Somewhere in Texas, on a Dalrock family road trip, my wife and children were having breakfast at the motel breakfast bar while I caught a few extra minutes of sleep. An elderly couple asked a family with three girls what the girls wanted to do when they grew up. All three girls indicated that they planned on joining the military. My son offered helpfully (as little boys are wont to do):
The military is for chicks.
The mother of the girls retorted back:
That’s right, the military is for chicks!
But the girls’ father wasn’t sure what to say. According to my wife, for about 10 seconds he frowned and looked very much like he was going to say something, but ultimately remained silent.
Who knows what the father considered saying but ultimately held back on. He was in a tough spot, as he would have had to correct both his wife as well as my son (who was talking out of turn). But even under different circumstances this would have been very difficult for a conservative man supporting women in the military. My son and the man’s wife both spoke the ugly truth about the feminist enterprise, a truth conservatives need to deny. The fundamental goal is to mark the military as a feminine space, to make it impossible for men to associate the military with manly pride. But how can a man take pride in his daughters invading a male space once other men’s daughters have already made it a place for women? Such a father needs other men’s sons to still believe that the military is a male space, so his daughters can prove them wrong. Otherwise, what is the point?