Finally, the military is “allowing” women to fight in combat. That’s great. Seems like yesterday we were “allowed” to vote and “allowed” to run for office and “allowed” to run businesses (usually better than the men).
It just goes to show the mentality out there in some circles that this is considered such a huge historical step. In fact, women have been involved in combat for centuries. Tacitus wrote about Celtic warrior Boudicca fighting better than any man in 109 C.E. Cleopatra didn’t fight but actually ran rings around the Romans. Margaret Thatcher made key strategic decisions for the British Army. There’s also the story of Molly Pitcher helping in the Revolutionary War and hundreds of women disguised as men so they could serve the cause in the Civil War. Today, Israeli women participate on the front lines and have for years. The Israeli Army is arguably one of the best armies in the world.
The desire and heart to serve among women has always been there. Perhaps some of the stories from history are embellished. Then again, maybe not. Either way, there is no doubt that women have demonstrated a willingness to serve in key military roles for generations.
As with other areas of life, for years the boys put up the barriers. The first argument is always that women are the fairer sex and aren’t as physically capable as men. This argument doesn’t stand up to logic. Doesn’t the military have basic physical requirements that must be met? If a woman is capable of passing the tests, what’s the problem?
Another argument is that men might feel uncomfortable because they may feel sexually attracted to the women and become distracted. This same general argument was made against gays serving in the military. Evidently, this hasn’t proved to be an issue.
Then there is my favorite excuse. Women are too emotional, especially during “that time of the month.” This one is seriously insulting, and it’s very ‘50s—as in 1850’s.
Sorry guys, GI Jane is here and will be in the trenches protecting our country. You’ll have to learn to deal with it.
Sure there will be growing pains just like anything else that’s new. But any American who wants to serve the greatest country on Earth and put his or her life on the line should be promoted and not patted on the head and told to stay where it’s safe. Combat certainly isn’t for all women, but it’s not for all men either.
American military service should be based on performance not gender. Restricting it to only men is caveman mentality.
When it comes to women’s rights, we’re often forced to say better late than never. Women in combat can now, thankfully, be checked off the list.