Saturday, August 29, 2015

Women in the military, and re-addressing heroes.

I've been seeing lots of posts and likes and kudos and news acclamation for two women who just successfully graduated rangers school.

Perhaps I am in the wrong to feel so, but the news saddens me a bit. In my - perhaps sexist -  mind women were still somehow above that.

That sounds like am either dissing women, or dissing our military - I don't mean to. I have the utmost respect and admiration for those who choose to serve in the role of protector, defender. Some of my favorite people and stories include Captain Moroni.

and the 2000 Sons of the people of Ammon.

War and conflict are an unfortunate part of human existence. But while it is one thing to  have to defend life, liberty, family and freedom, it is quite another to seek for blood. For some reason - right or wrong - in my mind, the graduation of these two women and consequent talk of the changing role of women in the front lines of military - viewed by the media as a step forward for women... to me feels more like a loss. Men have, it seems, already in large part embraced a baser nature, a nihilistic bloodthirstiness, but... now women succumb to it as well?

This lead me to think about a comment I had seen and replied to quite some time ago, on a video about Esther, and some other women who were being compared to her - her quality of courage specifically...

The individual's comment expressed disdain for the video, implying a sexist quality, as  the "courageous women" were shown putting on pretty clothes, make-up and jewelry. If the video had been about a man or men, they would have been shown strapping on swords and armor. Getting ready for battle, the poster noted.

I responded by saying "I think the idea was to have each one mirroring Esther, and in her case, that was her preparation. It wasn't about going to battle, it was about putting her best foot forward,in spite of hopeless circumstances. Preparing by dressing in their best, is symbolic of expecting success. (Honestly, I think these women display greater courage in facing unseen, untouchable dangers, versus than taking up arms against a mortal foe)."

As I thought about that, it occurred to me that we generally have a very narrow perception of courage, of heroism. And it does revolve and mortal, physical combat. We honor those who "Sacrifice their lives to the cause", but we forget the quiet heroes who give their lives TO the cause: the Mother Theresa's, the Gandhi's, The Jonas Corona's and Ethan King's

So maybe we spend too much time worshiping the wrong qualities... Or maybe I'm just an old fashioned, sexist pig.

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