It's official: Women can now serve in combat roles

The American Dream lives on with gender equality in the military. Why are so many people against this? Photo: Associated Press

FLORIDA, January 27, 2013 — At long last, the time has come. Women enlisted in the U.S. Military are finally able to serve in combat roles. This has generated quite a bit of controversy, and it appears that most negative feelings on the subject are held by men.

Women have served in the military for decades. Even as far back as World War II, some were service pilots for the Army Air Forces. Over the last ten years, there has been no shortage of stories about the heroism of female soldiers. Considering all of this, why on earth shouldn’t women be able to fight alongside men?

History has shown that women are not only capable, but courageous soldiers. Without them, there is no telling how less secure our country would be. Any reason for women not being able to serve in combat seems to fall far short of the twenty-first century, so to speak.

Many fear that bringing full gender equality to the military is a large-scale social experiment. Of course, the military is not the place for blind experimentation. But why is allowing women to hold the same roles as men considered an experiment? Women already have a rich heritage in the military. 

Today, the dreams of so many who have felt the oppression of a glass ceiling can finally be realized.

Leon Panetta has earned a place in history for making this happen. While most secretaries of defense are relegated to the history books after their term comes to an end, he will surely be remembered as a voice for women’s rights. Who could ask for a better legacy than that?

Those who oppose women serving our country in the military as men do will say what they say. People who take that position probably share anti-feminist and anti-reproductive rights views as well. Perhaps the case against women in combat roles is essentially the case against gender equality.

There can be little doubt that the American social landscape is changing before our very eyes. Not all of these changes are for the better. Is it so good that people increasingly send text messages rather than letters or phone calls, or rather than simply getting up to walk down the hall? Whatever happened to the communal aspect of communication?

That women in the military can now achieve their fullest potentials is one of the changes for the better; it ought to be a cause for celebration, not concern. Modernism might sometimes move too fast for the mainstream to keep up with, but this should not be considered an example of that.

Indeed, women being able to serve in combat is a monumental step forward for this nation. 

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Joseph Cotto

Joseph F. Cotto is a social journalist by trade and student of history by lifestyle choice. He hails from central Florida, writing about political, economic, and social issues of the day. In the past, he was a contributor to Blogcritics Magazine, among other publications. He is currently at work on a book about American society.

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