In an increasingly dangerous world, it is critically important that the United States Marines remain the roughest, toughest asskickers on Earth. Unfortunately, what's even more important - at least in the eyes of the Obama administration - is to make sure that women can qualify for Marine infantry officer positions.
Currently, there's nothing stopping women from getting those positions except for one niggling detail: they can't do the job. Specifically, out of a group of 29 female Marines who recently went through the Marine Infantry Officer Course, a grand total of none, nada, zip, zilch, zero passed. In fact only four of the women even made it through the first day's combat endurance test - which is pretty discouraging when one considers that some wars take even more than a day to fight.
But as the old saying goes, "When the going gets tough, make it less tough for the girls." Or at least that's the old saying which seems to be guiding Army General Martin Dempsey, the nation's top military officer, who has said that if women can't meet the physical requirements for combat, it's up to the military commanders to either prove those requirements are really and truly necessary or lower the standards.
Put another way, those damn sexist Marines will have to prove that their long-established standards of physical excellence and endurance are actually more than simple misogyny. After all, who's to say that it's better to be able to carry a wounded comrade to safety rather than just having a good cry?
The administration's goal is to eventually have a military which is completely "gender neutral," much like the new bathroom in the White House. Failing that, they'll apparently settle for a military which is gender neutered.
The few. The proud. The confusing.