by: CHESANIE BRANTLEY/Editor-in-Chief

For a hundred years, women have been fighting for true equality.

The Pentagon opened up another door for women all around our country in 2013 when the schedule for integrating women on the front lines of combat was announced.

Before June of 2013, there were hundreds of thousands of jobs in the military that were off-limits to women. Defense secretary Leon Panetta opened jobs in the infantry, and armor and social operations, among others. Tests were made that are gender neutral so that men and women alike will have to pass to qualify for a combat role.

Another issue that arose with the ruling from the Pentagon was the concern of standards being lowered to allow women to do the jobs that opened up. This should have never been a concern in the first place. There is no reason for standards to be lowered. If anyone wants a job, he or she will be willing to work to get it. The Pentagon has been planning on integrating women into the front-lines of combat in 2016.

The big question everyone is still debating, as the beginning of 2016 nears, is should women be allowed to fight on the front-lines?

For women to achieve true equality, then I absolutely believe we should be able to fight on the front-lines. I know I have had people tell me, “You are more than likely going to have to sign up for the draft; are you ready for that?”

YES, I am ready for that! Please give me a card, like every other male who turns 18 has received, to sign up. As a woman, I want true equality. That means doing everything a man does, just as he does it. Not an easier version, like “girl push-ups,” where your knees are on the ground and it is OK. True equality is being side by side with men.

I really do not see why this is even a debate.Those who oppose the ruling apparently do not want women to have the same job opportunities in the military, or for them to fight on the front-lines. Why? Because they are women?

One of the recent arguments I have seen is women are not biologically built as well as men are for combat. Yes, I will agree that most women are smaller than men. But would that not benefit the military? Some women can fit in smaller areas. Most women are also lighter, therefore quieter on their feet. Seems like a win-win to me.

Women are already being put in combat zones and fighting for our country, just not on the front-lines. The goal of the integration is to slowly put women in combat zones and work up to the being on the front-lines. It still has not happened yet, and it may not happen for another six months or so.

There has been a plan put in place by the Pentagon for this issue for more than two years now, but as 2016 gets closer and closer, more people are speaking up about their disapproval of women on the front-lines. If a woman wants to fight on the front-lines, then let her. No one would ever question the same decision if a man had made it.

Women should have every opportunity available to them, including jobs in the military. It is discrimination in the simplest form not to allow them to work or fight on the front-lines.

If anyone wants to serve our country, then he or she should not be limited, whether it is a male or a female. If a woman wants to stand on the front-lines and fight for her country, then we should be commending her and anyone else, man or woman, for it. We should not be upset about it, or try to come up with arguments to keep them down.

I am excited to see what 2016 holds for women in the military, and I am excited to see the first brave group to walk on the front-lines as equals.

 

Posted by Plainsman Press Staff

The student newspaper of South Plains College.

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