Demystifying The "Feminine Mythtique": Or, Women and Combat Can Mix

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Authors
  1. Febbraro, A.R.
  2. McCann, C.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Toronto, Toronto ONT (CAN)
Abstract
This paper is a response to “The Feminine Mythtique” (Gazette on the Net, May 15, 2002) wherein Colonel William T. Hewes (USMC, Ret) argues that women do not belong in combat. We argue that Col Hewes presents his views in such a way as to suggest that they are self-evident truths, rather than debatable opinions. Indeed, we suggest that Col Hewes reproduces several myths about women and combat that require demystification. Using scientific and objective evidence, we challenge Col Hewes’ claims that because combat service is not a civil right, it need not apply to women; that combat is the natural province of men, not women; and that the presence of women in mixed-gender combat units necessarily undermines unit bonding, cohesion, and performance. We also briefly address Col Hewes' remarks regarding the effects of sexuality on bonding and unit cohesion. We conclude that arguments for the exclusion of women in combat ignore a solid body of scientific evidence, as well as the historical record, demonstrating women’s combat effectiveness in numerous operational contexts.
Keywords
women and combat
Report Number
DRDC-TORONTO-SL-2002150 — Scientific Literature
Date of publication
01 Oct 2002
Number of Pages
5
DSTKIM No
CA025901
CANDIS No
523657
Format(s):
Electronic Document(PDF)

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