Magazine: Commentary Article Title: Sex, Lies, Infantry Equality in the Military Since the time of hunting and gathering, men were the hunters and women were the gatherers. Not until the early 20 th century have women started to receive the same rights as men in the United States of America. Women have come a long way since. They now have the same opportunities as men, but they are still being discriminated against in some fields, such as the military. They were allowed to serve in the military as cooks, nurses, or caretakers of soldiers, but they weren t allowed to carry any weapons or participate in any combat until recently. In the United States, women have participated in every war.
But they were recruited in only supporting roles. In 1975, the Pentagon, which is the United States military establishment, created a volunteer program open to both sexes. Afterwards, it immediately started to recruit thousands of women. At the beginning of the 1980 s women were being deployed across the frontlines. Since the military didn t have separate of quarters for men and women, they were forced into close proximity, causing several problems between the female and the male soldiers. At night when the female and male soldiers were left alone, willing and unwilling sexual activities started occurring.
This led to several discharges from the military for disruptive conduct, of both males and females. Most of the men serving in the military during this period did not accept the new female soldiers with open arms, because, they claimed, women are weaker, and wouldn t be able to accomplish their duties under pressure. The male soldiers also claimed that women could get pregnant and leave the service at critical times. This statement outraged several feminists, and they responded by saying that the military loses fewer days of service to pregnancy then it does to drugs and misconduct. Despite all the suffering the military and its male soldiers inflicted on women they have proved to be a valuable resource to the military. Women played supporting roles during the Grenada, Panama, and Gulf Wars, but during the Operations Desert Shield and Storm in 1991, females were finally engaged in combat activities.
Fifteen women were killed, and one female truck driver was captured by the enemy and sexually molested. But even so female soldiers under fire have displayed courage and skill. This gave more force to the arguments of those pressing to eliminate the remaining barriers against women serving in the military. Women have come a long way. They have breached the military barriers against women, which restricted them from participating in wars in a supportive capacity.
They also have proved that they have what it takes to be a part of any military position including that of the frontline soldier, and can act with courage and skill under fire. They now have and deserve the same opportunities and respect as men. This author describes only part of the problem. He does not show how women are being mistreated sexually and how superior officers take advantage of their power over cadets. Further, he does not propose solutions. I agree that women in the military are being mistreated.
But I believe that to solve part of this problem, the military must first separate the men s quarters from the women s quarters. This would put an end to most of the sexual activities in the military. The military should also have more regulations protecting women s rights; provide more counseling to the male and female soldiers, before mixing them in combat or training exercises: and dividing power more evenly between male and female higher ranking officers.