Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Opinion

March 26, 2013

We the People: Warriors all

CROSSVILLE — A recent piece on this page discussed the character of Maya (in the movie Zero Dark Thirty) and dithered about combat changing women into something they should not be. That view prevails among ponderous thinkers who would fix all problems by cutting taxes and turning back the clock to keep women in subordinate roles. There is a tendency for some men to fall behind in the march of civilization. All women don’t want or need male shelter from their own personal, grown-up choices.

Bob Dylan sang about “the times, they are a changin’.” Times have changed. Our all-volunteer military forces are the best in the world. That does not mean that every man (or woman) is an outstanding human being. Warriors, like civilians, are imperfect but still capable of doing heroic things. Trying to keep women away from all of the ugliness isn’t rational and it won’t fix the human thirst for war. The problem isn’t what war may do to women; the problem is what war does to everyone. There is no pretty answer. We don’t know how to chain up our instinct for war and redirect it to peaceful pursuits (or, perhaps we don’t want to).

There is no compelling reason to exclude women from the dirty work of war if they want to do it. Many women are already facing the same dangers as men. Decades ago, I struggled to win my paratrooper wings at Fort Benning. Back then, I couldn’t imagine women striving for those same honors. There were many things men thought women couldn’t or shouldn’t do, such as voting, running companies and getting advanced degrees. We hear of soldiers backing each other up, never leaving a man behind and respecting and trusting their buddies. It’s the same for women.

Today, we know the problem isn’t female frailty but, for some men, bruised male vanity. The Russians used hundreds of deadly female snipers in World War II. Women are now pilots and company commanders and field grade offices. Women can be more skilled at killing than are those men who don the uniform in the name of aggression and then apply for easy duty away from danger.

Change does not come without new problems, however. The Department of Defense estimates that there are 19,000 sexual assaults yearly in the military, many of which are never reported. Some assaults are by predators who abuse men as well as women. No American should be proud of that number, but it is a problem that is getting fixed. Trying to hold women to the idealized role of the 1950s won’t fix what needs fixing and is not the right model for today. Women may still cook and sweep and have babies, if they choose. But women are also skilled pilots, forest rangers, boxers, parachutists, welders, divers—the list goes on. They are not always quickly accepted in their new roles. But it is happening. More women than men are getting college degrees. Women are doing new jobs well, sometimes better than they were done by men. It just may take a while for some males to accept what is happening, gracefully and openly. Refusing change will only leave men (and our country) way, way behind.

• • •

This column represents alternative thoughts to other published columns in the Crossville Chronicle. “We the People” is published each Wednesday. Opinions expressed in “We the People” columns are not necessarily those of the Crossville Chronicle publisher, editor or staff. For more information, contact John Wund, editor, at jwund@frontiernet.net.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • LION AND THE LAMB: Four ways to demonstrate opposition

    Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan mention in their book, “The Last Week,” that Roman-occupied Palestine during the first century was under the control of Pontius Pilate who lived in the coastal city of Caesarea. Each year at the beginning of the Passover observance when Jews celebrated their liberation from Egypt, Pilate feared that they might be getting ideas about revolting from Rome, so he would come with additional soldiers on horses to beef up the Roman garrison in Jerusalem. 

    April 15, 2014

  • WE THE PEOPLE: Is it (new) party time?

    The Democratic and Republican parties are toast, according to Joe Trippi. The Republican Party is coming apart at its Tea Party seam. Democratic candidates struggle to celebrate President Obama’s health care successes, while responding to criticism of his failed promises, e.g., government transparency.

    April 15, 2014

  • TIDBITS: I found it at the library

    I have such fond memories of going to my local library as a child, searching through shelf after shelf and finding a book that would make me a Little Princess in World War II England, or bring me along as Nancy Drew solved the Secret in the Old Attic.

    April 14, 2014

  • STUMPTALK: The reason words have meaning

    If words did not have accepted meanings we would not be able to communicate effectively and civilized society would not exist.

    April 14, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Do we really believe in democracy?

    The recent Supreme Court decision, McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, is in a long line of debates about power in a democracy. Should power be in the hands of all the citizens or should it be in hands of those who have greater wealth and social position?

    April 8, 2014

  • We the People: Public education or business opportunity?

    A month ago, we followed the money trail left by a ‘think tank’ to the major sources funding an attack on our traditional, locally controlled public schools. We saw that a handful of billionaires provide major support to many organizations lobbying for change.

    April 8, 2014

  • Stumptalk: Just another government lie?

    There is a vault located in Fort Knox, Kentucky. It was built in 1936 and encased in 16 cubic feet of granite and 4200 feet of cement. The door is made of 20-inch thick material that is immune to drills, torches and explosives.

    April 7, 2014

  • GARY'S WORLD: The chance to speak your mind

    Are you tired of hearing people complain about the way things are run in Cumberland County? Or, do you like the way the county government is run and operated in our beautiful county?
    Are you happy with the way things are, or would you like some change?

    April 3, 2014

  • LION AND THE LAMB: Digging beneath the headlines

    Our media have been focusing on two important events that have taken place overseas during the last several weeks.

    April 1, 2014

  • WE THE PEOPLE: SNAP, health and work

    A recent letter from Representative Diane Black to me states that she voted for the farm bill (with $8 million in Food Stamp (SNAP) benefit cuts) because she, like me, is a supporter of food stamp benefits for Tennessee families who qualify. That’s a lot of families, as most recipients are families with children and the elderly. Now, recall that there was already a major cut to the food stamp program back in the fall. But for some Republicans, that was not enough.

    April 1, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Parade
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice