Is There a Double Standard for Women in the Military?


Devin Doyle

Kristina MacLure, Contributor

It’s hard to deny that women are discriminated against in the military, because for the most part, it’s true. Although women can carry and use rifles and other weapons and are expected to participate in similar missions to their male counterparts,  they cannot go on the front lines. In addition, some training standards have been changed so women can complete certain tasks . For example, the fitness test for the marines was altered recently so that instead of having women complete three or more pull-ups like the men have to, they have to do a flexed-arm hang, which is much easier because it puts less strain on the muscles (

Devin Doyle, a former Nashoba student, who is currently serving in the military, said that, “there is absolutely a double standard when it comes to gender in the military, but I think it has gotten a lot better than in previous years.” What’s normally brought up when someone talks about a double standard is the fact that men just get to do more things than women get to do, but sometimes it can be just the opposite. “I get to do more tasks and even more advanced training than some of the men that came in at the same time as me. I am the only female working my shift with 40 men, so I would say I get special treatment sometimes.” She also said that she has never personally been in an experience where she felt discriminated against, but she does know that guys can be aggressive.

Other problems that have been brought up in many military discussions about gender was that women are more likely to be called names and looked down on. Reflecting on this, Devin mentioned that “this [being a women in the military] also means it’s very easy to have rumors spread about you and a common term used is “dorm slut”, which usually means that a female soldier might have simply hung out with the guys; these female soldiers can be shamed for innocent interactions, which is quite sad.”

But then again, she said that she sees most of the negative judgements about the gender standards in the military come from outside of the military. People from outside of the military may look down on a woman who is in the military because they might think that she did not get into college and had to go into the military as an alternative career to support herself. “At least this is what it sometimes feels like,” she said.

Women are not as discriminated against as they were a few years ago, but that does not mean that the subject should be left alone. This issue has been in the news a great deal over the past few years and because of it, people in power have been forced to look into the matter. Female soldiers are still being called degrading names and are being discriminated against. Standards should be the same for both men and women if the military wants overall equality. “Men can boast about serving their country. You don’t usually hear women shouting it from the rooftops.”