I have heard almost every argument detailing for and against women in Special Operations and I promise not to beat a dead horse in this article. The problem with the “Women in Special Operations” argument is that it never seems to address the proper issue. The most common issues brought up are:
- Women cannot handle the physical nature of the training and job and therefore standards will be lowered to allow women into Special Operations (there are valid arguments for and against this)
- There would be problems with unit cohesion if women were to enter the male-dominated world of Special Operations (once again valid arguments for and against).
These two aspects have been debated ad nauseam by the public and military. A common conclusion to this argument is that women can do everything men can do and should at least be given the opportunity to try out for Special Operations. This is where the argument for women in Special Operations is wrong, because women cannot do everything men can do.
I agree that there are definitely women out there who could pass the training, and could handle the physical nature of the deployments. There are some, not many, but they are out there. However, what many people are failing to grasp is that physical prowess, while very important in Special Operations, is not everything. There are many facets that make up the Operator, and one of the most important aspects is the ability to gain the trust of the soldiers/militia/village elders with whom they are working.
As much as American Feminists would like to paint the US as oppressive towards women, in actuality it is one of the most progressive countries in the world regarding women’s rights. This is not the case for the rest of the world, and especially the areas in which the US military will be/is operating. The fact that we are even having this conversation about women serving in Special Operations is proof of our country’s progressive nature.