A Logical Next Step: Women in Combat


On January 24th, it was announced that women would be allowed to serve in combat roles in the military.  In what should be celebrated as a triumph for women’s rights, there are nonetheless naysayers.

Leon Panetta touched on the importance of this change, saying, “[If] they can meet the qualifications for the job, then they should have the right to serve, regardless of creed or color or gender or sexual orientation.”

There is simply no good reason to not allow women to hold combat positions, except blatant sexism.

Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Jerry Boykin, in an opinion piece for CNN, offered a few arguments against women holding combat positions, including the dangers of serving in the military and the relatively poor conditions under which troops serve.

But as much as these are compelling cases against combat, they apply identically to men and women.

War is hell.  That doesn’t mean that women should be banned from participating, any more than women should be banned from having any other dangerous job.

He also suggests that women’s presence on the frontlines will create “underlying sexual tensions” that will make combat more difficult.

As if there are absolutely no sexual tensions in an all-male fighting unit.  How irrational.

Another baseless argument against women’s presence in combat situations is that women are physically inferior to men.

Sure, the average woman is less muscular than the average man.  Of course women would need to meet the same physical standards as men; many women can.

As Vernice Armour puts it in another CNN piece, “No one should be in a job where he or she doesn’t meet the standards — not every man, for example is fit to be a Navy SEAL.”

The bottom line is that the piece of legislature that this recent move has overturned was totally sexist and denied women the right to serve their country in the way they choose to.

As a young woman without the remotest of military aspirations, I am still grateful for the opportunity to serve, regardless of my gender.  There is no reason to protest this victory for women’s rights.


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