Is The Exclusion Of Women From Frontline Combat Sexism?

1087 words - 4 pages

Excluding women from frontline combat is essentially sexist. Regardless of the many substantial contributions women have made to the United States military from the American Revolutionary war to the contemporary Iraq and Afghanistan wars, it has long been a sanctuary of masculinity, which consequently, has resulted in the organization’s steadfast resistance against women’s direct martial participation. The opponents of women frontline combat argue that females are unable to execute the required responsibilities of battle based on gender and gender role stereotypes. Such opinions are comprised of the assumption that women are physically and psychologically weaker than men are, require supplementary accommodations, and are more vulnerable to sexual abuse. Thus, much of the resistance to women joining the military in combat roles is derived from the traditional, discriminatory belief that men should protect women from harm.
The concept that women are physically and emotionally weaker than men, and therefore should not serve in combat, ignores the often-grueling physical training involved in military training. For both male and female enlistees, training, fitness and psychological exams are part of is part of army life. Both sexes are required to pass physical fitness exams, and discipline is an expectation for all who consider serving in the military. Furthermore, frequently aligned with strength is the allegation of psychological weakness, bringing with it the masculine tagged word, bravery. This argument suggests that women, because of their supposed lack of masculine bravery, are unable to perform the basic function of infantry—to kill the enemy—and are disinclined to serve voluntarily in combat roles.
However, as restrictions on women in combat slowly fade, more women voluntarily move into these battle-occupations, showing that women are more than willing to serve in these functions regardless of danger. According to a 2012 BBC article, women’s involvement in combat zones has increased due to indistinct battle lines during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, in which “it has become less and less possible to keep women out of combat conditions,” has resulted in a loosening of limitations for women serving in the US military. While women are not yet allowed to serve in frontline combat, the eased limits have increased their opportunities for both occupational advancement and proving their worth in combat positions. Additionally, once a soldier has received suitable training, and meets the requirements for frontline duty, any combatant should, ideally, do what he or she was trained for, despite his or her sex. Clearly then, whoever chooses to, or is chosen to be on frontlines has likely steeled their emotions allowing for appropriate functional performance.
Opponents to women in combat contend females require supplementary accommodations based on sex distinctions, such as menstrual cycles, pregnancies, and restroom...

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