Gender Equality In The United States Military

Submitted By dwalke
Words: 2157
Pages: 9

Danielle Walker
History 210
12 December 2013

Gender Equality in the United States Military
Women have been breaking their backs in the military for hundreds of years, and yet we still do not learn this in a classroom setting. Whether it is in nursing, nurturing, or on the bloody fields of U.S. soil during the Civil War, women have been a tremendous help in the success of the military. There are many tests that state that women are not strong enough to survive in war, but some beg to differ. Women should have complete equality in the military, meaning there should be no laws restraining them from front line combat. Also simple things such as feminine health care should be a priority for those women risking their lives for their country. Some of the strongest figures in the world are women, and they are capable of anything any man can do. Women have been fighting in battles since the times of the ancient Egyptians, but they are still not as equal as men in this area. Today many military men, and citizens of the United States, believe that women in the military should be kept off out of front line combat. Though there have been signs of progression in the Marine Corps, Army, Navy, and so on, there are still laws that prohibit women from front line combat. There are many people who speak out on this topic, with a sexist view. An example of this would be Gary North, a Christian Reconstructionist and Economic Historian, who wrote the article, “The Case Against Women in the Military.” He explains that “a man cannot rely on a woman the way he relies on a man” (North). This is clearly an opinion; some say that a man can rely on a woman leading a platoon, with a role similar to a matriarch. His view could also be translated to mean that a woman cannot rely on a man in combat, but this would never be admitted. The meaning of that is that some people are so set in their ways, that it is almost impossible to change their view. This proves the point, that North and many others are sexist. From the legal standpoint, women’s roles in the military have changed. In the past they have served only as nurses and other nurturing roles. Also they have served as “camp followers,” which is a term that refers to a women that would travel with the troops and sexually exploit herself for the benefit of her many male counterparts. A man like North comes off as if he wishes this is the way it still was, when he does not give credit to the women that serve as pilots, intelligence officers, and much more. “Women should be removed from the military chain of command, top to bottom” (North). This is an example of how North is totally against the idea of women in the military. Women do not receive the credit they deserve in the military. Though many say the U.S. Military is equal, on the contrary women do not even receive the proper health care. The health care in the military seems very biased. The proper reproductive health care and contraceptives are not granted to women. This can severely affect their performance, which is not at the fault of the woman. This is not something that a man has to deal with. “Damage Control: Unintended Pregnancy in the United States Military,” written by Kathryn L. Ponder, and Melissa Nothnagle is an article that supports this argument. “About 10% of active duty female service members become pregnant each year” (Ponder). This statistic shows that contraceptives are not given out to woman nearly enough. Being that women are at the risk of getting pregnant, they should be provided protection even more than men are provided. Poor distribution and poor education of contraception leads to “higher rates of unintended pregnancies and an increased need for abortion services” (Ponder). This becomes a huge hassle for both the woman and the military and is ultimately the effect of inequality in the U.S. Military. One reason why women do not have the respect of every person when it comes