It is certainly true that some women are more fit than some men, but it is also true that most aren’t as capable of becoming as strong as most men. As I’ve written before, women have just about half the upper-body strength as men, which is serious business when you’re hiking with a 65-pound (and often heavier) load on your back or hoisting a wounded comrade. It is no coincidence that stress fractures are significantly higher among female recruits than among males during basic training. …

It’s more than clear, meanwhile, that physical standards would be lowered to allow women where they don’t belong. We know this because Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recently said as much:

“If we do decide that a particular standard is so high that a woman couldn’t make it, the burden is now on the service to come back and explain to the secretary, why is it that high? Does it really have to be that high?”

Translation: If women can’t meet the standards, we’ll just “gender-norm” them. As to whether this is good for our military effectiveness, one can only hope that our enemies are of like mind. One rather doubts it.