Thursday, January 20, 2005

Those Pesky, Pesky Women in the Ditches

Was channel flipping tonight while finishing up my omelette, and found VH1's "I love the 90s." They did a quick soundbite of these immortal words uttered by then Adjunct Professor Newt Gingrich, about why women should be excluded from combat:

"Females have biological problems staying in a ditch for 30 days, because they get infections."

I nearly choked on said dinner. Sound familiar?

I remembered this quote. At the time I would have been like 15, and I remember thinking something along the lines of, "Oh, of course. That makes sense."

No thought on my part whatsoever. No questioning. Just assumption. No, "Infections? Infections from what, exactly? The vagina periodically expells blood, but it's not an open wound."

And I didn't sit and wonder how, exactly, the female guerilla fighters (let alone refugees, nomads, and anybody who didn't have running water everywhere else, in every other time but the last hundred years and not even that, in many places now) in Africa, Palestine, and in the times stretching back behind me, had managed to survive living in ditches, blown out houses, on the back of carts, under freeway passes, and huddled in tents without dying of serious infections from their gaping wounds.

Here's the whole thing, which actually gets worse and worse as it goes on:

"If combat means living in a ditch, females have biological problems staying in a ditch for thirty days because they get infections and they don't have upper body strength. I mean, some do, but they're relatively rare. On the other hand, men are basically little piglets, you drop them in the ditch, they roll around in it, doesn't matter, you know. These things are very real. On the other hand, if combat means being on an Aegis-class cruiser managing the computer controls for twelve ships and their rockets, a female may be again dramatically better than a male who gets very, very frustrated sitting in a chair all the time because males are biologically driven to go out and hunt giraffes."

-Adjunct Professor Newt Gingrich, "Renewing American Civilization" Reinhardt College, January 7, 1995

At some point, they're going to run out of arguments. Question this stuff. Don't let them preach from on high, cause if they can get away with it, they will.

Stomp. Shout. Scream. Yell. Be heard. This is fucking ridiculous. These are the people in the "power" positions who are telling us who we can be and what we can do.

And they're utterly fucking lunatic.

6 comments so far. What are your thoughts?

Anonymous said...

But I like giraffes. 

Posted by Brendan

Anonymous said...

::chokes on Diet Dr. Pepper:::

Oh, man. I'm easily amused tonight.

Personally, I thought he'd go for something a little more manly. Fewer spots. More teeth. Less leggy.  

Posted by Kameron Hurley

Anonymous said...

I can't tell you how many men in my office get antsy when they haven't had a good giraffe kill in a while. It's a huge problem. They're thinking about getting together a hunting group to head to the zoo once a month. 

Posted by Antigone

Anonymous said...

I actually encountered that quote from Rush in Al Franken's "Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot", when he imagines a scenario of Newt explaining to his 13-year-old daughter that she got her first "infection", as well as Newt and two other fat Republicans trying to catch a giraffe. Then Franken began hunting around what Newt claimed were great guides to life (1950s Readers Digest) and found a passage about why women like sitting around and watching ballet. "See? Just add "giraffes" and "Aegis class cruiser"."

I read that book far too much when I was eleven. 

Posted by Maureen

Anonymous said...

When he first made this comment, I was working in a powerhouse in St. Louis. I read this in the Post-Dispatch that morning at break, and I was so fucking angry I couldn't focus on my I wrote a fucking letter to the editor. My foreman came in, and I showed it to him, looking for editorial commentary...he laughed his ass off! He faxed it to the Post-Dispatch, and put his pager number as the contact number. The pager went off about an hour later.

I returned the call, and the woman I spoke to loved it....she said she'd publish it. It took a few days, but it was published, with a graphic of a female soldier next to it.

It was a goodie! Quite sarcastic. Newt. Whatta pusbag! 

Posted by La Lubu

Anonymous said...

No shit? Fucking awesome. Good for you.

Yea, I'd totally forgotten about that until I heard the clip, and it just fit so nicely alongside the latest fracas... 

Posted by Kameron Hurley