Much has been written about this subject and after reading the article in the Union (July 15 “Military takes on sexual assaults”), I finally have to say my piece, and this does not come from a stay-at-home wife/mother either, but from a mother who had to work for many years.
This won’t be popular with many women, but I do not believe women belong fighting on the front lines and/or carrying a gun in battle whether it’s on the ground or in the air. Men have to take on a different, more violent mental state and persona during time of war in order to be able to fight and kill other human beings. If you look at the previous wars, they do that best when they can concentrate on what they have to do and adding women into that mix is just asking for trouble. Now add to that the gradual decline of morals and ethics over the past 50 years, and this mix means trouble even in non-combat zones, where men and women are thrown together in close quarters in the military.
I believe this for one obvious reason: Women are built differently and that is for a specific reason — so they can have and rear children. This is the most valuable service a woman can give to the human race, but some women feel (or have been made to feel) that isn’t enough or important anymore, or it somehow makes them a second class citizen. What could be more important for the future than our children?
Women have, in the past, given very valuable service in the military during times of peace and war. There are many important non-combat jobs that they could still be doing to continue giving this service. They do not have to be on the front lines with a gun or in a tank or a jet fighter to help in a meaningful way. All you have to do is look at what they did during WWII and were very much appreciated for it.
It doesn’t mean that a women can’t be educated or do valuable work, especially those who for financial reasons must do so, or for those who don’t have children. I also understand how some women might feel that the wife/mother role isn’t enough and for those, there are many avenues to pursue in education, teaching, commerce, public service, etc. Many are able to do that and raise their children too, which is no easy accomplishment!
Somehow those wife/mother accomplishments have been invalidated over the years, so that now some women feel they must do exactly what men do in every field, in order to be considered important, validated, or “equal”. Besides war and the military, women have invaded practically every area that was previously a man’s territory so that many men don’t know exactly what their role is anymore. We’ve left very few places for them to just be “guys” without women in the mix and I think that the military/war area is where they especially need that in order to do their job.
It’s not that sexual assault in the military never happened before, but I guarantee that if they had not allowed women onto the front lines and kept the men’s and women’s military more separated, the instances of this would be about 95 percent fewer.
Marcia Winborne-Graven lives at Lake of the Pines.