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Reasons why women should not join the military
Military is supposed to be the men's world. It was so for thousands of years. But these days this state is starting to change. More and more women, applaused by the media, join all branches of the military. One would say it's natural evolution and that the world is changing. I can't disagree with this claim. But are those changes going in the right direction?
There are quite a few reasons why military should remain a "male business". Some are more important, other are less, but all taken together create a full spectrum of issues on all possible fields of military service. It has a significant impact on morale and safety of all soldiers nearby. With all those negatives it isn't easy to find a single argument to counter them. This subject is hard to write about without being accused of sexual discrimination, but I believe that credible criticism has nothing to do with it.
In the uniform we should be soldiers, right? Our rank
and position should be the only things diversifying us, right? Well, it
should be like that but the reality shows something different: the army
and all other branches of the military are the place of
two standards: one for men and other for women. What should bother you is
that in most armies and most military branches women have lower PE standards than
men. Why woman-soldier can be weaker than man-soldier? Rationality tells
there should be only one standard - the soldier's one. The enemy won't
ask if you are a man or a woman. The hill won't be lower, the
mud less wet nor backpacks lighter if you're a female. The idea behind
PE is to make sure that one soldier will be able to
save life of another soldier, no matter how heavy he is. In the
military everything has its purpose. It's not hard to imagine a situation where a woman have to help a wounded male soldier, especially if keeping in mind what's going on in Afghanistan. What if in such a situation she don't have enough strength to carry him to a safe place?
If women want to serve in the military, let them serve under the same conditions as males do. One should remember - the chain is as strong as its weakest part. Women are often bullied in the military, but it's not only about them being females, but about them being physically weaker. What would you do as a commander, if you had to choose between talented woman and equally talented, but physically more fit, man? The male soldier is understandable choice. Not because of the gender, but because he simply has more values.
Health is a very important factor when talking about women. One can't disagree - women's physiology is different than men's and it has a serious impact on their performance as soldiers. First thing is the period, which requires more hygienic conditions than usual. While in the field they not always can be met. Sometimes periods are painful and limit woman's mobility, sometimes hormones can also have influence on woman's ability to make credible decisions. It doesn't have to happen but it might and stress can only make things worse.
Another thing is pregnancy. One can imagine, that pregnant woman isn't able to conduct a regular military service. That can't have no influence on morale in the unit. Things go worse if the given woman is a commander. Going on maternity leave would leave the unit without commander for a longer period of time. It can't be good for commander - subordinate relations.
Sex and sexual harassment
This subject is a taboo in the military. Everyone knows it happens but no one wants to talk about it. But silence won't make the problem case to exist. What's worse - there is probably no way to solve this problem because it lays in human nature. If you put males and females together in the closed area, far from home, for a longer period of time one can't expect them not having sex. It happened very often in Iraq, it happens in Afghanistan. This is a big problem because sexual relations have a serious impact on morale and relations between soldiers. Sex with co-workers always generate problems, now imagine what problems it generates if those co-workers have firearms and are in the war-zone. They want it or not, it breaks the soldier - soldier relation and replaces it with male - female one. It's nothing desired.
Another side of sex problem is sexual harassment. It happens quite often. As much as it is condemnable it's not something that can be entirely eliminated. Females will always be seen by males as sexual objects, regardless of them wearing uniform or not. If you place them in an isolated environment of military bases, there will always be some twisted mind that will try to take advantage of the situation. He can be sued and sentenced, but sooner or later another one will come. The only way to prevent it from happening is not to give soldiers any occasion for sexual harassment by not putting women among them. It's similar situation to dark corners in cities - one can't make all of them safe, so possible victims should avoid them.
This article addresses only the most important reasons why women shouldn't join the military. I'm sure, some more can be found. For sure none of those reasons are intended to offend women, especially those who proudly serve their countries. Simply, just like not all are designed for men, not all jobs are designed for women. There always are some exceptions but they only confirm the rule. Wrongly understood equality of sex shouldn't be a reason for ignoring facts. For the greater good some things just should not change.