WASHINGTON (AP) — Senior defense officials say Pentagon chief Leon Panetta is removing the military's ban on women serving in combat, opening hundreds of thousands of front-line positions and potentially elite commando jobs after more than a decade at war.
This is a long overdue move and a major step in the equal rights movement. I celebrate the fact that women in the United States are rightly being given the right to fight in combat, much like homosexuals not being allowed in the military, this was an equality being denied. With both females and the openly gay serving in combat other countries that have allowed both long ago debunked the contrary talking points. Kudos to Panetta.
The first thing I wonder about is the long-term effect. What will this mean to society. How will society change. What are the positives. What are the negatives.
Aside from the equality stance I have a hard time imagining many positives. I want less people exposed to combat, not more, unless those people are the people who vote for unjust wars. They should definitely see more combat.
The first negative that comes to mind is with women in combat and the American entertainment complex treating combat as entertainment, and hero makers, that this move will lead to more killing-shows and violent entertainment for little girls.
The trend of female action heroes has been on the rise for adults, but so far the violent blow everything up and kill-em-all programs seems to have skipped the young female demographic.
I did a a few image searches as an indicator of my suspicions and early results showed "Toys for boys" was loaded with weaponized action heroes, weaponized vehicles, guns, and various other weapons. These were mixed in with the other typical gender biased toys: tools, sports, vehicles, etc.
While the search "Toys for girls" didn't yield a single gun or weaponized vehicle in early results. Though, there was a female character with a two handed sword.
Interestingly enough, changing the search to "Toys for boys 3-7" or "Toys for girls 3-7" yielded less guns and seemed to be about equal in parts of various other weapons. Of course, both were laden with the standard gender bias colors and toys.
You should do some similar searches. I'd love to hear your results.
Yes, go search kids' toys. Then buy some, for your kids. Full disclosure: My 4yo daughter just saw a screen full of toys and wanted to know why I was looking at toy pictures. She suggests: "To buy them, for kids."
I just did one more search comparison: " "toy guns" for boys 3-7 " and " "toy guns" for girls 3-7 "; which result set do you think didn't have any guns.
You could even try the searches "Why do young girls like guns" and "Why do young boys like guns." What do you think they'd yield? Another anecdotal piece of evidence that I have is seeing all the kids play at my kids' preschool. The number of boys that play "kill" and run around shooting each other: All of them. The same game, but with girls: Very, very few. I think I've only seen one girl playing in the entire span of almost 3 years my kids have been in preschool.
I'm not sure what all of this is a statement on other than the practice of selling violence and war to young boys is far more established, crafted, and played out in male culture; far more than female culture. Hell, even PBS talks about it Boys and Guns: What's a Parent to Do? I fear that's about to change. In a time when we need less violence in young culture there is a new impetus to sell the war machine to an upwardly trending demographic.
That demographic is my daughter, and maybe one day her daughter, and I don't like it.
....and now for your moment of meow -- Kids with guns