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January 25th, 2013
08:49 AM ET

Should women be allowed on the front lines? Advocates from both sides of the argument debate

Reaction to the Pentagon's historic announcement allowing women on the front lines in combat roles continues this morning.

While there has been widespread praise of the decision from the president and lawmakers on both the left and right, there are also critics who are concerned that allowing women to serve in these roles could be detrimental to combat readiness.

Wayne State University Professor Kingsley Browne is one of the individuals who opposes the Pentagon's choice, and he joins Starting Point this morning to explain.

"The number of women who are likely to be interested and qualified will be very, very small, which will lead to a lot of pressure to lower standards to get the numbers up," Browne argues.

Marine Captain Zoe Bedell, one of four servicewomen who joined a lawsuit challenging the Pentagon's policy excluding women from combat positions, responds to Browne, saying, "We’re not asking for a quota or a certain amount of women in jobs. We’re asking to compete."

"The standards that women are meeting now are what’s required to do the job and that's what we're asking people to evaluate," Bedell says. "What's necessary to do the job and to give everyone a chance to compete for it."

soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Raylanka

    Equality is tough sometimes.

    January 28, 2013 at 4:54 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Antonio

    Hey, if women are willing to strive for this degree of circumstances, than women should understand the risks.. I know our women are capable of achieving these conditions but for what?.. where are our safe customs?.. God forbid but how would a Women look (in an hypothetical view) as a war prisoner ?.. Just the thought of mothers,aunts, niece, daughters and sisters getting into combat is mind blowing and stressful enough.

    January 28, 2013 at 1:27 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. GrUnT

    Let them serve, Let them fight next to the men that are savages, let them experience what we have experienced. Let them experience the unknown. When they see the brains of a dead enemy combatant let them embrace it like the savages that we are only to realize we survived to fight another day. When they see the brains of their own splattered let them hate the enemy with all their might. Let them see what it takes to be in combat. Let them be equal; that is what they want, that is what they will get. Let them be for I have already served, sooner or later woman or man has to take over to fight another day. So I tell you all let them be so that they can experience the joy of war.

    January 26, 2013 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. John McGuire

    watched the item you had on today about women in combat... the lady had a true arguement as she stated the standards will be lowered... the true side, just check on fire departments, I lived with it as a fireman... once the standards are lowered even men who are not up to previous standers are in the mix of hiring... people to short and people to tall to put up a ladder together as it is impossible to do so... women so short they cannot keep their saftey hat on and wear a breathing apparatus.... it JUST does not work... we have died, police have died and service men will die because they will try and save their comrads just as we have because of lowed standards... but the dumb people will push it through for the sake of equality... if your dead your dead, let those asses go risk their buts.. as we know they do not give a damn about life as long is it's not theirs or their family.... JMc

    January 26, 2013 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Kaleb

    hahah, this segment was great. Soledad got completely skewered by Browne, even as she tried to set him up with the final quote regarding racial segregation.

    January 26, 2013 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. USMC SSgt

    Women are ALREADY in combat. There is nothing to debate – especially if you are not in the military. Shut up and let the men and women of the armed forces continue to defend this great country. S/F

    January 26, 2013 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Farrok

    The Army is great and the Women will love it till the dying starts....... That's the part they don't like to talk about, the dying and the killing; then the "fun" is all over.

    January 26, 2013 at 10:19 am | Report abuse | Reply
  8. donexjarhead

    I would like to go into combat with someone that can carry my carcass off the field. Someone who can make a contribution to the unit not a distraction.

    January 25, 2013 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. 8541

    This is going to add one hell of an emotional twist for soldiers when they look over and see a dismembered lady beside them after a fire fight....

    I still have emotional scarring from seeing some of my buddies shot up during combat. I think if I had to see a lady getting blown up next to me it would send me over the edge a little bit faster.

    Some things should be left alone, beside what happened to the good old fashioned bra burning..... Those were the fun days. :)

    January 25, 2013 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse | Reply

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