While women play a significant role in our armed forces, whether they should be deployed in frontline combat situations is quite debatable. The underlying premise of Anne Summers’ ‘The Lady Killers’ (Dec/Jan) is that gender equality should ignore biology. But you cannot afford to throw biology out the window, particularly in a life-and-death combat situation. Summers’ comments on the threat of rape in war zones is unfortunately trivialised. Since it is a strategy we know is routinely deployed by many insurgents and rebel groups, women captured in war zones face a real likelihood of being raped by multiple men. Further, the consequences of rape when it occurs in underdeveloped countries are often emotionally and physically horrendous. Not only is there the risk of being made pregnant, but also there is a real likelihood of being infected with HIV/AIDS and drug-resistant TB.
Campbells Creek, VIC