There's been a lot of talk in the news lately about the Australian Defence Force and I'm sure you're all well aware of it.
Horrible tales of sexual misconduct, that make you stop to think about how the male dominance of the force seemingly leads to men taking advantage of the situation they're in.
But this week, a new story has emerged, and it is this 'win' for female soldiers that just may be the start of a big turn. Hopefully. Maybe...
The Gillard Government has announced it would end what is a military 'tradition' and lift the ban on female soldiers fighting on the frontline.
With this ban lifted, it means that equality will finally be brought to the Defence Force and women will be able to train for and take on jobs that were previously reserved for men.
Despite warnings of the high pedigree required for roles in units such as special forces, this change will see women allowed to go through the physical and mental testing required for the roles and, if suitable, take on the special roles in the heat of battle.
Firstly, I think it's crazy this change has had to happen at all. Women should always have the same rights as men. But whether it's 50 years ago, or now, the change is a good thing. It's what is needed and what is fair.
But I can't help but feel this change has only come about because of the horrible stories rocking the Defence Force over the last fortnight.
Is this ban really being lifted for the right reasons? Or is it a quick solution to gain back the public's trust in the Force that defends our country?
I don't want them to take the ban back on, that's ridiculous.
But this change is a BIG thing for women. Equal rights groups and others have fought for years to gain some sort of respect like this.
And in an area that is dominated by strong, masculine men, the fact that this change has been made is a big step in helping people to understand the importance of everybody being equal.
So what worries me is that this is just a Band-Aid for a wound that needs respect to heal.
Does respect come into play when the men now have more competition for prestigious roles, all because people feel sorry for what some people have gone through?
Of course not. It's gained when a ban such as this is lifted because it's the right thing to do.
It's gained when it is realised by everybody that it shouldn't have been there in the first place. It's all about equality, not because people feel sorry for something that has happened.
Please don't get me wrong, I do feel sorry for the things that have been happening. And the young cadet in the middle of the sexual misconduct story doesn't deserve any of it.
Nobody should have to go through that, and face the controversy and pain associated with it.
But I feel that the two stories, while related in terms of area, have very little to do with each other.
They are topics that need to be handled separately and carefully, and the fact that the media has once again paired something up with another story at face value angers me.
It's time that people learn to handle stories and current affairs individually and come up with solutions because they're right, not because of what happened another time and not because the Government or media want us to forget about something else.
The opinions expressed in The 7PM Side Project blog do not necessarily reflect those of The 7PM Project or the Ten Network.