Sisters In Arms

Copyright © by Len Holman, 2/4/13


  America’s Secretary of Defense has lifted the official military ban on women in combat, which means that gender equality has taken another staggering step sideways.  Eventually, women will be encouraged to kill the enemy with the same brio which now emboldens men to do the same—and we will call that “progress for women’s rights.”  It’s not as if women have not served in dangerous war zones before—many American nurses died in Vietnam, for instance.  They drive in convoys, fly jets, and will begin serving on subs.  They have been in harm’s way for a long time, but now they get an “official” status to join armored and infantry units, along with SEAL teams and Marine Recon units.  All they have to do is equal the physical requirements—no mean feat for some of these elite units. 

  But even if they do meet all requirements, they will still have that one physical feature which already puts them at high risk—a vagina.  Rapes and sexual assaults in the military are at an all-time high, and no woman is safe from the predations of her male co-warriors.  The current headlines concern Lackland Air Force Base in Texas, where female recruits were sexually assaulted by instructors.  The Air Force seems to be disposed to such goings, since at least the Tailhook scandal in the ‘90s.  But women have always been at the mercy of their male counterparts, so if they eventually go into front-line combat units (are there going to be front lines and rear areas anymore?) they will be essentially fighting two wars all the time, and we’ll call THAT a “level playing field.” 

  This order opens about 237,000 positions to women—which is a lot more positions than those recruits at Lackland were forced to take.  The question I must ask is not whether they are—or will ever be—capable of doing more of the heavy lifting associated with the American Imperium’s continued foray into Africa and the Pacific Rim.  There will be plenty of stuff to do, and America can be proud that its women will follow in the bootsteps of other countries which allow women to participate in combat.  This is going to happen and one wonders what, if any, change it will make in the following areas: 

  Women’s pay.  Women get paid less than men for the same work and when they complain about it, they are called “troublemakers” and much worse.  In the military, a Specialist 4 in the Army gets the pay for that grade no matter the chromosomal state of the soldier in question. 

  Women in politics and the judiciary.  There are more women in the congress now than ever, but no one I know believes that will be a steady trend.  Women are not thought of—even now—as legitimate office holders—too emotional (John Boehner?), too touchy-feely, especially by conservatives, many of whom seem to view women as something just a notch above blow-up dolls.  A small notch, at that. 

  Women in public.  Can any woman in a form-fitting dress walk anywhere on a public street without catcalls, whistles, rude comments—or worse?  India is a prime example of the status of women, in which a woman was gang-raped on a bus, and later died from her injuries.  And the high school rape in Ohio, caught on video?  Women might be better off in public if they DID carry military weapons and knew how to use them, and then women might see a diminution of unwanted male attention. 

  Women in the military.  If women continue to fill more and more jobs in the military, then sooner or later, a woman will be head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and will report to a female President. 

  One wonders if this is what Gloria Steinem had in mind.  These women might be sexual decoys—tokens to assuage the slavering mob of bleeding hearts out there who want “equality” for women.  “You want equality?” the Powers That Be ask.  “Ok, here it is: tanks, combat, subs, drones, and all that goes with it.  Enjoy!”  All the while, back in the States, out in the world, women are still  lagging behind, at best—or are beaten, raped, mutilated, and are considered property of men, at worst. 

  This sop to Cerberus may satisfy some, but the costs of such a move will be high, and will be unknown for years.  Women can do the jobs they will be assigned, but the opinion of mankind—MANkind—will not be changed anytime soon.  Women might believe that this new opportunity will be good for all women, but when those ladies come marching home, won’t Walmart be the same?  Won’t women in India still fear to ride a bus?  Won’t the Tea Party still produce people who believe that a child conceived by rape or incest is PART OF God’s plan?  Won’t women still carry the onerous burden of being women?


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