Meghan Kellison

Meghan`s Musings

More About: Feminism

Women Waging War

Women Waging War
We can fight and die
Together brothers and girls
Bombing the dying

We can do it, girls
We can kill the enemy
Formed in our mind's lie

With drones from afar
Killing and drilling children
Under oil sands

Let's get you drafted
For the wars of tomorrow

             Since the announcement by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta that women will now be able to be on the front lines in war, it has been difficult to put words to all the feelings I have about this decision. The question that keeps rising in my mind is, “Does the government really hate women that much?” Yes, I understand wanting to advance a career in your field of specialty; yes, as a feminist I see how this could be touted as an advancing of equality; yes, I am still concerned that this is not in the best interest of women but also all humans in general.
              State actors never act with your intentions in mind. They have their own agendas, and especially with the growth of the military industrial complex it is very disconcerting that this is being touted as an economy booster rather than trying to round up more people for more wars. Hooray, women, now you’re allowed to be desensitized to violence and forced to kill innocent people, too, because we decided you’re equal now!
             If you have to beg for the government to allow you to be used and abused and essentially lied to and possibly killed to advance an overall anti-women and children agenda, how is that progression? Shouldn’t we really be asking why does the military need people so badly that it has opened the door for women to be waging endless wars?
            It’s no secret that this administration is invading and destroying countries at an even more increased rate than our last warmongering administration. Countless people, women and children are being killed at an alarming pace all over the world by this country’s military for nefarious reasons. Why should anyone, especially women, want to be a part of that? As a woman, I think we should hold ourselves to better standards. We are by nature nurturers, and this should be a source of pride, not seen as a weakness.  As such we should seek to protect future generations of all people, not destroy them. There’s no honor in unjustly killing someone just like a man.
             Another moment in history I can’t seem to get out of my head is the eerie similarities to Austria’s situation after it was annexed by Germany.  After the rise of the Third Reich, military service was compulsory for women and men. The exercises remained completely equal, to the point where some women died in training. The most disturbing part was how the women were put on the front lines, and returned as one woman described, “emotional cripples.” Austrian women were literally used as human shields during WW2.
             Now, I know the accusation of Godwin’s Law is tantalizingly close, but hear me out. I am not calling Obama Hitler, nor am I saying that we are living in Nazi Germany or any of that rubbish. We are still very free and fortunate to have the liberties we have, and this historical tidbit wouldn’t even concern me that much if the reasoning for allowing women on the front lines in Austria wasn’t exactly the same as the reasoning this government is using. You see, Austria was in economic collapse at the time of Hitler’s rise, and the military program was a “jobs creator” that would “boost the economy.” Sound familiar? Did you really think that the military leaders who decided this all of a sudden decided not to be sexist and totally for equality?
             The economic boost that women in combat positions will supposedly bring is the other, perhaps more true, reason. This also doesn’t bode well for us because the tone of the rationale basically sounds like this “The economy is still so bad that we have to resort to letting in more women to the front lines of all these wars we are waging.” I can think of a better economic solution, how about we stop killing people in the wars? Maybe no more men or women have to die in the…uh…wars.
             It is amazing sometimes how many women I see supporting these unjust and costly wars, and now even more so. It really hurts to see what was the anti-war left becoming apologists for drone warfare, torture, and other obviously unethical military actions this administration has taken.
             Though I am angry that the escalation of war is continuing and getting more fuel for the fires, and though I am disappointed at the joy surrounding this announcement, I am probably more depressed about it than anything else. Has perpetual war become so commonplace, that instead of becoming outraged that they want to kill more women, people are rejoicing at the fact? What about the still lingering problem of rape in all branches of the military? These women will be thrust into more dangerous situations when the possibility of rape in any rank is still incredibly high.
             I must conclude that all of these things lead me to believe that the state is just as misogynistic as ever, and that this announcement is not a cause of celebration, but one for despair. Cultures thrive when their women are protected and treated as valuable, not when they are sent out to die first as disposable tools of warfare.

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