It takes balls to put in print that you don’t think a woman should be allowed to do certain things in this day and age.
“Which leaves us with the thorny question of women serving in armies that are hell bent on slaughtering each other.
To me the answer is simple: Do not send women into combat.”
That’s what Mike Strobel is talking about in his column. I must say, I find it surprising that a number of people have gone on the record, asserting we shouldn’t let women fight in combat.
What has even started this discussion? The funeral for Nichola Goddard, Canada’s first female soldier to be killed in combat, is today, in Calgary.
It is true this is our first “official” death of a female combat soldier. And yes, it does give you a moment’s pause.
But to go so far as to say that we shouldn’t allow women to be in combat situations is a bit extreme. And I can’t help wondering how the families of the men who have fallen in Afghanistan feel. Like their son’s/brother’s/husband’s sacrifice wasn’t as meaningful? Because the media attention over the death of one female soldier has been unlike anything since… Well, four of our soldiers were killed in tragic circumstances.
Now, Kevin tells me that Nichola was an artillery officer. Being somewhat unknowing with respect to military stuff, when he tells me her death was likely an accident, I figure he probably knows what he’s talking about. What she was doing is elusive to me, mentally, with respect to where she would have been in this particular situation. Kevin, being trained, actually being one of only two men in a whole unit (probably not the right term. Company? Whatever. Big group of soldiers.) to “survive” a training exercise in which all his commanding officers were even “killed”. I should get him to do a write-up on how they do these training exercises – pretty interesting, actually.
I’ve always been more interested with his weapons knowledge, because he’s a good marksman. Even impressed the guy at the firing range when he was teaching me to shoot and he hadn’t used a gun in years.
But I digress. Now, some might think I’m being hypocritical here. I’m not always terribly keen about “affirmative action” being used to hire woman as firefighters, for example.
Look, bottom line: women should be able to do whatever they’re capable of.
I just don’t think the standards for police officers or firefighters or soldiers should be lowered to make it easier for women to get in.
Height regulations, sure. But not when it comes to safety.
I feel saying that we shouldn’t have female combat soldiers is actually disrespectful to Nichola Goddard and undermines her sacrifice and the loss her family has suffered. She chose to be in the military. And believe me, not just anyone gets in. If she had the capability, the qualifications, to be there and to serve her country, she’d earned the right to be a soldier in every sense of the word.
And that includes the right to die.
It doesn’t make me happy about it. But if a woman is fully trained and every bit as capable to serve as a police officer or a firefighter or a soldier, I have no problem with that either. And that means I’m accepting the fact that they might die.
Yes, they might die. Those jobs are dangerous.
I have a few problems with some departments, who have promoted women because they aren’t capable of physically doing front-line stuff. In those cases, I have to ask why they’re letting the women be on the department. So for those who saw my rant about that, well, it’s one of those ‘knowledge isn’t always a good thing’ things, because it isn’t for or against women. It’s for each person on a job being capable of doing the job. I don’t think we should hire “token minorities” just to fill quotas IF the person being hired isn’t capable.
Especially when there are lives at stake. And I can’t get over that, because it’s important to me that my husband have the best possible back-up available when he goes into a fire.
And, in fairness, there are a few men as well who should be put on leave until they’re physically capable of doing the job.
But don’t get me started.
As I type this, I can imagine that people elsewhere are wondering, “Why the fuss?” Us wussy Canadians… It’s 2006 and people are grappling with the death of the first female soldier killed in combat?
We should consider ourselves fortunate that our losses have not been greater, for certainly, the loss of a woman in combat that our American friends know something about.
I think we should show our respect to Nichola Goddard’s family and to her, by honouring her choice to serve her country and mourning her loss as we would any other soldier, instead of turning this into a discussion that seems to infer the loss of a woman in combat somehow matters more than the loss of any man.
As far as I’m concerned, each death is tragic. If only our soldiers never had to face combat, but that isn’t the reality of the world we live in.
And I’m thankful there are those who choose to serve, whatever colour or gender they may be. They are heroes, all.
There will be COZY NOIR definitions to vote over, posted tonight. Still a bit of time to email me with one. Be sure to drop by over the weekend and cast your vote.
And I’d like to introduce you to a new blog. Well, not exactly new, but he’s made the leap from aol to blogger, so that pesky people like me can comment occasionally instead of harassing him with emails. Bill the Wildcat’s blog is one of the more eclectic blogs I visit regularly. He talks about soundtracks and fiction beyond crime fiction, about trips to the store and cats with blue stripes…
In short, it’s pretty interesting. And he writes with his wife, which proves what a brave man he is!
Funny courtesy of JT Ellison who has a very interesting post up today that writers should check out.
A pompous Baptist minister was seated next to a cowboy in the first class section of the plane on a flight to Texas.
After the plane was airborne, drink orders were taken. The cowboy asked for a whiskey and soda, which was brought and placed before him.
The flight attendant then asked the minister if he would like a drink. He replied in disgust, "I'd rather be savagely raped by brazen whores than let liquor touch my lips."
The cowboy then handed his drink back to the attendant and said, "Me, too. I didn't know we had a choice."
The gang - Left to Right Stuart, Rebus (all black), Simon, Russel
Yes, the playfighting has begun!