Capt. Katie Pertronio, a female Marine, discussing a mandate for the American Armed Forces to review policies relating to the duties and placement of female military personnel in combat on Fox News earlier today set women’s rights woefully back in time and made females appear once again to need adapted push-ups and lightened duties in order to serve their country, Opposing View News reports.
Pertronio’s comments against placing women in tanks, on the front lines and in other military scenarios not currently allowed did a disservice to men serving in the military as well. When an American pledges an oath and puts on a uniform, the individual should rightfully expect to perform any task deemed necessary by their commanding officer – regardless of gender. Capt. Petronio stated that women “break down” at a greater rate physically than their male counterparts; even those ranked at the top of the Marine physical fitness rankings like herself. There will naturally be some variance between all individuals when it comes to physical endurance. But now one woman’s national statements have the power to disparage the capabilities of all female soldiers, sailors, Marines and Air Force members.
“There’s a misconception outside the Marine Corps that preventing women from being taking on these roles possibly restricts our opportunity for promotion. In the Marine Corps men and women are promoted at the same rate,” Capt. Petronio stated during the Fox News interview.
Capt. Petronio has served with honor in the Marine Corps and has earned the right to voice her opinions on Marine health and to share her own history of physical ailments, including infertility, which she alleges stemmed from the rigorous physical regime required. The fact that women already serve on the front lines in other countries detracts from Capt. Petronio claims. Perhaps she is correct and female soldiers around the world are risking their health at greater rates than the males they serve beside in combat. Hopefully Capt. Petronio did not make her statements lightly because she just called into question the fitness for duty of all female military members.
Regardless of whether or not Capt. Petronio’s claims accurate, for women to truly be treated as equals in the military or any other traditionally male dominated profession, they must be able to endure the same training and requirements as males. Breaking the gender barrier in the military was not an easy task. The female soldiers who came before Capt. Petronio worked extremely hard to prove themselves as capable as male soldiers to gain access to the military. Women should have an equal opportunity to attempt any career desired; but the job should not be adapted so it does not exceed the capabilities of those filled with estrogen instead of testosterone. Conforming to a single set of rules and standards should always be required, regardless of gender. I would love to see a woman in the starting line-up for the Cincinnati Reds, but only if she can swing a bat and field a ball as well as all the other major leaguers.