Women on the front lines of the military

I know the news is a couple of days old, but I tend to get recent news from online viewings of The Daily Show, so I get to blog about it now.

Evidently the Pentagon has made the decision to give women a “more expanded role” in the front lines of military actions.  I have somewhat mixed feelings about this.  On the one hand, women should be able to choose if they want to have any occupation they want, even those that can potentially put them in harms way.  On the other, I know, for myself, that if I were in a life-or-death situation with a woman on my team, it would take quite a bit for me to not think of her safety before my own.  That, however, is something I would need to get over.  (Not that it is even possible, as the Military has once made it clear they don’t want me, and I don’t think I’m really built for combat, women or no).  My personal views about seeing to the safety of others, more so women, would be something that I would need to get over, just like anyone who lives in a combat situation would need to get over.  I’m very glad for those who have both the ability and desire to serve in the military.  My brother has been in the Army for 16 years now, and toured the middle east at least 4 times, and I have no idea how he does it.  I certainly couldn’t, and I’m glad there are people who can.  Yes, there may be some instances of men in combat who would seek more for the safety of the women in their unit than the men, but I think that would decrease over time.  It is certainly not a concern strong enough to keep women out of these units.

Now, concerning the absurd idea that women shouldn’t serve in the military because they are more prone to sexual assault there.  That is the kind of thinking that says men have no control over themselves and that women can go into situations “asking for it”.  The sharp rise in sexual assault in the military is shameful, and should be both dealt with more harshly (when assault has happened) and should increase the training they have on how to deal with such situations.  If the military can educate their troops and come down harshly on those who do not behave concerning gays in the military, they are more than able to train and discipline their troops in how to deal with the opposite gender.

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