" but is so bad it PREVENTS ME FROM GETTING AN EDUCATION. Believing both statements at the same times makes no sense.
While I might agree with everything you have to say, this has very little to do with SEALs
The first time I saw you on TV, I thought you were around 30 yrs old. I guess if graduated in '78 , you must have just been born..

Well, it's simple.

Ban males.
About what you would expect given that feminism went viral and trivial some years ago.

Women should be asking themselves, "what happens to my brother, father, grandfather, uncle etc. when foolish women make baseless accusations."

It is the men who suffer from discrimination not the women and women who witness without protest are accomplises against their own male relatives.

Oh well, what'a a few more good men given to the cause?
Anna Holmes should lobby to ammend the Selective Service Act to require all persons 18 through 26 in the USA to register not just the males.
Yale is unfortunately adding fuel to the fiery argument that the rest of the country need not pay attention to what the Ivies do. Given that most aspiring universities/colleges look to the Ivies for their role models, this in turn feeds into the argument that college education is becoming unnecessary in today's economic climate. That's one thing the so-called "feminists" want...if potential competitors are driven out of the contest for jobs, wymyn will have more chances.

OTOH, as a woman having had a career in science, starting in the mid-1970s, I add my voice to that of Ms. Donald: I have never once, in school or in the workplace, experienced any sort of discrimination from men. Any problems I encountered came exclusively from other women. So much for Sisterhood, which only benefits the manipulators of "feminisim".
Great piece of writing.
This chick needs to realize that women cannot do everything a man can do, it's simple biology. If I was a man I would not want a woman on my team that could not physically cover my butt when needed. However, I recently read Brad Thor's Althena Project, a team like the Seals and Rangers, who are entirely made up of women, who can go places and do things that men can do.A much better idea
"They are also chanting a phrase that could give rise to rape." Hysterical much?

Perhaps the women who want to join the SEAL units are not the ones who complain about male idiocies on campus.

If they can meet the criteria (which should not be altered for them) some women might make excellent special force members: the IDF in Israel has shown the way. If other women want to run around squealing "Oh Sir Jasper do not touch me!" that is their privilege.

Perhaps we should not confuse the two ambitions.
I have never met a woman who could pull her own weight on a flippin' canoe trip (which meant I always had to work twice as hard, while a woman provided dead weight mid-canoe or exerted about half as much energy on her side of the canoe, forcing me to J-stroke like a mad man). I shudder to think how women would manage in the Navy Seals.
Joyce Stoer Cordi May 27, 2011 at 6:06 PM
As a Berkeley co-ed, I played a leadership role in UCB's last Great Panty Raid. In those days UCB was both top notch educationally and, also, socially. We got a well-rounded education -- indeed!

What I learned I've applied to a 30 year successful career
1) Never take yourself to seriously --
2) We are all intellectually equal from 9 to 5 -- I win more than I lose -- with the guys, and
3) "I enjoy being a girl" --

When it comes to opening a car door or lifting a briefcase into an overhead compartment -- I appreciate male muscle.

As for rolling around in icy ocean water and wet sand -- I am behind YOU GUYS 100%!

What do you mean special operations units don't have women members! You see them on TV and in the movies all the time.
Brilliant, as always.
yuval Brandstetter MD May 27, 2011 at 3:09 PM
If all boys and girls were drafted for 30 months and served their country, to the fullest of their abilities, before going to college, they would appreciate each other much better. 18 year olds are not mature enough to go to an institute of higher learning, so they waste the first two years on massive exercise of their libido. Let them all be drafted and all start from equal rookie-training, and they will be better for it.
No one protests Shapes or Curves, two clubs which determine membership based on gender. I've never understood how anyone could join such a place - I would never join an organization which determines eligibility in such a bigoted way.
If I were a young high school-age man today (and even when I was in high school, I would have found the "frat boys"' activities tasteless, to say the least) reading this article about Yale (the college that has counted as its alumni William F. Buckley, both former Presidents Bush and, from the law school, former President Clinton), all this would dissuade me from even touching that institution with a ten-foot pole. I would think that Yale would be fostering a hostile environment against ME. And it isn't just Yale. Remember what happened to the Duke lacrosse players.
Whiny women like those at Yale and who want to play (nice) with the Special Forces boys are an embarrassment to the truly empowered women who move forward in their lives without the crutch of a victim mentality. If women honestly chose the rigorous regime required for the Special Forces (or a serious non-Wymyns Studies curriculum) and they survived it WITHOUT special treatment, more power to them. I would be as grateful for their dedication and sacrifice as I am for the SEALS who took out OBL. But I have no time for those who carry a sense of entitlement based on gender,race, or anything else. Get a life, Girlfriends.
The dilemma, from a male viewpoint, is quite simple. Men are raised to be sportsmanlike, and women are not. That's why we cannot understand how women can be broken down into such vastly different subgroups. Yale women are princesses, while navy seal women kick ass. ALL MEN are raised to be tough, and show proper sportsmanlike behavior. Therefore, this is why we cannot comprehend how it is that modern women cannot take simply teasing and joking from university frat boys.....and be able to join the navy seal at the same time.
Robert Bustamante May 27, 2011 at 12:53 PM
Your article seems to begin with the presupposition that women do not have and cannot have sufficient physical and emotional stamina to be navy seals. I believe women do and should be given an opportunity to prove it. I have had female police officers pointing a gun at my head. It is just as threatening. In terms of hand to hand combat, as rare as it is these days, I know some women that could handle a kid who's been running around some tires in the desert. As far as antics at Yale, we, the US, have a history of verbally slapping the hands of those who engage in abusive and illegal behavior because "they're just kids, a few bad apples, childish boys" who will grow up to be CEO's and university donors. The truth is that, yes, the university is in a difficult position when it is tasked to take on the children of powerful individuals for the sake of civil rights. However the university must find a meaningful way to do so beyond rhetoric and what amounts to ignored billboard campaigns. It seems that that is what the women's movement at Yale may be trying to accomplish. Your stance exasperates the problem.
T. J. Eckleburg May 27, 2011 at 12:40 PM
Anyone who claims that the issue of women in special forces has "nothing to do with" the situation at Yale is missing the essential point of the article: the irreconcilable duality of the modern feminist movement. On one hand, women must be allowed to do all the same things as men; on the other, women are delicate flowers that require federal agents to protect their feelings from frat boys. That the women at Yale may not be the exact same ones who wish to become SEALs is irrelevant.
Hannah Zeavin has deep daddy issues.
I suggest this feminist bigot enlist and do a tour in a combat zone.
....and he is what will happen. One side of the female student body will seek redress in the courts. The other side will wait by their phones/email for the next invitation to the same frat's spring party.

It's up to the girls to decide whether they reinforce bad behavior or not. However, those seeking redress in the courts will later condemn the frat boys for not inviting them to the next beer bash.
"Anna Holmes claims that women are fully capable of the self-abnegating warrior ethos, willing to bear up stoically under crushing physical and mental adversity. The Yale fiasco suggests otherwise."

Because the exact same women at Yale are trying to become SEALS?

This article is an overly-emotional joke.
It has to be exhausting spending your whole waiting to be aggrieved or offended.

Lighten up girls.

And (below), "...chanting a phrase that could give rise to rape"....really? Please.
B. Samuel Davis May 27, 2011 at 10:28 AM
To those who think that the Yale frat boys behavior could somehow give rise to 'date rape' I would refer you to another of Heather Macdonald's articles on the very same subject.

There is something comical about the events described, and perfect for satire - comical but depressing too, very depressing.

The feminist movement lost whatever credibility it had as a result of its response to Bill Clinton's abuse of a young intern, and attempted rape of someone else. As an example - one among many - rather than condemning Clinton's inexcusable behavior (if Clinton has an "R" after his name he would have been booted out office but Democrats are subject to a different standard) the Democrats bought off NOW with a grant for "tobacco control" from the Department of Health and Human Services. As outlined in detail in one of Tammy Bruce's books California and National NOW received $767,099 in exchange for, not only silence, but support for Clinton. You tell me - was that hypocrisy or what? If it had been a Republican who did what was done by Clinton what would have been the result?

Not be a broken record on this issue, but it really comes down to media, doesn't it? Media silence, manipulation, fabrication et als are how the Democrat left gets away with these hypocrisies - where was the media on the NOW payoff? Like I said, depressing, simply depressing.
These women are on "scorn alert" to whip up the wrath to give everybody else hell.
In, "Sisterhood and the SEALs" Ms. MacDonald wrote, “The university sends the message that “no means no”…”

I asked the men in my classes how often they had been asked for their consent by girlfriends. Their answer, “Never,” plus widespread laughter.

A woman student offered, “Girls don’t have to ask, because guys are always ready.” Another interjected, “If he won’t perform, the girls should know that he can’t get it up, or prefers guys.”
I asked if that threat could be intimidation: “No”.

According to the law, a woman may say ‘no’ at any time. If the man continues, he has perpetrated rape. ‘No,” at ANY time?

The funniest and the cruelest taunt was how many beers you had to drink before you had sex with one of the woman. I laughed but when it gets personal like that, that is over the line. I am sorry.
Norman Hanscombe May 27, 2011 at 3:55 AM
The one flaw in Heather MacDonald's piece is that it relies on carefully developed logical analysis of the facts. We can't have that sort of behaviour in today's world.
Heather has the goods on the feminazi impostors whose agenda has nothing to do with the substantive issues of actually fighting the way SEALS fight, but everything to do with a phony excuse for another distraction from real-world realities women must face everywhere.
This article is an accurate picture of something that has gone terribly wrong in higher education. What Heather MacDonald is describing at Yale is a carbon copy of what goes on at many other college campuses around the country. As she points out, the insanity is so institutionalized that it will continue to grow without significant resistance and as the students pushing this agenda graduate, they will find themselves recreating these same dramas in whatever job, community organization or government agency they are part of.

I don't see a lot of reason for hope. This kind of craziness could bring US society to its knees. It has already severely damaged the system of higher education in America and greatly hampered our ability to face our national challenges.

The more people depend on preferential treatment for their positions and institutional power, the more exaggerated their claims of institutional oppression must be to justify such favored treatment.

This is a process that has no natural counterweight. Once common sense has been replaced by a reverential adherence to the cult of victimhood, everything that occurs simply makes the voices of irrationality stronger.

I keep waiting for the PC madness to collapse under the weight of its own stupidity but it only seems to be getting worse. It is something that can't be appeased, it can only be fought.

The problem with "words will never hurt me" is that words DO hurt. That "truism" just isn't true.

It's also preposterous to draw the conclusion that women shouldn't be in special forces because some women at Yale are offended by the patently offensive things said by Yale frat boys. Maybe women belong in special forces and maybe they don't. But it has nothing to do with the situation at Yale.
So the sissies, er, "sisters", are in fear for their future? If they can't DEAL with such juvenile taunting on the part of their male counterparts, perhaps they are deluded in thinking they can actually GET an education worth more than the steel-stamped paper upon which their dimploma will be recorded.
If they truly WERE endangered, say, frequent victims of rape, robbery, assault, house-breaking, the cure is simple. Allow them to carry personal defensive weapons, and offer them the training to use them properly. Statistics show that when putative victims are potentially armed, those plotting against them will find other prey.
Federal investigation, indeed. To these "sixteen", I say GROW UP. Welcome to reality.
Heather Mac -
your story reminds of the zenith-point in Michael Lewis' THE BIG SHORT:
"...they watched Eisman grab Greg Lippmann, point to Wing Chau, and say, "Whatever that guy is buying, I want to short it."
Likewise for me...ANYTHING that Anna Holmes et al stand for, I want to short it.

And amusingly enough, apparently this very same Wing Chau is suing Michael Lewis for "defamation" over this exact section of the book; after Chau single-handedly sank billions in jive mortgage trades, probably including a healthy lump of dear Yale's endowment.

For the girls who can put out (effort, not carnal "services") like the SEALS, check out the SEAL training requirements:
and if a woman can handle it, the Israeli armed forces are equal-opportunity, so go for it! Maybe we can live to see Anna Holmes on the Military Channel's SURVIVING THE CUT (clips on YouTube); motto - "this is your life...You're hardcore now."

Gotta love MacDonald for this one!
Stupidity. You're comparing completely different segments and populations.

Of course the frat boys are stupid and likely to incite emotion. They are also chanting a phrase that could give rise to rape. Would anyone of those frat boys possibly make as a US Navy Seal? No. Would any woman that might be bothered by them? No.

However, that doesn't mean that all woman are meant to be a Navy Seal, all men are meant to be a Navy Seal or the emotional consequences from date rape will not vary from woman to woman.
This piece needs to be distributed. I am looking forward to the sophisticated response from the hormonal sites operated by Gawker Media (probably they will begin by accusing you of being a bitter old hen or uppity or something along those lines). Cheers to all the well-behaved feminists seldom making herstory.
Mac Donald is great. This article was amusing, honest, sharp, and uncompromising. Love it.