View Full Version : Females in the Military
05-14-2003, 03:24 PM
I understand the reasons behind the non-combat arms status women hold in the military. However, sometimes when I read posts arguing against it changing, it appears like many still have a problem with us in the military at all. I've been interested in joining for a long time and understand that my presence will not always be welcome or wanted. Do people really still have huge problems with females just joining the military, even in support branches, like supply, admin, or signal? Or is it that in their arguments against females in combat, they just forget to differentiate between accepting the roles females are currently in but against their movement towards front-line jobs? I am extremely interested in some of the male reactions to this, seeing as how they make up the majority of the armed forces. Do they really regret women in everything? Also, how do females deal with this, or have they come across it? If you pull your wieght, work hard, and perform well in your job, do you still have to worry about it?
05-14-2003, 11:07 PM
You asked many interesting questions. I can only speak for myself, and I would love to hear responses from others as well.
As for me, I'm in a Light Infantry Guard unit. I'm in a Combat Support MOS, and have been in the military for three years. Overall, I have rarely encountered direct discrimination. I will also say that the males with the least problems are squared away, and ask that everyone else they work with do the same.
Most of what I've run into has been a problem of preconceived notions of what females are capable of. I've noticed a tendency for some males to scrutinize females more carefully, as if we have to prove to them more than normal that we can do a job.
On one security deployment for 9/11, I volunteered for duty as did many other soldiers only to find that the NCO in charge refused to put my name down as available! After bringing it up the chain of command, it got changed. I later found out that the NCO did have a problem with females in general (as some men told me later) but that he was an unmotivated jerk in other respects.
Later, I noticed on the deployment that all the females had been put in a support role, even though the "combat with the enemy" reason didn't apply. This included a female who had served in a combat zone, unlike many of her male counterparts. This too, was changed.
One area which causes resentment among males is the APFT test. (There are many discussions on this site which you may find useful.) The test measures general physical fitness, not fitness for a particular job. But because women can do the same number of pushups and do a run as fast as a male and get a higher score, this affects things like promotion points. So I can understand some of the concern. Personally, I would be willing to see the standards be the same for male and females. I think that would take away some of what I believe is griping. However, many military females will probably notice that men don't complain for the standards being lower for age. Hmmmmm.
Amy, if you're thinking of joining the military, I say go for it. If you take pride in serving your country, and want a challenge, you'll be glad you joined. One thing I learned is do everything to standard, and then some; that's the way to succeed and inspire others.
05-21-2003, 02:14 AM
Just as there are some in the military who dislike serving with people of color, or those with different religious beliefs, there are some men who dislike and disapprove of women serving in the military in any capacity other than as nurses. This is extremely backward and is not supported by the available evidence provided by the services, and other sources. Women have proven to be a valuable asset to the modern military, and the US Army has mountains of evidence to prove this point. Some physically demanding positions were opened to women as a show of political correctness, without any consideration of the effects on morale and combat effectiveness, but those instances are few. For the majority of women serving in the US military they bring efficiency, a positive attitude, and willingness to learn the necessary skills to their performance of duty. I support women in the military in all but a very few combat positions.
05-21-2003, 02:48 PM
Look at the TV footage from Iraq on female MPs being pushed around in Baghdad by bigger Iraqi men during the anti US rallies and how the male GIs can stand their ground.
Another example of women not fit for up close combat was on the CBS News last night 5 May 03 about the Linden, Texas female police officer who had to be rescued by a bigger male and a very large woman (who would be on the Army fat girl program if she was military) because she could not subdue a bigger male by herself. The female officer was getting her ass kicked and lost her gun in the process.
The link to the story:
06-09-2003, 10:06 PM
: Also, how do females deal with this, or have they come across it? If you
: pull your wieght, work hard, and perform well in your job, do you still
: have to worry about it?
Hi Amy. I read these postings a lot before joining the military to get an idea of what the environment was like, etc but decided to stop for a long time because I found it irritating to read posts by people who were so for it or so against it that neither side sounded reasonable. If you want to join by all means do -- men who don't think women should be in the military wouldn't dare say it to your face so you'll never hear comments like some that you've probably seen on the internet. They know that you can (and hopefully will) charge them with discrimination. In reality, the military is a good place to be. After 3.5 years I can say that I've never had a problem with sexism or anything else; all of my coworkers have been respectful. I suppose there's always the chance that you might end up working with a bad one, but don't assume that what you hear here is the reality. Keep in mind that a lot of people who post messages here are not even in the military, they just write stuff either to get a reaction, to tell you what it was like 40 years ago when they were in, or because they think they know what it's like after watching too many movies.
06-09-2003, 10:22 PM
Amy: Joining the military is such a huge decision. You have to be completely hooah to join since you will have to deal with the whole (biological) sex issue. In my opinion, the sex issue will never be forgotten in the military, but with that aside, if you want to be in the best shape of your life, learn the lessons and tools that no civilian could know, and serve your country...then join!