Navy wins with women over army
The U.S. Navy has repealed one of its few remaining gender barriers as it has announced it will allow the first woman to serve on a submarine by 2012. (Yippee!) In the 16 years that women have been allowed to serve on Navy service ships, submarines have been kept off limits because of the long tours and lack of privacy on board, according to the Washington Post.
Rear Admiral Barry Bruner, who led the task force on lifting the ban and integrating women onto submarines, brushed aside concerns over sexual misconduct or unintended pregnancy, and the ability for women to “deal with” long tours and a lack of privacy, and said “We’re going to look back on this four or five years from now, shrug our shoulders and say, ‘What was everybody worrying about?’”
I agree, Rear Admiral Bruner, I agree.
It has been far too long that this ban, and similar bans, have existed within the military and I am glad to see they are slowly being dismantled piece by piece.
I hope that the Army follows suit by eventually lifting the ban on women taking on combat positions. And of course, I will now take this opportunity to express my frustration with this ban…
I’m sick of the attitude in the military that your strength and intelligence and overall military capabilities are in some way related to your gender or sexuality. To imply that by being a woman, you are inherently unqualified to be a combat soldier is just as ridiculous as the implication that by being a man, you are automatically, in some capacity, qualified to be in a combat position.
Discrimination on the basis of gender and sexuality has long been unacceptable and illegal in the work place. I understand that the military is an exceptional community, but I don’t think that in regards to discrimination, the military should be granted an exception.
If you can pass the fitness tests, if you possess leadership skills, if you are healthy, if you are sane and if you are willing, you should be allowed in the military — any branch, any position that you may be qualified for — regardless of gender or sexuality (or age, or race, or education, etc.)
There are women in this country who absolutely can meet fitness standards to fight on the front lines. And there are absolutely women who would do it (has anyone seen G.I. Jane? So good). This is not to say that once the ban is lifted, all of our “mothers and daughters” that we’re so worried about will immediately enlist demanding to be put in the trenches, but it does mean that the women who have dedicated their lives to the military and to serve our country will be able to do so without limitation.
The Navy has realized that women (rule!) and, if given the opportunity, can prove to be just as qualified, just as willing and just as able to fight alongside the men.
Hopefully the integration of women onto submarines will help show this country and its military leaders that we (the U.S.) are ready for integration and that having a woman on a ship or in the trenches is not a big deal. And we can only hope that we will have the opportunity to prove the same for sexual minorities.
Air Force, you beat Army AND Navy. You go USAF, you go.
Posted in The F Word