Women in Combat?

Introduced: December 04 2012


Should women be allowed to serve in combat positions in the military? Four women currently serving in the military -- two of them with Purple Hearts -- think so, and the ACLU has filed a law suit on their behalf to change the rules.


Do you think women should be allowed in combat? Yes or No?

Why or why not?


Note From IWD: "Weigh-Ins" are no longer an active feature on IWD. Our members expressed a preference for longer dialogues. The content of the previous Weigh-Ins remains on the site for your enjoyment and enlightenment. 


Member Responses

Note from IWD: Since this IWD weigh-in, there has been a significant development. On January 23, according to a Reuters story in the Chicago Tribune: 

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has decided to lift the military's ban on women serving in combat, a move that could open thousands of front-line jobs to women, a senior U.S. defense official said.

The decision, which will be formally announced later, would give the individual military services until 2016 to seek an exemption if they believe any jobs should remain closed to women, the official said.

"This policy change will initiate a process whereby the services will develop a plan to implement this decision, which was made by the secretary of defense upon recommendation of the Joint Chiefs of Staff," the official said.

The decision overturns a 1994 policy that prevents women from serving in small front-line combat units.


IWD Weigh-In prior to the decision by the Secretary of Defense:

The question of whether women should be involved in military combat roles has been superceded by other issues since the ACLU and four service women filed a lawsuit at the end of November. When the issue comes back around, IWD will follow it and provide updates.

Here's how some IWD members weighed in:


Back in February of 2012, when he was still running for President (Rick Santorum (remember him?.?) said that women shouldn't serve in combat because of the emotions of men; specifically, he explained, because the whole system would get messed up because of men's natural instinct to protect women.


I remember reading a while back, when I was in the raising teenagers phase an theory on why kids now talk back to their parents in ways they wouldn't dare to in the past . The theory was that parents lost submission from their kids when wives began speaking up to their husbands.


I'm not sure about that, but in the same vein and regarding women in combat I worry about something a little bit. As American women enter combat, it's likely that women from other countries will, too. maybe they already have. And I have trouble picturing my own sons and other young men I know being able to cold-heartedly attack and hurt a young woman on the opposite side.

And as that translates to life back home, it seems women and children used to be spared from violence,such as gang fights or armed robberies..." let the women and children go..." and I wonder if the rules will change more than they already have. I wonder if we women are ready to give that up.


What about the relative physical strength of men and women? Would women be held to the same standards?

I think as a society, we are beginning to realize that there are significant differences between human beings and that gender isn't the only way to categorize people. Some wormen are probably much more suited to the military than some men, but it will take some time to weed all that out.