Subsunk here. I know I'll catch heat for this one, but it needs to be highlighted.
For thousands and thousands of years, Men have sought something which has a quality to inspire them to be better than they already are. Something or someone to make them desire to be better at whatever they do, and in most cases, to be Better Men than they are or than their Fathers were. A lot of this drive is bred into us. We need to see something or someone nobler than we ourselves are. We will seek it until we die or find what we are looking for. My Dad always called it "the mark to shoot at".
In many cases, what drove Men was the need to find a Good Woman to help them raise their kids, help him carry the burdens of Life, and comfort him when he fell short of his goals, as all Men do from time to time. Good Women came in all shapes and sizes. They suffered loudly or silently, were easy or difficult to live with or maybe, simple or complex in behavior. Every one of us had a Mother who brought us into the world, bathed us, clothed us, loved us, comforted us before we outgrew the silly notions that we, as Men, needed any of those things. We seek Women who were like Mom to fulfill our notions of what a Woman is supposed to do and to be about. We were Men and we reigned Supreme (at least until the Chief of Subsunk Operations directs execution of the daily trash and cleanup detail).
Then, along comes the US military and insists that we may have been a little hasty in our assessment of what a perfect Woman was made of, and proceeded to inform us that we would henceforth treat these objects known as Women exactly as we would treat any other Soldier, Sailor, Airman, or Marine.
Of course, those of us who knew there was no way to change Man, knew this was futile. There is no way to treat Woman the same as we treat Man, nor should we. But perhaps we were a little blind and reckless in our behavior during execution of these orders. And the papers are full of stories about how Men "mistreat" Women to the point of subservience or harassment, or some other --ism which the PC crowd uses to tell us how boorish and unManly our conduct is. I will grant you, they are correct in many cases.
And then along comes a group of Women who teaches all us dinosaurs what Womanhood can achieve, changes our vision of the perfect Woman, and cements for their Sisters, a place alongside their Brothers in Arms. Which begs the question, when is a Marine more than Just a Marine?
When she will stand beside you and fight with you against your enemies. When she is also your Shipmate wielding an M-16 and rescuing her sisters and inspiring her brothers with her courage and determination. When she immediately gathers together 10 replacement Marines to take the place of the Fallen. When she manages to make her brothers weep, stand tall and strong, all at the same time. When she can awe Generals who are inspired by not hearing about a miracle, but actually seeing one in the flesh. And when the idea that a Marine is not simply a Man or a Woman, but is that noble someone who places Life and Limb on the line, in defense of their Country, their Comrades, and their Corps, regardless of their sex, and performs their duty willingly, selflessly, and honorably --- Then a Marine is More than Just a Marine.
Read it all. I know Women have suffered and borne up under the strain since Adam was a mess cook. But the idea of Perfect Womanhood will never be the same.