Women in the Military

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In Women in the Military, Janette Mance explores the debates and problems faced by the increasing number of women involved in the military. After examining issues such as pregnancy, sexual harassment, and rape, Mance concludes that as a society we must continue to strive for gender equality.

From the storm lashed decks of the Mayflower to the present hour, women have stood like a rock for the welfare and glory of the history of our country . . . and one might well add: unwritten, unrewarded, and unrecognized.

William Cohen, “On Women in the Military,” 1997

Throughout our nation’s history, women have played an important role in the military. It has not been until recently however, that women have been able to fully contribute to the military and be recognized for their past achievements in this area. With this new recognition and admittance, many debates and problems have arisen. One of the most common debates surrounds the idea of women in combat positions. Others include the issue of pregnancy, housing, and the physical requirements in order to serve. One problem that has arisen is that of the sexual harassment and rape of some women soldiers.

Today, there is much heated debate abut women in the military with valid issues on both sides. Unfortunately, it is rare to hear both sides of the story. Because of this, many people form their judgments without knowing the full implications of those judgments. I have to admit that I was one of those people. I like to think of myself as an equal opportunities advocate. When I chose this topic to write my paper on, I originally planned on writing in support of full female participation in the military including combat positions. After I began the research on my project...

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