The harpies we commonly refer to as feminists tend to be so spoiled and pampered that they will complain about the most trivial of things. Other times, they will say anything to paint themselves as victims of oppression by the evil, white males. Take war for example. War is a horrifying experience for everyone involved. Men and women both suffer. One feminist in particular couldn’t have that. No, women actually suffer far more than men do in times of war. In fact, they are the primary victims of war, far more than the vast majority of males who fight and die in war. Male privilege and all that.
I’m sure that any man who has lost life or limb in war appreciates your support, Hillary.
It’s clear that the feminists who spout this sort of bullshit have never experienced anything close to the horrors of war. They are so coddled by the luxury they live in that they can’t imagine others having it worse, especially their male oppressors.
I recently finished Dan Carlin’s fantastic series of podcasts called “Blueprint for Armageddon” detailing the events of World War 1 from beginning to end. It’s a great series and you’ll learn a lot from it. I highly recommend it. Anyway, this series of podcasts has taught me about the sickening amounts of privilege that male soldiers have enjoyed throughout history, particularly during World War I. Here are a few short sketches highlighting this privilege.
One of the defining features of World War I was the staggering amount of artillery that was used on both sides. The numbers are quite mind-boggling. For example, during the first 8 months of the Battle of Verdun, the French expended about 23.5 million artillery shells and the Germans 21 millions. Shells would fall and explode so fast, it was nicknamed “drum fire” because the exploding shells sounded like a drum roll. Very few people have lived through this sort of thing, much less dealt with it for weeks on end. The experience is unimaginable to those who have not lived through it. One German soldier, Ernst Jünger describes the experience:
Our ribald conversations were suddenly cut off by a marrow-freezing cry. Twenty yards behind us, clumps of earth whirled up out of a white cloud and smacked into the boughs. The crash echoed through the woods. Stricken eyes looked at each other, bodies pressed themselves into the ground with a humbling sensation of powerlessness to do anything else. Explosion followed explosion, choking gases drifted over the undergrowth, smoke obscured the treetops, trees and branches came crashing to the ground, screams. We leaped up and ran blindly chased by lightening and crushing air pressure from tree to tree looking for cover, skirting around giant tree trunks like frightened game. A dugout which many men had taken shelter and which I too was running towards, took a direct hit that ripped up the planking and send heavy timber spinning through the air.
Like a couple of squirrels having stones thrown at them, the NCO and I dodged, panting behind a huge beech tree. Quite mechanically, and spurred on by further explosions, I ran after my superior who sometimes turned round and stared at me, wild-eyed, yelling: “what in God’s name are those things? What are they?” Suddenly there was a flash among the rootwork and a blow on the left thigh flung me to the ground. I thought I had been struck by a clump of earth, but the warm trickle of blood indicated that I had been wounded…
…I threw down my haversack and ran toward the trench we had come from. From all sides, wounded men were making tracks towards it from the shelled woods. The trench was appalling, choked with seriously wounded and dying men. A figure stripped to the waste with a ripped open back leaned against the parapet. Another with a triangular flap hanging off the back of his skull emitted short, high-pitched screams. This was the home of the great god Pain. And for the first time I looked through a devilish chink into the depths of his realm. And fresh shells came down all the time.
I lost my head completely.
This sort of thing happened all throughout the war. In fact, soldiers had to live like this for weeks and even months. The ordeal rendered many insane.
In episode 3 of the series, Dan Carlin quotes another soldier, an Australian, pinned down on the beach during the Battle of Gallipoli:
A galling fire rained on us from the left where there were high cliffs. One man dropped alongside me, laughing. I broke the news to him gently: “You got yourself into the hottest corner you’ll ever strike”. I showed him where the enemy were and he fired a few shots and again I heard the sickening thud of a bullet. I looked at him in horror. The bullet had fearfully mashed his face and gone down his throat rendering him dumb, but his eyes were dreadful to behold. How he squirmed in agony! There was nothing I could do for him except pray that he die swiftly. It took him about 20 minutes to accomplish this. And by that time, he’d tangled up his legs and stiffened. I saw the waxy color creep over his cheek and breathed easier.
Words fail to describe what those last 20 minutes of life must have been like for that soldier. Furthermore, his buddy, the one who lived, will likely have that horrifying image seared into his mind for years after, possibly the rest of his life. But hey! Male privilege, right?
In his book, The Great War, historian Peter Hart describes one horror that many soldiers dealt with during the Battle of Passchendaele. He quotes a soldier named Norman Cliff:
The approach to the ridge was a desolate swamp, over which brooded an evil, menacing atmosphere that seemed to defy encroachment. Far more treacherous than the visible surface defenses with which we were familiar, such as barbed wire; deep devouring mud spread deadly traps in all directions. We splashed and slithered, and dragged our feet from the pull of an invisible enemy determined to suck us into its depths. Every few steps someone would slide and stumble and, weighed down by rifle and equipment, rapidly sink into the squelching mess. Those nearest grabbed his arms, struggled against being themselves engulfed and, if humanly possible, dragged him out. When helpers floundered in as well and doubled the task, it became hopeless. All the straining efforts failed and the swamp swallowed its screaming victims and we had to be ordered to plod on dejectedly and fight this relentless enemy as stubbornly as we did those we could see.
It happened that one of those leading us was Lieutenant Chamberlain, and so distraught had he become at the spectacle of men drowning in mud, and the desperate attempts to rescue them that suddenly he began hysterically belabouring the shoulders of a sinking man with his swagger stick. We were horror-struck to to see this most compassionate officer so unstrung as to resort to brutality, and our loud protests forced him to desist. The man was rescued, but some could not be and they sank shrieking with fear and agony. To be ordered to go ahead and the leave a comrade to such a fate was the hardest experience one could be asked to endure, but the objective had to be reached, and we plunged on, bitter anger against the evil forces prevailing piled on to our exasperation. This was as near to Hell as I ever want to be.
Sinking into the mud and dying in agony would be terrible enough. But try to think what it must have been like for those soldiers who were forced to their friends behind, sinking in the mud. That sort of thing will come back in nightmares to haunt you for the rest of your life. Other times, soldiers wouldn’t sink into the mud fast enough. Writer Adam Hochschild quotes a story from a British Major during the same battle:
A party of A company men passing up to the front line found a man bogged to above the knee, the united efforts of four of them with rifles beneath his armpits made not the slightest impression and to dig, even if shovels had been available, would be impossible for there was no foothold. Duty compelled them to move on up to the line. And when two days later, they passed down that way, the wretched fellow was still there, but only his head was now visible and he was raving mad.
I find it hard to imagine anything worse than being stuck in mud and slowly sinking knowing there’s no way out. This sort of thing boggles the mind.
Male Privilege At Its Finest.
Finally, we have the one thing that defines World War I more than anything else: gas warfare. The experience of a WWI-style gas attack is simply indescribable. You really can’t comprehend what it’s like unless you actually been in one yourself. Peter Hart again quotes another soldier, Private William Quinton, talking about his experience with the gas:
Suddenly over the top of our front line we saw what looked like clouds of thin grey smoke, rolling slowly along with the slight wind. It hung to the ground reaching to the height of 8 or 9 feet, and approached so slowly that a man walking could have kept ahead of it. ‘GAS!’ The word quickly passed around. Even now it held no terror for us, for we had not yet tasted it. From our haversacks we hastily drew the flannel belts, soaked them in water and tied them round our mouths and noses. Suddenly. through the communication trench came rushing a few khaki-clad figures. Their eyes glaring out of their heads, their hands tearing at their throats, they came on. Some stumbled and fell, and lay writhing in the bottom of the trench, choking and gasping, whilst those following trampled over them. If ever men were raving mad with terror, these men were…
Our biggest enemy was now within a few yards of us, in the form of clouds of gas. We caught our first whiff of it: no words of mine can ever describe my feelings as we inhaled the first mouthful. We choked, spit and coughed, my lungs felt as though they were being burnt out, and were going to burst. Red-hot needles were being thrust into my eyes. The first impulse was to run…
It was one of those occasions when you do not know what you are doing. The man who stayed was no braver than the man who ran away. We crouched there, terrified, stupefied.
After this terrifying experience, Quinton goes on to the front lines which were abandoned and see the remains of the first victims of the gas attack.
Black in the face, their tunics and shirt fronts torn open at the necks in their last desperate fight for breath. Man of them quite still while others were still wriggling and kicking in the agonies of the most awful death I’d ever seen. Some were wounded in the bargain and their gaping wounds lay open, blood still oozing from them. One poor devil was tearing at his throat with his hands. I doubt if he knew or felt that he had only one hand and that the other was just a stump where the hand should have been. This stump he worked around his throat as if his hand was still there and the blood from it was streaming over his bluish-black face and neck. A few minutes later he was still except for occasional shudders as he breathed his last.
This final story has stayed with me since I first heard it. Nothing describes the horror of war quite like this story. It’s brutal, it’s shocking, and maybe even a little gratuitous. But I believe this is necessary to show you just how much privilege these soldiers, like all soldiers throughout history, had. Male privilege indeed.