When their gender is seen as an advantage rather than a disability, suddenly it is permissible for women soldiers to assume combat roles:
… Women make up only 6 percent of the Marine Corps, which cultivates an image as the most testosterone-fueled service, and they are still officially barred from combat branches like the infantry.
But in a bureaucratic sleight of hand, used by both the Army and Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan when women have been needed for critical jobs like bomb disposal or intelligence, the female engagement teams are to be”attached”to all-male infantry units within the First Marine Expeditionary Force : a source of pride and excitement for them. …
I have no doubt that the women Marines will prove themselves more than capable. But what a shame they had to wait until their gender could be tactically leveraged to get this opportunity.