Persuasive Essay :)

Combat Barbies

Women should not be allowed in the front lines of combat. Women have less natural strength and endurance needed for the front lines. Their presence in the military could have detrimental effects on morale and fellow soldiers. There are many other options to serve the country other than fighting. Phyllis Schlafly says, “History offers no evidence for the proposition that the assignment of women to military combat jobs is the way to win wars, improve combat readiness, or promote national security.”

Women’s natural muscle and stamina needs to be buffed up considerably before she is even close to her male counterpart. The average woman is 5’ 7’’ and weighs 143 pounds. Women have 40 percent less muscle mass than men and 25 percent less aerobic capacity, making them more susceptible to fatigue. The average woman is five inches shorter than the average man. In addition, women are 30 percent more prone to physical injuries, such as sprains, concussions, and stress fractures. During adolescence, boys develop more muscle and lose fat. Girls  acquire more fat and become more flexible. The ligaments loosen, allowing increased flexibility, but this can also cause injury when the muscle is worked. Also, women tend to run more knock-kneed because of the wider hip base, which can make quick turns and jumping hard and injurious. Because of these limitations, many military jobs are not suitable for women. In a few cases, a woman may be able to meet the requirements for front-line combat, such as carrying the wounded or throwing a grenade, but most women are not physically suited to such work. Although women are not as physically suited to war, the psychological effects on women are not that different than the effects on men. It makes no difference which gender shoots the enemy, as long as the enemy is shot. Kristin Henderson says, “Zero in on the act of taking a life, and the pros and cons change. Strength becomes largely irrelevant at the moment of killing in modern warfare. With today’s weaponry, if you can move your finger, you can pull a trigger.“

A woman’s presence on the front lines could be detrimental to her colleagues. The nature of men is to protect. Missions could be put in danger if men act foolishly to protect women in their units. Women in units might distract other soldiers who have romantic interest in them. Also, women could be a liability if pregnant. 10 percent of U.S. active duty female personnel are unavailable for service because of pregnancy. It would only be fair for women to be included in the draft if they were allowed in the army, and this could be destructive to America’s families. Studies have proved that women are more easily stressed, and this could endanger troops if a woman panics or is captured. Also, women are at more of a risk for abuse if captured in war. In addition, much can be learned from countries which have placed women in combat, like the USSR and Israel. Both countries repealed the acts that allowed women to fight, not because of the women, who were perfectly capable, but because of the men around them. Seeing women killed or wounded made many soldiers lose control and do foolish things. The sight of a woman soldier being killed or tortured can make a man go completely insane with an irrepressible protective and aggressive instinct, as shown in a study by the Israeli army.(WND) The Israeli army witnessed the same effect when they integrated females into the military.

However, there are other tasks that women are perfectly suited to in wartime. Smaller and more flexible soldiers are often needed for covert missions. Women must be present to search other women when it is not proper for men to do so, as in Iraq. Women can also be more communicative and friendly, which is helpful in secret operations where a cover is required. The level of technology in warfare also provides more tasks for women that do not require fighting on the front lines. A low enlistment level calls for more opportunities for women in the Armed Forces. Women are essential in “Low-Intensity conflicts”.(Debatepedia) 

Because of the possible dangers and detriments women would face or cause the army to face, it is probably best for the United States to allow them in the military, but not in the battles on front lines. Capt. Scott A. Cuomo, a commander of 270 Marines in Afghanistan said, “Can she do it? Some might. I don’t know if this sounds bad, but I kind of look at everything through my wife. Is that my wife’s job? No. My job is to make sure my wife is safe.” Hopefully everyone will feel that way someday.

 

Bibliography:

http://debatepedia.idebate.org/en/index.php/Debate:_Women_in_combat

http://www.military.com/opinion/0,15202,163773,00.html

http://www.wnd.com/2001/08/10269/

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/10/us/pentagon-to-loosen-restrictions-on-women-in-combat.html

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