Evidently, a Nova Scotian woman, Major Eleanor Taylor, had a very large role in convincing the US military to finally allow women as combat units. The Province reports:
When the U.S. Marine Corps and army wanted advice about whether women should formally serve in combat units one of those whose expertise they sought was Maj. Eleanor Taylor of the Royal Canadian Regiment.
The 37-year-old Nova Scotian was uniquely qualified to speak to the senior American brass about this issue, which made front page news across the world last Thursday when U.S. defence secretary Leon Panetta announced a lifting of the ban on female service members in combat roles. Taylor was the only woman to lead a NATO combat unit in Afghanistan. She commanded an infantry company and attached units which frequently engaged in combat in 2010 while operating from a remote forward operating base in the notorious Taliban heartland to the west of Kandahar City.
“I think that it is fantastic that the policy has changed to reflect the reality that they (women) have earned through their hard work and blood. It is a very positive step,” Taylor said in an email from Toronto, where she is taking a staff course that is the logical progression for a combat arms officer being considered for battalion command.
“Clearly I am in the camp that believes that these trades (combat arms) should be open to women. I’ve been enjoying my service in the infantry for over 15 years now, so it sometimes surprises me that it is still an issue.”
Canada allowed women in combat units beginning in 1989. The first time they saw actual combat was in Afghanistan.
I absolutely and wholeheartedly agree that women should be allowed to be combat units if they so choose. I think they’re presented with a set of unique challenges though — on top of all the standard dangers that men face in combat situations, they also have to face potential rape. Not that they wouldn’t face this under normal circumstances on the homefront, but it’s apparently every bit as unlikely — more unlikely, even — that the perpetrators will be punished.
Meanwhile, despite this directly addressing one of their concerns, the MRA Manosphere only supports this initiative if an appropriate percentage of women are killed. Paul Elam says:
[T]he only way this new policy will have any meaning will be if it is mandatory that women face combat on the front lines. With 20% of the military being comprised of women, that means roughly 20% of combat related fatalities should be female. 1 in 5 of body bags being filled overseas should contain the bodies of mothers, sisters, daughters, wives and girlfriends.
Yes, I think that’s what it means. It’s doubtful the ratio will be different, unless they are taken prisoner as high-value targets *because* they’re women. So really, the MRAs just want to find something to complain about before the numbers are even in — something that, even if different, might be different for other mitigating reasons.
Never mind that feminists — said manosphere’s boogeywomen(/manginas) — have been fighting for equal rights to take up arms for their country for a long time.