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Should women be allowed to fight in combat?

By Adam Sauceda
On February 1, 2013

  • “Wanted” by Nicole Clemens. Photo by Adam Sauceda

A woman in combat is a touchy subject. There are a lot of reasons one argues against it. How will she be treated by her fellow soldiers in combat? If something were to happen to her, would it affect the rest of her unit too much to the point it would become a detriment to the mission? Would an enemy combatant try to use a female as more leverage in a prisoner of war situation than he would a male soldier?

There are a lot of "what if" scenarios you can play in your head until you're blue in the face, but in my opinion, if a woman chooses to make the decision to join a combat-related job, such as infantry, and proves herself capable in training, then let her.

Women have proven time and time again that they are just as capable of doing the jobs men do.

There is still, however, a strange feeling that I can't shake or put into words when I think about women in combat.

Not that a man's death in combat is any less tragic than a woman's, but it's an odd feeling. Let me put it like this, when my boss asked me to write this column, one thing popped into my head.

It's a scene from the 1997 movie "G.I. Jane," with Demi Moore. For those of you who haven't seen it, Demi portrays Jordan, the first woman allowed to take part in Navy SEAL training.
In the scene, Jordan is talking to the female senator who wanted the "experiment," and the senator has just revealed to her that she intended for Jordan to fail all along and that it was all just a "feel good" campaign.

The senator says, "American families are not prepared to put their daughters in harm's way." Jordan asks, "What are you saying? That a woman's life is more valuable than a man's? That a woman's death hurts a family more?"

After a few more words between the two, the senator asks Jordan if she really wanted that life. Jordan replies with, "I wanted the choice. The chance to prove myself, my skills, my work, and me." While I understand the senator's point (that feeling I can't put into words), I ultimately agree with Jordan.

A woman is no less or no more patriotic than any man. Women have every right to make the choices of their own lives even if one of those choices is to fight in combat. At least from my point of view, if I had to fight next to a man who didn't want to or a woman who chose to, I would gladly and proudly fight side by side a woman.

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