[A second-year midshipman responded that] "when someone says, ‘Be a man,’ the alternative to not being a man is kind of being a female, being a woman.” He said that implies women--including their own female classmates at the academy--are not as strong as men. “That’s a lot of the root causes of all these things,” he said. “That’s wrong.”I suppose in the emasculated, androgynous environment that is the contemporary state of the US armed forces, the word "wrong", in the primary definitional sense of describing something that is evil or wicked, is probably exactly what academy administrators are aiming for.
“That was awesome. That was fantastic. Great point,” said Joshua Malone, 21, a fourth-year midshipman from New York. He was one of two peer educators leading the session.
Of course, the assertion that there is something factually incorrect about pointing out that men are stronger than women is blatantly untrue. That the discussion leader encouraged this bullshit tells you everything you need to know about the sorry psychological state of America's military establishment.
Razib Khan points to a study showing that the very strongest female athletes are about at parity with the physical strength of the average male (as measured by grip strength, which is a good measure since it's not widely 'trained and so serves as a great proxy for innate anchor strength). The strength of the average woman puts her below the 10th percentile of the average man.
We don't have to turn to scientific studies or even infinite personal anecdotes to see this--the US military itself concedes as much! The minimum number of pushups required of men aged 17-21 to pass the army basic training physical fitness test is 35. For women in the same age range, that number is 11.