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The role of women in the military Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Kayamone A. Sutton, United States Apr 26, 2008
Human Rights   Opinions


“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” These words represent the foundation upon which our country was created. Justice, equality, and the ability to live a free life with few hindrances from government are something that reflects the American way. We respect and admire those who give their lives to protect this foundation, men and women alike, but we must ask ourselves, while we respect and admire these people, why are we forcing our females, the same females who belong to this country, to fight for equality? Why do we openly defend refusing them the opportunity to obtain equal status in the same military that defends the very foundation that this great nation was built upon? Hypocritical isn’t it? Let us examine both sides of the argument to gain a better insight of how each side of the argument thinks and reasons on this issue.

Espousers of the idea that the military should not allow females to advance in rank and duty, let alone be active participants in the military, argue that according to the numbers, there has been a steady increase in the number of reported female rapes, sexual assaults, and harassments within military training bases, which has caused much concern to arise over whether females should be allowed to actively serve in the military. Some conservative Republicans in Congress surmise that this increase in reports vindicates an end to a gender-blind, modern American military and that we should resort back to a time when we did not have women holding many positions within the military, save nurses and other medical staff.

Those who support a fully gender-integrated military effectively argue that the numbers of reported gender related crimes is on a steady decrease. In fact, since 1988, between 1988 and 1995, the percentage of military women who reported that they had received uninvited and unwanted sexual attention from someone at work decreased from 64% to under 50%. Proponents of a fully gender-blind military also argue that the reason why there are so many reports of sexual misconduct within the military is because of the fact that there just aren’t enough women in the military at all ranks: unless females are treated as equals to men, the men will continue to mistreat our females.

There is one obstacle that prevents a full integration of women in the military... The US Congress. That’s right, our very own Congress refuses to fully gender-integrate the military. Their excuse? Women cannot match the level of physical and mental pressure that their male counterparts can. They believe that females are more liable to crack under pressure and are prone to let their judgment impair the decisions they make out on the battlefield and in other situations.

This kind of thinking is condescending, demeaning, and goes against the very principles that form the foundation that this nation was built upon. If we, as Americans, wish to progress as a people, we MUST allow ourselves to stop discriminating against those of different races and of the opposite sex. If we wish for our military to be even stronger than it already is, we must allow all those qualified to be leaders to step up, regardless of skin color and/or race. We must not allow ourselves to fall back into a period of discrimination. For we have seen the effects of discrimination that has for the over two centuries of this county’s existence divided us and caused us to go into a bloody civil war.

We owe it to our ancestors, we owe it to our females, and we owe it to all those who gave their lives- so that all Americans could live to be equal, regardless of age, gender, or race- to stop the discrimination. If we allow ourselves to permit discrimination against a single group of people, we are justifying discrimination against any group of people. If we allow our women to be discriminated against in the military, a lot more is at stake than most may realize. This issue, the issue of the discrimination of a minority, if left unchecked and unsolved, will be the issue that tears America apart. Let us remember, we are our own enemies. Only we have the ability to destroy ourselves and we cannot permit this to happen.



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Writer Profile
Kayamone A. Sutton

My name is Kayamone Sutton. I was born and raised in Flint, Michigan (USA). I am currently 21 years old and am serving in the United States Navy as an Operations Specialist stationed onboard the USS San Jacinto (CG-56) a guided missile cruiser based out of Norfolk, Virginia.

I am currently working on my bachelors degree in International Relations. My current long range goal is to one day become President of the United States. My current short-term goal is to run for Mayor of Flint, Michigan upon completion of my time serving in the US Navy.

free woman
Rana | Aug 18th, 2008
women main function is to raise kids

Dyan Aimee Mabunga Rodriguez | May 2nd, 2008
I believe you will be President one day and you will be a great, honest President for your ideals and for your concern towards gender equality.

the implementation of gener equality in the military
Amanda Hicks | Jul 2nd, 2008
I agree that their is indeed a need for both genders to be represented in the military. I am a Canadian citizen but our country has by no means achieved equal representation of both sexes. The integration of both sexes in the military is however a very complicated process. How should fitness regulations and routines be adjusted for women.It is difficult to conceive of a system where women have the exact same fitness requirements as men, so how do we achieve an equal system that is not identical? Then we face the problem of housing troops should the genders be segregated to prevent sexual abuse? or is that unequal treatment, that further distances women from other troops. I agree completely with the philosophy of an inclusive military but i am certain logistically it will be difficult to achieve.

My two cents
Adanna Chigbo | Apr 12th, 2012
I am a female and I wholly support equity and the absence of discrimination of any kind but I think there are times when we forgo sensibility and logical reasoning in the name of supporting that which is in the mainstream media now: gender equality. I think the US Congress' "excuse" for not fully committting to gender-integration is sensible and actually based on evidence. As such, this is one of those cases where I have to agree with them. With regards to the issue of race, however, I completely agree with you. Those problems are culturally-constructed by man... for the most part, they are not biological givens. In such cases, NO excuse would ever be valid. Period.

Becoming Mayor of Flint ?!!?!! - Me too
Adanna Chigbo | Apr 12th, 2012
I watched a video in High school Economics class detailing the negative effects the GM Motors leaving Flint had had on the economy. Funny thing is I also aspired to be mayor of Flint the day I watched that movie to "right the wrongs" I saw present there. I felt the government had taken the wrong approaches (by erecting a hotel on shaky economic foudnations and insufficient planning) for instance. Back then in high school, I had gone home mind-mapping all the things I would do when I became Mayor of Flint. I even searched up the current Mayor-- the Walling guy-- to see what he had done to make him so unique (I don't think it was his scholarship to Oxford). What am I trying to say? Learn from the mistakes in history and make sure you stand out somehow. Maybe there are many more people out there who want to be mayor of Flint but make sure that YOU are personally driven by the right objectives in your wanting the position. Goodluck in all your endeavors!

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