Ms. Heidi Hall
Females in the Infantry
Women have only been allowed in the United States military for roughly 100 years and before that many argued against the right for them to join. Not till 2013 did women start to get accepted into the United States infantry. A basic explanation of the infantry is a unit in the armed forces who fight combat on foot. For a long time, many argued that women don't belong on the front line of fighting wars but had finally passed that if females can meet the training standards they can join. Now in 2018 many still argue on reasons why or why not women should remain a part of the United States infantry. Commonly debated issues in females joining the infantry include things like physical body characteristic differences and sexual assault/harassment issues.
Many believe and argue that women have no place being a part of frontline combat also referred to as the infantry. Physical body characteristic differences have been claimed to lead to more injuries. According to Aharon Finestone, et al. who write in their journal "Overuse Injuries in Female Infantry Recruits during Low-Intensity Basic Training." that women have had a major problem with stress fractures in their hips due to just basic training which is required for all going into the armed forces. Training was then adjusted to prevent injuries. Along the same lines, Capt. Lauren F. Serrano, a female officer in the United States Marine Corps, writes in her article "Why Women Do Not Belong in the U.S. Infantry" that injuries in females isn't a new topic and adds infantry training shouldn't be adjusted to incorporate women. Serrano believes that the infantry isn't about who can make it in but making sure they have the strongest and most efficient for the mission. Finestone explains that women's bodies are constructed differently which is a reason for so many of the injuries that occur. Also, Finestone explains that females acquire a lot more injuries compared to males and showed that women doing the same training in the infantry acquire a higher percentage of stress fractures (630). Serrano notes that women that choose to go into the infantry will most likely acquire an injury that could be career ending (37). Both authors seem to agree that females shouldn't be a part of the infantry because of the injuries that occur due to different physical body characteristic that can affect not just their careers but how they live their lives. While injury is a massive problem for females in the military Serrano also adds that it's not the only reason women shouldn't be in the infantry.
Serrano claims having females in the infantry would cause more sexual assault/harassment charges to happen (39). However, Author Capt. Eric Hovey writes in his article "Why Women DO Belong in the U.S. Infantry" that sexual assault/harassment charges aren't going to go up nor down because of females being put in infantry units (3). Hovey explains that if someone is going to assault a female Marine what is to stop them from attacking any other female. Serrano argues that female Marines are in the best shape of their lives and are the perfect specimen for hormone enraged 18-year-old boys. While Serrano believes in the saying of boys will be boys Hovey strongly disagrees. Hovey states that females shouldn't be the ones to blame for horrendous acts and to keep in mind that everyone can control their urges. Serrano believes that women are overall a distraction for males and takes away from unit readiness and affects the strong brotherhood in the infantry (38).
Serrano questions the motives of these young women as they join in the ranks of the marines. She says that the main reason why these young women join the ranks of the army is purely because of their selfish interests without considering the impacts that this would have on them after their service in the infantry (37). However, Hovey sharply disagrees and thinks that the assumption or opinions of Serrano are generalized and he believes that no one knows the motivation behind ones attempt to rise through the ranks of the infantry and he goes on and gives an example of women being allowed to vote back in the days (1). He continues to say that the arguments posed by Serrano are cliché and shouldn't be tolerated and therefore suggests that women who are capable should not be barred from doing what they can do.
Serrano thinks that there are instances of aping without logic behind it and this is after following closely on why any particular army would allow women into the infantry. She suggests that there are other light duties that women can do well in rather than the heavy lifting. She says that the reason why the Israeli and the Kurdish and other governments are entirely different from that of the American government is that the other governments have allowed women into the infantry because they need the manpower and not the expertise as compared to the American infantry and government (38). With constant attacks of the Israeli army, they need a more significant number to counter the advancement of their enemies. She suggests that allowing women into the American infantry would compromise the standards of the army as there are tasks which she thinks the women cannot handle effectively. She also calls upon all the women to accept that, indeed they are different in terms of their physicality from men and other factors and the first article can attest to his that women seem to have overuse injuries when they try to keep up with the same types of training that men undergo than when they engage in lighter exercise which they do better in. Serrano still goes on to say that the women make missions difficult in terms of the general morale training and readiness in the infantry units and she is of the idea that women can do best in specific areas such as the Human intelligence and she thinks that these women can accomplish the tasks which the men in the infantry cannot be able to achieve. She credits this to the nature of their gender, and she affirms that because of this, such units have remained to be stronger and most effective. Whereas Serrano articulates all those ideas, Hovey is of a different opinion and tags such views as sexist and disheartening. He thinks that there is no reason why the women should be barred from doing some duties just because they were born women. He asserts that women have broken the barriers and have done well in the same fields just as men and with this, there is no apparent reason to bar these women from doing what they are good in (2). He thinks that such advances will kill institutions such as the Lioness program and the Female Engagement Teams, both of which he says, proved that women could play in counterinsurgency scenarios and the function in winning ‘hearts and minds.'
Serrano doesn't see it fit for women to be in the infantry because in so doing, the identity, motivational tactics, and camaraderie is disrupted (38). She suggests that the jobs at the infantry are physically and emotionally demanding and therefore the operations at the infantry are carried out in a cult-like brotherhood organization. She says that the infantry is one place where individuals need to focus and free from distractions such women and do many other things such as joke and fart without being discriminated and by doing this, a bond is created unlike when a woman is among them. She questions the morality of such blending, the urge that these young men would have with physically fit women around them, and the logistics that need to be put in place to accommodate these women. She deems it costly and thinks it a task even to the families of these Marines as a wife would be left worrying about a husband lying next to a female marine (39). However, Hovey is of a different idea, and he thinks that the reasons Serrano brings forward should not be taken seriously, and he thinks women should not be punished by being blocked from the infantry because of issues that may arise when they relate with their male counterparts. He asserts that removing women from the infantry is not the solution to ending such problems and he poses (2). "Moreover if a marine is willing to assault another marine, what is to say that he will not assault a civilian woman back in garrison or a foreign national while deployed? Simply put, removing women from the infantry is not a guarantor of removing the problem of sexual assault from the infantry (3)."
In the study by Aharon Fineston...