Celebrating Our Successes: Women in the Military

I realized today that I tend to write solely about negative issues. Or at least only about things I think we need to fix. I don’t have a problem with that in general. However, for this particular post I’d like to approach things a little differently. Instead, I’d like to celebrate a recent success in the women’s rights movement. Because while I really do think we need to be aware of our problems so that we can effectively fix them, we also need to acknowledgewoman-soldier and enjoy our accomplishments equally.
For that purpose, I want to discuss the recent change in the US military’s policy towards women. They have lifted the ban on women in combat making women FINALLY equals within the military. Women will no longer be looked down upon for their “inability” to serve in combat. They will have access to all promotions and career paths. And perhaps most importantly they will finally receive the acknowledgement and credit they deserve. In recent years, women have been taking part in battle all over the world. However, their actions were not gaining them the respect they had earned because of the continued perceived ban on women in combat. But that has all come to an end. Women now have equal opportunity in all areas of the military.
And it seems we have four women in particular to thank. Mary Jennings Hegar. Jennifer Hunt. Zoe Bedell. Colleen Farrell. These women sued the Pentagon in November along with the ACLU to protest the ban on women in combat. In response, the Pentagon loosened the restrictions on female soldiers but didn’t completely remove the ban. That finally happened through an announcement from the Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta just yesterday. 0ad4f68de3a919fa5d1ed6dfb04df704The policy has been officially eliminated. Breaking down yet another barrier between women and equality.Unfortunately, the story isn’t all happy. And everyone isn’t happy about it. There are lots of people out there who for whatever reason don’t support the lifting of the ban. They don’t believe women can handle combat conditions. EVEN THOUGH women have been taking part in combat for years. They say women shouldn’t even want to take part in combat. But why shouldn’t women have the right to defend their country? Or they take shots at the administration for lifting the combat ban while also supporting the VAWA bill. These claims are simply ridiculous. Allowing women to fight for the US is in no way connected to a bill designed to protect women from domestic abuse. The two are not similar and claims to the contrary are simply absurd. Happily, it seems these stances are part of a minority opinion.

The majority of people have welcomed the news and are celebrating this as an important step for women’s rights. And I have to say I agree. The US military garners a great deal of respect, as it should. And many people take cues from them in shaping their behavior. The military finally placing women on an equal playing field is an extremely important victory for women’s rights. And we should keep the ball rolling. There are still more actions that need to be taken in order for true equality to exist. But I think we’re going to get there. It’s going to take time. And a lot of hard work. But I think we can do it.

In the meantime, let’s applaud these women in particular, but really all the women in the military. For what they do for our nation and for what they’ve done in the name of women’s rights.


1 comment

    • Denise on 28 January, 2013 at 10:42 am
    • Reply

    I was intrigued by the SISGI Mission Statement, of: “…turning good Ideas into real solutions.” May I, in this regard, venture to submit A REALLY GOOD IDEA? Here goes …

    I am writing with regard to what I consider to be the stunningly arrogant Male Stance being generally taken, with regard to what Men obviously perceive as their singular Prerogative to “allow” Women to serve “with them” in the nation’s Military.
    I have been following the Debate via myriad radio and television interviews – both local and international, within which Women are rather vainly attempting to PROVE THAT THEIR OWN GENDER-SPECIFIC SKILLS, ALONG WITH THEIR HONED-TALENTS, ARE ALTOGETHER EQUAL IN QUALITY, IRRESPECTIVE OF ANY PAUCITY OF BRUTE-FORCE “HEFT,” TO THOSE OF THEIR MALE COUNERPARTS. (…and sorry about the caps, but I really want to make that particular Point pellucidly clear).
    My considered opinion on this whole cognitively repulsive issue is this: that in the SAME (…perfectly-acceptable, since eminently-logical!) manner, that – say: the two (2) Variously Contributing but Equally Professional Parties to an analogous Contract to “Build A House of Cards” will, in consultation, CALL UPON THEIR PERSONAL TALENTS, in undertaking to DEPLOY THEIR INDIVIDUAL SKILLS to GET THE JOB DONE TO THEIR OWN AND THEIR CLIENT’S SATISFACTION…so TOO, within the Military employment framework, BOTH Women and Men have EQUALLY VITAL TALENTS & SKILLS to offer towards ENSURING AND SECURING PEACE – or some variant of same; to the satisfaction of themselves and the vagaries of their official Mandate.

    To attempt, as is very evidently the Case, to DEVALUE-thru-DERISION, the natural talents and professional competencies of serving Women Officers, purely in order to Teflon-coat the “straw-man” of an Argument that posits that MEN’S NATURAL SKILLS & HONED-TALENTS ARE MORE VITALLY-REQUIRED IN WAR THAN THOSE OF WOMEN, is to perpetuate a sickening Nonsense!
    A baseless argument hitched absurdly upon an invalid Premise, and one as such that Women will have to un-pick with BRUTAL FRANKNESS. PLAIN SPEAKING of the type that is GUARANTEED to Kick the ass of 1000 Pound Gorilla presently sitting tongue-tied within the echoing Halls of this particular debate; and to do so flagrantly IRRESPECTIVE of however many loud Howls of Male-Outrage are the result. Remember as you do so, Ladies – that in this present circumstance as always: it is STILL only THE TRUTH that HURTS.

    And speaking of PLAIN SPEAKING, here is ONE (1) BLUNT-FORCE QUESTION that Women Officers NEED to toss at the heads of their Male Counterparts, whenever these Men so arrogantly punch the button marked “HOT AIR” that kick-starts this whole faux-Debate:

    1. For every Consequence (or Outcome), there HAS to be a Cause (or Rationale). Since winning the Peace is the Consequence/Outcome of waging War, is it not more than high time that a REAL DEBATE was had on whether the current INDISPUTABLY MAN-MADE, since LARGELY MAN-CONTROLLED WAR EFFORT is INDEED gaining its Essential Objective of securing Peace? And if this INDISPUTABLY MAN-MADE, since LARGELY MAN-CONTROLLED WAR EFFORT is FAILING – signally and consistently – in this its ultimate objective, HOW THEN SHOULD ONE RATE the notion of “MAN-MADE CREATIONS,” and consequentially JUDGE the Success of “MAN-CONTROLLED EFFORTS?”

    In Sum: if a historically and yet-contemporarily MALE-HEADED and MALE-HEAVY Military, is UNARGUABLY BURDENED BY FAILURE in attaining its HIGHEST OBJECTIVE – and this despite all of the available gallons of Raging Testosterone, and irrespective of every maverick surge of Self-Destructive “Bravery” on and off the field of Battle….does NOT even the most basic of STRATEGIC RULE-BOOKS suggest – nay bloody DEMAND, that OTHER TACTICS (…along with OTHER TACTICIANS!!…) BE TRIED?


    Denise Payne
    Freelance Blogger

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