Women’s physiology

Women’s physiology makes them seem closer to nature. Women are associated with birth and nurturing, perceived as ‘natural’ processes, but ‘nature’ is also powerful and violent and, in this guise, associated with male virility, as the following description indicates. Physical explanations were not so commonly evoked in discussions of the dominance of men in the roles of trainer, agent or administrator, although the explanations I received were similarly uniform.

I was told that men were more numerous than women in army due to the unequal opportunities that existed in the past, but that these things were currently changing. The idea that men and women communicate more efficiently with members of the same sex was institutionalised in the maddening convention by which women chatted in the kitchen before supper whilst the men enjoyed a whisky in the lounge. For example for Rousseau, anatomy is destiny. In his view, women’s physiology determines their fate, both biologically and socially.

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From the moment of birth, a girl’s life is entirely conditioned and programmed by her sexuality, by her “nature” as a female: “A male is male only at certain moments, whereas a female is female all her life . . . ; she is constantly reminded of her sex,” physical to the psychological, from the natural to the social, which he presents as mutually reinforcing and mutually justifying. The anatomy of women serves to distinguish them from men and to define their primary role and destiny, which (in Rousseau’s view) is to bear and care for the young in order to assure the survival of the species.

He invokes this natural teleology both to restrict the role and education of women and to explain their inequality. But according to humanistic view of modern society women are equal to men and can do the same job, they can serve in army if they want. Many woman think about military career. The time period covered is from the establishment of the Army Nurse Corps in 1901, when women first officially became part of the United States military, to August 1995. It does not include materials about women who worked for the military before 1901, whether they served disguised as

Men or in some other role such as nurses or cooks, or women in the National Guard or Reserve. Women serving in or veterans of the Air Force, Army, Marine Corps and Navy are included, as well as women cadets at the service academies (but not women in ROTC). Women in the Coast Guard are included as well; although Coast Guard women officially serve under the Department of Transportation, they come under the control of the Navy in wartime. In 1947, the Army-Navy Nurse Act (Public Law 36-80C) made the corps a permanent part of their services.

In 1949, nurses from the Army Air Forces formed the Air Force Nurse Corps. Women earned a place in the regular military in 1948, with the passage of the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act (Public Law 625). While women were now assured of a right to serve, Public Law 625 severely restricted their numbers. A two percent ceiling was placed on the proportion of women in the regular establishment of each service and allowed as the highest rank only one full colonel or Navy captain.

It laid down restrictions on types of duty assignments, specifying that in the Navy and Air Force, women could not be assigned to aircraft while the aircraft was engaged in combat missions. Women’s military participation in the years following World War II was limited. At the start of hostilities in the Korean War, there were only 22,000 women on active duty, including nurses. While only a few women on special assignment, other than medical personnel, actually served in Korea, all the services increased their efforts to recruit women.

However, none of the services were able to meet their recruiting goals. In 1951, then Secretary of Defense George Marshall, formed a committee of fifty prominent women, to study ways in which recruiting goals could be met. The committee, named the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Service (DACOWITS), suggested a combined recruitment campaign to increase numbers. Ultimately, even this effort was unsuccessful. At its height, the number of women serving in the Korean War years reached just under 49,000.


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