Since the very beginning of humanity, men were always considered to be the strongest by their nature, and thus, to be common protectors. However, history shows that women took a direct participation in many battles. A lot of females took part in both World Wars and in many other combat operations, for example, in the Vietnam War. In some way, women always played huge role in wars, even though they were absent on battlefields. Despite women’s presence in the army forces and in wars, their position was at issue. Usually, females took supporting positions, as physicians and medical nurses, traffic controllers or were in the intelligence support. Since the beginning of the present year, the Pentagon provided a new policy that allows women to take actual part in combats on the front line positions (Durkin). The issue of women serving in the military and being allowed in combats became extremely controversial from different perspectives.
The Political Aspect of the Issue
Every change in the legislative system of every country contains political basis. The decision to lift a ban on women in the military forces shows the high level of democracy in this particular country. Indubitably, the present party of the USA government will get more support from feminists and female voters in general on the next elections. However, giving permission for women to take part in combats can have a negative impact on the whole party and even the President himself. Many American citizens would not accept or tolerate the fact of killing large numbers of women in wars. Theoretically, lifting a ban can cause mass protests on the nation level all across the country. Therefore, the new law is highly controversial, the governing party may lose its leading position if changes would not be provided properly.
Standpoints Supporting Women in Combat
Until 2013, in the United States of America, women were forbidden to take part in the actual battles with the enemy on the front lines. However, despite abovementioned banning, females have already been in the flash points not only on support positions (Carreiras and Ku%u0308mmel 17). In fact, they were also a direct target to the enemy as the part of the military forces, but, at the same time, they all were not the full members of the army. With the recent changes, females who serve in the military become fully legitimate part of the units. Since women have vulnerable position in the military, the new law equalizes their rights with men’s and makes possible for females to take higher positions (Rubin, Weiss and Coll 38). The new Pentagon’s law reflects positively on females’ rights position in the first place. Although, women were involved in wars and battles (for example, as postal unit and medical aid) and fully participated in the combat situations, technically, they were never formally assigned. Thus, in the eyes of the Army and the Government they were not possessing full rights in the military forces as men did. Another good thing about abovementioned decision is that there will be less raping incidents in the units, at least in theory. Besides, there will be less discriminatory situations in general.
On the other hand, more job positions of all types will be opened to women. Today, men hold all executive positions in the Forces. Thus, they monopolize the whole military area, and do not allow women to make a claim for positions with higher influence on the whole area. Throughout human history, women almost always were positioned behind men. In the case of changes, women get the green light to strive for better positions and bring new enhancements to the military system in the future.
In the case of proper structuring, females’ actual battlefield engagement can increase the combat effectiveness. Males and females have different types of vision. Male’s tunnel vision helps them to concentrate on one target in the front. On the other hand, female’s peripheral vision allows them to concentrate on one target, but at the same time, it helps to control situation on both sides in the sight line. Because of the ability to concentrate on few different targets, women are more efficient in combats than men. Also, females are more flexible by nature and this feature can help a lot in places with difficult access. The combination of men’s strength and women’s flexibility and sight may have a great affection on the battle outcome. Allowing females to take part in combats may improve general index of winning in battles and reduce fatal consequence on the battle fields.
Women on the Front Line: Negative Sides and Consequences
The new law about women in combats is controversial; therefore, a lot of points of view have negative idea. Many arguments against women taking part in combats are reasonable. First, women who are already signed in the Army now have to take actual part in battles, though it was not an option the day they signed in. In this case, females who already serve in the military must go on the front line immediately, if ordered. However, not all women are interested in such position and they do not want to risk their lives or become handicapped on the battle fields. Second, a huge wave of men’s protests may happen, because a lot of their jobs, and thus pays, would be taken by women.
Another important issue is the women’s strength comparing with men’s. Today, physical training standards are lower for women. In the case, if women officially become fully equal to men in the eyes of the army, they will have to pass absolutely the same physical test. Unfortunately, not all women are capable to do that, because of their physical structure and natural strength (Laufer-Ukeles 101). Thus, only those women, who pass male normative standards, should be allowed to take part in combats on the front line. Because of the differences in strength, many men would not trust women to watch their backs in combats. Such position can also be provided with the thinking that females are weaker both physically and mentally (Sherrow 42).
Having a lot of women in the flash points may cause various uncomfortable situations (at least in the beginning), for example, in the case of absence of separated shower and toilet cabins. Also, in the presence of females, men act differently, especially in the presence of a handsome female. The natural instincts of men may cause distractions from their straight duties on the front line. Such behavior can cause forming relationships during serving, which will lead to increasing of pregnancies (Skaine 37-38). Therefore, it will make many service women combat-ineffective. Moreover, monthly periods affect battle readiness of many females and it may force them out of action for several days. What is more, with the differences in the genital structure, woman’s body is more vulnerable to the various venereal diseases and infections. In the case of long-term absence of shower, it is highly possible for women to get a serious infection that can spread to other males or females of the unit.
The most important issue with lifting a ban on women in combat is the possibility of women being raped by the enemy men. Such situations will cause even huge wars with more anger and mental cruelty. Moreover, if an American woman will be raped by an Islamic man, with a high possibility, this action will cause the Great War between Christian and Islamic worlds.
Since the ancient history, men’s life considered to be less valuable, because women give birth to children and it was a duty of a man to protect women so they could give birth to new generations. For the last few decades, many things have changed and more women strive to protect own families and countries by themselves. Having a great amount of women in the military forces have both advantages and disadvantages for the army in general. Supporters of the new Pentagon’s law are reasonable in their arguments. The same can be said about those who are against it. All abovementioned points of view have highly logical arguments due to the problem. The new system has to be adapted for the innovation so it could increase the military effectiveness.
Every aspect of the issue must be fully examined and analyzed in theory, to make sure that recent changes are the right call for women in the army and the military system in general. One of the main questions is to adapt physical test standards for both genders and decide if those should be completely equal for both men and women. Since, present daily training standards are lower for females a lot of complaints from men can be raised. Since, the main participants in combats are males it is hard to predict what affect the Pentagon’s law will have on the whole system. Lastly, it is too soon to tell if changes will end with positive or poor consequences for the whole system.