Carelessness will cost you if you’re serving under Maj. Gen. Anthony Cucolo in northern Iraq.
Pregnant soldiers and the men who got ’em that way will face disciplinary action, pursuant to an order the General issued last month. He has the right to pursue court-martial in such cases, but because of outcry from certain quarters, he has gone on the record to say that no one is going to be put in jail for being pregnant.
This whole story is like a nicely wrapped Christmas gift for the perennially outraged. After all, sex is a part of life, right? You put young people together in these situations and you expect celibacy? The military has no business interfering in personal freedom in this way. Especially not the personal freedom of women.
In high school, I had female friends who joined ROTC, and their decision mystified me. “Why would you want to join the Army?” I would wonder. Being in the Army was for guys, as far as I was concerned, because being tough, fighting, and being shipped off to strange places to kill people was for guys. As a teenage girl, there was no chance of getting me interested in stuff like that.
But plenty of women are interested in stuff like that, and so be it. Women have served in the U.S. military in nearly all wars, and in many different capacities. They have served in noncombat duty positions such as radio electrician, telephone operator, cryptographer, and mechanic. They have been messengers, spies, nurses, physicians and pilots. And during the 70’s, opportunities for women expanded as the U.S. turned to an all-volunteer Army and the cultural climate insisted that women be given the same opportunities as men.
And so women are fully accommodated in today’s armed forces.
Some things don’t ever change, though.
Sexual harassment is an ongoing problem for women in the military. Sexual assaults are a genuine threat, and sometimes a reality. And female soldiers do end up pregnant while serving in war zones. This isn’t supposed to happen. And now that an Army General is promising to enforce regulations concerning this sort of thing, certain people are crying that this just isn’t fair to women.
Really? Don’t men and women forfeit a lot of the personal freedoms they take for granted as civilians when they join the military? Aren’t women responsible for knowing what they must and must not do while they serve? And aren’t women to be held responsible when they violate regulations?
Some of these feminists need to make up their minds. Are women to be treated as equals or not? You can’t say, “Give me all the opportunities you give the guys and all the responsibilities, too,” and then turn around and say, “But I’m a woman, so give me special treatment when I say so.” You’re either special or you’re not.
Maybe what really makes you special is that you get to have it both ways.