Friday, July 04, 2008

Independence Day

Thanks to all our brave Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, and Airmen who sacrifice their time and sometimes their lives to keep us free. And, as a true-blue American mutt, happy birthday to us!

What, a post on MDOD absent cynicism? No, silly, here it comes.

Last week I was introduced to a medical provider who is in the reserves. The introduction came by a friend (also a woman and a veteran of the Army Corps of Engineers), and, in retrospect, I think my friend was doing it to get my goat.

This provider has managed, in her now twelve year "military career", to avoid deployment every single time by getting pregnant. She is pregnant now. My friend said to her, "Meet Dr. Peel, she is pregnant for the Xth time, and has managed to time it just right to avoid deployment."

The pregnant gal smirked at me and gave a little thumbs-up and said, and I quote, "You know, I just don't think it's fair to the kids if I deploy."

That's three other providers who would NOT have deployed going in her place every time. That's three other families disrupted. That's wrong. And THAT, is the result of liberal social-engineering in our military. The Marines are the only ones to escape this kind of ridiculous but obvious consequence of the gender neutral service. And, to her credit, my friend who introduced me to this shitbird said later, "You know, that woman really makes me mad... she gives all women in the military a bad name." Yes. Yes.


  1. Let me come up there and show her where to put that Hawaiian salute. That is absolutely sick that she would get pregnant just to avoid deployment. Why did she even get into the military? I'm sure they paid her way through college and medical school, then she stiffs them. Bitch.

  2. Ahh Man I know guys who pulled the same thing, with their herniated disks and such. Thats the whole reason I joined, to go to interesting and exciting places, meet strange and unusual people, and Kill them, well, to take care of the guys who Kill them. My buddies were more depressed when we had to come back to South Carolina. Anyway, its for the best 9-11, XXs just cause trouble on the battlefield.

  3. Frank, I have a few choice words for you and that last statement "XXs just cause trouble on the battlefield."

  4. Ah,but frank, the medic can say BS to your back pain, but it's hard to call BS on a positive hcg.

  5. Frank,
    If that was a song or a movie quote I do not know it. But I like it! Touche.

  6. EE, I'd like to hear your choice words, but you have to tell us if you've actually been on a real battlefield. And Gettsyburgh doesn't count.

  7. That was from Full Metal Jacket---yay! a movie quote I know.

  8. Nurse K, I'm proud! lol

    Frank, I, sadly, can't say that I've ever served our country. I have been to Gettysburg before though! :)

    Naw, I won't say the few choice words, but I do believe that some women would be stronger than some men on the battlefield.

  9. The thing I love about the 4th of July is the predictable jingoist bullshit like this. It's as traditional as egg nog at Christmas.

  10. Happy 4th, however delayed.

    In my traditional style, I simply must complain about something, so here goes:

    "The Marines are the only ones to escape this kind of ridiculous but obvious consequence of the gender neutral service. "

    Well, hey, no argument that this is something of a problem, but what do you propose? Barring all women from military service? Or do you just mean that pregnant women should still have to serve? I mean, we can find problems just as big in either one.

    All that said, I completely agree that getting pregnant or otherwise making oneself a theoretical invalid for the sole purpose of avoiding military service as a reservist is just about unconscionable. If it was to avoid a draft, I might view it differently, at least if it was a draft for a meaningless war, but that's not the case here. On avoiding drafts, I said I MIGHT view it in a more favorable light, so please don't accuse me of all types of anti-patriotism and evil liberal intent. That's an argument we can have later, if someone should decide to start it. :)

    Here's to the upcoming 233rd year of American freedom!

    Oh, one more thing: Freedom of speech is great, yeah, but I'm a reasonable person. Blog owners, if you want me to shut up, just say it and watch the magic happen. I am but a guest in your home.

  11. WW2 seemed to work out pretty well, Women serving as Nurses,Transport Pilots, and manning the assembly lines back home. Even simple things like Pap Smears are a bitch to do in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and with deployments now lasting 14 months, every soldier with a cervix is gonna need one.

  12. Aw c'mon 911. All military gals out there did not deserve that stereotype label. Don't let the actions of one rot the whole bunch.
    Men have also dodged deployment & have been doing it for years, for various reasons. How do you weed them out from the ones who actually deserve our support?

  13. My sister joined the military mainly because she wants to get deployed somewhere. Actually, she gets upset about the idea of the U.S. pulling troops from other countries because it would make her job "less interesting." So, not all females try to avoid deployment or join merely to get their debts paid off.

    What I can't understand is why someone would be in the military when she has no intention of following through on the job description. It's not like getting shipped off to the battlefield should come as a surprise.

  14. keep reading and writing voice..You may give us something to foam at the mouth about..

  15. Oldfart, I thought foaming at the mouth was your normal state.

  16. I do believe that some women would be stronger than some men on the battlefield.

    Heh. I always love this argument. "We can find a woman who is stronger than some other man we found. Therefore, all arguments of the form 'men are generally more fit for battle than women' are invalid."

    It's the kind of logic that makes me proud to be a woman.

    Dr. 911, women always want equality until they don't. Is there something wrong with that?

  17. Funny, I just overheard a conversation between a woman and her mother. She was telling her mother that xxx friends was now pregnant for the 6th time and it was to avoid deployment. Yes 6 children. She was Army, so its not only the marines that do it.

  18. Anon above, the "get pregnant to avoid deployment" angle is taken by active duty women in addition to reservists. A servicemember can be on non-deployment status for a number of medical reasons, basically anything that would be hard/impossible to manage in the field. Pregnancy counts, of which some women are obviously (grossly) taking advantage.
    I think a reasonable solution would be to just deploy the woman postpartum, even if she is out of her deployment cycle. Don't shorten her in-country commitment, even if she stays past the rest of the people in her cycle. The use of multiple pregnancies to avoid deployment time and again while others have gone multiple times is an egregious, unfair abuse of the system.
    A consideration is allowing women who don't want to be deployed for family/pregnancy reasons to electively enter a non-deployment status in which they forfeit housing and subsistence allowances, and do not accrue time in service for purposes of pay, retirement, or promotion. Make it so that, after so many years of this, she wouldn't be allowed to reenlist.

  19. If the armed forces were serious about combat ability there would be no pregnancy, family leave nor opportunities for females the same as males. Combat is for fighting and winning, not for social adjustments. But, the Armed Forces of the United States are bound by the Pentagon and Washington, DC to provide many things to many people. My personal gripe, is the women that become pregnant to be removed from theaters of operations go back to the US and then have an abortion after the danger is over... that really bothers me, but it isn't a government policy that does any of that - just a fool woman afraid.

  20. jingoism (
    1. an appeal intended to arouse patriotic emotions
    2. fanatical patriotism

    the thing i love about your comment is the predictable, arrogant, holier-than-thou bullshit retort implying that you, and perhaps those lucky enough to be associated with you, have the proper amount of patriotism and the proper perspective on America. please do enlighten us (and me in particular since my view is particularly skewed by having served many years in the 'gender neutral' service) as to the proper way to be proud of our country. in fact, why not start your own blog and just write about how you do everything, then we won't have to wonder what anonymous would do. in the process you could quit coming here, which would make us all very happy.

    to 'annoying voice':

    i am suggesting that the other services adopt the stance the marines have, which is to continue to hold to their very strict physical strength, stamina, and intelligence standars. they refused to lower the overall standards to allow women to pass their tests, they just made a different test for women. i have never said, nor do i say now, that women do not belong in the service.

    to Dr. Drackman,

    dear mottsapplesauce,
    you need to read more closely. i did not say this particular gal was a 'typical' female service member (though you should read this), only that she represented the worst of her gender... one who is clearly using her uterus to her advantage and putting others at risk by doing it. in other words, she's a selfish shitbird who has no place in the military. that being said, the more women are allowed in or near combat the more this will happen and the more others will suffer for the appearance of equality.

    dear Esther,
    your sister is the opposite of the woman i described. again, i am not arguing against women in the military. i hope you sister has a wonderful and interesting career and always returns safely. from this patriotic veteran, please do thank her for me.

    dear teresa,

    dear PE mommy,
    sadly, worshipping at the altar of diversity and political correctness has allowed a small number of women to hijack the military into being the new welfare state.

    dear anonymous #2,
    that sounds like such a reasonable solution that i think there is no way it would work. nancy pelosi, pat schroeder, and meredith viera would be on a cross country sobfest with oprah and the person proposing such a policy would be promptly banished to the south pole to count ozone molecules. many of my friends, who were not even in las vegas for the infamous 'tailhook' scandal, but were merely naval pilots, were subjected to interoggation techniques (sleep deprivation and repeated questioning with bright lights shining in their faces etc... very hollywood) normally reserved for enemy prisoners of war in the hopes that they would give some damning evidence against those pilots that were there and that did (shudder) participate in drunken skirt-chasing and leg shaving.

    finally, let me point out that we have a similar bit of silliness in medical education. female residents who get pregnant in their residencies put a particularly heavy burden on their fellow residents. of all people able to plan pregnancies doctors should be almost 100% able to avoid them. nevertheless, many female residents choose to get pregnant and thereby transfer their call hours to others which often makes a 90 hour work week with little sleep a 11o hour work week with no sleep. insult to injury when one considers that many medical schools preferentially admit women to 'gender neutralize' the class. good idea.

  21. Men ARE generally more fit than women in the battlefield. Women, in general, are not combat material. Most are not as strong, physically (or emotionally, in my opinion). There are, however, some women who are capable. So, Teresa, pop your head out of your ass and fucking learn how to read, I did not say nor imply the following: ""We can find a woman who is stronger than some other man we found. Therefore, all arguments of the form 'men are generally more fit for battle than women' are invalid."

    "they just made a different test for women" -that makes me sick. If women want the honor of serving their country they should work their asses off just like the men.

  22. dear EE,

    i love ya girl... i really do. i think you could probably outrun me and do a bunch of other physical stuff better than me and that's not the point. the point is that there's a reason that women are not in the NFL, NBA, NHL etc... there's a reason there are male cheerleaders.

    men are women are gloriously different and in regards to physical strength and endurance there's just no argument to be made when speaking in general terms. hollywood has been at the forefront of giving folks the illusion that there's really no difference b/w the sexes when it comes to fighting... i call these movies the 'chicks who kick ass' movies. they're fun, but they are movies.

    YOU might be able to hike twenty miles up and down with a 100 pound pack and leave most guys in the dust, but you would be a rare woman indeed if you could.

    notice i am not talking about the mental desire or ability to endure combat. quite frankly i have no idea what i would do in combat in this regard... it is entirely possible that i would be a coward. i hope i'll never know.

    i have told this story before somewhere else on the blog but i can't find it.

    all docs and nurses and PAs/NPs in the military are required to attend what used to be called 'C4' at camp bullis in TX- the 'combat casualty care course'. real fake army stuff... camping out, grenades, chemical weapons training and MOP gear, OPFOR shooting at you etc...

    when i was there in 1990 the following occured. at the time i weighed in at 220 pounds and was in top shape. i got to play a wounded soldier in a battlefield scenario. in my group were three nurses and two docs, one of whom was a woman. they could not carry me on a litter in any combination. i would have died in a real combat scenario and, if they had tried to rescue me, so would my entire group.

    the gals that couldn't carry me tried hard... they were not out of shape... they just couldn't do it.

    the course instructors did not say a word because they were not allowed to. no one got yelled at... no one had to do push ups... it was just ignored that our group failed the excercise. that's simply reality.

    i think that this argument is less persuasive in polic work or firefighting, but i still insist that the police and fire standards should NOT be lowered to allow more women to be police officers or firefighters. if you can't lift a hose and point it at the fire, if you can't lift more than 100 pounds over your head (just a number i picked as an educated guess) then you shouldn't be allowed to do these jobs whether you are a guy or a gal. lives depend on it. i think, at least for this last part, that you agree with me.

  23. On this independence day weekend I pay tribute to George W. Fighting an unpopular war, which many of his countrymen were against, for over 5 long years. Just when it looked hopeless and his own popularity waned he stoodfast, knowing in his heart he was doing the right thing for his nation. Many voices in the congress were staunchly against his leadership and handling of the war, but he did not wane in his single minded goal of freedom, and freedom from tyranny.

    Thank you, George Washington.

  24. 911,
    No kidding about the pregnancy during residency. I don't think maternity leave should apply in that situation. The woman should have to burn vacation if she wants to be off, and be limited to 3-4 weeks.
    Anyone who thinks that's unfair, tango sierra. Residency is an unfair situation by nature, institutionally and legally (and keep in mind, there is no situation outside serious illness that would let a man leave for 6 weeks and come back.) People outside medicine can't understand the enormous burden that losing a fellow resident puts on all the other residents, particularly at a small program.

  25. Hey 9-11, I went to C-4 in 96' ahh the memories. My class had some administrators in it believe it or not. 220 lbs doesn't sound like alot until you realize theres between 60-80 lbs of gear the soldiers carrying. Best part was the co-ed sleeping arrangements.

  26. pop your head out of your ass and fucking learn how to read --Choice words from EE

    It's always interesting to me that in discussions about women's equality, women arguing for equality of opportunity or some other form of equality for women reserve their choicest words for other women. There were several men who disagreed with you, but you chose to attack me. Women are their own worst enemies.

    EE, you have unwittingly demonstrated the best reason to ban women from combat. You will never hear the expression "band of sisters." I wouldn't want women like you on the battlefield with anyone I love, regardless of how strong they are, because they would be destructive to esprit de corps.

    Consider the world's greatest in any non-entertainment, serious field of endeavor. The best in every group are mostly men. Take the top tier composers, architects, tennis players, computer programmers, lawyers, doctors, artists, gymnasts, chefs, pianists, engineers, etc., and most, if not all of them, are men. Men dominate the top end of the bell curve. Artistic, athletic, or intellectual endeavors, it doesn't matter, men are still largely superior.

    Interestingly, men dominate the other of the curve, as well. Women are bunched more in the middle. Perhaps that is why women see equality as such a reasonable proposition--σ is smaller for women than for men.

    On the other hand, the the world's greatest misogynists tend to be women. This is so sad to me. Women can no longer feel contentment in being feminine. It's not good enough, so they end up denying anything that distinguishes them from men, and attacking women who don't agree with that agenda. "Feminism" was the most ironic choice, but it was also clever. They chose it in order to redefine it by associating it with new characteristics.

    So gentlemen, you can relax. Women are not generally capable of banding together in such a way that their individual emotions are set aside in order to accomplish a team goal. We won't be taking control of the world away from you any time soon.

    And thank God women are not responsible for construction. We'd still be living in caves and huts. God bless men; they don't get nearly enough credit.

  27. they could not carry me on a litter in any combination.

    Well I suspect they were having more trouble with the end your head was on than the end where your feet were. If they had just cut you in half right down the middle and flipped one half around so that half your head and one foot was at each end, your weight would have been evenly distributed along the litter. Then they might have had a shot at it.

    Ladies, a good understanding of physics can help you compensate for inferior strength.

  28. Swedoz, I'm normally extremely laid back..Comments on this blog are 1 of the few things that get me stirred up..

  29. Please do not get me started on the pregnant in residency training thing..Let's just say it is as stated above, unfair..And, that is why EM is NOT a women friendly specialty, unless the female is lesibian, against which I hold nothing. She can do anything a man can..When women get pregnant in or out of residency, it only creates hardship for her colleagues. We still have to run the shop 24/7/365. If you're a Peds doc lets say.(don't get mad Peds colleagues, you just popped to my mind firstit works the same for all specialties).
    Your partners are NOT taking new pts in your abscence and increasing their work load. (Being on call for you is the same as before you were pregnant) BUT

    in residency it is different in that someone else has to take your place in the hospital, clinic and call and you never make it up to them(for the most part) AND it is a GOVT MANDATE that if we didn't pick up your slack you could sue us for discrimination if didn't just roll over and take all the extra heat(your women colleagues have to do the same thing too)
    So, I do not view women in medicine as such a very good thing overall..But then I'd rather settle an argument the old fashioned way..
    We can't get over a problem, take it outside and then shake hands and we never think about it again.(old men)

    If we do it the "woman's way" we talk and talk, don't reach a definitive settlement, and hold it against each other for the rest of our lives, waiting to stab the other one in the back at the most opportune moment to inflict maximum damage on the other..

    What a dinosaur I am..

  30. The "pregnancy during residency" thing makes it harder for women to get positions in some fields (surgical specialties come to mind.) Some program directors don't want to risk losing a resident for months at a time, so they are less likely to take women, particularly married women. I can't say I blame them. If you have, say, 6 residents on a Q3 call schedule (say, one for the floor and one for the ER) and one vanishes for 2 months, well, that's 20 calls the other 5 get to divvy up.
    Other fields (pathology, where I'm at, comes to mind) are pretty forgiving in that regard simply because of the nature and structure of the work.

    Just a thought...
    Most med school classes are 50-50 split XX/XY. Women are more likely to work part time and spend the extra time taking care of family.
    Do you think that the larger proportion of women going into medicine will exacerbate the Dr. shortage that everyone is predicting, since a larger proportion of the workforce will be part time?

    I'm the same anon from above, and also the one from the Heller thread (Daley and his binky.)

  31. OK, this is a little preview from the Remix of my own C-4 post. Our instructor on how to carry injured Marines was a cute little Air Force Medic, maybe 120 lbs at the most. She demonstrated the technique on an Air Force Nurse probably 105 lbs (quite erotic actually). Then who do I get teamed up with to carry? The 260 lb Dentist...DOH!!!

  32. I love reading this post shortly after I received word that I am guaranteed my 3rd deployment. I am a USMC Doc for a reserve infantry unit. I served a bit over 4 yrs on active duty and am now in school trying to complete my undergrad premed requirements. I look back and think of what it was like living @ MOPP 2 during the invasion, walking 4 hour long patrols in 130 degree heat weighing 135lbs carrying 80 more in equipment. Our medical officers never patrolled. we patched and transported to them. they sat in AC all day. No dust on their flak jackets. no sweat soaked cammies. No IEDs.

    And this MO has skipped three deployments?

    I'm hoping that one day i graduate med school, and can come back to an operational unit to continue to serve. I dont owe anything.

    But at least I understand what my future oaths and commissions stand for.

    Doc H, HM2(FMF) USNR

  33. When my Boy was a Cadet, the following were minimum physical fitness requirements:

    Pushups (2 min): 42 (males) 19 (F-and these were "girly push-ups"

    Situps (2 min): 52 (males) 26 (females)

    Run 1.5 miles in: 12:20 (males) 18:30 (females)

    This to ensure "equality."

    Here's a serious question: Let's say I'm a geeky male. Though I'm pasty and bird-chested I can still easily meet the "female" PF standards, but am not permitted a scholarship and commission. Am I not being discriminated against on the basis of my gender?

    If not, why not?

    Annually they did a 25-mile hump over a mountain and back. Males had to carry full ~80# packs. Females carried empty packs. The females were still many times more likely to "Fall out."

    These are the gals that become OFFICERS. As The Boy once asked me: "How much respect can men possibly have for an officer who cannot carry her own pack?"

    I have daughters. Tell them they cannot do anything they choose because of their gender, and I'll kick your @$$ or die trying. Neither would expect lowered standards, however.


  34. Here's a serious question: Let's say I'm a geeky male. Though I'm pasty and bird-chested I can still easily meet the "female" PF standards, but am not permitted a scholarship and commission. Am I not being discriminated against on the basis of my gender?

    Yes, of course you are.

    I have daughters. Tell them they cannot do anything they choose because of their gender, and I'll kick your @$$ or die trying.

    I have no desire to get my @$$ kicked, but I am interested in the answer to this question. Can your daughters do a 25-mile hump over a mountain and back carrying a full 80# pack?

    Why are people so touchy about having the differences between men and women pointed out? It's almost like there's something wrong with being a woman if it means you're not as strong as a man. I am not afraid to be a woman. I am not afraid to work on increasing my strength. I have absolutely no negative feelings in response to hearing that there are some things most men can do that I will never be able to do. I do not feel inferior to men because they are stronger than I am. I do not feel a need to compensate in other ways or point out some other area in which women excel. I celebrate masculinity in men.

    There, was that so hard?

  35. I am going to play devil's advocate.

    Women do residency from ages 25 to 32-ish. When are they supposed to have children???

    Is it fair to expect them to wait until they are completely finished with residency into their 30's typically?

    I think not. I think it would make sense to make them make up the time at the end of their last year - 2 months for each pregnancy/leave.

  36. Lofty,
    I was under the impression that most women having kids and taking maternity leave during residency would already have to make up time due to missing more than 20 days. Am I incorrect?

  37. Teresa,

    I so agree with everything you say!

    Men and women are different, and I just don't understand the need some women have to try to prove otherwise. I have no interest in doing everything a man does and if he can hike backwards up the Kilimanjaro carrying a mule and a sherpa on his back, more power to him.

  38. Dear Amy-65C,

    How refreshing!

    Love ya, Teresa