Women In The Combat
In democracy we have a system of checks and balances to protect the people of this country from a tyrannical system
of government that would only abuse and destroy. Yet, there is still one part of our most marvelous democratic system that is
untouched by the needs of checks and balances, when in action at least. Our military seems to be the only place where one man can control one hundred at a time with no objection. This is where democracy fails us and the people of this country, at least the
soldiers, are subject to an inequality in rights. This is a place where men outnumber woman one thousand to one and yet, there are
those that have a twisted view that woman are denied there right to be in battle along side with men. There are some that want
woman to join the army and fight along men without seeing the ramifications of their vision. Woman should not be allowed to fight
along side men in battles because its exposes them to a higher chance of physical injury not only in combat but in training, sexual
assault, and there will never be a large enough number of woman joining to make a difference.
Women surpass men everyday more and more. The list of jobs women do better than men is ever-growing and
changing. Women can now be better mechanics, doctors, construction foramens, and other types of working individuals that used
to be just for men. In the last five to ten years the number of women in colleges and universities has increased drastically and have
started to even surpass that of men. Despite the common woman’s endless list of opportunities nowadays they still cant do
everything a man can. To be specific the number of woman in the military has not changed and neither has their performance. The
demanding physical activity in combat, not to mention training, has been known to bring down even the strongest of men; wouldn’t
that mean that even the strongest of woman would most likely fall as well? In a report by the Presidential Commission on the
Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces (report date November 15, 1992, published in book form by Brassey’s in 1993):
“The average female Army recruit is 4.8 inches shorter, 31.7 pounds lighter, has 37.4 fewer pounds of muscle, and 5.7 more
pounds of fat than the average male recruit. She has only 55 percent of the upper-body strength and 72 percent of the lower-body
strength… An Army study of 124 men and 186 women done in 1988 found that women are more than twice as likely to suffer leg
injuries and nearly five times as likely to suffer from stress fractures as men.” In a statistical view woman are not up to the
minimum physical requirements of army recruits. The army is the least demanding military branch compared to the marines and
navy and still so many believe that women can join and just go through the army with no problems at all. The fact of the matter is
that its not true. Catherine Aspy graduated from Harvard in 1992 and enlisted in the Army in 1995. Her account was published in
Reader’s Digest, February, 1999. “I was stunned. The Army was a vast day-care center, full of unmarried teen-age mothers using
it as a welfare home. I took training seriously and really tried to keep up with the men. I found I couldn’t. It wasn’t even close. I
had no idea the difference in physical ability was so huge. There were always crowds of women sitting out exercises or on crutches
from training injuries”. Not only are most woman statistically unable to pass basic training but from the account of Catherine Aspy,
a woman who tried to enlist in the army, woman aren’t even able keep up with daily training.
It is not only the fact that woman do bad when it comes to passing basic training and the ones that do pass still have a
hard time in the military, but woman in combat are outnumbered by men and that puts them in a position where they can be sexually assaulted. This is a serious dilemma when the very men we entrust the survival of our country cant be trusted to control their own selves. Catherine Aspy continued in her article in Reader’s Digest: “They [the Army] were so scared of sexual harassment that women weren’t allowed to go anywhere without another woman along. They called them ‘Battle Buddies.’ It was
crazy. I was twenty-six years old but I couldn’t go to the bathroom by myself.” I’m positive we can all agree that if even the army believes women are in danger of sexual harassment, during basic training mind you, they should shouldn’t be subjected to fighting in an overly crowded camp with a number of men that doubles their own. It’s illogical to put them in, not only the danger of an artillery shell falling in the camp, but the danger of being raped by their fellow soldiers. I know many woman can do the same as
any man and even surpass them but there is a limit to what they can do especially when it comes to military matters.
With the rising number of movements for equality in the united states one of the one the movements that has had the most impact on society is the movements for women’s rights. It has may made marvelous progress in it’s goal in empowering woman and has been going strong since the 1970’s and will keep on going, but it fails when it comes to women enrollment in the military. Though America itself has not done much exploration into women as soldiers fighting the frontlines in Canada it is a different story. Our neighboring country, Canada, has found little evidence to support the integration of women into ground units; Of 103 Canadian women who volunteered to joint infantry units, only one graduated the initial training course. It is not that there aren’t woman who can’t pass but there just aren’t enough women wanting to join. From Canadian experience the likelihood of having women pass the basic training programs is one hundred and thirty to one. Let us not even speak of the different emotional capabilities of woman to men. In an article from Military Medicine, October 1997, “Kessler et al found that the lifetime prevalence of PTSD in the United States was twice as high among women…” Depression, says MilMed, is far commoner among women, as are training injuries. If the women of our country can not handle the emotional stress of combat and training we can not allow them to enter an area that will ultimately damage their emotional stability for the rest of their lives.
Little has changed in the passing years and even though it is now 2006 the military has only increased it’s requirements for joining it’s many branches. Training and overseas combat is getting more dangerous and it will only increase while our governments political stability is in a case of dire failure. We can not risk the lives of the dozens of women that want to fight overseas if we don’t see a change in the acceptance rate of women into the military and an increase in the number of woman enlisting. The decision to let woman fight along side men in combat is a delicate and constantly controversial dilemma with one solution. Don’t let women who have been statistically proven to not be able to perform in war put their fellow soldiers in danger and their own lives in danger by fighting in wars.