Women in the Military Essay

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In Women in the Military, Janette Mance explores the debates and problems faced by the increasing number of women involved in the military. After examining issues such as pregnancy, sexual harassment, and rape, Mance concludes that as a society we must continue to strive for gender equality.

From the storm lashed decks of the Mayflower to the present hour, women have stood like a rock for the welfare and glory of the history of our country . . . and one might well add: unwritten, unrewarded, and unrecognized.

William Cohen, “On Women in the Military,” 1997

Throughout our nation’s history, women have played an important role in the military. It has not been until recently however, that women have been able to fully
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I realized that although in theory women in the armed forces seemed like a good idea, there are many obstacles that make that reality very difficult to achieve. In writing this paper I am not proposing that either position is more valid or right than the other. I only hope to present each side in an equal light to help others to understand the issues involved.

History of Women in the Military

General Jeanne Holm was one of the very first women in the Air Force to achieve the rank of General. Although in retirement now, she still is an important military figure. Her book, Women in the Military: An Unfinished Revolution, gives an impressive account of the roles that women have thus far played in the military. It was my primary source when researching the history surrounding women in the military. Due to the fact that Holm’s book is so detailed and in depth, I also used a book by Dorothy and Carl J. Schneider entitled Sound Off: American Military Women Speak Out. This book provides a timeline detailing the major points of women’s military history, so when writing, I tried to follow that guideline.

According to Holm,

Women in point of fact, have been serving their country since it began - Molly Pitcher fired her cannon in 1778 without congressional sanction. In the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, women fought disguised as men. In World War One. their medical services were indispensable. During the crises of World War Two, when women were

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