She’s the Right Man For the Job

Anything you can do, I can do better! Well, I can at least try now. Recently, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta removed the US military ban on women in combat. This opens up hundreds of thousands of positions on the front line. Will changes happen overnight? No, but they’re in place. They’re happening. And we’re talking about it. Slowly, “equal rights” continue to become more concrete.

Strength. Stamina. Stereotypes. Can women beat them? Or rather, can women beat the way the world perceives them? It won’t be easy, but dammit, some women are going to try. History shows that we aren’t going down without a fight. Like the title of this post says, sometimes the right man for the job is a woman. As the military finally catches up to the 21st century, there’s not really a good reason to exclude women from the same roles as men anymore.

“Not every woman makes a good soldier, but not every man makes a good soldier. So women will compete. We’re not asking that standards be lowered. We’re saying that if they can be effective and they can be a good soldier or a good Marine in that particular operation, then give them a shot.” –U.S. Representative Loretta Sanchez, D-Calif.

There are some things we’re going to have to get used to. Strong, outspoken disagreement with women in the same roles as men is one. And the media sensationalizing women who die in combat will be another. Not everyone will support this ban being lifted, and many will question females’ abilities to serve. But as a woman, I can say it’s nice to feel supported. It’s nice to feel that promises of the President’s inaugural speech are being kept. It’s nice that even though I don’t plan to serve in combat, I could if I wanted to.

I hope women in combat feel supported. I hope they feel important, confident, proud and know that we are proud of them. And, I hope Kathryn Bigelow makes a movie about this in ten years. But enough from me. What do you think? If a person – male or female – is physically and mentally fit for a position, should they be allowed to have it? Or are some things reserved for men with good reason?

Featured image via ShutterStock

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