By: Danielle Spitz, IATG ContributorJanuary 12, 2016
Women have been essential members of the U.S. Military ever since they started serving as nurses at the end of World War I. In 1948 women were granted permanent status in the military from the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act. Since then, it has been a slow fight for equality with men in terms of rank and status, but on Dec. 3 another milestone was reached.
Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter announced that the Pentagon would open all combat jobs to women. The military barely made its deadline set by the Obama administration three years ago to integrate women into all combat jobs by January. Although in past years women have served in combat, it has been restricted for them to hold any official combat positions until now.
Now women all across the country who continually risk their lives for the safety of the people of the United States can receive the recognition they deserve. Not only will those already serving be eligible for higher rankings, but women aspiring to join the armed forces don’t have anything holding them back.
Women are starting to be seen as the valuable assets to the military that they are, not just secondary aid. Just like any man, it is a women’s right to serve for her country if that is what she so wishes.
This decision was made because the leaders of the country want to create the strongest military possible, and that includes the recruitment of women for combat jobs. Bravery does not discriminate against gender.
While this decision is being celebrated by men and women alike all around the country, there are still those who argue the integration is unrealistic considering the serious physical discipline that serving in combat requires. Clearly these people are not familiar with the details.
Women are not receiving special privileges nor are they exempt from any of the qualifications pertaining to men applying for these positions. The same standards will be held for women as they are for men, and no woman will be hired simply because of her gender. The true significance of this decision is that now women are allowed to practice their civil right as people to hold positions based on ability-not gender, race, sexuality, or any other facet that is part of who they are.
Us feminists aren’t asking for advantages over men because that would go directly against what we’re fighting so hard for. All we want is to be treated like any other person, and that is exactly what this rule allows us to do.
Where do we need to make more gains towards equality for women? What can we do to move that conversation forward? Tell us below.
High school student Danielle Spitz is an aspiring journalist. She writes for her school newspaper and of course IATG! She loves reading, writing, running, binge watching anything on Netflix, shopping, and contributing to a world in which women build each other up and receive the respect they deserve.
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