Essay on The Female Soldier’s Fight for the Front Lines

Submitted By conorox21
Words: 2300
Pages: 10

The Female Soldier’s Fight for The Front Lines Women have been fighting throughout the history of America to share the same equal rights as men. In the country’s bleak past, women were not allowed to vote, run for governmental office, or work certain jobs because of an overall feeling that women were inferior to men. Looking back on these acts of discrimination today, the leaders of our country recognize that the way women used to be treated is unjust and completely wrong. Women are equal to men, and therefore should have the same equal rights. However, in present times, another injustice is being carried out against women. Currently, women are not allowed to participate in any front lines military combat because they are considered both mentally and physically incapable of performing required tasks. Preventing women from participating in any military operations that men are allowed into is a severe injustice and an act of discrimination. This illustrates the United States government repeating past mistakes. Women should be able to participate in all military operations because they are both physically, and mentally capable, and should have the same military opportunity as men. The role of women in the military has evolved tremendously since the inception of the United States Military. In the armies earliest development, during the American Revolution, women served as nurses and cooks, but were not allowed anywhere near the battlefield. Later on, during World War II, women in the military were still mostly nurses, but in 1942, the first female pilot was introduced in the United States Military (www.army.mil/women). Her name was Nancy Harkness Love, and her role was to fly planes that were produced in the factories, to military bases throughout the U.S. Although her job was only domestic, and she never left the country, Love made an enormous leap for women in their attempt to achieve full military acceptance. Her role was vital in assisting the function of the military and helped progress women’s military roles in the future. After the Vietnam War, all women were allowed to enlist in the army, and in 1975, women began to receive weapons training. By the Persian Gulf War in 1990, women were in the same battalions as men and trained alongside them. At this time, women were virtually allowed to participate in the same operations as men, except becoming a member of the ground infantry. In the United States Military today, women play very vital roles, but are still not legally able to participate in infantry combat. The military status of women today has surpassed what many women would have ever thought possible, but there is still more work to be done in order for women to stand as equals. The United States military has developed a distinct set of rules that defines what women can and cannot do. The most controversial limitation placed on female soldiers is called the risk rule. Margaret C. Harrell, author of “The Assignment Policy for Women,” states that the risk rule is characterized by the risk of exposure to direct combat, hostile fire, or capture (Harrell 1). This seriously limits the role that women can serve in the military, but it is ultimately up to interpretation by the general of army. Harrell describes ground combat as “engaging an enemy on the ground with individual weapons, while being exposed to hostile fire, and to a high probability of direct physical contact with the hostile force’s personnel” (Harrell 2). This type of combat is obviously very dangerous for anyone involved, man or woman, but just because it is dangerous does not mean that women should not be able to participate. The author states that it is not clear weather “the policy is designed to protect women or about why or to what extent women should be kept from direct combat” (Harrell 63). If the rule is designed to protect women, then it is sexist and insulting to women because it infers that women cannot handle…