Women in Combat

This past Thursday, January 24, 2013, the United States military has finally lifted the official, 1994 ban on employing women in combat positions — a ban which, in fact, had existed with almost no question nor articulation since the USA became a nation.

Women in Combat (female soldier shown in helmet)

This is a victory for Feminism, just as the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was a victory for the LGBT movement. It is clear now that despite having a long way to go, the US Military is moving in the right direction by discarding its outdated and bigoted traditions one-by-one.

But as Noah Berlatsky — a self-proclaimed male Feminist — writes in The Atlantic, war, itself, is a male concept and seen by many Feminists as being antithetical to Feminism, itself. That’s a sweeping over-generalization but consider this: as the military moves further and further from being a men-only club, perhaps the infusion of women into leadership positions will make war, itself, less and less likely as time goes on.


Art-itorial by Barbara Broido. Visit Barbara’s Doodle Blog for more of her art, design work and socio-political commentary.


  1. It’s disturbing that this country is focusing on the issue of women in combat and not the fact they are being raped and sexually assaulted at a rate of one in three.

    Dempsey is trying to say that women are being raped because they aren’t in combat!

    This was a PR move by the Pentagon to take our focus off of military rape. And it’s worked because no one is talking about rapes anymore, they are talking about combat!

    Feminism in this country is dead or stupid.


    • Dear anonymous person whose head looks like a soft ice cream cone,

      I believe you are committing the logical error I think of as “inappropriate triage.” Triage is a medical concept developed centuries ago to deal with mass medical emergencies such as occur on the battlefield. Triage means “to sort,” and using the principles of triage, the wounded are sorted by how close they are to death and treated in order, from the most severely wounded to the least. This makes sense on the battlefield as there are many more wounded than can be treated at once.

      Triage concepts, however, when applied inappropriately to social issues, makes no sense as, in most cases, dealing with lower priority issues has no effect whatsoever on higher priority issues. Triage is applied inappropriately most often by conservatives in order to justify doing nothing. You’re saying, essentially, why bother with combat inequality when there are worse problems in the military.

      Have you ever encountered anyone who said, “why bother with giving parking tickets when there are people selling drugs on the corner?” This is an inappropriate use of triage concepts and, extended, becomes, “why bother with drug dealers when there are people molesting children?” This leads to, “why bother with child molesters when there are serial killers?” “Why bother with serial killers when there are mass murderers?” “Why bother with mass murderers when there are genocidal regimes?” “Why bother with genocide when there are hydrogen bombs?”

      You get the idea, I hope. We are, as a civilization, quite able to deal with multiple problems at once.

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