Wednesday, January 23, 2013

2X > 1X

More than four centuries ago, in The Winter's Tale, William Shakespeare facetiously recognized equality between the genders:
A lady's verily is
As potent as a lord's.
 Over the last century, women have repeatedly proven their mettle across the spectrum of careers available to them.  Until now, military combat has been one of the last redoubts of men.  On January 23, 2013, while female Secretary of StateHillary Clinton fiercely fought her corner before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the massacre at the United States Consulate in Benghazi, Libya , the U.S.military announced that it would henceforth welcome women into combat roles.  The specific rules of female military engagement remain to be formulated.  In fact, depending on the details of these rules, women could still be effectively excluded from battlefield roles.  Nevertheless, people blessed with two X chromosomes have repeatedly demonstrated that, given half a chance, they can not only match, but often exceed, people possessing a depauperate single X chromosome.  Fields once completely dominated by men, such as medicine (both human and animal), pharmacy, biology, and law have yielded rapidly to female participation, and, often, domination.  Pity the poor Y chromosome;  when double-teamed by two X chromosomes, competition can be fierce.