I don't know, Huan Yi. It is indeed a very sensitive issue with strong points from both angles.
I, personally, am a big fan of civil equality for all. Therefore, I believe a woman should have the right to choose the profession or life she wants to lead, and if a woman truly wants to serve in the military, it's her decision and should be respected.
And before I make my next point, as a pacifist, let me say I do not believe this in any shape or form as a "political deterrment". I believe if a woman wants to be a doctor, then let her be a doctor. If a woman wants to be a teacher, then let her be a teacher. If a woman wants to join the military, and is aware she may have to serve in a battle scene and/or believes in a war and is willing to fight a war, then her decision should be respected, because each of these views is all about "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness".
Now, the greatest counter-argument to this is, of course, the Bible.
The Bible clearly states that no woman should serve in combat. The only mention of a woman serving in the military in the Bible was Deborah in the Old Testament. She worked as a director of the war plan and only once visited the battlefield.
They cite the reasoning in that, firstly, women are generally more emotional than men, and the men serve in the main purpose of protecting the women and children. Somewhere in the verses of Peter, I recall reading something about that God intentionally created men as stronger and women as the "weaker vessal" for a purpose, so men would do the fighting and women "heirs of the grace of life".
Another argument I often hear why not is that women, of course, are at risk of being killed as well, and those with children would become orphans, which would devastate the family.
I am sympathetic to what is said in the Bible. Who truly wants to be shot, who truly wants to be killed, who truly wants their child to be orphaned? That concern does resonate in me. But a deeper voice in me also believes in civil equality. As it is, we already have women in our military forces, and though I still dream for the day when no one would have to fight a war again, unfortunately the tragedies of history continue to be mirrored, and there actually are millions of women who support this war, and small pockets (much smaller pockets among the millions) of those who are eager to sign up.
Do I support a woman's right to decide her life and choose her destiny, even if it is the military, and she really wants to do it?: YES
Do I support the way the government and the military is promoting their word to low-income families who can't afford to send their children to college and thus is making them believe the Army is the only way to get college tuition, thus recruiting some young women by default: ABSOLUTELY NOT
And, unfortunately, I believe many women serving are doing so under the latter case. I heard of one such story on NOW a few months ago with a Nevada family, who is now in Iraq and because of just that; her family is financially troubled and, living in a small town where she couldn't find a job, came to believe only the U.S Army could help her financially.
I believe that type of thinking is NOT a deterrment. As it is, there are millions of American men who never served either, including Ashcroft and Wolfowitz, who resisted the service because they wanted to finish school, and Cheney. I respect their decisions then, even when I don't respect them now.
In the end, if you are going to use this argument on me and other pacifists who have already declared we will not serve the military in any circumstance, you have to also consider those, like myself, who refused before themselves and yet are the ones you honor now. For, according to your angle, Wolfowitz and Ashcroft and Cheney could have very well allowed women to serve in default under their refusal to participate if more had served then.
"You'll find something that's enough to keep you
But if the bright lights don't receive you
You should turn yourself around and come back home" MB20