One of the recurring arguments against women serving in combat appears on its face to be just good common horse sense: women just don't have the upper body strength to carry a heavy male soldier out of combat. The thing is, you don't need much upper body strength to carry a guy out of combat. This will come as a surprise to certain pundits, but troops are not trained to carry each other like babies. The point is to rescue your comrade, not rescue your comrade while wailing on your pecs.
"You're 6'4", 240-pound Marine, and you're injured, and you need a Marine next to you to carry you back to safety, and the Marine next to you is a 5'4" woman who weighs 115 pounds. It's relevant."
Host Martha Raddatz interrupted him, saying she'd seen female combat medics rescue 6'4" Marines. "That's fine," Will responded, noting 152 women had died in the post-9/11 wars. "But there are certain anatomical facts about upper body strength and stamina." Panelist Steve Inskeep said, "there are surely individual women who could pick you or I up wounded and carry us off a battlefield." Raddatz concluded, "It probably would not be me, but there are lots of them." Raddatz is selling herself short. Using the standard military technique for carrying people off the battlefield, she could have carried Will off the set quite easily.
American troops are trained use the fireman's carry, which is a way of sort of slinging a dude over your shoulder, as seen in the GIF at right. It's shockingly easy. It's so easy that in instructional YouTubes, the carried sometimes laugh with surprise. Earlier this month, on vacation, I ran in circles while fireman-carrying my (admittedly indie-rock thin) 6'2" male friend on a Miami beach, because it was funny. There are tons of YouTubes of women carrying men this way.
In fact, it appears to be something of a fetish. Here's a video of a woman fireman carrying a dude silently while wearing heels. Here's one of woman in what looks like a latex catsuit (with tail). Here's one of a woman in a bikini fireman carrying a chubby guy. The top image is taken from a video titled "Best Lift and Carry - Part 64 ( Girl lifting guy )." At left is a GIF from what looks like a PG-13 fetish video, in which a befuddled chubby man says he feels "a little weird" when a short muscular woman lifts him. He mumbles that it was "a weird power exchange or something." Poor George Will probably feels threatened by this power exchange, too.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.