Wounded Vet Duckworth: 'I Didn't Lose My Legs in a Bar Fight'

She and others say women already are in combat; critics still hate move

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 24, 2013 12:47 PM CST

(Newser) – Here's a look at some of the yays and nays regarding the Pentagon's decision to lift the ban on women in combat:

  • Rep. Tammy Duckworth: The Illinois congresswoman who lost both her legs as a helicopter pilot in Iraq praises the move as "long overdue" because it will help get more qualified women in key combat posts, reports Politico. Besides, "the reality on the ground in a 360 battlefield is that women have been serving in combat," she adds, reports NECN. "I didn't lose my legs in a bar fight."

  • Kayla Williams, the Guardian: She also served in combat in Iraq, and says generals have long skirted the ban with semantics, "by 'attaching,' rather than assigning, us to combat units." She, too, applauds the move as an overdue nod to reality and thinks it will help the military's culture of sexual harassment.
  • Heather Mac Donald, National Review: Bad idea, she writes. Expect reports of sex assaults to increase given the close quarters, and physical fitness standards to decline. "The downsides to such a policy are legion and obvious; the only reason to pursue it is to placate feminism's insatiable and narcissistic drive for absolute equality between the sexes."
  • Daily Caller editor Tucker Carlson also hates it, tweeting that the White House "boasts about sending women to the front lines on the same day Democrats push the Violence Against Women Act." Daily Intel rebuts him, saying he's confused about the difference between domestic violence and combat. The Week has more on the Carlson meme.

In this Sept. 18, 2012, file photo, female soldiers from 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, train on a firing range at Fort Campbell, Ky.   (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)
This Nov. 15 file photo shows Iraq war veteran Rep.-elect Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., who lost both legs in combat.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
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