Women’s RightsWe live in an age where women have gained access, and freedoms to explore a wide range of interests, and life styles more then they ever could in the past. Freedoms to enter the man’s work force. Freedom to hold banking accounts, and get mortgages, and loans. In some states, they even have the freedom to marry the same sex. In this age of increasing change, there is one area that I feel women should be protected from, and that is hand to hand combat. I was raised in a household where both parents were in the workforce, and raised two children at the same time. I was what you would call a latchkey child, I came home every day to a bowl of cereal, cartoons, and an empty house. However, at home the traditional gender roles were followed, I took out the trash, and mowed the lawn, while my mother and sister cooked meals, and washed clothes. I believe in traditional roles, because they work. I missed having my parents around, to talk to, and ask advise. It is my hope!
that the youth of tomorrow will have a mother to come home to, to laugh, ask advise, and most importantly to love.
Situated at the gateway to Arlington National Cemetery, there is a memorial being built. The “Women in Military Service for America” Memorial will recognize the 1.8 million women who have served from the American Revolution to present, according to the Air Force News service.
The idea of women serving in the military in not a new concept, the idea
Architect’s model for the Women in Military Service For America Memorial. The memorial is planned for the gateway to Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C
of them serving in hand to hand combat, however is. There is currently a law that keeps women out of combat, and protects them from direct harm.
Several issues come into play when you consider women serving in the military, including childcare, pregnancy, sexual harassment, and physical requirements. When it comes to child care, often the services provided on base are not accessible at the times needed, and when the parents are stationed overseas, they must deal with non-English speaking care-givers. Sexual harassment (as we have seen over and over in dozens of news reports of women being assaulted or harassed by their superiors) is prevalent in the military. Young women arrive at training grounds straight out of boot camp after weeks pushing their physical limits. They are taught — above all else — to respect authority and to follow orders.
What many encountered at this early moment in their military careers was, at minimum, abuse by the authority they were supposed to respect. What others encountered were, at worst, orders that Sgt. Delmar G. Simpson is said to have given more than one of his alleged rape victims: “If you ever tell anyone about this, I’ll hurt you.”
There has been debate about whether or not women should have a separate boot camp, or if they should remain integrated with the men. There are positive and negative aspects to each of these cases. If the men and women are integrated, they learn to work together, respect each other abilities, and learn how the opposite sex react to high-pressure situations. If however, the training was segregated, then there would be less of a chance of a female officer coming under friendly fire of sexual combat, from their own superiors.
I feel that women should be protected from physical harm, i.e. hand to hand combat, as well as emotional harm. The question we need to ask ourselves is “Are we willing to pay the price to have our mothers in combat?”
Air force news service. “Memorial to honor women servicemembers”
Goodman, Ellen. “Women put in harm’s way” Boston Globe 16 Nov. 1996.
Military Woman Home Page “Military Family Life and Childcare”