5 silliest reactions to women in combat

It's going to take a while before the Defense Department truly integrates women into the hundreds of thousands of combat positions that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta opened to them Wednesday. Each service and combatant command will have the opportunity to assess the social and financial costs of the policy change, and it's safe to say that a number of jobs will remain closed to women in the United States. But given that the change was endorsed uniformly by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the same body (with different chiefs) that had trouble staying on the same page on the lifting of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell, ban, the reaction from some has been, to borrow a sexist phrase, hysterical.

1. Tucker Carlson tweeted: "The latest feminist victory: The right to get your limbs blown off in war." Note to Tucker: 130 American women have been killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. And of the several hundred who are injured, one now serves quite ably in Congress. (Rep. Tammy Duckworth flew helicopters.) I suspect that many feminists might well agree with Carlson: Women ought to have the right to get their limbs blown off if they're as qualified as men are. Duckworth, whose limbs were, well, blown off, was as good a pilot as the many more men who were injured by IEDs too. This is quaint and false chivalry.

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Marc Ambinder

Marc Ambinder is TheWeek.com's editor-at-large. He is the author, with D.B. Grady, of The Command and Deep State: Inside the Government Secrecy Industry. Marc is also a contributing editor for The Atlantic and GQ. Formerly, he served as White House correspondent for National Journal, chief political consultant for CBS News, and politics editor at The Atlantic. Marc is a 2001 graduate of Harvard. He is married to Michael Park, a corporate strategy consultant, and lives in Los Angeles.