Unequal But Not Separate

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Unequal But Not Separate Enemy fire whizzes by, hitting the walls around behind me. The spent shells are scattered at my feet. The smell of death and gunpowder tantalizes my nose. In the distance I can hear the chopper hovering. All I can do is pray that it reaches us in time. Enemy fire begins again. I am lost in the smoke and confusion. Then Private Jackson falls to the ground behind me. He has been hit. Now his life is entrusted to me. The chopper is now hovering across the field about 100 yards away. I tuck my gun away and reach down to grab him. I try to put him over my shoulder, but I can’t lift him. I start to drag him toward the chopper. I struggle for about 25 yards. The pilot is waving me on, motioning me to hurry. I don’t have the strength. I can’t go any farther. The chopper has to go, it can’t wait any longer. I am alone with Private Jackson looking up at me in disbelief, knowing it is my fault we will both be dead in a matter of minutes. The military, the nation and Private Jackson all had trusted me to make it and I had failed. Trust. It is the bond that holds our great military together. When this trust is broken our nation, as a whole will suffer the consequences. A soldier must have complete faith that his fellow soldiers, both male and female, will do their job so that he can focus on his. But what happens when double standards are employed for female soldiers? Can one expect a male soldier to completely trust her ability to complete her tasks as a soldier? The soldier knows full well that his female comrade didn’t have to perform the necessary physical tasks to the same standards that he did. How can one have confidence in her abilities if her performance would have been unacceptable had she been a male? The thread of trust begins to unwind once a soldier question another’s abilities. That is why one uniform standard had been in place throughout history. A soldier knew that the every other soldier could perform tasks to the same standard that he had. They had a common trust that held them together. Now, with gender norming, the double standards used to ensure women pass the physical tests, we put the trust that held our military together in jeopardy.
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