Marines to Women Soldiers: Clean Up On Aisle Seven!

When their gender is seen as an advantage rather than a disability, suddenly it is permissible for women soldiers to assume combat roles:

… Women make up only 6 percent of the Marine Corps, which cultivates an image as the most testosterone-fueled service, and they are still officially barred from combat branches like the infantry.

But in a bureaucratic sleight of hand, used by both the Army and Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan when women have been needed for critical jobs like bomb disposal or intelligence, the female engagement teams are to be”attached”to all-male infantry units within the First Marine Expeditionary Force : a source of pride and excitement for them. …

I have no doubt that the women Marines will prove themselves more than capable. But what a shame they had to wait until their gender could be tactically leveraged to get this opportunity.

–Ann Bartow

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4 Responses to Marines to Women Soldiers: Clean Up On Aisle Seven!

  1. ginmar says:

    This is not news. You’re also kind of denigrating the soldiers and Marines who’ve been fighting alongside their female counterparts for seven and eight years now. Let’s face it: if the Marines respect your service, you’ve arrived and nobody has any excuse.

    Several years ago, a bunch of female Marines were killed and wounded by a suicide bomber on the road to or from Fallujah. A Marine general later wept when he described how, on the day of the incident, while he was dealing with the paperwork, a young female Marine asked for a moment of his time. Outside his office waited thirteen more young female Marines, volunteering to take the place of the ones wounded earlier that day.

    The first female amputee in this war was from my unit.

    As I said female Marines and soldiers do not have to prove themselves. They long since have. What’s the real issue, frankly, to me, is the way the combat experience–which used to be the put up or shut up definition of service—is being dishonored by conservatives who suddenly find reasons to denigrate a soldier’s service if she’s a liberal or someone who otherwise disagrees with them. The Army has gotten noticeably better in handling womens’ issues over the past few years. (The VA has not but that’s a different issue.) Women are doing the job, now they need to be accorded the same unblinking respect men get from the right side of the aisle.

  2. ginmar says:

    Ack, that sounded sharper than I thought. In fact, I just had some tool tell me he doubted I was really a soldier.

    It looks like the NY Times has finally gotten with the program, seven years after the Iraq war began, and eight years after Afghanistan. Still, over a hundred women have been killed when last I checked, and that’s with the majority of them still serving—-like a lot of male soldiers as well—behind the lines and never leaving post.

  3. Ann Bartow says:

    Ginmar, I really did not mean to derogate any soldier. I just find it troubling that rather than recognizing the inherent worth of women soldiers, the Marines wait until their gender can be expressly used, and even then they pretend women are still not truly combat worthy. If I am misunderstanding something here I apologize.

  4. ginmar says:

    It’s more of an accomplishment, actually. Womens’ groups and women in the military have been fighting to be accepted as fronline troops because the expectation was that it was not something you could argue with. Well, I just had teabagger call me a ‘big fat liar’ because I didn’t respect his anti-Obama teabagger freakouts. So for men it’s iron-clad respect but for women it’s only optional.

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