I got this message today from a former shipmate this morning.
- Hi Maggie. I would like to ask your dead to rights honest opinion on something we debate a lot on at work: what's your stance on women in combat roles? I'm only asking because this is a severe point of discomfort with my co-workers, and I never really get a good (smart) answers. Not asking to debate, just want to hear it from someone who supports feminist views.As a feminist and Navy veteran, this is a question I get all the time, hence the blog. Here is my stance on this.
- There should not be a single organization, position, job, duty, or location that women are banned from- military or not.Of course, women should be allowed in combat, just as they should be allowed in submarines, as Rangers, or Navy Seals. Sex or gender should not even be a component for qualification.Do standards need to be lowered for women?Absolutely not.Will less women than men meet the physical requirements and demands?Of course.Let's compare this to height. There are less women over 6 feet tall than men. But that doesn't mean that there are not men who are under 6 feet tall and women who are over 6 feet tall. A woman who meets all of the requirements and passes all of the necessary tests should not be prevented from joining because of her sex.
- But what about bathroom facilities, berthing, sexual harassment, and rape?With bathrooms and berthing: We need to be more gender-fluid as a society. Combat is rough. Men and women, gay, straight, bi, pan, trans, of all races, colors, cultures, beliefs, backgrounds are going to be surviving from working together as a team. They are going to be existing in some very rough conditions. They are going to be guarding one another from flying bullets when they dig up holes they have to shit into. Yes, they are going to have to share bathrooms and sleep in areas together. Get over it.Openly gay men are now serving in the military. And long before they were allowed to be open, a lot of homosexual relationships happened and have been happening for thousands of years. Men have a chance of feeling as exposed as women. The military simply needs to inflict harsher punishment for rapists rather than brush incidents under the rug as they are notorious in doing.
- Anybody, man or woman, who is not disciplined enough to remain professional does not have the discipline to operate deadly weapons.
-But what if a woman happens to get pregnant? The government would have wasted all of that money on training her? If a woman trains and is ready to deploy and the gets pregnant, she can't deploy and that leaves the military in a lurch. They put money into this person and brothers/sisters in arms know they can rely on this person and now they have to train a new person for that position.
Luckily, the military provides free birth control. A man can just as easily get injured as a woman can get pregnant- making him unable to fight with everybody else. And let's be honest- this nation wastes a disgusting amount of money on military force. The training for one pregnant or injured soldier isn't even pocket change compared to what they blow on warfare.
Note: I am very anti-war.