While the decision to finally lift the ban on women in direct military combat is a step forward, I'm not sure it's that big of a deal anymore.
After all, women have been so close to the action that more than 130 servicewomen have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. More than 800 have been wounded. They've sacrificed and done their duty and shown they can be formidable warriors.
Plus, have you looked around society lately? Women are kicking men's butts all over the place.
They have shown that they can be dangerous boxers. They've entered the world of Mixed Martial Arts. In action films, it's no longer strange to see a woman beating the stuffing out of a man.
Yeah, I know -- those are movies. But the difference is, unlike a decade or two ago, those scenes are convincing.
No, women don't play pro football with the boys yet; considering the damage that men are doing to their brains in the NFL, maybe it just shows women are smarter. And while they may or may not catch up when it comes to hockey, basketball and baseball, a woman dunking a basketball is no longer such a novelty, and I wouldn't go up against one of those crazy softball pitchers and their underhanded fastballs without full body armor.
Of course, I am biased. I want girls to kick butt if they have to. I have four daughters, was raised in a house full of women and have three sisters. My siblings and I have given my father seven biological granddaughters out of eight grandchildren (the two female step-grandchildren bring the tally to nine out of 10).
In other words, I'm surrounded. I always have been. So I root for the girls to prove they can hang with the boys.
My wife used to hunt with her dad, keeping up and doing all the things required of hunters, until she decided she just didn't want to do it anymore. On the other hand, I weep hysterically if I step on a snail. Guess who gets up to check the perimeter when we hear a strange noise at night? That's right -- the one with the wicked-looking hunting bow.
A secret no more
After growing up with an aunt who was more like my big sister, I speak from experience when I tell you that girls can knock around boys pretty definitively. But that wasn't necessarily a test of equality, especially since I was a sniveling little wimp. The military's action just verified what some of us have always known: While men may be physically bigger, that doesn't necessarily make them the stronger gender.
Have you seen a woman give birth? Holy bejeez ...
The military's move is a great one and will promote the idea for little girls that they can be tough, strong and hang with the guys. It's an idea I've tried pushing on my kids since Day One. They're smart, independent, and have learned not to take any guff from boys. Unfortunately, that sometimes includes me.
Would I want my daughters to join the service and fill combat roles? No. But if I had boys, I would feel the same way. I'm selfish that way about keeping my kids safe and alive (which is why I have respect for parents who have seen their children go off to war; I'd probably try locking them up until they decided to do something else.) But I know they could handle it, and I'm glad to live in a country where they now have that choice.