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Should Women Serve in Combat, Rick Santorum? They Already Do.

Topic: Women in Politics | By Patricia Murphy | February 10, 2012

Rick Santorum set off a firestorm today when he told CNN’s John King that he is concerned about a new Pentagon policy opening up some front-line positions like radio operators, medics, tank mechanics and other jobs to women in the military.  Specifically, Santorum said he doesn’t think women should serve in combat-related jobs because of physical limits and “other types of emotions” that might present themselves if women were on battlefields.  Oh boy.

“I think that could be a very compromising situation, where people naturally may do things that may not be in the interest of the mission because of other types of emotions that are involved,” he said.  “It already happens, of course, with the camaraderie of men in combat, but I think it would be even more unique if women were in combat. And I think that’s not in the best interests of men, women or the mission.”

The only detail missing from the senator’s opposition to women serving in these new positions is that they already do (see the lady gunner to the left?).  Officially, it’s been in a temporary capacity because of the existing Pentagon ban on women in front-line jobs, but that hasn’t stopped women from going to war and taking all the good and bad that comes with.  Even those not officially on the front lines have deployed to chaotic environments that expose them to all of the dangers of what we traditionally think of as combat.  Snipers and roadside bombs don’t check to see if soldiers are women or men before they go off.

Since 2001, more than 240,000 American women have been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. So far, 140 women have been killed and more than 800 wounded.   The only ‘other types of emotions’ servicewomen are probably feeling are confusion about why they are not being acknowledged for what they’ve been doing for years.

CJP added some thoughts over at the Washington Post’s She the People blog, but here on our pages, we just want to add a message to the kickass Janes  in the U.S. military– GO GIRLS!!


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