Should women be in the military?

I’ve thought long and hard about this one. I voted no. Since I come from a military family, I have seen what it can do to women; it makes them become more masculine and takes them away from their family, which goes against natural order.

This question reminds me of the old Cherry Ames Army Nurse series my older sister had on the book shelf. I loved those stories!

The worst problem is what it does to men. Israel found this out and pulled women back from combat. Bad enough when a guy sees his buddy torn up. Seeing women in that condition makes men insane.

Guess we could beat natural instincts out of 18 year old males. Teach them not to see any difference between the suffering of men and women. Be a heck of a society to live in if we did tho.

If I say no then I have to answer a lot of how come questions. My answer is this. Anyone who is willing and able to defend our country and protect those of us who choose to sit back and question our gov. is alright by me and I will always be indebted to them. I have family that was in WW2, Vietman and Iraq. My nephew will be enlisted in the Army in November. May God Bless all our Soldiers.

I know several women in the military that were tougher than me when I was in. I don’t think they should be in combat careers though. My little sister is medical.

[quote=speedy5]I know several women in the military that were tougher than me when I was in. I don’t think they should be in combat careers though. My little sister is medical.
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And that’s where I see the problem as to women being in the military. They are forced to be like men, lest they be discriminated and harassed (and trust me, they will). Also, in cases of war, mothers must leave their families and husbands (and I am not just talking about women going to combat). This goes against Church teaching that says that work should never interfere with the mother’s first priority, her family.
Another problem I find is when men and women are on the same ship for a prolonged period of time, living in very close quarters. Human nature takes its course, and small flings pop up here and there, distracting the soldiers from their duties. It also creates drama, silly boy/girl fights, and even worse, unwanted prengancies (which happens quite often).
I’m a woman, so please don’t think I’m putting my gender down. It’s just that I believe it is against nature to put a woman in such a position. The military should be for men only because it is in man’s nature to protect, in and outside of war. And in denying a woman’s natural inclination to nurturing and compassion (which are very discouraged in the military), it is depriving of her of her God-given gift. And though it is not always the case that a woman must compromise her femininity in the military, it is intended to be so.

well too bad we don’t live in a theocracy then eh? The specific stance of the catholic - or any other church on the role of each gender has nothing to do with government making laws for everyone… women shouldn’t be given front line combat duty because of practical reasons, they are weaker, men will want to protect them more than their fellow men, they would be raped if captured and as you said it’s a distraction. But as for not being allowed in the military at all… doing anything… then why not ban mothers/women from all workplaces?..

[quote=cynic]well too bad we don’t live in a theocracy then eh? The specific stance of the catholic - or any other church on the role of each gender has nothing to do with government making laws for everyone… women shouldn’t be given front line combat duty because of practical reasons, they are weaker, men will want to protect them more than their fellow men, they would be raped if captured and as you said it’s a distraction. But as for not being allowed in the military at all… doing anything… then why not ban mothers/women from all workplaces?..
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Less then 100 years ago the US did not allow women in the military due to an understanding of the different roles between men and women, but I don’t recall America ever being a theocracy. The Church’s stance in regards to what is just and unjust according to natural law should be applied to each country (ex. abortion), and any country that applied a law that conflicts with natural law is no law at all. But besides that point, I am not saying it is a sin for women to join the military, but it is better that we do not join, due to our nature as God has designed for us.
As for your last question (if it was intended to be one, I do not know), the military is quite different from a normal job, ask anyone in the military and they will tell you that. The military can give you some crazy work times, and at any given moment send you to a different country, away from your family. But I say that any job that keeps a mother from her children is not appropriate for the sake of the family.

In the Document, “On the Collaboration of Men and Women”, it states:
“In this regard, it cannot be forgotten that the interrelationship between these two activities - family and work - has, for women, characteristics different from those in the case of men. The harmonization of the organization of work and laws governing work with the demands stemming from the mission of women within the family is a challenge. The question is not only legal, economic and organizational; it is above all a question of mentality, culture, and respect. Indeed, a just valuing of the work of women within the famaily is required. In this way, women who freely desire will be able to devote the totality of their time to the work of the household without being stigmatized by society or penalized financially, while those who wish also to engage in other work may be able to do so with an appropriate work-schedule, and not have to choose between relinquishing their family life or enduring continual sress, with negative consequences for one’s own equalibrium and the harmony of the family.”

[quote=snow_white]Less then 100 years ago the US did not allow women in the military due to an understanding of the different roles between men and women, but I don’t recall America ever being a theocracy. The Church’s stance in regards to what is just and unjust according to natural law should be applied to each country (ex. abortion), and any country that applied a law that conflicts with natural law is no law at all. ."
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that’s easy to demonstrate with abortion, since abortion effects another persons right to life. Questioning the law in this regard is the duty of any church. But as for individual choice on other issues, working mums, personal morality etc your description of ‘natural law’ in application is no different from a theocracy : imposing a specific religious value system on those who do not share or practice such beliefs.

[quote=cynic]well too bad we don’t live in a theocracy then eh? The specific stance of the catholic - or any other church on the role of each gender has nothing to do with government making laws for everyone… women shouldn’t be given front line combat duty because of practical reasons, they are weaker, men will want to protect them more than their fellow men, they would be raped if captured and as you said it’s a distraction. But as for not being allowed in the military at all… doing anything… then why not ban mothers/women from all workplaces?..
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I agree. :yup:

I’m of two minds about this. When I was in, there were women that probably could have gotten through Air Assault school, or maybe even Ranger school easier than I did.(let’s just say those tow schools were…challenging. :wink: )

Having said that, I believe that while women can do anything they set their minds to, I also beleive that there’s a certain element of distraction with men and women serving together when the lead is flying.

A recent challenge to this belief, however, can be found here:

dod.mil/news/Jun2005/20050616_1745.html

We live in a changing world…

Woman Soldier Receives Silver Star for Valor in Iraq
By Sgt. Sara Wood, USA
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 16, 2005 – For the first time since World War II, a woman soldier was awarded the Silver Star Medal today in Iraq.

Sgt. Leigh Ann Hester of the 617th Military Police Company, a National Guard unit out of Richmond, Ky., received the Silver Star, along with two other members of her unit, Staff Sgt. Timothy Nein and Spc. Jason Mike, for their actions during an enemy ambush on their convoy. Other members of the unit also received awards.

Hester’s squad was shadowing a supply convoy March 20 when anti-Iraqi fighters ambushed the convoy. The squad moved to the side of the road, flanking the insurgents and cutting off their escape route. Hester led her team through the “kill zone” and into a flanking position, where she assaulted a trench line with grenades and M203 grenade-launcher rounds. She and Nein, her squad leader, then cleared two trenches, at which time she killed three insurgents with her rifle.

When the fight was over, 27 insurgents were dead, six were wounded, and one was captured.

Hester, 23, who was born in Bowling Green, Ky., and later moved to Nashville, Tenn., said she was surprised when she heard she was being considered for the Silver Star.

“I’m honored to even be considered, much less awarded, the medal,” she said.

Being the first woman soldier since World War II to receive the medal is significant to Hester. But, she said, she doesn’t dwell on the fact. “It really doesn’t have anything to do with being a female,” she said. “It’s about the duties I performed that day as a soldier.”

Hester, who has been in the National Guard since April 2001, said she didn’t have time to be scared when the fight started, and she didn’t realize the impact of what had happened until much later.

“Your training kicks in and the soldier kicks in,” she said. “It’s your life or theirs. … You’ve got a job to do – protecting yourself and your fellow comrades.”

Nein, who is on his second deployment to Iraq, praised Hester and his other soldiers for their actions that day. “It’s due to their dedication and their ability to stay there and back me up that we were able to do what we did that day,” he said.

Hester and her fellow soldiers were awarded their medals at Camp Liberty, Iraq, by Army Lt. Gen. John R. Vines, Multinational Corps Iraq commanding general. In his speech, Vines commended the soldiers for their bravery and their contribution to the international war on terror.

“My heroes don’t play in the (National Basketball Association) and don’t play in the U.S. Open (golf tournament) at Pinehurst,” Vines said. “They’re standing in front of me today. These are American heroes.”

Three soldiers of the 617th were wounded in the ambush. Hester said she and the other squad members are thinking about them, and she is very thankful to have made it through unscathed. The firefight, along with the entire deployment, has had a lasting effect on her, Hester said.

“I think about it every day, and probably will for the rest of my life,” she said.

Women should not be in the military. The only exception I would make to this statement is women that have chosen to be single and dedicate their lives to the care of others as a nurse.
The reason I say this is because men are great at defending, protecting and seperating reason from emotion. But when you bring women into an environment that beggets this kind of masculine expression, it creates an imbalance and disturbs the momentum of the unit, whether it be on a ship, in a combatant area or in a training facility.
It is not a question of whether or not woman can be in the military. We can do a lot of things that men can do, and this has been proven again and again. It’s whether women should take part in this lifestyle. And I don’t believe we should.
Men should be left to do certain things that women do not do, and the same goes for women.
Instead of looking at what either sex cannot do, we should be focusing on what we can do best. And for women that is to nuture and care for.
Men need to step up and embrace what they ARE good at!

[quote=snow_white]I’ve thought long and hard about this one. I voted no. Since I come from a military family, I have seen what it can do to women; it makes them become more masculine and takes them away from their family, which goes against natural order.
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I voted yes…but I have a hard time with anyone in such a field having a family and putting the family in jeopardy with the threat of your possible death or permanent disability.

I also know many families of Soldiers. They make great Dads and Moms - and who am I to deny that?

Like in any family - my strongest belief is that ONE parent stays out of harms way. TWO parents in the military - even if one “isn’t in combat” can still deprive a family of BOTH a Mother and a Father.

No but if they do than they do.

It’s not a qustion as to whether we can or cannot; it’s a question as to whether we should or shouldn’t. There’s a big difference there, and I think some of your are misunderstanding what I am trying to say on this issue.
We have a lot of freedom to choose our lifestyle though not contradict what God intended us to be; but I’m suggesting something that could be, and would be better for our society as a whole. Why? Because the family unit is the foundation of society, and when the family unit breaks up, so does the society. And in this case with the military taking away the mother from her children, and confusing the roles of men and women, it has a strong tendency to break up that traditional family structure that we were created to have.
I don’t see how anyone could not at least recognize this reality in the current day military. A very visible example would be when we hear stories of mothers leaving their family for Iraq. Is that what God intended women to do?

Ok, I couldn’t help but add my two cents worth.

I am female, I am currently serving in the army and have been in for the past 21 years, I am the mother of a 15 yr old son and a 13 yr old daughter. A Catholic Convert ( as of Easter 2004)I have been stationed in Egypt (single) Panama (with the kids) Germany ( with the kids) Macedonia ( w/o kids) Bosnia ( w/o kids) Korea (w/o kids) Kuwait (w/o kids) Ft. Lewis ( with kids) and Ft. Rucker ( with kids).

I joined the army when I was single.

I voted yes excluding combat, however, that I need to define that further as yes excluding combat specialties like Delta Forces, Special Forces, Rangers, Navy Seals, etc. Those positions that are currently limited to males only.

I think cynic had a very good point. Why not restrict mother’s from the workplace period. Females are a distractor to males ANYWHERE. Human nature as far as that goes is not limited to the military. And females could get hurt on the job anywhere. Should we then not have female police, firefighters, security guards, airport screeners, FBI/CIA agents…etc? Any outside employment will “take them away from their families” as was originally stated. But, granted not too many jobs at WalMart ( just an example) will require you to go on a years deployment. So the risk of being seperated from the family in the military is higher than in the civilian sector. BUT, how many actresses are away from their children while on movie shoots, what about musicians on tour? Should we limit those jobs to just men also?

Have I felt guilt in leaving my children? Yes, of course I have. Did I choose my life to turn out the way it is? I made the choices yes, but I have spent countless nights “what-if-ing” my decisions. As I’m sure most folks have. If I could go back in time and change some of the things I have done I would, but none of us can.

BUT, do I regret my time in the service? NOT AT ALL. Do I feel I have neglected my children or that they are in any way maladjusted or harmed by my absences? NOT AT ALL.

Looking back, sure I would have loved to be “little suzie homemaker” ( that’s how the marriage started out actually but husband was unable to provide for us, someone had to do something) and have no other concerns but the household and the children. Being a mother is a full time job in and of itself. But things didn’t turn out that way.

I would like to say however, that I have not really heard anyone in this thread saying that we (serving women in the military) are bad people and I thank each of you for that. We are just ordinary women, just like the rest of you women, trying to do the best for our families.

This is one of those debates that will always be. Folks will have their opinions and thats fine. But regardless of how you feel, please say a prayer for all the men AND WOMEN in uniform that are putting their lives on the line for your freedom. We are proud to serve.

sgt. pat

I was in the Navy for 8 years, and though I didn’t have any children during that time, I did seperate from the Navy because I do want to have children. I do understand that sometimes there is no choice if you join the military when you’re single, then you have kids, the dad bails, and what are these women supposed to do. I saw it many times. But the question that is being asked is, should women join the military in the first place? I don’t know what’s it’s like in the other branches, but when I was in the Navy, I saw so many instances where it just didn’t work to have women working along side the men. This is language that just isn’t used in our society, so it’s shocking. But the core of this argument is the subject of the roles of men and women, and I do not think that what God intended for women can be aligned in any way with military life. I can’t begin to tell you how many instances I sat with a mother while we were on deployment and watched her fight with herself. She knew that she had a job to do, but leaving her children for 6 months was heart breaking. I saw, and experienced relationships on the ships that distracted from the mission. And it is different from any other job. If I get distracted at my office job…some papers may not get filed, but on a ship…the outcome could be much more serious.
On a personal level, I truly felt like I had to rid myself of most of my feminine characteristics in order to be accepted. I was trying to deny my own femininity. Since I’ve been out of the military, I’ve had to re learn how to be a women. I know that sounds strange…it was things like convincing myself it was okay to show emotion. It’s okay to comfort my friends, to make it known that I care more for my family than for my job…even down to the way I walk.
I could go on and on, but the bottom line is that I feel like I’m truly being the woman God intended me to be now. I don’t feel like I’m going against myself anymore, and I’m allowed to express myself completely as a woman.

Yes cmacagno, I agree you on the getting out part. After being a soldier for 21 years, I am now getting ready to retire. As my children tell me, I have to go and buy “girl clothes” and learn how to put on make-up. I had 3 older brother growing up and was always a tomboy. I never used make-up growing up, but then again I was raised on the mission field in South America, and went romping round in the Amazon jungle or climbing the Andes mountains, so my appearance was not an issue. My very beautiful daughter, who has long blond hair that she can sit on, laughs at me ( in a good way) as she puts on her little bit of make-up teasing me that she will teach ME how to “fix my face”.

It’s just really tough to say which things men should/should not be able to do EXCLUSIVELY and which things women should/should not be able to do EXCLUSIVELY. It’s nice to have a “best case scenario” but happens when someones life is not “best case”. Do they then go through life feeling guilty, like they are wrong, maybe even bad?

What about other cultures of the world? How do they fit in? I just thing absolute statements ( outside of the teachings of the Catholic Church of course) need to be weighed carefully. But as I mentioned before, folks have a right to feel the way they do.
But please keep me in your prayers as I do contemplate my next career.

sgt. pat,
I hope you do not think I am insulting you or any other woman out there that is in the military. It was not meant to be a personal attack on anyone personally.
Your question as to whether women should be in other jobs, then, that take her away from her children…well, I will be honest with you, no I don’t think a woman should be in any job that may take her away from her husband and children. Her vocation first and foremost is to be a mother.

But I would like to quote a man by the name of Pope XI on women in the workforce; it’s pretty strong words, but they need to be heard:

“…whereby they wish woman, even unbeknown to or with the opposition of the man, to be able freely to possess, carry on, and administer her own business affairs, to the neglect of children, husband, and the entire family; finally, social, insofar as they remove from the wife domestic cares whether of chilren or of family, that she may be able while neglecting these, to follow her own bent, and even to devote herself to business and public affairs. But this is not a true emanciaption of woman, nor is it a freedom which is in accord with reason, nor worthy of her and due to the office of a noble Christian mother and wife; rather it is a corruption of the feminie nature and of maternal dignity, and a perversion of the entire family, whereby the husband is deprived of a wife, the offspring of a mother, and the house and entire family of an ever watchful guardian. Rather, indeed, such false liberty and unnatural equality with man are turned to the destruction of the woman herself; for , if the woman descends from that royal seat to which she was raised withint the walls of the home by the Gospel, she will shortly be reduced to ancient servitude (if not appearance, yet in very fact), and will become, as she was among the pagans, a mere instrument of man.”

Why not?
~ Kathy ~

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