I posted an article detailing Panetta’s decision on lifting the ban for women serving in combat. There was an immediate reaction on USMC Life’s Facebook page; here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons of the arguments. The first comment posted was “I don’t agree with it” and the debate ensued.
An article written by female Marine Captain, Kate Petronia, entitled, Get Over It: We Are Not All Created Equal proves a valid argument for leaving women out of the infantry and the negative physical changes that have taken place in her body after being deployed to Afghanistan.
Then there’s the other side of the argument. Not allowing women to serve actually endangers them more because they are already doing a “combat related job” but are now being forced to drive back to the FOB (Forward Operating Base) every 45 days. The article states, “To accommodate the policy, the women were forced to travel to and from the base on dangerous roads, and they were often taken out of crucial missions, sometimes for a week’s time,” according to the lawsuit.”
The main issue on most everyone’s minds are whether the standard will remain the same. Arguments for women in combat believe that they should at least be given the opportunity to try. When the question was posed if a female Marine would be able to pull a 200 pound Marine with 50 pounds of gear to safety, one reader replied, “I wonder if all male Marines that are in combat roles could pull a 200 lb man wearing 50 lbs of gear out of harms way. I venture to guess some Marines couldn’t pull me out of harms way wearing gear. I don’t think standards should be lowered, but to at least be given a shot, I don’t see the harm in that.”
Another reader went on to make some very valid arguments as well. Former Marine, now police officer Shauna Finley rebuffed the arguments about women freaking out in combat situations, men saving women first, women being the “weaker sex”, and infidelity. She states,
“…I took the time to read this well written and well researched article [Get Over It – above] from a particularly articulate officer. I am a Marine, and one that happens to be a female. This is how I prefer to be referenced. While I spent the majority of my time in the Corps in the Reserves, I had the distinct opportunity to work alongside of both 0311’s and 0352’s. They did the “high speed, low drag, cool stuff” that Marines enlist to do; all Marines. While I served with these units, I was fortunate to be in a time in my life that I was “super moto” and would have jumped at the chance to don a pack and hump into the field with them and deploy with them. My husband is an 0311 and I also could care less the “sex of his rescuer” as long as they pulled him to safety.”
By making statements like “Statistically and genetically they are weaker. (not all but most) What happens when they are in country and its their time of the month? Higher likelihood of sex and cheating. And how would that affect their “working” environment in combat”, you, yourself a woman, are selling women short and placing right back into the age of suffrage. It is true that women are “built” differently than men, and ALL humans are genetically different from one another, not just men and women. This, is not a valid argument; sorry. If you are to argue the fact that women are the “weaker sex”, you’d have a hard time selling that to the thousands of women who compete in weightlifting, ultra marathons, Ironman Triathlons, and bear children. Many men wouldn’t even consider running a 5k (3 miles) let alone a 100 mile race, or birthing 4 kids, given the opportunity.
Obviously menstruating women (I am sure that’s what was meant by stating “their time of the month”) is a concern regardless of whether they are in country or not. Commands would have to make provisions for female health concerns regardless of menstruation cycles just like they have to do for Marines who are diabetic, wear glasses, have asthma or allergies to bees.
I am curious as to whether the comment about cheating and sex was meant on a more personal level or in general. You honestly don’t think that if someone, Marine male or female, is going to cheat, that they won’t do it wherever, whenever, regardless of whether they are “in country” or in Jacksonville, NC? Believe me, they will or won’t.
I am sure that there are Marines (female) out there that are very capable of doing the 03 job, but I also have to agree with Capt. Petronio. What would the “longevity” of a female in a combat role be? That of a male? More than likely not but there is always that chance. However, I don’t think that is the argument that is brewing here. It’s the question of whether women should be given the “opportunity” to try out. Opportunity is one thing, but being ready for the results is another.”
She continues in an additional reply,
“I believe that the adverse health effects that the females will experience in combat, are very similar to those that their male counterparts experience, albeit some differences. By even bringing this issue up, is almost saying that women are more fragile than men. That a woman’s life is more valuable than a man’s. What study was done to show the adverse effects of men in combat PRIOR to them actually going to combat?
This argument is just like saying, one human beings life is more valuable than another. I think history as shown this is a critical error in thinking. Imagine a world, were people still wore gold stars on their clothes, or were forced to sit in the back of the bus or killed for belonging to a certain tribe.
I’ve known many men that have come back from combat with serious adverse effects. If they had been aware of the outcome, each being a patriot, would have done the same thing. Women are just looking for the opportunity to do the same thing.”
What are your thoughts regarding women serving in combat? Do you agree or disagree with the opinions stated?