Whether anyone wants to admit the truth or not, the fact of the matter is is that women are still to a large degree 2nd-class citizens. They don’t get paid equally for doing the same job, they’re still treated as possessions in the minds of men, and they are still excluded from performing certain jobs. Perhaps the reason why women don’t get paid as much is that they get pregnant and stay home after having their first child, perhaps it’s because they go home early to take care of their children, perhaps its because they put their family first. And, the reason that women are still viewed as possessions in the minds of men is because historically that’s what women were, possessions, and history never changed because fundamentally we haven’t made an effort to change things.
Unfortunately or otherwise, the reality of the matter is is that, at least in our country, the women are treated as second class citizens, because they are. I’m sure most of you are outraged at this notion, but it is, in fact, a reality that we cannot escape. There may be many reasons for this phenomena, but one that I think is crucially important is the fact that women have not died for our country like men have. Yes, there were a handful of women who died in almost all of the wars that America fought, if not in all of the wars that America fought in. However, this was not the whole sale massacre that men suffered throughout the centuries.
For this reason and this reason alone, women cannot say that they fought for their country, bled for their country, defended their country, protected their country, nor even have the ability to do so. And, this last point is the really big sticking point, because not all men have served their country on the front lines either. But, the difference is that men have a choice, but women don’t. Obviously this is changing gradually, but it is not fast enough and it should have been changed a long time ago. Women too must have the right to not only fight for and defend their country, but also to have the choice to do so or not to do so, equally with their male counterparts. Then and only then will women really have equal standing in society, otherwise they are only second class citizens and rightly and correctly so.
Of course the fear is that women in combat are susceptible to more atrocities than their male counterparts, because they could be raped by the enemy when captured and this could present a more horrific prospect for female soldiers than their male counterparts, who are unlikely to face such treatment. However, this is the choice that female soldiers have to accept and be willing to risk, if they want to have full participation in our armed forces. The only question is should we allow mixed gender units or segregated units and again the answer is a simple one: Mixed gender. If for no other reason than that the armed forces of the USA must view each member as a soldier, sailor, airman, marine or coast guarder and not a male or female. In other words, the US military must be gender blind. This does not mean that men and women should share the same showers, but then again out in the middle of the battlefield are men and women going to have separate his and her bathrooms and showers?
The last thing is that male soldiers must be taught to think about their female counterpart as just another soldier, sailor, airman, marine or coast guarder, and not to get protective or look down on them. However, for this to occur, society, in general, must first accept that both male and female service people are equal and interchangeable. Then and only then can the military finally and fully integrate and make women truly and absolutely equal to men. Obviously this isn’t the only issue that needs to be resolved to truly equalize men and women in America, but I believe that there is no more fundamental issue than women having the right to claim that they fought and bled for their country, they went out to protect their country against all enemies, and that they defended their fellow citizens against all harm.
So, the only question is why hasn’t this happened yet? Because women’s right to equality in ALL respects should have been implemented a long time ago.
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