Should women be in combat? The number of proponents is not that high, which mean the opponents could be tipping the scale. Unfortunately, this long-standing debate has never reached a consensus, regardless of who is on which side of the fence. But you have to admit that women in military service are on riskier ground than men considering some of their weaknesses. Feminism aside, there are plenty of factors that have to be considered where women are concerned. But gender has nothing to do with the love of country and the desire to render selfless service.
List of Pros of Women in Combat
1. Access To Education
Women who would not normally be able to afford school will be given the necessary resources to be educated when they join the military. The GI Bill will ensure they will be given funds to pay for secondary education, while having a job at the same time. So not only are women able to go to school, but earn money as well. Military service also has plenty of benefits and rewards that women will find very useful and helpful.
2. Higher Chances Of Landing a Great Career
Say you no longer wish to renew your contract in the military and would prefer to find other type of employment instead. Know that your chances of getting hired are very high. This is because being trained in the military supplies you with the characteristics and skills that are very attractive to employers. Military service, after all, is about strict discipline. This means you will be able to complete your assigned tasks in a timely manner. You would not slack off and end up going late for work. You are primed for any type of work even the exhaustive kind. Suffice to say that you’re almost perfect as an employee. Adding military service to your list of work experience also makes your application quite attractive.
3. Showcase Female Skills In Combat
Didn’t they say that what men can do women can do better? The military and other government branches are just beginning to understand that being male does not make a soldier inherently superior. So women who want to prove they can be equally skilled in combat as men, would love being in the military service regardless of the physical and mental stress it entails.
4. An Opportunity To Reach Their Dreams
Gone are the days when women are left at home and men do all the hard work. Some of them dream of showing off how patriotic they can be by serving their country, and the military provides them with a level playing field to prove their worth. America, after all, is the land of the free and the home of the brave. And excluding women from military service would go against this belief.
5. Provides a Constant Influx Of Recruits
Why turn away someone who is willing serve their country? At a time when joining the military is no longer compulsory and it has been increasingly difficult to get anyone to join, any woman who wants to get enlisted should be welcomed rather than turned way. Besides, there is a certain advantage to keeping the military equipped with soldiers of both genders. A huge population of them would also mean that a country’s military force is always ready for anything.
6. Disadvantages Are Being Addressed
Women who enlist in the military are well aware that they should not get pregnant, as this can have an effect on their job. This means women would be more focused on their combat roles. If other women in the workforce can hold off pregnancy plans, so can women in combat. There is also a question of whether or not women will have the same professional approach on their job as men. If they didn’t, they would have been banned from the service for good. Never mind the emotional outburst that can happen once in a while, women can be brave and courageous when the situation calls for it. As for physical and sexual abuse, men in service can experience these too. Some people just get lucky.
List of Cons of Women in Combat
1. Lacks Physical Strength
Physical strength has always been one of the major points that opponents like to emphasize when illustrating why women should be excluded from military service. It is a fact that a woman who weighs 110 pounds and stands 5 feet would be unable to carry the same amount of tasks that a man twice her size would be able to do. Even outrunning a man of this size would take serious effort. It is also unwise to give women special treatment as rules in the military applies to everyone without discrimination. Doing so may also lead to dissension within a unit.
2. Increased Risk Of Abuse
It has been known to happen that some women in the military were abused by their peers and within their own unit. Things could get even worse if they’re captured and then subjected to subsequent abuse carried out by the enemies. Some women may be built to endure torture of any kind, but others could be ill-prepared for it. Prisoners of war often go through a horrendous amount of physical abuse, but sexual abuse is often thrown in when women are captured by enemies. These days, however, even male soldiers can be sexually abused by enemies.
3. Lack Of Family Balance
Growing up without a father can have an effect on children, but things can get worse when they grow up without a mother. This makes a woman and mother in combat very difficult. Women in service who get pregnant during their tour of duty would also have to leave their fellow soldiers behind. In either situation, achieving a balance between family life and military service is not as easy for most women. Going back in service after giving birth would also have an effect on their performance. Some women may even have PTSD that is more severe than men, but nothing they can handle with the right support and treatment. Women, after all, can cope with depression and other emotions better than men.
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Master's Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.