Well, perhaps not direct combat… at least not just yet. But after March, I suppose we’ll see if the military becomes even a bit more diversified by lifting the ban on women in combat positions. I guess after the smoke cleared a bit on the repeal of DADT, this was the next step to take. To me, it’s a no-brainer, because women are already on the front line in supportive positions, so it’s not completely official.
I know this sounds rather unFeminist of me, but physically, most women are incapable of doing certain jobs. (Meh, the folks at Bitch Magazine think I’m alright, so I guess I’m not all that bad of a modern woman overall.) I’ve only ever met one woman who has worked a jackhammer, one female firefighter and one UPS delivery person (whose job requirement is to be able to lift seventy pounds). However, I have had the good fortune to meet several brilliant construction supervisors, engineers and architects over the years.
I work in a “Man’s World” myself, as there aren’t a whole lot of women in the Metal department of the music industry, and most of us are not taken seriously. And, it’s one niche field where open and rampant degradation of women and outright misogyny are condoned, applauded and even encouraged. We women just aren’t angry enough… or something. I may not be able to lift a bag of cymbals over my head, but I can certainly thrash with the best of ‘em. Mom still has my old battle jacket kutte someplace, which proves I was never in it for the fashion. Ha! (Poor Ryan. Why couldn’t he have a more normal mother?)
Why do I involve myself with people like that? Because I love the music, I love what I do and no one has ever been able to tell my stubborn ass no. I would like to think most women who join the military, whether enlisted or as an officer, do it for the same reasons, and not because it’s a job or for the benefits. While it’s true if one wants to join the Army these days and ship out right away, Infantry is always taking and offering bonuses. But, because of its physical requirements, Infantry is not for everyone. It’s probably for the lady with the jackhammer, or the firefighter, or the UPS driver, but not for women like me – physically, anyway.
The way I see it, if a woman can pass OSUT training, there should be no reason why she cannot become part of an Infantry platoon. I will say though, it wouldn’t be easy to pass, even if PT standards are recalculated for women. Some of what the guys are trained to do are very physical, so it is imperative she train hard before considering the potential/inevitable MOS choice. A twelve hour ruck march with seventy pounds of gear is no walk in the park, not to mention dragging a two hundred pound man a mile or two. Even on steroids and at risk of life or death, I don’t think I could do either of those things. For the women confident they can hack it though, as too for the ones willing to try, combat positions should be open and available.
Unlike the DADT “issues and concerns”, women have been plainly visible in the military for decades. I have to wonder if it’s because of that there appears to be many more active duty folks open to the idea. There’s that, and women aren’t “living in sin”.
With those two hurdles already crossed, I see no reason why it cannot be open, even as a temporary thing to be tweaked along the way. Maybe all we need is a new propaganda poster, with Boudica saying “We Can Do It!”. Come March, we’ll see if it’s needed.
ETA: Sorry about the errors earlier, folks! I had a very busy day and wanted to get this morning’s posting up as you’ve come to expect. My bad!