College Papers

Nearly especially not made for war. Traditionally speaking,

 Nearly 5
years ago, a woman joining the military and ready for full combat, wasn’t
plausible. Now in this era, it has become reality. However, could such
advancement be reasonable? The result of the change places women at a
disadvantage and puts them in a greater danger than what is faced by men. Women
were not made to destroy or conquer things. They were especially not made for
war. Traditionally speaking, men fought in a war, not women. Opening combat
roles to women lends a veneer of democratic engagement without actually having
any real connection to larger society. It has been society’s fundamental belief
that men do well in jobs that are considered “risky” such as combat, and woman
do not take part in those fields; by doing so, she would cause the military’s
fighting capability to be lowered because the physical strength of a woman
compared to that of a man is low. She would increase her chances of sexual
harassment and put herself at risk of becoming infertile. Most importantly it
goes against the tradition of the military.

            The
Women’s Armed Services Integration Act of 1948 excluded women from combat
positions (Catalog Record “Women’s Armed Services Integration Act Of 1948”). “In
January 2013, Secretary Defense Leon Panetta rescinded the ground combat exclusion
policy” (Wikipedia “Women in Combat”). “Over 280,000 women have been deployed to
war zones; over 200 women have died and over 800 have been wounded in combat” (Hoit,
“The Names You Don’t Hear: Nearly 200 Women Have Died in Iraq and Afghanistan”).
To refuse a woman any position within the military especially infantry, does go
against the Nation’s attempt to promote gender equality. However, keeping women
out of branches that requires her to go to war, for example, the Marine Corps
is not about oppressing women’s rights or sealing off gender equality. It is
mainly about maintaining the most combat-effective military. The people of this
country should be concerned about creating the best trained, strongest, most
ready military force to defend their nation.

There currently isn’t
any woman in the National Basketball Association, the National Football League,
Major League Baseball, or other professional sports geared for men. Their
absence has nothing to do with discrimination but is rooted in the fact that
women biologically are not able to perform physically to the same level as men.
Elizabeth Hoisington, who was one of the first women to attain high rank in the
Army voiced that women should not serve in combat roles because they aren’t
“physically, mentally and emotionally qualified” (Bell, “Arguing For and
Against Women In Combat, in 1978”). 
Although feminists may be upset about such a statements or may say
things like “But women may still gain the requisite upper body muscle mass to
dead lift objects just as successful as men” (Factor Women,  ” The facts women as strong as men”, )doesn’t
make a woman biologically stronger than a man. More so, a woman (even a
trained one) cannot match that of a man’s physical strength in which the man
was born with. What men consider to be a normal physical exercise is more often
than not, excruciating for women to perform. Men are typically larger than
women on average, so the amount of muscle a man has compared to a woman shows a
great deal.  “Men have an average of 26
pounds more skeletal muscle than women, and women produce more body fat than
men.” (Wolchover, “Men vs. Women: Our Key Physical Differences
Explained”). This signals that women may have a hard time moving quickly
with gear on their backs and an even harder time maintaining pace over a long
period of time. Women who are on the battlefield will find it rather difficult
to carry a wounded man from the battlefield into safety, no matter how strong
or fit they are. These things mentioned, puts undue strains on a woman’s
reproductive system, which may lead to infertility.  

A woman’s health can be
damaged by constant physical loads. More specifically, a woman’s reproductive
system. A study performed on women who had physically demanding jobs (military)
found that “women, who were employed by an occupation that was physically
demanding, had a lower egg count than those who didn’t normally have those
harsh physical demands.” (Newsroom, BMJ “Physically demanding
jobs and shift work linked to lowered fertility”.).  Among the women going through the study, the
ones who held a physically demanding job had “8.8 percent of them had a lower
egg reserve and 14.1 percent had fewer mature eggs than women whose jobs did
not require such physical demand.” It’s should be obvious when compared to
becoming infertile, lowering of egg count and taking on high physical demands
for example combat; women should think twice about these concerns before
enlisting. Women should also carefully examine how they would be perceived,
when joining occupations like the military.

The military is
predominantly male and women represent the minority. Having just men living in
such tiny living spaces, without any privacy, no assigned sleeping spaces or closed
door restrooms may be hard for men to face but doesn’t present any operational
problems. However, if one of the members had been a woman or two women and one
man, there would be major issues coming from the units. It is mentally,
psychologically and physically awkward to put men and women in such close
intimate settings. The Pentagon estimated “that about 6.1 percent of women have
been assaulted”.  (Kennedy,” Military women
say sexual assault and harassment remain” ), and sexual assault will more
than likely steadily increase due to this psychological friction, in spite of
the discipline enforced by the military. Women negatively affect discipline in
a male environment, which reduces the military’s combat value. By having a
woman serve in combat may lower mission effectiveness. In some situations, men
may act foolishly to protect women in their combat units. However, females are
at a higher risk than men especially in misogynistic societies, where women are
more likely to be abused.  Within the
combat unit, the presence of a woman in a masculine military subculture, will
lead to a sexual assault on the women or resentment towards her. Additionally,
if a woman becomes pregnant, this may affect the deployability of a unit
especially because the unit may then have a disproportionate number of women.
American cultural values are highly in favor of “protecting” women, so putting
women in a situation where they find themselves captured or possibly sexually
harassed will counter those values. 

Dating back to WWI and
WWII, women couldn’t enlist in combat roles. Women had roles in the military
like a “mail clerk, bank teller, and munitions.” (Jenson, “Striking Women”)
The closest women would get to the combat zone was if she had been part of the
medical division. Going back even further into tradition, it wasn’t a
coincidence that the four fathers of this nation did not push to have women on
the front lines. Perhaps, this was because the response to female casualties
would have less likely been forgiving. Maybe, it was understood back then, that
women were specially made to bear children. More so, it may have been believed
women were to stay home and tend to household duties. Nothing has changed from
then up until this point, except the political side of things. While
physically, mentally and emotionally, a woman’s make-up has remained the same.

 

Serving in combat roles
is solely a masculine occupation, and should have remained such.  To a degree, yes a woman on the front line is
a victory for equality. But those who still hope for peace, justice, and a
powerful nation should not lose sight of the vision; to create and keep the
strongest, most powerful military force. Women should be incorporated into the
combat roles of the military if and only if they’re needed for backup. However,
if the backup is not needed, it would not be in the Nation’s best interests to
enlist women into any combat roles, as it goes against tradition.  The incorporation of women makes training for
a unit take longer because they have to train harder than men do, to become
physically fit. This can affect the readiness of a unit if a woman becomes
pregnant.  The Nation should be
concerned about all combat units being as strong as possible. Not with trying
to maintain a certain public image. The Nation should do this to strengthen its
security, which should be the most important aspect for combat units.