There was a front-page story in Sunday’s New York Times yesterday about two valiant women. Here is how it began:

“For 25 days at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Specialist Danielle Green wondered if anyone could ever understand. But on the 26th day, a nurse told her: ’A new female patient came in today. You have a lot in common.’

“’Really?’ Specialist Green said, and the nurse nodded.

“Like Specialist Green, the new patient was a 20-something firecracker, a 5-foot-8 former college basketball player, an Army soldier in the military police serving in Iraq.

“Like Specialist Green, she also knew how it felt to have a rocket-propelled grenade shoot through her arm. Specialist Green’s left hand had been torn off.”

The other woman was First Lt. Dawn Halfaker, who lost her right arm. They came from different backgrounds–Green had struggled out of a welfare family in Chicago’s Southside to win accolades as an athlete at Notre Dame, while Halfaker was a West Point graduate from a pleasant suburb of San Diego.
Both had hoped to play more basketball, but rocket-propelled grenades ended those hopes for both women.

Feminists have made getting women close to the front a big issue. They may say that men risk life and limb in war and so it is right for women to do the same. I disagree. When we ask Danielle Green and Dawn Halfaker to fight like men, civility, not to mention chivalry, is dead. A society that expects women to go out face a vicious enemy has lost something vital: the idea that men are supposed to protect women.

What these two heroic women endured is state-sanctioned violence against women.