Last week, the Pentagon suddenly announced that women would be allowed to serve in direct combat. Where did this come from? Who was pushing for the right for women to kill someone? Why would someone WANT to do this, to purposely put yourself in a position where you would have to kill another human being?
After some reflection, I’ve decided that we shouldn’t be surprised by this action. Our society does not want to understand that men and women, although equal, are not the same. We are not the same biologically, physically, emotionally, psychologically, or spiritually. There’s no disputing these realities:
- Men and women have different internal structures designed by God for different purposes (biologically);
- Men and women have different capabilities in regards to strength and size–yes, there are women who are stronger than me, but the average woman is not as strong or big as the average man (physically);
- Men and women have different feelings that emerge while experiencing the same situation (emotionally);
- Men and women have different thought processes to handle the same situation (psychologically); and,
- Men and women were given different roles to play in our families and our culture by God (spiritually).
Even if you don’t believe in God, you cannot brush away all the other differences between men and women. This DOES NOT mean that women are inferior to men and it DOES NOT mean that men are inferior to women. What it does mean is that men and women have different roles in society and when we blur those distinctions, then society suffers. And when society suffers, families and individuals suffer.
For example, women were created by God to be the bearers and nurturers of human life. That’s a biological fact that cannot be avoided. But when a woman, who has a desire to bring forth life, is told to go ahead and kill it instead, what is going through her mind? That’s the same paradox we have set up with legalized abortion in this country. A time that should be joyous (pregnancy) is now turned into an opportunity for the abortion clinic to make several hundred dollars and the woman is told that killing her child is the best thing that she could do in that situation.
Here’s another example: men were tasked by God to protect and defend women. But now that a woman will be the one defending herself and the man, he has no reason to step up and perform his role. I’m not saying that women shouldn’t be able to defend themselves, they should because men aren’t always available or able to do so, but if the woman takes the primary role, then what is the man to do? Allowing women to serve in direct combat doesn’t elevate the status of women but actually does the opposite, it devalues the woman because now they can be killed with no compunction since they are just another combatant.
This is also seen in today’s legal abortion culture. A man can get a woman pregnant and not have to take care of her or his child by telling the woman to get an abortion. This lack of duty or responsibility can also be seen in the low numbers of the younger generation getting married. For the men: why take on this responsibility when the women want to take care of themselves? For the women: why get married when the men are irresponsible and absent? Do you see the vicious circle we have created?
Author Linda Bartlett has written extensively about the roles of men and women and she has posted on her blog a four part series from an study on relationships that she wrote. The lesson is entitled, “Bearers and Defenders of Life.” You can read Part 1 by clicking here, Part 2 by clicking here, Part 3 by clicking here, and the Conclusion by clicking here.
WORLD magazine posted an interesting article on the topic, “Unwilling Warriors” (click here to read it) that describes some of the problems with women in combat. The most interesting fact they uncovered was the casualty rate comparison between mixed-gender combat units and all-male combat units. Take a look at it and see if it makes any sense.
Finally, I’ve been following Public Catholic and she wrote recently about what real men DON’T do. I’ve put a link here to it because I think it falls along the same lines as what I’ve said above: men and women have God-given roles in our society and one of man’s roles is to protect and defend his family, including the baby in the womb. Here’s a link to “Real Men Don’t Kill Their Children,” but be forewarned that she has a picture of an aborted baby at the beginning of the post.
Updated 2 February 2013: added link to the conclusion of Bearers and Defenders of Life.