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Women Serving In The Military Essay

1397 words - 6 pages

Throughout history war and fighting have always been seen as a strictly masculine endeavor, yet women have always been involved in one way or another. Whether tending to the sick, doing clerical or logistical-support jobs or disguised as men and fighting in the front lines, women throughout history have found ways to help serve and defend their homes and country. Women have always been considered the weaker sex and traditionally their place has always been in the home caring for the family, certainly not out defending the country. Over the last couple decades however, society has gradually become more comfortable with the idea of women serving in the military. There are about a dozen countries worldwide that have allowed women to serve in every position in their military, including combat and submarine units, for many years. Throughout our nations history women have played an important role in the military; however, it was not until recent years that they have been able to fully contribute to the military in all areas.
All throughout history there are examples showing that women are just as capable of hand-to-hand combat and leading an army as men are. In past centuries the most common occasion in which women would take part in battle was if their castle, homes, or towns were being attacked. In medieval times a women was expected to defend her home if her husband was not there. Noble women could even lead armies on to the battlefield both in local conflicts and on expeditions such as crusades. Presnell states in her book that, “Throughout history women have played a varied and vital role in warfare, despite the supposed limits of their gender” (301). Some of the most well documented and best known accounts of women fighting in battle or leading an army are Joan of Arc, a French maiden who inspired and lead the French army during the Hundred Years’ War in the early 15th century, Ahhotep, an Egyptian queen who lead her army into battle and united her country in the 16th century BC, and Nadezhda Durova, a Russian women who fought with the Russian Calvary during the Napoleonic Wars and when word spread of her bravery it got the attention of the Tsar, who was impressed and awarded her the Cross of St. George and gave her a commission. There is even an example of a woman leading an army in the Bible. In the book of Judges, the Prophetess Deborah leads an army to free her people from the rule of the king of Canaan.
In the United States before World War 1, women only assisted the military during wartime mainly as nurses and helpers. However, there were some women who became involved in battle. Molly Pitcher, a Revolutionary War water carrier, helped keep a cannon in action after he husband had been shot down. During the Revolutionary War and the Civil War, there were women who disguised themselves as men and fought on the front lines. The first women enlisted in the military served in World War 1 as telephone and radio operators, translators, and...

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