Opinion: Should Signing Up for Military Draft be Mandatory for Women?

By Tabby Harris.
Domestic News Writer

Often seen as a looming specter of doom, the military draft has caused consternation and fear among many men throughout its existence. In a bygone era, young men sought to escape the draft by whatever means they could find.

Now, as then, the strong sentiment of patriotism, perhaps mixed with glory, spurs individuals to plunge their hands into the filth of war for the sake of loved ones back home.

I say individuals because with the allowance for female enrollment, soldiers are no longer just men. Both sexes are often in the fray. In spite of this reality, women are not required to register for a mandatory draft. Recent stirrings within our nation’s government, however, testify that attitudes are once again changing.

Due to the push for women in combat roles including in Special Forces, the exclusive draft policy must be revisited. If an increasing number of women are entering the military, thus representing half of the nation’s population, it stands to reason that all women should be forced to sign up for a mandatory draft. Such is the thinking, in a nutshell, of Marine Commandant General Robert Neller and Army Chief of Staff General Mark Milley. Defense Secretary Ash Carter has also ordered the military to open up 225,000 combat positions to women including Special Forces. I do not think this issue is something to be taken lightly or glossed over.

While it is true that quite a number of women desire to enter the military, the majority of the female population in America does not.

If the argument is raised that this is a matter of equality and standing shoulder-to-shoulder with men in all things, I would submit to you that equality has indeed been achieved. Although pockets exist where women do not receive the same pay as men for the same job, women are allowed access to the same things men are.

Might I add that there are two women currently running for president as you read this. Women abound in positions of power. A few of my father’s bosses were women, there are female CEOs, female governors, female mayors, there are Congresswomen, women in the Senate, women in the House of Representatives, women on the Supreme Court. It is my opinion that those who adamantly maintain that equality among the sexes has not been achieved are closing their eyes to blatant facts. It would appear that superiority is what they crave, not equality. Having Congress filled only with women is not equality.

I would also like to point out that studies have shown that there are things men can do that women simply can’t do or they can but not as well. For example, in the summer of 2015, the Marine Corps conducted a study which found that women are injured more often than men and perform lower than men in combat.

As a general rule, women and men are not strong in the same areas. I say generally because I recognize that there are exceptions to every rule. However, male body strength is different than that of a female which, I believe, makes them better suited for military combat.

In addition, I believe this decision ought to be decided by those whom it would affect: women. We do not live in an autocracy and the people should ultimately have the final word on laws which will directly affect them.

Think of those women who are actually quite comfortable with their current lives, either working in or outside the home. They have no aspirations of risking their lives for their nation and are instead focused on their own goals and dreams.

In a country founded on freedom and the will of the people, I believe that each individual’s desires should be respected and taken into consideration when formulating new laws such as the institution of a mandatory draft for women.

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, February 9th print edition.

Contact Tabby at
tabitha.harris@student.shu.edu

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