LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Feminism’s Waterloo on the battlefield

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Elaine Donnelly’s commentary is correct, but the message continues to remain of the same vulnerable logic that liberals love to destroy: Women are not equal to men (“Why would Obama send American girls into combat?” Commentary, Nov. 21). In advancing the feminist agenda, there is no greater crown jewel with which to destroy that logic than via that most traditional and “macho” institution in the nation: the American armed forces.

When it comes to issues of sex “equality,” the liberal argument is an old but familiar one. It essentially holds that the belief that women are not equal to men is steeped in Victorian-era stereotypes, that societal ignorance must be purged through re-education, and once the glass ceiling is shattered, society will finally be “broken” of its anachronistic and sexist bigotry. At long last, women will be equal and socially unfettered to stand on their own.

Admittedly, warped attitudes can prohibit progress and equal opportunity. But what happens once the liberal path toward equality has reached its dialectical endpoint? It then comes down to standards. Here is where the true face of feminism faces its Waterloo: empirical data. This is where the issue of military readiness and participation should be battled.

Yet for all of the impassioned feminist assurances that women can fight like men, the feminists are the first group to cower when faced with a level battlefield of uniform performance standards on which to prove them. It now seems that after the decades-long affirmative-action program to elevate and highlight the presence of women in the ranks (and thereby purge anachronistic military misogyny), it is really the “modern” American definition of opportunity that now appears to be the true anachronism, locked in a time warp, circa 1968.

Perhaps after years of “attitudinal re-education,” it is time for America to finally embrace the true meaning of the word “opportunity”: an equal chance to compete on a level playing field. Paradoxically, while America vociferously clamors for same-sex marriage, the concept of same-sex standards for military service seems to be considered a far-flung outpost to which no feminist or liberal ever wants to deploy.

DAVID F. RUPPERT
Scottsdale, Ariz.

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