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      Should Women Be Allowed to Fight on the Frontline?

      January 29, 2013

      By VICE Staff

      From the column 'Question of the Day'

      Women are great at washing up, looking after the kids, and doing the cooking for their hardworking husbands. That's how it's been for years, which is probably why literally no one likes it when people start changing things and trying to afford stuff like rights and equality to anyone without a penis. So you can imagine how horrified the world was when, last week, the US military announced that women were allowed to take off their aprons and join men on the frontline of war.

      Would every man rise up and demand a return to inequality? Would the misogynist brigade shut down this madness before the first pair of size four combat boots traipse up to the parapet? Would everyone applaud the US for finally getting round to admitting that women are just as capable as men in every respect of modern warfare? London, should women be allowed to fight on the frontline?       

      Alice, 23 (left) and Seamus, 29, both colourists.

      Alice: Yeah, why not?
      Seamus: Should anybody be allowed to fight on the frontline?

      Well, I think someone has to. Do you think women should be physically equal to men to go to war?
      No, I think it's more of a mental attitude. In Vietnam, men used to fire their guns too high because they were afraid to kill. It's not hand to hand combat any more, so it's more about if you can handle war mentally.
      Alice: Yeah, it’s all in the head.

      So you don't think women should stay at home baking cookies for their men to eat when they return from war?
      Nah, they can still help cook while they're out at war anyway.

      Good point.

      Laura, 22, designer: Yeah, definitely. Of course they should. Men and women are supposed to be equal, so it's only fair that women get to fight if they want to.

      Should women run the army?
      Definitely. Women should run the world.

      Would you go to war?
      If I was in the army, I would, yeah. But I’m not, so no.

      Do you agree with war?
      Oh, that's far too hard a question. It all depends on the situation.

      Sheila, 58, finance and software development: Yes, of course they should.

      What do you think of the tradition of men going to war and women staying at home?
      What do you think I think of that? It's ridiculous. 

      Do you think physicality is an issue?
      I think it’s much less of an issue nowadays. In this day and age—now we have all these new weapons—it’s all about your mental strength and the power of the weapons. If it was fists and hand to hand combat, then yes, women would be at a disadvantage.

      Liam, 27, merchandiser: Definitely, yeah. There shouldn't be any differences between men and women—in war as well as in everything else.

      What about the physical differences?
      Yeah, but I think that gap is closing. That's becoming a very old fashioned way of thinking, what with all the new technologies that basically put men and women on an even playing field in war.

      How do you think the army would fair if it was half men, half women?
       I think the camaraderie would be exactly the same.

      Alright. Thanks.

      Mark, 33, merchandiser: Yes. I suppose if we have equal gender rights, then yes

      It’s pretty hard work on the frontline—could all those feeble women handle that do you think?
      Yes, I think if they could pass the same tests as the guys to qualify them to be out there, then they'd have the same abilities as men. So yes, I think they'd be able to handle it.  

      Would a high number of women in the army cause any problems, do you think?
      No, I don't think so. From what I've experienced in an office environment, a mix of men and women is good for the team.

      Previously - Have You Ever Pretended to Be Someone Else Online? 

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      Topics: war, combat, women on frontline, US, London, vox-pops

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