Both men and women defend U.S.

For two and a half years now, I have read Brandon Wales spout the conservative agenda on everything from international affairs to missile defense. While I admire his writing ability and his strong opinions, I have found myself disagreeing with, but understanding, much he has said.

Wales’ article in the Oct. 1 issue of The GW Hatchet (“U.S. military should be trained to fight and win wars, not sexism,” p. 4) is, unfortunately, one of the most sexist and close-minded articles The Hatchet ever has published.

Mr. Wales, as a white middle-class male, obviously has no idea the struggles women and all minorities go through every day, trying to enforce the equality the U.S. Constitution grants them. While he says “equal opportunity is vitally important in the armed forces,” he contradicts himself by implying that even if women are equally qualified to participate with men in basic training, they should be excluded because of their sex.

Never would I suggest lowering the physical standards to comply with women’s needs. Equality is based on merit and women having the same expectations and performing the same functions.

But if a woman is equally capable, she should be allowed to prove it. Male testosterone levels and machismo should not be the deciding factor on job opportunities for women.

Unquestionably, our armed forces do rely on “good order, discipline and morale” as their basic values. What is impossible to understand is how including women in this structure would upset these principles. Maybe Wales doesn’t remember his freshman year in Thurston Hall when men and women slept in close quarters (and I don’t remember any large sexual problems), where everyone coexisted in relative harmony, and decreased morale was never an issue.

The United States was founded on the premise of equality and personal freedom. Both men and women have been active in our armed forces and sacrificed their lives to protect these rights. Those that have fought and died protecting these unalienable rights would be ashamed at the lack of progress the military has shown.

-The writer is a senior majoring in criminal justice. She also is Brandon Wales’ fianc?e.

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