By André Lopes Massa
It seems that the march for full gender equality took another step on Thursday when the Pentagon announced that they had lifted the ban on women taking part in combat. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said in a statement “It’s clear to all of us that women are contributing in unprecedented ways to the military’s mission of defending the nation”, forever revolutionizing the role that women will play in the armed forces for years to come, with some front line posts being opened up to women as early as this year and posts in special for forces such as the Navy Seals and the Army’s Delta Force taking a little longer.
With 15 percent of our armed forces comprising of women already, it is clear that women are already a vital cog in our military, and this decision from the Pentagon is nothing short of what they deserve. Women have proven time and again that they are capable of doing anything men can do equally, if not better, and, with the repeal of Don’t ask, Don’t Tell, it seems that the battle for equal rights for women, minorities, and homosexuals is being won even within our military. It is time that women now have the opportunity to fight with our fellow men as soldiers protecting and defending our country, and having the opportunity to be heroes.
With the battle for equality having been won in our armed forces, it gives us great hope that the battle for full equality can be achieved in other areas as well. This decision by the Pentagon proves to be the catalyst for the full repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, the legalization of gay marriage in every state, and the renewal of the Violence against Women Act, all of which represent the moral path our society must take. We already took one step in the right direction for gender equality by allowing women to fight for our country alongside our men, now let’s take the next step forward that truly represents the U.S as a country that was founded by the people, for the people.