Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Is Separate, Equal and Should We Be Worried About This?

You'll also find this post at Rox Populi.

For the last several weeks, U.S. servicembers, both male and female, have been discussing the role of women in combat situations in the LTE pages of Stars and Stripes. Today's edition features a letter that brings up an interesting idea. Check it out:

For the last decade, I’ve read letters to the editor about women in the infantry, women Rangers and women in combat. I’ve reached the conclusion that we need an all-women infantry battalion. This would allow for those women who wish to serve in the same way as their brothers to do so without threatening some man’s sexuality or emotional sensibility out on the battlefield.

Not all women want to stay at home and raise children and not all women want to be in the infantry, just like many men do not either. That is why you have a choice when you join the Army. Let’s have special tryouts where women can compete to be part of an all-women infantry battalion. If they make it, arm them with the tools and training to take out terrorists in an infantry capacity. This is not a unique and novel idea, but rather one that deserves to be given a chance in today’s Army.

Maybe you’re concerned with how it will look if the alleged weaker sex goes in and starts kicking butt. It’s all good, we’re on the same team and need to focus on the common goal of defeating terrorists. Don’t let old-fashioned ideas and repression bind 50 percent of America’s population — that sounds like the Taliban. We speak about equal opportunity and equal rights, but how do we practice that if we prevent women from filling in infantry jobs? Make me a general, bring back the Women’s Army Corps and let’s end this foolish sexist argument once and for all.

Those familiar with military history will note that African-Americans formed their own units during WW II and were quite successful on the battlefield. Once they proved their mettle, and once society grew more open to the idea of integrated combat units, the U.S. military changed.

For myself, I could go either way on this. Is there some argument you can think of to move me off the fence?

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