Why the ban on women in the infantry is a good thing

I'll probably get lambasted by my feminist friends for this one, but I don't really care. Having never served in the military, it's obvious I can't speak of this subject from experience. But I can do so from the experience of being an almost 40-year-old woman who vehemently disagrees that men and women are created equal. Before you go criticizing me and calling me sexist, allow me to explain where I'm coming from.

Just like women's bodies are the only ones created to give birth to a child, I strongly believe that men's bodies are the only ones created to endure the physical rigors of combant and their long-term consequences.


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I believe this is particularly true after reading Marine Capt. Katie Petronio's article on why she's against placing women in infantry units. If anything, Petriono's standout performance as an athlete and during training should have made her the perfect candidate to fight for integrating women in the Marine infantry. Instead, her personal experiences during deployments to both Iraq and Afghanistan proved to her that women are not made for the infantry.

Several months into deployment in Afghanistan, Petronio's body had already taken a brutal physical toll. She was diagnosed with a severe case of restless leg syndrome, a spine injury pressed on her nerves, she lost 17 pounds (and she was already lean) and was told she has polycystic ovarian syndrome, which in her case resulted in infertility. Imagine then what the results would have been had she been part of the infantry?

I think Petronio's point about the long-term effects that continuous combat operations would have on women is something that shouldn't be taken lightly. And while the fight for equality is an honorable one, it's important to look at both the negative and positive impacts of a change in the roles of women in the military. 

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I believe wholeheartedly that there's a reason why men and women were not created equal and it's something we should not ignore when it comes to women in the military.

What do you think? Should women be allowed in the Marine infantry? Share your thoughts with us by leaving us a comment below. 

Image via DVIDSHUB/flickr

Topics: gender equality  career  military