Thursday, May 19, 2005

Get Out of My War and Back in the Kitchen

Military enlistment is declining. Troops for Iraq and Afghanistan are short at hand. The cost of the wars is $300 billion and rising. Morale among troops is declining. Congress’s solution? Restrict the jobs women can do in wartime. This comes at a time when the Army itself is pushing for a lift on the women-in-combat ban, stating that it is archaic and impractical given the nature of the current conflict.

They did this to gays and now they are doing it to women. They are sending the message that while we support their courage and their willingness to fight and die for their country, they are not acceptable candidates for the honor of serving their country in combat. Congress would like women in “support roles only.” In other words, get out of our war and back in the kitchen. You can die for your country, but you’ll be sorting mail when you do.

If the motive is to protect women, thanks but no thanks. We have been fending for ourselves under a chauvinistic patriarchal government for centuries. We do not need your protections, Senator.

If the justification is that women are “soft,” consider Lyndie England, who was painted (by men) as the epitome of cruelty. Women are being punished for being ruthless, and being sidelined because they are not. It is the same impossible standard that men exert on us in the business world, and believe me, it is NOT good for morale.

Maybe the reason is that women are not physically built for combat. I do believe that some women are not. And some men are not. That is why the Army has physical fitness testing.

Let the military do its job. Give all soldiers the option of serving their country in combat. Do not legislate discrimination. And please, please, please do not patronize women by implying that we need you to protect us.


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