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Female front line soldiers

(13 Posts)
NotTooOld Thu 07-Apr-16 15:29:21

I see someone is in the news today for saying that female soldiers should no longer be allowed to fight in the front line. Just wondered what others think about this? I'm all in favour of equal rights for women but if they mean hand to hand combat, are women physically strong enough for this and could it just endanger their comrades?

Anniebach Thu 07-Apr-16 16:25:11

Regardless of equality of the sexes , fact is there are many men who would try to protect a female , yet it is the woman's choice, seems very few pass the required tests anyway

TriciaF Thu 07-Apr-16 17:31:33

I think Israel is the only country which still has conscription for young men and women. Even there the girls don't serve in the front line.
My first visit to Israel in the 1980s I arrived at Haifa, and there was a bomb scare in the bus station Mall. One little female soldier, armed, cleared the whole area in about half an hour.
I think in the USA woman can serve on the front line.

POGS Thu 07-Apr-16 20:26:31

Many very brave young girls and women are fighting shoulder to shoulder with their men folk in Kurdish fighting groups as we post.

Many women have put their lives on the line to keep our country safe , they have done so in the past and they are prepared to it now and will do so in the future, think of those who joined the Special Operations Units for example, so brave. Then there those women who fought in the Mexico Revolution, the Spanish Civil War ,Resistance Fighters in France, Poland, Italy etc. etc.

They were all combatants it is a folly to think women were simply nurses, drivers etc. I think it depends on whether or not an individual of either sex can 'cut it', have physical and mental strength but there are plenty of women who have / do possess that strength.

It is not a nice thought for us living in countries like the UK but if it is voluntary then it is their decision I suppose.

NanaandGrampy Thu 07-Apr-16 20:42:58

Very little warfare is actually 'hand to hand ' these days. I'm all in favour of women taking on any military role for which they have the capability . Each role has a very different set of requirements so each woman should be judged on merit.

Thank god we have moved away from when I served in the army. I was sent to Northern Ireland in the height of the crisis. I was 'armed' with a baton ( soldiers had rifles or pistols) . I worked side by side with soldiers right down to jumping out of helicopters BUT whilst they wore combat sand boots I wore a pencil below the knee skirt , tights and court shoes !!

This was because the IRA promised not to shoot females and declared they needed to be able to recognise us. In reality they shot at us anyway but apologised afterwards.

So for me - I would say why not.

rubylady Fri 08-Apr-16 17:52:45

That's where the doctor's receptionists have gone! grin

TriciaF Fri 08-Apr-16 18:15:49

*Nana *- I admire your courage!
Adding to Pogs examples (but not hand to hand fighting) :

Greyduster Fri 08-Apr-16 19:07:04

The first woman to kill an enemy fighter in Afghanistan was a medic. She was part of a convoy attacked and pinned down by the taliban and she took out the man with her personal weapon after what she describes as a "massive rush of blood to the head"! She apparently doesn't think women as 'front line' combat troops is a good idea, thinks that very few have the capabilities, and believes that it has not been properly thought through by the MOD. But we now have female pilots flying combat aircraft, so I suppose it's only a step away from that. I don't really know where I stand on this. When I was in the Army the idea wouldn't have been countenanced, and DH, who was a career soldier, doesn't hold with it either. I can competently shoot a Browning 9mm pistol and an SLR, and hit what I'm aiming at, but I doubt if I would have the courage to kill anyone, even in anger.

NanaandGrampy Fri 08-Apr-16 19:47:56

Tricia I was young and invincible smile

Times change !

POGS Fri 08-Apr-16 19:57:02


Interesting, never heard of them.

rosesarered Sat 09-Apr-16 00:13:40

Nope, I don't think women should serve on the front line with men.

sunseeker Sat 09-Apr-16 07:37:40

I remember listening to a debate about this some time ago and a serving soldier said that whilst women are capable of serving on the front line some thought has to be given to the men serving with them. If captured he felt women were in more danger of harm than men, they could be raped, and as well as the women having to deal with that the men in their unit could be affected by guilt at not being able to protect them.

M0nica Sat 09-Apr-16 08:49:52

Male soldiers already feel guilt about not being able to save male comrades and men can also be raped. Male prisoners under repressive regimes have frequently reported this.

The army has considerable experience of women in frontline postitions, as medics (see above), communications and logistics supprt. British soldiers are used to women being as near to infantry combatants as makes little or no difference. The final step is not as momentious as it seems, and fully training of women and men involved will have taken place before this happens.

I could not kill in cold blood, but to defend myself, my family or close comrades, I could not stand by and watch them be killed and do nothing when the opportunity to stop it was literally in my hands.