Back in 1992, when cries for women in combat were sounding on the heels of the Gulf War, John Luddy wrote about the implications of such a decision in the Los Angeles Times:
All killing on the battlefield is not accomplished by precision-guided munitions; men must still drive cold steel into other men’s guts. Parents, picture a platoon of soldiers, your daughter among them, wielding bayonets in what we infantrymen delicately call close combat. Some are doing the sticking; some are being stuck. Therein lies the second problem with placing women in combat units. As a society, do we want to have women doing this? If so, what would be wrong with a man punching a woman under the same circumstances in which he might punch a man? One is no “better” than the other, but we react differently, don’t we?
While some of the aggressive behaviors men exhibit are the result of cultural factors, many are biological and part of the created order. Properly channeled, their aggressions have, throughout history, protected and defended family, property, and country.
Obviously, women are uniquely equipped to bear children. It’s something men cannot do. In addition to the obvious differences in strength, it’s the main reason men have provided protection for their families and were the ones to go to war throughout history. Biologically, a woman can only reproduce for a small window of time in her life, her fertility decreasing in her 30s. The very survival of society depends on protecting women. It’s interesting to note that the sex ratio at birth, both in the United States and around the world, favors men. In the U.S. 1.05 boys are born for every girl. I don’t want to say that men are more expendable, but from a purely raw numbers standpoint, we need women more than we need men. A society that doesn’t recognize this and fails to honor the important and different roles men and women fulfill blindly ignores all of human history.
If we as a country insist on pushing through this barrier and throwing our women at the enemy by placing them on the front lines in combat, some important cultural and sociological changes will need to occur. We will need to raise a new generation of men who will be willing to stand by and watch women being shot, stabbed, tortured, raped and battered. They will need to be desensitized to the realities of harm befalling women. Additionally, once the United States crosses the barrier of women in combat, other countries will likely follow, so our men will need to learn to stand face to face with a woman, look her in the eye, and kill her in hand-to-hand combat.