Direct Combat Roles for Women Essay

Direct Combat Roles for Women Essay

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Section I: Introduction

Women have been in the military, or associated with combat for decades. “The most famous example of the ability of a woman to not only be involved in combat but to lead forces is that of Joan of Arc's legendary battles leading the French army when she was just a teenager.”(Gerber 1) Women have been involved in espionage and even posed as male soldiers during the Civil War. Conflicts such as, WWI, WWII, Panama, and as recent as our current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan women have served with distinction in many ways. In our most recent conflict, over 100 military women have given the ultimate sacrifice. Today with changes in our society and the global environment in which we live two controversial arguments arise concerning women in combat. Basically the debate whether or not women should be allowed to participate in direct combat or not. As our society and cultural beliefs change so does what we except as social norms. Both sides of this argument bring many reasons for and against allowing women to participate in direct combat. Taking into account both views of this controversy it will show, that not only a social change has occurred, but the dynamics of the battlefield has in fact already placed female service members into direct combat.

Section II: Opposition to Direct Combat Roles for Women

Social Norms

Those that are strongly against it base their criticism on a number of reasons that are based on social norms that have existed for centuries. Our social and cultural norms have in the past and will far into the future dictate how we address these issues. Societies have from the beginning of time set certain norms of what men and women should be. These expectations are referred to as gender norms and a...

... middle of paper ...

... arms job, but those that are interested should be given the chance to do so. They should be given the opportunity because they are already there.


Casey, L. "Women in Combat", Academic Essays and Debates on Women in the Military: Military Woman Magazine. December 19, 1997.

Elshtain, Jean Bethke. "Feminism and War." Progressive Sept. 1991: 14-16.

"Fire When Ready, Ma’am." Editorial. Time 13 Jan. 1990: 29.

Gerber, Bradely. “Women in the Military and Combat.” © April 24, 1998.

Hoffman, Julie. "Men and Children First." American Spectator Sept. 1992: 43-44.

Norden, Edward. "Right Behind You Scarlett." American Spectator Aug. 1991: 14-16.

United States. General Accounting Office. Physically Demanding Jobs: Services Have Little Data on Ability of Personnel to Perform." By Mark E. Gebicke. (GAO/NSIAD-96-169) 1996.

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