GENDER INEQUALITY IN THE MILITARY Masculinity and Femininity in War: With the historical normalization of the military as a masculine realm, coupled with the ongoing war and increases in defence , there is a necessity to ask whether military institutions today continue to thwart efforts for gender equality. State-based war has for thousands of years been built upon traditional gender roles, dividing gender into its association of men with violence and women with nurture.
Despite the diversity of the cause in war and the diversity of gender, gender roles in war are very consistent across all known human societies and masculinity and femininity are situated as far apart from each other as possible within state-based war. Why is this so? Because killing does not come naturally for either gender, yet the potential for war has been universalized. Physical Training Concerns: Some of the most obvious concerns are physical. The female skeletal system is less dense, and more prone to breakages.
There is also concern that, in aviation, the female body is not as adept at handling the increased g-forces experienced by combat pilots. Sex Discrimination & Tradition: Many view the exclusion of women from military combat jobs as the last bastion of sex discrimination. Some believe that women are forbidden to serve in these roles only as a result of the traditionalist view of soldiering as a profession for men and that the equal opportunity laws should not apply to the military.
Man point out that there are many historical examples of women achieving much on the battlefield in combat roles. Psychological concerns: The disruption of a combat unit is cited as another reason for women to be banned from front-line combat situations. Indeed, many soldiers have stated that they could not trust a woman to perform her duties in a place where trusting their fellow soldier would be critical.
There is a secondary concern that romantic relationships between men and women on the front lines could disrupt a unit’s fighting capability and a fear that a high number of women would deliberately become pregnant in order to escape combat duties. In the British Army, which continues to bar women from serving in infantry role units, all recruits joining to fill infantry vacancies partake in a separate training program called the Combat Infantryman’s Course.
MALE DOMINANCE: Women are unable to hold a number of high ranking positions and influential positions within the military hierarchy. Their worth is devalued in the eyes of men and opens them up to becoming victims of sexual harassment. A male-dominated military establishment persists in its repression and persecution of women, and it conspires to protect the few remaining male-only units in the name of a ‘conservative male culture’ that cannot come to terms with the presence of women in the ranks.