Women at arms • Not all women are up to the physical and emotional strain of being a combat soldier. But not all men are, either. It takes a special level of grit, guts and determination. And, finally, the Pentagon has recognized that individual abilities, not gender bias, should be the factor that determines which people should be assigned to the most dangerous and most career-building assignments. The end of the ban on females serving in specific combat-oriented roles also recognizes that, in this century of asymmetrical warfare, fought with high-tech gear and without defined front lines, any woman who serves in any portion of the armed forces is already at risk. The least we can do is recognize that fact and make it official policy that they should all be ready to shoot back.
Women in office • Any move that makes our representative democracy more, well, representative of the public as a whole is a good thing. That's why Real Women Run, a coalition of Utah organizations devoted to recruiting more women to run for office, threw a networking meeting Thursday for women who might be interested in seeking public office. It included advice from the leaders of both the Republican and Democratic parties and information about the different ways women can serve their community. In Utah, 16.3 percent of the Legislature is female, and none of the statewide offices is held by a woman. That ranks above only seven other states and is far below what the figure should be when half the population is female. More information is available at www.realwomenrun.org.