An International View Of Women In Combat

The decision to lift the ban on American women serving in combat has led to mixed reactions. Some marines, for instance, are skeptical that integration on the front lines will be beneficial or realistic. However, National Geographic‘s overview of 8 other nations that send women into combat shows that a variety of solutions to these dilemmas exist. Israel and Canada both provide examples of integration (the Canada link is especially worth reading since its author dispels many of the assumptions that female soldiers will be weaker or more frightened, citing the traumatic effects of war for soldiers of both genders as well as male soldiers’ underreporting due to constructions of hyper-masculinity).

Of course, there are numerous examples of historical women in combat, so none of this is necessarily new ground. Perhaps the greater visibility of women in other countries serving in combat will help the dialogue, though.

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About Jeana


Jeana Jorgensen, PhD recently completed her doctoral degree in folklore and gender studies at Indiana University. She studies fairy tales and other narratives, dance, body art, feminist theory, digital humanities, and gender identity.