Women soldiers deserve equality in head-to-head combat
Published: Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, February 6, 2013 23:02
The idea of women fighting for their country has remained in our nation’s history since the Revolutionary War, when wives would battle alongside their husbands.
Though women in the military have been praised, until recently, the placing of women on the front lines has been banned. In the last few weeks, the Pentagon has finally started the process of allowing women the choice of being on the front lines of battle.
Seeing as this nation bases its existence on freedom of the people, it’s amazing that this ban had been in effect for so long. Everyone, despite their gender, should have a right to nobly sacrifice their lives for their country if they are so able.
Though naturally celebrated by most, the proposition continues to gather critique from others. The most commonly used argument is that females are not built for combat.
Yes, it is undeniable that a typical male is naturally built for more physically arduous work; however, that doesn’t mean that a woman can’t be. In fact, many not only meet, but exceed the male expectation during their entrance physical exam.
Regardless, front line combat isn’t bayonets and muskets anymore, as it was in the Revolutionary War. Technical expertise and swift thinking are as, if not more, important than mere brute strength on a modern battle field. This being said, a woman’s ability is not primarily tied to her physicality.
When under fire, many male soldiers have stated that it does not matter who is beside them, as long as they’re pointing the gun at the enemy.
Though often stated that women on the front lines would potentially hinder the morale of male soldiers, it doesn’t seem probable that it would matter in times of crises. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell proved that sexual orientation matters little in the face of battle. Why should gender?
There’s also the issue of women being more of a target on the battlefield, as they are viewed as the weaker sex in many sexist cultures. Though this is true, I do believe that the women are aware of the situation they are putting themselves in. Though there is obviously more risk involved, women should still be able to choose for themselves.
It appears that the people who are opposed to this idea see the potential female soldiers as stereotypical women. These women are willingly putting themselves in front of grenades and bullets, and you think they’ll be worried about their hair? These women are badass, in every way. Not only will they be tough as nails physically, but they will be strong willed and prepared for battle.
Every soldier fighting on the battlefield, male or female, is facing tremendous risk: imprisonment, injury, death. That doesn’t mean, however, that they should be refused their right to sacrifice themselves for a cause they believe in. As long as an applicant is qualified for a position, one’s gender is arbitrary. Instead of being refused and criticized, a woman facing such extreme risk for her nation should be respected and praised.