Women on the frontline – Yes or no?

This has been a hot debate since women were first allowed in the military at all.

Rachel Hitt, United States National Guard (photographed by myself)

My husband, who is currently serving in the United States Marine Corps, stated a few important reasons as to why women still should not serve on the front line.  Even from my point of view – which happens to be slightly feminine, I must say that I agree.

“There is too big of a difference in the amount of weight a woman can carry.  Physically, women are naturally weaker than men.  If I’m carrying all of my gear, which is weighed in at around 300 to 400 total extra pounds, and something happens to me in combat – if a woman is the closest Marine to me, she has to carry me, my gear, and uphold her own weight and gear as well, which could be weighed in at around 100 pounds.  Even with an adrenaline rush, it would put both of us at an unnecessary risk because she will not be able to do it.  Other downfalls include the specific hygiene needs that a woman needs as opposed to a man.  While a woman is on her monthly cycle, animals can still pick up that scent, even with sprays that eliminate scent on humans.  This creates a risk as well because our cover could be blown and we would be at risk for an attack,” Corporal Barrett.

As these are very good reasons, we also discussed that factor that women naturally are more emotional than men.  Whereas women tend to function more on emotion, it can become a huge hindrance in an operation.  Women have come a long way to enter themselves into serving their country through the US Military; however, I daresay that women will only be able to go so far and work in certain fields in the military because the front line in a combat zone simply is not the place for women.

My brother, who is currently serving in the United States Army also had a few words to say.  “If a woman can fight like a man, work like a man, and uphold to same qualifications as a man would in the military on the front line for combat, I wouldn’t be as opposed.  The fact that standards are lowered because a woman is seen as a woman in the military instead of as a soldier as men are creates a divide.  I don’t want my buddy beside me to cower during a firefight – that being that it is a man or a woman,” Sergeant Hitt

We also discussed that women are more susceptible to infections and sicknesses than men are.  The women have to return to base every few days or every week to properly keep up their hygiene because of this.

“It creates a problem and a danger to the unit taking the females back to base because of unnecessary travel and putting the battle buddies in harms way to render ‘proper care’ for the WOMEN.  There really is a constant divide among women soldiers as being simply soldiers.  The conditions aren’t made for women – simple as that,” Sergeant Hitt.

These are serious issues that encompass women being allowed in combat.  Even if women DID train the EXACT same and push forward as much as the men – their fellow soldiers or Marines -do, the fact that their susceptibility for infection is still a hindrance.  As of now, I personally cannot see a solution to this or the many of factors that keep women off of the front line.

Flag Rock, Wise, VA (photographed by myself)

“It’s the reason even from so long ago that hasn’t changed.  It’s not sexist – it’s just for specific reasons; men fight the wars that need to be fought.” Corporal Barrett.


About lhitt

Senior at ODU. Working to become a police officer in North Carolina.
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6 Responses to Women on the frontline – Yes or no?

  1. This was such a great topic, I can’t believe more people aren’t commenting on it! And kudos to you for collecting quotes to share from experienced veterans so that we can see alternate view points. Very good job.

    I think the question of women on the front lines overshadows the fact that women in war are put in harms way regardless. Now granted there are specialists, like the Marines, whose job it is to pull triggers. But women in the armed forces still carry guns, they still get shot at, they get blown up in roadside bombs although they might not be war makers like the Marines. Even when women are assigned duties like transporting supplies they can become targets of attack and must respond with tactical combat.

    So there is a gap. A disconnect between what people say (no women on the front lines) and what people actually do (women wind up in combat situations anyways). This suggests that the narrative about the traditional roles of men in the military as fighters is more important than the reality those stories are supposed to represent. And the hypothetical situation where a female soldier must rescue a male soldier is probably less of a threat then the perception some men may have of the physical limitations of women which could have real detrimental effects on morale.

  2. awalk029 says:

    I agree and disagree with you. As I have been in the Army ROTC batalion at ODU for the past 4 years and with my dad having done 31 years in the navy and my sister in as well I have had my share of this particular argument. I feel the only reason that women should NOT be on the front line is that POW’s are mostly infantry from the front lines. So if a women was on the front line and she was captured then like in EVERY case a woman has been captured she would be raped. And that is a NO-GO for me. Simply put, men do not get raped when they are POW’s, WOMEN DO. I have seen women in both the army and navy that can pull more weight than men. Even here at ODU if you walk into the AROTC office and look on the Ironman Board you will see women’s names up there-pushing 80 push-ups, 80 situps, and hitting on a 14 minute two miler. For a guy that is impressive let alone a female.

  3. lhitt says:

    I feel that there is still a huge disconnect only because women are still seen as vastly different and we are treated thus so. It’s because we are women that we are raped as a POW instead of beaten nearly to death. It’s because we are women that we hinder operations based on the sole fact that our bodies need more TLC than men’s bodies do.

    You are right, there a lot of women capable than more men, and Professor Thompson is also right in the aspect that even though women aren’t technically allowed on the frontline, women are still being shot at, targeted, and still victims of roadside bombs because they have training to be IN a warzone – but don’t have training for the trenches, special ops and closer, more risky combative zones.

    And thank you Professor Thomspon, I tried to make this one better than my last one!!

  4. Pingback: Attorney Scott Tips — The Real Reasons Why Women Should Not be Allowed in Combat « CITIZEN.BLOGGER.1984+ GUNNY.G BLOG.EMAIL

  5. Rosemary says:

    They’re more prone to infection because of their menstrual cycle. Why can’t they just take birth control?

  6. Pingback: Debate On Military Women On Front Lines « GoodOleWoody's Blog and Website

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