Friday, April 06, 2007

Women..........what are they good for...certainly not the front line?

The storm engendered in the press this morning about women in combat raises many issues. Their deaths, coming as they do hard on the heels of the Iran incident where, heaven forbid a bloody woman complicated the situation, has sadly unearthed the sexism still lurking just beneath the surface in some quarters

As someone who, like one of the women killed yesterday, served with the Intelligence Corps, it made me think long and hard about the issues.

What really gets my goat is the sort of comments that are being made about this. There is concern (expressed by Colonel Bob Stewart) that what is really wrong about having women serve on the front line is that it "has a debilitating effect on the men". The argument to my feeble female mind is rather reminiscent of that used against women in skimpy clothing, that they shouldn't do it because they invite rape. Also that the role of men is to protect women and they can't do that if women want to be treated as equals. SORRY! Actually I think the stronger, whether that be physically, emotionally, intellectually, should always protect the weaker, regardless of gender, race or political persuasion! If I can't lift something because I am 5 feet nothing and have a dodgy back, I have no qualms about asking anyone physically stronger than me to help and I get fed up with the snide comments of the "ah you need a man now" variety. Yes, sometimes I need a man, sometimes a woman, sometimes a child, to help me........and sometimes they need me to help them, that is the nature of an interdependent society and ought to be the nature of an interdependent world.

There was an excellent discussion on the Today programme this morning between Kate Adey and Bea Campbell, Bea rightly drawing attention to the fact that in modern urban warfare it is women and children who are disproportionately killed and maimed. So, yes, let's be shocked and horrified that we have lost two of our brave service women, but let's also hope it draws attention to the fact that we have lost far more women through the very act of war itself.

OK, that's me done ranting for now..........back to the packing!

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