In our feminist-soaked culture, men sure get a lot of proverbial beatings. Indeed, as allegations of sexual abuse by men leak weekly, it’s easy to see why some women might find it hard to trust, appreciate, or honor men. But Saturday, on Veteran’s Day, it’s important we do just that, alongside honoring women who have served, or support the men in their lives who do as well.
I mention the men because, as of 2010, men made up about 80 percent of our military and about 3 million men and women serve in all parts of the world and at all times. Though military personnel make up less than 1 percent of our population, they truly sacrifice time, energy, funds, and often their lives, to do a job many of the rest of us lack the courage or fortitude to do.
The military is not a flawless organization, by any means, and there are bad apples in it, just like there are in the rest of society. But the people serving are often strong, humble, brave, and resourceful – qualities we want the next generation to embody. Whether it’s a 92-year-old veteran of WWII, who tells young people about what he saw in Austria because he wants to educate the youngest generation about the realities of good and evil, or the 22-year-old kid who deployed to Afghanistan his or her first time, these members of our military are doing something this country desperately needs in a way the rest of us can never fully repay.
While feminism, to a degree, had its place in American history, the route it’s taken over the last decade – which is more about devaluing men than pursuing equal rights for women – is disheartening at best, and dangerous at worst. Women need men for a myriad of reasons, not the least of which because they make up 80-90 percent of our military and law enforcement. Not all men are predators, sexual or otherwise, and many men are brave, noble, and will fight and die for a woman’s right to complain about men. That might sound cliche or like conservative propaganda, but the heart of what the military does is protect this country’s most basic freedoms, in addition to ensuring hostile threats to America around the world, are eradicated.
That’s not to say women don’t deserve honor and appreciation – they do. I admire the women, particularly the mothers out there, who set aside a vocation or familial responsibilities, to serve this country. They have sacrificed much and in turn, deserve equal thanks. In addition, I have many friends whose husbands serve in the military. Those women who stay behind and take on the role of mother and father, while their spouse is away – working, caring for the kids, cooking, cleaning, fielding anxious phone calls from another country – are truly some of the strongest, most remarkable women I know. They too have sacrificed.
Today is a day to honor the people actively serving our country, ensuring our freedoms remain intact and our safety is paramount, but particularly the men, who are often demoralized as a group because of the hideous actions of a few cowards. To the young and old, at home or abroad, we salute you and we thank you.
Nicole Russell is a contributor to the Washington Examiner's Beltway Confidential blog. She is a journalist in Washington, D.C., who previously worked in Republican politics in Minnesota. She was the 2010 recipient of the American Spectator's Young Journalist Award.
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