Vox Day has been trashing the idea of women warriors lately. I basically agree with him, but I think he exaggerates a bit.
I sincerely encourage anyone who wishes to write about women warriors to visit a full-contact dojo and ask to spar a few rounds with the opposite sex. They will accommodate you and it will be an eye-opening experience.
Having fought women at a fairly rough full-contact dojo, my experience is: the toughest women can hit as hard as the toughest men (or at least, hard enough to knock me out), but even the toughest women can’t take a hit as well as even the average man. I more often hurt women when trying to hit them with control than I did with men. This makes sense when you think about it: to hit hard, effective body movement is orders of magnitude more important than physical strength. And upper-body strength–where men have the most noticeable advantage–is the least important of all.
Thus I was not at all surprised to read about the very tough female marine who was injured by carrying too much weight. Although she was strong enough to carry a soldier’s pack, she wasn’t resilient enough to do it without getting hurt.