Female troops dying on the front lines

More servicewomen have been killed in Iraq than in any other overseas action in the past 60 years. Good thing we’re keeping women soldiers safe and out of “combat positions,” eh?
Even though they are not assigned to ground combat units, 39 female soldiers have been killed in Iraq since March 2003. Four died and 11 were injured this weekend after an ambush in Fallujah. Military officials have said they believe the female troops may have been specifically targeted.
About 11,000 women are currently serving in Iraq. And even with the latest news that record numbers have given their lives in service to this country, some schmucks on the homefront are still focused on their baby-making capabilities.
Take it from Lemoyne Sanders of Jacksonville, NC, whose wife is a field medical corpsman in the Navy:
“You’ll never get a woman to be as physically strong as a man,” he said, adding: “Women get pregnant. It’s just different.”
Men die in combat. Women die in combat. I don’t see how a uterus makes any difference.

and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

5 Comments

  1. Polly
    Posted June 28, 2005 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    I don’t see how a uterus makes a difference either. Don’t periods stop when you train that much anyway? It’s hardly inevitable that women would get pregnant.
    Do you actually need to be strong in combat anyway? I mean, how often do soldiers need to use the extra percentage strength they apparently have? Footage of them only ever shows them patrolling, at roadblocks, shooting… Is there a lot of lifting work we just never hear about? I imagine most of that is behind front lines. Why not argue men are more useful doing the brawn work, while women soldiers, attributed with multi-tasking, communication skills, higher pain thresholds and less of a likelihood to provoke aggressive response do the front line fighting?

  2. Posted June 28, 2005 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    I would just like to point out that the uterus is made up of extremely strong muscles, and is hardly a weak little organ. Ahem.
    And my friend who was in the army tells me it’s common to put women on hormone birth control that eliminate their periods entirely. Which kind of skeeves me out, but does point out that the Army already has a method for dealing with female troops and fertility.
    The packs that ground troops carry can be extremely heavy, and that may put women at a disadvantage as infantry. But it has nothing to do with their ability to fly planes, pilot ships, shoot guns, or drive tanks.

  3. Posted June 28, 2005 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Women who make it to the front lines as ground troops would already be strong enough to carry their packs and weapons or they wouldn’t have made it that far. Secondly, the women would have been gone through all of the training that men go through for all of the other functions (pilot training, engineer training, shooting, etc.)
    In fact, a guy friend that was in flight school always told me about how the females in engineer training and flight school with him were just as strong (if not stronger) than a lot of the guys. Recall that many military men are not bodybuilders, but are fairly skinny (yet defined). Before my friend went to training he always tried to drop as many pounds as possible so that he had less weight on him. He also mentioned that the women in his classes were top performers, were smarter than most of the guys, and came up with innovative solutions to problems posed by commanders when they were in simulation training.
    I think it’s ridiculous that the military can ask women to join, to serve, and to die, but still considers them “not good enough” for the front lines.

  4. Ahlana
    Posted June 28, 2005 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    “You’ll never get a woman to be as physically strong as a man”
    I don’t know about you ladies, but there are millions of men that I am stronger than. I’d like to
    All men are NOT stronger than all women. The average man is bigger than the average woman. But the average man is also 5’9 and 180lbs (can we say pudgy?). I therefore agree with MEP. The women in the military are not average women.

  5. tfreridge
    Posted June 29, 2005 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    Physical strength is only a requirement for certain types of troops. The duties that the women in the danger zones (performing searches on female civilians and such) are duties that are done out of respect for their culture. Who do you think searched the german or japanese women during wwII? It is our own sense of honor and respect that is placing the women in danger.
    We’re better off as a country if we respect what these women do and apprieciate why they are placing themselves at risk. Don’t forget, it is a volunteer force and these women are proudly serving.

Feministing In Your Inbox

Sign up for our Newsletter to stay in touch with Feministing
and receive regular updates and exclusive content.

162 queries. 0.628 seconds