Posted for Pamela Varnado
My husband Joe and I had an interesting discussion about allowing females to join military special operations forces like Army Rangers. Studies that surveyed U.S. military personnel found that current males in these commando male-only jobs believe females can’t meet the physical and mental demands of these positions. They fear the Pentagon will lower the training standards if women are included. Is this gender-discrimination?
As an Army veteran, I’m keen to see how this current debate unfolds. It may be the girly-girly part of me, but if the opportunity to join Special Forces during my military enlistment had been presented to me, I don’t think I would’ve, even though I was in excellent physical condition. In fact, I often out-performed my male counterparts. But it takes a special mindset to perform these jobs, a place I mentally didn’t want to go to.
However, in my romantic suspense and paranormal stories I write about fierce heroines who are capable of handling themselves in such positions. Our current political culture seems to demand these types of heroines. I do find ways to soften my female protagonists’ personalities. Doing so makes them more realistic and interesting because women are complex individuals with different backstories.