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The Contender
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Women in Combat

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/23/2012 Category: Society
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,625 times Debate No: 23802
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (2)




Before we proceed, this is not meant to be a sexist rant about the equality of men in women in the military. It is about one subject: women in combat. Now, I make this argument not based on research or what I read in a book but from my experience as a Marine who has seen the horrors of war first hand. In 2003 I was apart of the invasion into Iraq(my belief on the war in Iraq is a whole nother debate to which my position might surprise you). It goes without saying that warfare is one of the most brutal acts man can do against his fellow man. Sometimes we fight for virtue and sometimes we fight for political advantage. The next logical question would be,"who should fight?" Almost since the dawn of time that has fallen on the shoulders of men, there are historical examples of women warriors throughout time i.e; Joan of Arc, Boudicca are amongst the well known, however these women were the exception, not the rule. It's safe to say that war is
a "guy thing." In the so called "war on terror" women have found themselves under incredibly enduring circumstances where they had to step up to the plate and go "full bore" on the enemy. Their actions are above commendable. Because of this the argument has come up that women should be able to serve in front line infantry and special operations units, pushing the social hype aside, lets get to the meat and potatoes, should they or shouldn't they. There are some roles in life best suited for men and best for women, I was raised by a single mother and she went to the ends of the earth to raise me right, however she could never be the one thing I wanted most, a father. One of the first things I hear in this debate is "how strong do you have to be to pull a trigger?" Not strong at all I say, a child around 7 has enough strength to pull the trigger, does that mean we should have child soldiers? Just look to Africa for examples of that. Strength is a major part of it, I've had to carry packs that were in excess of a hundred pounds for distances of up to 10 miles, marched until my feet have bled and gone days with very little sleep, food or water. The physical effort required is sometimes that of an Olympic athlete. Women are given lesser physical standards because of this, however combat has only one standard, life or death and if you can't hack it you might die or you weakness might get someone else killed. There is no argument that men and women are different physically so lets go to a sensitive subject, that time of the month. Women require special needs during there menstrual cycle, some can tough it out, some can't. The mission isn't going to stop so a woman can address her "needs" nor will it be augmented around them. Next comes the issue of fraternization, no military can ever discipline away men and women's attraction to one another. As a Marine, if we had a female in my platoon that was just as tough as any of her male counterparts, I might just fall in love. Imagine the love triangle in that unit. More importantly the "little sister" mentality would kick in , causing some of the honor-bound males to be overprotective of her. That could be bad. As a man I could run past another wounded brother and stay on mission,but my honor would not allow me to do the same to a woman, call me old-fashioned. Next their is the issue of promotion, because women would be a minority in a combat unit the issue of whether the are being fairly promoted would come up. Not enough promotions and the unit commanders come across as sexist, to much and it looks like favoritism. Either way a person in the military should be promoted based on merit not status. I can go on and on but I won't, I'll save that for the debate. In closing the advocates for women in combat won't "get it" until they see their mothers,sisters,daughters and wives coming home in flagged draped caskets by the thousands or go down to the local VA clinic and see them in wheelchairs. Women ARE equal in war, they can equally die, lose their limbs, be burned beyond recognition and have mental problems for life. What do you think the enemy is going to with female POW's, take them to dinner and a movie.


I thank my opponent for posting his argument, and I would personally like to stand on the PRO side of this debate arguing with legitimate resources and studies on the effectiveness of women in combat rather than personal experience in the field of battle (with the consideration that I am not a part of the armed forces). I have but one observation in order to establish a parameter in this debate:

Observation: With the consideration that no particular region of the world has been specified at which to analyze whether or not to allow women in, this debate will fixate on the solitary general mindset that women should not belong in any field of military combat.

With this observation established, I move on toward my contentions for this debate:

Contention 1: There is no greatly compelling reason as to why women should not be in military combat.
As I will explain through my evidence, not only are all of the questions about the effectiveness of women in direct military combat and their inclusion in the military, but to hold the general idea that all women are to fit this model without taking careful consideration of the individual is nothing more than blatant, unjustified discrimination of sex. All of this conglomerates to the general conclusion that there is no compelling reason to maintain the antiquated law of women being banned from engaging in military combat.

Sub-point 1a: Denying women a position in military based on generalization without consideration of the individual is sexism.
If you look toward my opponent's case and the arguments that he makes, it is all pretty much a reiteration of quintessential arguments against the inclusion of women in combat, and with great consideration that these such arguments generalize women rather than look at them individually in order to see if they are fit for combat, it is inherently sexist and unfair. Such are the characteristics of discrimination based on gender:
Gender discrimination is any unequal treatment based on gender and may also be referred to as sexism. Characteristics of gender discrimination are any situation where a person shows a prejudice towards another that would not occur had they been the opposite sex

Read more: Gender Discrimination Definition |

The following report explains: "Some of the common arguments underpinning a policy of exclusion of women from combat roles are based on opinions as to whether women “could” serve in positions closed to them, while others deal with whether they “should”.68 These arguments are founded on the premise hat women and men should not be treated as individuals, but rather as a group with generalized characteristics. The most typical arguments against women in ground combat are: 1) women lack the physical strength to be in ground combat; 2) women’s presence will decrease unit cohesion and therefore effectiveness; and 3) women just don’t belong in combat."

Sub-point 1b: Physical ability is measured individually and should apply to women.
The effectiveness requires that the physical ability should be measured individually. The following report explains: "
Many men do not have the physical strength or stamina to be in “ground combat”positions and should not be eligible for combat assignments just because of their gender. Similarly, a woman should not be excluded from assignments to these units if she has the requisite physical strength and stamina. A gender neutral policy will allow the most capable force to be assembled. All potential recruits should be screened as individuals, as men are today, rather than eliminating one group of potential recruits on the basis of a stereotype or generalization. Military effectiveness, not gender, should be the sole criteria for assignment policies." Physical force is not the only thing that is needef for combat either, as the report continues: "All personnel wearing the uniform must have some basic level of physical strength to ensure they can defend themselves in battle. However, a capable combat soldier must possess more than just physical strength. Skill, motivation, and a fighting spirit are just as crucial for the warrior, and all of these characteristics are gender-blind. Army and Marine leadership have recently been emphasizing additional crucial traits like judgment, discipline, restraint, and intellect, to name a few."

Sub-point 1c: Problems with unit cohesion can be solved.
"While focusing a great deal on cohesion as a reason to exclude women from combat, the 1992
Presidential Commission admitted: “There are no authoritative military studies of mixed-gender
ground combat cohesion, since available cohesion research has been conducted among male-only
ground combat units.”83 To fill the void of data, they resorted to interviewing many men who never had women in their units to get their opinions on how women would affect cohesion, a rather biased sample. These same techniques were used in the past to keep black Americans
from serving in racially integrated units. For example, in 1925 the Army War College published a study claiming that close association of blacks and whites in military organizations was detrimental to harmony and efficiency and that blacks were inherently more cowardly than
whites. 84 Experience has long since shown these claims to be completely false."

Contention 2: Women have proven themselves effective on the battlefield in times past.

In WWI, almost 23,000 women served as nurses at home and overseas, but this was the first

conflict where women formally enlisted in the ranks in other roles in the Reserves. Women

served as yeomen and clerks on the home front as well as contract telephone operators and

stenographers in Europe. More than 400 U.S. women died while serving their country in WWI

despite not yet having the right to vote

Source: "Women in Combat: Is the Current Policy Obsolete?"--Martha E. McSally, Colonel, USAF
Debate Round No. 1


nickusmc forfeited this round.


Conduct Point and Extension of Case: Since my opponent forfeited the previous round, this means that I'm already winning the argumentation vote since I was able to extend my entire case across the flow, and I'm winning the conduct point because I've been punctual to this debate since round 1.
Evidence/Sources: When looking at my evidence against my opponent's, it also seems like I will be winning the sources point in this debate for the following reason: my evidence also comes from the perspective of someone who has been on the battlefield and seen the very things that my opponent himself has seen, but it's reinforced by two things: (1) It comes from the perspective of a woman, meaning that my evidence is more precise for the evalutation of this round since it is more direct and relevant than the perspective of a man. (2) The author from my research has made her own research and concrete detail through citations, meaning that it has accredited information much stronger than my opponent provides anywhere in his case statement.
Roles in life: The fact that my opponent brings up the idea that there are roles that men and women are made inherently to fill implies that his logic is that anything deviating from that role is wrong. Essentially what he says in this argument is that if a woman fills some roles outside of her realm according to my opponent's logic is simply wrong. This is pretty much sexism in a nutshell.
Physical Standards: My opponent goes on to talk about the physical endurance, and he seems to imply that all women are built unequally as strong as men are, which is also just a sexist idealism. In the military, physical ability is screened individually, as my evidence has proven, and only the elite are chosen as a result in order to fight in the battlefield. Based on my opponent's own statements about women on the battlefield, bringing up examples of female military members that were perfectly capable of battle and based on my evidence talking about the role of the woman in war, it's evident that at some level, there can be women who can perform those physical standards, but to judge their capability based on a generalization is nothing more than sexism at its finest.
Unit Cohesion/Fraternization: My opponent brings up points with no evidence questioning the unit cohesion that would result when it comes to love triangles, even though there is no evidence as such according to my own evidence. Second, this seems to be a matter of discpline and self-control rather than a warrant for the need to keep women out. Leadership is needed in this scenario to keep things together, especially when it comes to the deal of protecting the country. My opponent doesn't explain why keeping women out is the only option.
Menstruation: The idea that a woman would be so debilitated from menstruation that she wouldn't be able to perform anything on a mission is not only unfounded, but ridiculous. My opponent has no evidence of any sort to say that this would be a serious problem.
Debate Round No. 2


nickusmc forfeited this round.


Extend all arguments and vote for PRO.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by THEBOMB 6 years ago
Please place spaces between paragraphs.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Maikuru 6 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con forfeited.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: FF