Women can serve in the military, too
“The current performance evaluation is unfavorable for the boys,” my friend’s daughter said. The physical education standards for boys are so high that they cannot get high marks. But in music and arts, where girls tend to perform better, the same standards apply for both girls and boys. Also, girls generally receive higher marks on behavior and conduct. So, the daughter raised the possibility that girls are ranked at the top partly because of the unfair evaluation system. Then, my friend told her daughter, “Your claim makes sense, but let’s not make an issue out of it until you get into college.”
Of course, advances of women in many areas are not because of favorable evaluation systems but because of the expression of latent potential and talent. Just like the middle school girl who acknowledges the disadvantage for boys, women have an innate passion for equality and justice. Unlike the men who neglected the issue of gender discrimination against women for millennia, women share a sense of justice.
Recently, Minister of Gender Equality and Family Cho Yoon-sun raised the issue of compensation for men who are fulfilling military duty. She said that the policy of awarding them additional points in the civil service examination was not fair and instead suggested offering an extension of retirement age or acknowledging military service as job experience. The ideas seem quite plausible.
But many companies and public corporations already give salary benefits to those who completed mandatory military service. Also, even if the retirement age is extended, there are many ways to force early retirement on workers. The actual effect of her alternate compensation options is questionable. The worst compensation would be to offer something that sounds plausible but lacks substantial benefits. That would be deception, not compensation.
Then, how about bringing back the additional points for military service? If it is unfair for women, we can introduce an enlistment system for women. It is not possible to conscript all women, but the military service system can be altered so that female volunteers can serve on a level playing field. If additional points can be awarded to both men and women, then we can eliminate unfairness.
In a country where security is not stable, it is a good thing to fill public positions with those who have military experience. The valedictorian of the Military Academy was a female cadet, and a women’s university was ranked at the top in an ROTC evaluation. So women can certainly compete with men in the military.
For a long time, women have fought to earn equal opportunities. The objective was to realize equality and fairness. The next step toward achieving this goal is military equality.
*The author is an editorial writer of the JoongAng Ilbo.
by Yang Sunny