Nearly not made to destroy or conquer

 Nearly 5
years ago, a woman joining the military and ready for full combat, wasn’t
plausible. Fast-forwarding to present day, 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. 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 (  Bellafaire, “America’s
Military Women- The Journey Continues”) 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Panetta rescinded the ground combat exclusion policy” (Wikipedia “Women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 combat positions does go
against the Nation’s attempt to promote gender equality” (Serrano, “Why
Women Do Not Belong in the U.S. Infantry”). 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” (Serrano,” Why Women Do Not Belong in the
U.S. Infantry”) or sealing off gender equality. It is mainly “about maintaining
the most” ( Serrano, ” Why Women Do Not Belong in the U.S. Infantry”)
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.

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There aren’t any women
in the National Basketball Association, the National Football League, Major
League Baseball, or other professional sports geared for men. This has nothing
to do with women being discriminated against, it is more so about women not
being as physically fit as men are. 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
at great risk if she consistently takes on physical loads; particularly 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. If women are not used as only backup
for the military, 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.