Women in Combat
Debate Rounds (4)
This is a subject that has occupied my thoughts for a while, and I believe it would be interesting to go into deeper discussion about the matter with someone else who shares a differing perspective than mine. My position is that women should be "allowed" in combat if they have the merit.
Of course, I recognize that there are potential pitfalls to women in equal combat roles as men, and I expect my opponent to lay down these pitfalls in a clear and concise manner with explanation for each. I will, in turn, present the positives as well as counter reasons with explanation as to why these negatives do not outweigh the benefits of women fighting in combat. If the negatives outweigh these reasons, then my opponent wins. If vice versa, I win.
The decision of which side "outweighs" the other can be discussed, but will ultimately be up to the discretion of the voters. However, I ask that the voters base their decision on the guidelines provided by DDO as well as the ground rules outlined in this debate.
The first round will be acceptance
Second round will be arguments/rebuttals
Third round will be further arguments/rebuttals
Final round will be conclusions
I look forward to dabbling in this topic with my opponent. May the best debater win.
Original debate below:
Greetings, and thank you for accepting the debate. Let's jump right into it, then.
To begin, I would like to open with a brief list of positives and main points as to why women should be allowed in equal combat roles as men.
First: It opens the door for equal opportunity between genders.
Second: It will strengthen military in quantity and quality.
These two points will serve as the backbone for my arguments.
It opens the door for equal opportunity between genders
Considering the nation's historical progression of gaining and maintaining equality between differing groups, it should not come as much surprise that women are trying to gain an equal role in military combat as men. The policies that have barred women from doing so thus far have been based on presumptuous notions of a woman's capabilities and the risks that she would put herself at upon entering combat zones side by side with men.
The question, however, as to what the woman believes her capabilities are and what risks she's willing to put herself through, has not, until recent years, been asked. If a woman has the merit, and believes she can handle the risks involved, then there is little ethical and rational reason that carries enough significance as to why that woman should be completely barred from the opportunity.
It makes no sense to automatically assume that an individual does not have the ability to do something without giving them the chance to prove themselves otherwise. And, as we have seen with the gradual inclusion of women in combat roles within the Marine Corps and Army, women can and do indeed possess the ability to serve in combat roles on the field alongside men.
Women in combat will not only break down these discriminatory barriers, but will also serve as an example for the opportunities that both women and men can equally share.
It will strengthen military in quantity and quality.
As of January 1st, 2016, all combat roles will be open to women as ordered by the overturned Direct Ground Combat and Assignment Rule in 2013, which had before excluded women from direct-ground combat. With that, 100,000 positions in 14 specialties in the Army and 70,000 poistions in 32 specialties in the Marines will potentially be opened to women. Already there are 33,000 jobs 132 military occupational specialties available to women. What this basically means is that with the inclusion of women, we are and will be getting more soldiers. More soldiers, in theory, means stronger military.
However, the more sensitive subject lies in the actual quality of those females soldiers. With that in mind, it is important to consider the methods in which women have and are being incorporated in the military. Women have been involved in the military for decades, such as in the Air Force, Navy, and other "non-direct-ground" combat roles. They have displayed the skills necessary to complete their specific tasks and have contributed to the military in valuable ways because of it. Serving in equal direct-ground combat roles should yield no different results if the female soldier meets the task provided and executes it in an efficient manner.
This debate obviously regards whether or not a woman does indeed have those necessary skills. As I mentioned before, however, women have displayed their capacity to handle direct-ground combat. Since November last year, already over 40 female marines have completed the School of Infantry. That number is only expected to increase as more and more women enter combat positions.
Bottom line is that if a woman is able to meet the requirements of a combat soldier, she therefore serves as an asset, and overall adds to the nation's military. Thus, with the inclusion of women in equal combat roles as men, the military will be amplified not only in numbers, but in quality as well.
I absolutely agree that if women are allowed in direct combat, then numbers will go up. The problem lies with quality. Military standards have been lowered for women in order to make it easier to get into the military. This means that lower quality soldiers are entering the military, which can have many detrimental affects. First of all, with the entry of lower quality soldiers, the overall quality of the military is reduced. This means that some troops (or larger units) can be relied on more than others, meaning there will be unexpected issues because the soldier (or larger unit) could not handle a certain task. If lower quality soldiers are in combat, that means that death rate will go up. For example, you have 4 soldiers, each one is covering one of the cardinal directions. If one of the soldiers is lower quality, this increases the risk that not only will that soldier die, but because everyone is depending on the soldier to defend that direction, if the soldier fails, then everyone dies. (Exaggeration for purpose of example.) In conclusion, death rate will go up because not only is the lower quality soldier dying, but because others depended on him/her, those others may die as well.
(Yes, there are women who are great soldiers, and men who are bad ones, but the fact that standards have been lowered for women opens room for poorer soldiers to enter).
There is also a problem with the mixing of sexes. Whether you like it or not, men and women are prone to flirt and get into relationships. This makes it harder to focus. Not only will this affect focus in training, but also in critical moments in combat. For example, in combat, a man sees an enemy shooting at the leader of the group. At the same time, he notices a threat to a female that he's in a relationship with or is interested in. This will not only cause hesitation (which may lead to the death of both), but the man might choose to save the female instead of the leader of the group who is a higher priority soldier.
For comparison, let's take a look at uni-sex vs. mixed schools. Because there are less distractions from the opposite sex, uni-sex schools generally have higher scores and success rates.
As for "equal opportunity" goes, the military is not made for equal opportunities, the military is made to effectively function and defend its mother nation. Putting equality into the picture may jeopardize the effectiveness of the military. Since the standards are not equal, then equality cannot be a subject of debate.
"Military standards have been lowered for women in order to make it easier to get into the military. This means that lower quality soldiers are entering the military, which can have many detrimental affects."
For the sake of research, I read a few articles prior to this debate that supported why women should not be in combat. The point that my opponent brings up about the standards being lowered between men and women was one of the first to be mentioned. However, there are a few reasons why this point does not substantiate barring women from joining combat positions.
First and foremost, the standards that are lowered for women are simply pertaining to the level of physical strength for each potential soldier. These standards were lowered because on a general basis, women's strength is not the same as men's. That does not, however, indicate who is capable and incapable of doing the job required. Just because a woman may not have the same level of physical strength as a man does not mean she lacks the physical strength required to be a combat soldier.
This leads to the second problem. To base decision of entry on gender-based strength tests alone can be very problematic in determining who is truly qualified for the job. An article regarding this topic goes into further details:
"The Marines have made little progress in integrating women into jobs they already qualify for, and the purpose of a proposed physical screening test is questionable since it focuses on strength-based measures and not skills actually needed for the work . . . The Marines’ plan calls for testing women to see if they can deadlift 135 pounds, bench 115 pounds, carry 95 pounds for 50 meters while wearing full combat gear, load a 120mm tank round and scale a 7-foot wall. But these skills might not be needed, Jacob said.
'It’s not looking at the jobs.'"
- Ex-Marine Greg Jacobs, policy-director of the Service Women’s Action Network
To clarify, this excerpt was referring to women trying to enter the Infantry Officer Course, not the School of Infantry. As I mentioned before, over 40 females have passed the School of Infantry, proving their merit and quality as potential soldiers. No female, however, has yet passed the Infantry Officer Course due to the strength-based proxy tests. And that is largely due the fact that these tests are going by the physical standards of men, and not the physical standards specifically required of the job. So the quality is indeed there, it is just not being assessed in the most accurate of ways.
"There is also a problem with the mixing of sexes..."
This is a popular argument that is based far too much on scapegoating and speculation. First of all, the claim that soldiers will be "distracted" in training and or on the battlefield is based on assumption. There is no guarantee as to how two individuals will react and behave towards one another on and off the battlefield.
But, if we assume that my opponent's assumptions are indeed correct, and the male would inherently become distracted and compelled to protect the female as opposed to the lead soldier, would that not be more of the man's problem than it would be the woman's? If the man feels the compulsion to over-defend his female comrade and under-defend his leading officer, that is not the fault of the woman's, but rather the fault of the man. If he is unable to prioritize his duties as a solider of the United States, then he should therefore be considered incapable as a combat soldier. The same goes for the concerns surrounding physical attraction between genders that may serve as "distractions" or lead to the risk of female soldiers becoming raped.
These concerns are, of course, real issues that deserve discussion. But a logical solution would perhaps be to realize that it is incredibly incorrect and unfair to make the problems of male soldiers the problems of female soldiers.
His inability to control himself and follow protocol is his issue, and, unless she is blatantly seducing the male soldiers and is consciously making an effort to distract from the task at hand, it is not warranted for her to be barred from serving as a combat soldier. Instead of the female being held responsible for another's actions, the male should be held accountable for his own actions and should face punishment accordingly.
"the military is made to effectively function and defend its mother nation."
My sentiments, exactly. Half of my argument deals with how the incorporation of female combat soldiers does and will strengthen the military. I would like to emphasize that this debate is in part discussing equal opportunity between genders, not just equality in general. If the latter were the case, then my argument would be that everyone should be able to join combat forces regardless of skills and merit. Equal opportunity in this respect, however, simply means that all persons, regardless of gender, should have the chance to join combat forces so long they have the skills and potential required of the job.
I have presented a few examples that have supported that women are indeed capable of displaying the skills and potential necessary of a combat soldier. Therefore, barring all women from serving as combat soldiers does not show careful discretion, but rather irrationality and unethical decisions in regards to selecting who may and may not serve this country on the battlefield. If we consider the abilities that female combat soldiers possess and what they can and do contribute, it becomes evident that equal opportunity does not weaken the military, but rather achieves quite the opposite.
It is known that when in a combat zone, women carry up to 100 lbs less of equipment than men. Not only that, but many interviews with ex-army women prove that women's bodies simply can't take it. For example, watch this video:
Basic physical strength is necessary because you never know what might come up. For example, there is an injured soldier, and someone needs to get him to safety. A woman comes up and tries but she is not physically strong enough to drag him all the way there. You mentioned "carry 95 pounds for 50 meters while wearing full combat gear". The woman would have to carry more than 95 pounds, the man by himself might weigh 180-200, plus 70 or more pounds of combat gear.
"There is no guarantee as to how two individuals will react and behave towards one another on and off the battlefield."
Yes, there is no guarantee, but it is known that whether you like it or not, there will be romantic interaction between the sexes.
"male would inherently become distracted and compelled to protect the female as opposed to the lead soldier, would that not be more of the man's problem than it would be the woman's?"
A woman could be in the exact same position. I just used a man as an example.
"If we consider the abilities that female combat soldiers possess and what they can and do contribute, it becomes evident that equal opportunity does not weaken the military, but rather achieves quite the opposite"
I disagree. If the standards were the same, then yes. Although yes, you could argue that a woman wouldn't necessarily use those skills (like climbing up walls), but it a basic exercise that prepares a soldier's endurance and strength, you never know what might happen and when you need to be strong.
For example, take football players. They do exercises like benching large amounts of weight. Yes, they might not need to lift 200 pounds of dead-weight in a game, but it is a skill that makes them a stronger and overall more effective player.
I am not making fun of it, but menstruation may also be a problem. In the extremely stressful environment that is presented by being in direct combat, emotional effects of menstruation may be even more dramatic. I know that it varies from woman to woman, but it is a factor that must be considered.
2Sense forfeited this round.
Thank you for the good debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Geogeer 3 years ago
|Agreed with before the debate:||-||-||0 points|
|Agreed with after the debate:||-||-||0 points|
|Who had better conduct:||-||-||1 point|
|Had better spelling and grammar:||-||-||1 point|
|Made more convincing arguments:||-||-||3 points|
|Used the most reliable sources:||-||-||2 points|
|Total points awarded:||0||4|
Reasons for voting decision: Pro forfeited, points con.
You are not eligible to vote on this debate
This debate has been configured to only allow voters who meet the requirements set by the debaters. This debate either has an Elo score requirement or is to be voted on by a select panel of judges.