There has been a lot of hoo-ha, hearsay and conjecture this week about women serving on the frontline.
Sure it took a Skype sex scandal in the defence force to bring it about, but this is now a coffee table issue.
I for one am in support of it. Not because I am a woman, a feminist, or a man hater, but because I am all for as many people as possible in the country defending ME if we ever get invaded.
When the aliens realise that the Earth is the equivalent of the dessert cart when it comes to tasty treats, I don’t care if you wear a cup or a B cup, I’ll be standing behind whoever is shooting back at them, patting them on the back and yelling things like ‘Good show!’ or ‘You missed one!’.
But there have been a lot of generalisations thrown about for the argument of women NOT being on the frontline, and as a woman I am exercising my God-given right to get all uppity about it.
Women will be a distraction for men
Uh, this one says more about men than it does women.
This isn’t a 1920s garden party where a girl strips down to her knee length bathing suit, tittering from under her boat hat and batting her eyelashes.
This is war!
I highly doubt that when the air is thick with bullets, your mates lie wounded around you, and the enemy is closing in fast, that you’ll be thinking of dating prospects.
Are male soldiers the modern day equivalent of Neanderthal Man?
When they see a chick are they reduced to bumbling teenagers at their first dance who try to impress the girls by fighting with each other?
Or like in any other workplace, are they well adjusted human beings who can chat to a person regardless of their sex and not wonder what colour underpants they’re wearing?
There is also concern that during down time there will be a bit of fraternisation amongst the troops, if you know what I’m saying.
Hate to break it to you, but it appears that there is a lot of that going on without women on the frontline. I’ve seen M*A*S*H, I know what I’m talking about.
Women can’t play NRL or AFL
This is quite a hilarious one. By comparing the strength and endurance used in these elite sports with combat, some people are under the belief that women should get out there and throw a football about and then head to the frontline. A couple of problems though:
While strength and endurance is indeed a common factor in football and combat, I’m pretty sure that they require different skill sets.
Or maybe ball-handling skills cross both areas – I’m not sure, I’m just a civilian.
The real reason women don’t play AFL or NRL is not because we are physically unable to do so; it’s because they are boring, stupid games to play.
We much prefer to watch gorgeous men running around in short shorts.
Women have Periods
Thanks for noticing. We do indeed.
Some people are concerned that when G.I. Jane’s Aunty Miriam comes for her monthly visit, we will take to our tents with a hot water bottle and a copy of The Notebook and leave the dudes to take care of things.
Well, if we can ride a horse in a white bathing suit along the beach in the height of summer holidays and look good for our date, we can manage a bit of discomfort.
There has also been the super gross factor of ‘sanitary issues’, where people are worried as to what women will do with the ‘refuse’ that comes with the use of sanitary products.
First of all, thanks so much for taking the time to worry about this.
We’ll discuss why this is a number one issue for you later.
But did you know that the first disposable menstrual pads were taken from Benjamin Franklin’s design to save soldiers with buckshot wounds?
If soldiers in the 18th Century could find adequate disposal for their ‘refuse’ so can chicks nowadays.
Women can’t handle weapons
And dudes don’t know how to work the oven, or the washing machine, or the dishwasher! This is as stereotypical as a Carry On movie. Oh the hilarity!
These 1950s assumptions on a person’s ability being dependent on their gender went out with Eisenhower.
Sure there are no women evil scientists or anything like that, but do I need to bring up all the awesome weapon-handling women in the world? Charlie’s Angels, Wonder Woman and Xena spring to mind.
But in the real world I’m thinking of Senior Lieutenant Lilya Litvak of the Soviet Union. Called "the White Rose of Stalingrad", she was a fighter ‘Ace’ and died in combat.
Or Hannah Snell, an 18th Century English woman who donned dudes’ clothes to find her husband.
After she fought with the Duke of Northumberland's army against Bonnie Prince Charlie, she fought in the siege of Araapong and in the campaign to capture Pondicherry, and later in the battle in Devicotta.
Women can’t handle the discomfort
Amazonian warriors were reported to have cut off their right breast to encourage better aim in archery and spear throwing. Dude, we invented discomfort.
I understand that my ideas are a little ‘crazy’, possibly controversial and as ‘out there’ as my theories on alien attacks, but instead of concentrating on the various reasons why women can’t be on the frontline, I think it might be more productive to think up ways how we can get them on the front line.
If gear and packs are too heavy, let’s investigate ways of making them lightweight.
If close quarters between men and women is an issue, let’s resort to female and male units.
But above all, let’s get out of this way of thinking that people can’t do something because of their sex.
That sort of thinking is the reason why girls receive presents of dolls that wet themselves and boys receive awesome Transformers.
And on that note, keep watching the skies....
The opinions expressed in The 7PM Side Project blog do not necessarily reflect those of The 7PM Project or the Ten Network.