On Women in Combat

No woman in her right mind wants this fucking job.

It is a woman’s privilege that her Quality is not measured on a yardstick thick with mud. It is her privilege to sit on the glass ceiling, above a caste of young men, most of whom are cut from their father’s cloth. Their grandfather’s cloth.

It is a woman’s privilege never to greet a Brother in a wheelchair; his body covered in burns and skin grafts. His legs left in a red trash bag in some BioHazard bin in Kandahar. It is her privilege to never carry the ungodly weight of water and batteries and brass. Or another soldier.

It is a woman’s privilege to starve for her figure, when food abounds. It is a woman’s privilege not to live on smoke and fire. It is her privilege to bring life into the world. Not the inverse. It is her privilege to be measured by compassion and kindness. On her ability to nurture, and sustain.

Not to destroy, and endure . . .

Do not complain when the men call you a cunt. They say worse to one another. Do not complain when your sergeants are hard on you. They are making you hard. You must be hard enough to fight.

If this is what women want, then own it . . . Infantrymen will not lower the bar for you. You must toe the same line, and hump the same weight. You will shit in the same ditch. You will starve, and you will hurt. You will suffer third world sickness without privacy. You will suffer every indignity the world will throw at you.

You will wake up over and over, on two hours’ broken sleep, and wish that you had been born a woman . . . but that is no longer an excuse. You will ruck the fuck up and soldier on. If you want to suffer this honor, then you will do it without special dispensation. You will do it on your own merit, or you will fail in the attempt, as many men have, at the limits of your ability.

If you can do these things, then you will not be a woman. You will be Infantry. You will be more a man than any who doesn’t wear the same cloth. This is not given to you.

It is now your privilege to earn it.