Sunday, 25 November 2012

Why Women Shouldn't Be Allowed In Special Forces

In the movie GI Jane, Demi Moore's character tries to join the Navy SEALs. She is the first woman to do so and predictably has a hard time of it what with sexism, an expectation she will fail or drag everyone down with her and insubordination.

While the film is average, one scene shone out. During a training exercise involving infiltration of "enemy" lines, Moore's squad are captured and tortured by Viggo Mortensen's squad of instructors/ "enemy" interrogators.

One guy has a gash in his knee going down the bone. He is in so much pain he is crying and they keep whaling on him. 

"Are you hurt or are you injured?" Mortensen enquires casually while punching hell out the dude (who is tied down). "Hurt you stay, injured you can go. But you are out of the SEALs!"

After a pause the guy replies "hurt!"

A big, musclebound soldier squeezes the bloke's knee and he pleads "please don't do that!" before bursting into sobs. The big lad simply laughs and blows cigar smoke in his face.

Next Moore comes in for a chat. Her hands are tied behind her back. Mortensen turns to her and casually asks "do you think we should treat women differently?"

"No" she replies.

"Good. Me neither!" He then proceeds to kick and punch her around. Soon the cigar smoking, knee squeezer comes in and stands in the doorway looking visibly shocked. "You got a problem with this?" Mortensen shouts, pausing with his fist raised over Moore.

"Yes, actually I do" the guy says solemnly, looking ashamed and upset.

"THEN GET THE FUCK OUT!!!" Mortensen yells back. He drags Moore outside and continues kicking the hell out of her. Her fellow prisoners are behind a wire fence and cannot intervene. 

"Come on! Gimmee some intel and I'll stop" Mortensen yells.

"Don't say anything!" Moore shouts back. Her squad are pleading with Mortensen to stop, uncomprehending as to the level of violence he is inflicting upon her. 

"Stop man, what are you doing?!!" one yells.

"Gimmee some intel!" he says again. Moore backbutts him in the face, breaking his nose. He ignores the pain and continues, dunking her head in a barrel of water and then unzipping his fly, implying he will rape her.

The squad of captured soldiers are pulling the fence in anger and glaring at him in disgust. There is a silence and then one says "you're a big fucking hero aren't you man?!!"

At this point we all genuinely believe that Mortensen has lost it. This is training only and he is treating her worse than anyone else. He has not offered her the option to say "injured" and leave. He appears to be enjoying himself.

Moore looks up at him from the floor and through a mouthful of blood spits out the words "SUCK MY DICK!!"

There are cheers from her fellow prisoners. There is a pregnant pause. Mortensen stands over her and after looking down, nods in respect, half smiles and then walks away. Everyone is shocked.

A short time later the cigar smoking interrogator comes over to Mortensen looking embarrassed and says "I'm sorry about earlier man".

Mortensen hands him a bottle of whisky to slug from and noisily puts his own nose back into alignment. He coughs and shrugs, saying "the problem isn't her. It's us".

This one, standout scene from an average film makes it very clear that while anyone can be tough, the people around you may not be able to bear the sight of you being hurt, regardless of how much pain they could personally endure. Everyone but Mortensen's character felt beating a woman was wrong, even if the woman is a trainee Navy SEAL. Mortensen wanted to show that she had to have that extra piece of courage and stamina, above and beyond what would be called "normal". 

Any enemy interrogator in actual combat with ANY common sense who found a woman on a Special Forces team, would take her out and torture her in front of the men in the unit. 99% of men have a biological mechanism that means they do not wish to see harm inflicted upon a woman or a child unless they are a direct threat.

Stephen King's short story "Quitters Inc" was made into the movie "Cat's Eye" with James Woods. It has a firm that helps nicotine addicts kick the habit. Problem is that it's run by the Mafia. Smoke once and they put your wife in a room with an electrified floor, turn on Classical music and make you watch while she leaps around, shrieking in pain. Smoke twice and they put your daughter or son in the room. Smoke three times and they send someone out to rape your wife ("we have a rather disgusting individual we keep around for just such a purpose"). Fourth time they kill you.

Woods' character only smokes once.

In season 3 episode 7 of The Walking Dead, Glenn is beaten to a pulp and locked in a room with a zombie. His girlfriend Maggie is in a different room where she's forced to strip and the Governor comes within a hair's breadth of raping her. They only give up the location of their camp when the Governor puts a gun to Glenn's head in front of Maggie.

Special Forces units should never employ women for the simple reason that while the woman in question may be tough as nails, her presence on the squad would threaten security for everyone. When I've had this discussion with people they've pointed out that this would be the fault of the men on her team. I agree, but last time I checked the SAS weren't into being "fair".


  1. Why don't you and your Psychiatrist get a room?

  2. Beyond irony-Goggins (Rehill,Broxted,McFarlane) talking about someone else being mentally ill.Do you get a bulk discount Goggins if you take all of your alter-egos to the couch?

  3. Lance, don't you think you should take a break from the madness that is the internet?


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