So, Glenn Beck believes that “women in combat is the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard.” Ugh.
There are so many things wrong with what’s coming out of his mouth in those two minutes that I don’t know where to begin. But I believe he best approach is a direct approach. So to Beck I would like to say directly, this: when Shoshana Johnson1 and Jessica Lynch2 were taken prisoner in Iraq, were they not in combat? When Rep. Tammy Duckworth3 lost her legs in a helicopter crash in Iraq, the result of being hit by a rocket propelled grenade, what she also not in combat? Hell, even if you only know about combat from M*A*S*H reruns (which, um, actually applies to me, to be honest), in the episodes where the M*A*S*H unit is being shot at, were Houlihan and her nurses somehow not in combat?
These are women whose service has made the headlines. There are countless other servicewomen who have been in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. The old rules of warfare, where clear battlelines are drawn, simply don’t exist anymore. Any service member can be ambushed anywhere, as was the case for Johnson and Lynch.
What the change really means is that our servicewomen can finally get the recognition they deserve for what they’ve already been doing since, at the very least, the first Gulf War. In this Chicago Tribune article, World War II veteran Lizette Rhone said “You can’t believe that these women were in combat areas and never fired a gun and tried to protect themselves… We knew that (women) had been doing this.”
So what has really happened is this (to paraphrase Matthew Perry): Women have always been combat, but January 2013 marks the time that the men are finally taking their heads out of their asses. Plus, men like Glenn Beck should really stop saying stupid crap about women with guns who are trained for combat if they know what’s good for them.
- Shoshana Johnson, M.L. Doyle I’m Still Standing: From Captive U.S. Soldier to Free Citizen—My Journey Home http://www.amazon.com/Im-Still-Standing-Captive-Citizen–My/dp/1416567488/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1359828440&sr=1-1&keywords=shoshana+johnston
- Rick Bragg I Am A Soldier Too: the Jessica Lynch Story http://www.amazon.com/Am-Soldier-Too-Jessica-Lynch/dp/1400077478/ref=pd_bxgy_b_text_y
- Wikipedia Tammy Duckworth: Early life, education and military service http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tammy_Duckworth#Early_life.2C_education.2C_and_military_service
- Rhonda Cornum, Peter Copeland She Went to War: the Rhonda Cornum Story http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0891415076/ref=s9_simh_gw_p14_d0_i2?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=0M5YPRK37V8Y304D71GH&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1389517282&pf_rd_i=507846
- Chicago Tribune Ellen Jean Hirst: Female veterans have mixed reaction to lifting of combat restrictions http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-women-in-combat-tammy-duckworth-applauds-pentagons-decision-to-lift-combat-restrictions-20130123,0,349253.story