Since women were officially allowed in military combat last week, a number of pundits and ex-military men have been explaining why this is Not A Good Idea.
Reasons range from the reasonable to the ridiculous – the most ludicrous involving women's sanitary needs, as Slate's William Saletan points out in the punningly-titled "Urine the Army Now." He quotes Jerry Boykin, a former lieutenant general, who is concerned that women won't be able to hack the gross conditions of extended deployment:
"During operations of this kind there is typically no access to a base of operations or facilities," writes Boykin. "Consequently, living conditions can be abysmal and base. There is routinely no privacy or ability to maintain personal hygiene for extended periods. Soldiers and Marines have to relieve themselves within sight of others."
Taking an opposite yet related tack, former Marine infantryman Ryan Smith argues that men will be humiliated by having to poop in front of women:
"Many Marines developed dysentery...When an uncontrollable urge hit a Marine, he would be forced to stand, as best he could, hold an MRE bag up to his rear, and defecate inches from his seated comrade's face," writes Smith. "It is humiliating enough to relieve yourself in front of your male comrades; one can only imagine the humiliation of being forced to relieve yourself in front of the opposite sex."