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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Writer's Life 2/9 - Male/Female

In an op-ed piece on the issue of whether women should register for the draft, Rich Lowry listed points I'd been curious about even before females were assigned roles in combat. The following has been edited and pared by yours truly: "...In an extensive study... the US Marine Corp compared all-male and mixed-gender units and concluded that women in mixed-gender units 'were injured twice as often as men, less accurate with infantry weapons, and not as good at removing wounded troops from the battlefield.' The physical capacity of the sexes is different, and top-end females tend to be only as capable as the lower-end males. The males in the Marine study averaged 178 pounds, with 20 percent body fat, whereas females were 142 pounds with 24 percent body fat. The top 25 percent of females in anaerobic power overlapped with the bottom 25 percent of males; the top 10 percent of females in anaerobic capacity overlapped with the bottom 50 percent of males. The physical disadvantage meant that women were more likely to be fatigued and suffer stress fractures. Women were six times more likely to be injured in entry-level training than males. The rejoinder to such inconvenient facts is always that the Russians and the Israelis deployed or deploy women in combat. But this is much too simplistic... According to a study for the School of Advanced Military Studies at Fort Leavenworth, even under the extreme pressure of the Nazi invasion, women were only 8% of the Red Army, and largely served as medics or otherwise in medical care. As for the Israelis, women initially fought with the Haganah guerrilla force prior to the creation of the Jewish state. But they were pulled back over time. 'Generally,' the Fort Leavenworth study notes, 'because of their comparative lack of physical strength, commanders employed women in defensive operations whenever possible.' Today, as The New York Times notes in a report on gender integration of the Israel Defense Forces, 'it remains rare for women to kill or be killed.' It is evidently too much to ask that reality intrude on the polite fictions of this country’s policy-makers."
Lowry is bound to catch a lot of flack for the column. I applaud him for daring to bring these points to light.

The fourth episode of The X-Files reboot was entertaining and featured an element coincidental to my life. When Scully visits her dying mom in the hospital, she finds a medallion among the personal effects -- a quarter with a hole drilled at the top of George Washington's head, through which a thin chain has been pulled through. I'm currently reworking my first manuscript. The main character wears a medallion of a nickel, which commemorates his first meeting with his wife to be. Scully does not know the meaning of her mom's medallion. Will that be brought to light in the remaining two episodes? Stay tuned.

Given the forecast, I assumed I'd spend the entire day indoors, but when I looked out the window the sun was shining and continued to do so at 10:30, so I decided to give the floating book shop a shot. Since it was too windy at my usual nook, I went to Bay Parkway. As soon as I'd finished setting up, Natasha's man asked if I had any books for her. I mentioned that she'd bought six from me on Saturday, but he was still kind enough to overpay for hardcover thrillers by Lisa Scottoline and Ed McBain. He knows the way into her heart. My thanks, sir, and to the woman who bought two paperback thrillers as I was packing up, and also to Mike, a local super, who helped me haul the crates back to the car. He found a $100 fine in his box today, stating that the area along his building, which runs the entire length from 83rd to 84th Street, had not been swept. He is required to clean not only the sidewalk but 18 inches into the street. Government leeches strike again.
Vic's Short Works:
Vic's 5th Novel:'s 4th novel:
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Vic's Short Story on Kindle:
Vic's Short Story Collection:
Vic's 2nd Novel: Kindle:
Vic's 1st Novel:

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