When I was in Switzerland in 1994, I attended a number of lectures (it was learning abroad thingie through Ohio State University). One of those lectures was from the second in command of the Swiss Army, who said something very interesting. He said that women in the Swiss military could attain any rank that a man could, that all non-combat positions were not determined based on the sex of the applicant. However, women were NOT permitted to participate in combat. Not because the women were not capable, determined, qualified or willing to participate. But because they found that the men in combat were psychologically unable, by and large, to withstand the thought of a woman under torture, or in harm’s way. They restricted women’s activities in combat solely on that basis – that their male soldiers could not be relied upon to withstand the pressures of combat if they were concerned about the well-being and safety of their female counterparts.
BTW, women in Switzerland got the right to vote in 1974. Women in America got the vote in 1929. And today, the place of women in society in both countries is very similar.
Any thoughts on this from anyone?