What is the major argument for why women should be able to serve in combat positions?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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There are two major arguments to be made for this point of view.  One has to do with equality and women’s rights and the other has to do with the changing nature of combat in today’s world.

On the one hand, we can argue that it is only fair and just that women should be allowed to participate in combat.  One way to think of this is in terms of women’s rights.  Women should have the right to be able to do anything that men can do so long as they are physically capable of doing so.  Looking at this slightly differently, we can even say that women should have the responsibility of participating in combat.  We tend to say that the military protects our rights and our American way of life.  Since women enjoy the benefits of this protection, they should also get to/have to participate in providing the protection.

The second aspect of this argument centers around what women can do as opposed to what they should do.  In the past, combat was a much more physical activity.  So long as combat required physical strength, it made sense to exclude women since they typically have less physical strength.  However, in today’s military, there are many forms of combat that do not require great strength.  This means that women should be more able to participate in combat.

Thus, we can argue that women should be participating in combat and that they are more able to participate in combat than in the past.