An anti-Muslim retired lieutenant general says that he would not want to serve in a combat role with women because "personal hygiene and the other normal functions" are already "degrading and humiliating enough" without having the opposite gender on the battlefield.
During a Sunday interview on Fox News, host Chris Wallace asked retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin why he disagreed with the Pentagon's decision to remove the ban on women in combat.
"You need to frame this thing correctly," Boykin explained. "It's not an issue of women in combat. Women are in combat already and have been in combat since 9/11, and in fact, prior to that."
"My issue here is mixing the genders in infantry units, armor units and special forces units is not a positive, there are many distractors there, which puts burden on the small-unit combat leaders and actually creates an environment -- because of their living conditions -- that is not conducive to readiness."
Boykin agreed that "some women can meet the standard," but the issue was about "personal hygiene."
"What I've raised is the issue of mixing the genders in those combat units, where there is no privacy, where they're out on extended operations and there's no opportunity for people to have any privacy whatsoever," the retired lieutenant general insisted.
"Now, as a man who has been there and as a man who has some experience in those kinds of units, I certainly don't want to be in that environment with a female because it's degrading and humiliating enough to do your personal hygiene and the other normal functions among your teammates," Boykin opined.
But retired United States Air Force colonel Martha McSally, the first American female combat pilot, countered that the privacy argument was a "red herring" because men and women have been serving together for years.
"You can figure out the privacy issue as long as you have the most capable, most qualified force," she said. "There should be no reason for these exclusionary policies... This privacy issue of men and women being next to each other, it's the same issue we've seen, which is a myth really and it is not a show-stopper."