The Ed Show | January 24, 2013
>>> female service members have faced the reality of combat, proven their willingness to fight, and yes, to die to defend their fellow americans.
>> today policy caught up with reality. the pentagon announced that it will officially lift the ban on women in combat , even though women are already serving on the battlefield. just ask former combat helicopter pilot and double amputee congresswoman tammy duckworth .
>> the reality on the ground in a 360 battlefield is that women have been serving in combat in afghanistan and in iraq. well, i didn't lose my legs in a bar fight .
>> this o'move will allow women to move up in the ranks and hold jobs that often bring more pay. yet predictably, many right-wingers can't handle reality. retired lieutenant general jeffrey boykin of the family research council calls it a social experiment. heather mcdonald of the " national review " worries men and women serving together will result in a proliferation of sex. eric bolling of fox news used the story to test drive a new conspiracy theory.
>> why did they float this today? is it because yesterday hillary rodham clinton was on the hill getting grilled about something about dead americans and now they need to get that shiny object over here, women on the front lines , to turn the attention and the obliging media goes yep, there it is, there's our new story for all day tomorrow.
>> meanwhile, right-wing trol tucker carlson shared his thoughts on twitter. feminists' latest victory. the right to get your limbs blown off in war. congratulations. carlson, who has never served in the military, also had a difficult time distinguishing combat from domestic assault. the administration boasts about sending women to the front lines on the same day democrats push the violence against women act . it must be tough for a guy who tweets for a living to understand the toll of war. so here are a few statistics. women make up 15% of the force and have paid the ultimate price again and again. over 150 have died and over 800 have been wounded serving their country in iraq and afghanistan. despite those sacrifices, iraq war veteran ryan smith says he's still not comfortable with the idea. he writes in the " wall street journal " that women shouldn't fight because men might have to "poop in front of them."
>> so if you had to go in the restroom, you had to pee in a bottle inches from the comrade next to you, if you had to go -- if you develop dysentery, you had to poo in a bag in an mre bag inches from your comrade's face. now, introducing women into that environment can be really traumtic and humiliating. and combat's already difficult enough. you don't need to add this other layer.
>> congress wam tulsi gabbard of hawaii, also an iraqi war vet, had news for mr. smith.
>> well, ryan, i respect you and thank you for your service. i've been honored to serve with many women who've already operated under these circumstances. this is not something new. some of the things that you've described are things that i and friends of mine and people that i've served with have already experienced.
>> joining us tonight, goldie taylor , msnbc contributor, managing editor of the goldie taylor project and former marine. goldie , thank you for your time tonight. your response to some of the rhetoric you just heard.
>> i frankly just find it astounding. you know, women have been serving in our armed forces and in military operations around the world for decades. the fact is we're doing the job. we're helicopter pilots. we're marine corps , you know, military police officers. we're military intelligence officers. we just don't get formally recognized for it, and we certainly don't get paid for it. there's a differential pay for someone who is formally recognized as being a part of infantry. that is a boost in pay and benefits that women don't have access to. certainly, if you serve on the front line you have greater access to leadership positions. that opportunity is cut off for women who, again, not formally recognized. i don't know how much recognition you need than to look at someone like tammy duckworth who comes home missing her legs or someone like a shoshana johnson , who was a p.o.w., or someone like a jessica lynch , who was shot in the heels of her feet. so i don't know how much more formal recognition you need that women are doing the job today.
>> women have to volunteer for combat duty and face the same physical standards that men do. is that an issue or not an issue at all?
>> you know, i went through boot camp back in 1987 . my former husband attempted to go through boot camp that very same year. he did not graduate from boot camp and was returned home not a marine. i on the other hand did complete boot camp and did rise to the challenge. i do believe that the standards for infantry should be high. they should not be relaxed. but if a woman can meet the physical and mental challenges of serving on the front line then she darn well ought to be able to serve on the front line , be recognized, be promoted, and be paid for it.
>> some conservatives are saying that they're concerned because if women were to become captives that they would be possibly exploited sexually. what's your response to that?
>> my response is that women who served in our united states armed forces are more likely, more likely to be sexually battered and abused by their brethren in their own service. you know, the fact of the matter is we have been brushing under the rug, you know, the incidences of rape between soldiers and marines and sailors for any number of years. they don't get investigated. and at the end of the day those women are sent home, their careers are often ended, and the men are simply moved from duty station to duty station and continue to serve. so this is a reality that we already face today. it's not something brand new. at the end of the day being in the armed forces really is a man's world, but we've been operating in it and we've been doing it well.
>> all right. goldie taylor , thank you for joining us tonight. appreciate it so much. that's "the ed show." i'm ed