Societal roles for females have greatly changed over time. Long gone is the vision of a woman daintily placing her arm on a male and needing the likes of smelling salts or a fainting couch. The same can be said about her stereotypical role of being the homemaker, ensuring that her husband’s meal is ready on the table when he arrives home from work and that the children and the house were hers to take care of. What is interesting is the not-so-new dilemma that has again been brought to the forefront of tradition and reality, women on the front lines.
I realize that some things haven’t changed. Men still want to protect the woman, they want to show that chivalry is not dead, they feel that it is their evolutionary role. But, to allow a woman to fight for her country doesn’t take away from or impedes a man’s ability to so and to still remain chivalrous in the eyes of a woman. I’m a little concerned about these issues. Just like the debate about gays in the military (or even their place in societal institutions), there’s just as much opposition to females being on the front lines given the concern for protection or other seemingly arcane reasons.
Yes, it is true that women aren’t “built like a man” and that they can’t do some of the other things that are strictly genetically gender-based. But it doesn’t take away from a woman’s ability to get a job done. Roles have changed. Life has changed. And to deny a woman of such a right is no different from calling an African-American less of a person. Do I like the mental picture of seeing a woman slaughtered on the front lines? Well, it’s no different from the mental picture of a man dying there as well. It may be a bit more disturbing at first given what we’re used to, but like many other things that have changed and progressed in life, it’s something I’d have to get used to.