Tell Congressman to Apologize for Sexist Remarks About Military Women

F-3006-SPT-94-000167-XX-0058

Target: Representative Tom Cotton

Goal: Urge Congressman to apologize for remark about women in the military

Over the last several decades numerous countries have allowed women to serve in their militaries and have steadily expanded the roles and responsibilities that they allow military women to undertake. The U.S. has been slower than some other Western nations to embrace women in the military, barring females from frontline and combat positions.

However, many women have risen to high ranks in the U.S. military and two female Marines were recently permitted to undergo a demanding ground combat training course. Neither of them passed, but neither did a fifth of the men who attempted.

Despite this, Tom Cotton, a member of the House of Representatives from Arkansas recently derided the role of women in the United States military. Cotton claimed that allowing women to serve in infantry roles could jeopardize the lives of their fellow soldiers and “impair the mission-essential tasks of those units.”

Cotton is working under the assumption that allowing women to serve in infantry units and as members of ground-combat operations would somehow dilute the potency or the efficacy of the U.S. military.

Representative Cotton seems to believe that there would need to be two different physical tests—one for men and another, easier one for women. However, this is most certainly not the case, as evidenced by the women who participated in the combat training program. Those women were held to the same high standards as their male counterparts.

American allies who allow women frontline combat roles have claimed to have not noticed any differences between them and males. Furthermore, women have proven more adept in intelligence gathering positions.

To deny women in the military the chance to serve their country equally is nothing but blatant sexism. It plays into the same old stereotypes of women being weak; of being inferior to men and incapable of accomplishing difficult tasks, or that they are naturally puny, and could not possibly compete with men in any kind of physical arena.

It is time that this type of thinking was put to an end. It is time to give women real equal rights. Women in the military have dedicated their lives to their nation, and they should be allowed to serve in any capacity they want to—including combat roles. Sign the petition and tell Congressman Cotton to apologize for his sexist and insensitive remarks.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Representative Cotton,

The U.S. is a nation that bestows great honor upon its military veterans. Regardless of what branch they served in, whether their service was in a war or during peacetime, regardless of their race, religion, or gender.

Unfortunately, you recently made a couple of remarks about the role of women in the military, remarks that did not do much at all to honor America’s female veterans.

You asserted that women in the military have no place in combat roles, that the laws of nature make them inferior to men in this regard. You say that women should not serve in ground combat operations because in your mind they are weaker than their male counterparts. It is absurd to make such a categorical statement—many men may be faster, or have greater upper body strength then many women, but to say no women would meet the criteria is a laughable statement.

Furthermore you seem to believe that there are different metrics for measuring men and women in this case. Frankly sir, there are not. Two female marines recently attended a grueling combat training program. Neither were able to pass; nor were 20% of the men who also were participants in the course. They were all held to the same rigorous standards. Anyone should be able to serve in a full capacity, regardless of sex.

Women in the military have made the same commitment as men in the military. They have dedicated themselves to their country and entered into a commitment that cannot be taken lightly. Their service should not have an asterisk next to it and they should not be seen as second-class citizens in the military. Please apologize for the comments you made and help end sexism.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: expertinfantry via flickr

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