Woman on the Battlefield

free essayThe twenty first century may be reasonably recognized as an age of declared equality of sexes. Nowadays, one can enumerate far less occupations, which are solely masculine – females persistently master new skills and jobs and confirm that they can also be engaged in physically demanding activities. This is particularly true for the battlefield. Half a century ago, an idea that a female can serve in the army would seem ridiculous; these days it is a norm. However, is this progress realistic? Should women be allowed to serve in the army? Although many people think that females are weak for the battlefield, females should be permitted to hold the military positions based on equality and if they correspond the physical and mental requirements. The US citizens grow up in a state, which promotes equality among all people from an early age, yet the military, is one of the earliest institutions protecting parity, is hypocritical and does not promote similar rights for every person enlisted.

In the often politically difficult discussion on women’s participation on the battlefield two positions usually conflict – the rights of females to equal attitude in a free society and their efficiency in the field. To take certain degree of the heat out of the discussion, it may be helpful to think about a more extensive historical perspective.

The populace of the USA seems to be brainwashed when it comes to the fair sex in the army, and the thought of an ideal woman. An ideal woman in the Victorian period was one that remained at home all day long, took care of children, helped her husband’s needs, cooked, and did not speak unless asked to (Alfonso, 2010). Women should be offered the same opportunity to serve in the army as everyone else. Females have participated in the American military for years, yet they still enjoy no equality, and do not receive the credit they deserve (Alfonso, 2010). Many people still believe that females should only take roles in the armed forces that embrace things like nursing and cooking. Females are just as skilled as males are, and they deserve genuine equality in all meanings. The parity in the health care is not satisfactory these days.

Consistent with the statistics issued by “Women In Military Service For America Memorial Foundation”, in September 2011, there were nearly 214 thousand females serving in the army (Womensmemorial.org, 2014). The number might seem to be a huge figure, yet, these women soldiers comprise only 15% of all soldiers (Womensmemorial.org, 2014). The regulations for women based on the gender send the message that females are innately physically inferior to male irrespective of their personal skills and traits. Even if 99% of females do not correspond the military standards, the 1% who do, should be assessed as equals and permitted to use their skills to serve their motherland (Castenfelt et al., 2013).

Without having entire equality in the army, the society is rejecting the words of the American Constitution that states that all men are created equal. By definition, this relates to males, as well as females. However, today, women are struggling with a glass ceiling. The glass ceiling is the obstacle caused by the archaic Victorian beliefs of women in the society. This is a difficult issue to fight with, and it is still not entirely eliminated for females promoting equality in the army (Castenfelt et al., 2013).

The major reason why women have nearly no respect when it comes to the battlefield is the fact that the brave acts of females throughout the history of war are ignored. Consistent with Irene Herrmann (2010) women have been engaged in the armed conflicts for ages. Most often, women were considered to be the major protagonists (Herrmann, 2010). The first known, Egyptian Queen Ahhotep I, led her army into battle against the Hyksos aggressors in the sixteenth century BC (Herrmann, 2010). There are also many other examples confirming the participation of females in the armed clashes.

A perfect instance of the proficiency of females in army is Pvt. Jessica Lynch, who was entrapped together with her unit in Iraq in the war (Canales, 2013). The 19-year old girl struggled against the enemies along with her unit when they were trapped after choosing a wrong direction during an operation (Canales, 2013). Lynch is the sole survivor of the entire unit, and after 11 days of being a prisoner with a broken arm and legs, was saved from a local hospital (Canales, 2013). This fact confirms how proficient females can be in the war. However, in the classroom this information is often neglected, and at times even removed from the textbooks. Students are told about the courageous males, who served their motherland, but they do not know that it could have been possible only with the help of the brave women (Castenfelt et al., 2013).

Today, the army is the place of double standards: one for females and other for males. However, the only thing differentiating soldiers should be the rank. There has to be only one standard – the soldier’s one, since the enemy will not ask whether you are a man or a woman. For that reason, if females wish to serve in the army, they should be enabled to serve just as men do.

The military has a lot to achieve from permitting women to take the military roles. First, many American females possess physical and mental stamina and skills to perform at the level of their male fellow soldiers (Castenfelt et al., 2013). Second, the incorporation of the fair sex into men’s units will make the army far more effectual by incorporating the diverse points of view (Castenfelt et al., 2013). Being capable to undertake different military issues from varied stances may be valuable for the military’s mission. Third, the opponents of women on the battlefield claim that a military unit may be psychologically weakened by the presence of a woman, either in the form of sexual affairs or a changed team activity (Ponder & Nothnagle, 2010). Though it is not practical to deny that two genders interact differently, whilst on a team together, that does not mean that such a team would perform worse (Castenfelt et al., 2013). Besides, today, women already serve in the army. Granting them equivalent status would create the close but professional training and relations that characterize a team (Ponder & Nothnagle, 2010). The professional training will break the psychological influence of females present (Castenfelt et al., 2013). It is possible to draw a resemblance to women in any profession, where the capability to have sex is not considered a problem. The only exception is the army (Ponder & Nothnagle, 2010). What is required is the capability of all members of the unit to act professionally (Ponder & Nothnagle, 2010). Pregnancy would be certainly unwanted whilst in a combat role. Working females who do not wish to become pregnant can prevent it. Women wishing for a career in combat should not feel in a different way.

The Opposing Arguments

There are numerous arguments in favor of female soldiers being kept away from fighting. In spite of the fact that females have successfully confirmed that they can doubtfully be recognized as a weak sex, many people say that the armed conflict is one of those occupations that the fair sex should not participate in. It is due to the fact that it leads to some negative outcomes in relation to women’s health and the condition of the military in which they partake. The primary, and possibly the most understandable claim is that the majority of women lack the body stamina required to be successful on the battlefield. For this reason, females experience difficulties in carrying heavy military equipment; the manipulation with a weapon would take them longer, which would lead to an obvious chance for the enemy to attack first (Alfonso, 2010). In addition, women would have troubles when a need to carry a wounded fellow soldier off the field would arise.

The second claim is that females do not possess the required mental strength and, hence, they cannot cope with the stress in the army. Females are traditionally considered to be gentle, kind and compassionate. Due to these traits, they would have troubles coping with the surrounding fear and hostility inevitable on the battlefield. Hence, considering these claims, it may seem to be a rational conclusion that females should be excluded from fighting in the front line.

On the other hand, it is significant to pay attention to the fact that the before mentioned arguments are derived from the conventional picture of a lady and are general claims rather than genuine facts; that is to say they cannot be true for every representative of the fair sex. In spite of the fact that the majority of women lack the required physical stamina, some may be strong enough to be successful on the battlefield and they may even meet the male requirements. In addition, in the nineteenth century some advancements in weapons technology freed females from previous physical barriers of serving in the military (Castenfelt et al., 2013). Earlier, close combat had supported the exclusion of women from the battlefield. Nowadays, all military casualties are caused by distantly operating weaponry (Castenfelt et al., 2013). All these systems and weapons can be flown and commanded by females. The developing technology will carry on paving the way for women’s contribution to the military service (Castenfelt et al., 2013). Similarly, it may be claimed that the capability to cope with stressful situations is a trait, which varies among all humans, irrespective of their sex. In addition, it is crucial to understand that serving in the army and fighting on the battlefield is a very difficult period for every person. Hence, it is wrong to generally keep all females away from army owing to the traits possessed by both genders.

Hence, the arguments for keeping females away from the battlefield are sexist and unintelligent. The thought that females might hurt unit cohesion is the matter for detailed discussion, and the claim that ladies are too weak to struggle has been proven false by female athletes, as well as the females already serving in the military (Castenfelt et al., 2013). The opponents of women fighting on the battlefield should be aware of this: opening up combat roles for females is simply formalizing the reality of what is already taking place; it merely means opening the additional duties and prospects. The bottom line is if you can serve, you should be out there serving, whether you are a male or a female. The claim that the presence of females in the army will have a harmful influence on unit organization and ethics is the same claim, which was used to keep black people and gays out of the army. Obviously, people should stop repeating these preposterous claims and address what actually matters.

Conclusion

Although many people think that females are too weak for the battlefield, women should be allowed to have combat positions in the army based on equality and if they correspond the physical and mental requirements. The US citizens grow up in a state, which promotes equality among all people from an early age, yet the military, is one of the earliest institutions protecting parity, is hypocritical and does not promote similar rights for every person enlisted.

Taking into account all the claims, it becomes obvious that females should be broadly permitted to enter the army; it would be wrong to keep them from combat due to the conventional picture they are commonly associated with. Instead, they should be judged on the basis of their skills, physical strength and personal traits. Women should undertake same fitness standards as males. The consistent regulations will assist male troops in accepting the female soldiers as equals and will guarantee that the potential of the unit is not reduced. It is also the best way for the government to esteem the potential of females to be as strong as males.