As regular readers will know, I'm not a supporter of the idea of women in combat. It's not something that women were made for, and proof of this is in the body itself - in the distinct physicality of men and women.
Below is a picture of an Australian soldier, Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith, who stormed a machine-gun position in Afghanistan in 2010 and was later awarded a Victoria Cross for his act of valour. His body is angular and muscular and he has the facial features and expression that you would expect of a warrior:
Compare his picture with that of New Zealand singer Hayley Westenra:
She is smaller, her limbs are slender and elegant, her body is softer and her face radiates warmth and emotion. She wasn't made for the battlefield but for something more feminine.
There is a meaning written into our physical, embodied selves. Our bodies tell us something about our purposes as men and women. Liberals won't like to hear this, as it means that some of our choices aren't entirely self-determined.
But what's the alternative? If you were to argue that our bodies shouldn't matter, then how could you pursue life as an integrated being, i.e. how could you develop as a person who had achieved a unity of body, mind and spirit?
It isn't right to throw away the body as an identifying aspect of self.