- The Washington Times - Monday, January 24, 2000

Few GI Janes

"Collect as many stories as you wish about the ill effect on morale and unit cohesion caused by the sexual integration of the armed forces. Present the seabagful of evidence to your representatives in Washington but do not expect the aggressive recruitment and integration of women into the military to subside… .
"[I]f you want a glimpse of the sexually integrated force of the future, do not look to Hollywood. A few enthusiastic amazons like Demi Moore's 'G.I. Jane' may sign up, but they will hardly be the rule. (As it is, half of the women who enlist today fail to complete their service contract.) …
"It is immoral for a nation to send its daughters, wives, sisters and mothers to war. We have forgotten that it is immoral because we have been convinced that it is something other than an act of killing. We should remind ourselves before we are reminded."
Christopher Check, writing on "G.I. Jane," in the February issue of Chronicles

Parents and abstinence

" 'I think sometimes parents need a little more education than the students,' [said] abstinence educator June Evans… . 'We see the students once a year, but if we could get to the parents, the students could hear it consistently.'
"The National Longitudinal Study on Adolescent Health … backs up Mrs. Evans' assertion. The study revealed that the two most influential factors in a teen-ager's decision to remain abstinent are 'a virginity pledge' and 'perceived parental disapproval of adolescent contraception.' …
"Nationwide, parents surveyed in a July poll conducted for the Nickolodeon channel and Time magazine responded that the average appropriate age for sexual intercourse was 18. Contrast that with the response of adolescents: 76 percent said 'it is somewhat or very important' to wait until marriage before having sex. The other 24 percent on average gave 23 as an appropriate age to have sex."
Candi Cushman, writing on "Problem Parents," in the Jan. 22 issue of World

'Emotional impact'

"In a New York Times op-ed, best-selling author Deborah Tannen accuses [Texas Gov. George W.] Bush of trying to manipulate women. Tannen says Bush's education speech is 'like a computer-composed symphony… . The Pavlovian view of women voters plug the words in and they will respond sends a chill down my spine because it sounds like an adaptation of something I have written about communication between the sexes.'
"Now, Tannen became famous as the author of a book about how women and men don't understand each other… . But after encouraging people to accept stereotypes of how women feel and how men think, she's surprised that somebody might use these stereotypes in a manipulative way. Bill Clinton is a master of this form, and his approval rating among women the last time I checked was something like, oh, 137 percent.
"Tannen realizes there's a rich irony in … attacking Bush for doing something Clinton has been doing so well … so she has crafted a sentence to differentiate Clinton's case and excuse him: 'While Bill Clinton has always used words for emotional impact, in the case of women he has done so to gain support for concrete proposals to improve their lives.'
" 'Concrete' proposals, mind you as opposed to George W. Bush, who wants to do completely 'abstract' thing for women, like 'cut their taxes' so they can have 'more money.' But Tannen's exculpation of Clinton is not as ridiculous as it sounds. I can readily imagine the president, in conversation with a woman, 'using words for emotional impact,' and concluding, 'Hey, darlin', I have a concrete proposal for you.' "
Michael Potemra, from "Nota Bena," posted Thursday on National Review Online at www.nationalreview.com

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