Thursday, May 19, 2005

Women in the Military - Take Two

I posted about the U.S. House of Representatives committee which was going to propose a ban on women in all combat support and service units in the army. Well, the committee has now retreated on this idea, largely due to resistance from Pentagon and the fact that

the amendment rammed through a subcommittee last week would close nearly 22,000 jobs to women, undermine morale, and hamper operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Republicans in the committee got their revenge, though, for the new resolution covers not only the Army but all military forces. Specifically:

In a bid to keep women out of combat, a House committee passed an amendment late last night that would block the U.S. military from allowing female troops into any new jobs related to ground operations without congressional approval.

The Republican-led House Armed Services Committee approved the measure to give Congress more control over which units the military opens to women and to put into law a 1994 Pentagon policy barring women from serving in "direct ground combat" units below the brigade level.

Ironic, isn't it, that the original 1994 law was designed to expand opportunities for women in the military and to prevent positions that were open to them from being closed? In the new post-realistic era the same law will be used to limit women's opportunities.

The ban on women in ground combat is an essential part of the wingnut philosophy, though what the wingnuts really want is to have no women in the military at all. It's against their gender roles. Expect more steps in this direction if the circumstances allow. Right now, the circumstances are more likely to get all of us into the military, though.