Over the years it has been repeated statements; women should not be in combat. A woman in combat slows the men doing their jobs. A woman in any dangerous job is risking too much. With all this said where is a place of a woman, at home raising the children? No one can really answer that question without getting into a debate. Yet we have seen more women become the most successful business person in corporate, we have seen them become some of the best movie stars, and we have even seen them become a successful doctor, lawyer, minister, firefighters, and more. Therefore why is it that still in today’s world we still judge those women who are in the front line? In the early 1940’s more than 59,000 American female nurses served in the Army Nurse Corps during World War II. Nurses worked closer to the front lines than they ever had before (Bellafaire p1). During this time it was not a question as to why women were serving to help.
The debate in today’s world of women in combat is because of all the headlines it makes. Women have been a part of combat for a long time now, and they will continue to be part of combat until the ends of time. Therefore, what is combat? Combat is constant battle; a struggle for supremacy. Thus where does this battle begin in a woman’s life? The battle is not only in the environment of war, but also in the back streets of where they live or raise their families. A woman is in combat with an abusive spouse, or they are in combat living in low income housing because they are barely making ends meet. They are also in battle when they are protecting their children. So why is it such a hard concept when we say “Women in Combat?”
Think about the constant debate about women in combat, most of the time it is asked for the opinion of men, and most of the time they think of someone close to them.
For instant, their views are of a mother, a daughter, a sister or a wife and the first thought is to protect them. A number of them believe that women in combat makes it harder for them to focus, and some even think that a woman is too emotional and cannot perform her duty as a soldier. Nevertheless, women have been the moral fiber or some one’s existences, because no matter if at home or on the battle field they are still in combat.
Let’s look back to the Civil War in 1861- 1865, women were part of the civil war and have been Prisoners of War (POW) then (Wilson. web. 1996). It was not publicized as it is now, but the women went through great lengths to help when they could. The stories of women spies are filled with suspense and seduction, treachery and trickery, romance and bravery. Women took enormous risks and achieved remarkable results often in ways men could not (Winkler 2010 p4). These were some of the women in combat. These numerous women of the Civil War did a lot, and most times they were not seen as a quandary or a disadvantage, they were seen as victorious and talented. Again we come back to this day in age, when we heard of Rhonda Cornum capture during the Gulf War in 1992, then later in 2007 Shoshana Johnson and Jessica Lynch were captured in the Iraq War. As a result it is seen as a weakening for a female to be in combat.
However, what about the bravery of the women who are fire pilots and fights the battles in the frontlines that will protect herself her country. These are women who are recognize with medals and are highly appreciated by men and country. Think about the battle they had to go through and the recognition they received for being a woman in combat. These are the women whom we think of when we think of a woman in combat. Yet we still hear several say she was not recognized as a decorated soldier, because she was a woman. Why is it such a debate with everyone that a woman is in the battlefield with her colleagues?
Then we have those who will see a woman as a battle buddy there to protect them when they need to get sleep in a trench of a rough terrain. These are the ones that others will say if my life depends on them, then I trust she will be there to protect me. These are the ones we hope will speak freely and say a woman in combat is a woman who will protect me as I will protect her.
In conclusion to “Women in Combat”, history has shown that women have already been in combat, only not recognized as they should be with their fellow colleague. Women make up 14.6 percent of the military; they and minority member still are underrepresented in leadership posts (Miles. web. 2011). Women seem to be needed more in this war of Afghanistan since they are used to build the trust of Afghan Women. The military believes that the Afghan women will be able to provide them with Intel of the local terrorist. This would not be done with male chaperones, because of their culture. Therefore, we can see that women are needed in combat now and then. Women have been in many kinds of combat. Some just cannot see past the history of men only in combat. However, I do believe that women will someday be a part of all jobs in the military forces, and this will show the world that women, like men can do the job.
Captain Barbara A. Wilson, USAF (Ret), 1996 to date, copyright unless otherwise noted content http://userpages.aug.com/captbarb/prisoners.html
Definition of Combat http://www.dictionary.net/combat
Donna Miles. (2011, January). Commission to recommend lifting ban on women in combat :. U.S. Department of Defense Information / FIND,***[insert pages]***. Retrieved January 29, 2011, from Research Library. (Document ID: 2243559201).
H. Donald Winkler (September 1, 2010) Stealing Secrets ISBN-10: 1402242743
ISBN-13: 978-1402242748 United StatesHistoryCivil War, 1861-1865Participation, Female. 2. United StatesHistoryCivil War, 1861-1865Women. 3. United StatesHist Civil War, 1861-1865Secret service. 4. United StatesHistoryCivil War, 1861-1865Biography. 5. Women spiesUnited StatesBiography. 6. Women spiesConfederate States of AmericaBiography. I. Title
Judith A. Bellafaire, Army Nurse Corps in World War II, U.S. Army Center of Military History http://www.history.army.mil/books/wwii/72-14/72-14.HTM
Military Women Published on 08-23-2010 http://www.militarywoman.org/forums/...-Join-our-team