The Right to Fight

English: Official portrait of Leon Panetta as ...

The Main Man: US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta (courtesy of Wikipedia)

Although we brag about equal rights for women in America and are quick to criticize nations that marginalize females, the sad fact is that inequities between the genders still exist in a variety of different areas.

The most obvious example involves equal pay for equal work, which I’m sure most of you are aware of by now. Nevertheless, there are still women in this country with the same qualifications and work loads as their male counterparts who make only a fraction of what men make.

Men are also more likely to be promoted, even when the women they work with perform better or have seniority. And when women do move up, I’m sure many of them wonder if the decision sprang from some need to improve diversity or fill a quota.

It has to be frustrating.

Fortunately for any women interested in military service, a small glimmer of hope appeared yesterday in our nation’s capitol. It came from Pentagon chief Leon Panetta, a man whose last name always seems to make me hungry.

I wonder why that is?

Español: Panceta asada - España

Delicious Spanish pancetta (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Anyway, senior defense officials from the geometrically pleasing headquarters in Washington said Panetta plans to remove the 1994 ban on women serving in combat roles in our military. The move was initially recommended by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and could result in job openings as early as this year.

According to recent statistics, women make up roughly 15% of all active military personnel, and there are something like a million or more of them out there. Last year, the Pentagon opened about 15,000 positions to women; this move will open as many as 230,000.

Now if that isn’t good for our economy, I don’t know what is.

Of course, this now means that in some military families, both mom and dad could be shipped off to war. Their kids will just have to stay with family and pray they aren’t orphans by the time it’s all said and done.

In case you hadn’t noticed, I tend to focus on the “worst case scenario” a little too much. Sorry about that. I will try to be more positive.

Hurray! Women can fight in wars! Way to go, ladies!

Nah. I’m not feeling it. Honestly, I’m not really sure what to think about all this.

Equal pay for equal work:  follow the debate live

Equal pay for equal work (Photo credit: European Parliament)

On the one hand, it is awesome that women will finally be on more equal footing with men in the military. If they want to fight and possibly die protecting our freedom, then they should have the same right to do so.

I know plenty of women who could not only hold their own on the front line, but could also beat the crap out of any guys dumb enough to get in their way. And I wouldn’t mess with them, either. I would simply take comfort in knowing that they were standing between me and threats to our great nation and democracy.

On the other hand, we’re now talking about 200,000 or more lovely ladies being put in harm’s way. As a heterosexual male with a great love and respect for women, I find this disturbing and would hate for even one of them to be killed or hurt. They can do what they like, of course. Some of us guys would just be bummed out.

Over time, we’d learn to live with it, though.

So congratulations to American females everywhere! Let’s hope this is just the beginning!

Posted on January 24, 2013, in Perspectives and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. It’s great that the military is finally catching up with Police & Fire departments where women have served with bravery and distinction for many years now, sometimes sadly at the cost of their lives. The military is going to have to seriously think this thing through most Pds & Fds don’t allow family members to serve on the same shift together. The millitary should have some sort of similar policies regarding husbands & wives serving combat duty at the same time or, if they have kids and one of them is killed the other will have to be removed from the combat zone.

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