Women in the Military Essay

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Historically, women have not served as members of the military for a number of reasons. Traditionally, society views women as weaker than men, physically and emotionally, and so women are deemed unfit for combat. Women play a vital role in military operations, and have served in combat in many other countries very successfully. Integrated armies have been very successful as when Russia fought the Germans in World War II, as well as in modern day Israel. The Russians used women as aircraft pilots, tank drivers and just about every other skill level other than the infantry. If women choose to join the military and play an active role in America's defense, they should be able to serve in combat or non-combat situations. Both men and women should equally share the responsibility for protecting the country. This is an issue for a number of reasons. First, many women want to serve their country and fight for it, rather than serve in behind the scenes functions. Second, because women do not serve in active combat roles in many areas of the armed forces, they do not face the threat of a draft, and many people feel that is unfair. More importantly, women in the military face several challenges their male counterparts do not face, such as pregnancy, menstruation, sexual harassment, the need to leave children at home for long periods of time, and gender issues. These issues can create emotional and physical barriers to a woman's performance, and they are perhaps the most contentious problems with women in the military. In recent months, I have had a chance to catch up with one of my neighbors who has just returned from her tour of Iraq. She had described the men as “overly macho” and claims that gender discrimination is ever present. Women are still forced to stay in the back of the front lines. When asked if she was ever in direct combat, she replied, “there was no way to

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