The Instigator
browncd81
Con (against)
Losing
125 Points
The Contender
Danielle
Pro (for)
Winning
127 Points

Women on US submarines

Do you like this debate?NoYes+24
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Vote Here
Con Tied Pro
Who did you agree with before the debate?
Who did you agree with after the debate?
Who had better conduct?
Who had better spelling and grammar?
Who made more convincing arguments?
Who used the most reliable sources?
Reasons for your voting decision
1,000 Characters Remaining
The voting period for this debate does not end.
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/6/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 17,628 times Debate No: 12265
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (103)
Votes (52)

 

browncd81

Con

I will preface this debate with two facts: this is my first debate on this site, and I am a former submarine officer, having served for 3 years on a submarine stationed in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. I think the Navy is making a mistake in allowing women to serve on submarines, but perhaps someone can change my mind
Danielle

Pro

[ Introduction ]

Thanks, Con, for the debate... and welcome to DDO! In the future, keep in mind that the instigator of a debate has the burden of proof, and thus is expected to post an argument first in Round 1. That said, I'll begin this debate anyway by presenting several contentions under three specific categories, and then offering an initial rebuttal against arguments against the resolution. My rebuttal in the next round will expand based on your arguments. Thanks again and good luck!

[ Legal Argument ]

Quite obviously, there is no good (fair) reason why women should not be allowed to serve on United States submarines. There is no private employer regarding the Navy -- It is funded by the United States government, and the government like all employers has a legal obligation to uphold the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This statute mandates equal opportunity employment; in other words one cannot be turned away from a job on the basis of their race, creed or sex [1]. Therefore, preventing women from serving on submarines strictly because of their gender puts the United States at odds with the legal obligations it is bound to. This act is not only immoral but illegal as well.

[ Moral Argument ]

Throughout the ages, women have been inhibited from various aspects of academia and the work force due to their gender. Over the years many brave women have worked and fought hard to change the system and prove that women are just as capable of men at performing most jobs. While admittedly men have superior upper body strength and other minor physical advantages, the field of submarine work does not have gender-specific requirements that should limit women working to do something which they are both qualified for and passionate about. To do so is to practice blatant discrimination which is contrary to the goals and values of the United States.

[ Pragmatic Argument ]

The submarine service has some of the most technical requirements for officers. Many years ago, 70% of the male navy officers had technical degrees. Today, only 25% of the men in the navy have technical degrees (such as in the field of engineering, etc.). Meanwhile, the number of women with technical degrees is increasing. Ergo, it makes sense to open the field of submarine service to women given their expanding qualifications. This is a practical endeavor for the Navy. The number of potential male employees is decreasing while the number of potential women employees is increasing. By restricting women, it limits the pool of potential employees and may lead to an under qualified person being hired next to a more qualified individual. Not only is this immoral and illegal, but counterproductive and even dangerous regarding the citizens the Navy is supposed to be protecting. We deserve to have the most qualified soldiers on board regardless of their gender.

[ Arguments Against Women On Subs ]

We must evaluate the reasons women have been not allowed to work on U.S. submarines in the past. There are 2 arguments: Cramped quarters and sexual harassment. Because submarines used to be very small, there existed little privacy for the crew on board. The Navy felt that the women would have too little privacy thus presenting a problem. However, it's more than obvious that (a) not every woman requires privacy and (b) some women do not care about this issue. If men are okay with the close quarters, then it is reasonable to accept that women can be just as okay with it. Many are, and that is indeed proven by their willingness and excitement to join the submarine crew. Moreover, modern submarines are far larger meaning this problem is no longer even an issue [2].

On the basis of sexual harassment, Admiral Barry Bruner notes that there will be increased training aimed at avoiding sexual harassment, improper onboard relationships and other related problems. In other words, any sex-related issue will be prepared for and warned against. Additionally every submarine with women on it will have multiple women so as to not feel isolated. Only female officers will be allowed on board initially meaning in many cases they may even be higher ranked than their male subordinates. We should expect that men are decent and capable enough of respecting the ranking hierarchy in the military and not violate a superior. We should also assume that men are not barbaric animals and capable of upholding a professional demeanor in the workforce by not raping or harassing their coworkers. To presume that men will not be able to control their urges is demeaning not only to women but especially to the men who are regarded as sexual terrorists.

[ Conclusion ]

It is immoral, illegal and impractical to ban women from serving on U.S. submarines. The United States government is responsible for upholding U.S. laws and sentiments regarding equality. Since female citizens are equally expected to pay taxes, and female soldiers are equally responsible to their military commitments, then to discriminate against women in particular areas is unethical. The only arguments against women serving on subs are now either completely irrelevant, or resort to reducing men to uncivilized barbarians enslaved to their animalistic cravings. This is discriminatory to both men and women. It is not women's fault that men like to have sex; they should not be inhibited in their chosen profession simply because men in the past have been dangerous and irresponsible. Every crew member is responsible for their own actions and work ethic. Women are just as qualified as men for this particular line of work, and to restrict more qualified individuals from serving puts both the members on board and all citizens of the U.S. in danger. We should have the best and most qualified people working in all parts of our military regardless of their reproductive organs. Thank you.

[ Sources ]

[1] http://www.archives.gov...
[2] http://www1.voanews.com...
Debate Round No. 1
browncd81

Con

Thanks and I look forward to a great debate!

IMHO, women are stronger than men. In some places men are better suited (collision sports), while in others women are better suited (pregnancy), but I give women the nod for having more overall strength. I support gender equality and I applaud the brave women and men who have fought for women's rights. I want to point that out before making my arguments so that no one reading this will think I am a male chauvinist.

On my submarine there were 2 gay men. No one cared because they did their job. Our concern was effectiveness. Women will lower the effectiveness of submarine crews.

1. We are not keeping them from pursuing a dream. Subs are very hard and I've never been more bitter people. The suicide rate is higher than the rest of the military [1], [2]. One third of my shipmates eventually saw the chaplain, meaning they had suicidal thoughts and were taken off the ship. I replaced an officer that was carried off in a straitjacket for suicidal thoughts. One of my roommates had a voodoo doll of the captain with a string noose that we hung in our house. A submarine is not a challenging environment that pushes you to build confidence. A submarine is a demoralizing, discouraging place. The OPTEMPO (# days at sea) is psychotic and the hours in port are between 70-110. Not only that, since working a "stressful" civilian job, I noticed that submariners do more every two hours than most civilians do in a day. When you actually do get a day off, it is hard to get your mind off work, you can get called into work at any time, and you feel guilty for enjoying time off. I've only scratched the surface of this and I'll provide more details if asked. I can assure you that after a month, they, like everyone else, will be counting down the days until their time is up.

2. Given #1, these men do not need more stress. Yet, those who want women on subs never think about the effects to the crew. All of your arguments were based on women's ability to do the job, and not the crew's ability to handle the extra stress. As always, no one advocates for these men. The admirals who "support" this are forced to for fear of losing face. Don't believe they really mean what they say. I am former Navy, I know this.

3. Regarding the legal aspects, consider this quote from Dr. MLK Jr: "We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was 'legal' and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was 'illegal'. Sometimes ethics extends beyond legal boundaries. Solving one problem by creating five others is bad and unethical, legal or not.

4. The problems women on subs will create:
4a. The crew likes to weed out the weak, if you know what I mean. Grabbing someone's penis, reaching in and giving them a sweet little kiss on the face to see if they get freaked out easily, mentally trying to break them down (even straight up telling guys to kill themselves) are things that happen regularly. Not a place for women, and this behavior is ingrained in submariners.
4b. Pregnancies. Crew manning is very tight and there is very little margin for losing sailors. Having a sailor take pregnancy leave would screw their shipmates. Would you like to tell someone to work more than 80 hours a week in port?
4c. Usually, married sailors want to be on SSBNs due to less sea time, less in port hours, and predictable schedule. But women are guaranteed billets on these ships and will not serve on SSNs, which have a MUCH tougher schedule. So, this is unfair to married officers and their wives to lose a spot on an SSBN in favor of a female. Also, officers who serve on SSBNs on their first boat MUST switch to an SSN for their second, to prevent the same guys from monopolizing "the good deal." But women who stay in won't be made to switch to an SSN. Special treatment is unfair, but again those who want women on subs are more than okay with the disharmony it will create for current submariners, which again have the highest suicide rate in the military. To ask for these men to do more is cruel.
4d. Where you sleep on a submarine is based on seniority. They will be given a 3 man berthing room from day one ahead of more senior officers. Having a nice rack on the boat meant something to me. Explain to me how it is fair to take that away from someone who earned that right and force them to continue to stay in "junior berthing" while women who are more junior get special treatment.
4e. Per policy, the captain can't discipline female officer behind closed doors, yet I was chewed out a few times in his stateroom for making mistakes. The CO will have to treat women different.
4f. On paper, submariners are highly professional, evidence people use that the force can adjust. In reality, guys who are supposed to be supervising a nuclear reactor have their penises hanging out. Guys masturbate on equipment in the engine room. Integrity is a major problem. Sadly, women will not be treated with respect here, no matter what the Navy tells the outside world.

5. Women add nothing to the crew that will justify the problems they'll create. You mentioned numbers about technical degrees and qualified women vs men. Regardless, my technical degree was not used once and we were started from scratch in training. I observed no correlation between major and performance. You are not there to think and innovate technically. You are there to be a piece of the machine. Officers are expected to think and innovate in non-technical aspects, where technical degrees are of no value. Someone who is not sensitive and can handle the rigors of the job is more useful than someone with a technical degree. Also, even if technical qualifications were that important, allowing women has so far caused the bar to be LOWERED for them to be selected [3], and there is no indication that this will change. Also, to counter that point another way, just because there are more women with technical degrees does not mean there are more of them that WANT to be on subs than men with technical degrees who want to be on subs.

You mentioned the Admiral pointing out sexual harassment training will be done. The sub force has an amazing capacity and tendency to low ball or gaff off things that are supposed to happen. I've witnessed unbelievable amounts of integrity issues, including having the CO order us to manipulate top secret mission reports to make the boat look better. I think on paper this training will be "done" but in reality it will be the usual cluster, much like the current sexual harassment training we do, where you get on a computer and continue to click ‘next screen' without reading it.

Closing
On paper you make good arguments on why the US should have women submariners. Your points mean well so far but fall short of reality. It takes more than good intentions to make things better. Well meaning people often make mistakes due to ignorance of the consequences of their decisions. After what I know about how unprofessional it is, I would not dare think of telling my sister being a submariner would be a good idea.

If the government is interested in protecting our freedom, it should be able to justify denying it in some rare places in the military so that the military is effective enough to protect freedom for us all. Promoting gender equality in the microscopic environment of subs compromises the overall gender equality movement because it damages our military which protects freedom for all.

For all my points about why women shouldn't be on subs, notice that I do not blame any of it on the women who will be serving, nor do I believe any of the problems created will be their fault. I admire their courage and wish them best of luck.

Thanks and I look forward to continuing this debate.

Sources:
[1] http://bubbleheads.blogspot.com...
[2] http://www.strategypage.com...
[3] http://www.nytimes.com...
Danielle

Pro

THANKS, CON, FOR A GREAT ROUND.

================
1. Re: Subs are Stressful
================

Con's first point was that submarines are stressful places with high suicide rates and difficult labor for the crew. I don't doubt that for one second. However, all of the burdens that Con described are mental burdens. The mindset here is that this job is too mentally demanding for a woman. Con writes, "I can assure you that after a month, they, like everyone else, will be counting down the days until their time is up." Again, I have no doubt that a woman would be just as stressed out and overworked as the men on submarine ships. However, there is no proof whatsoever that men are more 'mentally tough' than women. Throughout history there have been a plethora of exemplary females who have shown more poise and psychological strength than their male company [1], [2], [3], etc.

The idea that women are "delicate" is nothing more than social conditioning passed on by the patriarchy of our society's foundation. Moreover, even if women are, on balance, more sensitive than men, the reality is that mental toughness is SUBJECTIVE and thus there will be some men who are tougher than women, and some women who are tougher than some men. I am positive that there are some women who can handle life on the submarine. And even if some cannot, it doesn't say much considering 1/3 of the men cannot either by Con's own admission. There is no reason why women should be prohibited from trying. To suggest they should is practicing overt discrimination and demonstrating a lack of psychological education.

====================================
2. Re: Men Would Be Stressed Out By Women On Board
====================================

Too bad. They need to get over it, and not oppress women for their own inadequacy. Moreover there is no proof that this would happen; Admiral Bruner noted that he does not think the mentality on the subs would change. Con notes that the Admiral would lie to save his own reputation; however, I imagine that if there was a mass catastrophe on board the submarines, then that would ruin the Admiral's reputation as well -- meaning we have no reason to reject the Admiral's position based on Con's speculation.

============
3. Legal =/= Moral
============

While it's true that morality and legality do not always align, what Con is suggesting here is that the Civil Rights Act is immoral even though it is legal. In other words, Con has the burden of proving that the CRA is wrong and that discrimination based on sex is morally permissible. He also has to explain why the government should be above the law (since citizens are expected to uphold this law). Again, I never denied that women in many cases have less physical strength than men; however, all of Con's arguments revolve around mental endurance and men being too incompetent to successfully socially integrate with women. I am looking forward to Con's explanation regarding how this treatment and intolerance is fair. Also, note the appeal to tradition fallacy. Just because men were the first to do this kind of work, apparently this work should be reserved for them alone.

==========================
4. Re: Problems With Women On Board
==========================

A) Weeding Out the Weak

Con mentions hazing. Hazing by the military is strictly prohibited (even though everybody knows it goes on... we've all seen A Few Good Men). Personally I don't see how this is relevant. If women are hazed, and they report it, then GOOD -- the offenders should be punished for violating the rules. If the women don't report it, then they have the same mentality as the guys... and what's wrong with that? They can either choose to tolerate the behavior or not, just as the men can.

B) Pregnancy

A pregnant woman, I imagine, WOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO SERVE. And it could easily be written into their contract that a woman was NOT to get pregnant while serving. If this contract was violated, she would be removed (same as any other aspect of a contract). If she was raped, the offender should be punished accordingly.

C) Married Sailors

This has absolutely nothing to do with anything. Con says that married sailors will be turned away a spot because a woman took it. Is this for real? Too bad. Being married should not give you any special privileges. Moreover what if the WOMEN are married too? I'm sure everyone - not just married men - have friends, family or a partner that they want to be close to as well.

D) Sleeping Quarters // E) Treatment of Women

Con admits that the men on board are crude (4F) and that there exists several security risks for women on subs. Acknowledging that reality means Con should be in SUPPORT of women having their own sleeping quarters and being protected by rules forbidding the private scolding of women. However instead of feeling protective for these women (who will face hardship on the basis of their gender alone), he feels contempt and jealousy. In other words he wants women to endure the same harshness even though he admits that women would probably have a harder time to begin with (4A). I'm sure as a military veteran Con is aware of the HUGE crisis regarding rape in the military [4]. There are about 3k reports from women of rape per year in the military, and on a sub ship I can only imagine that it might be worse. As such, it makes perfect sense for the military to take precaution here and give women their own sleeping space, as well as make sure they are not left alone to be reprimanded. Nevertheless, I've already mentioned that the women being allowed on subs are ranking officers and in that case may indeed be higher up than some of the men (so they deserve the beds). Women shouldn't expect any less hardship - just more protection regarding sexual assault.

F) Integrity

Con says that the men on the subs are crude which I'm betting is perfectly true. Again, people should be held responsible for their own actions meaning if they do anything wrong to a female then they should be punished. Women know what to expect going into this kind of thing, and if they try it and want out, they can opt for that too. Just because guys jerk off on the equipment doesn't mean women should be prohibited from serving.

================
5. Re: Women = Useless
================

Con says that women cannot be helpful and do not justify the problems they create. It would be more accurate to say that every problem he mentioned is actually created by MEN - not women. It is the men who cannot follow the rules or need to be babysat like children. One minute Con is talking about how the guys are immature and masturbating on equipment; the next minute he's saying that women are useless. I highly doubt that women will engage in the same juvenile and irresponsible behavior. Moreover Con writes, "Someone who is not sensitive and can handle the rigors of the job is more useful than someone with a technical degree." That may be true, but again this is operating under the assumption that women cannot be mentally tough. I've already addressed this discrepancy.

=======
Conclusion
=======

All of the problems Con mentions about unprofessionalism have nothing to do with women and everything to do with the military's incompetence. In that case, those problems should be addressed and maybe having women on board will speed up that process. History has proven that a woman's presence (especially in government) brings certain issues to the forefront of discussion. Serving on a sub should be a PERSONAL CHOICE for all women to make themselves regarding their own career.

[1] http://www.metropulse.com...
[2] http://www.fscclub.com...
[3] http://www.historyswomen.com...
[4] http://www.huffingtonpost.com...
Debate Round No. 2
browncd81

Con

Nice job. Great debate so far.

Again, I'm for women's rights and support women. My argument is not that women can't do the job but that they can't be on a sub without causing more harm than good. In fact, if you can put women on the sub and its performance does not drop, then I would support them on subs… my position from the start. For you to think my arguments are based on "keeping women down", "that women are inferior", etc sounds like you are attacking society rather than my points. You have attacked not my arguments, but straw men [1].

You show no concern for the sub's effectiveness. A sub is a $2 BILLION ship designed to deter enemies and safeguard freedoms, not a social experiment. If you are concerned with equality, let the military defend against societies that treat you like dogs.

Civilians like to judge the military's flaws. I was honest about my sub's flaws, however, you are wrong to blame "incompetence." The US has not built a civilian reactor in decades due to mistakes made by civilians. However, every year nuclear submarines are built that are operated by high school educated 20 yr olds that operate with less sleep, less pay, and more stress than most civilians can handle. I promise. There has never been a single mistake made by Naval nuclear operators affecting the reactor. The government trusts the Navy to build and operate reactors, not "incompetent" civilians.

The problems in the military are not due to incompetence but the external demands placed on it. Most civilians never have the responsibility in their entire life that young enlisted submariners have. Civilians, always quick to judge, cannot do better and from my observations would likely do worse. I have been out for a year and I cannot believe how easy civilian life is.

Lewin's equation states that behavior is a function of the environment and the individuals. Individual behavior is set. To fix behavior, you must fix the environment [1]. You are saying something very insulting to me when you say "Too bad, they need to get over it." That is callous and said easily by someone who has never served on a sub.

You did not answer my point about women causing low standards in service academies. Also, consider that women onboard ships have caused more harm than good in the surface fleet in terms of readiness [2]. One destroyer next to us was ineffective because it had become a "love boat", a common occurrence in the fleet where many sailors are hooking up and not doing their job. I don't blame women personally for this, but this is what happens. Also, in [2] you can read about the incompetency of your friend Adm. Bruner.

Take my personal testimony that just because Navy leaders support women on subs overtly, does not mean that in personal conversations they say the same things. The Navy is under pressure to do this… once again civilians cowardly forcing their agenda on the military without having to experience the pain of the adjustment.

-Legal argument

How is finding 1 example where EEO would hurt the effectiveness of a sub the same as saying CRA is immoral? That's a stretch! I said government should be allowed, in rare instances, to withhold some freedoms in the military in order to protect it for all of us. The CRA is good for humanity. I do not have the burden of proof to defend a point I never made. I give you credit for not saying something asinine like "you compared the CRA to Nazi Germany", realizing that I used it as an extreme example to show that what is legal can be unethical.

Focusing on the letter of the law and not the spirit takes humanity out of it. CRA/EEO was passed to improve quality of life. It was not created to give one group a bigger piece of the pie at the expense of another group, but to make the pie bigger for everyone, on the assumption that we can give some people right without harming those who already had those rights. It was not to advance the INTERESTS OF FEW at the EXPENSE OF MANY, like putting women on subs.
Normal society is different than the military. Would you want to be screamed at for not waking up at 0500? Just as military rules were made for the military and not for normal society, the same goes the other way around. That's why the military has its own legal system and is allowed to kill human beings in war. Societal norms should be subject to scrutiny to ensure they won't hurt the military (and cost lives) rather than being forced on the military.

-Hazing

Congress noticed many people were getting filtered out at training schools and it was costing money. So they lowered the standards. Now they get passed to the boats and the boats are now responsible for weeding them out. Blame Congress (civilians) for this problem, which is now worse and more expensive than the original problem.

Report hazing and you're done. Someone who reports hazing will never get the help they need from that point on. It's easy to type in an air conditioned room about how you are not supposed to haze, but incompetent sailors can cost lives. Also, I didn't say it was right, but I recognize it's a tougher call to make than liberals do who have never served. Although it is ingrained, fortunately hazing is rare. Most of the screwing around is for fun and stress relief. Women on subs will block this stress release route, which evolved over decades to deal with the stresses of being in the highest suicide rate group in the military. I know you will mock our ways of stress relief and tell us to grow up, but I don't know if your work gives you suicidal thoughts like mine did for me.

-Types of subs women will be on

"This has absolutely nothing to do with anything… Is this for real? Too bad." Ignorant and heartless. Easy for you to say. The fact that women will screw up the carefully balanced officer rotation scheme which evolved over the decades because they cannot experience the SSN side means nothing? The fact that women automatically get the "good deal" type of sub without having to compete for it is no big deal? The fact that most of the married guys could go to SSBNs and everyone, including single guys, was happy with it will now change is not a big deal?

-Sleeping Quarters

Of course I think women should get the 3 man stateroom due to privacy. But it is unfair to the officers who have earned it and have to stay in 9 man. On a sub, where you sleep is based on seniority. It is a privilege someone who sleeps in a nice bed every night can't understand. I do not want women to have the same harshness, but I do not want their special treatment to hurt morale. You are willing to give up a lot in order to turn it into the Make a Wish Foundation.

-Women=Useless

Again, this is not what I said. I said women will be no better than men, therefore putting women on subs adds nothing that will overcome the problems created.

Conclusion

You are trying to win your arguments by making me sound like a closed minded pig, but I am not a pig. I have the same compassion and tolerance for others as you. But I am putting my idealism in the context of reality. The Bible forbids priests from molesting children. On paper, then, I should be able to allow my children around priests alone. But I would be unwise to do that because of what happens in reality. In the same way, on paper, putting women on subs seems like a good idea bc they meet the "requirements." But I would be unwise based on what I know to advise my sister to join.

I am for women because I am for humanity. I want to see different groups succeed, but not at the expense of others. You are for women because you are for women, and are willing to push others down to get "equality", not realizing women submariners require special treatment, and not recognizing the harm of special treatment to a crew.

Sources
[1] Wiki
[2] http://www.cmrlink.org...
Danielle

Pro

Before getting to my contentions, I'd like to address a few misconceptions. According to Con, I am portraying him as sexist and accusing him of trying to keep women down. I am doing no such thing. While I believe my opponent's POV is sincere, I disagree that women should be oppressed on the basis of their sex. I am against affirmative action; I don't think individuals should be advanced based on characteristics such as race, gender, etc. Nobody should be given preferential influence because of something they can't control (like sex); similarly I don't think anyone should specifically be HELD BACK for the same reason. As I have explained throughout the debate, I do not think women who do not meet the necessary qualifications to serve on a sub should be permitted to do so. However, if a woman proves to be just as qualified as a man, then it is morally wrong and impractical as well as illegal to hinder an individual from advancing their career based on what sex they happened to be born. That is oppressive.

Con begins, "You show no concern for the sub's effectiveness. A sub is a $2 BILLION ship designed to deter enemies and safeguard freedoms, not a social experiment." Right here Con implies that women are not capable of doing the same job as men. This is contradictory to everything I have been saying throughout the debate thus straw manning my argument. If a woman cannot perform the necessary tasks for a submarine worker then I do not think she should be given the job based on demanding equality. However, if women have the same qualifications, experience and abilities as men then they should be allowed to serve. Therefore saying I have no regard for the ship's success is Con's way of (a) misconstruing my argument and (b) implying that women are too incompetent for the job at hand. I've already explained all of the ways in which women can be just as mentally tough as men and therefore can do just as good of a job.

Again, performance and tolerance is subjective. There are undoubtedly some women who can handle this job. Con continues, "If you are concerned with equality, let the military defend against societies that treat you like dogs." This is a blatant red herring that distracts from the real argument at hand. It's also fallacious reasoning; Con says that if we want equality we must accept inequality. Next Con writes that military life is tough and that the problems in the military lie in the fact that it's hard work. Again, I never said otherwise. However just because it's a tough job doesn't mean that we have to accept law-breaking and ignore injustices. Nobody is denying that being a soldier can be rough, but that excuse (especially for this voluntary career) cannot be used to justify rape, sexual harassment or blatant disregard for professionalism.

Con writes, "Lewin's equation states that behavior is a function of the environment and the individuals... To fix behavior, you must fix the environment." He then calls me callous for expecting adults entrusted and expected to be respected by civilians to espouse some maturity in their social interaction. All I see here are excuses about why bad behavior is acceptable. This is contradictory to Pro's own assertion. If to fix behavior you must fix the environment, then maybe adding a mix to the environment or external social factors to the environment will help improve conditions.

Con continues, "You did not answer my point about women causing low standards in service academies." That's because the source Pro provided to back up the claim that claim does not work (his third source in R2). Until Pro provides a source I can look into, I won't have the opportunity to respond appropriately. Additionally this point is irrelevant to my case. I've already stated several times that women who do not meet the level of education or experience expected of men should not be given any preferential treatment. I never advocated lowering the bar to let women have an equal opportunity; instead I've said (and stand by) the fact that women should not be prohibited to serve on subs on the basis of their sex alone. Therefore when Con says, "Consider that women onboard ships have caused more harm than good" this again has nothing to do with my proposition. Also let it be noted that his assessment of Adm. Bruner is negative simply because the Adm. disagrees with his position.

Regarding the tendency to become a "love boat," I don't see how this is relevant. For one thing I know a handful of women involved in the military and they are all lesbians (not asking and not telling, of course). For another, I don't see how one's personal romantic relationships effect the submarine's performance or objectives in the grand scheme of things. Obviously it will be a factor, but romantic relationships should just be discouraged like hazing is discouraged. However as Con knows, hazing is inescapable and thus if the military can't protect their own soldiers I doubt they will be able to prohibit soldiers from engaging in positive activities (like fraternizing among themselves) either. All they can do at that point is put certain restrictions in their contracts.

Next, Con regards the government as being above the law in saying that it should be able to use its discretion in whether or not to abide by the law (CRA). In that case, every business owner should be given that same discretion considering "the government" is nothing more than a collective body of fallible individuals. The CRA states that one's sex, race, etc. should not be a factor in employment because one good be just as capable or qualified as another regardless of those factors. That is what I stand by. So far Con's only argument is that allowing women onto the ship is comparable to allowing incompetent people on the ship (which is not what I'm advocating) or trading equality with effectiveness and safety.

Just because some people may start up romantic engagements in no way says anything about a soldier's ability to perform their job well. If they fail to complete their objectives, they should be removed. However if they are able to engage in a romantic relationship, or abide by all codes and expectations, then their gender or personal life should be irrelevant. Con's entire argument is based on fallacies (i.e. package deal fallacy, appeal to probability, base rate fallacy, etc.). Con also encourages the is-ought fallacy; something ought to be one way simply because it already is one way. Just because so far men and women may have not been able to properly integrate in the military doesn't mean efforts shouldn't be made to change that circumstance. Before segregation was forced upon people, blacks and whites could not coexist peacefully either BUT that was change due to federal mandates. Psychology isn't objective or definite.

Con says the CRA doesn't exist "to advance the INTERESTS OF FEW at the EXPENSE OF MANY, like putting women on subs." It actually exists to ensure that irrelevant factors aren't used as tools for oppression. Con insisting that women are an expense is something that has gone unproven and is based on nothing but assumptions and selective reasoning (ignoring the fact that I think only qualified women should serve onboard). Women can cope with the harsh reality of the military so their lifestyle is irrelevant.

Con says that a woman getting particular sleeping quarters on subs will hurt morale. Apparently only the morale of MALES is relevant. What about the morale of female soldiers (and civilians) not being afforded certain opportunities? He says that having women on board does not help the ship any but ignores the reality that it helps JUSTICE. It also assumes that a woman could not be an asset. Whether Con would advocate his sister serving onboard or not is irrelevant. Again, this is a personal choice that should be an option to all of those who are qualified regardless of their genitals.
Debate Round No. 3
browncd81

Con

Pro repeatedly reads into what I say. I never called women incompetent. I said women are stronger (not physically but mentally, etc). Pro says my entire argument is based on fallacies when I've provided two important details (SSBNs and berthing) she keeps downplaying. But up until now Pro has not understood my arguments due to her zeal to defend accusations of women being incompetent, even though it was never even said. So I'll lay them out sequentially:

1. It is unfortunate women can't serve on subs when they can probably do as good a job

2. I'm for them being on subs if it would not hurt the boat

3. Women would not fit in the sub culture that evolved to deal with the stress, and would limit this stress release route which is one of the few things the crew has going for them. Pro says the crew should quit being unprofessional, but offers NO ALTERNATIVE to lower stress. Pro says that I condone this behavior when I said clearly I do not agree with it but I do understand it is a complicated subject that civilians should be thankful they don't have to deal with rather than being judgmental to those who serve. I hope Pro appreciates the moral issues veterans had to face while preserving her freedom.

4. Women will not have to serve on the more strenuous boats (SSNs) nor will they have to bunk with enlisted sailors but will automatically stay in an area designated for more senior officers. This special treatment comes AT THE EXPENSE OF OTHERS. But Pro says "nobody should be given preferential influence because of [sex]".

5. Past history shows that mixing sexes has degraded military units. Pro says this is irrelevant. Pro, what is irrelevant about a ship that could not go to sea due to rampant sexual harassment? Wasting taxes is not irrelevant.

6. The SUBFOR priorities are: reactor, boat, mission, and crew IN THAT ORDER. The needs of the crew are less important than the needs of the ship. Unlike a civilian job, a mistake can cost lives. In port, a reactor malfunction can threaten the safety of hundreds of thousands of nearby civilians. Sailors having sex in port while they are supposed to monitor the reactor is serious. It is immoral for the sake of the civilians to risk this when "hope" is the only plan Pro offers to prevent it. Pro wants to put the dreams of a few above the safety of thousands.

7. Submariners spend 75% of their time at work while civilians spend 25% of their time at work. The divorce rate is extremely high. Imagine the stress on the wives when they have to worry about their husbands' 3 new female shipmates, who their husbands see way more than their wives. Some already think their husbands love the boat more than their own family (how untrue! But sub life is hard on families too), and even when they are off it is hard to "leave the boat at the pier" mentally. It is hard enough on the families without adding female crewmembers and the associated temptations, jealousy, and rumors, which will be worse than those caused in a civilian job. I spent 70% of my nights on the ship and only 30% of those in my bed at home. Military marriages promote higher performance and stability, which makes them an asset to the country. These marriages should be protected from further divorces, not threatened.

We both agree women aren't at fault for causing these issues, but Pro uses this as a convenient excuse to dismiss them when ignoring them could cost lives. We are not debating the cause of these problems but their existence.
Pro says the obvious that only qualified women should serve. This isn't helpful considering SUBFOR has known that for 100 yrs. She fails to acknowledge that Congress forced the Navy to lower standards, limiting the ability to remove poor performers. Regardless, it is not a matter of unqualified women causing problems, but ALL women causing these problems.

My opinion of Adm. Bruner is negative SIMPLY bc he disagrees with me? Note that Pro is making things up. His stance does not affect my opinion of him. First the admiral said extra medical testing for women would be unnecessary. Then when pressured he said these tests would occur. When? AFTER women are assigned? Why not BEFORE, if now these tests need to be done? That is incompetence.

When Pro says I commit the package deal fallacy, she is mistaken and means to say that I am basing it on past history. Let it be said that Pro acknowledges romantic relationships can happen and she fails to understand its implication on a sub that goes to sea for months. She fails to see that men in their early 20s with the responsibility of operating a nuclear reactor on a ship carrying nuclear weapons in a high stress environment with very little sleep need as few distractions as possible. She suggested personal relations on a cramped sub would not be a problem. Yet I mentioned SUBFOR already has problems with unprofessionalism (she blames incompetence) that need addressing, and she proposes adding more. The women will be officers while the majority of the crew is enlisted, which can lead to fraternization, which is severely punished.

She fails to understand that the military should get it right in other environments before committing to locking men and women for months on end in a cramped steel tube. Instead, she has no suggestions on how to prevent problems and instead implies "go ahead, we'll figure it out when we get there". Like Adm Bruner, she fails to realize that prevention is better than curing.

"Cannot be used to justify rape"? When did I say rape is justifiable? It's ALWAYS wrong! And if I never said it, why would Pro think I believe it? She quoted statistics that rapes happen frequently in the military, and she supports further integration, this time in an environment much more strenuous than a surface ship where harassment is very common. Pro says they should have restrictions to prevent hooking up. But these restrictions will create extra work in a community that is way beyond overworked, lowering effectiveness. The restrictions are implied.. it's called the UCMJ and jail. Has that stopped all those rapes Pro quoted? Besides, I never brought rape into this and do not think rape will happen. Nor have I heard in my MANY conversations with other sub guys about females onboard that rape will happen. A sub has the privacy of a house party.. enough to hide and have sex but it would be nearly impossible to rape. The furthest you could possibly get from anyone is about 40 feet, with one exception.

I didn't say government is above the law, I said the military should be given a legal exception to EEO laws in rare and justifiable cases. You don't deserve to be on a sub because it is your dream. You deserve to be there because you meet the sub's needs. A warship is not responsible for solving societal problems and should be excluded from some societal norms that would hurt performance. As a submariner I understood that I was giving up some of my basic rights by serving in the military.

If Pro thinks the military is no different than the civilian world and therefore should not have some allowances for this, then tell me how many human beings her company has had to kill. Thankfully, since leaving the military I am under a different set of rules as a civilian. Why is it so easy for her, then, to impose laws on the military that were written for the civilian world and do not consider unique military situations? Societal norms do not always translate 1 to 1 to the military. Civilians who are that concerned about how the military does things should try it themselves. Wait, they did… with a company called Blackwater that was so unethical the Iraqi government banned them.

I devote this debate to the women who serve in our military, a group I admire and want to see succeed. If the Navy wasn't setting these females up for failure, then I'd change my mind. But Pro has not yet changed my mind any.
Danielle

Pro

Con says he considers women to be just as competent and tough as men. In that case, his entire argument is based not on a woman's ability to perform her job well, but rather the negative repercussions she will have on the men around her because of the "stress" and temptation she will impose based on her gender alone. This is disgraceful. If a woman is raped, is it her fault for the effect she has on the guy - or is he held accountable for his own actions?

Con assumes that the men on subs are not capable of being professional (which is probably difficult). However, it is completely unfair to punish women for this reality on the basis of their gender alone which they cannot change. Specifically holding people down on the basis of things like gender are what we consider tyrannical in most cases, and why we have laws against such terms of employment. Instead of addressing the problems of having women on board, Con wants to reinforce unfair policies.

In P1, Con again states that it's unfortunate women cannot serve on subs when they can probably do as good of a job as men. Instead of giving women the opportunity to succeed and maybe positively impact the sub, Con wishes to avoid all change at women's expense. If life on the sub is so stressful and detrimental to the point where it costs 1/3 of the soldiers to quit and/or go insane, then maybe the military needs to reevaluate current policy and make adjustments rather than continuing to implement the same unsuccessful and oppressive policies. Another option would be giving women the opportunity to serve on all-female subs to avoid the "extra stress and temptation." Having certain standards, requirements, etc. is to be expected -- but turning a person away regardless of the qualifications based on negative "what ifs" because of their gender is wrong.

In P2 Con notes, "I'm for [women] being on subs if it would not hurt the boat." Similarly, I'm for men being on subs if they won't hurt the boat. It seems Con agrees that qualified women should be accepted on subs. In the case of the sub being affected because men can't handle women aboard, I don't see how it's fair that women are turned away because men can't adjust. The same grave warnings were given regarding women after WWII, but they proved that women can successfully enter a co-ed workforce.

In P3 Con says, "Women would not fit in the sub culture that evolved to deal with the stress." Right here we can see Con blatantly pointing out women as being inferior (in terms of handling stress) yet he continues to assert that I am straw manning him. This is a direct quote from Con. Con says that I have offered no alternatives to lowering stress on the subs; clearly that is not my burden in this debate. My concern is to show why women should not be discriminated against on the basis of their gender alone. How people cope with stress on subs should be left for the professionals and those with psychological experience to decide or advocate. Pro also mentions the moral dilemmas of soldiers here; again sappy soldier stories are touching but not really relevant to this debate. I know soldiers like to talk about "how easy civilians have it" and that might be true but again it's kind of irrelevant to the topic at hand.

Con says, "Women will not have to serve on the more strenuous boats, nor will they have to bunk with enlisted sailors but will automatically stay in an area designated for more senior officers. This special treatment comes AT THE EXPENSE OF OTHERS. But Pro says "nobody should be given preferential influence because of [sex]." First, I never said I agreed that women should be kept off of the "more strenuous boats." I have specifically repeated that women should be treated with the same professional expectations of men if they sign up to take part in the same jobs. Second, while I think women having their own sleeping quarters is important (considering the fact that our soldiers tend to be rapists) I understand that Con's fierce defense of seniority is more important - thus I think it would be okay for women to bunk with the men. If they want the same rights then they should be afforded the same privileges. In that case you can throw Con's special treatment argument out the window; I never said that women should be given special sleep treatment (though it would be nice to be on the safe side) -- again I just advocated gender neutral job opportunities.

In P5 Con says, "Past history shows that mixing sexes has degraded military units." I've seen proof that this is true about military training, but never actual units. Can you source this, Con? Has this happened on more than one occasion? Has it ever been tried on a sub or in a situation like a sub? By the way I don't ever remember calling this "irrelevant" as Con says I have. Con asks, "Pro, what is irrelevant about a ship that could not go to sea due to rampant sexual harassment?" Again this is nothing but speculation about what COULD happen and not necessarily what will happen. Also, notice how Con suddenly cares about tax dollars in saying they will be wasted as a result of females on subs, but yet does not see a problem in expecting women to pay taxes even though he supports women being prohibited from publicly funded employment opportunities on the basis of their gender.

P6 says, "Pro wants to put the dreams of a few above the safety of thousands." Again, notice how Con makes it seem like it will be the end of military life as we know if it we let those feisty women on board. He brings up the dangers of sub workers having sex in the ports; however, that happens and will happen regardless of whether women work on the subs or not. I believe men should be entrusted with the responsibility to remain professional. If they can't handle it then they should not be onboard. Con is in favor of just acknowledging the mistakes of sub workers but not punishing them, apparently.

In P7 Con appeals to emotion by talking about how rough it is for married couples that have a husband working on the sub. That's unfortunate, but irrelevant to the argument. It is not the job of ANYONE to ensure that another's marriage succeeds or is made easier. We can't stop co-ed work because some people are cheaters. Marriage is a personal responsibility. Con writes, "We both agree women aren't at fault for causing these issues, but Pro uses this as a convenient excuse to dismiss them when ignoring them could cost lives." No, what I am saying is that if women aren't the cause of the problem - which Con agrees - then it's not fair to punish them specifically. Why aren't the men punished?

I agree that the problems Con mentions exist; however, I suggest dealing with those problems when they arise and aiming for prevention though not enacting blatant and unjust (immoral and illegal) discrimination in the process. There has to be a better way to make it so the ship is protected while not infringing upon an American's right to pursue their dream in terms of their career and livelihood. Making special adjustments such as extending the benefit of special sleeping quarters for women is one way to help the situation, though Con notes that any helpful adjustments are not fair because it gives women special privileges (which is funny considering he agreed that women were automatically disadvantaged going into the situation to begin with).

Con says that I "fail to acknowledge that Congress forced the Navy to lower standards." I acknowledge this but I am against it. I am not responsible for the navy's previous mistakes but rather explaining why discriminating based on gender is wrong. Con concludes, "It is not a matter of unqualified women causing problems, but ALL women causing these problems." He pigeonholes all women into this group of unqualified troublemakers that should continue to be held down and accepted as just "unfortunate." How un-American.
Debate Round No. 4
browncd81

Con

The Navy is making a mistake in allowing women on subs, and the actual plan to effect that policy is relevant in this debate. I agree exclusion on the basis of gender alone is wrong, and I already support all women subs (have for years), but that's not what the Navy is not proposing. It's an inappropriate place for ANY gender mixing, and if subs today were all women, I'd oppose men. Pro and the Navy suggest making few salient changes but instead rely on hope. When the Navy learns how to mix genders, I'll change my mind. Pro asked for proof of degradation of real unit performance: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5].

Ships offer more time off, less sea time, more privacy, and less stress than subs, giving sailors more stress release options and chances for love and sex outside of work. Yet I still WITNESSED a ship that was shut down for investigation for rampant sexual misconduct (also a female officer bragging about timing a pregnancy to miss a deployment). Ships can never expose a fetus to radiation. Someone unknowingly pregnant is an extra risk for medical evacuation. I've been under the polar ice cap, unable to surface to evacuate someone. Navy regs require medical care within 6 hours for women in case they are pregnant, and the 1 medic onboard is not qualified. [4]

EEO is not so one can get their dream job at the organization's expense if comparable jobs are available. It is law because if you don't make all companies comply, none will, and there will be some who can't get ANY job at their talent level. An exception for the military in rare, justifiable cases, like today's SUBFOR, is not only wise, but legal: "Congress and the courts, in no less than seven major Supreme Court decisions, have held that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not apply to the military profession" [3].

Pro turns my logic to universally unethical statements, such as: I think CRA is immoral, I condone rape under stress, I dislike those solely for disagreeing with me, I consider women inferior, etc. Her mass appeal tactics may sway voters that lack critical thinking skills, but smart voters will notice this.

Her case is: (A) Women can do the job, (B) and it is legal and fair to let them. I and the Navy agree with A and am debating B.

1. Special treatment. The chances of getting an SSBN (there are less spots on these than desired) is now decreased for men. Pro says "what if the women are married" when we know few will be. Pro finally admitted that stealing berthing for women from more senior officers was unfair, so now Pro suggests sharing berthing with men. Has Pro ever had to sleep in a bunk bed while a man above or below her was whacking off? At work, does Pro change her underwear in front of men? Of course they should get 3 man, showing the need for special arrangements. Also, it costs millions per person [1] to redesign subs for women. This article is 10 yrs old, so the costs are even higher due to inflation. Building a co-ed sub is a start, but that takes a decade, and these women will be in the fleet next year.

2. Extra work. In port, each officer tours the ship at midnight every 3rd night. The officer is alone except for 3 men monitoring equipment in their zones. The officer encounters them 1 on 1, necessitating an escort. But she will mostly be alone with the escort, so 2 are needed.

3. Things like whacking off in bed that were not wrong without women will now be wrong, giving even less stress release options. Male bonding, identified in a Presidential Commission study as important for unit cohesion [3], will be impacted when as much stress relief as possible is needed since counseling and/or depression medication is prohibited by SUBFOR (the only part of the military that does this). Other behavior that is obviously wrong (lewdness, unprofessionalism, etc), WHICH I NEVER CONDONED, will not go away by more discipline. We had a drunk guy fall off a 3rd floor balcony. Harsh discipline followed. Just 6 wks later, a drunk guy fell off a roof and broke his back. Both were bright kids with good hearts (Pro may disagree) that became depressed from boat life. This culture is deeply ingrained, has complex causes, and won't just stop when they arrive. Why should this not occur BEFORE women are integrated rather than hoping they will be a catalyst?

4. More strain on marriages. The military is a FAMILY commitment, and the Navy acknowledges its responsibility to help families. Pro says the Navy owes families nothing. The crew considers Navy Wives part of the crew. Pro is imposing her own view that marriages is immoral, and is less concerned about threatening them than others are.

5. Pro draws attention from consensual sex, because women can also instigate sex, by mentioning rape, which is obviously bad. Sex in units causes divides, rumors, jealousy, and favoritism (real or perceived) within the unit and within marriages. Most sex will be based on lust, not love, and sailors who had sex will stay on the same crew, undermining discipline.

Pro compares the workplace temptations of civilians, who get 3 hrs off for every 1 at work, to subs, which is just the opposite: 1 off for every 3 at work. Sex in port (if not amongst crew) during off hours is fine. Sex WHILE ENTRUSTED TO WATCH A REACTOR is a problem. 3 Mile Island did not have these problems, and they still endangered the surrounding populace. We should make a repeat less likely, not more.

Mentioning a culture that is highly crude and lewd being unfit for women is not the same as saying they are inferior. Pro blames the culture on incompetence. We each have our own ways to deal with stress; Like most, I wasn't lewd but did other things. I was denied leave to see a friend 3 weeks before he died of cancer. I was working over 100 hours a week and got 8 days off that summer. A few months later I lost some of my saved leave "because I never used it". I cut corners (paperwork, not safety items) to get a day off. Excuse my incompetence.

Pro's no excuse mentality is really an excuse to avoid fixing the Navy while individuals always get blamed for everything. I followed a procedure from a manual as ordered that was written wrongly, causing a very minor mistake. I was punished in a demeaning way, and the procedure was not fixed. One guy had to put his own child for adoption due to lack of time off and his performance briefly dropped (How would you punish him Pro?). A CO did not tell my friend his father died because the CO did not want him to miss sea time. SUBFOR leaves zero options to cope with stress and regularly denies leave requests. Pro trusts this organization to properly integrate women because they will. The Navy says what the public wants to hear, like in [2] where Mabus says they've learned their lessons, but the next paragraph says otherwise.

War is evil. It causes suffering and does not advance humanity or fairness. Our military, which is not a public "employment opportunity" but a necessary evil, must work in this unfairness rather than avoid it. It PROVIDES jobs but is not made FOR jobs. You join the military to serve, not be served. You belong where the military needs you. Pro is for the idea that ANY social inequality MUST be fixed in the military REGARDLESS of outcomes, although "Civil society protects individual rights, but the military, which protects civil society, must be governed by different rules." [3]. Still, the military has made commendable efforts to allow women. Women pay taxes for the military, and in return they get lots of job opportunities (subs = 0 .5% of military, hardly oppressive) but most importantly, protection.

Pro says I cast women as troublemakers, but I have made a clear case that women would introduce problems that are not their fault but still exist. I enjoy seeing women achieve overdue equality over time. But I refer voters to [1], written by a woman.

Thanks for the great debate.. Good luck
Danielle

Pro

Con begins by citing 5 links that he claims depict proof of degradation of real unit performance. None of his sources say or prove that; he simply cited articles that agree with his position. Obviously citing a source that simply upholds your opinion doesn't mean you've actually proven anything. I asked if Con had proof that women significantly degrade co-ed units, and even more specifically if there was proof that this would happen on a sub. The links merely argue that women shouldn't be allowed on subs, that they won't be able to keep up, etc. To quote his USA Today article, the gender specifications are there for practical reasons - not bias. However, I've already negated those "practical issues" and I will once again in this final round.

Con continues by saying that ships are easier to serve on than subs, yet co-ed ships were shut down due to rampant sexual misconduct. As such, women shouldn't even be allowed to try and serve on subs. I negate. First, Con admits that subs are far different than ships meaning there is no way to guarantee that the same behavior will carry over. Second, this can be at least hindered by harsh penalties for violations. Third, because women being allowed onboard has garnered so much preparation and media attention, people may behave differently. Fourth, not all people are the same; some are more professional. I could go on and on. A basic analogy is considering the legalization of alcohol. There have been TONS of alcohol mishaps: drunk driving accidents, bar fights, etc. Yet alcohol isn't BANNED on the basis of being alcohol alone. Instead it's permitted - as people have the RIGHT to consume it - and instead any negative individual situation is dealt with and punished accordingly.

Con mentions health risks regarding pregnancy; I've already said that pregnancy should be forbidden (and there ARE ways to protect yourself) -- any woman who gets pregnant does so at her own risk. Con saying IF a woman gets pregnant that their MIGHT be health problems is just a way to increase the possible negative "what if" scenarios in a desperate attempt to build his case. Well WHAT IF a man got a rampant STD on board and the sub doctor was "not qualified" to deal with the problems? When it comes to health, there is no way to protect or prepare yourself against any and everything. Con is grasping at straws.

Once again Con implies that I am being manipulative. He says I claimed that he finds the CRA immoral, that he thinks rape in stressful situations is permissible, etc. Here he strawmans my arguments as I have never said these things. Instead, I asked him to explain why he believes the CRA is not relevant, and I pointed out that he would rather uphold seniorority in terms of sleeping quarters rather than extend the offer for women to sleep privately so as to avoid rape (a blatant problem in the military). Pro HAS said that the seniorority system in terms of sleeping quarters is more important than giving someone preferential treatment for something on the basis of their gender alone in R4 -- so clearly you can see that I'm not altering what he says.

However, in the last round Con said that "of course" women should get their own sleeping quarters. I maintain that whether they do or not is irrelevant (I think they SHOULD GET the space, but if they don't, c'est la vie). As I will continue to state, women know what they're getting themselves into when they sign up for this kind of thing. Con mentions masturbating men on the bunk beneath you... haha yes I have actually experienced that to answer your question... but regardless, my point remains that while life on the sub will be difficult (and perhaps gross), that many women can handle it - and Con agrees - so these minor issues about the things Con finds "icky" are kind of irrelevant considering many women do not get rattled by these things. And again, there's no guarantee that men will behave in these exact same ways.

In his next point, Con points out that requiring women to have female escorts will be more work for the crew. Once again, I have been advocating EQUAL TREATMENT (at the very least) - not necessarily the Navy's proposed plan. I agree the plans are good (i.e. escorts for 1-man situations) but I never argued for it. Instead the only thing I have been arguing is discriminating on the basis of gender ALONE. Con continues, "Why should this [better behavior] not occur BEFORE women are integrated rather than hoping they will be a catalyst?" I agree. If more preparation needs to occur, than so be it. That doesn't mean that women need to forever be banned though on the basis of their sex. According to the navy, this has been "in the works" for awhile and they think they're prepared. If they're not, the women will soon find out.

In P4, Con says that I believe marriage is immoral which is a BLATANT STRAW MAN as I have never said such thing. Instead all I said was that Con only intends to care about the marriage and families of married men, whereas the women who join may be married too (we have a married military woman on this site) or have a partner of some kind. It's unfair to assume that because one is female or not legally married that they do not want or deserve the same opportunities to serve in places that is less strenuous on their own personal life or relationships.

Con concludes his 5 points by noting that sex on subs will be a huge issue, and one could have sex while they are supposed to me monitoring a reactor causing a safety hazard. Couldn't the same be said about masturbating? Again, Con seems focused on blaming the women here for the men's misconduct or at least ONLY the women as if misconduct isn't rampant even without women. Con admits all throughout this debate that it is, so basically he's operating only under the assumption that having women on board will make it worse. And who knows - maybe that's the case (in terms of conduct). However, this is STILL not a justifiable reason to disallow women on the basis of gender alone.

WOMEN SHOULD NOT BE DISCRIMINATED AGAINST BECAUSE **MEN** MAY USE POOR JUDGMENT AND CONDUCT AROUND THEM - and already do. As I said, this is akin to blaming a woman for her own rape. Her existence may have excited the man causing him to do unsafe things - things that would have never happened had she not been there - but we can't oppress women (and it IS oppression by the standard that there is no way out of it) because of possible negative consequences.

In his conclusion, Con says that war is an unfair place and the military must also exist unfairly as a way to sustain it. His sources note the inability to handle combat/stress; I've already combatted this by saying only able and competent women should be allowed to serve. He mentioned pregnancy and health risks; again that's a negative "what if" scenario. I've responded in regard to the sleeping arrangements. In the end, what does Con's ENTIRE argument come down to? Sexual misconduct, and preferential treatment on behalf of enlisted married men. It's funny how he thinks preferential treatrment based on gender is wrong, but based on a personal relationship commitment (which some women - most in the military are lesbians - cannot even LEGALLY MAKE i.e. more oppression) is acceptable. This is hypocrisy.

Con's whole case is based on possible negative "what ifs" and oppressing women for men's mistakes. He prides his case on practicality, but the most practical thing to do is assume that mishaps will happen no matter what - and you should prepare for them and handle them - but overall the MOST QUALIFIED should serve, or the ones likely to be the best for the job OVERALL should serve, with the key factor here being REGARDLESS of their sex. There are going to be issues no matter what (as Con explained) and there's been no proof that allowing women would be more trouble - just speculation.
Debate Round No. 5
103 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by brant.merrell 1 year ago
brant.merrell
Great debate, too high a character limit. It reached the size in which debaters had to (or at least attempted to) start narrating and summarizing each other's points, then summarizing each other's summaries, then parse each other's summaries into implications and premises, then debunk premises and implications and trim social contexts, then disagree on premises and trimming . . . Messy. Many debaters live for those procedures, and consider them part of any great debate, but that's partially what divorces debate culture from scientific, corporate, military, and (paradoxically) policy crowds. I'd have limited the characters to 3-5 thousand.
Posted by curie 1 year ago
curie
With all these detailed arguments made not only by both debaters, but even by voters themselves, I am almost relieved that I do not qualify to vote in this debate. I cannot tell which debater showed more skill, but I will say I found Con more convincing. He made a great (and perhaps accidental) case that neither gender should be allowed on submarines, and while most of this debate looks to me like a gridlock, a small argument in round 5 stands out to me:

"(The military is) an inappropriate place for ANY gender mixing, and if subs today were all women, I'd oppose men . . . War is evil. It causes suffering and does not advance humanity or fairness. Our military, which is . . . a necessary evil, must work in this unfairness rather than avoid it."

To me, "necessary" evil sounds like a stretch, it seems like a "politically convenient" necessity at best. But even the rules of civilian businesses struggle to reconcile with our beliefs about fairness. Humanity can't implement fairness in a killing machine, it just has to quit using the machine.
Posted by UchihaMadara 2 years ago
UchihaMadara
RFD

Con's case was centered around the premise that the presence of women would, on balance, cause more harm to submarine units than benefit. However, that premise is only supported by bare assertions of women being unable to handle service on submarines as well as men, along with claims that some men would react negatively to women being present on submarines. Pro fully refuted both methods of argumentation, calling out his bare assertions for what they are and arguing that the irrational preferences of some men can't logically serve as a reason to discriminate against women.

Con's only arguments that held much weight were the ones relating to sexual harassment, but even those were adequately refuted by Pro. She showed that the likelihood of women in the navy getting raped are low given the training/education programs that would accompany whatever law allows women to serve on submarines, and that punishing the victim for the offender's crime is just plain irrational (i.e. the women shouldn't have their rights restricted because they might get raped-- the rapists should be punished for their crimes when they commit them). This argument is flawed in the same way that Con's argument about male preferences is flawed.

Meanwhile, Pro offered three compelling cases in favor of the resolution regarding the protection of women's rights from the CRA, the immorality of discriminating based on arbitrary physical characteristics like gender, and the absurdity of restricting perfectly qualified women from serving on submarines. Con failed to sufficiently counter any of them. He mainly just cross-applied his flawed utilitarian arguments, claiming that the government can restrict the rights granted by the CRA for the greater good; but since Pro showed that the greater good isn't significantly benefited by restricting women from serving on submarines, Con's strategy falls flat.

Overall, this was a good debate, but it's a clear win for Pro.
Posted by browncd81 4 years ago
browncd81
Haha nearly forgot about this until I got a notification of a new comment. But I did check just now and saw some of the justifications for voting for Pro. I can tell what I've always suspected - with liberals it's mostly emotion rather than rational thought. I read that Con (my) arguments claimed women are inferior to men. No, Pro inserted those straw men into my arguments. Didn't come from me and even after I clarified that during the debate, it didn't matter. Once you take a side someone doesn't like, they then make assumptions about you - such as you're misogynist, backwards, etc, rather than rationally trying to understand your side starting with a blank slate.
Posted by Danielle 6 years ago
Danielle
brown, I have a ton of mutual respect for you and your POV as well. Yes, my stance is just "outside social criticism," but I feel much of that is deserved and in fact necessary - as you pointed out - to help keep people in check. You're not a politician and have probably never helped pass a law, but I'm willing to bet that you have your own educated opinions about the government despite your lack of first-hand experience. The same concept applies here. However I'm in a co-ed fraternity and completely understand the concept "From the outside looking in you can never understand it; from the inside looking out you can never explain it" (Greek motto).

I once did a massive project on women in the military, and after all my research I was APPALLED and disgusted by the amount of sexual harassment and rape that goes on (largely unpunished!!!). You would think that this would encourage agreement with your stance, but I simply cannot support it. I don't think that anyone should be given special treatment or be prohibited based on factors like sex, period. To say otherwise would negate my stance on affirmative action (I'm against it) and contradict many of my other views.

So far you and Nick seem to be saying that it will undoubtedly be bad for women, and I said that it was their choice to decide whether or not to take that chance. You're also saying it would be bad for the military in general as there would be distractions. To that I say tough and that they need to deal with it as it comes; I honestly think exposure is the only way to implement change. Once men became accustomed to it, it would just be routine, just as in Europe and Australia. Nick's argument about changing society's mentality first is contradictory, because you guys are saying that this a sub-specific problem... meaning changes need to be made pertaining to subs, not society. Otherwise this would be an issue in every field.
Posted by browncd81 6 years ago
browncd81
"And yes, I do think that we should punish men for "behaving this way" i.e. very unprofessional, the same way you would punish someone in ANY OTHER JOB for sexual harassment or misconduct."

But why put them in this position? It may seem paradoxical as I've gone into great details over the problems plaguing the Sub Fleet, but the men are extremely dedicated and talented. There comes a point where people just have too much, and even the most talented people start hitting a wall where integrity and professionalism start to suffer. Instead of kicking them in the !ss, how about recognizing their challenging environment and fix that?

The training that submariners receive and the responsibilities they've held is why they're so sought after in civilian circles. I had three job offers months before ANY of my MBA classmates received one. And I have zero business experience. Why? Because we go out in corporate American and perform, and businesses know it. And now that I've started working, I see how little my coworkers are dedicated, how unproductive they are, and the simple things they lose their integrity over. So I don't think the sailors should be held responsible for this mess. It's an effed up system.

Putting women onboard and exempting them from SSN duty (the crazy OPTEMPO sub), giving them berthing that someone more senior to them earned, etc is going to injure morale. One of the few female sailors I knew (during nuclear training - she was destined for a carrier) timed a pregnancy to miss a ship's deployment. All fine and dandy in the surface navy where there are adequate spares, but a sub crew cannot afford to miss a sailor due to pregnancy leave. But, maybe if the ranks weren't so thin, the OPTEMPO so high, and the morale so pitifully low, then there'd be an opportunity to take on the challenge of integrating women.
Posted by browncd81 6 years ago
browncd81
Dangit now I can't get anything done today ;). Great discussion by all. Let's remember that although we differ on sides, I have tons of respect for Danielle's POV and think they're more advanced and better thought out than many others who seem so quick to want to impose change on the military. I guess one of my unspoken points and frustrations is that outsiders have little basis to understand how the military works. That said, I'm glad there is some regulating mechanism on the military in the form of outside social criticism. Although much of it is misinformed, it does help keep the military in check. Sometimes the military, like a person, has blind spots about itself that outsiders can see better than insiders. One such example would be supporting the general notion that women can be submariners too. Great point of view. However, my side is criticizing the Navy's recent decision to allow women onboard subs. That's where reality hits and dismantles the whole idealistic view, and where my points become salient (they wouldn't be convincing if I were just trying to dismiss women from subs indefinitely).

I'd hope the Sub Force changes to be ABLE to allow women onboard. That would mean it's improved for the 35,000 existing members, and also for the mere dozens (maybe hundreds) of those who will be women.

"Also, if military training is such a joke, then why is training such an integral part of the entire process?"

Real military job training is unparalleled. I have a basis for comparison. The military can afford to spend over $250,000 to train a submarine officer and almost as much for the rest of the crew. Nick and I are talking about the joke known as sexual harrassment training, "don't use drugs" type training, etc. Just google the recent news about the Air Force training as a real life example from less than a week ago. They receive top notch flight and repair training, which is why airlines hire them, but their "soft skills" training is a joke
Posted by Danielle 6 years ago
Danielle
Nick, to be honest I have no idea who you are, and I'm not sure why you presume to know my political ideology (we've never discussed it, nor is it listed in my profile, nor do I post in the politics forum) Needless to say, your point about my stance mixing with anarchy is entirely irrelevant to this entire conversation. Why? Because under anarchy, the military wouldn't exist in the first place making this entire conversation moot.

Considering we don't live under an anarchy, and my opponent specified that we are discussing the U.S. military as it stands today, then your points are unwarranted. I'm not offended by the anarchist mentality "suiting me very well" comment either considering you know nothing about me other then presumptions based on what I choose to reveal (or portray) on a debating website, which could be entirely BS for all you know. Heck, my name could be Paul :)

Nowhere did I ever imply that racism was completely eliminated; that is a straw man on your part. What I did say was that society has largely progressed due to government imposed changes (if you deny it, debate me on it) and MOST people feel a lot differently than they have in the past. You're also completely manipulating my stance, making it seem as if I am calling for this mass "social revolution." I am doing no such thing; we are talking about this ONE particular issue -- not sexism or women in the workforce in general. You're trying to portray me as some type of ignorant fem nazi or some bs.

Also, if military training is such a joke, then why is training such an integral part of the entire process? I have repeated that women should be able to choose if they want to subject themselves to this environment. And yes, I do think that we should punish men for "behaving this way" i.e. very unprofessional, the same way you would punish someone in ANY OTHER JOB for sexual harassment or misconduct.
Posted by NickB2412 6 years ago
NickB2412
@Danielle: The anarchist mentality, which suits you very well, has led to a major flaw in your argument. You intimate that we have conquered racism in this nation by forcing people to adjust; anyone who has lived in the South can tell you this is far from true, and probably never will be. Also, the very government you despise so openly had to step in on numerous occasions, using national guard and other military forces, to impose this social change, but that means you have to have a government and military to begin with, which then defeats the point of supporting anarchy which destroys the governement....It starts to get circular from there.

The other problem I find in using forced societal change like we did in racism is that it WILL, without any doubt from anyone who has every been there, CREATE bad situations for women, which like brown said, is not fair to them, yet is unavoidable in the realism that is the fleet today. You want to punish men for behaving this way (which again requires a government) and insist that training (what a joke! brown can attest to this, I'm sure) will solve this, but how is that supporting equal rights? Now we are supposed to suspend the need for fair treatment in an effort to justify your desire for social revolution?

Fix the social mentality, and it will lead to changes in the military. No scientist would expect to use 1% of a chemical substance to force drastic change in the other 99% of a chemical solution; these cases, while possible, are so rare as to be understood to be impossible. Yet this is what you are expecting: that the Submarine Force, which barely has 35,000 people in it, will create a drastic social change for the rest of the country of 305 million people, and become some shining example of social equality. The reality is that your experiment will have horrible consequences, specifically for women, and the fallout will be scandal for the military again.
Posted by NickB2412 6 years ago
NickB2412
@brown: I think (and anyone could say this is an unfair assessment yet I hold it to be true) that those who have never experienced the unique environment of the military, specifically submarines, has no way of comprehending the problems that you and I both agree exist in the fleet. I think we should be more damning of these issues. I am a 2nd generation nuke EM, and I remember the days when my dad was at sea, and the pride the Sub Fleet had in those days. 30 years later, and its all gone. The problem with ignoring the society aspect is that it is the root cause of these issues. Retention: our society no longer has a work ethic; the majority want to sit at work doing nothing all day but make $20/hr to do it: it is easier to live off welfare checks than actually try to keep a job, and the fleet has become the same way. Conversely, the Navy, and DOD at large, is following the same mentality as Corporate America: the largest expense in any business is labor costs, so minimize the size of your crews and maximize the amount of work expected from them by increasing OPTEMPO to ridiculous levels, and you will save untold billions of dollars in labor costs, which allows you to keep fighting wars that should have been over years ago by simply bombing people back into the stone age. Once again, public criticism overrules technique. Nobody liked using atomic weapons on Japan, but they equally disliked losing millions of troops in a war of attrition. You want the war to end? Tell the government that the world can be damned, you want it over as quick as possible, and use tactical weapons strike to affect damage without risking the lives of our troops. These are all arguments for a different debate topic.
52 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by Udel 1 year ago
Udel
browncd81DanielleTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con says women dont belong on subs because pregnant women should not be exposed to the dangers, and sexual harassment would be a problem. He says the navy isnt about offering people their dream job but this requires special treatment on behalf of women. And he says guys would jerk off on the ships, creating a problem for all. He says war is evil, and gender mixing encourages rape and provides marital strain. Pro points out that previous misconduct on ships might not carry over and gave 4 reasons why. She said we dont ban everything that has potential bad outcomes, like alcohol. She says women know what they are signign up for, and agree to accept the risks it should be there choice which Con does not negate at all. Pro points out that Con repeatedly wants to punsish women for men's behavior. She proved moral and legal reasons for her side, and Con was just about pushing his preferences and maintaining the status quo.
Vote Placed by brant.merrell 1 year ago
brant.merrell
browncd81DanielleTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:30 
Vote Placed by UchihaMadara 2 years ago
UchihaMadara
browncd81DanielleTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by Bullish 3 years ago
Bullish
browncd81DanielleTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:40 
Vote Placed by imabench 5 years ago
imabench
browncd81DanielleTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by mongoose 6 years ago
mongoose
browncd81DanielleTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Vote Placed by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 6 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
browncd81DanielleTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: See the comments section.
Vote Placed by detachment345 6 years ago
detachment345
browncd81DanielleTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro seemed more concerned with merely upholding gender equality regardless of the consequences it posed to the overall effectiveness of the mission of a submarine crew. Con's counterarguments convinced me that women serving on submarines would have more negative than positive effects while I originally agreed with Pro. Also Con was a submarine officer so his expertise should be taken into account as a reliable source
Vote Placed by quarterexchange 6 years ago
quarterexchange
browncd81DanielleTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Con showed that women could have detrimental effects on a crew while showing that it wasn't their fault and that those faults, while not the fault of the women, were unavoidable and had to be prevented while Pro attempted to show that equality was worth more than the abilities of submarine to perform.
Vote Placed by socialpinko 6 years ago
socialpinko
browncd81DanielleTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro showed that it was illegal, immoral, and immpractical not to let women serve on submarines while Con merely made baseless claims that women would not be as good as men.