Should Women Fight on the Frontlines? Essay

Submitted By goldieluva101
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Pages: 7

Should Women Fight On The Frontlines? Everyone is familiar with the Disney movie Mulan. “Let’s get down to business to defeat the Huns” (Mulan). The Disney movie is about a young girl who goes to war disguised as her father to take his place so that he would not have to fight in the war. However, this is not reality. In today’s society there is no way any girl could simply cut off all her hair and pretend to be a man to go to battle. Later on in the song it describes what it takes to be a man. The lyrics goes something like this; “must be swift as coursing river, with all the force of a great typhoon, and with all the strength of a raging fire” (Mulan). While some women may meet this definition of a man, most people are likely to agree that many women would not. Generally speaking, women simply are not physically or mentally strong enough to face combat. There are also concerns in regards to men and women getting along with one another and how those challenges could possibly lead to serious consequences on the battlefield. There has been a copious amount of publicity lately on the subject of whether women should be able to fight on the frontlines. The controversy is whether it violates women’s rights or not to say they cannot fight. People need to be educated about the bigger picture. While it is still very important that women be given equal rights, national safety should not be compromised in spite of it. First of all, female recruits just simply do not meet the physical fitness standards. In 1993, the Marine Corps tested the idea of gender-integrated training for three months, and throughout the entire study the officers observed that while the women were pushing themselves to their limits the men were not (Billingsley). Men need to be challenged and pushed to their limits to weed out the weaker ones and challenge the stronger ones to become the best of the best so they can protect the country. In addition to struggling during training, studies have shown that women have half the upper body strength than that of a man, are four times more likely to break a bone, they are slower at learning new things, and have injury rates up to fourteen times that of men. Even if a woman did push herself to those limits it is debatable whether she would be capable of meeting the physical demands of war. Besides the fact that women are not physically capable of carrying on the task, we must also ask ourselves the question “how much could she endure”? Even those who do pass the physical strength test are bound to break at some point. Neither men nor women last forever, however men endure longer (Petronio). For example, a woman, assuming she has met the optimal physical fitness standards, in combat as an infantryman, is likely to suffer various types of medical problems after approximately five years of duty. She could be suffering from back problems, knee problems, or even mental trauma from all the suffering she has experienced. Again, men also have this chance of lifelong consequences; however women have greater risks. Additionally, it is a well known fact that to be promoted in the military one must have combat experience. This would negatively affect a woman's physical well-being. Therefore, any woman interested in promoting in the military must ask herself, "Is it worth the cost"? Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (also known as PTSD) is defined as “a type of anxiety disorder that can occur after you have seen or experienced a traumatic event that involved the threat of injury or death… Veterans returning home from a war often have PTSD” (Vorvick). Women are over twice as likely to get post traumatic stress disorder as men, and it is usually more severe and with an increased amount of triggers (Chapman). Take the example of a woman who just returned from her third tour in Iraq where she witnessed a car bomb that blew up everyone in her unit with the exception of herself. She returns and attends a fourth of July celebration