Readers' Blog: Women’s endurance tops men’s

In relation to RTÉ’s documentary about new recruits being trained up for the Defence Forces, I heard some remark about women – was it that they had never finished some endurance test?

Try 20 hours labour with haemorrhaging and agonising pain, followed by tearing when giving birth, man, and come back again and tell women that bit about testing and endurance. 

Oh yeah, and it’s a fairly safe bet the men who ran the endurance course won’t go through childbearing. Legendary men - yeah.

Women may well finish such a testing endurance course and well done indeed when they do, but it should be recognised that women have always and always been coping with conditions and situations around pregnancy from joyful to heartbreaking, with often hard decisions to make alone. 

You won’t do that in a jungle, man.

There are several historical sites and we hardly know all of these, where women went or were put into that, no Special Force man would go to and he won’t ever get sent in to.

Women and girls were used for target practice and after were kept in another set of crosshairs. 

No Special Forces man will go through all of that. No man.

And now if there’s a crisis pregnancy there’s a whole new set of targetters active: because a woman can choose.

Oh, special man, you won’t go under those cross-hairs. 

Those “other forces” wrote data on their target and track her about streets, on your streets, man.

Before you laugh at some woman’s choices of toiletries for your course, try reflecting upon this, where you park and go for your groceries, someone could blindside a woman and come at a woman they knew had a crisis pregnancy (who tells them?) telling her “come with us for an ultrasound” as she thought she was like everyone else getting groceries – no – she was a target in cross hairs being tracked.

Special Forces man, you’ll never be on that end of “The Handmaid’s Tale”. 

And man, do such a woman a favour, please never be the eye behind the cross-hairs on her head.

Tom Ryan


Co Limerick

This reader's opinion was originally published in the letters page of the Irish Examiner print edition on 3 May 2019.

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