So you want to be equal? – Amanda Green
Not that long ago, Ashton Carter, Secretary of Defense, made the decision that all jobs in the military should be open to both sexes. There would be no exceptions. In order to make job titles more inclusive, they would no longer be sexist in their names. In other words, you would no longer be a rifleman, for example. We were going to enter an age of a more something military – I’m not sure what really, but by golly, we were going there.
Don’t get me wrong. I firmly believe there are roles in the military that have been exclusively male that should be open to both sexes. However, I am also sure there are some that should not, at least not if it means the qualifications for that job have to be lowered just to let women take part. Let’s face it, there are differences – mentally and physically – between men and women and that has to be taken into account.
When you start changing the names of jobs and job descriptions simply because said name isn’t “inclusive”, that’s when you are bending over too far. If someone applying for the job of carrying a rifle into battle is upset because they will be called a rifleman instead of a riflewoman or rifleperson, well, they need to toughen up. This is the military you’re in, not some posh social club. There are edges to it that shouldn’t be softened, edges that will help keep you on your toes and will toughen you up for battle.
Yes, battle. As a military mother, my daily prayer is that my son never has to go into battle but I also accept that it is a very real possibility. More that than, I am proud that he made the decision to step up and take up arms to protect this country I love so much. I am even more proud of the fact he is considering making the military his career.
However, I also remember the discussion we had when it came time for him to register for a draft we don’t have but that might one day be resumed. Like so many of his generation, he had never seen anyone be drafted. He knew it had existed but he had never had to sit through the fear and excitement of waiting to find out if his number would be called. I remember the brothers of friends, as well as my male cousins, had made that wait years ago. I remember so many young men leaving the country, a country they supposedly loved, in order to avoid the draft. Some did so by fleeing to Canada. Others “went to school” overseas. But that isn’t the real point of this post, although it is a good place to start.
The feminists won a battle when SecDef ordered all jobs in the military to be open to everyone, no matter what their sex. Again, my biggest issue with this is that I don’t think we should lower the qualifications for any of the job simply to make sure women are included. If history has proven that a solider needs to be able to haul so many pounds of gear, than he – or she – should be able to do so, no matter who they are, what they are or what they believe. That requirement will help keep not only that particular soldier or Marine alive but also their squad mates. Unless and until technology changes so that the historic requirements are no longer valid, we need to stick to them. We might not be “at war” now but we are still putting boots on the ground in hostile territory. I guran-damn-tee you the day will come when it will be more than a few thousand boots. We will “go to war” down the road and shouldn’t we put the most qualified person in each position?
However, that is down the road. The here and now is what we need to look at. If SecDef is going to open all jobs to both sexes, that’s his decision. However, if you want to be completely fair, there is another step that needs to be taken. One I have yet to hear any avowed feminist demanding.
Women need to be required to register for the draft just as men are.
Let me say that again, if women want to be considered the equal to men in the military, they need to be required to register for the draft just as men are.
As I said, I haven’t heard the hue and cry for this to happen. Certainly not like I’ve heard the calls for the requirements to be a SEAL or Ranger to be dropped so women could graduate from those training classes. I haven’t heard it with any of the fervor I’ve heard the feminists applaud Carter’s decision to start renaming jobs to take the “man” out of the title or descriptions.
And that is part of my problem with those who keep telling us they want only equality between the sexes. They want to be able to get the same job as a male counter-part without having to actually meet the same requirements (not all the time but for the purposes of the military, in many situations). They want to be treated as equals but not. How many of those who have applauded Carter’s actions would do so if he signed off on our teen girls having to register like our teen boys do?
Or would this be a situation of being equal only on the feminists’ terms – we’ll be equal if we made the independent decision to enlist but we don’t want to be forced to join the military should a draft ever be reinstituted.
They want to talk the talk but not walk the walk, not completely. And that, my friends, pisses me off.
Yes, I am female and proud of it. Yes, I believe I should get the same pay for doing the same job a man with similar education and qualifications gets. But note the qualifiers there. We should have similar education and work backgrounds and be doing basically the same job to get the same pay. I should not expect to make as much as someone, male or female, who has more education that is applicable to the job and who has worked in that job or one similar for longer than I have. I especially should not expect it if he is doing a better job than I am.
I believe I should have the same opportunity to try for a job I’m qualified for as any man with the same or similar – or better – qualifications. I should be judged on my ability to do that job and not be given an extra point simply because of my gender. Why should an employer be forced to hire a less qualified employee simply because of that person’s gender?
I am more than glad that women have been making inroads in the military. But it bothers me to no end that our elite units are lowering their standards simply to make sure women can join them. Again, if tech has increased to off-set those lower standards without putting the other members of the unit in danger while out on a mission, that’s fine. But I haven’t seen anything that shows that.
Were I young enough to be considered for military service today, I would be out there asking why I wasn’t being allowed to register for the draft like my male counterparts. No, I’m not a Feminist but I am a feminist. If the boys I went to school with have to register for the draft, so should I. I love my country as much, and more in some instances, than they do. I am willing to do whatever is necessary to protect this country for its enemies. That means I should also be willing to step up and watch as my number is pulled in the draft as they would should the draft be reintituted.
Again, where are the calls for the registration to be extended to women? Oh, I know where it is, it is here, with those who know what the military is like. It isn’t with those who are patting themselves on the back for all the rest of it.
So here’s my response to you. Put your life and the lives of your daughters and sisters and nieces where your mouth is. Put it where the lives of your sons and brothers and nephews are. Stand up and demand of the SecDef, demand of their Representatives and Senators, demand of the presidential candidates that draft registration become “equal” and require males and females to step up and sign up and do their duty to this country of ours.