My Sexist Son and Women in Combat

by Trillia Newbellwomen in combat

“Mom, I really don’t like those earrings,” he said with his young soft voice.

“Why, babe,” I replied.

“They just aren’t girlie enough for you. I don’t like the blackness. Try pink.”

Yesterday as he played a computer game he was frustrated because he felt the female character wasn’t moving quickly enough. His response, “I don’t think she’s ‘super’ (as in a superhero) enough.”

One day his grandmother picked up the book Dangerous Books for Boys at our home and he wouldn’t allow her to read it to him. Why? “Because it’s a dangerous book for boys,” he quipped.

The stories of my son distinguishes between males and females and doing so without finesse go on and on. Now that you know the stories, how old do you assume he is? He is 6 years old. Along with the funny antics comes the gentleness towards his sister. He will open doors, speak softly to her if she’s sad, and tell her she is pretty.

And just to be completely clear, I am not incredibly “girlie.” If we were to stereotype what a “girlie girl” is I would be the opposite in some ways. I don’t own anything flowery.  I don’t prefer receiving flowers because I think it’s impractical (they die within days). I lift weights and not five pound weights, either.

My son has developed many of these ideas on his own. He was born thinking that boys and girls were different. My husband and I have done little to teach our kids that boys and girls are different. It has come out naturally and I love it! God has made us differently for his glory. God has created us male and female for a purpose.

But I am also aware that my son would be labeled as a sexist, maybe even a male chauvinist with some of his actions. Since he already understands that men and women are made different, we are now cultivating in him an understanding for why. It is God’s design, not ours and we want him to understand the beauty, diversity, and practical functions of God’s creation.

I want my son to protect and honor women—especially his sister (for now).  I want him to be willing to fall on a grenade, so to speak, for a woman in trouble. And to think that women in America may soon be listed on the memorial walls in droves because of a desire for equality (or maybe not, see article below) is hard for me to swallow. And that there could even be a slight chance that my daughter could one day be drafted is even harder to swallow.

We are not made the same. Physically we are quite different. And honestly, I think it’s time we put down the ‘I can do anything you can do better’ mentality as it relates to men. We can’t do everything better and that’s okay. We aren’t made the same.

But if you think I’m being too conservative, how about hearing from a woman who has experienced military deployment?

In an article in the Marine Corps Gazette, Capt Katie Petronio writes about her experience being deployed and her concern about who is making the decisions to allow women to take the Infantry Officer Course historically reserved for men. She writes :

As a combat-experienced Marine officer, and a female, I am here to tell you that we are not all created equal, and attempting to place females in the infantry will not improve the Marine Corps as the Nation’s force-in-readiness or improve our national security….

Finally, what are the Marine Corps standards, particularly physical fitness standards, based on—performance and capability or equality? We abide by numerous discriminators, such as height and weight standards. As multiple Marine Corps Gazette articles have highlighted, Marines who can run first-class physical fitness tests and who have superior MOS proficiency are separated from the Service if they do not meet the Marine Corps’ height and weight standards….

Which once again leads me, as a ground combat-experienced female Marine Corps officer, to ask, what are we trying to accomplish by attempting to fully integrate women into the infantry? For those who dictate policy, changing the current restrictions associated with women in the infantry may not seem significant to the way the Marine Corps operates. I vehemently disagree; this potential change will rock the foundation of our Corps for the worse and will weaken what has been since 1775 the world’s most lethal fighting force. In the end, for DACOWITS and any other individual or organization looking to increase opportunities for female Marines, I applaud your efforts and say thank you. However, for the long-term health of our female Marines, the Marine Corps, and U.S. national security, steer clear of the Marine infantry community when calling for more opportunities for females. Let’s embrace our differences to further hone in on the Corps’ success instead of dismantling who we are to achieve a political agenda. Regardless of the outcome, we will be “Semper Fidelis” and remain focused on our mission to protect and defend the United States of America.

She discusses the physical problems women face in the military and asks the questions; who is leading the crusade for women in combat? You can read the entire article, titled “Get Over It! We Are Not All Created Equal” (spoken like a true marine) here.


For further reading:

What’s the Difference, by John Piper

“Women In Combat: A Complementarian Perspective” by Owen Strachan

“Battles are Ugly When Women Fight” by Joe Carter

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