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From me to you, highlighting challenges faced by girls

Dear Daughters, I Cannot Believe My Ears…Isn’t it 2013?

Dear Daughters,

This morning at work was no different than most. Jordi Morgan’s Maritime Morning talk show was playing in the background while I entered endless amounts of data into a computer program. Words from the radio provided a nice, calming effect on me, leaving most of my cerebral power focused solely on the data entry…until he asked…

In response to the United States’ decision to lift the ban on women serving in combat roles, Jordi asked his listeners if they feel that women should be on the front line with men? Complete cerebral shift! I was giddy with anticipation as to what people might say. I figured I would hear the typical women are too weak, women are too emotional “go to” arguments which always come up when women are considered in traditional “masculine” roles. These responses would have irked me enough but what came out of the callers’ mouths made my jaw drop. I know society has a way to go with how they view women, but these responses brought me straight back to the beginning of time.

The five callers I heard were all male, several who had served in the military themselves. Not one of them thought that women and men should fight together on the front line. What shocked me is that their reasoning had nothing at all to do with a woman’s ability – either physical or emotional – to fight on the front lines with a man. The focus of these callers’ opposition to the idea was…

get ready for it…

you’ll never believe…

it all had to do with…

sex!

Yes, these callers did not think women and men should fight together on the front line simply because of the sexual tension it would cause! Apparently they felt male soldiers would be lusting after their female comrades, hindering the male soldiers’ (of importance to note – not the female soldiers) ability to perform their duties. The caller who began by saying that “Bambi” and “Barbie” do not belong in the front line with men explained that due to the intensity of combat, it is impossible for a male soldier fighting on the front line with female soldiers not to become sexually charged because of the adrenaline pumping through his veins. This same caller added, “Besides, they (women) are only available 3 weeks of 4 every month.”

The default PMS comment.

Another caller began by saying that “a feminine woman, you know, a child-bearing-type woman, should not be on the front lines. It would be a catastrophe, would bring me to tears.”

He stumbled a little bit at first with his next point, trying to find an unoffensive way to insult the women he was about to insult. He came up with this (not a direct quote but pretty close):

We have women in women’s bodies, but they are really like men, you know those sporty, athletic types. Those types of women could fight and since they are not interested in men and men would know that (I guess he was trying to say there would be no sexual tension for the male soldiers here), those types of women could serve cuz they would be as good as men! But if they are too feminine don’t put them on the front lines for God’s sake!

I know people are going to say that there are plenty of men who do not think this way and I know this is true because I happen to know some of them, but the sad truth is that there are obviously people who still think this way. And even one person thinking this way is too many!

As I jotted down my notes for this post as fast as I could move my pen across the paper, Jordi Morgan read a tweet from a listener that were my sentiments exactly, “When the bombs are flying, the last thing you will be thinking about is your zipper”!

If you would like to read an opinion piece that actually focuses on a woman’s ability to fight on the front lines, please read this great article by Meghan Spilka O’Keefe entitled Women too weak for combat? Facts say otherwise.

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