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by Peter Moskos

February 11, 2012

Misquoted in Salon

Not me. But my father. And he died in 2008.

Linda Hirshman seems to have a bone or two to pick. She writes in Salon.com:
If any evidence of this ["warfare is the business of heterosexual men, the penetrators"] agenda were needed, the same person who created and defended the dreaded “don’t ask, don’t tell” — military sociologist Charles Moskos — was the loudest advocate of excluding women from any combat roles.

Woman’s “compassionate nature” Moskos speculated in a 1990 Washington Post op ed, would be a real hindrance.
That doesn't sound like my father. It just didn't ring true.

So I looked up the Washington Post op-ed ("Women in Combat: The Same Risks as Men?" Feb 4, 1990) and could not find those words or that meaning. I wonder where the quote is from. Regardless, it seems low to misquote a dead man.

In fact, in that op-ed my father made exactly the opposite argument: "The problem of a trial program of women in combat roles is not that it will prove women cannot fight, but that it will prove they can." He thought society wasn't ready to have women forced into combat situations. Twenty-two years ago, he might have been right.

But I guess such facts get in the way of Hirshman's agenda.

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