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G.I. Jane A Hollywood Myth Or Contemporary Reality?

1475 words - 6 pages

Our world has evolved into an era where opportunities for women are boundless due largely to the efforts of the Feminist Movement. The June Cleavors of yesteryear have been replaced by the Clair Huxtables of today who can successfully manage raising a family and the demands of a full time job. We have seen women move from the kitchen to the cockpit of the space shuttle. From managing their homes to managing big businesses and have carved out a niche for themselves in areas that were once exclusively reserved for men - areas such as our nation's military and through such movies as "GI Jane" and "Courage Under Fire," Hollywood has attempted to change our perception of the woman's role in the defense of our nation. In America's 11 major wars women have served in such capacities as nurses and doctors to pilots of fighter-jet bombers and Apache helicopters and were among the crew of aircraft carriers and warships. In fact, except for front-line infantry units designed specifically for hand-to-hand combat, women may serve in any area of the military and have done an exceptional job in many of these positions. However, the leaders of the feminist movement believe that the right to fight on the front-line should belong to both men and women. But is this the one place that should remain off-limits to women? The answer is a resounding YES!The physiological argument in support of the exclusion of women in combat is simply this - women and men are different and regardless of the amount of physical training and conditioning a woman receives, she will still only be as strong as the weakest male. In the PBS National Desk documentary "Politics and Warriors: Women in the Military" new recruits were filmed during basic training. The male recruits are seen easily scaling walls, hurdling barriers, and pulling themselves up onto high platforms while the females struggled with the same tasks and in many cases could not accomplish them without some assistance. The recruits were also shown performing an exercise of carrying and manipulating a stretcher containing a dummy, which weighed the same as the average man, over a 5-foot wall. The male recruits had no problem finishing the task successfully and in a timely manner while female recruits had greater difficulty and in fact wasted valuable time and energy talking through the steps of a task that should only require basic instincts. The female recruits even lacked the upper body strength to throw a hand grenade far enough to keep them and others in their platoon from getting hurt. In 2002, the British Military of Defense published the results of their "Combat Effectiveness Gender Study" which showed the following:1. In a test requiring soldiers to carry 90lbs of artillery shells over a certain distance, the male failure rate was 20% vs. the female failure rate of 70%.2. In a 12.5-mile route march carrying 60lbs of equipment, followed by target practice simulating conditions under fire, men failed in 17% of the cases....

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