Mark Davis

The first line of attack in political battles is language. Getting people to phrase things your way is the first step to getting them to think your way.

In the foggy mess of the debate over women in combat, you will see media references to a “ban” being “lifted.”

Bans are bad. Lifting bans is good. Therein lies the bias strangling this issue in the dominant media culture.

Am I “banned” from the women’s restrooms at work? No, I’m just not supposed to be in there, so that word doesn’t come up. The left has commandeered combat as a rhetorical battlefield, where excluding women is as vile as denying them the right to vote.

Just as allowing gays in the military has become a litmus test for human decency, the argument for women in combat focuses on their self-interest before the nation’s.

We see the same examples of noble service, as if they outweigh the arguments against. We hear scolding references to opponents stuck in some bygone era, steeped in bigotry. We hear no evidence of how this helps us win wars, which is the military’s actual job.

And beyond the damage this will do to military readiness, there is the broader harm done to our culture by permitting women in combat.

Before detailing the specifics of both detriments, there is the required pronouncement of my own high opinion of women and their strengths. Women are amazing people, often with talents and contributions beyond what any man brings to the table. My wife is one of the toughest, most capable people I know. My daughter has been raised to reach for any goal, striving for her dreams with all of the attributes God gave her, taking abuse from no one.

There. Now to the actual issue, which will draw charges of misogyny anyway.

It is because womanhood is special and sacred that we should not send our daughters, wives and mothers off to be killed, maimed or taken prisoner. If anyone is guilty of dealing a blow to womanhood, it is the oblivious souls who do not flinch at the risks of what might happen to them in battle.

But what if the women are willing? Doesn’t that negate that argument?

Far from it. The inspiring eagerness of a woman to subject herself to the hell of combat does not make it a good idea. The risks are not just to her, but to our entire society.