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.

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