I'm obliged to Solomon for highlighting a video from the current conflict in Syria between Turkish armed forces and their Syrian militia allies, and Kurdish forces of the PKK and YPG. I'm not going to embed the video here, or link to it, because it's graphic and brutal. If you want to see it, click over to Solomon's place and follow the link he provides. Briefly, it shows the mutilated body of a young YPG female combatant. According to one commenter at the video site (which may be propaganda - I'm not in a position to make an informed judgment):
Laughter is heard before #Syrian rebel pushes her chest with his boot, another says "No don't do things like this guys". The next fighter says "Bring the other one" referring to the female #Kurdish #YPG (YPJ) fighters corpse. #Turkey has not commented on rebel behavior yet ... #Kurdish media associated with #YPG identifies Barîn Kobanê as a suicide bomber who used a grenade to blow herself up when #Turkish backed forces approached to avoid capture and inflict damage on them. ANF Media has since deleted their article in Kurdish and Turkish.
I suppose it's only fair to add that other commenters (pro-Turkish) have accused the author of the post of spreading propaganda, and claimed that the deceased's injuries were self-inflicted as the result of the explosion of her grenade. Personally, having seen the results of grenade explosions rather too many times for comfort, I've never seen one that actually amputated breasts like that, so I'm inclined to believe the atrocity theory.
The only question left is whether or not this is the future fate of our female Marines in the infantry. Correction. It's not a matter of "if"...it's a matter of when.
I absolutely, 100% agree with him.
I've seen what happened to female combatants in Africa, in more than one conflict. They may have been wearing the same uniform as the men, but their treatment after capture was far different. "Barbaric" would be one way to describe it. Many of them did not survive captivity for long . . . they were raped until their captors tired of them, then shot out of hand. Sometimes they were raped, vaginally and anally, with other things . . . bayonets, broken glass bottles, and so on. I helped to bury enough of their bodies to be left in no doubt that, at least in a Third World environment, women combatants are considered fair game for anything and everything male soldiers want to do to them. Often, that includes soldiers on their own side. Women are seen as being there to be exploited, nothing more.
That's a shocking, disgusting thing to say in a First World society where women are equal to men in every way . . . but they're only equal in that First World society. Take them outside it, put them down in a Third World hellhole, and they'll be treated exactly the same as the women there. They may even be treated worse, because the local women will despise them for "putting on airs" and thinking themselves superior to those who live there. I've seen that happen, too, particularly to women volunteers with groups such as the Peace Corps. They swan into a situation absolutely sure that they know what's best, that they know what to do to solve the problems they encounter . . . and then they screw it up, until the situation is worse than it was before. You can't tell them anything. They won't learn, they won't listen. They know.
That will apply to women in the combat branches of the US armed forces, when they go into such situations. There's no doubt about it whatsoever. If a US female soldier is captured by the Taliban in Afghanistan, or Al-Shabaab in Somalia, or Boko Haram in Nigeria, or Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines, or any of dozens of terrorist groups in Iraq or Syria . . . the outcome will be the same. They'll be raped, tortured, mutilated and murdered, because they're sub-human in the eyes of their captors. They don't qualify to be treated as soldiers: indeed, their presence in uniform, with weapons, is a direct insult to their captors, because women are possessions, not equals, in those societies.
That'll probably happen to women soldiers even in more formal, military-against-military conflicts. How many times have we seen, or heard, or read about, atrocities committed against, or indifference towards the suffering of, prisoners of war by their captors? All sides were guilty of it, to a greater or lesser extent, during and after the Second World War (yes, even the Western Allies). The USA did it to Viet Cong and North Vietnamese prisoners during the Vietnam War - remember the infamous "helicopter ride" stories? I've been told, by people who served there, that those stories were true. I have no reason to disbelieve them. All that, and more, will happen to women POW's - and their sex will be no protection at all. It may even goad their captors to treat them worse.
I fully and firmly believe that it's a grievous mistake to put women into combat forces. Not only are they seldom able to meet the same physical standards required of male soldiers, but they face at least the possibility (in my opinion, the certainty) of being abused, tortured, raped and murdered by many opponents they may face, in the event that they're captured. To my mind, it's unconscionable to expose them to this risk in the name of political correctness or equality between the sexes. Others may differ with me . . . but I've seen at first hand, in ghastly and gory detail, the corpses of women wearing uniform. I saw what was done to them. Dammit, I helped bury them - I couldn't help but see it, and I wish I hadn't! I don't ever want anyone to have to go through that, much less American women. They have no idea.