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‘The rotting corpse of feminism.’ Women, the frontline and Clive Hamilton.

Date: 3 October 2011

Is it a betrayal of feminism to feel uncomfortable about the prospect of women serving frontline combat roles? Those who feel squeamish (and those who don’t!) may be interested in what Clive Hamilton has to say.

‘With women to take on military combat roles, it is time to sound the Last Post over the rotting corpse of feminism. It’s what has to be done to their minds. When the Defence Minister says the individual has to have “the right physical, psychological and mental attributes”, he’s thinking of male mental attributes – those needed to kill.

Putting women in the front line is a victory only for the campaign to obliterate difference, as if everything women were before the advent of feminism was the creation of patriarchy. But didn’t women’s life experiences and history provide distinctive qualities more needed today than ever? We should celebrate the uniquely female rather than bury it under the demand for equality.’

Read more: Women at war is the final surrender


  1. It will be interesting to see how many women are interested in serving on the front line. Its my experience that women want to be treated with equality, not to be treated like men.

  2. Lauren says:

    I’m a young feminist who has just finished a 4000 word essay on this topic. In my research I have discovered that we feel squeamish not only because we think women are physically weaker than men. It is also because we believe that they are naturally more peaceful and passive; that they are unable to respond to a threat actively and violently. Firstly, this conception, in my opinion, is false. Secondly, at least SOME women will also be physically capable. Therefore a BAN on women, per se, is no a rational response. Furthermore, in order to rise through the ranks in the military, front line experience is required. Therefore allowing women to fight on the front lines is an important step for dissolving the military glass ceiling.

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