Are we putting soldiers on the battlefield or little children, more interested in squabbling amongst themselves than in fighting for their country?
A woman wants to fight - fine. It doesn't take a y chromosome to pull a trigger.
I am a very old-fashioned girl in my 30s. I think there should be clearer lines on who wears the skirts and who wears the pants. Anymore these days there seems not to be too much difference in the sexes. Very disappointing.
And I guess women want it this way?
No combat, no draft, please. Maybe just nursing roles like in the past. Never going to happen of course. But again, I'm an outdated Victorian.
Only if they are willing to be subject to selective service just like men. They want equality, then they get ALL of it, not just the parts they like.
Somehow I think the NOW gals would be hootin' and hollerin' if we tried to draft women.
Is America ready for a female POW to be tortured, raped, and then beheaded on You Tube? You can be damn sure it will happen. Then let's see where people stand on women in combat.
Women (not GALS) in the military are more likely to be raped by their fellow soldiers.
Women have been taken prisoner in the past, regardless of being on the front line or not.
There currently isn't a draft and if there were, women should definitely be included.
Well I believed everyone is treated equally whether your a women or men. But when it comes to the aspect of combatant, I would say women is a no no.
As long as she is able and capable - passed the needed requirements (mental and physical), why not?
That could be a problem, particularly in the more physically demanding branches of service. It's been a few years, but I remember my son being required to shoulder a (50#? 75#?) pack, pick up a 50# sandbag in each hand and go for a 5 mile run. Very few women could ever do that; they would be carrying more than their own body weight (and very awkwardly, too) and taking it 5 miles.
Should we "tone down" the physical requirements for the physically smaller and weaker female sex or retain the current requirements that test many men past their capabilities already?
I think you have a point but the manner of war is changing and it is not that physically demanding to some extent. There are limits to women's physical capabilities like for example they can't carry a big wounded soldier, but they can do as much as men on the front lines. There are women who are already on the front lines (not legal) and they just want to be acknowledged. Can they join some specialized sector like Special Forces for example, I don't know.
No... the requirements should not change a bit. There is a reason for those requirements.
However women who do meet them should be treated as equals.
I couldn't shoulder 50 lbs and run five miles with it now... but I damn sure could have in my prime.
I did roadie work by God. And outworked most of the men there.
When you put a healthy 5'10 woman against a healthy 5'10 man there really isn't that much difference in basic physical abilities. If they've received the physical training the results are actually negligible.
We have all-volunteer forces now, so there's no draft for anyone. Women who join various branches have asked about this for decades, and since they're volunteering, what business is it of others?
One piece of research - one of the Middle East countries had women on the front line, and it created problems and prolonged conflicts, because men were not willing to 'lose' to women. I read that years ago - wish I could find the citation now.
No, there is no draft but 18 year old males are required to sign up for selective service and females are not.
If capable women want to be on the front lines, I see no problem. Gender shouldn't be an issue.
My husband, sort of an old fashioned southern guy, disagrees with me. He thinks most men are naturally protective of women, so the men might put themsleves in harm's way in order to protect the female soldiers. He also believes the women would be a distraction for young males. He has no problem with gay men in the military, BTW.
Hubby's views are based on the protective thing - not on the capability question. He admires strong, courageous women and knows there are plenty of women who could kick his a$$.
If an adult opts to go into a combat role and they passed the physical/mental requirement, it should be permitted. In the new 360 battlefield women are already in combat--they are just denied some of the promotions and roles associated with it.
Yes, combat roles should made available equally to women.
For the women, I say that you cannot have your cake and eat it too, if you want all rights and privileges then you must assume all responsibilities as well, or we fellows can get pretty resentful
For men, attitudes of a quaint bygone era are simply no longer applicable.
The standard for entry into the Navy Seals for example should be based on a physical requirement that has been predetermined to be relevant and necessary for successful performance and applied to everyone regardless of gender. While they may be fewer women that could qualify for lifting 150 lbs of dead weight and moving it, 'fireman', being a woman does not disqualify one in of itself. There are probably more than a handful of women who could meet the standard. They deserve the opportunity to compete and be considered fairly.
Old fashioned men are the best. Screw this women's movement stuff. I don't want to be out there in fatigues lifting heavy things, wearing fatigues, and learning how to kill.
Great discussion here. I'll chime in on my own personal views later, but I wanted to say good points by all pro and con.
If the military sets reasonable standards and requirements - and does not lower them to allow for gender equality, then yes, I believe women should be allowed in combat. Women are very capable in dealing with hardship and can be tough. What I don't want to see is the lowering of standards in the name of creating equality, or special favors due to gender than hailing everything as equal. That isn't fair to the men already fighting for our country.
If a woman can pass all the tests the same as a man and she has applied for a combat position then she should have that right to enter. The greater percentage of women in the military won't apply for a combat zone position. Years and years ago when I was in the USN - women were never assigned to a ship unless they were nurses. Now WAVES are on-board ships but not Subs as yet, Navy SEALS are another story - also Destroyers and Mine Sweepers and other vessels. Some men don't even want to go into combat.
They say men would get emotional if they see a woman in danger and try to protect her even if it would be detrimental to him. However, everyone is trained in military and they would have to adopt a new mind-set regarding these situations. Some women can handle it and I would say most cannot.
I read that US Navy women were approved for submarine duty in 2010 (ABC News, May 24, 2012), but for only larger ballistic and guided missle subs, and not the smaller attack subs; 24 female officers were stationed on subs in November 2011, so it is likely a pilot program. In 2013, the US Navy released plans for at least 20 more women officers to serve on subs and some already in place and interviewed were Ensign Abigail Holt, Lt. Tabitha Strobel (husband serves on another sub), Lt. Emma Larena. One woman said that the female officers really want to "drive the subs", so that sounds less like front-line combat than firing the missiles and cannon, or serving on a fast-attack sub. Still, the women are integrating.
I hear a lot of armed forces women on radio programs saying they do not want to fight on the front lines, but maybe those that do want to volunteer have not yet been interviewed. It's probably scary for many of them. I think it will be slow going, but those that want to serve on the front line should do so. It's horridly rough on both men and women, and my ultimate hope is to elimiinate combat altogether -- the vision of 1000s more mentally and physically maimed Vets, of all genders in future, is disheartening. It's going to be difficult.
The sentiment that men are protective of women may be an excuse to keep females off the front lines because I have met very few such protective males, but women being a distraction is certainly a possibility.
Prettydarkhorse - I had the opportunity to watch the entire parade at the end of Inauguration 2013, and unless I was seeing things, I noticed a few women in the marching ranks of all the US Armed Services, some with bayonets in place on their rifles. That was startling,since I was not expecting that image.
I accept the fact that some women have disguised themselves as men to fight in all of our US wars since the 1700s, but the sight of women with bayonets and rifles was disconcerting. I do want war to end completely, rather than to send more people to the front lines that include demographics that have never served officially as combat soldiers before. Prayers and hopes going up for that.
For whatever it is worth. Back in the mid-seventies, I trained with, and later helped train women. With about as many exceptions as for men (fewer actually) there were one or two who had no business being in such a regimented and physically demanding profession.
The vast majority were physically fit, patriotic, and anxious to serve. Those that did not do well, like the men, washed out. Those who did meet the standards were soldiers.
I will say this, I would not have wanted to be on the wrong side of a battle with any one of them.
As to physical demands the Army had standards for height, weight and fitness. But this was rather broad. I served with guys who were barely 5'5" and some who were giants at 6'6" or better. Size and weight weren't as important as good health and a high level of fitness. And I believe Army standards allow for heights under 5'5".
So to be honest a fit soldier standing 5'6" and weighing 160lbs would have a very hard time dragging a 6'6" 250 pound giant anywhere, much less out of the line of fire, though it has happened. This regardless of gender.
The nature of war is changing a lot in the 21st century. Why does everyone feel women have to hike for miles and shoot targets and carry heavy loads?
A friend of mine was recently successful in getting a job in the UK Military. She works at a desk on a computer all day. (No, not commanding any drones or that lark.) It's funny as I work in a paper and I work at a PC all day too... LOL.
Women working in the military is one thing. Some people are turned away for being in same sex relationships. But that's another thread for another day.
Some people feel women should not be in front line combat, I am one of those.
But if they are going to be in combat they best be able to hump along with the rest of us! Mr. Taliban-man is not going to care that you had allowances made for you in training. If a female is going to be a liability she is going to get a lot of good men killed because she did not have to reach the same standard.
There is no worse form of racism or sexism than that of lowered expectations.
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