Nothing gets a woman more determined than to tell her she can’t do something, especially when she has already set her mind to it.
The U.S. military has maintained that women cannot hold ground combat positions and for some women that just makes them want it that much more. This has driven so many women to fight for the chance to prove they can, that they measure up and have what it takes to do the job.
In 2013, for the first time women were able to enter into roles that were previously only held by men. Just as doors have opened to women in new areas throughout the military though, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has made a few comments that might set that back. “Allowing women to serve in ground combat positions could make them more vulnerable to sexual predators,” Carter remarked to Reserve Officers’ Training Corps cadets at Georgetown University.
Obviously, as we get women into more unaccustomed positions, maybe dangerous isolated positions, maybe positions where they are fewer in relation to the number of men, it opens up opportunities for predators.
He then spun it and said there could be a positive effect of bringing more women into areas that have only been open to men.
“I can’t help but believe for many people; they’ll learn better how to conduct themselves, how to interact across gender lines and so forth. And that will contribute to prevention and eventually eradication of sexual assaults,” he added.
Social media exploded with comments in all directions replying to Carter’s statements.
Carl Woog, a spokesman for Carter, quickly came to his defense saying Carter opened the door to 20,000 new jobs for women in the military since taking office and that he is committed to ending sexual assault within the ranks.
Some people on social media have honed in on “allowing” women to have these positions as anti-feminist. Others have fixated on “make them more vulnerable,” as if women were completely defenseless. I particularly liked one comment:
“How about we bar predators from combat roles instead of women doing their jobs?”
If Carter really wants to open military positions to women, are these comments helping or hurting that goal? Many people are mad and in this digital age, they aren’t afraid to sound-off about it.
This uproar could actually be a good thing though. It has people talking about sexual assault in the military. While some are afraid jobs will be closed off to women because of the potential risk of predators, I’m more inclined toward opening those doors. I want to see women fill those roles and lead our great country. I want them to succeed.
Whether ground combat positions are available to women or not in the future, the door to discussion is open. It is apparent at least with these few comments Defense Secretary Carter has a spotlight now shining on him. Will more jobs become available or will they be closed off to women because of him? Hopefully, the military will see changes for the good, no matter what those changes may be.