I know web polls are garbage. And yet on the History Channel’s web page today, I came across this whopper:
Should female troops be barred from engaging in ground combat in all branches of the military?
Wow. That’s a terrible question. The results?
|Total Votes: 12,633|
I have two things to say here.
First, women are already in combat. The only issue is whether we acknowledge this or not. They may not serve in infantry platoons, but they’re the gunners in HUMVEE convoys, they’re being ambushed, shelled, bombed, and they’re shooting back. Pretending that this isn’t the case only denies them recognition for what they endure.
Second, barring women from combat means nothing. Do people think that the people ambushing, shelling, and bombing American troops would respect a declaration that female soldiers aren’t supposed to be in combat? Should those women stand around and do their nails until someone comes by and puts the bullet into the forehead up close and personal?
As a country, we need to acknowledge what’s going on — women are already in combat. Combat doesn’t respect artificial distinctions between combat and non-combat designations, and it wouldn’t respect a rule barring them from combat. If you allow women into the military at all, you’ve allowed them into combat. We should give them their due respect.