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Women in Combat

By Dreambabe Feb 09, 2010 475 Words
Women and war have always been considered to have little in common. As the gentle sex, women are traditionally associated with caring and with creating life rather than with its destroying. And even though women today do have the opportunity to enter the army, they are not officially allowed to enter combat and fight alongside their male counterparts. Indeed, who would put a gun into the hands of such a tender and vulnerable being as a woman?

Certainly, there are a number of arguments in favour of women being excluded from front line fighting. The first, and probably the most obvious, argument is that, for the most part, they lack the body strength that is necessary to perform in combat. Because of this, they would have difficulties in handling the extremely heavy military equipment used on the field; the manipulation of a gun would take them longer, which would create an opportunity for the enemy to shoot first. Also, they would have problems when a need arises to carry the body of a wounded comrade off the battlefield.

The second argument is that women do not possess the necessary mental strength and therefore they would not be able to cope with the mental and emotional stress involved. Women are generally considered to be very gentle, caring and compassionate. Because of these personality traits, they would have problems handling the atmosphere of fear and hostility that is inevitably generated on the battlefield. Thus, in the light of these arguments, it may seem to be a logical conclusion that women should not be allowed to fight in the front line.

However, it is crucial to note that the above arguments are based on the traditional image of a woman and are generalized statements (or generalizations) rather than ultimate facts related to specific women; in other words, they may not be true for every woman. While most women lack the necessary physical strength, some may be strong enough to perform in combat situations and they may even be able to meet the male fitness requirements.

Likewise, it may be argued that the ability to cope with stress is a characteristic that varies between individuals, regardless of gender. In addition, it is important to realize that being in combat is an extremely difficult time for every human being, whether it is a man or a woman. Therefore, it would not be correct to generally exclude women from front line fighting on account of characteristics that, in reality, are possessed by both men and women, though to a different extent.*

Considering all the arguments, it can be seen that women should be allowed to enter combat; it would be wrong to keep them from combat situations because of the traditional image they are associated with. Rather, they should be judged on the basis of their abilities and personal characteristics.

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