Women and Our Culture
The Marine Corps has come a long way in accepting female recruits. However, built into our culture is the stereotype that women lack physical and mental strength. The Marine Corps is a proud and small band in the military. But, only a handful of women back in 1995 would graduate. Is the military reflective of gender roles in our society?
Roles of Women
Our gender gap in the United States is widening but slowly narrowing. We still have unequal pay, and social norms still accept the inevitable. In most contexts, women are expected to be homemakers and contribute to the household income. Roles of women have changed since the 1950’s, but expectations are higher as well. However, perhaps gender gaps have been bridged in the military.
The Role of Women in the Military
In the battle of Iraqi Freedom women were filling combat roles before it was legalized in 2013. They had essential roles in the military. But, the stigma of women as being weak and not able to handle danger became a harmful label. Other countries have allowed women in combat before 2013, and Scandinavia has a nonexistent gender gap. The following countries allows women in combat roles:
Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand
Roles Changing in the Marines
In the eyes of a female Marine, Amy Ebitz, she sees the marines as providing equality in pay and supporting a work ethic. Women actually contribute greatly to the force. In the marines, there are roles in the battlefield where women are suited: Team Lioness Program where women interact with local women in different situations. A Man conversing with women in other contexts would have been improper. The Team Lioness Program was vital in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Changes Manifested in the Marines:Women
The marines may be the smallest branch in the military, but it contains strong determined women. It contains patriotic women that want to serve their country. In commercials, it is usually stated, “Do you have what it takes?” Women have what it takes and are not limited by their gender/roles. In fact, they are right there with the men moving through all the ropes. Since 1995, female Marines have doubled in numbers. The gap is narrowing gradually but steadily.
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