The Value of Single-Sex Institutions

Ben Cohen
At the beginning of the excellent documentary Warriors of the French Foreign Legion, French General Bernard Grail is asked why the legion excludes women. He responds by saying that, "For the moment it is impossible for us to accept women into the legion because our training system and our day to day life within the legion won't allow it. To make this family work and create a cohesive unit from this group of foreigners we have to place everyone in a big bowl, close the lid and shake it around." General Grail's "soup-bowl" is a barracks and training ground where the recruits live together and train together. Legionnaire boot camp is notoriously brutal, the recruits are placed under extreme calorie restriction while being expected to perform mentally and physically. For weeks on end they undergo a constant regimen of forced marches, obstacle courses, and jogging while simultaneously having to learn the French language. After boot camp they go on to specialized infantry training, which...(Read Full Post)

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