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Ariz. Official Fired After She Said Women Don't Belong in Combat Because of Their Menstrual Cycles


"Women have certain things during the month."

(Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)


An Arizona veterans services official was fired and her boss resigned after she said women might be less suited for combat because of their menstrual cycles.

Former state Rep. Terri Proud, hired as an administrative assistant with the Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services, made the comment this week to the Arizona-Sonora News Service.

“I understand that women want to be on the front lines, and they want to do their service and women are very strong. We’ve really come far through the years. We’re extremely strong,” Proud said. But, she added, “Women have certain things during the month I’m not sure they should be out there dealing with. I don’t know how to address that topic in a very diplomatic manner.”

Proud, a Republican, was fired Wednesday and her supervisor, Veterans' Services Director Joey Strickland, resigned -- because he had been told by the governor's office not to hire her in the first place.

“Col. Strickland was given very specific instructions about a year ago to avoid hiring this individual. He chose to do so anyway and unfortunately that individual’s questionable judgment was on display this week with some ill chosen public remarks regarding women in the military," Matt Benson, spokesman for Gov. Jan Brewer (R), told the Arizona-Sonora News Service.

Benson didn't say why Brewer didn't want Proud hired.

"What we have seen in the last few days is evidence of a lack of judgment. That speaks to some of our concerns," he told the Associated Press.

Then-Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta lifted the military ban on women in combat in January.

Proud made national news during her time in the Arizona legislature when she said last year that women who want an abortion should be required to watch one first.

Proud told the Arizona-Sonora News Service her comment about women in combat was taken "way out of context" and that she didn't mean any offense.

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