Today: Jun 17, 2024

Women now on the front line

Photo Courtesy | theatlantic.com On Jan. 24, Defence Secretary Panetta said women can be on the front lines of combat.

Kelsey MixCopy Editor

In recent news, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced that women are now allowed to serve on the front lines in combat in the Marine Corps.

When hearing this news, I was satisfied, but not overjoyed–seeing as I’m not the biggest supporter of war in general. So I began talking to people and researching to find out exactly how other people have been responding to this policy change. Not only did I find supporters, but I also knew this would cause a lot of backlash.

Some of my friends were all for women on the front lines. A step towards equal rights? Why not? But some, on the other hand, weren’t so thrilled. Now, I know we can’t all agree on one standpoint for any major event or issue that comes up in the news today, so naturally, I was curious to find out more.

Photo Courtesy  |  theatlantic.comOn Jan. 24, Defence Secretary Panetta said women can be on the front lines of combat.
Photo Courtesy | theatlantic.com
On Jan. 24, Defence Secretary Panetta said women can be on the front lines of combat.

In an article in the Washington Post, they focused on the 17 to 22 percent of Marine Corps men who feel they would leave the Corps if women joined them on the front lines. But men aren’t the only ones who have contemplated quitting their jobs if women were involuntarily placed in these positions.

According to that article, “Seventeen percent of female Marines said they would end their careers with the Corps if women are placed in combat roles involuntarily.” I can’t tell if this disappoints me or if I sympathize with these women. Women are now given the equal opportunity to fight for our country in combat just as men have always been able to do. I view this as a huge milestone in our country, and to find out that only about 31 percent of women in the Marine Corps are willing to move up to these positions disheartens me. This is an opportunity that I didn’t think would come around for at least twenty more years, and some women are willing to throw it all away.

In an article from thedailybeast.com, a survey revealing Marine men’s concerns with women joining the front lines was released. Sexual harassment, women’s personal issues, fraternization, pregnancy or special treatment were among the concerns raised by these men.

The women of the Marines were also surveyed and expressed their concerns with women being on the front lines; hygiene requirements and being targeted by enemies for P.O.W. to name a few. These, as well as other issues, presented themselves in this survey and while they are important to consider, women should still be given the same rights as men.

Miami Herald writer Susan Reimer expressed her opinions in an article titled A mother’s lament on women in combat, and I feel she addressed the new policy quite well. Being a mother of a son and a daughter, she thinks that both of them should be able to pursue their career paths without any limitations, and to that, she is pleased. But she also raised the point that she is neither, “more willing to sacrifice one child than the other.” And that’s how I feel about this situation. I get it, it’s never going to be rainbows and butterflies between everyone all the time. War is going to happen; it’s unavoidable. Right now at least.

It believe that the Pentagon took a step in the right direction when making this decision. I hope that this will spark something across the world and one day war will be but a disturbing memory and we’ll have world peace. Hey, I can dream, can’t I? The way I see it, we can’t afford to lose any more lives than we already have and sacrifice more American people that are loved by friends and family back home. As John Lennon once said, “I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will live as one.”

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