Is Gender Equality Worth the Risk in Combat?

Just to clarify as I know this post may irk a lot of people, especially those of the female gender, no matter what gender a person is equal pay should be the norm. Men as well as women are just as capable to nurture, love and raise wonderful children. Women as well as men are just as smart when it comes to science, math or anything mechanical. And both are just as capable of running and owning a successful business. But this is where I draw the line.

Currently, the military is investigating the feasibility of lowering standards so women can participate in roles which in the past were only delegated to men. I strongly oppose this position. As you know, my son is in the army. And when he went to Fort Jackson, at the age of 18, there were no optional ‘standards.’ He was expected to move his ass, complete the training at the highest level he could and dig in deep to finish.

On family day, as we walked around the base, he relayed an incident that had occurred. The last week of training each cadet had to  carry a 50 pound rucksack and march for 10 miles on terrain that was quite challenging. However, there was a female, who after about 2 miles started to complain she wouldn’t be able to finish. Apparently, as the march continued, a drill sergeant decided this particular female could stop. What was her consequence? Well, I would have made her do it again the next day with another group. Instead, she was allowed to walk the flat, asphalt paved track several times to ‘complete’ the miles she couldn’t do on the march. RIDICULOUS!!!!!! Not only because she received special treatment but also because this company of cadets trained weekly, gradually getting up to speed so they could successfully complete the march. When my son told me about his, I saw not only how disgusted he was but also how he no longer respected this person.

However, he did have admiration and respect for his female drill sergeant. He told me she could do anything the guys could do. He also told me how tough she was and everyone knew not to fool with her.

Yet, the question stands and is being debated…do women belong in combat? When the Spring 2014 Army Ranger courses begin at Fort Benning, as many as 60 women have been chosen to participate. Thankfully, it has been decided no combat standards, at least in the Army, will be lowered to accommodate women. Which is great! However, once again I need to draw the line.

The one reason my son was looking forward to going to Fort Benning was forming a ‘brotherhood’ with his fellow officers. Now as most of you know and some of us wish to deny, the reality is the majority of males have a much more gregarious way of interacting, having fun and joking around. Due to this aspect, there are some females who become offensive. So if a female is in earshot or around, does that mean the males will have to ‘tune’ it down?

Point of the matter is there are some places women don’t belong just as there some places men don’t belong. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know if it wasn’t for women’s lib, women would not be where they are today. However, they had to fight just as hard as men or harder to be successful without standards being lowered and without special treatment being shown. And studies have shown, the push for women to be ‘super moms,’ working in the business world and being a mom is really not all it is cut out to be.

Males and females are different, emotionally and physically. That is the reality. I am glad to hear the Army will be keeping the same standards for combat training. However, I wonder what will happen if a woman, who can’t cut it complains. Then, as at Fort Jackson, will the military cave to avoid repercussions, legal or otherwise? I surely hope not as they haven’t changed the standards when some of the male participants weren’t able to successfully complete the qualifications.

I do wish luck to those women who will be attempting the Ranger training. They will definitely have to prove themselves. But like any male, in the military, once graduation day hits, no one can ever steal away the pride of accomplishment many would not have the strength of body nor mind to do.

Just my thoughts….
Annie

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