Kathleen Parker wrote a column called "Combat women and Congress' wimps" for today, and I think it should be required reading for anyone pondering the meaning and possible effects of the recent decision to allow women in combat.
Parker's column makes two points, but I find the second the most compelling. She points to the arguments of proponents of allowing women in combat. Those proponents say that this is not about forcing women into combat. It is about opening up options for women. No woman will be forced into combat. It's strictly optional for women with the drive, ambition, and the right physical attributes.
The problem is that it is absolutely not optional for men. Allowing women into combat jobs leaves the military with an untenable choice. Either make combat optional for all soldiers, or treat women as a special class of soldier, with a right to evade combat if they wish.
Neither option is acceptable.
In mathematics, one way to prove something is to start by assuming something to be true, and then follow the inescapable logic of where it leads. If it leads to something that is clearly false, then the premise must be wrong. This must be one of those cases.