Last month the Pentagon lifted the ban on women in combat, allowing women on the front lines (and potentially in a selective service draft)
The feminist in me says, “Hurray! Equal rights for girls.”
The mom in me says, “WHOA there, fellas! Not my daughter! She’s kind and gentle and does not want to kill strangers.”
Keep in mind my daughter is three, but for whatever reason the news that this change could mean women would suddenly be considered for the draft sent me into such a tailspin I cried at work, y’all. Over something I have no control and doesn’t affect me for at least 15 years, if ever.
I’ve finally got the mental space to devote to this post, and decided to ask my friend Amiyrah who is in the military and a women what she thinks because obviously I need some perspective.
Q: First, Tell me your military story in your own words. Say anything you want here. Just help me (and my readers understand what it’s like to be a real woman serving in the military.
Whew, that’s a lot of questions! lol I hope I get them all in but if I miss something, let me know.
I joined the military in in Aoril of 2001 when I was 18. My Dad was in the military for 20 years, so I ended up joining in the Air National Guard in Atlantic City, NJ where he was. I decided to join because they would pay for me to go to college. Actually, in the National Guard, they PAY YOU to go to college, so I felt it was the best way to get my degree and not have to work while I was in school. One weekend a month, 2 weeks a year and that was it. Then in September, all of that changed. But that’s another story.
Q: What does it mean to be “on the front line?”
Being “on the front line” is essentially reserved for jobs that are in direct harms way. Jobs like being a paratrooper, being in infantry or a Navy Seal. Women have been banned from these positions since they were allowed to join the military.
Q: How do you feel about the recent change allowing women to be drafted and on to serve on the front lines? Can you help me understand this issue?
I have really strong feelings about the lift on the ban, mostly positive. Although, women have been “in combat” this whole time, especially in our current war, so all of the uproar upsets me. I wrote about it on BlogHer here: Dear Feminists- I’m already a woman in combat.
The view from Amiyrah’s work space is vastly different than the (non-existent) view from mine.
The issues that keep popping up about lifting the ban on combat positions is that some are assuming women are not physically built to do these jobs.
It’s also been tossed around that women are “too emotional” for positions that require a “stone face and steal balls.” It’s objectifying women, again, as dainty things that should be behind the lines at a desk.
Then there’s also the super religious folks that claim this is the demise of man, since the woman and mother will be put directly in harms way, possibly leaving children orphaned.
The underlying issue is that if women are put into these positions, it removes the glass ceiling in the military, since the highest ranks in the military can only be attained by those that have served in combat.
Q: What about women being drafted? Is this a possibility and how do you feel about it?
That has always been a possibility. It’s just that now if the draft is reinstated, we may be put into combat positions. The big question is the idea of women being drafted more drastic than knowing that a young man just getting out of high school could be drafted as well? I see the same amount of tragedy in both. My son and my daughter will have the same chance and if I lost my daughter to war rather than my son wouldn’t make me sadder. I’d be equally upset.
Thank you, Amiyrah, for your honest and open answers. I appreciate you more than you know.
For more information on women in combat and the selective service draft:
Evolved Mommy is about tech and gadgets as the relate to family life. We talk about Apple products like iPads, iPhones and pretty cases for iPads and iPhones. We talk about gadgets for the home like Nest thermostats and Roombas. We talk about nonsense and life in Northwest Arkansas. Whatever.